My Southern Dream Home
I know I have talked about house stuff a lot lately. Building my southern dream home has turned out to be lots of fun but oh so stressful. I mean house stuff is all that seems to be in my world right now. I cannot even begin to explain how stressful the past two weeks have been. Each time we talk to our contractors it turns into 21 questions. 21 questions meaning they need to know answers like now.
When you are building a house, you need to drop everything else because building a house is pretty much like a full time job. It is like a full time job that doesn’t pay and instead is always asking for money from you. Wouldn’t it be awesome if while building a house you could just drop everything? I mean, that would make things way easier. Well, except for the fact that if you didn’t have a job in the first place you probably wouldn’t be building a house. I know we wouldn’t be anyway. So, like most people, we have to juggle working full time jobs and building a house.
Do not get me wrong, I love building a house. But, if you have built a house, you understand what kind of stressors that I am talking about. If you have not built a house but planning to – do it. I know, I know..I am complaining but at the end of the day they are good complaints and I know the end product is going to be totally worth it.
(I’ll ask 21 questions..that is what I think about when I say this)
Anyway, so the reason the past two weeks have been so stressful is because of things like:
“What kind of tub faucets are you using? We need them now.”
“What kind of shower faucet are you using? We need them now.”
“What kind of pot filler are you using? We need it now.”
“Where do you want your pot filler? We need to be precise because we can’t fudge on it. We need to know now.”
“Where do you want your outdoor sink? We need to know now.”
“What color stain are you using on your door? You need this before spray foam. “
“When is your sand for brick being delivered? The brick layers are starting in the morning instead of next week so we need that ..you guessed it..now.”
As you can see, we have been bombarded with questions and need to knows this week. I am probably one of the most organized people that I know, especially when it comes to building a house. We have already built one house and started planning this house shortly after building our first.
I have everything together in a book. But, when they start asking for everything at once it becomes overwhelming. Oh, and did I mention that not one and I mean not one faucet that I wanted was in stock in stores. I had to order every single faucet. I got lucky on a few and was able to overnight them and some I am currently waiting on.
Using Ivory Mortar
So, apparently ivory mortar has become quite popular in the south. It is so popular that we almost didn’t find any and the brick I chose had to have triple washed white sand. My husband spent several days trying to find someone to pick the sand up for us. Little did we know we should have been worrying about the availability of the sand AND how we were going to get it?
After having no luck finding someone to haul it for us, my husband called the company. They then explained this was the last of the sand and they were not quite sure when they would get more. So, we had to buy more than we needed because we were scared that “what if we run out and our mortar doesn’t match.”
Not only did we have to buy extra but we paid $400 to have the sand delivered to us. We are only an hour away from this place and it cost us $400. Yikes! I know. It made us sick too. We ended up spending $1200 on sand and delivery because we used white sand and ivory mortar. So, if you are building a house, this will give you an idea of what using ivory mortar with white sand will cost.
I have had my faucets picked out for quite some time. But, when they tell you they need them and none of them are in stock it becomes stressful. In my master bathroom I chose to go with the Delta Dryden Shower faucet in Venetian Bronze. This was easy.
Finding my freestanding tub faucet was a different story. My tub is going to sit in front of an exposed brick wall. Therefore, I needed a wall mount tub faucet. Then, my plumber tells me to make sure I get a good one so that I do not have to tear down my brick wall to change it. So, after hours of research, I chose to go with one from Vintage Tub and Bath. Well, guess what..literally while writing this I get an email telling me this item is on backorder until late December. Scream!
After seeing this, I continued my research and found one similar at Signature Hardware. Signature Hardware has great reviews and a great warranty. I ordered my pot filler and ended up ordering my wall mount tub faucet. I will admit that I am nervous because I am not very familiar with this company. My fingers are crossed that they all turn out fine.
While looking and deciding on faucets for the home, I ran into the dilemma of mixing metals. When I say mixing metals I mean, for example, oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware and a brushed nickel sink faucet and pot filler. The mixing metals dilemma is what took me so long to make a decision on my faucets. After reading many design forums and blogs and even consulting with my designer chat friend from Kathy Kuo, I decided to go for it. I am mixing metals in my home.
I have not decided on all rooms. For my kitchen, I am going to have oil rubbed cabinet hardware. For my sink faucet and my pot filler I went with brushed nickel. Since the beginning of building my home, I wanted a vintage type sink faucet. Well, let me just say that most vintage type sink faucets are not in my budget. I ran across the Bellevue Bridge Kitchen Faucet and fell in love. It is exactly what I had in mind and at a price I could afford. Also, the rating was just shy of 5 stars. I ordered this in the brushed nickel.
I wanted a pot filler that was the same style. Again, have you seen the prices of pot fillers? Yikes, they can be really expensive. So, again at Signature Hardware, I found one I loved in a price that I could afford. I ordered the Augusta Retractable Wall Mount Pot filler in brushed nickel. I have nervous butterflies waiting on them to come in. My pot filler and my sink faucet should be in next week. I hope they are just what I have envisioned.
As for my master bathroom, I knew I wanted to do oil rubbed bronze for the shower and tub. I love the look of the oil rubbed bronze finish against light colored tile. Same thing goes for my exposed brick wall in my master. My brick is very light and I thought an oil rubbed finish would be pretty against the light brick wall. I bought the Delta Dryden Shower Faucet for our master shower and the Gooseneck Spout Tub Faucet for my tub.
For my faucets, however, I want a little softer and a little more feminine. I want to use the champagne bronze color from Delta Faucets. I want a good blend of metals and do not want to have everything so “matchy-matchy” but not all over the place either. Again, I looked at lots of photos and chatted with my new online friend from Kathy Kuo.
I have not bought any of my bathroom sink faucets so I am still thinking on this one. I know I am using champagne bronze in my half bath because it is a dressier area. In my guest bathrooms I am going for all oil rubbed bronze. I bought the Delta Windemere Tub and Shower faucet. I will also buy a Delta sink faucet in oil rubbed bronze.
Again, all of cabinets (I think) are going to have the oil rubbed bronze cabinet hardware. So, at this point, I just have to decide on my sink faucets. All shower and tub faucets are ordered. The kitchen sink faucet and pot filler is ordered. I just have to make up my mind in bathroom sink faucets. Like everything else, I know what I want, I just have to make a final decision and pull the trigger.
We met with Alex Brunson from Grenada Cabinets a week or so ago. He measured our kitchen and bathrooms. We went over everything that I wanted. Of course, I had pictures for him. I pretty much have pictures for everything. I always joke that Pinterest is probably strongly disliked by carpenters and cabinet builders because us women stay on there looking for things we like.
After we met with him, he then sent me a picture of the layout of our kitchen. I must say that the cabinets are one of my favorite things in my new home. I have been so excited about finally getting to this step and seeing this. He did not draw out the plans for our bathrooms or laundry. But, I did go over exactly what I wanted with him and I know he is going to do a great job.
I was nervous when I received the images of the kitchen. Getting those images was like nervous excitement. I looked at them and loved them immediately. My husband and I are so ready to see the real thing. Once he builds them, we will go to his showroom and see them. I cannot wait! Two of the main things my husband and I wanted in our forever home was a large kitchen and nice cabinets, a large back porch, and lots of storage. Seeing the drawing of my kitchen just reinforced the fact that my kitchen was going to be my favorite space.
My windows are now in. Let me just say that I am so happy with them. Greater Homes Gallery did a great job of drawing off what I wanted. I went to them with a pretty specific style window. We drew it on the computer screen and the rest is history. We had a few hiccups but everything turned our perfectly. The original house plan did not call for as many or as big of windows. I am soo happy that I changed this and now have my big and tall windows.
The coloring of the windows is also perfect. The windows came in white, ivory, and a dark grey. We chose the ivory since our brick is light. I must say that our window color looks amazing with our brick color. My goal for the entire home was antique light brick with light trim work and windows and then dark doors and dark shutters. It is so fun watching everything come to life.
We currently have a crew working on our brick. I got those same nervous butterflies prior to looking at my laid brick for the first time. I looked at it and loved it. The mortar is a little darker than I had in mind but the contractors said that once it dries it will lighten up. My husband says that for as much as we paid for that special white sand and ivory buff mortar it better lighten up a lot.
Building My Southern Dream Home
As I say over and over, building my southern dream home is stressful. This week has been especially stressful. Make sure before you start that you have in mind what you like. Then, when the decisions are ready to be made – you are not starting from scratch.
This has been a crazy whirlwind of a week but we have also gotten so much done and so happy of the progress. In the past two weeks, we have plumbing, heating and air, windows and front door, some brick, and only a few final things for wiring left. Our spray foam insulation crew will be at the house next week and our sheet rock guys are scheduled for November 1.
It is all coming along and all of this stress is going to be totally worth it in the end.