Construction Update #1 | Inspiration

The house...still there.

I feel that an update on our housing status is long overdue. While I don’t want to bore you with current details such as the joys of locating the existing septic tank, our well water vs. city water debate, or how we are currently trying to negotiate with West Des Moines’ code setback requirements so that we can still build our current “dream” house, I feel that you’d still like to know the basics:

  1. The original house still stands in it’s purchased condition (uninhabitable)
  2. We are soon demo’ing said house and completely starting over
  3. We’ve settled on a builder
  4. We’ve developed plans, and they. look. awesome.

{Oh, and 2a: By demo’ing, I mean inviting the WDM fire department out and using it as a training ground for their recruits and trainees. Let’s just say that there will be nothing left but a chimney and a foundation when they’re finished…bring your marshmallows.}

So…now Missy and I are in the midst of beginning to hash out the details of our new house. We have all but finalized the overall layout and design of the basic structure, but the fit and finish remains a blank canvas, waiting to be completed. From flooring and cabinetry, to paint colors and outlet placements, there are countless decisions that go into making the final product. We are discovering the fine art of learning what our “non-negotiables” are versus what gets left on the cutting room floor.


The details of house planning begins with a vision. A vision of the space that we would be comfortable calling “home.” Not too stiff, not too kitsch, but just right. That vision comes from an idea. An idea comes from inspiration, and these days, inspiration comes from…

The internet?

We’ve come across many things that we’d like to incorporate into our new house, but we always struggled to find something again once we’ve navigated away from the site without creating a billion bookmarks or saving internet pictures onto our desktop. I’ve always wanted something like an online file-folder to store all of our good ideas.

Well, we’ve recently discovered a site that lets us do just that: Pinterest. This mish mash of a social network/tumblr blog/virtual pin board lets you peruse the interwebs at your leisure and collect pictures that catch your eye. You know…inspiration. Pinterest even has a handy bookmark badge that does all the work for you!

My Pinterest Page!

Pin It!

On my unique Pinterest page, I can create “Boards“, or categories, to organize all of my “Pins” (pictures) that I’ve collected. Needless to say, it can become seriously addicting. Before bed at night, I’ve started opening the laptop on the hunt for new inspiration. However, if you are thinking about joining Pinterest, be forewarned: sometimes the search for the practical…

Can quickly lead to a pursuit of the extravagant.

Something tells me that would be less than ideal for a backyard to be primarily occupied by three active toddlers.

I have caught myself falling into the trap of “Am I pinning this hip/trendy design because I might actually use this idea? Or am I pinning this picture so that people think that I’m hip/trendy too?” It’s a fine line, to be sure, especially given the social networking aspect of the site:  anyone can follow me and see what I’m pinning, and vice-versa.

Regardless, Pinterest has become a really handy tool! There are more than a few items and ideas that I’ve come across that would really be neat to incorporate into the new abode. Yet, it is amazing {if not exhausting} how many decisions will need to be made as we begin to plan out our new space…so personally, I will take my inspiration from where ever I can find it. Thankfully, Missy and I have similar tastes when it comes to interior design, so hopefully this will be a memorable and enjoyable experience…rather than a regrettable “Fine, just do whatever you want…paint it fuchsia…I don’t care!!” experience.

But…I have a feeling that everything will turn out just fine 🙂

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Where are you getting your inspiration lately? If you’re planning, building, or have recently built a house, what are (were) some of the big decisions and “non-negotiables” in your world?

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About Tom Hardinge

Loving husband to my wife Missy, loving father to my four daughters Sienna, Rowan, Jovie, and Lola. I'm a chronic over-packer who loves good coffee, good music, running, waffle tee's, fleece pants, and Jesus Christ!

13 thoughts on “Construction Update #1 | Inspiration

  1. We feel for you. It’s both daunting and exhilerating. My advice, show up every single day to check/approve what was done. Avert problems before they proceed too far into a thing.

  2. I know you probably already have all these in the plan, but be sure you have adequate pantry space, 3-car garage, good closet space, a drop-zone at the least or a full mud room off of the garage for shoes/etc., large laundry space, and carpet. After owning that townhouse with real wood floors, we found what a headache it was to maintain/clean them! but, that’s just my 2 cents 😉 i know there’s a zillion things to consider, but you are in great hands with Dallenbach!

    • Check…check…check…check! Great minds think alike…we will have a mix of both floors I think, but it’s still TBD. Steve has been great to work with so far, can’t wait until we actually get started!

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