The one about the tree house: lots of progress and bargain shopping

Over the last couple of weeks, the tree house has really started to take on new life (and shape). The demo of the existing house has been completed, and now the new foundation is under way. I have learned about "footers" and other construction terms, and I have also spent a lot of time nodding blankly while Luke talks about things I can't even pretend to understand.


Standing in front of the existing fireplace that we will refinish. Directly behind us will be the great room (dining room/living room/part of kitchen).


Looking out into what will be the great room. Over the basement will be the kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, and the kids' rooms and bathroom will bump out at an angle to the right of the basement (you can see the excavation and footers for that if you look closely).

We are finally starting to make some decisions regarding flooring, the exterior materials, and bathroom fixtures. It has been very overwhelming to say the least! When you look things up on Pinterest, it is super fun, but when it comes to pulling the trigger and committing to something, it gets a little scary!

Of course, we are trying to stay under budget, so that has caused us to become pretty resourceful when it comes to scouting sales, closeouts, and other ways to save money. The girls were on Spring Break this week, so Luke took some time off so we could do a little shopping. We packed up the girls, hitched our newly-purchased trailer to Luke's Suburu, and we headed South to visit Luke's oldest brother and his family near Louisville. We took the opportunity to go to a discount tile warehouse in Lexington (Kentucky Tile Closeouts) since we were only about an hour and a half away. We were hopeful that we would find tile for our bathrooms and kitchen for a great price.

When we arrived, the building was locked up with a sign saying they were closed for Spring Cleaning, even though we checked the website and their "Spring Cleaning" was supposed to end the previous week. We were both incredibly frustrated by this.... swearing and other "ear muff"-worthy behavior ensued.... but Luke decided to call the phone number on the website and see if anyone could let us in. Within about 20 minutes, someone came over to open the warehouse for us and allow us to shop since we had driven so far and the website was incorrect. I guess when you travel from out of state to shop, you better call to make sure they are open, even if their website says they are.

The lady who let us in informed us that she needed to leave in about 30 minutes, so we instantly felt rushed and overwhelmed. We began to frantically pace around the warehouse and quickly eliminate tile that we knew we were not interested in. We were able to quickly separate the tile that we liked and the tile we didn't care for. We settled on a gray, linen texture, rectangular tile for our master bathroom, the kids' bathroom, and the guest bathroom. For all 3 bathrooms, it was only $340 for the tile. We felt like this was a good deal. Given that we only had about a half hour to look through a warehouse full of tile, when the store was actually supposed to be closed, I would say we got pretty lucky. I have found that pregnancy helps the sympathy factor. The lady who let us in knew that I was pretty frustrated and felt rushed, so she gave Luke a wooden vase to make me feel better. :-)

The tile we chose was priced at $1.19 per square foot. I have found it online for around $4.19 per square foot. I am happy with this deal!


Silver Melody 12x24" by Rhyme

We stayed the night with Luke's brother and his family. With plenty of room still on our trailer, Luke's brother called in a favor to a local business owner and asked if we could get in to shop (even though it was also closed) a really awesome store full of the most random, amazing things. The shop is called Kentuckiana Trading, and if you are ever near Borden, Indiana, it is worth stopping in! The owners buy new overstock items and then sell them to the public for around 50% off the sticker price. There are 3 or 4 huge stock rooms full of everything from furniture to lighting to bathroom fixtures (like sinks and toilets)...exercise equipment, kitchen gadgets, toys, home decor, etc. It was overwhelming, but we got lucky and found some great items! We could have bought more, but the trailer had reached its limit.

We bought two vessel sinks for the kids' bathroom for $25 each. We looked up the item numbers while we were shopping, and you can see that these same sinks on Overstock.com are over $370 each (WHAT?).

American Imaginations Oval Vessel Sink


I love this starburst light we snagged for $60. I have no idea where it will go yet, but we couldn't pass it up.

I can't remember the brand of the one we bought - this one is similar


This coffee table will be perfect in the great room. You can purchase it from Pier One for  around $350. We got it for half of that price.

Pier 1 Takat Coffee Table


I might have had to beg Luke for this crib, but thankfully, he caved. Of course, he said we already have two cribs, why do we need this one? But I have wanted this style of crib for years, and we just never could justify the cost. We actually bought our first crib from Craigslist for $50. It is the drop-side style that you aren't supposed to use anyway. Our second crib (because Charlotte was still in the first crib when Shiloh was born...and I am a crib-for-life kind of mama) was free! So, I feel like we more than got our "money's worth" out of those cribs, and now our little guy can have something new and special. You can find it online for around $280-$300. Again, we paid half price for this crib.

Babyletto Modo 3 in 1 Crib


This is definitely part of the home building process that I find the most fun. I love searching for deals and sales. It makes me so happy to pay a fraction of the cost for items that we love. Nothing about this process is cheap, but every little bit that we can save will add up over the course of this journey.

I say this all the time, in every post, to anyone I talk to, but I am so thankful for Luke and all the time he has put in to making sure we are doing this right. From spreadsheets to file folders to meetings on meetings on meetings....he has been amazing. His mind is like no other -- extremely detail-oriented and thinks of everything. I am proud of him and am happy to just stand back and watch him work.

We look forward to the progress that will take place over the next few weeks. If the weather cooperates, we should start to see something that actually looks like a house in the very near future. I have a feeling the fun (and headache) is just beginning!

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