Over the past year I have been chronicling our family’s building adventures in the Sink or Trim series. The evolution of a couple once clueless about construction that has learned from mistakes, capitalized on opportunities and gained confidence along the way to build model homes of our very own.

To say that we’ve come a long way is an understatement, to say that we’ve mastered this ever changing construction world is naïve. What I do know is that we now have a solid foundation to build upon, and without a good foundation the rest doesn’t matter… in business, in relationships or in homes.

And so the story goes…

Chapter 1: The Beginning

We remodeled it with all of the trendy products circa 2006. After all, this is pre my HGTV obsession so we were really winging it here.

Chapter 2: The Evolution

There’s something to be said for the ability to see, touch, and feel something tangible to figure out how it works. This is especially true for houses and it’s something you just can’t get from a flat floorplan.

Chapter 3: Let’s Dive In

To this day it’s one of my favorite houses, but we sure had a few missteps along the way. This is a classic ‘do as I say (now) not what I did (then)’ with no sugar coating allowed.

Chapter 4: A Cottage Revolution

We settled on a plan for this flagship cottage… lot 1 of 4, cottage 1 of 9, would be 900 square feet, 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom with an open living space. And a front porch for rock’n and a back porch for chill’n of course.

Chapter 5: Let’s Build A Spec

Whoa there’s a lot to getting mobilized. The paperwork for permitting is a bit tedious but obviously necessary. Having gone through this drawn out process, I now easily see why general contractors get paid so much!

Chapter 6: Going Vertical

Foundation and framing are the two biggies. If you don’t get that right, well… just get it right. Getting either wrong is simply not an option.

Chapter 7: Fixtures & Finishes

The trick is to find a happy medium between trendy and timeless.

Thanks to those of you that have followed us along the way. Writing this series has pushed me out of my comfort zone for sure, but sometimes that’s what you need in order to grow. It’s as if my writing evolved right along with the houses.

Our story is far from a fairytale, but the lessons we have learned throughout these “chapters” will carry us through our next endeavors. We’re excited to build two more of our own homes soon with our GC buddy Jeffrey, and I’ll be working with Coastal Heritage Construction on selections for two others.

It looks like this “off-season” will be full of plans, decisions, budgets and fixtures… my happy place.

Arlington Place blog author Becca Lang. Story by Becca Lang

Hey there, I'm Becca... my husband Blair and I were thrown into the deep end of the development game in 2007. I have overlapping passions of real estate and design, he has overlapping passions for building and fishing. Between the two of us, we gotcha covered on all fronts! Each build is unique with it's own successes to be celebrated and lessons to be learned, and that's what I hope to share with you in the 'Sink or Trim' series.