Saturday, October 25, 2008

Things that make you go, "hmmmm...."

They put the first coat of paint on the walls, and I noticed they painted around the paint samples. I told the painters it was okay to paint over the samples. They said, "oh, no, we have to sand it all down to make it smooth first." Hmmm, you'd think they'd do that before painting the first coat...
Ah, well, as long as it gets done.

*note: the first picture is the nursery. We ended up using a different color than the sample we put up, hence the color difference.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Update on kitchen island

Jim finally got in contact with Keith, the person in charge of our kitchen install. They've agreed to pay for the replacement decorator doors. He hadn't returned our calls because... get this... his house burned down last weekend and he and his wife and daughter "got out with just minutes to spare".

Crazy! I guess there IS someone that is having worse luck than me these days. While I don't feel bad about being persistent about getting the decorator doors replaced, I do feel bad for him and his family. That is just terrible!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update, a little bit of venting...

Haven't updated in a while because things have been crazy hectic with hitting my eight month of pregnancy, trying to finish the house, and a huge work project all colliding.

This is undoubtedly the most hectic and stressful part of house building - the last month where everything comes together (or doesn't come together). Steven still thinks we can get in by the end of the first week in November, but we'll see. Some things will still be unfinished, but if we can get to the point we can actually move in before I have the baby, I'll be thrilled.

I won't get into too much because I'll start getting pissed off again, but some of the headaches:

  • Island was built such that I only had 15" of leg room on one side of the eat-in table. It's fixed now, but getting someone to commit to fixing it was a process I should NOT have gone through.
  • Wrong size decorator doors were applied to the island on the sink wall - still debating with Kiva (the cabinet vendor) on who will pay for the replacement doors. It's obvious to me that I should not have to pay.
  • The backsplash tile that was supposedly "in stock" and available immediately was actually back ordered. It's custom-made to order and the manufacturer was not able to get the materials. We placed the order at the end of August, and now we're looking at the first week of November for delivery. My builder says he can work around this. He'll paint over the backsplash and return to tile when the material is available. Since it's glass tile, it's less of a messy installation and that works in our favor.
  • We're running a week+ behind the post-Ike schedule. A week doesn't seem like a long time, except when you're scared you're going to deliver early.
  • The upper balustrade arrived yesterday. It doesn't look like the rails we designed; it looks like the previously design we discussed. We still need to discuss this with the builder. I vacillate between being supremely angry on principle (um, what's the point of a custom order if it's not going to be what you want?) and just taking it in stride. I actually like what they delivered (it's very similar to the final design and obviously one of the designs we considered), so I'm trying to let go a lot of the anger I have because of "principle". If we had more time to move in, I'd probably demand they redo the rails on principle, but this one isn't worth pushing (at least today).
  • They delivered the wrong stonework for the house and had installed 80%+ of it before I caught it - it's been removed, but the replacement stone is still not on.
  • The standing seam roof is still not installed (it covers the roof line over the dining room). Because it wasn't installed, we had water damage during Ike. Until they install it, they can't re-sheetrock, so they can't paint that room, blah, blah, blah...

This last point alludes to what keeps me up at night. Some issues may seem minor, but there's such a domino effect when you're building. I've also been pretty busy running around meeting vendors - working with the landscaper on the design, finalizing the light order, selecting/ordering the remaining pulls/hardware for the house, tracking down the right slabs of marble for the kids' bath, and meeting the shutter folks to choose style and have measurements done.

I know it'll be worth it in the end, but it's such a headache right now. I'm mostly a bundle of negativity, but I do see how things are going to come together. I love the kitchen cabinets despite my overwhelming non-love for the vendor. My frustrations with Steven are tempered with acknowledging why we chose to use him again - we couldn't afford to build a custom house of this quality with another builder, and he's a great overall designer. I guess there's also something to be said for him taking my abuse (although he shouldn't put me in a position to want to abuse him!). I've had friends where their builders refused to talk to them after a while and completely ignored their requests.

Even with all the headaches, I already know we'll go through this again. It's hard for me to move into a house where I didn't choose everything. Even with the spec house we built (where I did select the finish out but kept it more neutral to for mass appeal), I would have changed out half the things we did had I actually had to live there. Maybe I'll get less picky as I get older… or having two kids destroy this house will reduce my need to have everything "exactly like I want it", LOL.

A few teaser pics. Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of the final product in the not-too-distant future.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Interior Paint Colors

Believe it or not, it wasn't too hard to choose paint colors this time around. I mean, I only had to put up 16 different samples up this time. Part of the reason it went a little less painfully was that I reused two colors I loved from 24th street house (in the same applications as well - Benjamin Moore Sweet Caroline in the nursery and Ben Moore Smoldering Red in the library).
  • Trim color - Sherwin Williams Alabaster (SW 7008).
  • Library - Benjamin Moore Smoldering Red (2007-10)
  • Powder room - Sherwin Williams Grassland (SW 6163)
  • Master bedroom - Sherwin Williams Amazing Gray (SW 7044)
  • Nursery - Benjamin Moore Sweet Caroline (478)
  • Reese's bedroom - Sherwin Williams Loveable (SW 6590)
  • Children's bathroom - Sherwin Williams North Star (SW 6246)
  • All remaining rooms/hallways - Sherwin Williams Worldly Gray (SW 7043)
The library and stained doors will be done in a dark stain (custom mix that looks like Minwax Jacobean). I still have to select a floor stain, but I have a few ideas in mind. We originally wanted a really dark floor, but because of natural lighting issues in the house and the vary dark cabinets, we'll go with a lighter color. From this palette, I'll likely start playing around with Provincial, Early American, and Chestnut. We'll have to see how the stain looks on the oak floors/in context of our lighting.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kitchen in a box...

...or lots of boxes as the case may be. A truck full of boxes arrived at the house today - my kitchen cabinets! Woohoo! They start installation tomorrow, and I cannot wait to see how they look.
I was pretty surprised to see the number of boxes that arrived (I couldn't get a shot from a good angle, but there are boxes stacked behind the two tall boxes in front all the way back to the windows.)
For some reason I'm a bit nervous, as if it's one of my work projects about to kick off. Hopefully it'll come together without any major issues, and if something does go wrong, at least I'll be on the client end and not in the hot seat.