Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Welcome to Building The Floridian

Building The Floridian is a blog about my husband, Chip, and I building our home, The Floridian, in a small town in Florida.  Initially, creating a photobook to document the hard work and grit to reach our goal was my focus but the gravity of this project didn't seem justified by a coffee table book. I mean, come on now - we're building The Floridian ourselves, i.e. Chip's the project manager, foremen, builder, land clearer, etc. and I'm his side kick (like Robin is to Batman). As the helper and assistant that currently encompasses making lunches and picking up a lot of tree limbs, sticks and roots and grabbing the needed tool but I think I'm getting a bit ahead of myself as there is a beginning to this story and so let's start there...

Chip and I met in 2010 - we were neighbors and had the hots for each other. Little did we know that we'd find we had a lot in common and that which we didn't we admired about each other. We both have many hobbies and passions (perhaps that'll be another post) but Chip's didn't include building things at the time because we were living in an apartment complex and his tools were in storage.  Chip's grandfather and father were builders, predominantly single-family homes, and ever since we met he talked about building his own home.  Chip is handy, he abhors that term but I love it (makes me feels so safe with my handy dandy husband, lol), but I didn't realize just how talented he was until the day he said he needed a shed and proceeded to draw plans, create a supplies list, estimate the total cost and build it within a months time.  I know, I know! - it's just a shed and how can that translate to building a home? Well, it was more about observing his perseverance, focus and passion in putting words into action to accomplish a goal.

And so, on some random day, a year or so after we tied the knot, the following conversation ensues:

Chip: I found THE. PERFECT. LOT.
Me: What do you mean? (I thought we were going to buy a house and fix it up)
Chip: It's 9 acres with a little pond and we can build the house behind the pond and I've got it all figured out.
Me: That's a lot of land....
Chip: Well it's outside of Gainesville, south on 441 only 20 minutes away.
Me: What? (Half my childhood spent in NYC and my adult life living in an awesome college town...and you're asking me to live in Timbuktu?!) But it's not near the interstate! And it's 25 minutes from Publix, because shopping there is always a pleasure! And it's far from Gainesville! (with tears brimming in my eyelids)

Needless to say, after many, many, many, many discussions and facing my fears of living out in no-mans-land, we will be moving out to Timbuktu. Yay! The initial fears and worries I conjured up have been abated by our intentions that have or will become realities. Our important truths and goals: to live debt free, to live a quieter lifestyle, to live on enough land to have a garden and a Chip-approved garage, to live in a neighborhood and to build our home ourselves. This past July 2016 we purchased a half acre canal front lot that's 30 minutes away from Gainesville and so the story of Building The Floridian begins.

The day we closed on the future site of our home, The Floridian.

This endeavor is probably one of the biggest goals we'll take on. I'm excited but scared too. What's something that you're working on that's a big part of your life?

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