Pushing the PAUSE button on our farmhouse build

This CANNOT be happening . . .


Such was my thought last Saturday when our builder arrived to do a first “stake out” of our new house. We gave him our plan, and he and Renaissance Man started measuring.



And when he said our original location wouldn’t work, they moved over a few yards and reassessed.



The excavation guy was there, too, and all three juggled measurements. I’d stayed within the limits I was given. How could this be happening?


They said the house would fit best if I’d change the angle.


Absolutely not!

There’s a particular view I want when I walk out my front door.



Even the boys tried to help . . .



. . . but in the end, we were told to get the surveyor onsite and see if he could find the sweet spot.


We also had to consider switching to a two-story.


I absolutely LOVE the look of two-story Folk Victorian farmhouses, but we’d decided against having another two-story.


On Sunday, Renaissance Man and I did our own measuring.


This guy is a fixer with a can-do attitude! If there’s a will . . .


We stopped talking about a two-story. We were hopeful.


We chose not to be anxious but to simply “go with the flow”.  A beautiful two-story Folk Victorian farmhouse wouldn’t be the end of the world!


We slowed down and enjoyed the beauty all around us. It’s the reason we bought the farm in the first place.


Chipmunk, doves, and (our first ever in five years!) fox squirrel


Today, the surveyor came.



We explained the situation — and showed him the “must have” view.



After 1.5 hours of moving stakes and calculating angles, I heard him announce,




I think I heard an echo— in my voice.


We’re pushing the GO button again. Everything is back on schedule.  Next steps:

  • Final elevation drawings
  • Soil testing
  • Staking out the house


The biggest “unknown” right now is if we’ll stick with this builder. At the moment, he can only commit to getting our house “dried in”—and we’d contract out the finishes ourselves. We did that when we renovated our old house, so we could certainly do it again.


But do we want to?


I’ll keep you posted . . .


Please leave a comment and tell me about a time YOU pushed pause on a project. Did you stay on the same path—or end up on another one?


  1. Beautiful views! Hope everything will get back on track and go according to your plan.

  2. You’ve GOT THIS, Susan!!!!!… HOLD YOUR GROUND… It just takes some “thoughtful creativity” which both you & Renaissance Man have tons of!!!! Always go back to the WHY… WHY did you want THIS SITE in the first place?? THAT amazing VIEW!!!!!!
    sooooo …. HOLD your GROUND & keep that VIEW oriented in the direction you cherish !!!!
    Dreams DO come true … with lots of prayers 🙂 xxoo

    • Yes, it’s definitely THE VIEW that drew me to this land—and has kept me coming back for 5 years. Thanks for the encouragement, Bonnie. I doubt this is the only time I’ll have to hold my ground—or practice “thoughtful creativity”. I suspect there’s a long road ahead, but I’m eager to get started!

  3. Oh my yes Susan, I can’t begin to tell you how many times we were told no you can’t do that or you will need to come up with a plan B. In most cases we did hold our ground such as in the echoes of, “it’s too low, you will be under water:-you can’t build there…” But we did, with a few accommodations, but we still built. Now, I’ll admit, in the times we didn’t listen, some cases we wish we had listened. I wish we had a second chance to build and get it all right. I love my 2 story house but now I wish it were all on one level mainly because of our handicapped grandson. It’s Very hard to keep him with all the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs. We have a half bath downstairs but we need a bathtub downstairs. All ready fixed if we had had a crystal ball. But we were 32, young, and life has different needs for a 5 member family than a two person household. Pick your battles and follow your heart with a nudge from the Holy Spirit.

    • Thanks for the encouragement and great advice, JaneEllen. Yes, houses do function differently depending on the life stage of the owners; sometimes better than others. In your case, I’m sure it is very difficult (and probably sometimes disappointing) to not be able to meet all of James’ needs in your home. I’m sure, however, he never feels slighted since you make up for that with all of the love and attention you lavish on that boy! Ah, yes… If we had a crystal ball. (Honestly? I’m really glad we don’t!)