Thursday, July 17, 2014


Are you ready for the next Farm Life Lessons segment for the rural country home construction process as we live in an RV for OVER a year?

Breathe deep...

This past Monday, Sgt. Dave and I went to an early dinner meeting with our builder. He has an office, but we decided to meet "after office hours" since we are all busy and wanted the option of fitting in dinner with the business meeting.

This builder passed all of the research hurdles I conducted, he passed the reference checks, as well as shined through the process of me contacting lenders/closers he has worked with to make sure that he, as a builder, did not add to conflicts regarding issued loans or with closing hick-ups due to inspections or other potential problems that could stem from the builder...I am pleased to say that the meeting with our builder went great and this final step gave this builder the seal of approval to build our home.

Fitting in with our country life, the restaurant where we met our builder was actually located next to a truck stop, just outside of town. I had home-made peach cobbler with ice-cream. Yum.

During this face-to-face sit down extended meeting, we learned that all us communicate easily with each other, and I LOVE that he is a straight-shooter and does not allow the lines to be blurred between what he is responsible for and what he is not responsible for during construction. Our builder will be building the "shell" of our home, which will be the foundation, the frame, the finished parts of the structure itself with the windows and doors along with the roof, then he will "builder-assist" with the other elements of finishing our house, as needed. He is loaded with proven vendors.

This is one of our trails near our build-site.

I am going to be building the house to be as similar to a Colonial Farm house look, as possible. We will see how it goes.

This means the overlapping clapboard will be white, the shutters black, the front doors will be gorgeous, the metal roof a dark grey for perfect contrast, the front porch deck flooring painted the same grey as roof and the porch beams and railing will be white. Can you picture it?

Here is a house that the builder is finishing right's the engineered log-cabin look that many here in the country desire, but the point is to show his construction.

Since the soil in Texas can often be uncooperative with a residential concrete foundation and since we see most of our longer-lasting homes in Greater Houston built on pier and beams, we are going that route for our foundation. However, our garage is supposed to be built on a concrete slab because it will actually serve as a workshop with a corner to be my artist-studio. If the soil is not appropriate for a concrete slab, we will still build a workshop with a covered-carport area for the cars. This is an area that is still slab-undetermined.

Once we build our house, it will be necessary to move ALL of our chickens into a new coop area since our current residential site on the acreage is quite a long distance from where the permanent residential site will be located. This means we will have to select a site near the new house, get a new coop built, then haul all of our chickens to that area. That will be interesting. The new coop will have to be closed for several days so that the chickens become acclimated to their new home-zone.

Once we build, there will be no more chickens on my porch...sorry, but I have NEVER liked chickens on my porch, nor do I relish their poop on my walking path, nor do I like the trip hazard they invite as they flock around my feet, nor do I like the disgusting flies that accompany said poop.

Therefore, since Farm Life Lessons have taught me, at my last two residences, to not like chickens in, on, or near the porch, I will have our chicken coop be placed within a decent walking distance from the house, but not so close that the side effects of having chickens is negative upon our day to day outdoor life.

More importantly, when our home is constructed, I will be in MAJOR landscaping over-drive, and I have learned, the hard way, that chickens and decorative or functional gardens do NOT mix. Chickens devastate a garden, very quickly. The chickens even target my potted plants with aggressive destruction. The gardens around our house will not be subjected to a chicken assault...that is for sure.

We will also have an outdoor Café-Kitchen zone which will, of course, need to be kept free of roaming chickens so that space remains as healthy and as clean as possible, which would be impossible to maintain as near 30 chickens intrude upon that space.

I might have to include a small budget to get a chicken run and coop put behind the garage since we will be so busy with other tasks...we shall see how it goes.

I love my chickens, but I NEVER wanted to live WITH chickens taking over my residential space...when I sweep the porch, I don't want to walk back outside five minutes later to find chicken poop on the steps...just...hell NO. Lol.

It is my great hope that our house will be built with our new kitchen ready to be put into good use by Thanksgiving or by Christmas, at the latest. I am sure there will be details for us to finish, but I would like to be moved into the house by that point and this builder is organized and determined enough, according to his factual construction record, to make this possible.

Hell No!
I think I need to work on a sign for the next home to put into the backyard that says "ZONING ORDINANCE...NO CHICKENS ALLOWED WITHIN 200 FEET."

Consequences for violators...hmmm...OFF WITH THEIR HEAD.

Nawwww. I am just kidding. Maybe. Perhaps. Lol.


LindaG said...

Haha. Fresh chicken is better than store bought. ;-)
Congratulations and good luck.
Make sure you put that sign up. Will be a good talking point, Lana. :-)

Karen said...

Hello Lana! Glad to see you're getting closer to your new dream home. I can envision what you're going to have built and it's gorgeous. And I second the motion of No Chickens on the Porch....oh, that poop! I love my Girls too, but MUST they leave their bombs right by the back door? They're confined to their run right now since my annuals would never survive a chicken assault, and though they're sad, I'm glad. Visitors aren't too fond of finding their fancy shoes embedded in a pile of poo, either.

Looking forward to seeing your new home unfold!

The Kelly's Adventures in KY said...

That is hilarious! You can get one of those poison signs, except instead of the skull and crossbones, it would be a shocked looking chicken face with cross bones :)

I'm so happy you found a wonderful builder!! Can't wait to see how everything turns out!! Good luck corralling your girls. said...

Linda - Love those fresh eggs! I wondered if you were collecting honey from the bees attempting to set up in your house?? :-/

Karen - Everything you said is exactly how I feel and that are so true when you have chickens. Most of my family are terrified of chickens that appear to be on the "attack" but are just running up to get some food! No poop is a bonus.

The Kelly's Adventures in KY - I think your sign idea is excellent! I might have to design one and post it so we can crack up! I needed a laugh --- that one is sticking with me!


Vickie said...

Hi Lana - I LOVE your house design - it's exactly like what Tony and I are wanting to build when we get ready. Might have to pick your brain about it later.
Is it two-story? Or just tall roof with dormers and lots of attic space?

Second thing. I also wanted to thank you for your heartfelt condolences about my dear sister. You made me cry. What you said was so sweet and thoughtful and it really touched my heart. I'm just so broken up over losing her - my best friend in the whole world - and yet I know that as much as it hurts, she is no longer in pain. We spent as much time as we could through the years taking turns at each other's house with or without kids laughing, doing projects, chatting about husbands, kids, etc. The last 15 months I have spent nearly 3-4 days almost every week with her - precious precious time that will make me never have regrets. We talked about everything under the sun, even things that were so hard to talk about but had to be said. We said everything that needed and wanted to be said, and the last week or two, Lisa told me that I was her sister soul-mate. We've always been that. My heart is broken. But my faith is greater, and my sister's faith was something that I strive to build in myself. I am content knowing that I will see her again and that all the precious memories that I have of her will be enough til that day. Some days are harder than others, but I'm going to make it. If Lisa can go through what she did and remain strong until the very end and always accept the Lord's will for her life, then I can too.

Now, the last thing is - just wondering what your chickens eat besides free range stuff. They always look so fat and healthy. Mine free-range, too, and they get a complete poultry diet laying pellets, but they don't look like yours. What's your secret?

Sending you a big thank you hug, Lana - Vickie said...

Vickie - I do love this home-builder. He does travel across Texas to build homes, so we will watch our process closely and I will keep you updated. The roof can accommodate or be lifted to make the house a 1.5 story home (not a box-style that is a true 2 story home) and/or he can make a loft area upstairs. We do believe we will have a loft upstairs so that we have some extra space, probably bunk space for the growing family to use throughout the years. And your sister and you showed the kind of love for each other that is precious. Losing someone so close to us is almost too bearable to think about, much less, experience first-hand, but the closeness, in a strange way, also provides comfort because the physical separation is not enough to take them out of your heart. I have a sister and cannot imagine going through what you and your sister endured together, but you demonstrated the beauty that can come out of loss. These are the times when I am so thankful to God that we will all have an eternal home together...we continue to live with hope, even after we have physically "lost" someone that we shared this earth with.