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12 Armadillos (Part 2):The Skelly Twins Are Contractors!!!!

Our Brenham Barndominium project is finally picking up steam!  Here is a little background of our timeline:

September 2016:  The Wilson and Wilcox family purchase 7 acres of land in Brenham, Texas.  They name their venture 12 Armadillos to represent their combined 12 family members.

September 2016- May 2017:  The families are trying to get things started (building a road, building a barndominium), but the land is just too wet.  The road guy they were originally going to hire just kept saying to wait for it to dry up.  They FINALLY got a second opinion and are back in business!!!

May 2017:  Road deposit is made at the beginning of the month and they were told that the road work should be started on MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fingers crossed!!!


For those who ever want to delve into this type of adventure, just know that the road is the driving point.  You can’t do anything (well, septic, barndo, electric, etc) until the road is built!!!!

How do you find someone to build your dream barndominium?

We started this project being very naive.  The plan was to throw up a metal building (supposedly cheaper than a regular house) and then just make the inside AWESOME!!!! 

Wrong!  It doesn’t work like that….

We quickly found out that it can cost the same or more to build a metal building.  Our first few bids were CRAZY high!!! Much higher than our current homes.  We quickly regrouped.  There was no way that we could even justify building a metal building that was that expensive. 

We then decided that we needed as many quotes as possible so that we could have an idea of what things truly cost.  The problem that arose at this juncture was that the people putting up barndominiums near Brenham at reasonable prices, were SWAMPED.  They were too busy and would not get back with us.  

What do you do next?

By this point we had spent hundreds and hundreds of hours researching, meeting with people, driving out to Brenham and trying to figure out how we could get this done.  Surely there were harder things to do? It was at this point that we decided that the two of us would be the “general contractors” and sub out all of the work.  The benefit to this would be that it “ideally” should save us the $25,000- $50,000 fees that the contractors wanted to charge us to manage the project. 

Ordering A Metal Building

We researched metal building producers and ultimately decided to go with Mueller Inc.  We liked their website and they had a storefront that was about 40 miles from our house.  We met a few times with the general salesman at Mueller and finally pulled the trigger and paid our deposit (25%) for our 4000 sq. ft barndominimium.

What will it look like?

Here is an idea of what it will look like (but ours will be taller).


I KNOW….IT SEEMS LIKE A BIG DEAL!!!! It is, but we have spent so many hours doing our research.  There was a lot of back and forth with the design.  We had to decide where to place all of our windows, doors (the sizes), etc.  So much to be thought of.  Monday we drove to Richmond, Texas and ordered the building!!!

So now what?

Our metal building will be delivered to our land in 90 days.  It will be delivered on 2- 18 Wheeler trucks!!! 

Have you run into any hiccups?

Yes, lots of them.  Our current issue is finding contractors who are honest and don’t try and overcharge us because we are two blonde girls sorting out this project.  We had an erector try and give us a concrete quote for almost $10.00 a square foot.  Good thing we are not “DUMB BLONDES” and have done our research.  You should not pay more than $6.50-$7.00 a sq. foot for concrete.  This kind of stuff gets aggravating because we spend a lot of time meeting with these people.  

Have you had any good experiences in this process?

YES!!!!! 99% have been wonderful.  From all of our family and friends who are happy for us and cheering us on, to the ladies in city hall who have been so very helpful.  Christa remembered recently that they have a family friend who is in this business and was able to call for lots of good advice.  We are loving this experience!!!!!

So, there you have it….I wish we had more to report, but honestly, we feel that just in the past couple of weeks, lots has happened. We have taken Finley and Charlotte with us a million times to the land (on the days they aren’t in mothers day out) and they have been WONDERFUL!!!! They have had a blast.  We bought rubber boots at Aldi that we keep in our cars for all of our last minute trips to the land.  

On our last trip we stopped by Wal-Mart so that we could buy graph paper to go old school and draw our plans.  Christa enlisted the help of William and they spent hours the other night figuring out the placement of all of our bedrooms, the furniture, pluming, etc.  We are amazed by how much are kids are learning by this process.  

We are smart with our money:

We had to have a floor plan for the interior of the barndo for the plumber and the concrete pour.  Hiring an architect to draft these plans can be thousands of dollars.  After Christa and Will created the house plan with old school graph paper, she went on Fiveer (a website where you can hire all kinds of jobs) and hired a guy for $50.00 to take the information and put it into an Auto Cad document that can be used.  (Again, we are not dumb blondes).

My question for you, when we are done with this barndo, do you want us to build you one?  Just joking…Did you know that when you purchase a metal building, they give you lots of swag (cups, knives, coozies)?

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