Working on What’s Next

It’s hard to believe almost a year has gone by since we had Atlas! Time literally flew by. It’s time to move on to our next baby, a new home. Since we have sold the house and are going through the process of planning a move, and packing, we figure it’s a good time to start working on what’s next. Being we don’t want to rush finding our next home – we are going to rent for a little bit while we research our new territory. We have a few options rolling around our brains, and building is one of them. My dad is saying not to because it causes too much stress, but before we totally disregard the idea – we decided to spend some time researching how much we can save by contracting and building our own home. Yep, contracting. We will defiantly share all the details as soon as we crate a plan, but in the meantime I thought it would be fun to share some plans we have been looking at.










We are so excited to share the details of the inside along with the blueprints. Right now we are figuring out all the rules, and Tennessee law when it comes to building, and of course cost. From what we have read, by contracting our own home, we can save around 40% – which is a lot of money. We love the idea of sourcing our materials, and getting our hands dirty. We’ll keep you posted. Have any of you done this? Would love to hear your story!


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  1. Absolutely phenomenal :) just curious too see more pictures, can you please post more pictures especially the interior

  2. I haven’t stopped by in a while and Wow! So many changes! Love that you guys are starting a new adventure and especially love the house plans you’re looking at. If I were ever to build from scratch again, it would be timberframe all the way.

    Having acted as my own contractor (and a lot of times, my own labor force) on my last rebuild, I’d say with your knowledge of house renovations you’re better off than most. I think the thing that’s most frustrating about acting as your own contractor when you’re not actually in the biz is that you don’t have established relationships with the subs, and, frankly, no carrot to dangle in front of them to get them to do better/faster work. Since you’re only building the one house, if there are delays, scheduling issues, etc. (and there always are) and individual acting as a contractor is going to be at the very bottom of the list, because while they might get an awesome recommendation from you there isn’t guaranteed repeat business like there might be from a custom builder who uses them all the time. If you’re not on a tight timeframe (and I wasn’t when I built) and you’re okay with this, the rest can be figured out. If the delays and reschedules will drive you nuts, I’d recommend partnering with a contractor who has those relationships already, but making it a part of the deal that you’re going to purchase all the materials etc. It might be the best of both worlds, but not as cheap as doing it yourself.

    Also, I’d make sure your contracts with your subs are VERY clear, and always withhold 10-15% until the job is 100% finished, or– even with the friendliest most trustworthy sub– you’ll never see them again. (Or you will, but it will be 2 months, 100 phone calls, and one threatening letter down the road.)

    On the plus side, you’ll have more control and learn more things about house-building than you ever could have imagined! In my case it gave me the time and freedom to cherry-pick the parts of the house I wanted to work on myself without being under pressure from a contractor who has a schedule.

    However you choose to go, best of luck with the new house!

    • Lana Katsaros says:

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! We actually wound up buying a cottage and are adding square-footage! Land in Nashville is VERY expensive! Who knew? Can’t wait to get moving on it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. […] our 1,900 square foot cottage in Nashville. This was not the plan. If you remember, we were building a lodge out in the country. We had the plans, we just needed the land. Then we got scared frightened. We […]

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