Friday, April 7, 2006

The March Meeting and the Spring Tour

The architect's three different versions had three different price categories, and at our meetings in March the builder apologized profusely for the fact that all of three of them them were out of our price range. We'd been waiting since December to receive this wonderful news.

Doug had been planning to add on to the front of the addition after the house was torn down, leaving the planned stairwell where it was. If we didn’t add a section for the music studio in the front, and instead put it in the much smaller stairwell area, and then moved the stairs back into the main section we would be able to afford it, they said. So we said okay, and they quickly came up with three alternate plans. We chose the one we liked the best and the nitty-gritty stage of the planning process began.

Our month long break after the winter segment of the tour was now over, and the next stage involved a lot of planning and communication with the architect while we were on the road for two months. We spent nearly all of our free time wandering around various Lowes and Home Depots across the country trying to imagine what kind of countertops, cabinets, toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and lighting we would want to have in our new house. The reason we had to decide on all of these things so soon was so that the builder could continue with his pricing process. These details would significantly affect the final cost.

So there were numerous debates about toilets, bathtubs, flooring, kitchen cabinets, and countertops, etc,etc,etc. Here’s an example:

Cyndy initially thought that formica countertops would be perfectly acceptable, since she hadn’t ever had anything else and it was inexpensive and easy to maintain.

Although Doug has also never had anything but formica, he somehow thought that something a little more upscale was in order and he had the impression that Corian was the way to go. It definitely had certain advantages. But Cyndy didn’t like the extremely plasticized look of it and all of the sales reps were acting like Corian was sort of passé anyway. Who knew?

Granite was the same price and looked more natural and was supposedly more durable than Corian. But it also had some maintenance issues. Doug didn’t like the clattery sound that dishes make on granite.

Then Silestone came into the picture. It seems like the most durable option and is probably what we will use, if we can find a pattern that we both actually like.

Cyndy began to notice that all of the speckled granites that are used in hotel bathrooms these days had been starting to remind her of throw up. And most of the Silestone things were either very similar to the vomit patterns, or they had these silly looking sparkles in them, or they were totally boring. She's still not convinced that the countertops need to be fancier than good old tried and true formica.

It has been very difficult to decide on something just for the sake of pricing when so much unattractive stuff has had to be sifted through in our very limited time. It has been that way for toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and medicine cabinets so far - probably because we are so limited as to where we can go to look at things.

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