31 Days|Day 9 Choosing a Builder

This post is part of series called “31 Days to Rebuild Your House and Heart” and I’m writing it to chronicle our rebuilding process after we lost everything in a house fire last December. You can start here and read the whole series. Thanks for visiting!

It took us 3 months to choose a builder.

Maybe it was because we were devastated about losing everything.

Or maybe we’re just indecisive very thorough.

We interviewed 7 builders, including the preferred builder of our insurance company.

In the end, we chose Larry Anglea and we are SO THANKFUL we did.

He’s been building in our area for 30 years.   He has an impeccable reputation and is the nicest guy you ever want to meet.

What sold me on him—besides his magnanimous personality,   was his house.

I walked into his house and loved EVERYTHING about it.   Every detail was perfect.  I had never seen anything quite like it.

The best builders use all the best subcontractors and they can get them when they need them AND for a better price than you can get without a contractor.

Don’t rush this phase of building.   Your contractor can make or break you.   It is probably THE most important decision you make in house building.

And don’t waste a lot of time on house plans until you find a builder.

They will help you immensely with choosing the right plan for your lot and chances are—they have an architect or draftsmen that they prefer.

I don’t think Larry has ever seen the likes of me :)

We got along beautifully though and I’m gonna miss his cheerful boisterous voice on Monday mornings.

He loved everything I picked out with the small exception of the ‘disco ball’ light fixture I put in the living room.

The electrician was putting the ‘disco ball’ up one day while I was in Knoxville and after texting pictures to me, I finally called to help with the height adjustments and heard Larry in the background saying,  ”Ask her where she got this thing anyway.”   (I blamed it all on Darlene)


I can’t imagine that there’s a better builder anywhere around.

He endured my tears on demolition day and my obnoxious cheering and screams everytime something new and beautiful was installed.   Which was a lot.

He is meticulous about every detail and does things I’ve never had done in any other house.    He even connects all the gutters to underground waterlines so they drain away from the house.

He’s a genius and I’m sooooo thankful we had the privilege of working together.


p.s.  I’m slowly recovering from the exhaustion and having a ball fluffing this nest!   I move things here and yon and then move them again.  Should David go in the foyer or the living room?  And where to place the gargoyle-looking foo dogs?

I must tell you that we are down to less than 5 boxes thanks to my wonderful mother and sister.  They are just downright amazing.  (Love you Grannie and Sis and thank you so much!) I just got my washer and dryer hooked up tonight and I’ve never been so happy to do laundry.   I’ve also learned that there is one down side to having large windows everywhere—– one needs to have plans for window coverings which I do not yet have.    (Temporary paper shades are your friend.)

Oh and one more thing—–should we have the 12 days of Christmas this year?   Anyone wanna be in charge of  it for me?   That would entail some organizing and emailing and scheduling the days and getting them ready for me to post?     That might be the only way it’ll happen this year but I’m willing to donate my blog to the cause :)

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  • Terry A. says:

    I can’t wait to see more pictures of your new home!  Great vignette.   I’m sure I’ll love the rest of your house, too.

    Yes, please, do the 12 days of Christmas again!!  I was almost going to ask you about it, but I know you’ve been busy.  :)  I hope someone (with more skill than I) will organize it for your blog, if you’re not able to do it.

  • Candace says:

    Edie, you’re in my google reader so I don’t always pop over to visit, but I love your new header and blog look!! :) I would be willing to help with the 12 Days of Christmas…maybe not take the whole caboodle, but I could pitch in for some of the behind the scenes stuff! 

    • Thanks so much Candace!! I’ll let you know how you can help :)
      BTW, we’re off HWY 25 in Bean Station. You’ll have to come visit sometime! Thanks so much for your encouragement.

  • Carly Winborne says:

    oh my.  i just love you.  don’t ever stop blogging.  i miss you when you go a day or two without posting.  it’s like i’ve missed a phone call with a friend.  even my husband knows all about you, your loss, your house, your homeschooling, your incredible eye for detail.  when i read your posts, it’s like i hear myself talking.  i look forward to seeing all that you share.   by the way, what fun you’ll have this Christmas fluffing this nest!  and i’m sure thanksgiving will have a new meaning this year, too.  by the way, have you read “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp?  i’m finishing it up now and have thought of you across several pages.  sorry for such the long rambling post.  apparently i haven’t used all my words yet today.  :)  happy settling.

  • i whole heartedly agree with the notion of NOT rushing into who your builder is.  we had a wonderful experience as well.  and i just laugh because there were a couple of things i’m sure our builder was shaking his head at (ex. painted wood floors and marble in the kitchen) but he went with it :)  i love the disco feature…i’m all about a little punch of glam here and there……

  • allyugadawg says:

    Oh my goodness I love those peacocks and that chandelier is gorgeous! I just love that you’re slowing letting out photos of the new home. It’s like opening a new present every time I see a new post of yours pop into my Reader.

  • Judith says:

    Less than 5 boxes!  You ladies have mad crazy moving skills!  I’ve actually been thinking about your 12 Days of Christmas these last couple of days and was hoping you’d do it again this year.  I have some of last year’s days bookmarked to make as gifts this year.  I’d be happy to pitch in and help with this year’s!  :)

  • Southern Gal says:

    Oh, the header!  Loving the sneak peeks.  I was so hoping you would be able to continue with 12 days of Christmas.  I would volunteer, but I know me and I’m pretty horrible with things like that.  

  • So glad you are all moved in!  Can’t wait to see more pics after you have fluffed the nest.  I’m new here, so I don’t know what the 12 days of Christmas entail…at least here on this blog.  lol.  Toodles, Kathryn 

  • Kblount1 says:

    I would so miss the 12 of Christmas is you don’t do it.  If someone doesn’t volunteer, I ‘ll do my best to help.

  • {darlene} says:

    haha!! I happily accept responsibility! hmmm…. those peacocks look familiar :) I ADORE them. No wonder why they came up as “sold” on my etsy favorites page…
    I totally agree about the builder decision. And about waiting on your plans. We did not need an architect because our builder was so skilled in this area, and had an architect on his team. Great advice!

  • Lauren says:

    You are so so so very right about choosing the “right” builder.  We have experienced mostly ups (but also a few downs – ugh) in our process, but oh well.  Life goes on and in the end it will all work out.  I’d love to know what you plan on using as your large window coverings — please post when you get to that point!  We are going to have tons and tons of large windows and I am kindof thinking of leaving them bare (except for in the bedrooms and bathrooms) just to enjoy all that natural light.  We are going to be out in the middle of a field so no neighbors or anything ya know — but then again I wonder about the heat and maybe too much light at times, so I’d love to see what you do!  Also, I’m in for the 12 days of Christmas!  I’d be happy to help ya out in any way with it — just holler and let me know! :)

  • ellen says:

    with every little snippet revealed, i take joy for you! so beautiful and wonderfully exhausting, i know :).

  • Ruth Emond says:

    I love the disco light fixture. It’s spectacular!!!
    Glad you found an amazing builder to work with you through this.

    Would love to help with the 12 days if Christmas. You have many volunteers, maybe you could divvy up the work. Just an idea.

    Looking forward to many more pics as you fluff your nest.


  • Gina M says:

    Oh… I have been where you are. I had forgotten about the paper shades for the windows. All the trees burned up, so there was no natural “coverage”. I’m loving your sneak peeks of the house so far. The arranging and rearranging of all the  new pretties. And washing laundry at home! There’s no place like home. Congrats!

  • Anonymous says:

    i like the ‘disco ball’. very cool!

  • Tara says:

    I love your new header so much I can’t stand it….the colors are screaming “AWESOME.”

    Keep the pictures coming!

  • sara says:

    I so hope you do 12 days of Christmas again this year! That is how I found you (through Darby) last year! And once I was pulled in, how I found Amy at Mom’sToolbox and the Bible in 90 Days program and FINALLY read that blessed book from cover to cover! So you hold a special place in my heart… And I even had a little something I thought about contributing… It has been so wonderful to watch everything come together this past 10+ months…God is so good to us!
    Blessings Edie!

  • MarshaC says:

    I really don’t love mullets but i do think your new home is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it with us can’t wait to see more.

  • Melanie says:

    I have never built a house, but do have those same gold birds seen in the first picture. I got them for $3 at our church bazaar last Christmas!!! LOVE THEM!!! Your blog is an inspiration both for the home and the soul!

  • Melanie says:

    I have never built a house, but do have those same gold birds seen in the first picture. I got them for $3 at our church bazaar last Christmas!!! LOVE THEM!!! Your blog is an inspiration both for the home and the soul!

  • Esther Betzinger says:

    eddie, I wish I had had your wisdom 8 months ago when we started the construction of our new farmhouse. we chose the third bid we had gotten because he said we could get what we wanted and he could do it for what we could afford. we didn’t think we would have any issues because he built my sister in law’s home of similar size in 5 months with no problems. we’ve had nothing but problems with him and most of his subs. I’ve had to micromanage practically every detail, down to calling his subs. he’s charged building products to our account that didn’t go into our house, we’ve had to see a lawyer, the trusses put in our foyer, dining, and living rm were all the wrong heights (due to his lovely draftsman), and he says it’s the owners responsibility to pay for the corrections, when he hasn’t even been around when things are installed to make sure they are right to begin with. my poor husband thought he was having a heart attack the other day, but turned out to be anxiety. the list could go on and on. this is a custom build on land we’ve been holding on to for our dream home. it has been nothing short of stressful and definitely not enjoyable. we’re hoping to close the end of this month (ha!) and just get these people out of our home. I had contacted you several months ago asking if you were happy you chose marble for counters. I decided to go with cararra on island and black marble on the rest of counters. they truly are beautiful. you also suggested using a local cabinet builder and we took that advice also. very happy we did and very reasonably priced. you can’t beat that craftsmanship. six yrs ago when we thought we were going to build, the Lord shut the door (followed by huge state pay cuts for my husband). we would have probably lost the house had we tried to force our hand in it. nearly a yr ago the Lord opened that door. now i’m trying to figure out the lessons as we go along. was there something He tried telling us and we didn’t listen? lot’s of questions wrack my head and constant communication with Him trying to take this day by day. I don’t know what His plan is in this, or why we are experiencing what we are, but we do know that He is good, all the time. I think something that worries me a bit is moving into it and hating it because of all the stress it’s caused. If you could keep us in your prayers as we come to final stages it would be greatly appreciated. when everything is said and done, i’ll send you some pics :) thanks again for your devotion to your blog and the daily encouragement it offers many of us. God bless you as you enter a new chapter with your girls.
    Esther Betzinger

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