Getting It All Together
I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to narrow down selections for the new house. It’s a bit strange because I feel like we went from “it’s a ways off” to “we need to make decisions now” overnight. A few days after my last post, I met with the Hurd window rep. I had her price basically the exact same thing as the Marvin rep so we could easily compare the two. We are looking at the Hurd H3 windows which are aluminum vs the Marvin Integrity which are fiberglass. I personally like the looks of the Hurd windows better, but we are a bit leery because of some bad reviews we’ve read online. The Hurd quote ended up coming in over 12% less than the Marvin estimate and that was with Hurd’s highest Low-E finish vs Marvin’s standard Low-E. We discussed it a bit with the builder last night and I’m hoping to take David to both showrooms next week so he can see them himself.
We were just finishing up lunch out with my parents on Saturday, when we got the email with the builder’s complete estimate on our phones. David left to run to another store without looking at it, so I saw it alone and about fell out of my chair. We expected it to be higher than the initial rough estimate, but not 25% higher. The Kid was spending the day with my parents, so I met David back at the truck. He still hadn’t looked at it when we left, so I got to tell him. He eventually asked me if I was going to cry and I told him I had to throw up first, then I’d think about crying ;p I think we were stunned for almost 24 hours. We knew we’d have to make some compromises to stay within our budget, but we didn’t even know where to begin to bring it down by that much. The big problem was that it wasn’t the finish allowances (cabinets, counters, lights, plumbing fixtures, etc) that were driving up the cost – it was the general construction costs (electrical, framing, the ICF, roofing, HVAC, etc). The finish allowances weren’t really that high and some were too low based on some of my current selections. We briefly threw around radical ideas – giving up entirely, finding a new house plan, not building ICF, etc. None of them were what we wanted to do after getting this far. David disappeared the next day to his favorite hangout with our plans and the estimate. He came back with some ideas on how we could cut back on some of the costs. Some of the estimates also seemed really high, so we decided we needed to sit down with the builder to go over it line by line.
We met with him last night for almost 3 hours. We found out that some things were estimated high or for more than we really wanted or needed. We were able remove about 50% of the overage from that alone. We are talking about leaving the room over the garage, it’s bathroom and the theater unfinished for now which can also save us quite a bit (that’s around 900 square feet plus a bathroom which is not cheap by itself). We can live without those rooms for now and finish them ourselves later. We also decided that the best way to know the final cost is to start making decisions now.
I left this morning with my Hardie samples and headed for one of the brick suppliers. On the way, I stopped at a neighborhood that I think uses the pre-painted Hardie. I saw a couple houses that I think may be the same color as my samples. This first one (on the corner) looks like the green I have picked for the siding (Woodstock Brown).
I think the next 2 are the Timber Bark I have picked for the trim.
I’ve ordered 2 more Hardie samples that I saw last night at the builder’s office. I believe they are the next lighter shade of my 2 current selections.
I showed the brick guy my inspiration pictures for the exterior of the house. Below is one of the first samples he brought out. The colors are pretty close, but I didn’t care for how smooth the brick was.
He also brought out this one which I didn’t think was quite right.
I looked at this next one for quite a while along with my other picks, but eventually ruled it out because I thought it was too “tumbled”. After looking at some pictures of it online when I got home, I kind of wish I had brought that sample board home too.
Here is the same brick on a larger board.
Here are the other 2 I brought home.
After the brick store, I ran to a nearby granite warehouse since I was in the area. They didn’t have a whole lot I hadn’t seen before, but I fell in love with this leathered slab of Kosmus. It was impossible to photograph with my phone, but it looks like it has silver running through it.
Here’s a close up.
Here’s a better picture from their website. I know it’s probably expensive and I don’t know where I’d use it, but I’d love to find some place for it.
I’ve received a few more bamboo samples and am waiting on a few more. I also ordered samples of some of the tile I saw a couple weeks ago along with some more I found online. Tomorrow morning, I’m meeting with the builder and the cabinet maker, so I need to get my pictures and samples together to take with me.