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Home Improvement

When my husband and I relocated to Madera, in 1991, we moved into a brand new home, built to our specifications. This was a new experience for us. The street was new, and at the time we bought the lot, there was only one other house on the street that was being built. It was “in the drywall stage.”

We had planned to purchase a big lot in the Ranchos, but as we looked at properties there, we seemed to hit roadblocks in finding just the right lot. At the time, Valley Children’s Hospital was getting ready to relocate, and there was a university that was considered to be in that same area. Property owners were thinking their land would be spiking in value, so we found a bunch of fickle property sellers. We placed bids on a couple of properties, just to find them backing out of the deals.

Through our frustration, we decided to look elsewhere, and when we found the model homes in the area where we wound up moving, we discovered just the floor plan that we liked, and so we decided to move where we now live.

Our builder was somewhat of a novice in residential developments. He had been a contractor for a long time, but wasn’t very good at handling a variety of buyers at once. When he showed us the floor plan we liked, we told him there were a few modifications we would like to make. With every change, he got excited and liked our suggestions. In fact, he allowed us to make major modifications, increasing the square footage of the house. In doing this, the roofline had to be changed, which was something our contractor hadn’t properly calculated. However, we agreed on a price that was only a bit higher than the original floor plan.

It was an exciting time for us, as we watched our home being built. Every day we would go visit the site and see what new developments there were. We quickly learned that a buyer had to watch to make sure all was done as was ordered. For example, we had ordered a masonry fireplace, and the house was framed for a zero-clearance fireplace. The master bedroom was to have windows that were five feet apart to allow for a king sized headboard, and it was framed with the windows only three feet apart. We visited the property right after the house was framed, and the contractor had to redo almost the whole back wall. There were multiple problems of this type, but fortunately we caught the mistakes in time. While it was exciting to be watching the house being built, it was also a bit frustrating to have to be the inspector and to have things redone.

In the end, we were happy with the finished product, and we have enjoyed our home for many years. These are important memories for us, remembering the building of our home. We plan to stay in this house until they carry us out in pine boxes. We live on a street in a good location, with great neighbors. We are glad we moved to this wonderful little town called Madera, and we plan to enjoy it for many years to come.

— My love to all,


• • •

For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.

— Hebrews 3:4

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