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The Adventures of 12 Armadillos

barndo 12

So anyone that knows Corrin and I know that we can’t sit still and we are always coming up with new ideas and adventures.  Our husbands shoot down most of our crazy ideas (smart) but every once in a while they stop and listen to our idea.

Twins to Brad and Dave

“Let’s buy some land and build a home where we can go on the weekends and then rent it out when we are not there.”




“It would be awesome.  It would be a place where when as the kids get older, they can come back to with their families. “



Fast forward to today:

We have convinced the guys that we should buy land in Brenham, Texas where we can build a metal building (also called a Barndominium…or Barndo for short).  We plan on blogging about this adventure as it unfolds so please stayed tuned for updated posts on this project!

How did we do it?

The guys both agreed that Brenham is close (45 minutes from our house) so we would go there a lot.  We could go a few weekends a month to the country to relax and enjoy being around the beautiful trees, cows, and the simple life.  We would go halves in this adventure so that would make it easier to do.  We already own a condo together (have for ten years) so we know that we can buy property together and it will be fine.  We also have been on a million vacations together so we know that we all get along really well.


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The crew (minus Paige in the picture because she is currently at college:)


Is it really in the country?

Not really.  It feels like it is in the country because there are farms around it and lots of the land is not developed but it is actually 1.5 miles from a winery (Pleasant Hill Winery)and 3.5 miles from the cute historic town of Brenham, Texas (which has a fun Brewery, Brazos Valley Brewing Company).

I’ve heard the name Brenham before.  Where have I heard it?

Brenham is where the Bluebell Ice-cream Factory is located and also know for its bluebonnets.

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How many acres did we buy?




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Why a barndo and not a house?

Some of you may have seen a barndo on an episode of Fixer Upper.  Barndos are metal buildings on a slab.  They are safe and can withstand hurricane force winds.  They are very cost effective and cheaper to maintain.

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Here are some other examples of barndos.

barndo 1

I came across this picture and fell in love.  I have shown all my friends and family this picture and said “This is what I want to build.”  We will realistically probably build something not as grand but with the same idea as this picture.

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One of the most fun parts of a project is planning it.  We had to come up with a floor plan.  We all agreed on the following:  A big living area, four bedrooms, and a game room for the kids.  Dave designed the plan.

Will this be what we end up with?

We are not sure.  We are getting prices on this.  If it is too much, we will adjust.  We also plan on doing a lot the finishing work ourselves.

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Our barndo will be decorated in “Texas style” so we came up with a Texas inspired name, 12 Armadillos.

What does the name mean?

There are 12 of us.  We wanted to name it something where our kids would feel a connection to it, because they are one of the 12. We want them to want to come to it now and when they get older and have their own families.  The state mammal of Texas is the armadillo, thus that part of the name.

We have even come up with the names of our bedrooms so if we find something cheap, we can grab it.  The names are 1) The Yellow Rose Room 2) The Bluebonnet Room 3) The Prickly Pear Room 4) The Fiesta Room

Some inspiration pictures

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So far….

We thought that we should buy a pop up camper to put on the land while we get the barndo built and work on the weekends.  Corrin found an awesome deal on Craig’s List for a camper.  The woman was sweet and said that her husband had died a month earlier and that is why she was selling it.  She said she was going through Amazon to protect her and the buyer and that Amazon would be contacting her.

This sounded really weird to me and I found online that this is a popular scam.  They get you to send them Amazon gift cards and they tell you that if you are happy with the purchase, the money will be put in the sellers account and if you don’t want to purchase it, you get your money back.  Grrrrrrrrr.  Thank goodness I was smart enough to figure out that it was a scam.

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What’s next?

 Step One: Get land shredded (mowed) with a tractor so that we can figure out where to put things.

Step Two: Build a gravel road.  Brad wants us to do this ourselves.  He has watched countless YouTube Videos on this and is thinks we for sure can do it.  (Stay tuned for this….Brad is really handy so maybe we will do it…it will either be really good or a just bad….a train wreck…) Our friend Lance assured us that we can do this ourselves if we want to. 

Step Three: Get a well installed on the land because we need water.

Step Four: Get electricity hooked up by the electrical company.

Step Five: Have the barndo built.

Step Six: Do the finishing stuff ourselves.

Step Seven:  Enjoy the project.  Stay at the barndo even when it is not all complete.  Spend the weekends working on it. 

Step Eight: Enjoy the country.

Stayed tuned for this adventure!

My question for you is this:  What advice do you have for us?

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  • Reply
    Melissa McElroy
    September 9, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    We have family that renovated a farmhouse in Chappell Hill, a close neighbor to Brenham. Good Contractors in that area are very word of mouth; I can ask for their recommendations if you guys want.

    2. Have a gate with a cool sign.
    3. Have a rifle and make sure everyone can accurately shoot it for snakes.

    Looks a great family place.

    • Reply
      September 12, 2016 at 1:30 am

      Awe!!! So cool!!! WE would love recommendations…we heard Chappell Hill was so nice and basically very expensive to buy because everything is bought!!!

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