Friday morning I was late for work, but there was a really good reason. I had to drive out to sign the paperwork finalizing the construction loan. The final appraisal of the house plans was finished and now we had an amount we actually get to borrow....so after the bank is done with all the processing that they need to do in the next week or two, we'll be the proud owner of one very hefty debt. Wince.
And I left work early Friday, for a similar reason. Last night we met with the builder to go through the plans one last time so he could get the budget finalized, and work up the contract. Thursday night, despite both of us being exhausted from work, Richard and I headed out to a restaurant, plans under one arm and notebook in hand, and went through them room by room, trying to jot down any changes, additions, suggestions and questions that we had. The list turned out to be fairly small. I think. I'm not sure exactly what to compare it to, having never done this before, so perhaps our little handful of changes were on the excessive side, but I have to assume that less than ten is fairly small....and anyway, after our chat with the builder, the list did grow a tad.
He's been wonderful - offering suggestions gently without being pushy, pointing out alternatives if something we ask for isn't really feasible. I am already drooling over the master bedroom suite. I can't wait to take a bath in the sunken tub, and the shower is going to be huge, and we're putting linen shelves into the closet, and moving a wall to make the closet bigger, and adding a window, and....and....and.
The builder suggested a front door he'd seen, so Saturday morning, before heading off to meet with friends for a day of rafting (during which I managed, despite the application of copious amounts of SPF-30, to turn parts of me the color of a tomato), we went down to the lumberyard he'd recommended to look at doors.
It's an odd feeling, staring at front doors, trying to figure out which one should go into a house we have only seen on paper. We didn't find 'the door', but it did underscore the amount of work this is going to take on our part. We're going to have to start accumulating catalogs of doors and windows and cabinets. We're going to have to take weekend trips to Home Depot to browse faucets and fixtures. We're going to have to start browsing through Consumer Reports to figure out what brand of garbage disposal works best, and what stove we should buy. I'm already looking at this and realizing that if we'd simply done the normal thing and bought an pre-built house, things would be so much easier. Not, mind you, that I think the end result won't be far better for building it from scratch, but I'm looking at the fact that our weekends are already booked through the end of next month, and knowing it will only get worse from there, and wondering just exactly when we're going to find the *time* to do this stuff we need to do.
He's planning to break ground in November. At this point I'm antsy to get started, even though I have to keep reminding myself that initially we had agreed that since we didn't have a time constraint, he could start later. But now that the paperwork is all but done, I am impatient to see some sign of something happening. I wouldn't care if he just went and moved random piles of dirt around on the Lot-Of-Weeds. I just want something to happen.
But in the meantime, Richard and I will focus on tracking down tile patterns and cabinet knobs, stair banisters and toilets (yes, apparently there are different sorts of toilets to choose from. I'm not sure just why this makes me giggle, but it does). And of course, a front door.