Sunday, July 27, 2014

Auto-Construction: Our Housebuilding Story


As I mentioned in a previous post, building a house has been a very long and challenging process. The project started a few years ago, consisting mainly of saving money, planning the different stages of our journey and giving us a more-or-less realistic timeline set for Christmas 2014 (yes, this year). Unfortunately, literature on auto-construction is scarce and there isn’t much available on the web mainly because laws and by-laws vary by municipality and are ever changing. Just to give you an example, although my father who built a house in 2007 is a good source of knowledge, the different municipal steps for getting a house plan approved has entirely changed since his last build.

My fiancé and I want to share our story mostly to do just that: share our story. Our goal isn’t to create a guide or to create a succinct breakdown of every step. We simply want to give you a glimpse into our reality and hopefully engage in discussion with you!

Who are we?

My fiancé and I are both born and raised in Montreal, Québec and are proud residents of the West-Island, Montreal’s largest suburb. Interesting side fact, we were both born on the same day and we just turned 27 a few weeks ago. His side is Mediterranean while my family is from Eastern Europe. Although we grew up with different traditions, we share a similar childhood. We were both lucky to have been raised in a house and we both enjoyed large backyards densely populated with trees. Both of us dreamed to one day raise our children in the same environment.

We met in high school at the tender age of 13 and our story is as cliché as can be. We dated a few years before graduating and continued dating throughout university until he popped the question just as we started our first real jobs. We have yet to plan the wedding, as our main focus is our house for the moment. As a girl who watches “Say Yes To The Dress” marathons every Friday, this is not an easy feat (oh, and Kleinfeld just opened in Canada!)!

Although I’ve said that we both dreamed to one-day raise our children in a house in the west-island, I never actually thought we would be building it. My dad, a piping designer has built both houses my family has lived in. I grew up with unfinished projects and woke up early on weekends to the sound of a hammer. I swore to never embark on that kind of journey myself and yet here I am today standing in front a foundation and the first floor of my own house… with a long way to go. Luckily, it seems my fiancé was a general contractor in another life and is born an entrepreneur. He has single handedly kept this project moving forward while I’m more of a drama queen.

This is pretty much my introductory post about our auto-construction journey. Instead of jumping right in the crux of things, I wanted to do a small introduction. In the next week, I will post the next segment on what we did prior to deciding to build and discuss topics such as: saving money, creating a budget, researching the law (and by-laws), finding an architect, etc. as well as discussing such things as park fees (frais de parc). Whether you are building a house yourself or you are working on a renovation project (or are just curious!), I hope you’ll find the topics interesting.

If you have any questions or simply want to reach out, I strongly encourage you to do so! It is exactly why we are sharing our story. Give me shoutout in the comments section or send me an e-mail at: lelivingandco@blogspot.ca

Are you working on a renovation project or building a house? Any frustrations you want to share or success stories? Tell us your story!


Currently Coveting : Floral Jacket

ASOS Jacket With Statement Floral Embroidery, found here
I love the detail of this floral embroidered jacket. The colors are vibrant and the pattern and texture are perfect to dress up any casual look. I'd love to wear it with a simple white tee and boyfriend jeans.  Wearing it must feel like you're the most stylish room of the house, you know? (maybe?) It must be because I'm thinking of wallpaper or a rug... or something. This jacket definitely deserves praise with it's own post. It's definitely on my wish list.

Have you fallen head over heels with a particular item recently?

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