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  1. Haha, welcome to designing your own home! We had similar thoughts and ideas when we realized what was/was not going to work for us in our Canyon Lake home. 8′ ceilings? Not anymore! lol Our “needs” list looks pretty similar to yours, but Mrs. SSC straight outlawed a farmhouse sink. Come to find out, she sees them and thinks of oversized urinals or similar and doesn’t want to have to think that 8-10 times a day when she sees the sink. Bwahahaha I am a big fan of our current sink which is an engineered silica single basin and it is deeper than usual sinks. Never a split sink for me again. I just love the space and room in a single basin sink. Now I sound snotty, lol. We definitely want the screened in back porch as well. Too many great weather days in TX to NOT have one, but too many bugs to stay outside the whole time. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My best suggestion would be that if you don’t find plans that fit perfectly, try and go with a design/build type of builder. I think I read that you are on the fringes of most of those types of companies in your area so it may not be feasible, but if you find a reputable (good reputable, not infamous reputable, lol) one you can use I’d say go for it.
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Our 2017 Spending: What a Dumpster Fire!My Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank for the input, Mr. SSC. I really appreciate it. And I love the way Mrs. SSC’s mind works. Although I never conjured up urinals when I gazed upon a farmhouse sink. My biggest concern about them is the sturdiness of the exposed outside wall. I mean, if I accidentally hit it with a broom handle, will it break? But if we don’t ultimately go with a farmhouse sink, we will go with a humongous single basin. Split sinks are for losers!

  2. Alicia

    Maybe it’s my profession, but I keep thinking that you might want to consider the aging process in your building your “Forever Home.” How about wide hallways and door frames to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs, lever handles instead of door knobs should arthritis make opening the doors more difficult? Less steps into and around the house are great as we age. I hate to put a damper on your building party, but you may want to talk to someone who specializes in elder care design for homes. I meet plenty of patients who end up moving or remodeling because their home no longer loves them back. You have the chance to lessen this from happening now. Also, the radiant heating should move to the needs list. I love ours.

    • You make some excellent points, Alicia. I recall seeing a construction video a few years ago encouraging people to build homes with entryways and doorways that could accommodate a wheelchair. But we’re not ready for eldercare design.

      I don’t believe this will be our last home. In 15-20 years I doubt our family will still be living in the area and so we won’t have a reason to. Also, our location is rural and not great for aging in place. I’d have difficulty right now finding a qualified home health aide that would come to us. We need to relocate my aunt with us, who’s in a nursing home, and it will be a challenge finding a good one within an hour of us.

      Additionally, we plan to spend some months living in a camper. We could end up buying or building a small home in Montana and then during the cold months, stay in an Airbnb near family.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Alicia. I really appreciate your input. Like Mrs. G said, I don’t think this is going to be our last home. I am intrigued with radiant heated floors, so I might pump that up to a need.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Jason. We’re meeting with a designer next week, so the decisions and fights should begin to mount. Pray for me.

  3. I am just LOVING this!! I’m nodding right along with all your needs and wants…okay with most of them, not sure about all steel ceilings (sorry Mr. G!).

    I did think you’d go ranch since you call it the Groovy Ranch ๐Ÿ˜‰ but a farmhouse sounds great!

    For what it’s worth, I have both the large drawers and the pull-out shelves in bottom cupboards. I like both for different reasons, but the drawers do indeed fit very large pots.

    Will you need a water softening and filtering system for the well…reverse osmosis perhaps?

      • Thanks, Amy! Our wishlist looks very similar to Mr. and Mrs. Groovy’s lists. Must haves for me include hardwood floors, no railing around porch (must be less than 30 inches from ground), clawfoot tub, quartz counters, wood windows, and metal roof. Mr. FF requires 9 ft ceilings in basement for a home gym. He’s more concerned about the technical side of things, but will leave all design decisions to me. Right now, we’re very close to getting our Board of Health approval, so we hope to be breaking ground very soon. It’s been a while since I had anything to write about, housewise, on the blog.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Amy. Yeah, corrugated steel ceilings are an acquired taste. Mrs. G used her veto power to exclude them from the first floor. But she said I could use them in the upstairs bedroom. That strikes me as a fair compromise. And we haven’t decided what our water softening and filtering system will be yet. But it is on our radar. We discussed it briefly with Claudia and Garrett while they were in town. So, yeah, I just added to our tips/suggestions spreadsheet. Man, a lot of decisions have to be made. Thank heavens I’m retired.

  4. Mrs G, I’m sorry to say but you’re wrong about those drawers. We have them in the island and they’re AWESOME, I love them.

    I guess if you have some REALLY big/deep chili pots, like 60, 9-, or 100 quart pots or something, then those might not fit. But my neighbors, who have one, just throw that in their pantry and call it good. So you’ll be fine.

    Trust me, it’s way easier to get at stuff in the drawers.

    I’m glad you resolved this before I had to come break the tie here, at least! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really excited to follow this along!!
    Dave @ Married with Money recently posted…Donโ€™t Be a Financial OstrichMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      You’re the best, Dave. I knew there was a reason why I like you so much. I think with you and all the others who have heralded the benefits of drawers, the worm has turned and Mrs. G is finally on board. Drawers it is! Ah, the power of blogging and the comments section.

  5. One comment on the recessed lighting – air loss! As coming from someone who does green building for a living, those things suck air through like none other and just add to your heating bill. Use ceiling mount lights instead, at least on the upper floor ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      Great point. Thankfully, I’m very familiar with the air loss issue. After we had recessed lighting put in our current upstairs bedrooms, I went into the attic and sealed them with foam insulation. I’ll do the same if we go the recessed route in Groovy Ranch. But I like ceiling mounted lights as well, especially pendant lights. Appreciate the heads up, Angela. It’s going into our tips/suggestions spreadsheet.

  6. Laurie Blank

    “After living in a house with 9 ft ceilings, we can never go back to 8 ft ceilings.” Ahh, first world, FI problems. ๐Ÿ˜‰ “Jerk ass” – wow, Mrs. Groovy is much nicer to you than I am to Rick when we fight. Count yourself lucky. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      First world problems, indeed. And “jerk ass” came from a Mrs. Groovy flub early in our marriage. So was so frustrated with me a some point, she couldn’t decide whether to call me a jerk or an ass—e and “jerk ass” came out. She’s been using it ever since.

  7. Can’t wait to see how the Groovy Ranch turns out! Mr. Picky Pincher and I have DIY concrete counters in our kitchen and a custom-order butcher block island that we use for everything. Seriously, the butcher block has been amazing. We even built in a trash can, so when we’re chopping, we can just scoop stuff into the trash.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Hey, Mrs. PP. Love the built in trash can. I’ve seen it a few times in Houzz and Pinterest. We’re leaning toward the pull-out trash can. Have you done any posts on your concrete counters and your butcher block island? I loved to see pictures of them.

  8. I am of the mind that a house is not an asset, but a liability. Even when it’s paid off, you need to complete maintenance, pay taxes, and pay insurance for it. It’s a huge money and time suck. The bigger they are, the worse it gets.

    Having said that…if you don’t plan on traveling and you plan on using the house as your main center and source of entertainment…then a house is an okay liability to have and spend a bit more money on. If you are going to spend 95% of your time in it, you should be comfortable. If Quartz countertops make you comfortable, go crazy.

    Loving this series and looking forward to reading more!

    • Just FYI, this house is going to be no more than 1500 sf with simple roof lines, gravel driveway, well water and septic. Mr. Groovy can sometimes go a little mashugana with his ideas but I’m willing to let him, as long as I have veto power (i.e. like when he wanted to install cobalt blue counter tops in our NY condo).

      More than 10 years ago we almost built a home Mr. G designed. The plan had an outdoor kitchen and fireplace, an indoor pergola, and its massive hallway and foyer combined had more square footage than a studio I lived in for more than 10 years. I talked Mr. G down off the ledge when the builder needed to raise the price point to accommodate all this space on one level. However my biggest fear was that Mr. G would still want to move forward. Fortunately he saw the light and we scratched the idea of building that home. So for this adventure I need to give him some leeway to go a little outside the box. I’m a bit more conventional.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Miss Sara. And you’re right. A house is a liability. And of all the things you pointed out to prove that, the one that irks me the most is taxes. In a sense, you never really own your home. Even when you pay it off, you’re still in effect renting it from the state. Don’t pay your property taxes and the state will take your home. I wish there were a sunset on how long you owe property taxes on a home. I think 30 years is fair. Pay property taxes for 30 years and then your done, providing you stay in that house.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed. When I first came upon them a few years ago, I was immediately struck by their brilliance. I swore I’d have in my next kitchen remodel or design.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I hear ya, Gary. Prior to HGTV, I thought wood planks nailed to the studs were just wood planks. I had no idea it was called shiplap. We live in strange times, my friend.

  9. Wow I was picturing the Groovy Ranch when I read the list of needs and wants.

    I think it’s understandable since you likely want to stay at the Ranch for a long time. It’s a great feeling to know that your home has everything you want and need.

    It’s also great that you and Mrs. Groovy are conscious of the costs of this project. It will definitely keep the expenses in check.

    Mr. FAF and I had countless arguments before and after we bought our first home. You are definitely not alone. ^.^

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! What would marriage be without fights! We definitely have a lot of non-FI or non-Mustachean beliefs when it comes to housing needs. Our only saving grace is that we’re building small by today standards (less than 1500 sq ft). So we’re hoping that building small will allow us to have the finishes we desire. We’ll see. It should be interesting.

  10. I guess that’s why they call it a “Dream” home!? At the end of the day, you’re going to want what you want in that forever home!

    Thanks for the continued updates! All I dream about during our current home savings process for our starter home is FINALLY being able to make changes to our living space WITHOUT needed permission from others.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Agreed, Sean. Not needing permission to make your home more comfortable is why I tend to join the ownership camp in the great own versus rent battle.

  11. Wow, that’s quite the list! Just had to chime in on drawers in the kitchen: I remodeled my kitchen in 2012 and used IKEA cabinets and I LOVE the drawers! All the cabinets below the counters are drawers and it’s amazing. So easy to access everything. You should definitely get them – you won’t regret it.

    Let me know if you’d like to see pictures to give you a better idea of how a real kitchen looks ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, wow, Kate. From your keyboard to Mrs. Groovy’s ears! Haha. I think I finally won Mrs. G over while we were in Lowe’s the other day. We took a spin by the kitchen displays and I showed her real life examples of kitchen drawers. I could see the light bulb going off in her head.

  12. Looks like a good list! I’m a little jealous. I would bump the attic fan from a want to a need. We had one in our last house, don’t have one now and really miss it. It’s not that expensive and is really usefull in the summer or after a bad cooking mistake.

  13. Oh jeez. I must say, I think your lists are totally reasonable. ๐Ÿ˜€ Haha. That said, we list our home under our “we value spending money on” column, so it’s easy to justify nice things.

    We, too, have shiplap and a gas fireplace in our family room. We also splurged on the hardwood tile planks on our entire first floor during our renovation last year.

    Neither one of us has regretted spending a single dime on improving our home. We spend most of our time here and we want nice things. Thankfully, we were able to pay cash. That lessened the blow.

    I can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Mrs. MMM. A thumbs up coming from you means a lot. And I like your philosophy. Spending money on something you really value is hardly a vice. And as far as shiplap goes, I love it, but Mrs. G doesn’t. Our compromise is to have dry wall on the first floor and shiplap on the second floor bedrooms and bathroom. Any chance you can post some pictures of the shiplap in your house? I’d love to see it.

  14. My husband and I reached FI partly because when we decided to do these big remodel jobs in our house, we bought the tools and did the work ourselves. Our kitchen looks like we should never even get our FIRE cards in the first place!

    My husband hand-built the cabinets in our own kitchen and then recently we did an IKEA kitchen, with farmhouse sink, in our foreclosure rental home. I would say drawers are great. Also, in our own home, we lived with the upper cabinet doors off for years as the build took forever. I loved having just open shelves, and when the doors arrived we were sort of sorry. The IKEA farmhouse sink was difficult for us to install, but well worth it. And we ended up finding a guy who went with us to a granite counter outlet. We bought 2 big pieces, already bullnosed, for under $300 and he put them in for a total of $1000. That’s here in California, although it was about 5 years back. There are ways to keep the costs down.

    Also, after just moving my in-laws downstairs in their dining room (his Dad can’t do the stairs and they don’t want to move), I’d say that if you are fearful of stubbing your toe on the way into the shower, you need to think long and hard about that second story.

    I love your posts on this. You Groovys are going to have an even better marriage when all this comes together! We do.
    Susan recently posted…The Ultimate Escape Room โ€“ The CubicleMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! For some reason I don’t fear stairs but I fear stepping over a shower tray. Weird. And I love that you guys were able to DIY your remodel jobs. I’d love to some DIY stuff on this build to save money but Mrs. G will have none of that. And I can’t say she’s wrong. I generally do good work, but it takes me forever to get things done. Sigh. Thanks for stopping by, Susan. I really appreciate it.

  15. So rounds three is a draw? I wouldn’t give in so easily. This is going to be a long battle you might need the points.

    I’ll say I think drawers are nice. The in laws have them and they’re big enough for crockpots and the like.

    What the hell is shiplap? I think I’ll learn more about interior design from you two than I will anywhere else.

    I’m just excited to see the finished product if we get a chance to come out there.

    That is if both of you survive. :).

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! Thank you, Mr. WoW. Shiplap is just a fancy term for wood planks on the wall. I’m intrigued with it because it has the farmhouse look and some people claim it is less expensive than dry wall because you eliminate a lot of labor. Just nailed it up and paint it. With dry wall you got to screw it up and then do all that mudding, taping, and sanding. We’ll see. A whole house in shiplap may be a bridge too far. Oh, and by the way, the WoWs will always be welcome at Groovy Ranch. Cheers, my friend.

  16. Amazing how our paths run on such parallel tracks. First, we moved from Good To Great (which I would argue is what youโ€™re doing now!), Second, we just launched our complete kitchen remodel in the Great cabin, as planned.

    Jackieโ€™s having a blast, Iโ€™m staying out of the way. 0 fights on our Fight-O-Meter! Loving this series!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, man, we’re definitely kindred spirits. And I love your kitchen in the Great cabin already. I can’t imagine how awesome it will look after the remodel. What’s the next superlative after great? Will we be calling your Great cabin the “Ludicrous” cabin next year?

  17. I hear you with the drawers. I am 37 and have appreciated being able to pull out a drawer with pots and pans since I was 32…never going back. I think the list is reasonable, after all you are doing all the work, might as well get what you want.

    As for us, we just moved into our rental home (thank goodness). 1800 feet ranch with 3 br and 2 ba. The guy who owns it was a contractor so it is nicely updated with drawers! and storage galore! So we are pretty content sitting here for a while as we figure out the next plan.

    • Mr. Groovy

      I’m showing this comment to Mrs. Groovy right now. She’s open to drawers but is still a little leery. Knowing they get the seal of approval from you will surely get her 100% on board. I owe you, my friend.

  18. I had to look up shiplap walls. Do you really need that or is it just a phase?
    I would skip metal roof. We got metal roof when we replaced the duplex’s rood in 2014 and I regret it. It sounds good in theory, but there are serious downsides too.
    – It’s non standard. If you need to fix something, there is a big wait. As you know, roofing problems usually can’t wait.
    – Installation can be shoddy. Really depends on your local company.
    – It is frigging slippery. Not sure if you read the story about someone falling off their metal roof. Maybe at routetoretire? I almost fell off once too. It is really dangerous to go up there as a homeowner.
    Seriously, skip the metal roof and go with a conventional roof.

    I like those big drawers. Seems easier.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wow! I never considered any of your excellent counter arguments to metal roofs. Very enlightening. To tell the truth, though, I was only enamored with it because of the look. I’m perfectly fine with asphalt shingles. And after reading your comment, it’s safe to say that that’s the route will go. Thank you, sir. I owe you one.

      • We went with the metal roof and love it! We plan on never going up on it – it’s two stories high. We’ll spend our money elsewhere. And it was Fritz that fell. But we live near the lake where wind did a number on the shingles at times. Just my 2 (or 3) cents ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh yea – we went with a mix of drawers and doors for the lower cabinets. Same fight a few states north!

        • Mr. Groovy

          Drawers and doors are the way to go. And great point about the wind. In some environments, metal makes more sense. Wind isn’t a huge issue here in NC. No lake effect! Thanks for sharing, Vicki. The plot thickens.

      • Mr. Groovy

        Oh, man. I feel so bad. I remember your fall, but I forgot about its relation to metal roofs. Yeah, they look great and last really long, by are they worth it. Joe says “no” and Vicki odds a qualified “yes.” What say you, friend. Are they worth the risk?

    • Mrs. Groovy

      We really need to re-think this, especially about workmanship and repairs. The falling part I’m not worried about because I won’t even let Mr. G paint the outside our house, let alone go out on the roof!

  19. I think it’s your house and you can do exactly whatever you want to do with it! It sounds really nice! This is the second time this week where I’ve read a blog about having a FIRE card revoked. lol! Man, are we starting to get super judgy in that world. My favorite phrase is YOU DO YOU! ๐Ÿ™‚ But hey, you’ve given me a good topic to write about!
    [email protected] and the Beach recently posted…2018: The Year of Taking ChancesMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      “YOU DO YOU!”

      Three simple words but very profound. I love it. And please do a post on revoking people’s FIRE cards. We are getting absolutest in the FIRE sphere and it’s time a voice of reason stepped in and promoted a little caution. Sorry, but “extremism in defense of FIRE is a vice.” I always feel better about life after reading one of our comments. Thanks for stopping by, Tonya.

  20. We have never built a home from scratch, and the fact that I’m assuming this will be your forever home. If I was building it I’d want to make sure I had all my needs met, and a few wants including too. But coming from a family of five who has managed with 1.75 bathrooms for 19 years, I find the 2 full baths and powder room on the needs list a little extreme. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Brian recently posted…Financial Steps to Take Before DivorceMy Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Haha! So true, Brian. When I was growing up, our family of five had one bathroom. And only rarely was this ever an issue. So I hear ya about the two bathrooms and a powder room. I think two bathrooms are fine. But Mrs. G is fixated on a powder room. She thinks it shows our guests that we really care about them. Maybe she’s right. I don’t know. But we have a powder room now and it’s rarely used. In fact, I think the only ones who used it in 2017 was Claudia and Garrett from Two Cup House. Ah, fight number four could be brewing. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

  21. Shiplap?? On everything? I mean….. don’t get me wrong, it looks nice as an accent wall here and there but I don’t know if it needs to be on everything. Might be overwhelming. Stay off Pinterest, you two!

    (sidenote: super jelly and sounds awesome to build a brand new customized house!)

    • Mr. Groovy

      Oh, crap, now I’m getting nervous about over-doing the shiplap. I’ve seen pictures were it’s in every room and it still looks appealing. Maybe we’ll keep it out of the bathrooms. Nothing wrong with being a little conventional. Thanks for stopping by, Gwen.

      P.S. And, yes, we will heed your very sound advice. We’re staying clear of Pinterest and Instagram.

    • Mrs. Groovy

      We haven’t had TV in years and yet I can still hear Chip Gaines chanting “Shiplap! Shiplap!” I’m not that enamored with it, myself. I think I can get Mr. Groovy to agree to do the shiplap in his bathroom and let the rest of the house look more conventional. Now I just have to work on him on the corrugated steel ceilings. He’s trying to win me over by saying it will be cheaper but I’m not convinced of that, plus I think I’d get tired of the look.

      • Pat

        Don’t forget to consider how all of those hard surfaces (shiplap, steel ceiling, hardwood floors) will impact sound. Without enough soft surfaces to absorb the sound, the noise will likely be a lot more than you expect. Also consider insulating between floors to help deaden the sound and allow you to control energy costs a little better.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Ms 99to1. If we can get 80% of our needs and wants and still be under $150 a sq ft, I will be one happy man. Our goal is to break ground around April. If we can do that, we should have Groovy Ranch complete by the time FinCon rolls around. Got my fingers crossed.

  22. Whymances

    I just discovered your blog and this is the first post I landed on! Fight meter is hilarious. The ‘cupboard drawers’ do look easier to use than traditional cupboards.

    Best of luck with the ranch build. Sounds lovely!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thank you, Whymances. When you think about it, drawers make much more sense. After all, doors are kind of like the middle men. Why not just get to the roll-outs right away instead having to open two doors?

  23. Hi Mr. Groovy, This brings back memories from 2017. My wife and I moved from the house we had lived in for 20 years. We didn’t build but had similar lists as we looked at the available housing stock in the area we were moving. It is very easy to let one’s cost of housing spiral out of control with everything we think we need. There are so many decisions and trade offs as you know. I wish you all the best. And know in the end it will work out just fine. Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…6 Steps to Create Your Passive Income Machine (Part 2)My Profile

    • Mr. Groovy

      Thanks, Tom. Our only saving grace is that our home is going to be less than 1,500 sq ft. At that size of a home, we can afford to go a little mashugana. If we were looking to build a 2,600 sq ft home, we’d be in serious trouble.

  24. Laughing out LOUD. Thanks man, for the great start to my work week. Need that. I’ll tell Mrs. Cubert about the fight-o-meter. We are wayyyy too polite when we tussle. It’s more an amusing tango of Minnesota nice (i.e., passive aggressive feel it out kind of thing.)
    Good for you for putting HGTV more in your rear-view. It’s impossible to escape the subtle message that they send — “Your home sucks. Now go to Home Depot and spend thousands to make it look like the Gaines’s, or the Poverty Brothers…”

    • Mr. Groovy

      “‘Your home sucks. Now go to Home Depot and spend thousands to make it look like the Gainesโ€™s, or the Poverty Brothersโ€ฆ'”

      Man, I love the way your mind works. You got a high-powered tool there, my friend. I hope Mrs. Cubert appreciates it. And, yeah, Mrs. Groovy and I could use some “Minnesota Nice” in our fights. We go nuclear way too soon.

  25. Woooah that’s going to be a beautiful home! I didn’t know what half of those things meant. No upper kitchen cabinets sounds like a possible money saver? Because it’s less work without doors right?

    My sister in law has a fancy metal roof but it’s failing because they didn’t know the house couldn’t afford the weight of it when they installed it. Now it’s sinking! But the lifespan and durability is really attractive – don’t skimp on the roof contractor!!!

    • Mr. Groovy

      Wow! I never heard of a roof being too heavy for the building it sits atop. Now you’re getting me scared. Maybe we’ll just go with boring asphalt shingles.

  26. First off, I didn’t see “man cave” on the list of rooms. You might need to check your list again. Probably just a simple omission.

    Secondly, that Chip and Joanna duo leave divorces in their wake. They’re toxic. Just let them continue living in all of their sun-shiny glory on TV and don’t become yet more victims on the trail of sorrow that follows behind them.

    • Mr. Groovy

      Chip and Joanna are the devil incarnate! I’m praying to God that our sq ft cost is below $150. And yet they buy some shack in Waco for $50K, put $100K into, and it’s the most spectacular home you have ever seen when they’re done.