Friday, November 19, 2010

I Will Never Build A House

Honestly. I won't. Once upon a time, I thought it would be fun to build a house and get to choose everything myself. I would know the quality of what was going in, everything would be to my tastes, and things would work they way I'd want them to. I'd have a planning desk, a pantry, a mud room, a laundry sink, a third garage - all the things I don't have in my current house.

I'm in the process of my first true major remodel, and I realize my foolishness. As much as I someday want a new kitchen, I think I might be moving to a new house to get it. I've been without a master bathroom since October 12, and I am done having all my bathroom items in bins in my bedroom. I don't want to share a small sink and vanity with the wee ones and my husband. I just want my master bathroom back. Granted, it will be soon, but not soon enough.

Today my contractor called me to ask where my tub faucets were. Ummm in the garage with all the other new fixtures I'd bought? No, apparently somehow - although I went over it with the salesgirl ninety-bazillion times - I had neglected to order my tub faucets. They will take at least two weeks to come in. And I groaned at having to give my credit card another workout.

Yesterday? Since the cabinets are to be delivered, my contractor wanted to measure for the cuts in the counter tops. Since I'd picked out my counter tops long ago, I simply handed him the brochure with the circled color on it figuring that I had done well. I got a call from him later saying that a large big box store that happens to be orange was quoting him more than twice was he would pay for a counter top and he wanted me to go talk to a different place he works with as he wasn't comfortable placing the order with that large a discrepancy. Good contractor. Yes, he showed me the quote from that orange store. And it was large.

I went to visit the place he recommended where the near same (slightly different color, same material) counter top would cost me two-thirds what the orange store quoted. After working with him some more, we found another idea for a granite counter top that would be essentially what my contractor had originally quoted me. I then had to go to the distributorship to check out the actual piece of granite and sign off on the colors. I did so, but there went the majority of my day tracking down that issue. On the plus side, they are measuring the counter tops for the cuts on Tuesday.

Don't get me started on lighting. I haven't picked out the lighting yet for around my mirrors. I knew what I wanted, so I went to the big store that specializes in lights. As a guy started to help me, I explained what I wanted and we looked through some books. I need four single fixture lights. Someone walked in who was looking for a six foot chandelier. I pretty much didn't exist from that point. I managed to get the model numbers of six potential lights, but you can bet that I won't ever spend a dime in that store. And I still don't have lights.

That doesn't take into account the difficulties I had choosing tile. Or cabinets. Or a tub. Poor Melisa has a small idea of what I went through with that, trying to find a rectangular tub that has a side drain to avoid having to saw through a rafter. After weeks (literally) of searching, I finally decided on a tub that had a normal front drain and was ready to suck up the extra plumber cost of doing a side drain when another plumbing supply store sent an email with some tubs to look at and miraculously, a tub that was the right size and shape somehow had a side drain. That tub is currently sitting in my slowly taking shape bathroom with the mortar around it drying.

Cabinets? I knew I wanted a clean look. And tall cabinets. And something to somehow hold all my stuff and keep it out of the way. I came up with the idea of a tower in the center of it, but ... that's as far as I got. I was also appalled at how ridiculously expensive cabinets are, so trying to find something that I like that was not ridiculously expensive was time consuming. I finally succeeded. Mostly.

Tile was fun. My big problem - and this is the problem in general - is that I know sort of what I want but not completely. Or I know what I don't want, both of which makes choosing things difficult, especially when more and more options are presented to me and I get overwhelmed. I did choose tile back in April. I loved my floor tile and the shower tile. When I went to finalize the tile order before my contractor started work, I decided I didn't like the wall tile. And so the process began again.

My husband hasn't seen any of the choices yet. He trusts me, and I think this is for the best. If he were involved in some of the nuttiness, I think I'd have driven him insane by now. He's looking forward to the big reveal though, and my contractor has promised that next week I can take a shower come heck or high water. I'm hoping for no high water; I can't take it after this!

And yes, I will show before and after pictures. Assuming there is an after. Once you see some of the before, I think you'll understand why there has to be an after.

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Susie November 19, 2010 at 10:31 PM  

I had a great time picking out things during our remodel:-)

Jenn M November 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

Oh that sounds frusturating. We built this duplex, and can't wait until we can build a real house. The best part of building a house, you aren't in it while they are building it. So miraculously every week you get a little surprise when you visit. And then 6 months later boom a brand new house.

I bet though, your house will be new-ish and you'll love it.

Hyacynth November 20, 2010 at 2:41 PM  

Ack! Where have you been taking your notes if you don't have your master shower with the shower notepad?! This has much larger ramifications than you've mentioned here if you've been functioning without the shower board. ;)
I really hope it gets done soon. It's frustrating to feel like you're lugging yourself around all the time.

Karen November 21, 2010 at 5:59 PM  

Really, it's MUCH easier to build than remodel. You're not living in the mess and you've got months to get exactly what you need. I won't lie though - it's brutal. But better thana remodel from what I've heard.

Pat November 21, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

Yikes, what a long hassle you're having! We're getting new countertops in the kitchen as well as new cabinet doors and drawer-fronts. My husband can't stand mess and disorganization, so we're going away for almost 3 weeks while the remodel gets done. The contractor is a friend of ours and does excellent work and we trust his suggestions and advice completely. Last December he put in new toilets and a new tile floor in the front bathroom (while we were gone). He finds great deals on materials.

I will be so happy when our cracked 30-=year-old ivory tiles with brown grout is gone!!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog November 21, 2010 at 7:14 PM  

NICE that hubby doesn't care. That takes a lot of the pressure off (though a decisive head to bounce questions off of might help on occasion, eh?) I am opposed to ever building a house from scratch, too. I like pre-made homes. Paint and carpet can change a room really quickly.

Good luck!

Michelle November 21, 2010 at 8:52 PM  

Susie - I have fun with some of it, but at some point there are *too* many decisions. Knowing sorta what I want and then not having that appear immediately as an option also makes it more challenging to me, as I don't visualize well. But I have to say... I like where we are right now :)

Jenn - I think not being there would definitely help, and with building (at least not spec) you don't as many options so that's easier. Maybe :)

Hyacynth - I moved the notepad into the guest bath where all four of us are now sharing. It's still hanging, don't worry!

Karen - Interestingly, my contractor keeps insisting a kitchen remodel is easier to live with AND faster. I'm not sure whether I can believe him or he just wants future business someday ;)

Pat - Ooooo you'll have to show before and after pics, too! We do have a great contractor who does really great work and is honest. It's just not fun to be here daily and to have to keep getting out the credit card :)

Tracey - Very nice. He knows that he'll like whatever I choose. And that he honestly doesn't care anyway.

Pat November 21, 2010 at 9:25 PM  

We're going to have our kitchen project done in January, so before-and-after photos will be coming in late Jan. or Feb.

I'm looking forward to seeing your before-and-after photos!

Michelle November 21, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

Pat - Good luck with your remodel. And yes, I'll definitely put mine up. I should probably do some in between ones, too.... We're finally getting close :)

Melisa with one S November 25, 2010 at 10:17 PM  

All of this makes me a little nauseated.


But your bathroom is going to rock.

Michelle November 26, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

Melisa - I took my first shower in it yesterday. No lights, mirrors, or countertops, but ... heated floors. Ahhhhhhh :)

laundry sink January 17, 2012 at 3:13 AM  

Good luck with your remodel..

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