Sanctuary Ridge Adventures in Farming

How to Build a Farmhouse

How to Build a Farmhouse

There is no such thing as a perfect house plan! We have custom built 8 homes. Jamey and I search stock plans to find one suitable for the for the build and then we make adjustments to it to better suit our family. Even then, as your family grows, your needs will change. Knowing what to look for is the first step.

What to look for in a house plan:

  1. What is your budget? Custom homes can run $120-$185 sq ft or Cost Plus where you pay actual cost plus a Builder Fee. Banks usually require a licensed builder for a construction loan. Check with your bank for their requirements.
  2. What are your lot dimensions and lot line set backs? Typically 15-20 ft setbacks from your lot lines in city limits. The more land you have, the more flexible you can be on the placement of your home. Always check with your local regulations.
  3. Will you connect to sewer or need room for septic? Septic tanks and lines are determined by the number of bedroom and approved by the Permit office.
  4. How many beds/baths?
  5. What kind of storage do you need?
  6. Attached, Detached or No Garage?
  7. What is your style? Single Story, Ranch, Craftsman, Modern, Log, Contemporary, ect.


I really wanted to downsize to a 1600 sq ft house this time, but we settled on a 2300 sq ft house plan that will suit our needs. This plan is called Autumn Place and here is the link If you want to check out other plans we considered, just follow my Farm House Ideas board at Sanctuary Ridge Farm on Pinterest. It’s full of ideas I’m gathering to add character to our new home. My goal is to create a space that feels like it’s been around for a long time. I will purchase antique doors to use in the interior and add other style elements that will create a warm, cozy atmosphere for our family.

One of the most important things to us was to have a basement shelter. When the tornadoes came through our area in April, it was terrifying to shelter in the hall closet. It wasn’t big enough for us all so our daughter was in the other closet with her dogs. We were fortunate that the tornado turned and didn’t hit our home. Many others were directly hit and the devastation was unreal. This experience eliminated any house plans without a basement, including a Dog-Trot plan that we really loved. The Autumn Place plan has a full finished basement with a great space for taking shelter in a storm.

The second most important thing to us was to make the most of the view. With panoramic views of the Cumberland Mountains, the Tennessee River and beautiful farmland, a house plan with lots of windows and a wrap around deck are a must! I love the layout of both levels in this plan. Every room will have a view and both levels have ample outdoor seating to soak in the tranquility of the views.

Another consideration for us was the ability to host our friends and family. We love to host our family for long weekends! Although we can’t justify building a large home to accommodate everyone, this particular plan has a bunk system built into the downstairs hall! It doesn’t take up much space but allows us to accommodate guests without impacting our overall budget by adding more bedrooms to the scope.

As we are planning to begin construction, we have already made a couple of changes to the house plan that will make it more functional for us. Like I said before, there is no such thing as a perfect house plan.

Finalizing our Window order


After determining the build site, there is a lot of planning that goes into building a home! Jamey is a great builder- he’s very organized and always a step ahead. From the moment we bought the house plans, he has been contacting and lining up our subcontractors so that when we break ground, the subs are all scheduled. He even calls them to confirm 1-2 weeks before they are scheduled to try to keep things moving along. That’s not to say that it will all go smoothly, because chances are we will have many delays. It will rain, people will get sick, other jobs will be late, and the list goes on. This is not our first build, so we know that. It will be ok! God knows the plan- He’s the one who laid it out before us. It’s our job to just be ready and try to be gracious and loving when things don’t go as planned.

With our build site approved, we are ready to break ground! I hope you will follow us as we build our farmhouse on Sanctuary Ridge! Stay tuned for another great adventure!

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2 thoughts on “How to Build a Farmhouse

  1. I have never built a home, but I really enjoy dreaming and reading about the process! I look forward to following your build and learning all I can!

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