Home ownership. I’ve had a townhouse built for me before and that was about ten years ago or so. The experience wasn’t bad at all when I had it done. Then again, it may be my memories playing tricks on me. The house that we’re having built in North Carolina is a little different than that townhouse. For starters, is about 2x the size of the townhouse. This means more choices to make.
For those of you who have never had a house built from scratch, here’s part of the process:
– you find the location and style of home you want
– you lay down a contract
– you do lots of waiting
– when it is closer to the time that the builder will start erecting your new home, they’ll allow you into the design center
– you go to the ‘design’ center and pick out all the details of the interior of your home, carpeting, padding, tile, cabinets, sinks, faucets, showers, hardwood, hardware for the doors, and almost everything else known to man
– you do lots of waiting
– they build
– you move in
Angela had come down to North Carolina to spend the weekend with me and so that we could go to our builder’s design center. It was, to say the least, tiring.Â I’m one of those people that knows what he likes and what he wants so I could easily look at something and say ‘I like that, that and that’. Angela, on the other hand, needs to see things together in all the different configurations before she makes up her mind. Who knew there were 8 levels of carpet to choose from (each with about 30 different samples in each level)? Who knew there were 3 levels of tile with about a dozen variations in each level? Who knew you could pick out grout colors?!Â The design shop manager that we were working with, a slightly older woman who was a tad short, diligently helped us by providing more colors, texture samples, and ideas.
Near the end of our session (and about 3 hours into it) my head was about to explode. I was about to run screaming ‘I don’t care! I don’t care! Just give me a something that doesn’t look weird!’. And then came the security system/audio-video selections which were handled by another woman. A young woman. A slinky woman. A hot bunny who loved talking about cables, tuners, HD signals, wireless vs. hardwired connections.
>_< She could have sold me the satellite dish that they use for SETI to detect if there is other life in outer space. Meow. She was tall, slender, and knew each of my buttons to push (she even knew which luxury hotel I like to stay at!!). I was mesmerized by her. Heck, Angela thought she was a cheeky monkey, too. In a nutshell, when we put a contract on our house we had a $10k allowance to play with. I knew we were in trouble when the designer told us 'Don't think of your allowance as a budget! Think of it as a starting point!'.Â And with that we spent more than twice our allowance. And nobody say a word that about 25% of that goes towards the security system and audio/video set up in the house...