Thursday, August 30, 2012

Condo News: Choosing the Finishes

I haven't updated you about the construction progress because it's going incredibly slow....painfully slow if you ask me! We're not really much further along than we were when I last posted in March.
In June, we had our last appointment with the designer. We (um, I) had a list of demands requests for things we wanted. Some of these items were in the list of upgrades we could choose from, some weren't. We've already paid our deposit for the finishes, but haven't paid the balance yet - this is 100% due to the fact that we don't even know yet if the builder will sign off on our extra upgrades. Choosing the finishes and upgrades is tough... fun, but tough. I made this decision tree** to help anyone else who is or will be selecting finishes on a new build. This is basically how Kevin and I decided on our finishes.

Decision Tree - Builder Finishes vs Upgraded Finishes.png
While our finishes aren’t quite finalized, we followed this decision tree and ended up deciding on the following:

Tub: When we first bought, I asked if the bathtub was a soaker because it looks like it is on the plan. I was told it was. Score! Unfortunately, at some point this year I found out I was misinformed and it’s just a regular tub. Womp womp…I was not impressed. So we upgraded the bathtub and I’m so pumped! When I first asked how much it would be, I was quoted $1600. I was like, “I’m sorry… what??” Turns out the designer thought I wanted a jetted tub. I just wanted a soaker tub and I’m not gonna lie… I wanted it bad. I’m not one of those people who just say they’re going to take baths and then never take them. I take them… all the time. Anyhow, when I saw photos of the soaker tub models, I found a modern one I love at $250.
Tub surround: Our standard tub surround is 4x16 white or ivory subway tile. We chose white. It’s nice!

Cabinet type: We chose our cabinets, which look very very similar to the Adel cabinets by Ikea. Unfortunately they only had it in dark brown, so I asked if we could get it in white. I was told yes, and it’s been signed off on, but I worry they’re gonna mess that up and we’re gonna see dark cabinets when we move in.
More about cabinets: We also paid $300 to extend our cabinets up to the ceiling, well technically to the bulkhead. They’re going to be 130cm tall now. We have 9 ft ceilings with a 1ft bulkhead above the cabinets so the top of the cabinets will be 8 ft high. That’s how my parents’ kitchen cabinets are and it’s really nice to have the extra space. Kevin can hide all his candy on those tops shelves because I can barely reach them even with a stool!
Counters: We went with the standard. I like the colour, but it’ll definitely have to get upgraded when we move in. I’ll be referring to Lindsay’s blog when that time comes!
Backsplash: Meh. That’s how I felt about the backsplash options. I wasn’t impressed. We were given the option of using the 4x16 tile (that we’re getting for the tub surround) for the backsplash too, but I’d rather choose something after we move in. Kevin’s friend, conveniently named Tyler, has kindly offered to do our tiling for us. I hope he wasn’t kidding when he offered…
Appliances: We upgraded to a stainless steel microwave hood range and to a better (quieter and larger) stainless steel dishwasher. Remember this debate I had a few months ago? Well, the stainless steel won. It made the most sense for resale and it’s what Kevin wanted. Just to be clear, I didn’t not want it.. I was just undecided.

Main areas: We went with the standard flooring, which is carpet. I like the colour we chose, but I’m not a big fan of carpet, except for in bedrooms – I have a ridiculously fuzzy cat and allergies. We recognize that carpet is no-good for resale and wanted to upgrade to laminate or engineered hardwood, but we’re going to change the flooring on our own instead of through the builder. That way we’ll have more selection (so we can get the stain and wood we want) and it will save us at least $1000.
Bathrooms/Kitchen: We decided to get tile put down in the kitchen. If we had upgraded our floors through the builder, we could have had the same flooring put down throughout (except the bathrooms). Kevin really wants tile in the kitchen, but I’m not sure… Any advice!??  I’d love to hear your opinion. We went with a darker tile because we’ll ultimately put down engineered hardwood/laminate and it will most likely be walnut or close to that shade and I don’t want too much contrast in the flooring.

Crown moulding: I love the way crown moulding finishes off a room, but I wasn’t a fan of the selection and I kinda feel like it’s hard to choose what you want before living in the space for a bit first, ya know?..
Ceilings: The price was ridiculous to get non-stippled (popcorn) ceilings! Ca-razy!! Straight up highway robbery. I’m not a fan of popcorn ceilings at all, so it’ll definitely be something worth looking into after we move in.
Bedroom closet: I talked about this before and even drafted and sent to the designer what we want the builders to do. The original layout was okay, but then we gained 16 sq ft extra in the bedroom when they realized the HVAC unit wasn’t built into our room and they had to move the wall back. We’re hoping the designer and builder will give us the go-ahead on this rendering:

The new draft bedroom layout makes me very happy. And the extra closet space will be a treat! When Kevin and I lived at our last apartment, we shared a SINGLE closet. Men’s clothes are bulky, yo! I only had about a third of a single closet to hang stuff up.

What do you think of the finishes we chose?? I’m really hoping to hear back from the designer soon about final costs and I’ll let you know if we end up with everything we wanted!

**Pixlr has improved lately! That’s what I used to make my decision tree for this post. I don’t wanna brag, but I think it looks pretty awesome!

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