In a Holding Pattern

Opportunity ideas do not lie around waiting to be discovered. Such ideas need to be produced. ~Edward de Bono

The rain finally stopped! And construction on the rest of the pole barn started up again.
I went out of town with my sisters on Sunday, July 7, and returned on Wednesday, July 10. While I was gone, they finished the barn! Well, all except the cupola. That is being installed tomorrow, Monday, July 15. Bill sent me pics via text to keep me updated.

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Bill decided to seal the concrete at the last minute. Sure glad he did. It looks so nice and shiny and he said it will help if moisture would get into the barn.

But dust (especially rock dust) on shiny new floors leaves a not so nice trail. Guess who these foot prints belong to?

Dirty footprints on shiny new concrete

Bill’s dirty footprints on shiny new concrete

Bill also sent me this video via text.  First time he was going to have garage door openers on a pole barn. He had to manually open and close the big garage door on the pole barn at our other house. He was happy!

While I’m sharing video, might as well share the “Like Mother (Jill), Like Daughter (Megan)” videos of driving the Gator. They both like putting the pedal to the metal. By the way, Bill did order a new hood for the Gator. Now, it doesn’t look naked. 😀

Okay, now to tell you what I meant by being in a holding pattern. After Jim got back from Africa and I got back from my sisters trip, we sat down and talked Wednesday night about the house. Jim had gone through our construction binder and contractor bids spreadsheet. He wanted to make sure we knew some of the reasons why the price was high. Apparently we have expensive taste in some areas. Who knew? 🙄 However, those areas were ones that Bill and I did not want to change. We still wanted the granite (including putting it on the bathroom vanities); we still wanted the front door we picked out along with the wooden casement windows; we still wanted the stained trim package, the coffered vaulted ceiling in the family room, the hardwood floors, upgraded carpet for bedrooms, and the high-efficiency fireplace. I’m sure there were more things, but those were the prime ones. This is our last house we will own. We wanted it the way we wanted it.

The topic came up of whether we should talk to a custom home builder. Jim wanted to know if we wanted him to meet with a builder and ask if he would be interested in giving us a price to build the house instead of us sub-contracting out the whole thing. We were open to the idea. Bill asked if we could be present at that meeting. Jill shared which builder she felt would be our best match and who would not be a conflict of interest for Jim’s family engineering firm. Jim said he’d call the builder the next day. At this time I’m not going to share the builder’s name as we don’t know where this will go.

The next morning Jim called and said we had a meeting with the builder at 2:00 that afternoon (Thursday, July 11) at Jim’s office. We decided beforehand that Jim would do all the talking but we’d be there to answer any questions or to elaborate on something if needed. The meeting went well. Jim presented the situation to the builder saying that he had taken on the responsibility of building our home through the family construction company. He said that in no way was he an expert in home building. However, he had the experience of designing their last two homes and going through the “build” on their present home and his parents’ home through the family construction company. He was being very modest. Jim is an “expert” in the field in our minds. He told the builder he had drawn up all the plans which he then shared with him along with our very thick spec document. Jim mentioned to the builder that we thought the total of our bids was high for the house. Jim did not tell him what that price was. 😉

To our surprise (me and Bill), the builder was not scared off. Jim asked if this might be an opportunity for the builder to take on. He said he would be happy to take a copy of the plans and specs and give us a proposal in 2-3 weeks. 🙂 This is where the holding pattern comes into play. We have decided to wait and do nothing more on the house and the house bids until we hear back from the builder.

Bill and I have decided that if the builder’s price is equal or below our bids, we will definitely let him take over the job. That will save Jim all the time and energy of being the general contractor. It will also relieve Bill from being the on-sight “eyes and ears” for the build. Well, we’d probably still be “eyes and ears” but in a more behind-the-scene way. Either way, Bill and I have agreed that we are going to build the house as we want it. So, in the meantime, I’m praying again for God’s guidance along this path.

Since we have a couple of weeks of reprieve, Bill is starting to work on the pole barn interior before he brings the cabinet parts down from the storage unit up north. Maybe he’ll be able to get the walls and insulation up BEFORE he sets up the workshop. He was thinking he would have to do it afterwards. I’m hoping this delay will all work out for the best anyway.

My time lately is being spent being the laundry fairy and dinner chef. If it were up to the grandkids we’d have spaghetti or tacos every day. I need to look though my cookbooks and come up with some other summer-friendly recipes the family might like.

Oh, before I go, I have two more pictures to share. The big cupola came in and we got to see it when we dropped off our last payment for the pole barn. That sucker is going to be big! The grids on the windows of the cupola were white – not really part of the color scheme. Bill decided to paint them bronze since the other part of it was the clay color of the barn. Bill spent yesterday taping up all the square areas and spray painting the grids. They turned out really nice. Here are two of the four windows that fit in the cupola. I can’t wait to see what it looks like on top of the barn!


The second picture is of our driveway. The excavator dumped and spread the rest of the rock for our driveway and the area toward our garage. Bill wanted this so we can drive up the driveway now. Also, when Bill is ready, we can have the moving company bring our stuff from storage!


As soon as I have more news, I’ll post. Until then . . . say a prayer that the builder comes in at a good price!

2 thoughts on “In a Holding Pattern

  1. Sandy…I really hope this works out for the other builder and relieves some stress on Jim. Sounds terrific! Love, Paula

    • Thanks, Paula! That’s how we feel but aren’t holding our breath. The builder has to make money, so in most cases, it would cost more. The only way this will work is if the builder has better pricing and can make money because of that. We will just wait and see. 🙂

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