David and Edward Guerra built a home that will help them cultivate their passions – the couple thoughtfully designed their kitchen so that they could enjoy cooking meals together. Their outdoor living space, complete with a cozy, stone fireplace, has them excited to host the next get-together. But beyond fun and functional living, the home that the Guerras built will one day hold their family. David and Edward designed their three-story colonial home with the intention of growing into the 6,000 square-foot space.
David and Edward, the writers behind the lifestyle site The Midwest Husbands, recently moved into their new Drees home in the Cleveland suburbs. We’ve partnered with the couple to take us along their home building journey. You can follow them throughout their journey by reading their first milestone story and their construction progress update.
We are home: We moved in!
By David and Edward Guerra
It has been almost three months since we moved into our Monticello by Drees Homes! It is a large home with nearly 6,000 square feet across three finished levels. We built this home as we envision our family growing through adoption over the next few years, and we want to be ready for this change. As we live each day here and look ahead, we are reflecting on a few thoughts that may help you if you ever consider building your own dream home.
Be persistent, be involved, but above all – be kind
Be kind and patient. It’s worth it. The builders and trades along the way work hard to complete projects on time and within budget. Since we lived nearby, one of the best things we were fortunate to do was to be involved. We found that when communicating concerns or requests, it was best to draft our thoughts in a note, take pictures, then, during business hours, message the builder or ask for a phone call. This went a long way in developing rapport, respect, and ultimately, our satisfaction with everything that is our home!
For two people who enjoy food and cooking, the flow of our kitchen is a dream. We love having the working and prep space near the sink amidst the large island, then an adequate landing area to the left and right of the cooktop. Since we opted for the butler’s pantry, it gives us a space to make our morning coffee or evening nightcaps in a beautifully designed environment that further sets the mood.
Adjacent, of course, is the outdoor living area, which is striking with the stone fireplace and cedar mantle. The ceiling fan helps circulate the heat as well. It will be a fun spot to entertain this spring and summer since we can open the 12′ sliding doors and let the good times flow. We are looking forward to styling this space for the different seasons.
Our family room with a 13′ coffered-style ceiling is filled with abundant natural light from the extended transom windows. It is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy each other’s company or open the wall unit to reveal the television so that we can catch the latest series to stream. We love how the room is open to the rest of the first floor but has a feeling that it is also separate.
Then, our primary bathroom. Along with our mood board from Pinterest, we enjoyed visiting many Drees Homes models in the region to determine the options and finishes we wanted to do in this space. The outcome couldn’t make us more comfortable, and it is a rejuvenating and restful space.
Details, details, details
We cannot emphasize enough how crucial specific planning was early in the process. If budget is a concern and you need to scale, do not hesitate to prioritize structural changes like water, gas or electrical as you grow into your home. For example, we thought we did an excellent job deciding where the electrical switch locations would be. Then at move-in, we discovered that switches are ordered within the electrical boxes in priority of entering the room from another, which means an exterior switch might be the second switch since the importance of entering the room would be to illuminate the interior! That logic makes sense, but it took a lot of work to train our minds this way. We had an electrician reverse these two switches within the box!
The vision is ours, and Drees helped paved the way to make it happen
The fun of homeownership is genuinely making this house our home. As we hang art and photographs on these walls, we also look ahead to future projects! We’re looking forward to installing our lawn and landscaping this spring which will further expand our outdoor space to enjoy and entertain this summer! Inside, we’re looking at two big DIY projects: built-in cabinetry for the Study and adding applied moulding in the Powder Room.
Becoming a part of a legacy with a builder celebrating 95 years
We are so honored to be a part of the Drees Homes family, and their 95 years of experience in the industry is evident in our home and how we worked together throughout the build. Now we’re entering the phase of warranty support, and at our New Home Presentation two weeks before Closing, we met one of the staff members who goes the extra mile to ensure everything goes well once we are living here. Drees Homes has proven that they bring on and train incredibly caring individuals who work as a team to give us the best experience possible. Thank you so much for everything. Congratulations to all of you, and we look forward to our forever in the home you helped us create.
Start designing your dream home today!
From the hottest trends, Instagram inspiration and Pinterest pins all the way to your final floor plan, Drees makes it easy to bring it all together. We know your home is more than a dwelling; it’s an expression of who you are and what you value. Designing a custom home is a very personal endeavor, and we want to be here to help you every step of the way. To learn more about building your dream home, visit dreeshomes.com.
About the Midwest Husbands
David and Edward are continuing to build their life in the Midwestern United States. They began in Madison, Wisconsin, and moved closer to David’s family in Cleveland, Ohio. They live for lake life, traveling, spicy foods, and of course, home design. You can check them out on Instagram (@midwesthusbands) or their website midwesthusbands.com.