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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Details, Details, Details

They’ve taken away the front steps and all the decks.  The huge metal staircase is still there, it makes it easier to toss debris into the dumpster. It's now the only way in and out of the house.  For the past week there's been a toilet sitting on the top landing.  I bet the neighbors love that.

That first step is a doozy!
One night I drifted off with visions of towel rails dancing in my head; the next morning I woke in a panic about a picture rail. It's surprisingly stressful to decide on everything, practically all at once; too many variables and the fear that you've forgotten something crucial. The exterior alone will have a metal roof, cement siding, metal siding, window trim, cedar siding, decking, railing, lighting, doors, steps and front porch. Each manufacturer has a different range of colors, and staring at brochures and web sites trying to decide if the colors are accurate and how they will look together is making my head spin. Details, details, details!  Oil-rubbed bronze hardware looks nice alongside our furniture with bronze handles. . . but will that go with the quartz counter top we picked out? Unfortunately we returned the sample before checking that detail. The existing bamboo floor covers the whole upper floor. It will be sanded and refinished, but we don't know what the (limited) stains you can use on bamboo look like. How do we decide the finish for the cabinets if we don’t know what color the floor will be? No wonder I’m having strange dreams.

Simplify the problem of choosing bathroom fixtures - the all in one unit!
Bathroom fixtures are a nightmare unto their own. You would think that a manufacturer would have their individual design lines come with one of everything, so you could select the items you need and have one style for the whole bathroom.  Nope.  It doesn't work that way. I feared for D.’s sanity as he navigated particularly cryptic web sites trying to find all the parts in at least the same finish if not the same style, or even manufacturer.  I think he was successful, I threw in the towel and said, as long as it works, I don’t care. I'm not sure what he chose in the end, but it probably isn't this


Fog horn optional
We get side tracked by small details; hours spent on choosing the light to go next to the front door. Or, we’ve made what we thought was a great decision on something, only to have second and third thoughts.  You almost want to give up and say ‘surprise me’ (almost, but not quite, because we don’t like a lot the design trends we've seen). I envy my friends who are doing their remodel gradually. Yes, it’s very slow, but they have time to think about the different elements rather than decide all at once.  Sensible, but I don’t think I want to wait 5 years to move in. 
On the upside, we've found a solution to the big house next door blocking the view to Puget Sound. I passed the photo on to the architects saying I didn't think we'd have any trouble getting a permit for this small adjustment to the plans.  Maybe we can convince the Coast Guard to let us use it as a lighthouse, or air traffic control for the float planes. . . 

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