The Riverhouse Project

_EBV3200The homebuilding journey turned Internet sensation starring a Birmingham couple and Harris Doyle Homes writes its final chapter.

By Lauren Lockhart    

Photography by Edward Badham

Less than a year ago, one local couple decided to build a home from scratch. Then they made an even bigger decision: They agreed to share their homebuilding process week-by-week with B-Metro and our online readers. This is the story, spanning 29 weeks of building a home, the story of foundations and family, of finding a fresh start on life. This is the story of the Riverhouse Project.

Like many of our readers, you probably followed along as the Brights selected their kitchen cabinets and bathroom tiles, broke ground on their river lot, made concrete handprints with their grandkids, and stretched their budget to the very last penny. As readers, we connected with Bill and Lisa not only as homeowners, but as real people working to build a new chapter in their life, brick by brick.

Our story started in May 2014 with Bill and Lisa anticipating their future home filled with friends and family for football game viewings, dinner parties on the back porch, and peaceful walks along the river. Now that the final chapter has been written and the Brights have moved in, we caught back up with them to see what everyday life is like at the Riverhouse.

“The house is designed so that everything is geared to the river, with big windows in the back that allow you to see the river, waterfalls, and woods,” says Bill. “When I close the front door, it is like leaving the world out there and having God’s gift of nature sitting there right before us.”

Lisa agrees: “So far, we have enjoyed the back deck, fireplace, and just walking down the river. The other day I took [granddaughter] Olivia for a stroll, and she told me all about her day with no interruptions, just God’s beauty.”

Not surprisingly, the Brights spend most of their time on the back porch; one look at the view and it is easy to see why. Sunlight pours through the open windows in the great room as a constant invitation to leave worries behind in favor of relaxing in front of the rustic, wood-burning fireplace overlooking the riverside.

The house is small but spacious, with high ceilings and an open floor plan that welcomes family to gather in one central, engaging space. The rustic modern aesthetic—which readers chimed in on throughout the process—perfectly blends clean lines with a warm, cozy feel.

Each day they spend in their new home, Bill and Lisa appreciate their new, relaxed way of living they created with Harris Doyle Homes, the team who built the couple’s home in Trussville Springs.

“From the first meeting with Brooks and Russ, we knew we were in the right place,” says Bill. “They actually designed our house from scratch with what we could afford and what we wanted in mind.”

_EBV2864The Harris Doyle Homes team has been there every step of the way with the Brights, realizing the couple’s vision for a place they could truly call home, a place perfectly suited for this couple entering a new chapter in their lives.

“Our home is small, roomy, and comfortable, and has the little extras we wanted to make it ours,” explains Bill. “It’s the smallest house we have ever lived in, but it has the biggest heart.”

When asked if they would do this whole adventure again, both immediately nod their heads and smile. “We have made so many new friends, and have enjoyed it immensely,” says Lisa. “We have been truly blessed to walk this journey with you all.”

The Riverhouse Project may be finished, but Bill and Lisa’s story is just beginning. Read the full week-by-week journey of #TheRiverhouseProject and view photos of the Brights’ homebuilding process on our website at


2 Responses to “The Riverhouse Project”

  1. Mary D. says:

    This sun room is beautiful! You can always change the ceiling to a baby blue like the old southern porches.

  2. Melanie Tisdale says:

    Truly a beautiful restoration of your hearts.

Leave a Reply