Behind the Build: This is What Progress Looks Like

Jenna Kutcher 

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November 11, 2022


You know that feeling that you got as a kid when Christmas is right around the corner — the one where you wake up and you’re already excited and it takes you a hot minute to remember why you’re feeling excited but when you do, you smile? That’s how I feel with our home build progress!

Whenever I tell people we’re currently building, I’m usually met with a scoff-like, “Oh man, how’s that going?” Based on the common occurrence of stress, delays, supply-chain issues, and expense, I think people are used to home builds being a super stressful experience… thankfully, that hasn’t been ours. We’ve enjoyed the process and even more with our weekly (sometimes twice a week) visits to the land to check in on progress and dream about what it’ll be like to wake up in that space.

What’s happened this month?

On a personal front, we love our builders at Alma Homes so much, we flew to Nashville to spend the weekend with them! (I mean, if you can’t tell, we LOVE who we’re working with!) We went to a charity gala, ate Tacos, hit the spa, and just enjoyed time as friends. Kirsten and I have known each other since we were in high school, not only is she a wildly talented designer and architect but she’s built an amazing business with her partner Ethan! How lucky are we that we get to mix work and pleasure in the process? The luckiest! 

Tile is complete: We have about 10 different tile selections throughout the house and bathrooms and the great news is, I love what we chose! It was so fun to watch the tile go up and to see the vision fulfilled. Our tilers did an amazing job and we love everything from the Fireclay Tile hexite design to the star and cross tile in the girls’ bathroom!

Cabinets are installed: This was HUGE! Like, my level of excitement over seeing cabinets in their places was next level. Talk about it finally feeling like a real house! It’s always tricky imagining scale of things and so seeing the beautiful custom cabinets hit their spaces, it helped me envision things in a whole new way! The cabinets were delivered and installed raw oak and then they will be stained and some will be painted on-site! This was so exciting!

Trim and doors going in: Did I tell you about the time when I emailed our builder and panicked that our closets weren’t going to have doors on them. (This is why you work with people you trust!) Within 10 minutes they emailed me assuring me that they will have doors on them. While this step is something you might not think of as big, it really gives the room dimension and adds interest! We’re also doing molding in a few spaces and so seeing the wood go up for that design feature is awesome!

The garage is getting finished: The garage is getting sheetrocked, mudded, and taped! Then we’ll be installing in some storage and a workbench. This is Drew’s joy! He is honestly so excited about the garage (man things!) and I’m pumped for one extra stall and built-in storage!

We got internet: Okay, this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it IS. We had no clue that simply moving a few miles from where we currently lived (still inside city limits and off of a main road) would equate to a lot of dead ends in internet providers. We pursued a million options and really struggled to find internet and as someone who literally needs two things to run her company: wifi and a laptop, I was getting nervous. We’ve got a decent option already set up and we’re also on the waitlist for Starlink which my brother uses and loves, so fingers crossed what we’ve got is enough for now!

Exterior got stucco: We were holding our breath on this one after an early snowfall reminded us kindly that winter is right around the corner. We had a few delays and setbacks with the backfill of the land that was required to get the scaffolding set up and so we were pushing it in terms of temps for being able to do stucco! We got one coat on and then in the spring after things thaw out, they are going to do a final coat with paint. The exterior will be a creamy white color! So we’ll be living in a gray house for a while, but honestly, I don’t really care!

We planned out our closets: It’s been super fun imagining each closet space and planning out our storage with the team at Modular Closets. Storage is ample in our home and so we have dedicated closets for things like linens and the girls closets have so much room for clothes, toys, all the things! And don’t even get me started about our master closet — it’s basically the size of our bedroom and I don’t even know what we’ll fill it with but I loved planning out our storage. 

If getting organized or creating closet systems is on your to-do list, Modular Closets is holding their BIGGEST sale of the year for Black Friday / Cyber Monday: use code JK20 for 20% off + free shipping on ALL ORDERS (usually only on $400+ orders)The company is opening this sale for early access on November 16th and it will run through the end of Cyber Week. 

Furniture Selections:

When people tell you that building a house means making a ton of decisions, it’s true. Not only do you have to choose all the things that go into a build but you also have to choose what are you putting into the house!

We hired the amazing Lindye Galloway to help us with the main level (great room, dining, and kitchen) as well as our primary suite! Those are two spaces we wanted to invest in (and since we’re leaving a lot of our furniture behind for the buyers who bought our house, it gave us the invite to have a fresh start, fresh design!) It’s been so fun working with a professional on these spaces!

The girl’s rooms are being done by Pottery Barn Kids (we worked with them over four years ago to design Coco’s nursery and we still LOVE that space so much!) and so we’re so pumped to put their spaces together. Imagine a muted tie-dye wallpaper for Coco, a sweet subtle floral wallpaper for Quinn! I also can not wait to give Quinnie her own room since she’s lived in Coco’s “big girl room” that Coco never transitioned into!

Other than those rooms, we’re bringing along the items our buyers didn’t purchase with the house, selling some items on Facebook Market, and then filling in a few final things with some Black Friday shopping! (Think TV’s, rugs, artwork, and I get to finally order a piano, something I’m so excited about having at the house!)

Look at how beautiful Coco’s new room will be (thanks to the help of the amazing design team with Pottery Barn Kids!

What’s Next?

Everything else! Let the fun begin! Once the cabinets are painted, then all the rest of the painting happens (walls, ceilings, trim, and doors!) After that we get floors installed, and carpet put in, and then it’s a lot of the finishing details! 

Railings, countertops, Delta faucets, Modular Closets install, cabinet pulls, appliances, washer/dryer, light fixtures, light switches, allllll the little things you don’t even think about that a house needs! Once that stuff starts happening, it’ll feel really real! This is when we’re reminded of all of the finishes we chose months and months ago! I feel like every time we walk in I find myself saying, “Oh, I forgot about that!” Talk about great surprises! 

As we get closer and closer, we’re slowly starting to pack, purge, and get ready for the move! The family who bought our home is excited to move in! We’re hoping we’ll be in and settled before the end of the year, fingers and toes are crossed! So excited and grateful for this next chapter! 


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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

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