Tuesday, July 08, 2008

52 days and counting

Things continue to move along at the new house, and we are now 100% in the dry. Up until last week, we were 99% dry but didn’t have the windows caulked, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of water intrusion every time it rained because of those small cracks in the façade. The crew needed a couple of consecutive rain-free days after the bricking finished to get it done, and we just didn’t have them until recently. The front door is now painted, though there's just a single coat on there, making it look a lot brighter than the final product will - navy blue paint on white primer? - that's going to take a lot of coats to cover. The back and side doors were also mistakenly painted blue, though that should be remedied sometime over the next week or two.Luigi the painter has been going full tilt, and the house interior is completely painted. Our colour palette is very similar to the tried and true colours in our current house, though a bit more muted. Not that you would know it from this shot: holy technicolour! (This is the view from the playroom, through the hall, and into the dining room.) Anyway, so far so good – we’re happy with how everything has turned out, though of course it’s so hard to tell when you are looking at a big empty space without the benefit of seeing how your furniture, etc. looks inside it. The kitchen is much bluer than I ever expected it to be, but cover 80% of that paint up with cabinetry and I’m sure the effect will be much different. Oh, and the blue walls in the kids’ bath? – they’re likely to look much different once the green floor is installed. Like I said – technicolour!

Speaking of all these blue walls, you actually pay per colour when you build a new house. So we’ve tried to double up on our colours as much as possible, and will rely on the decorating to differentiate between the spaces. That same aforementioned blue, for example, is in the kitchen, playroom, master ensuite, kids’ bath, Liam’s room, and the laundry room. But I’d rather do that than pay $200 (yes, really) each time the painter changes to a new colour. At least we will be cohesive! Chad and I have done a lot of lurking at a home building internet forum for the past year or two, which has been a great source of all kinds of tips and info and inspiration… but also a very humbling place to hang out. We are building a big beautiful house, more than I ever thought I would have, and I consider myself very lucky to have it (or, to have 75% of it, as it stands today.) But to read on these forums what other people are doing… it’s mind-boggling. Empty nesters building 6,000 square feet, one guy with 11 fridges and 4 dishwashers, several people building drive-through lanes with access to the kitchen or pantry so they can unload their groceries directly from the car without having to carry them through the house… wow. Half the world, upon hearing that we are building a house, seems to think that it is big and beautiful and all we could ever want. The other half, upon hearing that we are building, thinks that we are not pulling out enough stops. I would like to think that we are comfortably in the middle. Do not expect the aforementioned levels of sophistication at 99 Braemar Blvd – if that is the new norm, then we are well below average!!

This week the trim carpenter is going full bore (with Luigi still hanging around to finish the trim paint). We have a couple of doors hung now, and the hardware is starting to arrive and be installed – in a lovely bronze finish that goes well with our ‘new old house’ theme – I just hope it isn’t becoming The Next Big Thing that will look dated a few years down the road. (or… do I WANT it to look dated? Bwa ha ha. Yes, I do, but I want it to look REALLY dated, not 5-years-old dated.) I will feel much better once more progress is made on the trim, including installation of the pickets and railing around the staircase (both of which are now on-site). Having the kids upstairs for any length of time, even when in my arms or held firmly by the hand, gives me heart palpitations right now, and it’s because our current safety features look like this: Alas, we've encountered our first overage on the project. We did not give the drywallers the correct specifications over the fireplace. Heck, we did not give them ANY specifications, just left them to their own devices, and they had packed up and left before we realized we weren't happy with what they'd done. Calling them back to expand the size of this wall is going to cost us, but going back to our home building forum, where some people are tens of thousands of dollars over budget before the first concrete is ever poured - I think we can live with a couple hundred dollars. Lesson learned, we hope we don't repeat the mistake, but all is still well.


Mandy said...

I love seeing the progress pics, and I know the end result is just going to be stunning based on what I've seen already. I'm sure for every new house, there's someone building one twice it's size with more than they need. Eleven refrigerators? Right. THAT is a necessity, I'm sure. LOL

Love the hardware by the way....and especially looking forward to pictures of the kitchen layout. (My favorite room to obsess over when thinking of my dream house)

Dawn said...

WOW, I love the colors! is that burnt orange in the dining room....love it! Can't wait to see the kitchen, what color cabinets did you decide on? I think you need to pull out the video camera and give us blog stalkers a video walk through!