Thursday, October 13, 2011

building a new home , step one , long post be warned

I wanted to update how the new house is coming along, well its been kind of in a stall pattern until I was able to make my selections especially the electrical, they really couldn't go ahead, well I am happy to say I have now made all of my selections , I know that sounds like a lot of work right , especially to those who have build a new home . There are many ways to build , this is our third new build , this is a custom home in many senses but in other ways it is not , it is customized and a one of kind design but it is standard as far as what is "comes" with, we are using the same builder as the current home we are in now, Tribute Communities which is a home builder in Ontario Canada, we have always been pleased with the traditional stylings of their homes . We first noticed Tribute in Oakville when my husband was still a student there, they created a community of stylish town homes , three storey , I have always loved three storey towns , its a Peter Pan thing , they had alley ways behind as well as garage access in the alley allowing for beautiful street scape's, but we chose our current location to be closer to my family and still close to Toronto for my husband to be able to commute into the city for work, the perfect compromise , I love the suburb life , parks, community and a short drive into a major city for culture and entertainment although our medium sized city is becoming quite the hub for culture and entertainment and now a university town as well we are just a step outside of country life as well, we really get the best of both worlds , quiet safe community living with top notch public schools as well as Catholic schools, shopping and dining , I wouldn't live anywhere else , well maybe some day we will head out to California , maybe , I would be all over that lovely weather.

So now that we have scooped up our lovely one of a kind 2500 sq ft center hall Cape Cod style home with separate garage it was time to make selections at the design center , with each purchase you are allotted a upgrade amount to use on what ever you like, which allows you to personalize your home with upgrades.
Of course you get all standard selections at no extra cost , carpet , ceramic , laminate the basics, from  which you can then choose colors, or this is the time you want to make changes , this is the hard part . I have spent the better part of the last 4 weeks planning and re planning my choices.

Here is how I approached it , I had a great amount of upgrade money given to me by the builder and I wanted to make it go as far as possible of course and through upgrading this house we live in over the past 7 years or so I have learned what I would do if given the chance to build again , I would upgrade to 9 foot ceilings for sure , which was already done , smooth ceilings were very very important , so we did add that , trim , now there was the dilemma , I have replaced every inch of trim in this house, I can't do it again , so we upgraded our trim in the new house to a nice 5" stepped base boards and a 3 inch combo back band casing for doors and windows , with beautiful square panel doors throughout , but I left the standard shiny brass knobs, which will be upgraded later but not much later, to a rubbed bronze or chrome , I am loving shiny chrome.
I must tell you I had the best interior design consultant at Tribute yesterday , she totally got where I was going with the house and she helped direct me through the sea of selections to be made, I will have to have her over when things are all said and done .
TIP : go to a preview if you don't have this option do your homework, we went as a family for a couple of hours and pre selected tile and cabinets there are so many choices you will need some processing time.
I even got a few extras I hadn't thought I was going to get like a lovely upgraded fireplace.
We first started with deleting , see flooring is a permanent or semi permanent choice depending on how you go , the main floor comes with carpet , but I am a wood floor girl , from now and always, so I deleted all the carpet on the main floor , oh and the entry tile which I will brick veneer, and the powder room , which I may just brick as well, or tile with mosaic ??? the only finished floor on the main floor will be the laundry , we went with a nice stone look ceramic , which was a nice standard choice , it will be great with the dogs. The master bath and the girls bath will get tile flooring as well the girls bedrooms will have carpet , which they requested , our dogs love to roll around on the carpeted areas of the house , do yours??? So upon possession the girls bedrooms and baths will be totally complete upon possession. The main floor will be a wee unfinished , but we will have the flooring done asap , it will be red oak finished on site , and the stairs will be stained at the same time to match perfectly.......woohoo , that was our consultants great advice , I was going to have the builder stain our stairs and try to have the flooring guy match , but what a smart move.

Stairs traditional staircase
traditional staircase design,  here is the look I am going for with our stairs , but actually we will have colonial pickets in paint grade in a nice thicker pickets and a square post , we love the square...

I decided to go ahead and upgrade the master bath cabinets to these painted maple in pearl color, to upgrade the whole kitchen to this paint finish would have been too much, so for all the other cabinetry we are going to have this Parma Oak for the whole kitchen and kids baths....but they will be sprayed by me , in at least two colors , kind of a pale putty and maybe a smokey blue grey green or aqua to be selected later for the kitchen and white for the girls baths well that's what they are requesting. So happy I have the sprayer now. I really wanted carrera floors in our bathroom for the floors as did Sophie but the cost was just too high , I chose a very simple striped ceramic called Romance which I quite love and I found a faux carrera for Sophie what was a standard that I know she will just love it really has the look and Mason's floor she wanted Cinq White which is also very nice.

I have my eye on some great chrome pendants like these, I  added another box to the ceiling to allow for two pendants over the larger island I will build. Lighting is so important , I added lots of pot lights to the kitchen two over the sink and four around the perimeter of the ktichen and two to the living room and family room.
I want to use carerra subway as the kitchen backsplash and I want it to go all the way up the window wall , beautiful, with open shelving. Our consultant helped me greatly to create the kitchen I was planning , the drawings I brought in were very helpful for this step , adding drawers , balancing uppers with lowers , creating a lovely free standing looking aread by the fridge which I will paint a different color and add bead board too. Little tweaks in a kitchen go a long way , adding drawers here and there will lessen that sea of doors look , don't you love drawers.

I came across this white and chrome pendant which I am very curious about $$$???
Here is that brick flooring again which will be in the entry, it was a small cost to have them shim our base cabinets in the kitchen for the wood flooring that will go in the kitchen , great , but we can't take possession with out flooring in the kitchen so they will have to lay vinyl , OH MY WORD!!! so I told them to just go ahead and choose what ever because it will be pulled out right away !!! I will make sure they don't glue it down...that would be a nightmare.
I have to still work out the range hood design , we deleted the standard rangehood and cabinet above the stove and made the opening a bit wider than the stove area to allow for a more substantial decorative range hood which I will build.
Loving these cabinet colors minus the glazing. We will have laminte counters which are standard installed lightly for the move in then have quartz counters made by someone , to be be gifted to a great friend , to delete it wouldn't have made sense and that way our kitchen will function upon moving in . I am so looking forward to smooth not pourous , clean , durable hygenic, I am getting an apron front sink so solid surface is a must.
Here is the laminate I selected for the three bathrooms with cabinets it is basalt , it looks very much like soapstone and I am quite happy to live with this choice for a while at least .
Here is the fireplace I selected , it is so pretty , looks like something I would have come up with and it was well worth the minimal upgrade , tv will be mounted above in the family room , with wiring ready to go, nice and easy.
Here is the quartz I will be selecting for the kitchen , it is so pretty , I love the light counters , I have always had dark and it almost hides too much stuff. The island will be butcher block with dark stain .

Here are a few little things I did that I though were good decisions , upgrading the bathroom lighting which comes standard as make up strip lights with NO BOX  , this will save me a great deal of aggrivation when I go to install pretty vanity lights this means we will end up with bare buld lighting in the bathrooms which will look dreadfull but will be worth the small increase , because I was the one to put boxes in in this house and it wasn't so much fun .
I also deleted the floor tile which usually covers the skirting of the garden tub in the master and the splash area above the tub as well , I will add pretty millwork .
We were so happy to go for the seamless glass enclosure it makes such a difference over the standard framed shower and what I have always wanted was to have classic white 3"x 6" subway tile , I could only estimate while planning what that upgrade would be and it came in under what I was thinking , just slightly but I can't tell you how happy white subway tile makes me , we will have it in the girls baths too , that is what they wanted as well , my girls are so neutral , how funny is that ...
And I was able to add a tv hook up to the master bath the only cost was adding an electrical outlet, since they give us 8 tv/phone hook ups , that's a lot right ??? or is it .
So I think I did well with our upgrade money and just went slightly over which was what we had expected , but less than what I had anticipated and I got more than I had thought I would have , this is going to be a fun process to watch it all unfold ....I will keep you posted as things progress.
I will now keep my eye out for good deals on lighting and knobs for now and get my flooring guy all committed...I told you this was a long post , feast or famine with me lately .
thanks for stopping by .

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