Saturday, September 13, 2014

And now for the downers

Without further ado, the things I don't like:

- Hands down, the number one thing I don't like about the house is not specific to the floor plan.  The attention to detail and professionalism of the people hired to do finish work left so very much to be desired.  Trim that doesn't meet right was just caulked (and still looks bad), the paint job was sloppy (I just found an entire wall covered in goobers, that we didn't notice before because who looks closely at closet walls?), some trim wasn't level, doors weren't hung quite straight, doorknobs weren't tightened securely so they wiggle around and scraped up the door paint, the list goes on and on.  My favorite?  The wood for the windowsills was cut too quickly, which left sort of a frayed edge...not exactly splinter wood, too thin and floppy for that, but easily fixed.  They didn't fix it...and the paint people painted right over it!  So we had painted bits of wood sticking out of almost every single windowsill!  Grrr.
- The wire pantry shelves were HORRIBLE.  They were awkwardly placed, didn't make good use of the space, and bent underneath the weight of just a couple cans of food.  This was the first big project we tackled in the house, switching to decent shelves.  I might end up doing the linen closet shelves down the road, but they don't hold canned goods so they don't bother me as much yet.
- They don't tell you this, although I know at least one other blogger was able to get it adjusted slightly...when you get 42" cabinets they're hung at the same height as the standard ones.  Which means they come down lower.  So tall appliances don't fit underneath them.  That part isn't a super big deal, since we're not coffee drinkers, but it does occasionally cause some annoyances.  Where it got us in trouble is that we can't open the doors of the cabinet above the fridge all the way, because they hit the fridge door's hinge.  Luckily that's where I store stuff I use very, very rarely.
- I know I'm going to be in the minority with this one...but I really, really don't like how huge the master bedroom is (hides from rotten tomatoes).  For us, and how we live, that's wasted space.  I wish we had given more serious thought to figuring out how to carve another room out of some of that, so that we could have an actual guest room.  All my bedroom needs is room for a bed, bedside tables, and dressers.  I could fit two bedroom suites in that room!
- The staircase is really hard to get furniture through, because of the bend.  They also extended the wall cap trim (for the section from the top floor to the landing) in such an absurd manner that it's a bit of a hazard to small children and ribcages.  The railings are not very sturdy.  And what the heck is up with this weird flat trim?  My kids hurt themselves on it at least once a week.  I really want to just rip it off and re-finish whatever's underneath.
- The mudroom is a joke.  Seriously, why are they even allowed to call that a mudroom?  The model doesn't have any doors, which gives the illusion of more space, when in reality that garage door is totally in the way any time it's open.
- On elevation E, the living room window reaches closer to the floor.  Which means my kids stand on the window sill.  It probably will make it harder to put furniture in there, too, when we finally stop using it as the boys' craft room and put full-sized stuff in there.
- Having a pedestal sink in the powder room is somewhat less than ideal.  I'm still trying to figure out a way to keep supplies in there without cluttering the space up with cabinets or things on the floor.  We might swap that sink out down the road, still pondering.
- The landscaping was a joke.  Seriously, we have red clay here in Virginia and all they did was dig a hole, plop a plant from the pot to the hole, and cover it with mulch.  I'm shocked anything on our street is even alive.  Although we were the only ones to have anything actually die, so maybe they know something I don't.
- The placement of light switches is mind-boggling.  I've seen lots of variations on this in the blogs, and no two are alike.  We lucked out that there aren't any really annoyingly placed ones (middle of that kitchen wall, anyone?) but sometimes I want to smack the designers upside the head.
- The drawers in the kitchen are ridiculously shallow, in my humble opinion.  Not something I would have thought to measure!
- When you get double sinks, that doesn't give you much flat surface to put stuff on.  The sinks take up most of the room.
- The bathroom outlets are not in the most convenient place for hair dryers and stuff.  Petty, I know.  :)

And the things I'd do differently:
- A different lot.  I'm really not happy with the yard we ended up with, especially since we were given some verbal assurances that turned out to be incorrect.  We're making it work as best we can, but I have a much harder time letting my boys go outside to play than I was hoping for.
- BIGGER DECK.  I thought ours would be sufficient, but since there's no stairs down to the yard we really could have used the extra room so that kids have space to play when we're all out there.  It's a wee bit cramped right now, with the grill and two chairs.
- If you get the half-bath in the basement you can't do the shower rough-in.  It's either full bath or full rough-in, not mix and match.  What we didn't know was that there's no way to come back after the fact and add a shower in there, even though there's room if you take out that wall.  Probably there can be some creative plumbing done to get a shower in there, but if we'd known about that we'd have gotten the full bath.
- The bar between the kitchen and morning room is more annoying than useful.  When we upgrade our countertops down the road, I might just have them take that out and make that section of counter a little deeper.
- I'd try to get a bay window somewhere.  It didn't appear to be an option in our neighborhood, but I've since seen it on other houses (not Romes, though).
- I'd pick a different siding color, so we could do a brightly colored door.  Not much goes with green!
- No tub jets.  Waste of money, they're really loud so we never use them.
- The master bathroom is kind of...boring.  I think I would pick different tiles next time.

And just to end things on a more positive note, the things I thought would be bad that turned out okay:
- The soaker tub.  I didn't think we'd use it enough to justify it, but we actually use it quite a bit.
- I originally wanted every available window installed in the house, which would have added one to each of the front bedrooms and one to the front living room.  As it turns out, the house on the living room side of us is so close that the two on that side would have been pointless, and really having two windows in the bedrooms would have made for difficulties in furniture arrangement.  Plus that living room wall is where my built-in bookcase is going!

Alright, that's all I have for now.  I reserve the right to do follow-up posts, though, if I think of any more likes or dislikes.  :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Let me count the ways

I had intended to do all my catch-up posts in the order listed yesterday, but that first one is going to be a BEAST.  Let this be a lesson to you:  it is MUCH harder to go back in time (duh) and remember what things have or have not been posted on, which things need to be updated, trains of thought that need to be completed.  Do it as you go!  So instead I'm going to start with a word-heavy, rather than picture- and detail-heavy, post.  Ladies and gentlemen, things I still LOVE about the Rome:

- The open floor plan is everything we hoped it could be.  We've had three birthday parties, one sit-down dinner with 11 people, and multiple small group gatherings, and this floor plan just delivers.  Lots of room for people to gather together, but also enough to separate into smaller conversational groupings.  It doesn't feel cramped having more than just the four of us in the room.
- The kitchen.  Oh the kitchen.  I love having counters.  Seriously, here's a picture of our old house so you can appreciate how much this kitchen and I are soul mates.

- The loft is great.  It's where the bulk of the kids' toys are, it's a great space for wrestling them into bed, and I sort all my laundry there.
- Having the laundry on the same floor as the clothing closets is wonderful.  Not really a change from our old ranch, but I grew up in a house where we had to lug baskets up and down stairs, so it's a perk I can appreciate.  Especially since the boys go through so many clothes!
- I like having a porch.  I want to use the porch.  That hasn't really happened yet, other than my cucumber vines climbing the railing, but we WILL get there.  :)
- Garages are WONDERFUL.
- Basements are excellent also.  My husband has pretty much claimed it as his own, did all the decorating and arranging, and keeps all his crap stuff down there where I don't have to trip over it.
- Storage areas...ah.  Not having to climb into an attic!  Or renting a storage locker!  And keeping the kitty litter box away from anything that might resemble human food!  Priceless.
- Staircase.  This one snuck up on me, but I like that the stairs are less steep than other homes I've been in.  The treads are deeper, also, so I can fit all my big foot on it at once.  Which is good when you have a really bad ankle and are accident prone. (Spoiler alert: the staircase will also appear on the things-I-don't-like post)
- Having four bedrooms is a very useful thing.  I can put all my crap stuff in that spare bedroom where my husband doesn't have to trip over it.
- We actually get morning sun in our morning room.  I hung some prisms in the windows, and my boys greatly enjoy getting to watch rainbows on the walls while they eat breakfast.  And the light over there is great for pictures, at least for the first half of the day.
- Elevation E has a previously under-appreciated perk: hanging Christmas lights is SO much easier when you can climb out a window onto a roof that goes the width of the house.
- Nice, big closets in the master suite are a nice perk.
- Linen closets are a wonderful thing.
- More than one toilet is unbelievably awesome.

That's all I can think of right at the moment, but if I come up with something else I'll try and remember to post about it!  :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Long time no see

So, apparently there are a few people out there still reading!  Thank you for that.  I'm going to have a bunch of catch-up posts:

- How the house looked on closing day (and as much about closing as I can remember), since it doesn't look like I did any picture updating during the last week.  A lot happened that last week!
- Punch-list stuff and other house finishing woes
- Things I love
- Things I'd do differently
- Ongoing issues, and the joys of dealing with HOAs and developers
- Changes we've made
- Changes we're planning

Is there anything else I'm not thinking of?  I'll do a house tour one room at a time, as they are clean.  Which could take a looooong time.  :D  We haven't done the 10 month drywall repairs yet, so we haven't really done much painting/decorating.  Soon, we hope!

Friday, September 5, 2014

(Crickets chirping)

So...anyone there?  I've been out of the game for almost two years now, but things are finally in a place where I can start posting again.  If anyone is still interested...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?

Hey all!  Quick update, sorry no pictures.  We had some snags with our cable internet transfer, and then my laptop's power cord got lost in the move, and of course the holidays complicated things.  Long story short, I'm still catching up on my various computer-y obligations.  There's only so much I can do from a smartphone!  But I'll have a full update as soon as I can, I promise.  I'll also be catching up on everyone else's blogs so get ready for lots of comments!  :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Chill Factor

We're trying to decide on the fridge we're going to buy for the new house, and I'd really like to hear what everyone chose and why.  Especially those of you who are already moved in and using the fridge in question!  I know I've seen a lot of people going with Samsung, but I used to work in the TV repair business and that brand was a nightmare for getting things fixed or I'm hesitant to buy a fridge from them.  Old bad blood, I guess.  Maybe I should just be over it by now?  :)

These are the top 10 rated french-door bottom-freezer water-dispenser refrigerators on Consumer Reports' website.  We need a black one, so a couple of these might not actually be an option for us.

LG LFX28991[ST]
Whirlpool Gold GX5FHTXV[Q]
Samsung RFG298HD[RS] (Lowe's)
Samsung RF323TEDB[SR]
Kenmore Elite 7106[2]
LG LFX28979[ST]
LG LFX31925[ST]
Kenmore Elite 7103[2]
Samsung RF266AE[WP]
Kenmore 7201[2]

Give me your thoughts, friends!  And as always, if you've done a post on it you can just post a link rather than repeat yourself.  ;)