Home building 101: Why a Surveyor Is Worth Every Penny - Chocolate Glazed Life

Home building 101: Why a Surveyor Is Worth Every Penny

I know I have been very absent from the blogging world as I have come to learn that home building is not for the faint of heart. We have learned a lot about permits, building, set backs and the amount of stuff that goes into building a home this summer. It has been crazy busy, but also fun and exciting. It has become our new hobby and our new job. But to give you a taste- This is how the last week has been in our life. Add into this the stress of learning how to homeschool, a very sick cranky baby who never sleeps, and Bella’s school commitments, and I feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off all the time. Make that a very tired chicken, who is more crawling around sluggishly in the mud than running anywhere.


How we spent most of our park visits early this summer,

Pouring over plans and lists while the kids played

I spent Saturday and sunday stressing out about our budget, as we are already coming in over budget on a few things. I think with some of the stuff we will save on towards the end, and with help from my family for labor, we will be ok. But the bills you have to pay for construction are a little mind boggling and writing out checks in the tens of thousands is slightly intimidating. The thousands add up here and there with any slight change.


Foundation, it ended up being giant due to extra engineering for our firewall and 9 foot ceilings downstairs

Monday morning I woke up to my excavator on the other end of the line, “Carrie, we have problems!”. Somehow an inspection had been missed and he could not do his work until it was done. SO here he was sitting there with his equipment and workers and couldn’t do anything. And not only that a concrete post had slid down an embankment due to the heavy rains and crashed into our foundation, damaging the waterproofing.

Julio quickly left to go to the property to work on fixing the damage while I tried to get an inspector out there. We had missed the 7 am cutoff and they had training on Tuesday, so the soonest they could be there was Wednesday. We were stressing it big time, when the inspector pulled into our neighbors house for an inspection. Julio was able to flag him down and pull him over to do our inspection, just as he finished his repair. Whew! Two crisises averted. Luckily our excavator and foundation guy are cousins and talked to each other to plan a repair for the fallen post.

The next day Julio spent all day trying to get our temp power hooked up. Since we are learning as we go, it seemed to be one missing part or wrong part after another. So he was gone all day and got no sleep before work that night.


My kids love playing in the giant mud pit

The next morning he went up to meet a surveyor at our property, to clear up some doubts we had about the property line. Our neighbor, who is also building right now, had strung the property line and it had always seemed a little off to us. We decided it was time to spend the money and just get a peace of mind about it. Wow, are we glad we did. The property line is off. Way off. It turns out his footings are actually over our property line.
So now we have spent the last couple days researching our options.

We thought originally that we could just kind of let him keep building, as long as he fenced the property line correctly. But after talking to people we are learning that if we are not careful we could end up with a legal mess. We had to tell him to halt building until we can come up with a plan. Obviously we don’t want to be mean about it, but we also have to protect ourselves and our land. We can’t just sale him a piece, because we are not allowed to go under 2 acres. Most people have advised us that we will probably just have to have him move his foundation. We want to avoid this for his sake if at all possible. It was his mistake, but it was an honest one, and it would be very costly to move it at this point.

However I don’t really see a lot of options. We talked about trading him equal shares of land, but the way his house is set up doesn’t give us a lot of viable options. We are meeting with him tomorrow, and I am already having anxiety about it. It is so hard for me to not let compassion overcome common sense. We have to protect ourselves and the investment we are making into this property. Asking for prayers for wisdom, and if any of you have advice please share it with me! And as a word of advice, if you ever have any doubts about your property line, hire a surveyor immediately. I wish we had done it weeks ago, we could have spared a lot of headache for everyone involved.


I love our property and know it will be worth every grey hair


  1. Becky martinsays: Reply

    I love this, Carrie! All you hard work and sleepless nights will pay off I’m sure…hope the journey isn’t too stressful from this point forward.

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