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Self Designed New Build update...

jen ukutegbe
February 11, 2019

Thank you to all that have provided positive feedback in helping my new home become what I had hoped. The kitchen design was inquired upon a year-and-a-half ago on Houzz with much skepticism because I had not hired a KD. Most input was positive and those, I took an ear to. I'm excited to post photos as it progresses until our move-in guestimate of 4/1. Today the painter arrived, then all the fun 'jewelry' thereafter.

This site has been educational in helping me do what first seemed undoable for an amateur like myself, to 100% design from scratch our dream home and GC it. I need to be in charge of every detail along this journey and I have to say...it's fun! My builder is amazing and I used most of his suggested subs. I've stayed on (even under) budget, and working with the subs (both ones I've chosen and those suggested) have been wonderful. The relationship is rewarding, as landscaper took a cut huge pine and surprised me with 2 beautiful fireplace mantled, free of charge. My plumber surprised me with designing and welding, on his own doing, a heavy cabinet in which to house a unique 100 yr old farm utility sink for our mud/laundry room. Maybe the hot cocoa and donut runs during bone chilling -20 below weather helps. I plan on throwing an 'appreciation party' for all laborers and wives after with drinks, food, them able to further network and see their finished results. I'm fair, try to be kind, but kept them on task!

The kitchen has been my baby, and many on here offered advice to better function and I thank you. It can be done, but you really need to take initiative to help yourself. In end, it's proving to be rewarding. I will post before and Afters soon, below is the slightly naive 1st draft of kitchen ending with last. I spent only $800 on architect drawings (also did most myself), and surprisingly, no big oopsies.

Comments (8)

  • jen ukutegbe

    It began with only my husband's and my vision, rather a 'diamond in the rough' dream. Have 450' lakefront on 6+ acres. No Sandy Beach, cattails and reeds, but not a neighbor in sight! If I want to swim in the crystal clear lake, no upkeep, just pontoon out and jump in! Started with a desire to love nature, enjoy wildlife, and down the road, house my aging mother who sold us the adjoining land. All one level and handicap accessible! I'm so proud of what is soon reality and once only a vision often difficult to get others to believe in. Thank you all, through this Houzz means, to collect ideas. I will post now until April. Here is how it began...

  • jen ukutegbe


  • jen ukutegbe


  • dsnine

    What a lovely site!

    I really like the kitchen layout too, that would be highly functional for the way I cook, in terms of work zones and traffic flow. Congratulations on seeing your dream come to life!

  • Pinebaron

    Georgeous! Not for the faint hearted but there's so much satisfaction in designing your own home from scratch and having it built to your precise requirements.

    Would love to see lots of pics as you progress.

  • jen ukutegbe
    absolutely!! can't wait to see myself...
  • Alyssa Mintus

    We've done something very similar, including finishing the entire interior ourselves and are now nearing the finish line. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life! Congrats and I hope you enjoy every step as much as we have.

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