Vanity sketch

Here is what I hope our vanity will look like with the Ikea box, laminate top, Duravit sink, and wall mounted faucets.

Siding progress

Angel and Oscar were here this weekend doing an awesome job with the siding.


Park Oak vanity

This vanity is from one of Leanarch's other projects, the Park Oak house. I'd like our hacked together Ikea sink/base to look sort of like this.

If I squint just right, maybe. . .

Before my morning espresso. . .


Six Weeks?!

J.D. thinks that the house will be done in about six weeks. That would be awesome, as I'd been envisioning twice that.

We passed the latest stucco inspection two weeks ago; there's no clear reason why that crew hasn't come to finish it yet.

The guys hanging the siding say they'll be working this weekend and next and then be done.

We cut the $4000 interior door budget in half by going with plain solid core doors @ $60 (and hollow on closets @ $40) instead of the single-panel doors with square sticking. Did anyone out there know that interior doors cost so much? Around $150 a door for the panel doors, pre-hanging adds another $120-ish. We're doing 13 doors.

Other victims of the eleventh-hour budget reality check include:

  • Pocket doors for the studio. Gone for now, though the pockets are in place, hidden under drywall.
  • Underfloor radiant heating in the master bathroom. Gone. We live in Southern California, so we won't miss it that much.
  • Glass panel doors for the bathrooms and laundry. Gone.
I'll reserve writing a post-mortem until things are, well, post-mortem, but I will reflect on the budget for a moment:

For one thing, we intended to be more involved with selecting less expensive "allowance items" than those in the contract, but having small children left little time for that research.

For another, we added things (change orders, in contractor-speak) like solar power, can lights, and a skylight.

Lastly, the unexpected $8000 city mandated fire sprinkler system didn't help matters.


Ikea hack

This is a photo I found on the Dwell forums, and it just may save the day for us. We want to use an Ikea kitchen base cabinet in the master bathroom. The problem is, Ikea's bathroom sink won't fit the kitchen cabinet.
So, instead of a $900 materials and labor cost on cutting granite to accept an undermount sink we could do this: $50 chunk of butcher block wood countertop and a $60 Ikea sink. The wood fits the cabinet, and a hole is cut into it to fit the sink. Problem solved.


Cost cutting

We're actively soliciting suggestions for saving money on the following items, while still looking modern and awesome:

  • Flooring for the stairs and masterbedroom
  • Surface for the bathroom vanity that'll allow an undermount sink
  • Bathroom floor

For the flooring we're looking at engineered hardwood veneer. The pre-finished, click-lock stuff will probably save us a lot on installation costs. I've seen talk of using cement-fiber siding as a floor. Is that nuts?

For the counter top we got a quote on a 3x2 ft. chunk of granite remainder. Per foot costs are lowish ($20) but installation is freaking me out. $900. Help!

The bathroom floor is a tough one, since we're still in love with the $12 sq.ft. Walker Zanger Melange . Maybe we can put some insanely cheap stuff on the walls/shower/surrounds in order to afford this stuff on the floor?


Door handles

We've picked out these lovely handles for the interior doors. They are the Stuttgart lever handle from epitome.


Hey look, it's Goil

My good friend from high school, Goil Amornvivat just showed up on Top Design, a reality TV show. Goil's awesome, hasn't changed a bit, and it's great to see him creating excellent interior designs on TV.

Bonus bit of Goil trivia -- he and his siblings all have awesome nicknames: Gik, Ging, Goil, and Nim.


Meeting about finishing

We met with James and J.D. yesterday to figure out how we can finish construction within our remaining budget. We started going down a path of talking through each line item, figuring out what we could ditch, which things we could skimp on, etc.

Then James went out back to walk through the addition. When he returned he said (I'm paraphrasing) "Look, I'd recommend, as your Architect, more than your Builder, that we don't start ditching things and giving you less than the original vision of your home. J.D. and I need to take a long look at the remaining work and find a way to get it to you within the budget."

This is more work for them, and we really appreciate it. It would be far simpler for them to go with their usual sub-contractors and high-end materials. But we can't afford that, and they are not the kind of firm that is willing to cut and run, or tell us "too bad, find more money".


This would have been easier

I wish we'd just bought a few of these tiny little houses and sprinkled them around the back yard.

Awful quiet

Nothing seemed to happen last week. Could this have anything to do with us mentioning to J.D. that we're running out of money? We're meeting James on Wednesday to talk over the remaining allowance items and where we can save.

Here's a question: Do we avoid buying cheap stuff that isn't needed for a Certificate of Occupancy (e.g., laundry room door?) altogether and just buy the better stuff later when money magically appears in our lives? Or do we get everything in place, even if it means replacing some of it down the road?

Today I saw the plumber lurking around, but that's about it. The siding guys were supposed to come either Saturday or today, hopefully they'll be here today. Once they're done the stucco can continue.