A House Update!

We're Almost Done!

filed in:

I'm Katelyn James Alsop, a photographer, educator and momma who believes any photographer can have a profitable AND purposeful business.


Top Categories

Browse All

read more


Browse All


Browse All


A wintery boston wedding

w/ inside, dark ceremony


Come join over 3,000 other photographers from around the world & become my virtual third shooter! 
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ

Browse Series

 Baby James Story

Our Home

Our Kids

Ask Anything

We get asked the same two questions these days… when is the baby due and when is the house going to be done. The next question is “So you’re moving in BEFORE the baby comes right?!”. Thank goodness yes. Our move-in date has been pushed back from Thanksgiving, but we WILL be moved in before the baby comes! One of the first people we told about the baby was our builder, because we wanted him to know we had a hard deadline!!! We should be moving in after just a few more weeks if we don’t experience a major roadblock of some kind! We are SO excited!

I seriously want to take fold-up outdoor chairs and just go sit in our future living room some days. Almost every evening deer come out of the woods and into our future backyard. They are going to drive Bokeh Boy crazy, but we love them. It’s so peaceful out there and so different from where we used to live. We loved our old neighborhood, but our lot size was .2 acres. Our blinds were always closed and yet we had built a house full of windows. We had houses on every single side of us and while that home served a great purpose, this new house feels like a forever home! It’s crazy to think that we’re going to live there for a month or so and then bring our first baby home to this new place. It truly feels like we’re starting into a brand new season in more ways than one.

I feel more connected to this house than our other two already, because of the amount of hours, decisions and hard work that have gone into designing and building it. I know that it’s such a privilege to be able to build a home, and I don’t take that for granted one bit. This has been the largest project of our life so far and while some couples would struggle through this process, Michael and I do really enjoy building a house together. Michael has opinions that tone down my crazy ideas, but he also trusts me enough to take some risks. We’ve been told over and over again that “They say building a house is one of the top five stressors on a marriage!” and thankfully we haven’t experienced that. If anything, running out to check on the house everyday is a BREAK for us and it pulls us away from work.

Now, the last few final weeks of building a house means a lot of little tweaks, emails, texts and conversations with our builders and subcontractors. I wouldn’t be honest if I said it was always easy. Michael and I have made some mistakes in the process, a few things have been put off until the last minute and some things are still left to be done with just days to go. However, our builder and his team have never left us hanging. No matter how many emails and text I send, they always respond and start working to resolve our little issues and we’re very thankful for them. We’re also thankful that they don’t cut corners. We’ve had several instances where things weren’t right and there could have been an easy way out. Thankfully they always choose to really FIX what is wrong instead of covering it up. That may seem like common sense, but anyone who has had a poor building experience knows that covering up mess-ups is all too common in the home building world.

So where do we stand?! Here are some of our final decisions that we’ve made and our last projects that need to be done before we can close! :

– HARDWOODS : We got up this morning at 8am and signed off on the stain of the hardwood floors! So that’s exciting! They are 5” White Oak and we’re doing 50% Country White stain with three coats of oil based-satin poly. We’ve fretted over this for so long because honestly, wanting a “whitewashed”- natural look for hardwoods isn’t super common in Richmond, VA! We had to come up with our own recipe of a stain, and we’re so thankful we found a way to remove the amber/yellow/orange tones and keep it neutral. This was a risk but we’re glad our builders talked us out of vinyl planking because the job-finished hardwoods will last a lifetime AND our builder had already budgeted hardwood into our overall cost, so it didn’t change the bottom line. Thank goodness!

– RETAINING WALL : Who knew these things were so expensive!? Next time you drive by a shopping center with a two story retaining wall, you’re looking at a TON of money! Our little retaining wall is just on one section of the back side of the house. We built on a slope so that we could have a walk-out basement and this part of the lot can’t be graded out. So we picked the most affordable stone and we’re hoping it goes up soon! This is probably the LEAST exciting decision and money we’ve had to spend. 😃

– MASTER BATH SHOWER : Bathrooms require a lot of detail and we’re still waiting on our shower to be complete. It’s getting close though! Our master bathroom is a little abnormal. Everyone I tell this to I have to pull up images on Pinterest to prove to them that I haven’t lost my mind! After we shoot long wedding days, I think it would be nice to have a tub. Michael could care less about the tub, but I really wanted to find a way to make it work. So I photoshopped our bathroom and redesigned it a million times and I just couldn’t make it work. There was no way to fit a TUB and a SHOWER without eliminating our closet. And we all know you can’t eliminate a closet! So, I redesigned this space one more time and I put a free standing tub INSIDE of the shower. Yep. You step into our shower and there is going to be a tub on one side of it. It’s not as crazy as it sounds, I promise! I’m going to share pictures on our @AHOMEMADEFORHOSTING account once it’s all in place so check in there for updates! Trust me… it’s going to be cool and not crazy!

Besides those few things, we have some marks, dents, scratches and a fireplace to finish up, but then we’re getting really close to being ready to move forward!!! Here are some images from the last few months!

Also! To continually follow along on this journey, you can follow our @HOMEMADEFORHOSTING account in Instagram!

house-build-update_0024 Michael checking out leftover hardiplank!
house-build-update_0025 We have a sidewalk!
house-build-update_0026 house-build-update_0027 house-build-update_0028 There are now floating shelves on either side of the hood!house-build-update_0029 house-build-update_0030 To the right is the baby’s room! We just need carpet!house-build-update_0031house-build-update_0033 That brick will be painted white!house-build-update_0032house-build-update_0035 Our family’s dumpster diving in our front yard? Yep! Nothing strange about that!house-build-update_0034house-build-update_0037 That’s Minde on the floor… he can make dream projects come to life in a matter of hours… he’s amazing! He can also hang beams from a ceiling in record time. Ps. These beams are from our dear friends farm! We officially have a piece of one of our favorite places on the planet in our home! Yay Big Spring Farm! Ps. This is the bedroom… that tub just isn’t in the right room! house-build-update_0036 A glimpse at my office… that light though! I searched for MONTHS and finally found it!!!
house-build-update_0038 house-build-update_0039

View Our Most Recent House Updates:

The House Plans ,  A Construction Tour , We’ve Been Framed

Thanks for reading!

— Katelyn

Step by Step Photo Editing

Step By Step Editing Process Sit beside me as I edit!

If you have been overwhelmed by editing…or just not sure what exactly the image is *missing* to make you happy with the final edit, chances are, you’ve never been taught what to look for! 


I started my career as a wedding photographer almost 14 YEARS AGO….hard to believe it! 


Am I Retiring From Weddings? An Honest Answer!

time saving culling tips

Time Saving Culling Tips Don't lose your life to your laptop!

If you’re an overshooter like me, this can be the most time consuming part! Which photos to keep and which are unnecessary? From 13 years of experience, I have a few tips to help you make this a quick process!

When to travel with your camera

When to Travel with Your Camera Is it worth the risk?

Packing for a trip can be OVERWHELMING… but it can be even MORE overwhelming if you decide to bring your expensive camera!


We’re going back to the basics! This is one of the most common emails we have in our inbox.. ‘Where should I put my focal point to get a tack sharp image?’

Where to Put the Focal Point

Practical Approach for Your Focal Point 5 Tips to Get Tack Sharp Images!

3 Successful Business Traits

Successful Business Traits 3 Things Every Business Needs!

Looking through a lens in so many businesses has given me a unique perspective to see the traits that are needed for success!



"Best money I have EVER spent on education! ... and I've spent a lot!”


"I love all the lessons I'm learning from KJ All Access! Thanks Katelyn!”

- Shannon Drummond, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"I find very few educational resources worth it ... this one is!”

- Kate gansneder, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Being able to see behind-the-scenes of Katelyn interacting with her clients has been SO impactful!”

- Angie mcpherson, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"Recently signed up for KJ All Access and it's EVERYTHING!”

- Kassidy Mowery, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER

"SO worth it! It's amazing the amount of knowledge you get out of them!”

- Brittany Lowe, ALl ACCESS MEMBER

"I learned just as much in one All Access as I did in a whole course! SO GOOD!"

- Joanna Krueger, ALL-ACCESS MEMBER
10 Steps to Starting Your Photography Business
Helping a friend survive a season of Infant Loss
How to photograph a first look in Harsh Light
A Lake Como Destination Wedding - Greg and Kate
A Letter to the Go-Getters fearful of Motherhood

The KJ blog

The KJ Blog is where you get to know me, where you meet our KJ Couples and see their beautiful wedding days, where I have been building an archive of education for over a decade and where I let you see a peek into our life, our home, and hear about our purpose! 
don't miss the
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ
Arrow KJ


Join 60,000+ others and learn, grow and get connected via our Youtube Channel! This is where I'm constantly sharing new content, talking all things gear, business, tips, tricks and letting you into the behind-the-scenes of our everyday life! 

"I have invested in all of KJ’s education!

The way she teaches makes so much sense and I’m so grateful for her! My business will be forever changed!"

- Renee Nicolo

"KJ education has been life-changing

 It has elevated my work so I could quit my day job and work from home with our baby boy!"

- joanna k.


and none compare to what I get from KJ!"