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5 Things You Need to Know Before Building a House | Personal | Kaitlin Noel Photography




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Planning out your wedding day can surely be stressful. This guide will give you one of my example timelines. As the seasons change, so does your timeline, so reach out if you need more guidance. We are more than happy to help!



I feel gypped. And I totally want my money back. Or at least my sanity back.

To all those couples out there posting adorable photos in front of your “sold” home signs and even more adorable photos of you holding your new house key in your cupped hands…or the really nauseating photos of you being carried through your new door threshold….you all stink! Of course, I say this out of jealousy and pure love mixed together. But really…my experience was just not that.

These are my attempts at making this look “fun!” The first photo is BEFORE we touched it.


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This is when we lifted it to pour new footing, but then decided to knock the WHOLE thing down and start from scratch with our bigger lot! There’s so much to think about when demolishing an existing building. Fortunately, we managed to find a house demolition service who took care of that side of things for us!

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We have come a long way since this photo was taken…to see an update tune in later this week!!!! I am sharing some interior and exterior shots!

I pride myself on being as real as I can be and I am often guilty of putting only the best of the best out there in the social media world. NO ONE wants to associate with a Negative Nancy, a Complaining Carroll or a Whining Whitney!

But you know what, this is my house and I can cry if I want to!

House building is hard!!!!! It’s not QUITE the fun, romantic and QUICK process all of our favorite HGTV shows portray. Joanna and Chip Gaines…I blame you for setting the bar so high! (I wonder if they offer marital home building classes. I would sign up in a jiffy!)

There have been more set backs than gains. More obstacles than achievements. More fights, then fun. You will never know the real differences you have between yourself and your husband till you build a home. HOLY POTATOES. There are days where I wonder how my husband made it in life without me. If I left the house up to him, it would be furnished courtesy of walmart, decorated thanks to the Dollar Store and topped off with any NASCAR memorabilia he could find. AHHH! Lord Jesus, help me!

So before you go into building a home…thinking its all sunshine and rainbows…and HGTV like…Im here to tell you that NOT EVERYONE has the same experience. Some will even completely scrap that idea and instead go on sites such as to find their new home instead, it could be a lot less hassle for them, and I wouldn’t blame them!

Here are 5 things you NEED TO KNOW before taking on your own Fixer Upper (or building a new home):

  1. BUDGET: Go ahead and throw your room budgets and house budget plans out the window. No matter what, you will go over that budget. Prepare yourself to have an extra 50,000 to invest in overtures and unforeseen costs. AND THATS NOT including new furniture! Although, if you’re worried about buying new furniture, I’d suggest checking out Shoppok for cheap secondhand furniture. My best advice here is to make your room budgets with your GC (General Contractor) and add $10,000 to that budget to allow for upgrades and furnishings.
  2. TIME: The following question sends me into a tail spin mentally and emotionally. “How is the house coming, any idea of when you get to move in!?!” I am assuming its about as awful to hear as a couple who has heard the “When are guys going to have a baby?” after one year into marriage. Of course many mean absolutely no harm by asking…but its one of those sensitive subjects for any homebuilder. We were originally told 4-5 months. But now we are looking at 8-10 months! Prepare to factor in holidays, bad weather (cold weather makes everything difficult), permit delays, backorders, etc.
  3. BLUEPRINTS/DESIGN: Invest in a certified, skilled and patient architect. They are basically in charge of the BONES of your home. Structural fragments, design, layout, style, functionality, etc. You dont want to skimp on your plans of your homes floor plan and have to knock out walls or make structural changes later that could cost you thousands. Think of this portion as the DNA of your home…its that important and vital! Now is also a great time to plan for any smart technology you intend on installing. Some friends of our just got their whole home fitted with a Crestron control system and it looks incredible! If you do some research online using websites like, there are loads of crestron projects to view if you’re looking for smart home inspiration.
  4. INTERIOR DECORATING: Thanks to Pinterest, we all feel like we can do it all. From DIY projects to staging a room. Truth is, its overwhelming. And when you are not a professional and do not have a knack for this, DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY trying to create a look that is falling short of what you imagined. GO TALK to a designer (interior decorator). You do not have to hire them, especially not for every room. Get a feel for what they are envisioning to see if you matches what you have in mind. No budget for an interior decorator and you feel confident enough to take it on? Great! Go you! Start by creating a mood board. Start with colors, statement pieces and functional furniture. From there, the rest will fall into place. Get the big pieces now and shop for the decor item later when your REAL nesting urges kick in! Thats the fun part! I foresee whole afternoons spent at Target, TJ Maxx, Pier One, Home Goods and Ikea!
  5. MEETINGS/CONSULTS/COMMUNICATION: In the beginning of the project, I barely could sit through a 10 minute meeting. I didn’t understand anything. I didn’t know half the words the contractors were saying. It could have been Korean. One guy lost me when he mentioned that he would need 500.00 for a box of nails. I thought to myself, “WHAT!?!? Are they made of Gold? Do they come with diamond heads? Are they stamped with the Prada logo!?! Holy Moly! As the project progressed, I left Michael to figure out the rest as far as headers, window sizes, load bearing pillars, and the rest of that boring stuff. I took to my area of expertise and enjoyment; online shopping. I picked out vanities, curtains, flooring, couches, tables, bed frames, end tables, lamps, mirrors. You name it. I didn’t include Michael in most of that, as I assumed he wanted nothing to do with it. Boy was I wrong. His Nascar loving, Walmart shopping, Dollar Store dreaming heart was crushed that I left him out. Who would have thought. Our communication was lacking. We got frustrated when talking to each other. I spoke of bed skirts and valances and he spoke of insulation and headers. We weren’t connecting or taking the time to educate each other. Needless to say…this has lead to us both wanting each other 6 feet under on some days and me wanting to just ring his neck. The meetings, as painful as they may be are important. They are important for everyone and important for yourself and your husband. You guys are a team and building a home is a HUGE team effort.

So, folks…communication is key. Try not to kill each other. If my rustic glam sparkle loving heart can get through a home building project with my Dollar Store, Walmart, Nascar loving husband…y’all can do it, too!

You have my permission to ring necks however, if and when, they interfere with your Restoration Hardware purchases. We have agreed moving forward that he does not question me there and I let him have the den to deck out with all things racing, beer logos and whatever other gadgets he scores at the Dollar Store. I believe they call this compromise?!

Happy building. Stay strong. I hear its worth it in the end! : )

xoxo, Kaitlin Noel

  1. Katie says:

    Kaitlin, you’re hilarious! Can’t wait to see pictures!! 🙂

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I'm Kaitlin and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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THE Wedding TIMELINE guide

Planning out your wedding day can surely be stressful. This guide will give you one of my example timelines. As the seasons change, so does your timeline, so reach out if you need more guidance. We are more than happy to help!



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timeline guide

Planning out your wedding day can surely be stressful. This guide will give you one of my example timelines. As the seasons change, so does your timeline, so reach out if you need more guidance. We are more than happy to help!

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