CLOSING!

It’s here!  Finally.  The house has been cleaned everything is done and we are ready to close and start the 6 week move process!  We are really happy with the design decisions we made and now have more to make with the interior.

our house

We purchased the sofa sectional after visiting the house and taping off the dimensions to see how it would fit.  We have agreed on the smaller 60 inch round table for the formal/only dining room and instead of buying the chairs that go with the set, we found some tufted chairs for $75/per chair!  This will not only save money, it will give it a casual – formal look.  We still need the buffet and the bench for the opposite walls, window treatments, a rug and artwork.  We have a long way to go.

I finally have decided on a setup that will work for my office which is in the breakfast room that we are not using for dining.  This is a win that I sold my husband on this idea.  I know I will be happy in this space.

desk2

office

I am also happy my husband is helpful in making the decisions on what we need.  We sold our last house with the refrigerator which means we need to buy one.  As it turns out, this was great because our new refrigerator will need to be counter depth!  These are things you don’t notice until you start putting in the appliances.  Our last house had the refrigerator on a separate wall and it was built in for a good size depth refrigerator.  A counter depth refrigerator sticks out less and is a lot smaller because of it.  I don’t do a lot of storage, so it will be ok to have a smaller refrigerator.  The builder assumes the laundry room will have another refrigerator and allows space for it.

kitchen1

Since Luna came into our lives we have adjusted by lowering our mattress to the floor so she can sleep with us and jump off the bed to get to her potty pad.  Now that we are going to be setting up our master bedroom we need a solution for Luna to get in and out of the bed.  She is now 5 months and jumps on the furniture and sits on the back of the chair in the living room.  So we are going to purchase a day bed that will allow her to get in and out of bed!  I love dual purpose furniture.  It’s called a daybed and we can use it for guests, yay!

daybed

Still more decisions to make and things to do.  All of this with a senior in high school getting ready for prom and a puppy in training.  Life is really busy for us!

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CLOSING!

Meetings Meetings and More Meetings

Building with Toll Brothers has been an interesting experience.  You need to schedule meetings to discuss anything related to the building project.  Those meetings are in person and it takes 45 minutes one way to get there.  The builder further designates some choices that you do directly through Toll Brothers and other choices go through the design center.  The design center is available for other builders as well and it is the place where you choose flooring, cabinets, appliances, and fixtures.  Keeping up with the upgrades between the design center and from the builder directly is rough.  It helps to put together your own spreadsheet.

You have three one hour appointments with the design center.  And with the builder, many more pre-construction meetings.  With the builder so far we have had:

  • Contract meeting
  • Plan meeting
  • Electrical meeting (for designating where plugs and lighting will go)
  • Selections meeting (entry door, garage door, exterior paint choice, roof type as well as glass selections for the door and windows)
  • Audio Visual meeting for designating where the TV/network/sound system outlets go.

We had to put down a deposit of about 5% of the house value then with upgrades after the selections meeting, they asked for more.  I really wish they would have an agenda for building to follow along.  It has been a surprise during the process of when and what the content of the meetings are.   We selected the lot in March and chose to delay building for an April closing.  It supposedly takes 8-10 months for the actual construction which is currently scheduled to commence in October.

One of the most difficult choices was the exterior paint selection.  The house is mediterranean style with a stucco exterior.  As we sat for the majority of the selections meeting appointment with 8×10 swatches of stucco I was completely discouraged.  For some it is impossible to choose colors from a small swatch.   Add to it the fact that this is a choice for outdoor paint and we are looking at it indoors.  Also, the builder didn’t have the roof choice (there are only two composite roof choices) to view with the color scheme. We had driven around looking at others and even took a few pictures, but to match it exactly is impossible unless you have access to look up the actual selections.  After choosing a charcoal roof with some taupe and white accent we finished the meeting and were told to go look at some houses in the neighborhood with the charcoal roof.  From a distance it looks like a roof with just tarp paper.  I quickly realized it was a bad decision. My husband rounded the corner and all of the sudden we found exactly what I had in mind.  It has the dark roof with the variation of medium to light with contrast that I had imagined!  This was another Toll Brothers house so the exact selections can be pulled.

colorscheme

I will say my husband wanted the charcoal roof with the house color grey with white trim. This is part of the negotiation process with your spouse!  I’m happy we could agree with this color scheme.

 

 

Meetings Meetings and More Meetings

Want to test your marriage? Build a house together.

Continuing on this journey of moving on, we are moving through the process of building our new house.  The choices of neighborhood and house plan design seemed like easy choices at this point.  And it was not!   The harder part is when you come to choices and budget.  I used to love watching TV shows on this.  It is not as fun when it’s your money.

We selected a one story mediterranean style house and a builder (Toll Brothers).  Some of the simplier choices were how many rooms and a bathroom upgrade.   Even a kitchen upgrade to include a massive island counter.  The more difficult parts have included how to design the living room with furniture and a fire place.   In this plan we have a 12 foot 4 inch wall with the fireplace in the middle on one side of the room.  A wall of windows on the back side, a blank wall opposite facing the fireplace and the kitchen looking into this room.  I am not a fan of placing the TV above the fireplace because of the height.  And I don’t want opposite walls with competing focal points.  (you can’t set your couch in front of one or the other and I don’t want to turn my head).  I found a really cool design on the internet that I hope works.  The builder is going to let us know if they can move the fireplace so that it is not center, if so, I can place my TV next to it like this…(here is the design and here is an example of what you get in the house).  The extended stacked stone is an upgrade, I love it!

fireplacetv.PNG

Another issue will be the fact that we are going to have maybe 9 inches of depth.  We are going to have 5.1 surround sound so we need to figure out a small form factor subwoofer.

fireplace

I am not doing the extended fireplace hearth into the room.  The fireplace will just go to the floor (it’s gas).

Next is the vanity in the master bath.  So here is a picture of the bathroom as it comes. There is no vanity for doing make up.  Who came up with this plan?  Obviously not a female!  So I am adding a vanity niche (like the photo beneath it).  We are removing the linen closet and putting in the vanity niche.  I have no idea how this is going to turn out aesthetic wise, but functionally it will be better.  Usually people that try to do their own thing fail miserably, especially when they don’t have the education on design, porportion, etc.  However the two things I mentioned, how to set the furniture in the living room and a place to get ready for me are super important.

bathroom

niche bath

Another challenge will be how to re-purpose a room that is currently considered the breakfast room.  With a massive island that will have bar stools and a separate dining room, I don’t need a third area for eating.  Yet there is one.  This room, called the breakfast room opens up to a small patio outside.  I am going to try and use the room as some kind of lounge.  Whether it be for coffee or a small sitting area, I’m not sure.  I’m hoping to get a designer involved to help make this space purposeful.  With the two of us, there is no need for a breakfast room, dining room and the sit in bar area.

This has been super stressful, yet you would think it would be fun. Building will start in late September and completion will be in April.  To add to the stress, we are selling our current house.  I hope to have it on the market by end of August.  The plan here is to move into a short term lease…somewhere until our new house is ready and my son graduates high school.

Want to test your marriage? Build a house together.