“We didn’t’ know how this was all going to work out or what this was going to look like but we just had that gut feeling like this is what we need to do and this is where we need to be and so we went with it, and it all ended up working out.”


Today, I’m happy to interview Allison, a mom, wife, and business owner who shares her story about creating a better life for herself and her family near Wausau, Wisconsin. In this interview, she talks about her anxiety and fears before starting out, her thought process on the design of her house, and how she trusted in the process and in herself – gaining confidence all along the way – to build the dream house she’s always wanted.

In our interview, we break down Allison’s 4 biggest fears. Fears have the power to hold us back from the very things that we want so badly. But Allison was able to work through her fears to create something truly amazing, a home for her family. And it has only gotten better. She’s on track now to publish her first book, due out this Fall called Life Under Construction: Designing a Life You Love in which shares her inspiring story of creating a life and a home she loves.

In her words, “You never know what’s going to come out of something that’s really difficult because it could be something that’s really awesome!”

Listen in as we dive into her story and hear how ups and downs, lessons learned, and tips to help you design the home and life you love.



Key Takeaways

  1. You won’t know everything, and it’s OK. Be flexible and patient. The more information you have to prepare yourself, the better. Just remember that things will come up that you can’t plan for and all you can do is persist in getting exactly what you want and what you paid for and not give up.
  2. To help you figure out what you want in a home design, gather images of stuff you like and dislike, make a list of what you want and need, look for patterns and trends in images of what you like and don’t like, and review various floor plans.
  3. Be a researcher to help figure out things you don’t know. Ask questions of builders and talk to people who have built homes recently.
  4. To have peace of mind in the cost of construction, have a fixed fee or stipulated sum construction contract with a contingency set aside for things that come up.
  5. Be involved during the construction process to make sure you understand what the house will look and feel like when it’s built. Attend meetings, make product selections, go on a walk-through, and anything else to get a feel for the space and design.
  6. Select a trustworthy team to guide you through the process. Determine what your priorities in your project and in a prospective builder. Then interview various builders to find the one that meets your top priorities.
  7. Make sure you understand how much of the house will be complete when you set a move-in date. Discuss the construction schedule with your builder and ask for revised construction schedules as time goes on.
  8. Treasure the tiny little wins. They will carry you through any hardships and bring you back to the reason you’re building the house in the first place.


OPEN DOOR Resources


Other Resources



All photos courtesy Allison. Professional Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Brown.

Special thanks to Allison for joining me.

And thank YOU for listening. To share your thoughts, leave a note in the comments section below.