Let There Be Light

We’re in the final throes of drama and angst for the project and the new house is fighting as best it can.  But alas, we’re so close that even the house has to admit, it’s going to be done soon.  At this point I have only my neurosis to keep me company as I chart the final items that need to be selected, and overcome the final obstacles to completion. 

I picked up the tile for the boys bathroom shower.  It’s a simple white Daltile ceramic 6″x6″ square tile.  I also need to pick up the bathroom floor tile but it’s chilling out on a truck somewhere in Northeast Ohio.  Who woulda thought, fancy linen striped tile would be so non-aspirational; choosing to hang out on a truck rather than our floor.  Much to my delight Mark over at Carpet Warehouse, after much figurative prodding, actually came up with glass tile for the master shower that should work and be reasonably priced.  Reasonable is a relative term.  I will not disclose the cost as most sane people would scoff at such excess, but hey it’ll look really nice.  Something to enjoy while we’re hanging out naked with our soap and Pert. 

Dropping off the tile tonight I was surprised to find little light switches and outlets wired up throughout the house.  Looking up I saw a few incandescent light bulbs nestled in the recessed ceiling cans. 


With a flip of the switch it was neat to see light coming from the house itself.  The basement has had light for some time but now the main house has it;  very cool. Having light allowed me to see the kitchen cabinets for the first time.  These cabinets were all custom-made by my brother.  For now they lack their door fronts so it provides a chance to see their innards.  The frames are painted black.  The doors will be walnut laminate.  You’ll see in a little while.  Hopefully they’ll turn out to be pretty cool looking.  The pantry shelves are in too.  We went with a variety of 16″, 12″ and 10″ shelves.  My brother / master carpenter used 3/4″ plywood for the shelves.  The pantry is a micro sized walk in.  It’s conveniently located in the kitchen which makes access and resupplying a breeze.  We have a larger one in our current house but it’s down the hall so access stinks.  We’ll gladly trade size for convenience.

We’re waffling all the way to the end regarding the half bath fixtures.  We switched our taste for the house hardware from brushed nickel to oil rubbed bronze (ORB).  Early in the project we were forced into making plumbing selections and chose a really nice modern faucet, for the half bath, in a brushed nickel finish.  We were hoping to change the faucet selection to an ORB finish but alas the distributor and Kohler charge a restocking fee of 50%.  So we’ll stick with our original plan.  We can always transfer the vanity, sink and faucet to the basement and refit the half bath down the road.  Let this be a lesson to you, don’t be forced into picking finishes 6 months early.  Select the fixtures in so much as the plumber can rough everything in but don’t select the finishes until the last-minute.  After building several houses I’ve found most contractors, trades and distributors will steer you towards how “it’s always been done” and what’s easy for them.  Deviating from the “norm” is usually met with high prices, and penalties. Unfortunately customer’s wants and needs are sometimes secondary.  This old reality also means you’ll have to do a lot of research because most of the time they just want to sell you the items that “everyone gets”.  That’s fine if you’re fine with that, but if you want to know all your options, you’re most likely going to have to do the research.

Now is the time when we have to make one of the last big selections: carpeting.  The carpet guy dropped off the standard carpet samples off but I don’t think they’ll work.  With the house being so tight we’ll need to make sure the carpet and pad aren’t off gassing any harmful chemicals.  Also our two little boys will be rolling around on the stuff so we want to make sure it’s as benign as possible.  I started researching products on the web and still have a weekend’s worth of research to do.  Mohawk and Shaw both look like they may have some decent products, but I need to look closer.  I’ll check out the Greenguard and other indoor air quality sites as well for information.

All the windows appear to be trimmed out and most of the baseboards are in.  I did notice all the spindles for the stairs were huddled in the garage so their day in the sun should be close at hand as well.  Next week we’ll get the Silestone fabricator out to measure up the project; probably wreak havoc on his nerves with our special needs.  I’m sorry but this project or rather its owners are not “how it’s always been done” kind of folks.  Telling me I can’t do it or it can’t be done is not an option, it is a personal challenge.  You’re better off not testing my neurosis, ego and OCD. 

Here are some pics to enjoy.

Let there be light, and let us turn it on by flipping these rather common, yet surprisingly inexpensive light switches. The one on the left is an outlet. Don't finger that one.


We carved this pantry space out of the floor plan by sliding the half bath down. The plywood shelves range between 10-16" deep. vertical spacing is 14" on center. Pocket door makes entry easy and free's up space.


Awe, cute, some rabid woodland animal left its feces laden paw prints on the plywood that is now in our pantry.


Windows are trimmed out with nearly 8" jamb extensions. The deep window sills are perfect for cats, or impromptu seating for kids and grandma's alike.


Exterior siding is finally complete.


Kitchen cabinets. Space is for range.


Island cabinet, not in right place yet.


Custom made kitchen cabinets.

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