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Old 10-21-2011, 05:30 AM   #16
pklein09


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I'm just catching up here and saw the post about the ceilings. We have 9' ceilings in our house and 9.5' ceilings in our family room because there is a step down into that room. When I go into a house that has 8' ceilings, it feels very short....and I'm only 5'1"!!!! If you can afford it, I would go with at least 9' ceilings. Can you and your wife tour some new construction with that ceiling height as well as a house with lower ceilings? That should help with your decision.

Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2011, 06:10 AM   #17
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Well we agreed on 10' on the first floor and 8' on the second floor. Things should start moving a little faster now. Yesterday we received the first look at the front elevation. Here it is!


That is a porch on the left side of the house. The garage is on the back left of the house (4 car). Not really visible on these drawings. My wife really likes it, but I'm not sure yet. There are some aspects I like and others I need to think about for a while.

I will try to post first floor, second floor and basement drawings later today or tomorrow.

Thanks for following.
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:41 AM   #18
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I LOVE the porch! That's the one thing we had on our first house that we don't have on this one. The house looks like a very "formal" house. I like it.

I will add my $.02 as a woman who has to come up with window treatments.....those arched windows on the second floor on either side of the door and the one over the door....they look lovely from the outside but would be a bear to "dress." Just my opinion. I'm assuming your wife already has something in mind. Another observation from having a paladian window in our 2 story entry way that is a full southern facing window...it gets HOT!!! We ended up putting a UV film on the window to help stop the heat. Our AC works much better now that the front half of the house isn't a sauna all summer long. I also like that the garage entrance is in the back. Ours is a side entrance. I did not want a front entrance garage....I don't care for the look.

I can't wait to see more!!! Have fun!!!
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:34 AM   #19
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I LOVE the porch! That's the one thing we had on our first house that we don't have on this one. The house looks like a very "formal" house. I like it.

I will add my $.02 as a woman who has to come up with window treatments.....those arched windows on the second floor on either side of the door and the one over the door....they look lovely from the outside but would be a bear to "dress." Just my opinion. I'm assuming your wife already has something in mind. Another observation from having a paladian window in our 2 story entry way that is a full southern facing window...it gets HOT!!! We ended up putting a UV film on the window to help stop the heat. Our AC works much better now that the front half of the house isn't a sauna all summer long. I also like that the garage entrance is in the back. Ours is a side entrance. I did not want a front entrance garage....I don't care for the look.

I can't wait to see more!!! Have fun!!!
Thanks for the input. Good stuff.
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:41 PM   #20
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Just following along, too. What did you decide on the laundry room?

As the person who does the laundry, I'd appreciate having it be where I am...on the main floor, especially with the master on the main floor. Otherwise I'd be constantly running up and down the stairs to switch the loads up. That would get old really fast, laundry day around here can be anywhere from 6 to 9 loads. My kids have legs that work, they can bring their dirty clothes down and clean clothes up. One trip for them each way, small price to pay for mom doing their laundry for them.

Have fun! We've built three houses, but none of them have been this custom. I would LOVE that! For now, I will enjoy the process with your family.
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Old 11-23-2011, 02:38 PM   #21
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Just following along, too. What did you decide on the laundry room?

As the person who does the laundry, I'd appreciate having it be where I am...on the main floor, especially with the master on the main floor. Otherwise I'd be constantly running up and down the stairs to switch the loads up. That would get old really fast, laundry day around here can be anywhere from 6 to 9 loads. My kids have legs that work, they can bring their dirty clothes down and clean clothes up. One trip for them each way, small price to pay for mom doing their laundry for them.

Have fun! We've built three houses, but none of them have been this custom. I would LOVE that! For now, I will enjoy the process with your family.
We decided to put the main laundry room on the second floor, where all 3 kids bedrooms are. We figure that is where most of the laundry comes from.

However, we also put a small stackable washer/dryer in the mud room off the garage on the first floor. This will be for my wife and my clothes, sheets and towels since our master suite is on the first floor as well. Also, the kids can throw their dirty clothes in if they were playing outside.

I have full drawings now and I will try to post them later today. We hope to get the final price from the builder today or Friday as well. Once we get that, the drawings go to the bank for final approval of the mortgage.
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Old 12-07-2011, 06:45 AM   #22
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Well, yesterday we FINALLY received the pricing package. We have been delayed due to the birth of a baby in our family, but the builder hasn't exactly been devoting all of his time to our house. His business has become brisk in the past few months and most if not all new clients are building bigger houses than us. Anyway...

After speaking with the builder, Jay, yesterday morning I was concerned and excited. Before sending me the pricing package we spoke about the project. Jay told me about 6 ways that he tried to save us money in the price, but also would sprinkle in how big the house is. So, I wasn't sure what to expect. Did he really like DW and I so much that he was giving us really aggressive pricing? Or were we in for a big disappointment?

Well about 20 minutes after speaking to Jay, the email came over...and it was like a punch in the stomach. The initial price is 24% higher than what we were praying for, and 21% higher than our budget. Ughh.

The problem, besides the obvious $, is we have already fallen in love with this house, lot and neighborhood. So we are meeting tonight to see what can be trimmed (hacked more like it). So the past 12 hours have been rough. Who knows, maybe we can get it to work. But maybe we can't and will have to walk away from this experience disappointed, embarrassed and frustrated.
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:49 PM   #23
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Hang in there, everything is negotiable!
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Old 12-07-2011, 03:36 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsburghmarc View Post
Well, yesterday we FINALLY received the pricing package. We have been delayed due to the birth of a baby in our family, but the builder hasn't exactly been devoting all of his time to our house. His business has become brisk in the past few months and most if not all new clients are building bigger houses than us. Anyway...

After speaking with the builder, Jay, yesterday morning I was concerned and excited. Before sending me the pricing package we spoke about the project. Jay told me about 6 ways that he tried to save us money in the price, but also would sprinkle in how big the house is. So, I wasn't sure what to expect. Did he really like DW and I so much that he was giving us really aggressive pricing? Or were we in for a big disappointment?

Well about 20 minutes after speaking to Jay, the email came over...and it was like a punch in the stomach. The initial price is 24% higher than what we were praying for, and 21% higher than our budget. Ughh.

The problem, besides the obvious $, is we have already fallen in love with this house, lot and neighborhood. So we are meeting tonight to see what can be trimmed (hacked more like it). So the past 12 hours have been rough. Who knows, maybe we can get it to work. But maybe we can't and will have to walk away from this experience disappointed, embarrassed and frustrated.
When thinking of ways to trim the budget, think of ways that can be easily upgradable in the future. Things such as fixtures, lighting, carpeting,hardwood. What about a 3 car garage instead of a 4? Price out "regular" windows instead of the arches as well. Those customized windows are significantly more. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:34 AM   #25
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I agree with the PP...are there things that really were "wishes," but in reality can be trimmed or eliminated? I would get the "bones" of the project in...they're really hard to add later...and let some the upgrades sit until you're in a better financial position. Could you do carpet where you planned on hardwood? Were you planning on doing some high-trim items, like a copper roof on the bump-out bay to the left of the front door? Things like that could easily be scaled back. And as another PP said, everything is negotiable.

Also, remember that you've just added another family member....Congratulations!!! Speaking as a mom of 4 kids who are less that 5 years apart (I'm half Irish ), that's a huge life adjustment. Try not to let the house overwhelm you, your wife, your other children, and the new baby. Christmas is rapidly approaching (assuming you celebrate Christmas)...can you let the house plans just sit and give yourself time to think?

Deep breath....everything will be fine.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:10 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittsburghmarc View Post
Well, yesterday we FINALLY received the pricing package. We have been delayed due to the birth of a baby in our family, but the builder hasn't exactly been devoting all of his time to our house. His business has become brisk in the past few months and most if not all new clients are building bigger houses than us. Anyway...
I was wondering if the builder purposely high-balled the estimate because your house is the smallest and all his other clients are building larger houses. It makes me wonder if he thinks he can get you to back out and another person to come in an build a larger house and he would make more money. I personally think he'd be foolish to do that in this economy, but the thought did cross my mind.
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Old 12-09-2011, 10:06 PM   #27
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Hi guys. Thanks for the support. It's been a roller coaster lately. I'm posting this as DW gets some sleep.

We met with Jay on Wednesday and made some progress. We cut the house by 24" left to right and 12" front to back. That seems minor, but it's a savings of about $31,000. Also, we decided to drop the excersize room and craft room in the basement leaving that space unfinished. The basement will still include a family room, bar, walk-in wine closet, guest room with full bath, and kid's play room. However, cutting the square footage and leaving the basement space unfinished will get us significantly closer to a $ we're comfortable with.

Jay has to come down the rest of the way. Do I think he high-balled us? Not really. But I'm sure he didn't give us his best price right away. I'm sure he left room for negotiation. There are still a lot of lots to sell and he wants to extend the street into a cul-de-sac.

Thanks again for your support.
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:59 PM   #28
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Well, I think we're back on track. We have a number DW and I feel comfortable with. We got to this number by Jay dropping the per square foot cost and lowering the appliance package. Still Bosch appliances which I understand are pretty good.

Now we are deciding between two banks. One has a long-standing strong relationship with the builder, and our personal and business bank that wants to get a new construction presence in our part of town.

So thinks are better. The baby is doing fine and we almost have some sort of routine back in our lives.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:31 PM   #29
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Let's see if this works...I'm sorry it's sooo faint, but it's all I can figure out to do technically.









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Old 12-16-2011, 05:47 AM   #30
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I'm glad you were able to work through the money issues! I have a Bosch stove and absolutely LOVE it!!! That being said, something like a Viking or Thermador was totally out of price range for us, but the Bosch offered what I wanted at a very reasonable price. I've had it for 6 or 7 years, and have never had an issue. I cook every day, bake throughout the year, and have many of the major holidays. Good luck with the banks. From what I can see of the plans, it looks like a wonderful home.

Enjoy the new baby!
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