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  • Writer's pictureCheri

Picking finishes & keeping a budget

I'm pretty sure the title of this is something impossible to achieve. Needless to say there has been all sorts of fun things going on at Strange farmhouse. The baby bump is getting real big, framing is almost done, we picked out all the plumbing fixtures, the fireplace and all the windows and exterior doors have been ordered. If you're not already, follow us on Instagram @strangefarmhouse where I've been posting almost daily updates. Also at the bottom of this post is a gallery of all the progress photos since the last blog post. When we picked this plan we knew there was a lot of engineering that needed to go into it making it a decent sized framing job. We are going on week 4 and hopefully the final week of framing. It has been a lot of fun to see the plan come to life, every time we visit it looks different. Sometimes we are thinking 'what the heck are we doing, this thing looks huge'. Sometime we are inside thinking rooms looks small. It was really important to Jake to have a 9 foot ceiling in the basement. With the high water table we couldn't dig the extra foot or two to get that, it had to be built up. We are learning that every change you make changes the balance of the structure resulting in other unforeseen things. In the case of the high basement ceiling it resulted in needing more steps to get to the house. The stairs from the garage to the mudroom had to be repositioned (taking 3' of space from the workshop) and the steps from the front porch to the front door have to be wider and taller now too (taking TBD space from the front porch). These things really don't bother us but every action has a reaction that's hard to anticipate. Another change we had to make, this time for code, was use 4x6's on the exterior walls, not 2x4's. Even though it called for this in the plan, it wasn't incorporated in the measurements in the plan we bought so we are slightly off. 2" along all the exterior walls really isn't noticeable except for the spot the bathtub goes, under the window in the bathroom and in a little nook between our closets. Because we lost 2", the widest tub we could have without blocking a closet door is 27". We went to a plumbing showroom and after they searched their books, they didn't have or know of anything anything that narrow. We were about to rework the framing to somehow make room for a wider tub but thankfully one of my instagram buddies whose building the same plan saved the day and shared a company that makes them narrow!

Tubs aren't a huge priority for us since we hardly ever take baths and we will have a tub upstairs for the kids anyways, so it was a non issue. Plus it's motivation to stay active otherwise I literally will not fit. I can see how this sort of thing could be stressful or frustrating for some, unfortunately this is all part of building. Something to keep in mind when you pick a plan, if you want something unique your going to run into this. If you don't like surprises then it might be better to use a plan your builder has already built and modify off that. Then there is the picking stuff out. I have been pinning ideas for this specific house for at least 2 years. Although I don't always know exactly what I want, I can pretty quickly articulate what I like and don't like. So I thought selecting fixtures and finishes should be easy, right? So wrong!! First we went to the tile place and got a bunch of ideas, I was dancing around with beautiful on trend cement painted tiles and picking out other things I've always loved. I'm glad I took a first pass and then a break because in my soul searching I decided to do classic versus trendy, no matter how much my heart flutters at printed tile. I think I will thank myself in 5-10 years. I'm going with subway for the backsplash and bathrooms along with 1" hex in the baths, brick in the mudroom, I'm going to do a driftwood look tile for the upstairs bathroom (ok that one might be trendy but I want to make the kids space upstairs a camp/rustic feel). Laundry room still has to be picked out and I need to get it all priced soon. Next up was countertops. I seriously thought I'd walk into the showroom and pick everything out. Nope, not even close. We had decided on a marble looking quartz for the kitchen a long time ago. I didn't anticipate how many options are out there, I thought I'd be picking from a handful, not from hundreds. Same for literally every stone surface; the master vanity, half bath vanity and upstairs kids bath vanity. For the pantry, I want to do black leathered finish but no idea what brand. More to come on this after I make preliminary decisions and see how far off the quote is from the budget. Speaking of budget, when we fist saw our plumbing fixture budget in the contract we were positive we would not be using the whole thing. I mean, it was a large number and we don't need fancy things so this part was going to be great. Lol, literally I laugh at myself. The first trip to the plumbing showroom was ridiculous, we tried out bath tubs and picked a nice one then moved onto the sink faucets for the master as well. At some point my husband asked the brilliant question "hey, what do all those cost?". You guys, the tub was over $5,000 and the faucets were over $1,000 EACH. And we picked these out thinking we were beating reasonable.

So then we started asking what's looks similar and I ended up going home and doing the research where I could see all the options and pricing rather than relying on someone to show us. Those places are nuts, they first show you the Tesla of everything, and I think we want a Subaru, let's look at those and go from there. Lucky Jake has a friend that helped us a lot with brands and suggestions and we got to a place we feel good about with selections. We pretty much came out on budget with that. We could have saved a lot if that oil rubbed bronze wasn't so gorgeous, the darker you go the more it costs!

Hopefully next week we have trusses up! In the meantime I'll be research all the baby things and drooling over everyone gorgeous fall decor in my feeds.

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