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Building A Barden Home

My step by step experience with Barden Homes

Frustration! Barden Home Floor Plan Changes

clock February 7, 2009 00:59 by author Donny Kemick

As we quickly approach the timeframe where we wanted to be started with construction, my wife and I are very frustrated with the amount of time it takes Barden to make changes to the floor plans, to send back to us for approval.  I will be the first to admit that we switched things up pretty late in the game, but it was a necessary change, for budget reasons.  Because we’re new to home construction, we never really questioned our salesperson’s acknowledgement that we were within budget on the Sullivan’s Run house we spent so much time designing.  The truth of the matter was, it was way over budget.  Our General Contractor was very helpful in bringing us into reality!

So, as we make final changes to our new home design, we’re waiting about 10 days each time, for Barden to make the changes and send them back.  Because I own a Web Marketing & Development firm with an IT Services team as well, I’m familiar with Auto CAD and how easy it is to make many of the changes that we’re after in the design.  This makes it even more frustrating, because the majority of the changes we’re after could be done in less than 30 minutes. 

I hope that Barden is really that busy and having a great year, but the economy and housing market would push me to think otherwise.  If they’re not, what is taking so long?  You’d think they would want to get the changes out the door ASAP in hopes of getting the contract signed.

Oh well.  I vented, and feel better already :).



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Over Budget on Our Barden Home… Time to Re-Evaluate!

clock January 3, 2009 16:54 by author Donny Kemick

One of the hardest things for me throughout the plan selection and design process, is not knowing where we were at relative to our budget.  It’s easy to get carried away when you don’t have dollars and cents in front of you!  So, we finally got some numbers on the Sullivan’s Run house with the customizations that we had come up with, and to say the least, we were well over budget.  Somehow, I had this feeling that that was the case, but I now we know for sure.

Looking back at our plan selection process, we had limited ourselves substantially due to some guidance from our Barden Sales Rep.  At the same time, we were adding to the Sullivan’s Run plan to accommodate our needs.  So, when the numbers came in, we looked for ways to “trim fat” from our house, and still keep some of the niceties we were after.  Well, it started to look hopeless, so we started to review plans that were bigger than the original Sullivan’s Run, but smaller than the customized Sullivan’s Run we had designed.

After some research, we found a great plan that has all of the things we’re looking for, plus a price that fits our budget.  The new plan that we’re working with is the Whitaker Corner’s home.  This house is 3278 square feet, versus 3080 for the original Sullivan’s Run, and 3756 of our modified Sullivan’s Run.  So, after the changes, we’re losing about 500 square feet.  That’s fine with us versus the cost difference, and the home is still about 800 square feet bigger than our last house, and much more of what we’re after.

I’m not sure if our list of priorities have changed, but here was our wish list:

  • Master Suite Upstairs
  • Cathedral or Vaulted ceiling in the family room
  • An Office area
  • At least a 2 car garage
  • Relatively open floor plan
  • Dining room
  • Living room
  • 4 bedrooms (including master)
  • at least 2.5 baths

We had a bunch of other nitnoid things that we wanted, but those were the core items, and we found them with the Whitaker Corner’s design.

Some External Changes

While we love the plan, we do have some change requests that we’re hoping won’t be too big of a deal.  Some to enhance the external aesthetics, and some to make the house more functional for us.  The external aesthetic changes were to make the house look a little more exciting, because the original plan is fairly bland, as you can see:


This house didn’t do itself any favors by using a drabby color (in my opinion), and no shutters…

We found a house from another builder’s site that we’d like to use as an example for the front of our Whitaker Corner’s house:


We would like to create the center stone column, and overhang, as well as the center peak on the roof.  The secondary peak would be nice, but I think in the spirit of cost-cutting, we’ll do with out that.  Our home will not have the dormer over the garage, and will not have the 3rd car garage.  The garage door will face forward though, like the picture above.  We’ll be going with black shutters as well.

Some Internal Changes

Here are a couple of images I sent our general contractor to explain the changes we’d like made to the floor plan.  See if you can keep up :)

1st Floor


2nd Floor


Our GC is a saint for dealing with us changing plans and me sending him drawings like this!



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Selecting Our Barden Home Doors

clock November 30, 2008 16:27 by author Donny Kemick

Camden-Door This may seem like a trivial task to some, but we have had a heck of a time!  The interior doors were a snap.  We looked at the sheet of standard Barden Home doors, and picked one in a minute.  The one we picked, is the Jeld-Wen Camden door, to the right.  The front door has been a much harder task.  While the standard Barden Home front doors are OK, we have been planning on ordering a “better” door.  By better, I mean a fancier glass, and maybe a wood door instead of fiberglass. 

Salinas-GlassWe are shopping the Therma-Tru Doors selection since our general contractor (GC), has been recommending them, and they are one of the Barden Homes suppliers.  On the Therma-Tru site, there are a few categories of doors we’ve been looking at:

We’ve stuck with those because our GC recommended them.  He also mentioned that the Steel doors are a bit dated looking. 

In the Fiber-Classic and Smooth-Star styles, we’ve chosen the Salinas glass with black nickel details.

After some ballpark costs for our home, we may revisit the standard doors to help save money.  The standard door that we’re looking at is the 8-Panel Center Arch with matching sidelights shown below:


Why We’ve Struggled with the Decision

There are a couple of reasons we’ve had a hard time making a decision on which door to go with.  I have omitted the several doors we considered from the Fiber-Classic and Smooth-Star categories for your benefit :).

One of the main reasons we’ve had a hard time deciding which door to go with is that our house isn’t the type that features the door like the Arlington Barden Home:


Our’s is the Sullivan’s Run design:


Our thought is that the door is under the porch and doesn’t really stand out as much.  It’s not “the feature” on the front of the house.  So, we don’t really feel like it has to be a high-end door. 

We also like to have the windows and doors open in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  To do that, we’ll need to have a screen door on the front, which would seriously diminish the impact of a nice wood door. 

Finally, budget is playing a part.  My wife and I agree for the most part that we’d rather have the inside of the house be nicer, and compromise things like the door, or use of facial stone on the outside.






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