Up until now there hasn’t really been a lot of anything happening. Mainly because my husband the architect was designing a new house for our son and daughter-in-law who will be building much sooner than us and need plans now. In the meanwhile, we have been tweaking ours, looking them over, evaluating any alternatives in space design and we have come up with a few little things that will make the spaces we have much nicer to use. We also looked at ways to bring the total square footage down but determined we have pared down all that we can. We moved the washer/dryer in the laundry out of the path of the rear door/mudroom (my request) and the elliptical machine moved to that space by the rear door. This simple change has made me a happy camper and works much better for the overall layout. My laundry area is now out of any pathway and is surrounded by windows and cabinetry and even an extra storage closet and laundry folding island. The space evolved into a more functional area.
I have been researching and narrowing down brick choices; go online to the brick manufacturers and see their samples. Ask for addresses of buildings or houses built in the area using your chosen bricks and drive by them on a sunny bright day. Record your preferences; the brick people can give you pricing to take to your builder to include in a pricing package. We have three bricks right now we like and will choose from.
I have been searching out and pricing online all the fixtures and hardware to see what ballpark we are in for that. The builder will put together an allowance for pricing. The more expensive the item then the higher the allowance and more money to borrow. With lots of shopping you can pare and whittle as much as you need to.
If you can take the time to look over your plans a lot, focusing on specific areas to kick around options, it will be very beneficial. Put all your ideas out there on the table because you never know what one idea might spark. Even just changing a corner, a wall height, a ceiling height or adding in a window can make all the difference. Once you get building it is very hard to make these changes and can be expensive to do so. Do all your changing on paper now, review, review, review, and be confident that what you will be drawing up is exactly what you want.
I would also encourage the less vocal of the design team to really speak up. Make yourself heard, and express your views which then can be evaluated. You are an important voice to be heard. Don’t sit silently by and let something be built you are not happy with. No matter how small the detail, if you want it changed for valid reasons, then say so.
This is a slow and tedious process but embrace the process in order to get the house you will be happy in and that works for your lifestyle. If you are meeting with a designer/architect bring all your ideas, i.e. magazine pictures, drawings, lists of likes and dislikes, to the initial meeting so the design will incorporate your wishes. This will keep the architect from veering off the path you want to take. It is important for him to have all the information up front in order to get a design you like in as short a time as possible. What takes much longer is drawing all the various layers of plans for the builder (exterior, interior, electrical, mechanical, etc) after the floor plan design has been decided.
We will see our builder this weekend with our finished design for him to price off of. In a couple of weeks he will come back to us with a price to build (we already own the lot) and we can do some negotiation and redesign if needed to stay in our budget. Then it will be off to the bank for the loan and start the build.