more structure–and detail
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Two topics in today’s post: the incredible pace (or so it feels) of the structure of AHNF, as I like to call a house named Fred–though that should be ahnF, I guess. Also, what it’s like to deal with the details, the picking out of lights/plumbing fixtures/finishes and the surprises and stumbles that come with [...]
Two topics in today’s post: the incredible pace (or so it feels) of the structure of AHNF, as I like to call a house named Fred–though that should be ahnF, I guess. Also, what it’s like to deal with the details, the picking out of lights/plumbing fixtures/finishes and the surprises and stumbles that come with all that.
First, the growth of ahnF. Here’s how it looks as of yesterday, with the roof framing becoming more and more complete:
The two sections of roof you see in this photo will join as the framing gets further along, for a continuous if bent line from garage to the main part of the house.
You can see the piano bump-out to the far right; a little triangular projection that will house my late mother-in-law’s Steinway and frame it from the inside with windows and a lowered roof.
In fact, that piano bump-out gives me a nice segué into the next topic, because the beautiful light fixture we’d always pictured hanging over it exemplifies some of my own frustrations with this whole home-building process. More than a year ago, when we started the whole work-with-an-architect home design process, the two of us went through the catalogs and websites of all kinds of companies that make light fixtures, and plumbing fixtures, and other necessary details that go into a house (see earlier posts here and here). We found, after careful research, what things got the best reviews and recommendations (thank you, Consumer Reports) and narrowed down our choices for such stuff.
This lighting fixture was one of those things with which I just fell in love, and pictured hanging over the piano–over the seat, maybe, but at least over the body of the lovely grand with its shining ebony surface. It’s called a “Crescendo,” which seems especially perfect for a part of the house where music may happen.
But what nobody tells you, especially if your home-building process takes a while and goes through fits and starts at its start, is that things change.
The lowered ceiling over the piano, for instance, means this beautiful light hangs too low to go over the piano; if we leave the lid open–as is the usual practice with grand pianos–the light will hit it, so it has to go back in the bump-out, not where I’d always pictured it.
The other thing that happens is that as time goes by, the companies that make the oven, for instance, that you’d carefully researched, compared with similar models, decided was the best deal with the features you wanted (a popcorn setting on the microwave is absolutely necessary) stops being made. The company (KitchenAid, thanks a lot) discontinues that oven, and replaces it–maybe, it’s hard to tell–with a couple other similar models, then publishes only a little information on its website so you can’t really tell if the new one that’s similar priced still has a popcorn setting or if you’ll now have to pay $1000 more to get that stupid button.
Do I sound frustrated? That would be because I am.
One other thing that happens as the process gets into final deadlines of decision-making is that you find out one of the folks you work with put a line item from your budget in a category different from the category the subcontractor or vendor put it into, so that you assume you’re well within your allowance for, say, cabinets, only to find out the allowance in one budget didn’t include that item and you’re now $10,000 over budget.
SO.…building a custom house is wonderful as you watch it become real. And it’s sheer torture as you watch it become real and watch the budget expand.