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Building a House - Nothing Set in Stone

Options in Brick, Stone, Aggregate, Concrete

This is part of a continuing series that journals our new home being built. Sharing our journey and tips we've learned along the way. See all our journal entries.



Most Homes Have a Brick Front

A very common requirement in the newer houses here is that they be predominantly brick or stone on the front. Not that we have anything against the beauty of brick, we always envisioned our home to be more charming - like a country home.

So at first we didn't even question about the brick front. We just assumed our home front would be brick. But as we were reading through the subdivision covenants, we didn't see anything that said the homes in this area absolutely had to be brick on the front. So we asked if there was any flexibility on that. Yes, there was.

Happy with Shakes

We decided to go with shakes across the front - which we know will lend to the charm of our home. Shakes all across the porch. The garage and sides will be brick. Another little victory.


Driveway Surface: Concrete or Aggregate

covered back deck with outdoor fan on model home Here in middle TN, an aggregate stone driveway is a very popular option.

Well, usually it is a requirement in most newer subdivisions in our area. But Dave and I are not fans of aggregate surfaces. They are hard to clean, rough to walk on and expensive to maintain.

We really did not want an aggregate driveway; we prefer concrete as shown in the picture at right which shows both aggregate and concrete pavements. But we didn't even think to ask about that because our mindset was that aggregate was required. All the driveways we had seen were aggregate.

Happy with Concrete!

But one day - thankfully - Dave was telling Vickie and Jeannie how much he prefers concrete over aggregate. We were so surprised when Vickie said we did not have to have aggregate. She asked if we'd like broom swept or smooth concrete. Oh my gosh, we were totally surprised by that. You mean we really don't have to have an aggregate driveway? Wow.

So we decided on brushed concrete for the driveway, sidewalks and porch. The lesson here is that you never know for sure unless you ask questions and explore with your builder. We are very grateful that our builder is flexible enough to work with us on many things. We are adding a sidewalk around one side of our house. It will run next to the garage to the rear of our house.

Adding a Shed

Another extra option we are incorporating is a shed at the back of the garage to hold all our yard tools and lawn mower. That will give Dave more space in the garage for his woodshop.




So, to summarize, we have tweaked the outside of our home (from the original plan) quite a bit. Shakes instead of brick or stone on the front, concrete instead of aggregate, fewer columns on the front porch and a nice sized shed built behind the garage.


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Building Our House Journal







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