Saturday, March 22, 2014

It's All in the Details

Designing a home, whether renovating yourself or choosing options with a generic builder is full of tiny little details. From experience I would like to tell you that a big-box builder won't tell you all the options you have for upgrades big and small. It almost feels like they don't want you to pay for little detailed upgrades because project managing your home becomes an expensive affair that they did not budget on. Their goal is to get your basic colour choices and everything else to leave to a conveyor "basic builder" options.

We half joke that our builder, from the site clerk to the headquarters and design centre hate our guts at this point. Not only do we go into the unit (even though we're not allowed, but since we were refused a pre-drywall inspection we felt we had no choice but to break their rules) we also request upgrades that no one counted on doing or managing. As a project manager, I can see how this townhouse is a lot more expensive for the builder simply in hours it takes their staff to project manage the construction.

Sorry for my little venting session. It just boggles my mind how many upgrades are available, you can almost get a custom home (within reason) but they are not being offered (or requested by the buyer).
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Our latest surprise? We have decided against the oak floors in favour of maple. In these images the floors are probably ash, but for lack of that option we are seriously considering going with unstained maple. And, yes, going for black railing and black spindles.

I found these images after I couldn't figure out what was bothering me with the regular railing. I think staining it an ebony black would be a very nice accent. Don't you think?
We have visited the half finished model home a few times already. It doesn't make us the darlings of the sales office, but we politely don't care. We need the n number of walk throughs so we can notice all the details (and we still miss plenty). During our latest one we noticed that the granite over the future dish washer is attached to the fridge gable. In proper construction, the granite is not supposed to float in mid air, but is supposed to be held up by a separate gable. Not to mention that our paperwork states that we are supposed to have two separate gables, one each for the dish washer and the fridge.

So, being the super detailed ppl that we are, we are putting it in our contract. Two gables, no floating granite.
Somewhere else I decided to add a little bit of black?? The counters. On the left is what we considered last time. On the right is our, hopefully, winner!
If I didn't tell you that this was porcelain, would you think it was natural stone?? Well... it's porcelain. It is honed, with warm gray and a little bit of golden yellow. As soon as I saw it I was in love. I was also blown away that this is a level 1 tile. As in, no upgrades, tile. I am doubly in love.
Lastly, I think I've figured out the window situation. I am quite set on the velvet curtains in pewter, but couldn't decide how I wanted these to be hung. The other day we were killing time before an appointment and ran into a model home by another builder in our area. I loved the curtains hung on tracks. Now I just can't decide if we should go with pleated or not. What would you choose??

In all honesty, this townhouse has been such a learning experience. In a very different way than all of our properties before. With every choice I try to keep in mind "long term", "elegant", "understated", "tasteful details". But the most important thing that I've re-learned (because I knew this all along, but sometime its the hardest thing to remember) is to trust myself, my instincts and my inner nagging voice. Because the thing is that we will need to look at these floors, and cabinets and counters for a very long time into the future. And we need to like them. There's too much money at stake to choose things that we do not completely love. 

1 comment:

Tell me what you think. I'm all ears and smiles.