Decisions, Decisions.

Building a custom home, not surprisingly, involves a lot of decision-making.  As our “ship” is outfitted and readied for her maiden voyage, rapid fire decision-making becomes a must.  Unless everything is planned ahead of time, to the “Nth” degree, all that can be done is making design decisions on the fly at the end of the project.  Our New Year’s weekend was fairly successful in terms of picking things out.  We are to the point where we have to “run with it” and hope for the best. 

3x6 white glass subway tiles for master shower. We fell in love. They cost a small fortune. Debating pros and cons of selling a family member to pay for them. Both boys have been on their best behavior since we started contemplating. The cat on the other hand....

All the flooring and tile work is selected except carpet and the master bath tile.  We fell in love with some really cool glass subway tiles.  So much so that they may find a home not only in the shower but also on the Master Bath wall behind the sinks. They cost a fair bit so I’m searching for the best price.  In the meantime we were successful in picking out vanities for the boys bathroom and the half bath from Lowes and Home Depot respectively.  The boys vanity continues the all white theme of the room.  The half bath vanity will be a dark chocolate-brown, vessel stand.  We’ll play up the brown / black wood theme with accent walls at either end of the small space. 

Siding going on the garage.

Light fixtures continue to trickle in.  Pretty much all of them are selected and on order.  Still need to pick out a marquee light for the half bath (which we pretty much have picked out; just need to order).  For the track lighting I let the electrician know what we wanted.  He will provide us with a parts list that I can use for ordering components.  Nothing fancy will be required for our track lights.  Simple white track heads will suit us fine.  One can spend a fortune on track lighting fixtures.  We will not. 

Sconce from Restoration Hardware. Code requires enclosed lights for closets, even though our lights will be no where near clothing, and the LED bulbs will generate virtually no heat. These industrial looking sconces include glass jars to meet code.

We’re working on selecting the countertop material for the kitchen.  It will be Silestone quartz.  We selected this material because it’s low maintenance and looks nice (obviously).  It’s pricey but in the grand scheme of things it’s not too bad.  To keep things consistent we’ll do the same color counter in the half bath.  Additionally we’d like to run it around the fireplace and inset it into the hardwood floor to act as a hearth.  We need to work out the details with the installer in the coming weeks.  Color wise it’s still up in the air.  Two of the three colors are less expensive; just want to make sure we like what we choose.  Basically trying to get a cement look to everything.

Countertop colors: Grey Expo (left) or Murango (right)? There's a third color, "Cemento" but we don't have a color chip for that. It looks like an expensive version of Murango.

Work wise, siding is on one side of the garage.  The plumber is migrating back to the work site along with the winter snow.  Our 50 gallon electric hot water tank should be installed tomorrow.  We’re also having the shower hooked up in the basement now, even though we don’t plan on finishing the basement for a while.  No sense the shower stall sitting all by its lonesome in the corner of the basement, unattached to anything.
The Jeep is finally back in working order so I drove him (her?) out to the site after work today.  Needed to pick up drywall finish samples for the ceiling.  Two options.
Me: “Honey you want ‘STD’ or ‘Spatter’?”
Wife: “Excuse me?  Sounded like you asked me if I want an ‘STD’?”
Me: “Yes, ‘STD’ or ‘Spatter’?”
Wife: “What the hell were you doing? Is this why you’re so late from work? Unbelievable. Well I guess ‘Spatter’ given the choice, you pig. Though frankly if you have an STD….Unbelievable.”
Me: [Sigh]
Me: “No, we need to pick out a finish for the ceilings.  See…”
[I reveal two drywall finish sample boards that I picked up at the house].
Wife: “Oh.  In that case I vote STD.”
Me: “STD it is”

For those of you keeping score at home, when you build a house you have to decide all kinds of mundane crack pot stuff. In this horrible picture you can (not) see the difference between "spatter" and "standard" knock down finishes for ceiling drywall.

STD is a standard “knock down” finish for drywall ceilings.  Spatter looks about the same, though maybe a little more “pop corn-y”.  They don’t do the old school mop finish any more like we have in our cookie cutter colonial now.  Frankly, if you’re looking at our ceilings, you’re either passing out from all the booze we gave you or we did a horrific job decorating the joint.  Stop looking at the ceiling and look at our glass tiles already, gheez.
Interesting note, Kitchen gets a flat ceiling texture….oooo….gonna paint it a color.  Oh yeah.
Here are miscellaneous other pics of the project. Stay warm folks. (House is freakishly warm by the way….and humid as Brazilian jungle).

Basement. Latest flooding occurred when sump pump pipe came apart. Squirted water like Old Faithful on New Years Eve. "What's that noise?" "Dunno, I'll go downstairs and check.....woah Nelly, what the f..."


Front door. Architect and brother say we should've used lap siding. Wife and I voted board n batten. You'll see, there's a method to our madness. I promise.

 P.S. Don’t get burned like we did (at least if you’re indecisive like us).  We had to pick all our plumbing fixtures out months ago, so the plumber knew where to run the pipes (I guess). Since then we’re digging “oil rubbed bronze” (ORB) a lot more than “brushed nickel” for the metal in the house.  So much so that our exterior doors have nickel hinges and ORB handles.  We thought about changing the half bath faucet from nickel to ORB but our plumbing supplier would charge us a 50% restocking fee to change faucets.  Let this be a lesson to you. Tell your plumber or supplier, generally what you want but don’t let them buy the actual faucets until the last possible minute.  We shot ourselves in the foot, and our plumbing supplier’s policies only exasperated the situation.  It wouldn’t be bad except some of the fixtures we wanted to change were really pricey.  Now we’re stuck.  With our current house we ran into plumbing selection issues too and butted heads with the builder.  Something about plumbing I guess.  Anyway, learn from our mistakes. Never again.

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