GUTTING OUR NEW HOUSE AND HANGING ON TO OUR BUDGET FOR DEAR LIFE
Feb 2014

And The Winner Is...

MetLife Heritage Harbor Financial Advisors. Congrats to them for sending our first piece of junk mail to our new home. Special Award to MVP Mom for getting it for us and then promptly throwing it out.
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Locking In More Decisions

What happens when you get down to the end of renovating an entire house? LC starts calling from the stores for speedy decisions. We’re flying by the seat of our pants but the breeze is kind of refreshing.

Our biggest decision today - front and back door knobs. Here’s what we’re going with:

For the front door, the Emtek Greeley in Black with a round knob for the inside instead of a lever.
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For the Back door, the Emteck Delaware in Satin Nickel:
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For the basement door, same as above or something close to it.
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Breathing Room!

Props to Sig Other for suggesting I try one more time to extend my lease by 2 weeks. His genius idea? Ask my Super if there’s someone I can talk to other than the nasty woman at the management company who said (and I’m paraphrasing) “NO!!!!!! IMPOSSIBLE. ABSOLUTELY NO WAY NO HOW!!!! IT’S NEVER EVER EVER BEEN DONE!!!!!”

Props to the Super for telling me to call Mike, the head of leasing.

Props to the Doorman for telling me Mike’s last name.

Props to Mike, who returned my call right away and said, “No Problem.”

Props to LC for not slowing the pace down when I told him I bought us more time.

Props to Niece and Her Hubby for passing on their moving boxes (and bubble wrap!).

Props to me for actually starting to put things in those boxes.

And Props to this building I will soon be leaving. I’ll be saying goodbye to a quaint little apartment. But oh how nice it’ll be to say hello to a quaint little house!
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Let's Open Some Doors

Next on our list from LC: Choose the door knobs. He suggested Emtek as the brand and after some back and forth, we chose a round knob for the solid interior doors and a simple lever for the french door. Then we learned about the rosette - the plate. Here are our choices:


Round:
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Rectangle:
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Square:
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Oval (no matching plate for the lever we chose):

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Fancy-schmancy (no matching plate for the lever we chose):
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After searching the web to find pictures of rooms with doors and checking out the rosettes, we narrowed it down to round and rectangle. After realizing we’d be happy with either one, we decided on the round. Sorry rectangle. Today just wasn’t your day.
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May I Use The Bathroom? Not Yet

Today’s topic: whatever is left to decide about the bathrooms. Because there’s no moving in without toilets and sinks.

COUNTERTOP SLABS APPROVED
For the downstairs bathroom, 3/4” Botticino:
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For the upstairs bathroom, 1 1/4” White Carrara:
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HARDWARE CHOSEN
For both bathrooms, the Delta Leland Series:
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HARDWARE TO BUY IF IT’LL FIT UPSTAIRS
The Cade Collection Double Towel Bar:
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Crate & Barrel’s Towel Rack:
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TOILETS ON ORDER
For downstairs, the Toto Promenade:
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For upstairs, the Toto Clayton:
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SHOWER GLASS ORDERED

For downstairs: 3/8” glass, sliding doors
For upstairs: 1/2” glass, door on hinges

WINDOW TREATMENTS, TBD
Vinyl blinds for upstairs window, we’re thinking Hunter Douglas Everwood:
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Since downstairs window is in the shower, we’re considering two options:
1. Small vinyl blinds
2. Keep a tension rod and vinyl curtain handy for when shower is in use
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We're Getting There!

As the clock ticks down to our move-in date, LC and his workers have put things in high gear. So much so, we were kicked out of the house when we stopped in to approve a few things and started getting too comfortable. Points to LC for keeping things moving, keeping us focused on each decision that needs to be made every step of the way, and hopefully keeping us from being homeless after we move out of my apartment.

I was able to sneak a few photos in while I was there:

Front entrance
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Entrance into living room
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Front end of living room
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Center of living room
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Back end of living room
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Dining room
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Dining room windows
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Foyer facing stairs, coat closet and bathroom
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downstairs bathroom
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Mudroom
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Upstairs Office - note the new flooring upstairs
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Guest Room #1
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Main Bedroom
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Upstairs bathroom
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Upstairs bathroom vanity
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Vanity and floor
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Shower
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Not shown: Kitchen was filled with workers and guest bedroom #2 was filled with supplies so no pics for those rooms this time.
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Mail Call!

I’ve been on the hunt for a wall mounted mailbox. The plan is to hang it on the same wall as the front door so the mail will be a bit dryer than it was the last time I got it. Mother Nature took away our back screen door, but I’m not letting her go crazy on the mail.

I’ve narrowed the choices to two I found online at Signature Hardware:

1. The Palace locking wall mount mailbox - I’m liking the smooth, clean look
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2. The Rustico wall mount locking mailbox - this one just makes me smile
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Where We're At

An update of the goings on at our very soon-to-be home:

  • Radiant heat flooring has been installed

  • Kitchen floor tiles are in

  • All interior window trimming has been done

  • Interior doors have been installed and trimmed

  • Tiles are now in both bathrooms

  • Vanities have come in and will be installed in both bathrooms

  • An appointment to approve the vanity countertops is being set up

  • Toto toilets were ordered today

  • Templates for shower doors are being done

  • Shower controls and faucets have been decided on and will be installed

  • Priming has been done on upstairs walls

  • New floors are being put in upstairs

  • Downstairs landing is being re-looked at to see if we can keep it

  • Door knobs and cabinet knobs are still TBD

  • Window treatments are now being discussed

An update of the goings on at our very soon-to-be former apartment:

  • Moving company has been chosen and locked in

  • Forwarding address has been filled out for USPS

  • Addresses are being changed for relevant mail

  • Bags of clothing to be donated are piling up in the bedroom

  • A to-do list is piling up in my notebook
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Flush With Anticipation

restroom-signs-e-men-women
Toilet, potty, loo, w.c., throne…whatever you call it, we need two of them. And LC says it’s time to decide what they’re gonna be. Now, those following this blog may remember we’ve said since the beginning we were getting Toto. Decision made, right? Nope. Turns out Toto makes almost 150 different toilets. Who knew there was so much to know about toilets?

  • There are 1-piece and 2-piece toilets. The 2-piece is the traditional style and LC says that’s what we’re getting which narrows down our choices a bit.

  • Toilet bowls can be round or elongated. Elongated are said to be more comfortable, but they’re about 2” longer than round which can be a problem in tight spaces. Both our bathrooms are tight spaces. LC thinks we may be able to get an elongated one in the upstairs bathroom but the downstairs may have to have either a round or semi-elongated one.

  • The standard toilet height is 15 inches. Toilets that are in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) will be anywhere from 17 to 19 inches high. 17 inches is our preference. Anything higher than that and my dangling feet might fall asleep while I’m using it.

  • When a toilet is labeled CalGreen, it’s referring to the California State Building Code which mandates a 20% reduction in water usage for toilets. Even though we aren’t in California that sounds like a good label to me.

  • When a toilet has a WaterSense label, it means it uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush. Another good thing.

  • When a house has no toilet at all, just the discussion of a toilet makes the owner smile.
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Woodn't You Know It?

Just when we thought we were nearing the end of the process and all that was left were small decisions, LC calls with a giant hiccup. The upstairs floors can’t be saved after all.

The issue is the flooring is tongue-in-groove and 1/2 inch thick. (Most wood flooring is 3/4 inch thick.) By sanding it, the spaces between the planks will get bigger and splinter, and the parts where the wood is really worn apparently won’t hold up.
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Unfortunately this affects the uniquely shaped landing. It will need to be replaced and our choice is to either replicate it (doable but not so easy to do) or put in a shorter square landing.
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It will also affect the stairs. The top step will be a bigger drop since the floor will be an extra 1/4 inch higher. But we think we can live with that vs. replacing the stairs and railings.
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On the Plus Side (yes, luckily we can find some positives in this)
1. Ripping up the upstairs floor gives us a chance to check the sub-flooring and ensure it’s sufficient
2. The room next to the bathroom (guest room #2) has a sloping floor. Hopefully we’ll be able to level it out a bit
3. If we choose to go with a shorter landing in the foyer, it will open up the space a bit
4. When it’s done, the floors throughout the entire house are gonna look pretty darn sweet
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Wall-To-Wall Happiness

Here’s a quick walk through our house with walls...

Foyer - small downstairs bathroom at back left of pic, tiny coat closet straight back (We will be donating lots of coats before we move in!)
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Downstairs Bathroom up close - includes standup shower for short people standing up
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Living Room with all its nooks and crannies
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Living room looking toward front of house
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Looking from living room through foyer and into Dining Room - we widened the opening between foyer and dining room to match the opening between foyer and living room
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Looking from Dining Room into Kitchen and doorway to mudroom
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Mudroom with new back door (still have to pick out new door knobs)
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Corner of mudroom
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Upstairs Office looking in from hallway
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Upstairs office looking out
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Guest Bedroom #1
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Guest Bedroom #1 looking at closet
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Main Bedroom
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Upstairs Hallway
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2nd Guest Bedroom which kept the closet that was there originally
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2nd guest bedroom also has a separate closet for the upstairs central air unit. the plan is for the door and doorknob to be flush with the wall so we can put a day bed in front of it
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2nd Guest Bedroom also has a new closet on other side of room using space we weren’t able to use in bathroom
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Upstairs Bathroom from doorway
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Standup shower in upstairs bathroom
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One final note: The regular baseboard heating covers have been installed for now. We’re holding off on getting the better covers while I research all our options.
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Knock, Knock Who's There? Our New Front Door

As you may recall from a previous post, we had picked out a few potential front doors. Based on the height of our door, our options ended up being narrowed. Our choice doesn’t have the same old charm the previous door did, but we like the warmth of it, literally and figuratively. Plus, it’s a nice snug fit.

before and after outside...
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before and after inside...
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