Meeting with the “Plan B” Builder
So changing course from rehabbing a house to exploring building a new one, Abby and I asked about various builders in the area and while many were recommended, one that stood out was Meridian Custom Homes.
In our endless travels of looking for ideas, we had seen homes that they have rehabbed or built new and liked their design. (When you throw yourself into these sort of things you start to notice the subtle differences in each builder's design.) One thing that we were a bit tentative about was the fact that Meridian had a reputation for building homes that sold for over a million dollars. And they looked every bit like a million plus home. We haven’t yet hit any lottery so spending that kind of money was off the table. We did learn however, that they were building a new subdivision that was made up of homes that were in the price range of what we were looking to spend. So we went over and peeked through the windows of some under construction and not yet sold and liked what we saw. So we gave them a call.
Enter Chris from Meridian. Now I'm always leery of sales people (sorry, not meant as an insult to those who do that, it's just me.) but Chris wasn't a sales guy. Not in that sense anyways. He immediately put us at ease and listened to our ideas and made some suggestions on ways to make the house even better. As our primary contact, we couldn't have been made to feel more comfortable. He knows his business and over the next couple of months really helped guide us through the design process while keeping us on budget.
The night of our first meeting we went over plans that Abby and I had penciled and showed Chris the floor plan form North Carolina that was similar to what we would like. We explained how we wanted the house to fit onto our lot and more importantly into the neighborhood. We wanted to be unique but we didn't want to stand out. He asked us general questions about what was important to have in our house with respect to number of bedrooms, family areas and so on. He had some great advice right from the start and help us put our ideas down to paper where he sketched out a basic floor plan. We also talked about budget and Chris explained the design and building process to us and gave us background on Meridian and their experience.
It was difficult to contain our excitement. After all that we had been through working to rehab a dormant house that was rapidly approaching a year of ownership, we felt like we were making headway. We could do this. We could build something. And we could afford it. And we were sitting with someone that was extraordinarily experienced in his trade. Things were looking up.
After spending a couple of hours of drawing this and moving that, we had our basic first draft floor plan. After Chris left, we breathed a sigh of relief. What had been evading us now had a renewed potential for being achieved. We were moving from rehabbing to building new and were working with a company that we were very comfortable with. It was exciting. But then there was the current house. Could we actually tear it down? It was going to have to go.
But only we could make that decision. And it wasn't going to be an easy one.