Monday, April 11, 2011

Decisions on the House

So the builder came back with his price estimate. It's $50K more than we want to pay - and we already knew it would come back like that (so everyone calm down). We had him bid it like we had won the lottery and money was no object. We were not surprised with the price, it was right on target. Conrad had guessed 10K less than what he came in with and I had guessed 30K more than what he came back with. So we were very happy that he prices the way we thought he did. But now comes the "paring down the budget part". We are supposed to meet with him this week again and get some questions answered, etc.

Some things we can do to save money?
8 foot doors go to 7 foot interior doors
Instead of wood on the upstairs landing, carpet
Wooden spindles on the banister, instead of wrought iron
No granite in the bathrooms- go with cultured marble
Kitchen cabinets - instead of stain we can paint white or black
Can remove the built in hutch (I can always buy one) in breakfast room
Can remove built in desk/shelves in family room
Remove sink in the laundry room
Remove farmhouse sink in the kitchen
Ladies back porch- gone
Kill the master sitting room
Kill the powder room (although Conrad doesn't want to do this)
Remove other random built in's (we had shleves here and there)
Some landscaping - Conrad would prefer to do it anyway

Things not willing to compromise on?
TV built in - in the family room
Built in generator
Sprinkler System/Gutters
Full stone fireplace/floor to ceiling
Large closet in Conrad's office
Conrad's patio
Craft room built in (but I am ok with shrinking it down)
Raised office
Wooden stairs with carpet runner (for Blanca and future dogs) --- he said we could just do carpeted stairs, but I love the look of wood. No compromise.
Large closet in the game room

He offers standard crown molding in 5 rooms, and he wires 1 room for stereo. The house is also wired for security and satellite. All standard. He also offered 3 paint colors. Any additional color is $250. I'd pay that all day long to avoid painting. So we will probably have maybe 5 colors total ...

The things we want to do RIGHT and have HIM do are floors, bathrooms and kitchen. I want those to look really nice. Even if we don't use top of the line travertine and hand scraped wood floors, I want them to look like a solid 3-4 on a scale from 1-5. So ... I think that can be done. The thing I am struggling with is the painted cabinets in the kitchen. We have stark white now. I had a real soft white/beige in Dallas in my condo. So the only paint I think I would go with is a black. I love black ... and I'm trying to see (via pics in magazines) if I can find some black that looks really nice. The stain we would have chosen would have been a dark dark espresso anyway ... so what can it hurt to paint? The more modern kitchens I am seeing are painted ...

Oh, also? I have two islands in the kitchen. I am thinking of doing the center, prep island in a nice butcher block. SHOULD be cheaper than granite. Then doing the rest of the kitchen in granite, but a lighter granite that would have more brown in it.




Meg said...

Black cabinets can be made to look very chic! Very modern looking! Also I'd KILL to have a butcher block island! Sigh....

And I'd kill for a laundry room sink!!!!!

The Tomball Three said...

Thanks Meg. I think I want the butcher block too!!!!

Tracy said...

I think black cabinets would be the way to go, as well, just make sure your counter tops are light colored. Check and see if you can get Silestone for the same price or less than Granite. Silestone looks just like Granite but it never has to be sealed and has no "veins" that can crack.

A good way to save yourself some money is start right now buying things like light fixtures and cabinet hardware and towel bars, etc. Not all at once, but every payday go to Lowes or Home Depot and get a ceiling fan you love or whatnot. I did that and ended up taking over $2k out of my construction budget by buying those things myself.

The Tomball Three said...

oooo good idea Tracy !!!!
I will talk to the builder about that on Thursday. He said he didn't care if we did stuff like that.

Silestone going on my list now to ask him about! I was thinking a sandy color ... with black cabs.