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Oh Joy! Builds A House: Choosing an Architect and Contractor

How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

After finding land, our next step in building our forever home was to find an architect and contractor to make this dream come to life. The process in which this happens can vary depending on what type of home you're building. There are some developers and builders you can hire to design and build a custom home with both parts built into their process. In these cases, they may have specific types of land to build on or have a set style they build and design to. But you know by now, our land is on a hill and not the easiest to build on, so we chose each partner (Architect and Contractor) separately based on who was the best fit for our project.

Here's a video that shows at a glance of the process and how we went about it! We found an architect first and fully designed our house before finding a contractor that could execute it. Because the reality is...you can't get an estimate for the cost of construction until you have a design to show. And, both are crucial to my next post about getting construction loans for a home build. And, you can't get a construction loan until you know how much it's going to cost to build your home and you don't know how much it will cost until you have a design in place. There are so many interconnected parts to this process that heavily rely on one another.  

How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

The Architects. Cleo and McShane of Project M+ had recently finished building their own house around the time we were contemplating this crazy project. We had mutual friends in common so we chatted with them about their process. The next thing you know, we got to see their own home first hand which is a prime example from their own portfolio. Their style and aesthetic matched what we were looking for, and after a few phone calls to various past clients, we decided to hire them to design our home. They were really the first partners of ours for this project when we first found the land four years ago as we spent a good chunk of the first year with them designing and prepping for permits. We have had many in-person meetings as you do in the early stages of any design process. But once major designs are in place, we now communicate a lot by phone and email. In upcoming posts, we'll dive deeper into our actual home design and that whole process!
 
If you are looking for an architect and don't have any personal referrals, ask around as much as possible on Facebook, Instagram, and any social media channel you use. Chances are that friends, acquaintances, or even strangers who follow you or you may follow have similar tastes so those suggestions are a great start! You can also check out sites, like Houzz, where many architects feature their work!
 
How to Choose an Architect and Contractor / Oh Joy!

The Contractors. When it came to finding a contractor, I asked every architect I knew for a referral. Architects are a great place to start because they have to work with contractors on every job to make their designs come to life. Because both my husband and I work very busy full-time jobs, we needed a contractor who was very organized and had great communication skills. This is where Boswell Construction came in. While they were higher in price than another contractor we almost went with, their communication and organization skills are incredible so we felt they were worth the value they would bring to our project. We have weekly meetings on site (which is crucial for us on staying informed with our entire team), they respond to emails and texts quickly, and really make the process as seamless as possible for us. Most of your interaction with a contractor will happen after construction begins. Some people are very involved with their sub-contractors and want to be able to choose each sub-contractor for the job. We chose to let our contractor handle most of that. We do get to chose between some subs if there are varying price options, but for the most part, we do not interact with the sub-contractors.
 
In this process of choosing both an Architect and Contractor, you'll likely meet and interview several of each. After you decide who you're going with, I always like to close the conversation with those you have not chosen. While you don't necessarily owe them a "We've chosen someone else" email, I think it's good feedback for everyone to know why they didn't get chosen for a job. Whether it's due to their fees, you wanted a smaller or bigger company to work with, their style wasn't quite right, etc. That helps to inform them for their own knowledge and everyone can move on being in clear communication with one another of where you stand.
 
Check out my post over at Architectural Digest's Clever, for the specific criteria I suggest looking for in both an Architect and Contractor!

If you have any other questions about this process or anything else you want to see in my upcoming posts on this project, please leave a comment here so I can make sure to reply and cover it!
 
{Photos by Lily Glass, video by Jenner Brown}

Glitter Jar DIY for Kids!

A DIY Glitter Jar for Kids / via Oh Joy!

Let's shake things up with these fun DIY Glitter Jars which are perfect as a sensory activity for kids! They even make for an interactive project with small kids because they can pick what special toys go inside. Here's how... 

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dressing the team / in two-piece sets...

DressingTheTeam

We have an extra special Dressing The Team today! We're not only showing you how to rock two-piece sets, but we're showing you fun ways to mix and match each one! See how each member of the Oh Joy! team took a two-piece outfit and turned it into a completely different look with just a few simple swaps! Take a look...

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Our final edition of Oh Joy Band-Aid Bandages!

Oh Joy! Band-Aids / Collector Edition

I'm excited to announce our fourth (and very last!) collection of Oh Joy! BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages is here! You guys have been SO amazing in your support and love for them over the last three years, so we're excited to bring you one last collection available exclusively at Target!

Oh Joy! Band-Aids / Collector Edition

We’ve partnered with BAND-AID® Brand again for a fourth year to design bandages that help cover up minor cuts and scrapes but make the healing process way more fun. We have all new designs and the same square-shaped bandages for elbows and knees as well as standard shapes for fingers and everything else. 

Oh Joy! Band-Aids / Collector Edition

The handy First Aid Kit can be used to keep at home, in the car, at the office or in your purse so that you are always prepared to #SavetheDay. The new BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages by Oh Joy! will be available only at select Target stores and Target.com for $2.79 beginning TODAY

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P.S. The First Aid Kit by Oh Joy! is free with the purchase of three qualifying items (such as BAND-AID®Brand SKIN-FLEX™ Adhesive Bandages, NEOSPORIN® + Pain, Itch, Scar, BAND-AID® Brand of First Aid Products All-in-One Adhesive Gauze Pad and Tapes, and Extra Strength BENADRYL® Itch Stopping Cream.)

{Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong.}

my first major meltdown in the home build process...

Oh Joy Builds a House: My First Major Meltdown

I have something to admit. Building a house has given me a LOT of stress and anxiety lately. I have been hesitant to talk about it because I feel so very grateful to be able to even do this project and to be able to share it with all of you. But after cry sessions in front of my husband, kids, and life coach recently, I realized there are things here that I wanted to share. So, here's the deal...

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