Kathy Banak Begins to Build Her Dream Home

Recently Kathy and her new husband, Rick, purchased land in the beautiful area of Suncadia, WA. She will be updating us monthly through her journey of building her home from the ground up; something she has dreamed of doing since childhood. Here is the first entry:


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Site Location

We knew we wanted to build in Suncadia after our first time being there as a couple, we simply fell in love there.  We also knew shortly there-after that we wanted to downsize from our 3,000 sq ft home into a much smaller home for our retirement years. My husband Rick is a mechanical engineer and works on large scale commercial projects and we both have remodeled several homes and built our last home together.  So we are a bit unique in that we have a lot of expertise on the process of building a home and knowledge as to what we want our new home to look and feel like.

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We started this process 2 years ago and finalized our lot this February.  Take your time to find the right lot that means something to you. We loved not only the view from the back of the property but the grove of trees in the front of the lot. It is important to both of us to preserve as many trees as possible and by selecting this lot and working with our architect and builder we’ve come up with a way to do so.


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Architect Selection

A very important process is to take time and interview several architects. We interview three and they all have their own strengths and experiences.  But what it came down to us selecting our architect was a connection we felt with him right after our initial meeting.  I always encourage new clients to interview interior designers and go with whom you feel the most connected to as the creation of your home or living room is a very personal and you want to like and feel a connection to your partner.

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We both felt that he is a very good listener, had some great ideas for the layout of the house on the lot and wanted to partner with us as a team rather than him pushing his ideas on to us. And all of his references, of which I interviewed 5 of them, said that he was a great listener and easy to work with. 

The resort we are building in provided a list of architect that I reference and if you don’t have such a list, I would recommend asking friends or colleagues for names of architects.



Builder Selection

Similarly as selecting an architect is the selection of your builder and the resort provided us a list of builders to interview. I was fortunate to have worked on another clients new home project several years ago with a builder who continues to build in the resort and has an excellent reputation for building great homes.  I also had an excellent working relationship not only with the builder but with his foreman. The foreman runs the project day to day and as the homeowner, you have a direct relationship with him during the entire process. So it is important to not only connect with your builder but to discuss and possibly interview the builders foreman.  We interview 3 builders and checked all their references.  It came down to not only my past relationship with both the builder and foreman but that all of his references provided us with the final approval that we needed. 


Builders charge differently as some will charge a flat rate and other a percentage on the cost of the project.  Our builder wants to make 10% on the project which we felt comfortable with since we have a good idea of the cost and what types of materials we want to use so we can have a better handle on the overall expense of the project.


Design Process
We have just started the design process so stay tuned for more insight!!