Building With The Boys: Unlocking the Three P’s of Construction HINT: One is Definitely Pinot Noir

Published November 20, 2012 by Candy Evans

Will this mess ever be a beautiful back yard oasis? YES!

It’s time for our fourth installment of Building With the Boys —as many of you have asked us “when do we hear more about the Building Boys?” The house is really progressing; if I compared this to labor I’d say, “she’s pushing! We can see the head!” Herewith we get some great insight into the building process, great advice and a tiny peak at Tim Loecker and Justin Kettler’s relationship. Will it stand up to the extreme test of building?

We’ve cracked the top-secret code to building a home since we last appeared, and it’s called The Three Ps to Home Construction:  Patience, Perspective, and Pinot Noir.  And when it comes to perspective, we try to keep our wine glass half full, not half empty.  And for maintaining perspective when building a home, we’ve been asked many times if time flies by or painfully drags on month after month.

To answer, it’s been five short, long, months since ground broke on Azalea.  Generally, those five months have indeed flown by.  And, we’re pleased to report our spinning heads are not the result of assaults or throw downs, at least no altercations have evidence of bodily harm or witnesses.  With a few exceptions.  A profanity-fueled spectacular in the middle of Ann Sachs?  Mmmm, perhaps once…ok, twice.  Teenager-approved insults hurled towards one another’s hair-brain ideas in front of our builder?  Absolutely!  Impatience is our virtue, but no, the gloves have not come off.  Not yet.  But, we’re also not to the finish line.

Should we expect “flipping out” Jeff Lewis-style behavior here at the home stretch? The devil is in the details, and we’re approaching the gates of hell month with cabinetry, baseboards, counters, plumbing, and hardware selection and installation.  Sure, Candy preaches time and again how hell hath no fury like a home with poor finish out.  So we’ve looked to the design gods to avoid as many design sins as possible.  Finish-out nirvana starts early on in the process with broader-scale choices, ultimately setting the stage for the detailed selections down the road.  Let’s explore some of those key early decisions  which make the difference between a home you like and a home you absolutely love to come home to.

Think about first impressions:   Do you really care what other people think about your house?  Unless they’re paying your breath-taking property taxes, you may be indifferent.  But, a lot of homeowners take pride in having an inviting habitat for themselves and their guests.  Those warm and fuzzies kick in the moment you approach the front door.  Whether iron, glass, or wood, invest a little extra to create an impact at the front door.  A well-lit entry way and foyer with line of sight to key living areas can draw you and your guests in.  Instead of the entry being a conduit to a bunch of different rooms, engage your senses with a primary “wow factor” early on such as a large art wall or a direct path to an inviting “social” room.

Lay of the land, and that includes the master:  Plot the boudoir wisely.  A master bedroom facing east can take on a lot of morning sun.  This is great if you prefer an organic wake up call, otherwise, consider a west-facing master.  Also, do you want your master up or downstairs?  For resale, most prefer the master downstairs.  How close in proximity do you want other bedrooms?  Some prefer all other bedrooms be upstairs with no shared walls or floors to the master.  Others may like having at least one additional bedroom downstairs as a mother-in-law or nursery. And when it comes to closets, we say come out in a big way! Plan your closet spaces as big and efficient as you can. Kitchens, bathrooms AND closets sell!

It’s Electrifying:  Lights, dimmers, switches, and outlets.  This was the most difficult and detailed process in the architect phase.  The only worse punishment would be the electric chair itself.  Just as we were ready to blow a fuse, we thankfully saw the light at the end of the electric tunnel.  First, you’re going to have a ton of plugs courtesy of code requirement.  However, think about additional plugs installed in drawers, cabinets, and closets.  We don’t like seeing tools, toasters, and technology.  For example, we intend on hiding the printer/fax in a closet instead of having Hewlett Packard proudly displayed on the desk.  We want our trusty toaster in a pull out drawer inside the cabinet.  For aesthetics, we have the kitchen outlets hidden underneath the cabinets instead of protruding from the backsplash.   As for lighting, we go mostly with can lights for a clean look, with a few key lighting fixtures throughout where we wanted to make a statement.  For bathroom sconces, we choose LED lighting which produces little to no heat and a non-fragmented light source.  And the main living spaces are well equipped with dimmers so we can create various lighting effects.

Coming next: How NOT to win the Guinness Book of Records for the Most Design Elements

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