I married my husband, Andrew, in the summer of 2015, and we skirted off to the coast to spend our first two married years in a sleepy beach town. We are originally from the same area and while we loved the coast, we longed to be closer to home. After about a year in Morehead City Andrew started prodding (he is a planner), asking me to consider our next step. Every few weeks he would ask me the same question "if you had to choose right now, what would you do: stay here or move home" It didn't take long for us to agree that our hearts had never really left Surry County.
To Buy, Build or Rent
After months of pros and cons lists, prayer and conversations we settled on the decision to secure land first, and move on from there. The most I will say about this part of our journey is that the Lord was present. He had his hand in the process from the time we chose the location, the conversations that took place, and eventually in our being able to call my great grandpa's home place our own.
Now that we had the land secured, it was on to the next step. To buy, build or rent. We knew we weren't ready to build our "forever home" yet, so we considered the other two options. We discussed renting a nearby home, buying a home we could rent later, buying a trailer to go on our land, etc. We weighed option after option but none of them felt right. In the midst of a lot of unknowns there was only one thing we knew for sure; some day, in the distant future, we wanted to have a detached garage, or a "shop." My parents have a shop behind their house that is mainly used by my dad for a variety of things from woodworking, to storing tools and everything in between. In one of the many conversations we threw the idea out there, "what if we built the shop first..."
The idea brought with it a million questions. Would we build an apartment on top? Would it have garage doors? How do you transition from living space to work space? We took to the interwebs to do some research on the idea...and nothing. Andrew and I both scoured page after page of google searches, building blogs, diy networks links and came up empty handed. There was plenty of information on living in an apartment over a garage, but nothing on building a home that would easily transition into a garage. It was a red flag for me and we shelved the idea for a while.
While we were concerned about the lack of information surrounding our idea to "build backwards" we couldn't come to terms with any other option, so we went back to our families. My dad builds swimming pools for a living, and spent several years building houses prior to that, Andrew's dad has a ton of experience in electrical work, plumbing and wiring houses, and both mine and Andrew's brothers are project managers for construction companies. We took the idea to them and began brainstorming. After lots of conversations, more pros and cons lists and endless blue print sketches we were convinced, we were building backwards.