Friday, February 20, 2009

Building Our Home and Upgrades

With building a new home comes picking out all the trimmings. I've been polling my friends for ideas, especially things that I might not think about. I decided to put this out to anyone who might come across my blog for suggestions. I need all the help I can get. I have only bought one house and it has been 26 years since I had to make any decisions like this and at that time I really did not know what I was doing. We fortunately have two awesome Realtors who are helping us through the whole process. (If you are in the Dallas area and looking to sell your home let me know, these ladies are the best!)

I don't know what my style is. It's a blend of traditional, cottage, country, Americana and I'm just really lucky to have this piece of furniture style. I won't be buying anything new except a refrigerator and window treatments. We will be mixing furniture from two homes, my mom's and mine.

In a few weeks we will be hitting the design center to pick out fixtures, hardware, paint, floors, counter tops, etc.

How does that hummingbird hold the soap?

It doesn't take much to overwhelm me these days so any hints, ideas and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. For the big picture I know what I want color scheme wise. It's the little things that I'm worried about. Tom and I plan on making some trips to some model homes and design centers to get a better idea of what we want. What upgrades do you think are the most important?

Here is some feedback I have had so far.

1. An electrical outlet on the fireplace mantel.
2. The larger the floor tile the better.
3. Upgrading the carpet pad is more important than the carpet itself.
4. Granite counter tops in the kitchen.
5. Soundproof the wall between the family room and the master bed room to block tv noise.
6. Under kitchen counter lighting.
7. Can you soundproof the floor between the 2nd floor and 1st floor? Jackson's room will be upstairs!
8. Do not put carpet on the stairs.

I would love any advice or suggestions you might have. Leave a comment.


  1. Don't waste your money on a huge sunken tub in the master bath unless you plan on using it several times a week. A big walk-in shower with a seat in a wonderful thing!

    Electrical outlets everywhere! Can't enough of them!

    I wanted granite at first in the kitchen but have LOVED my Corian tops. Easy to keep clean and always look good!

  2. You CAN soundproof between floors! I saw this at the flooring store and if I was building I'd do it!
    Scott says small grout lines instead of big, and MAKING SURE if someone else does the tile that they fill the tub before tiling around it. We told them to do it when they did our downstairs bath and they didn't and it's cracked already! ARGH. I think expensive faucets aren't worth it. We got middle brand and they are still great. I got most of my upstairs bathroom parts (I LOVE THAT BATH) on ebay and online! The tile was from a swimming pool tile manufacturer and it's beautiful and was sooo cheap for glass tile.
    Don't get too stressed, it will all fall into place.

  3. Hi....hooo boy...the new house..(we do additions/remodels on existing houses, so here is my 2 cents worth from Arkansas (via Kelly's blog)
    1) Solid Surface kitchen/integrated sink (Corian...) easy to clean sink, easy to clean stains, no sealing counter top etc. Silestone or whatever wasn't around then, but might be worth a look. I have lots of teens over and spills....I don't want stains on granite.
    2) Tile on floor...not light color. Smaller the grout line the better.
    3) NOT a smooth top stove. GRRRR! Cannot get completely clean no matter what I do/what I use. I would put in an old style electric burner stove before I would do smooth top again. (Couldn't talk hubby into replumbing kitchen for a propane stove.)
    4)We have a teensy space for a fridge w/ a dumb layout of kitchen. So HAD to buy a counter top depth fridge w/ freezer on top. NOT big enough for a family of 5 w/ lots of teens over and all the family holiday gatherings here. Would do side by side. (or tear out the living room wall
    -or separate fridge and separate freezer:-) ...but would have to sell the children to afford
    5) Hinges/door knobs, tp holder/towel holder/light fixtures all same finish in baths- chrome / bronze / brushed -whatever. Just all the same!!
    6)Make as much universal design (aka - handicap accessible) NOW in the construction stage. Bigger doorways, low or zero entry shower and extra reinforcement on the easy entry shower for grab bar placement later. (Backing walls w/ plywood before tile) (Learned this the hard way when my Dad came to stay for a while after a stroke. Doorways too small for a wheelchair, no places for grab bars etc....) Check out universal design sites online.
    7) Absolutely extra insulation between FR and bedroom!!! I do alot of hollering. Turn down the TV!
    8) Electrical outlets on each side of front door/porch for Christmas lights. I have to drag big orange cords all over.
    9) Have EVERTYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING done before you move in. Or maybe you are better than we are at getting things done. Last house....well long story, but we never had baseboard/trim done - until we moved out. (As was house before that in remodel.) Anyway, this house, I told hubby that it MUST have baseboards,trim and windowsills. Well, there are baseboards and trim, but still w/ blue painters tape around the bottom, cuz NOT painted. Guess I wasn't specific enough.
    10) We have existing light color carpet w/ a zillion stains in FR. My kids/other kids/relatives/ spills etc. I don't know what I would do...darker carpet? wood floor? But NOT light carpet.

    Hang in there!!

  4. To anonymous:

    I can't email you back because of your no reply. I just wanted to thank you for all your help. You did an amazing job of listing it all out and helped me a lot. You sound like quite a fun character. I really really appreciate your comment. Kathy

  5. Kathy, Thanks for the nice note. Pop me an email and I would love to keep up on your house. I still cut out floor plans from the newspaper and make comments to make them "better"...and then file them. Who knows why. I would break out in hives at the thought of moving again. Julie

    Do you have the laundry room figured out?

  6. Another piece of advice is recessed lighting in the kitchen. Had that in my 1st house and miss it so much!!!!

  7. stairs with out carpet are hard to clean but are very easy to slip on , maybe a carpet would help
    I have carpet on stairs and son has oak on his stairs and thay are bad to climb, maybe its my age, lol