August 4, 2021

Things I Wish I Knew: Building Our New House


It’s been almost a year since the project #Skypod commenced and just a couple of month ago we have started living in it! We often joke around saying that it is our first baby… and I can say that it’s partly true. After all, this is one of the first big (huge) project we handled as a couple and the hours we spent on planning, designing and actually building it are so memorable.

It’s amazing how an idea turned into something physical and I’m overwhelmed with joy knowing that this is a home for the family we will make. It makes growing older together more meaningful and it truly makes you excited for the years to come.

I’ve written 10 things I want to share with you, this time on my personal insight and the things I learned over the course of building our nest. I hope that in my own happy way I am able to give you a slice of what it meant for me to build our dream house.

Let’s dive in!

1. It’s expensive! 

Bills, bills, BILLS?!

One of my friends commented before that you’ll really enter “adulting” when you start paying bills – this can’t be further from the truth. 

When Slater and I started our life at the #Skypod, I admit that I felt a little overwhelmed the first time I got the electricity, water, phone, and other utility bills. I wouldn’t say that the concept of paying bills is entirely foreign to me, it’s just that I never had to deal with them until now. 

I am deeply grateful that my parents always had my back for these things almost all my single life and that allowed me to invest my money into my career and business. 

Now that we’re starting our own family, I can more clearly the bigger effort, love and support that parents do for their kids… which I’m sure, in general, we often overlook. 

Because of having to deal with bills, Slater and I are more careful with how we plan our expenditures. That also means being stricter with house rules such as not turning off the aircon and switching to fan, when it’s not too hot. Unplugging devices when, not in use, turning off lights, conserving water, checking our free subs or apps before going for paid ones and a whole lot more. 

We set aside time to sit down and talk about our monthly budget and see where we can make changes to increase our savings and trace where our money goes. 


2. Maintaining a household takes so much time. 

I’m used to a hectic routine – I go from one place to another, do my vlogging, attending meetings, talking to businesses, writing… I am used to spending long days and short nights. 

But, nothing has ever prepared me to an even more hectic life now that I also have to run a household! I have to learn a lot of things, develop skills in the kitchen, run errands, buy groceries, etc. I could break more sweat with chores than I do with the gym! HA! 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining… In fact, I came to appreciate more all the people who have been helping me and it opened my eyes and helped me grow better as a person. 

It’s challenging, but it’s worth all the effort knowing that you do this on your own place, for the people you love. 


3. Think about the overall flow of the house. 

Repeat it with me – Flow is important

The main function of your home must serve the kind of lifestyle you have. Slater has emphasized on this fact when he insisted on having fewer doors so we can move smoothly around the house – which I originally countered. Now that our house is built the way it is, I’m seeing why he made the decision and how it proves to be efficient.


4. Be patient and put in work. 

You have to be involved in the planning and building of your home. Being hands-on will add up to the personal sentiment of the house, as well as bring you a great feeling of pride and satisfaction knowing that you are getting what you want. 


5. Take it slow and enjoy the process. 

Understand that there’s nothing good coming out of rushing things. You cannot expect to build a good, practical home that fits your taste and lifestyle in a short period. 

There are a lot of factors to consider – your contractor, your availability, your materials, to name a few. 

Great things take time to build. So, instead of stressing out on the things that are yet to be completed, you’ve got to pause and celebrate each and every milestone you achieve. Enjoy the process and be involved – it will be done and complete. 


6. Think about practicality when building a house. 

It’s exciting to design a house, but, aesthetic should come second to practicality. Making wise decisions in terms of optimizing space, making the most of the land area, choosing the right furniture, choosing the right building materials – these things weigh more than living in a fancy-looking, but poorly built home. 


7. Parking space is important. 

You should add more parking space – this is a great piece of advice is from Slater’s dad.

Right now, we have 2 cars – one for Slater, and one for me. It may seem that this building a parking space for two is enough, but if we only had this much space, we’re only ever get it this big. The thing is, Slater’s family and mine are really big. Allowing enough parking space would be nice for guest who plans to visit of come over. And this is also a great idea especially that when we have our kids. Dealing with it now save us from some future head aches.

8. Design for your future. 

Design for your future because remodeling or renovation when you’re already living in your house is both difficult and expensive.  Difficult, because you don’t want strangers to come in all the time and be in your space and let it affect your daily living.

Say you want to re-tile a certain area of your house – expect that it’ll be super dusty and noisy! Imagine if you have kids or guest around – so save yourself some trouble and design your home for years to come.


9. Plan for your service area.

Your service area is your laundry room, dirty kitchen, storage room, to name a few.  These are areas in the house that people don’t really talk about but they’re so important.

So when you plan the lay out of your house, make sure you have a good laundry room and a good place to hang your clothes, make sure that there’s a roof where you place your generator, allow space for your septic tank, etc.  I swear that it’ll be more convenient for you in the long run.


10. The materials you use matters. 

It’s important to be meticulous with the materials  you use to build your home. I would rather invest in fixtures than in decorative  or statement pieces in the house.

I’d rather invest in good quality tiles, good quality woodwork, or good quality counter tops in the  kitchen than splurge on pillowcases or things that I can easily switch up through the years.  Fixtures are hard to replace so I’d rather spend one time big-time and get it good.

It also helps if you do your research and try to articulate what you want with the people helping you build your house. Make sure that make  your contractors, suppliers understand what you want exactly it and monitor how they do it.

Whew! I’ve actually written more than 10 but I rounded up what I think are the top things you might be familiar with if you are in the same stage of home-building. I hope you pick up a thing or two!

I’ve explained more of these tips in my latest vlog… do check it out if  you haven’t yet! 

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