Building With The Boys: Build, Remodel, or Just Buy As Is: What Would YOU Do?

Published September 6, 2012 by Candy Evans

I know, I know, we are way overdue for the second installment of “Building With The Boys.” The house is practically graduating from high school. I’ve been bogged down with my own fun plumbing issues: my Groehe faucet in my laundry room blew a gasket and flooded, THANK GOD for water bug sensors. Though I wasn’t home, the alarm company called and the fire department came over: water, water everywhere! Not too happy with the Groehe folks, and they will be hearing from me! Meantime, let’s hear how the pride of Azalea Lane is faring:

It’s been a fast and furious four months since the grim reaper passed down Azalea Lane off Preston and took with it the 1950s mini rancher that we bought last    .  Instead of May flowers resulting from April showers, we saw loads of dirt (Candy’s favorite thing on earth!) moved and the foundation forms tracing the future foot print of our dream home.  Where the half-dead sweet gum tree once stood is now the vicinity of the master bedroom door way.  Good thing it’s gone or getting to bed would have been tricky!  Not an ounce of concrete was poured and we were debating how the sofa configuration would play out in the formal living room.  We like to put the cart before the horse!  But hey… that’s the fun stuff part of building from scratch and having everything “your way”

June’s first big milestone:  a foundation.  As the mercury rose, so did a bunch of sticks. Or as the builders put it, we were vertical. It took just a few days to see what we were getting ourselves into. And thank Saint Joseph the patron of all-things real estate we LOVED what we were seeing.  Side note: how the framers know how all those toothpicks fit together according to the blueprints is mind boggling,  especially with that extreme Texas heat working against them.  (Um, if it were US behind those hammers, there’d be signs of heat-induced delirium in every wall, doorway and rafter.)  Hats off to the unsung framing geniuses out there.

Now put your hat back.  UV rays are dangerous.

July saw the process of pipes, wires, heating/AC (lots of AC please!), and roofing.  Each week was like a [very expensive] birthday… what do we get this week!?  In the last few days, the windows arrived and now the neighbors can start the tongue wagging: will they or won’t they like the new neighbor?  We are now in the heat of deciding cabinetry, brick color, plumbing fixtures, and flooring.  Next time: more on what we discovered and learned during the first 3 months.

In building a house from the ground up, many have asked us if we are about to strangle one another.  In other words, is it stressful? Marriages have been known to dissolve over the stress of building a new house. Have we banged our heads repeatedly against a nail-ridden 2×4?  Do we pine for our last house?  Wish we were in the Virgin Islands drinking margaritas and mojitos?  Yes.  But, only to the latter.  Otherwise, the experience is educational and, more often than not, fun.  We credit our builder, Mark Hayes.

That leads us to the questions we get at every single  cocktail party no matter what is served: would we build new again?  Will we venture back to remodels?  Or buy something already done and just chill?  While our crystal ball is currently out of service, we weigh the pros and cons of each:



— Daily Local Real Estate Dish By Dallas Real Estate Insider — Candy Evans at