Saturday, February 20, 2010

Color (Colors) Colors ... and Layout

Architect Josh is working on the site plan review, which is how the city determines that the usage of the property will conform to zoning standards. For example, since we have three units (two apartments and the main house) the site plan needs to reflect there is enough off-street parking. The site plan review is supposed to be ready by next Wednesday, and it may take a few weeks to get approval. While this is going on, though, we can submit plans for the basement apartment.

And that's good, because the bank that rhymes with Chase has finally, after 18 months of agony and runaround and all-around nastiness for our friends, accepted the short-sale offer on their place. Assuming it appraises at the offer level, it should close by mid-March. That's when we'll be homeless, so we need to move fast on the basement apartment. We could all stay with Chuck's mom until the apartment is done, but there's a little problem in that she has cats and I have the worst cat allergy imaginable.

Our contractor was going to show up on Feb. 22 to start exterior painting, but it's supposed to rain every day next week. He's going to wait until there's a three day window of clear weather and start then, which should be March 3. In the meantime, click on the picture and roll over to the notes on the pic to see what the colors will be and where the colors are going. We're going with Glidden, and Glidden's website doesn't make it easy to share stuff on a blog, but the three exterior colors are Dove White, Toasted White and Onyx Black for the trim highlights.

Below is the layout of the first floor. Architect Josh has some of the rooms mislabeled, but that's more a matter of our personal choice for where we want the rooms to be. What he has labeled as the dining room, for example, makes sense as the dining room, but it's where we're planning on having the family room. It's larger, has a fireplace and there's room for the hellaciously cheap (I mean seriously inexpensive) projection system we picked up off of Craigslist. (College kid won it in a golf tournament auction, college kid needed the cash for tuition more than he needed a projector and screen. And thus he sold it to us for a fraction of the original cost.) Lost looks awesome projected on a wall.

The area labeled Master Bedroom 2 is actually one of the apartments. The other apartment is a basement unit below that, with a separate entrance.

The room labeled as the living room on the plans will be a library/sitting room, and the family room will be the dining room. Next to the stairs, that weird little sink area is a pantry, with space for dry storage under the stairs. It leads into the laundry room.

Upstairs floor plan. The boys will take the two front bedrooms and share the middle bathroom. Oldest wants the turret room, of course; youngest will take the other room that doesn't have a turret but does have a gas fireplace. And we're in the back two rooms.

Oldest just commented: I really want to be living in our house. I know how he feels. It's been a long, strange trip to get even this far, and it's weird to own a house you can't actually live in. Yet, anyway.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Et Fin

So the email came today, wire transfer complete and title recorded. The house is 100 percent officially ours.

And even though it's pretty much screwed up the industry by which I make my living, can I just say, "Thank God for Craigslist?" Because thanks to Craig and his list, we are buying about $15k worth of appliances for about $2k -- 36-inch Thermador five-burner cooktop for $275; Thermador double ovens, only used twice and in pristine condition, victim of a kitchen remodel, $475; new in box range hood, victim of a client that changed her mind, $500; brand new JennAir refrigerator, from a new homeowner who changed his mind, $750. The frige alone goes for $2200 new, so considering our appliance budget is $3k, I think we're in good shape.

We need to buy a stackable washer and dryer set for the upstairs apartment, but I think we can find those used and in good condition as well. The upstairs apartment will get our current stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, and then we need to find appliances for the basement apartment.

Decorator Grady and the architect are meeting tomorrow to go over the kitchen design and talk about a few other things, including adding closets and a doorway in the master bedroom. Every room is overlit--since it was going to be an office building, they went nuts adding can lighting fixtures in every room, so they're going to talk about dialing that back a notch or two as well.

On Sunday, we choose exterior paint colors. I thought the contractor only included a single color in his budget, but it turns out he planned for three, which is great news because Chuck is afraid of heights, and I don't want to overtax the one friend who offered to break out his mountain climbing gear and scale the building. Grady is thinking cream, bright white trim and black accents, but I'm not sure. It's a big crazy house, and I want to make sure the colors are right.

So we're happy. There were so many times when I thought this thing was going to fall apart, and we finally made it to the finish line. The financial finish line, anyway--now comes the fun part.

My friend Jay keeps referring to the place as "the compound" and he's not too far off. It's big, but there are reasons for it. We want to be able to grow a lot of our own food, and there's room for that here. I have a sister 20 years older than me who for reasons I won't go into here is going to need to be taken care of after our mother dies. There's room for that here too. With the state of California's economy and the higher education system, I envision kids who are going to be living with me for awhile even after college. (Or maybe that's just wishful thinking. I left home when I was 17 to go to college, and except for vacations, I never moved back. I will miss my frustrating little hoseheads when they go.)

And if the zombie apocalypse ever happens, we're going to put our friend Kyle the Marine on the widow's walk with a .50-cal, and our friend Sean the Ex-marine on the perimeter.