A Big Step
Everything has been moving forward over the past couple weeks. Today marks a big step as we are applying for the construction loan 🙂 We could potentially close on the loan in 30 days or so, but it will probably be a bit longer than that. The bank will need the final house plans and the builder’s contract – neither of which we have yet. The plans should be done in the next week or so and we’ll most likely start working on the contract in the next couple weeks. In the meantime, we’re getting the process started with the bank.
We’ve continued to go back and forth with the draftsman on the remaining changes. Everything is coming together, at last, and I expect to see the 99.9% finished product today or tomorrow.
We had a 3 hour meeting with the Builder on Saturday to go over all our ideas and wishes for the house. It was both exciting and brain-numbing. We went over a lot, but it still feels like we barely scratched the surface on decisions that need to be made. Here are a few of the things we discussed:
- It turns out that Hardie Shingles are almost twice as much as Hardie Lap Siding. We had planned on shingles everywhere there isn’t brick or stone, but had to rethink that after learning the cost difference. We are now going to do lap siding everywhere except the main gables on the front of the house. The draftsman is making these changes on the elevations, so we’ll see how it looks. I’m worried about having a combination of both and wonder about changing it all to lap siding. Our house will sit far enough from the road that most people probably won’t be able to see the difference unless they come up the driveway. The builder also said that the pre-painted (ColorPlus) Hardie ends up being about the same price as the primed version once you pay to have someone paint it with a decent paint. The advantage to the ColorPlus is that it shouldn’t need painted for almost 15 years. The downside is, you are limited to the 23 colors it comes in. The Builder had color samples of it and I saw a couple that are similar to what I was thinking. I’ve requested samples from Hardie so I can use them when looking for brick and stone.
- When drawing up our plans, I had often wondered if there was anyway we could open up the staircase some more. The bottom few steps will have a railing open to the foyer. The top few steps will have a railing open to the upstairs “loft”. We found out Saturday that we can change the upstairs wall to a railing which will open that whole “loft” area to the staircase below. There will still be a support wall in the foyer, so it won’t be completely open, but I think it will be a lot nicer with the change.
- We discussed having a curbed shower in the master bath or leaving it open. The cost is about the same, so I think we are going to have it curb-less. The master bathroom floor will flow right into the shower, which will angle down to the drain. It’s large enough that we shouldn’t need a door. Now we need to decide if the walls will all be tiled, glass, or a combination of both. Glass would make it brighter and more open, but it’s also a pain to keep clean.
- We realized that the back porch roof only has a 1:12 pitch. That’s almost flat. We had wanted a metal roof on it and it turns out that we have to use metal because the slope is so low. The deepest part of the porch is almost 18′ deep and I have been concerned with the interior of the house being dark because of it. (The porch is on the Northeast side of the house, which doesn’t help.) I have been planning on having 2 skylights in the porch ceiling to brighten it up, but it unfortunately looks like they will have to be scrapped. 2 rectangle skylights in roof that flat will act as a dam to stop the water runoff. With the expansion and contraction of the metal, it will likely end up leaking. Since it’s on a porch, it’s not a huge deal, but still not something we want to worry about. We may be able to use sun tunnels instead since they are round, but I’m not sure that those will work either.
We have several other items we need to figure out. Through the wonder of Pinterest, I was able to show him some of my ideas on my phone. A picture is worth a thousand words and so much easier than trying to explain exactly what staircase balusters I want ;P I emailed him several more pictures along with the link to my Pinterest account this weekend so he could see exactly what we are thinking. We were surprised to find out that he had already received estimates for our house from some of his suppliers. He expects to have the final estimate to us next week. He also gave us some places and people to visit for fixtures, cabinets, etc and he’s going to email us a list with more. The most pressing issue at the moment is the windows. Some of the windows on the plans are not available in the sizes they are drawn. I need to sit down with the window people to go over what we want so they can write up a more specific estimate and they can be changed accordingly on the plans.
David was off yesterday, so we went to the large plumbing showroom. I’m always looking at stuff online, so it’s nice to finally see things in person. They had a couple faucet brands I hadn’t seen before. I like the clean lines of this Santec Arko faucet. I wish it came in a kitchen version.
Another brand I hadn’t seen before was California Faucets. I don’t care for the finish, but I also thought this was neat (Topanga Art Deco Collection – Empire Moderne 8″ Widespread Lavatory Faucet).
They also had a Rohl display with my top pick for the kitchen. The sprayer is so heavy, you could knock someone out with it!
Not too exciting, but I like the looks of this Toto toilet, but not the $1000 price tag.
We also recently toured about the only house for sale around here that is close to my style. No matter what the price, almost every house around here is the same – the size and quality of fixtures are the only difference. This house has a more transitional style. It also has a pretty nice mud room which you don’t see too much in spec houses.
I love the tile in this house and hope I can find it or something similar to use in our house. It looks like stone, but is ceramic. I also wouldn’t have thought I’d like the vented cabinets, but it works in this house.
The kitchen had similar cabinets but with a blue wash on them (it was hard to get in the pictures).
We discussed time frame with the builder. He has one house he needs to start before ours. If everything goes ok, we are looking at breaking ground around the first of April 😀