My husband and I got married in the fall of 1981. We were offered my parent’s rental house to live in with a small monthly rent. It was a small house, but definitely large enough for us since we were just starting our journey of married life. The house was two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen and small living room. I would have to say the biggest downfall was the wall heater that kept the living room fairly warm and the rest of the house chilly during the winter.
We stayed in this house for a year and decided it was time to start a family. We had been saving for this big event and bought a lot and hired a contractor to build our first home. Little did we know that this would bring several differences of opinions on lots of things!
We didn’t have too many problems with the blueprints or changes to be made to the plans. We went with the contractor who was building most of the homes in the subdivision and chose the plan we wanted. However, there were several things we wanted to change to suit our needs.
The first change in the house plans was to take one foot off the dining room wall to give the third bedroom a little extra space. This bedroom was small and after you put a bed and furniture in there, there wasn’t much room left to walk.
The other request we made was to move the fireplace from one wall to the corner of the room to allow for another full wall of space. One of the reasons for this was that the first wall contained a coat closet and was also in line with the front door. Basically, this wall was one that would have to be ruled out in putting furniture along the wall. The second wall had full length double windows that I didn’t want to close off. Also, I was thinking ahead to Christmas and where we would put our Christmas tree. This was the perfect location and wouldn’t call for moving the furniture around. By moving the fireplace, I now had two full walls to work with and decorate.
The contractor had no problems with these two requests and made the changes with no additional cost to us. Everything was going smoothly in the building process until the cabinets were put in. This is when I noticed things I did not like. The bathroom vanity doors were not even. I wanted to complain. My husband’s thought on the matter was they would come back and fix it.
Next the kitchen cabinets were installed and again, we had doors put on the cabinets that didn’t line up to make them even. It looked bad. I once again told my husband that we needed to bring this to the contractor’s attention. At this time I noticed that they had also installed the toilet paper holder in the bathroom totally crooked. He agreed to call the contractor. The changes still were not made after two weeks. We called the contractor again and once again was told that everything we noted would be fixed.
This caused a couple of spats between us because I was livid and wanted things fixed right away and he was the laid back one and confident they would get fixed. Finally, we were getting close to closing on the house and called the contractor again. He reassured my husband that things would get fixed when we called him one more time on the day before closing.
We went ahead with the closing and my husband was confident that all the changes were made and corrected. Boy was he surprised when we went to our new house after closing on our loan and getting the keys to our new house.
This led to another fight between us. I learned that if we ever build another house together to not depend on my husband to make phone calls and get things done. I will make the calls myself, every day if necessary. The things were minor that needed to be corrected, but we expected them to be done right during the building process.
We have been married for 30+ years now and have never gone down the road of building another home. The next time we moved, we found a home that was already built. In our case, this saved us from disagreeing on things, no matter how major or minor.
Moral of the story is to be vocal and don’t let up until things are fixed to your satisfaction. You are the one that has to live there!