February 4, 2005

Decisions, decisions

by Ed Rozmiarek

There are a lot of decisions you have to make when you build a house. I have lost count of the number of big and little decisions we have made. Anywhere from the basic structure of the house, 1 or 2 story, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, how big each one should be, number of windows, paint colors, etc., it’s just mind boggling after a while. This week has been one decision after another.

This week, roof decking and house wrap.
Over the past week, we have had decide on a color of the roof, the front door and the flooring. Before that, the other major decisions included the exterior masonry, trim color and what side of the house the power meter should be placed on. When you buy an existing house, you don’t worry about the color of the roof too much. As long as it’s not pink and it is in good shape, I bet a lot of people really don’t care if it’s gray, black or brown. But when you build a custom home, you get to look at a bunch of samples and try to decide how it’s all going to look once everything comes together. You have to picture the exterior of the house (stone in our case), the trim color and the roof all coming together. For most people that aren’t interior decorators, that’s really pretty tough. For Susan and I, we tend to agree pretty quickly and really aren’t too fussy on some stuff. For the exterior of the house, we are patterning our house on another house that is being done by our builder. We have ended up picking a similar stone, trim color and roof color. I guess for us, if we see something and like it, we go with it.

After the roof, our builder wanted us to decide on the front door so they could get it ordered. They put up a temporary front door at first and save the good one for later. We hadn’t thought too much about what we wanted in a front door except that we wanted a “nice” one. After living in stock builder homes for the last 15+ years, we were use to having a basic, but functional front door. Not knowing what a decent front door cost, we were expecting to go to the dealer and settle for an OK door. Boy, did we have that wrong.

Luckily, the building supply dealer for our builder is near my work, so Susan came down for lunch this past Monday and we went door shopping. We met with the rep for our builder and it turns out the allowance our builder priced in gave us a really nice selection of doors. One thing Susan and I have had is an ability to narrow down our choices pretty quickly and not have huge battles over what we want. That really helped us on the front door. We quickly decided on a basic style and after a short time looking at the choices and a couple of catalogs, we decided on one that really fit our style and was actually a couple hundred dollars under budget. A front door is more than a covering over an opening of the house, it should really set the tone for the rest of the house and I think the one we picked out will really do well in that respect.

Some interior views. Here is the kitchen and dining room

Looking from the entry way into the living room.

Today (Friday) we tackled not one decision, but several bundled in one. Flooring. We needed to decide on the wood for the living room, tile for the dining and kitchen, the kitchen backsplash, the tile for the master bathroom and kids’ bathroom, the shower tile, the carpet for the upstairs and the counter top for the laundry room counter. Since it seems none of the suppliers for our builder are open on the weekend, I took today off from work and we dedicated it to the house and the flooring.

After two plus hours working with the very helpful people at the flooring supplier (including a quick trip to our builder’s office to check on paint color and a couple of other details), we had all our flooring choices made. Our friends who have been to our current house in the last year and a half will not be surprised by our choice of wood flooring. For the rest of the house, we hope our choice of natural looking materials fits the rustic look we are trying for in our new house. I guess we’ll see once it’s all in and we can see what it looks like. (Where is that virtual reality showroom when you need it?)

Looking down from the library/loft into the living room.

The view from one of the upstairs bedrooms of a very old live oak tree on the edge of the lot.

After a grueling morning picking over tile and carpet samples, we decided to try out one of the local Mexican restaurants near our new house and then visit the house for this week’s update. The framing was complete and the workers have been adding the exterior details this week. The roof decking, fascia board and house wrap were going up as we visited. It wasn’t quite done, but we were really able to get a feel for the look of the house. The stairs which were being built during our last visit were done and we were able to easily get upstairs. While we walking around, the delivery truck with the windows showed up. I guess those should be going in during the upcoming week. The temporary front door and the actual back doors were sitting in the garage so I expect those should be installed next week as well. Please visit our picture album for several the latest pictures of the house from this week.

Now, the next decision our builder wants is the lights and ceiling fans. Will it never end???

Posted by Ed Rozmiarek at February 4, 2005 6:08 PM

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