Three months ago today, on December 15, 2010, Mark and I became the proud owners of our new house.
Not that we ever doubted it, but we often look around and confirm, Yes, this was a good choice. Not only the many things we had liked from the beginning – such as the large windows which let in so much natural light, the third bay in the garage which at the moment still houses a few boxes and other things we haven’t found a permanent home for but which will eventually be a woodworking shop (at the moment it also is home to Mark’s bicycle trainer where he rides most days). We like the fact that the lower walk-out level which houses the studio and a large unfinished portion of the basement has a high ceiling so it doesn’t feel like a typical “basement” space. And so much more.
When we made a couple of changes to the original plan, we were of course not entirely sure how they would work out, whether we might eventually regret them. However, so far, everything we did change has proved to only heighten the YES! feeling.
Among the changes:
We added a window on the east wall to the office = light! and a view
We added a window on the west wall to the dining area = light! (and by now, sadly, a view of the new house that’s being built = no more view all the way to the horizon).
We opted for hardwood floors instead of carpet in the living area and the master bedroom which provides a really pleasant feel of continuity throughout the house.
The carpet in the guest room and the office, and on the stairs, is lush, and off-white over which the involved realtors expressed some concern – “WHITE??? You’ll never be able to keep that clean …” Not really a concern since we are strictly no-shoes in the house.
We changed the “decorative” window in the bathroom to one with regular (safety) glass = view and more light, the window openable so we can take advantage of fresh air coming in.
In the studio we added more canlights (which the electrician called “overkill”) and haven’t regretted it once! We also added dimmer switches to those canlights, so I can regulate how much artificial light there is in the studio.
We added an extra outlet in the bathroom as well as in the master closet, another thing we use all the time!
We don’t even want to think what the original plan would have looked like with regard to the steps from deck to patio – the original plan had them smack in the middle, blocking the view from (and the light coming into) the studio.
We moved the door to the generously large half bath in the studio and added a little alcove under the stairs, thereby creating space for – whatever. At the moment it’s a huge mess (because I haven’t taken care of that yet) but eventually there might be a small fridge and a microwave, and storage for odds and ends.
Added a door to the back of the garage, making the future kitchen garden much more accessible.
Added a utility sink to the garage for gardening, and a utility sink to the laundry room. Once we get new garden hoses, we will be able to use the utility sink in the garage to hose out the garage for instance.
Changed the master bedroom windows from one on each side of the wall to a triple window in the middle = light! (There is a theme, isn’t there …)
So far, none of the things we changed or added have made us think, uh, that wasn’t really necessary, we could have done without. On the contrary, we often say, imagine we had NOT changed that – ugh!
A house, I suppose like life itself, is always under construction, a living thing so to speak. At the moment we are pre-occupied with two relatively major things: one is the landscaping – questions as to how involved we want it to be = perfect right away which isn’t really in the budget, or taking our time to make changes later on which may mean potentially destroying what was done now. The other thing is getting the city off our backs: we received a Notice of Violation with regard to the drainage easement (prevent the discharge of sediment from entering said drainage easement). With the help of our builder we thought we had taken care of this, but the city apparently didn’t think so. They sent another letter, this one certified mail, with the same exact Violation. Two calls to the city, one yesterday, one today, have gone unanswered. Sigh. As Mark said, right after the first letter, “Instead of sending this letter, how hard would it have been to have one of the code inspectors ring our door bell and say, ‘Put one of those things here and another there and it’ll be good’?” As it is now, we still don’t know how to remedy the situation. Frustrating.
Friday the 18th, update: Teresa from the City’s Stormwater Division came by (because I had asked her to), this morning, and showed us where we need to add waddles to the drainage easement. She was perfectly pleasant about it and almost apologized for having to send a “form letter” but explained that in order to avoid accusations of favoritism they have to do things in writing for everyone. Now we know, and will take care of it. Made for a good start of the day : )