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I am writing this blog after a few friends and family members ask us to keep them updated on the progress of the building process, and since we have a BLOG anyway I thought what a great opportunity to connect with others who might enjoy and appreciate someone’s perspective and experiences throughout the journey.  Since this is of course mine and Randy’s first construction we are somewhat feeling our way through.  We do understand some of the steps since I am in Real Estate with Sisters Tak’n Care of Business

carol and janice new      and we own a plumbing company  24390_103608156348719_100000986064125_31999_2066849_n    where we do mostly new construction and commercial work, but we quickly found out there is a lot more to this adventure than meets the eye, so lucky for us my brother-in-law is also a contractor “Cotten’s Custom Homes”

cotten custom homes

and he graciously has allowed us to incorporate him on this project.  Having a knowledgeable, experienced contractor on board gives us peace of mind.  


As we began to consider, if this was our time to move forward, b/c we had only been thinking about this for ???? years

                                                                                                                                                    RANDY AND JANICE WEDDING 2-3-1979.

We decided to start and the process started with a call to the lender on October 5th, 2011…

We knew that interest rates were at an amazing ALL time low and we might not ever see this again in our lifetime.  So ….since the land was available (the kids had bought their house and moved) we felt the first test was getting the interest rate where we wanted, and if that went through, that would be our sign that the planning should begin.  I am a believer in Jeremiah 29:11….”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  and in all things.. good and bad… we give God the glory.  If this was the plan, that our Big Daddy had for us, all things would work out.  The banking process is TIME consuming and they want everything, including your first born.  Yes, seriously the paper work was daunting and there were days I was more confused than sane, on how to fill out and gather all the docs that were requested, but somehow after 500 emails, unaccounted phone conversations… we had managed to pile all the paper work together and get the approval where we felt at peace.  After our first test was cleared, and all indications were go, we began the hunt for the perfect plan….Ha HA.. as if that existed. 

So the hunt for the perfect house plan began…  IMG_1497  Here are a few of the ones we considered, not counting the plans that we looked at while visiting online and Architects. After hours of looking and hunting, and discussing, and thinking, and re-thinking, and meeting with Architects, and..OH yes keeping it under a certain sq. ft. we found the ONE… Plan # 09-169 Madden Home Design.. (picked up on October 11,2011)….and of course we still tweaked a few things, and added some sq. ft. on, but basically this is it.

IMG_1499 NO this is MILA who is rather interested in the new house.. all of the time…

This is the Plan…             

IMG_1498    IMG_1501


OK, so we have the plan… now what?   First stop permit office to pick up the “Packet” for New Construction guidelines for permits.   IMG_1502

The process began with filling out multiple papers and then delivering a set of plans to the Parish Permit office, October 17,2011…and yet there were more forms to fill out once we arrived.  We were told the process of submitting the plans and approval could take three weeks, so now we wait… Well kind of. 

Our attention has since turned to getting bids on lumber, electricians, and formers, and framers, to start.  We will get to the rest ASAP…After numerous road trips dropping off plans from Ponchatoula to BR, we now wait on the bids to come in.  Oh and we are also waiting on the bank to finish their paper work for closing.  There is a lot of hurry-up and waiting going on during the process.

Now this brings us back to the place where we have decided to build…. That is another whole story blog, but basically after buying land in Livingston, off of Madison Ave and Red Oak, we changed our mind and decided that we just could not leave the land that we have lived on for the last TWENTY-SEVEN years.  The land on Madison and Red Oak is now for sale… HINT HINT, if anyone is interested!  Beautiful by the way, and the neighbors are to die for.  The best…. Gerald and Carol Cotten.. (:

Now that we had another 2.3 acres to add to our one acre we felt complete peace and JOY at the decision to stay HOME!  

Since we know guys love to play in the dirt, Randy wasted no time in getting our local dirt worker, HOYT’S TRUCKING AND DOZER SERVICE, out to begin the dirt work and pond digging on October 18,2011.. Here are a few updated pics of the process so far.

We are loving what we see!! And yes the excitement has set in!   

As for now I am just starting to think about colors, lighting, counters, flooring, fixtures… OK I have been thinking about that for some time, but now that this has become a forever decision I am feeling the pressure.  So onto Pinterest I go, and that in itself has become an addiction. I need someone to narrow down the choices and give me three to choose from.  Here are a few of my likes…..  If you go to Pinterest you are going to see that I am all over the place on choices.  Help will be needed at some point.

OK, that is all for today..back to my real job as a Realtor, Carol and I have two houses to list tomorrow and I have plenty to do!  Update coming when more choices are made, and more work is complete.  Hope you guys enjoy… I think I will use this as a stress reliever in visualizing just how far things have progressed.