So, things are moving right along here in the land of new house building. All other parts of life are gradually fading, the freight train is getting loaded and we’re off to the races. Talk about mixed metaphors. That’s okay, because everything else is becoming mixed up too.
I mean, how do you decide? Really. The flooring store tells me they have around 500 styles on hand, what would you like to look at? The kitchen store has four kinds of cabinets in this colour, and three kinds of insides for these doors and three hundred different door handles to choose from and twelve types of cabinet door styles, take a look, take your time.
Right. No problem. So far the floors, which are the only certain thing, are the above.
And then there’s the “trades”. The electricians have all come in with estimates that are different from each other, the gas fitters (what on earth is that?) are way way expensive, the paint – PAINT!- must be made of gold for what they are charging for it. The windows are a complete mystery – sliders, awnings, casement, vinyl frame, wooden frame, fiberglass frame – what does this all mean? It would be a relief, I’ll tell you, a real relief, if somebody in this industry would speak English once in a while and then stop and tell me what on earth they are talking about.
Ahh, but I digress. What you really want to know is how is the house coming. What progress have we made. So here goes.
Well, to start with, our progress includes our move to our final rental, our little suite here in Sooke.
Our cute little home is located a one and a half kilometer walk from our lot and so, after an eight kilometer hike along the ocean this morning, we had a moment of madness and decided to check out the house progress this afternoon. Ok, another walk, no problem. However, what we realized once again is that one and a half kms in British Columbia is equivalent to oh, five miles of prairie? Those hills are killers.
But we did it and when we got there we found that The Wall is complete. We have successfully erected a wall which will keep the neighbour’s house from falling into ours and will hopefully keep their yard from becoming our yard in the event of a huge rainfall or earthquake or tsunami (all of which seem to be expected around here SOME DAY). Not to be confused with the Mexican Wall, this one is only six feet high and 145 feet deep. And we plan on visiting and speaking with our neighbours, hopefully.
And then, with regard to all the other decisions, it seems there is help. It is coming in several different forms, but it seems to be arriving nevertheless. First, there is Jim, thank heavens, who knows EVERYTHING about house building, or so it seems to me. He knows all those mysterious terms, all the necessary procedures, what all the trades guys actually are supposed to do and how it should all happen in a logical progression. Tonight he spent the whole evening reading the Consumer Report and finally decided we cannot, absolutely not, get a certain brand of microwave because it has a bad history of breakdowns. Phew, I’m so lucky to have this kind of help. What would I do without him?
And of course, there’s the Internet. I mean, we all know we couldn’t live without Google but now I have the proof. I have typed in so many inane things lately, and everytime, Google (my new best friend) gives me a sincere answer to the silliest questions.
ME: What colours can I put with a neutral colour scheme?
GOOGLE: You can put any colours with a neutral colour scheme that match your individual taste.
Well, who knew?
ME: Should we have the dishwasher right beside the sink or in the kitchen island?
GOOGLE: You can put a dishwasher anywhere you wish in your new kitchen.
Wow. Honestly, I love you, Google.
And finally, there is our builder and his wife, Erin. Erin is also proving to be a source of help. Her initial assistance came in the form of a note to me:
Okay, that’s helpful. A list, and I’m sure, one of many. Then yesterday, Erin came with me and we spent two and a half hours at the kitchen store. Gruelling. No, fun. No, exhausting. Confusing. Fun. Baffling. Oh boy, was I always this confused? Geez.
But we did accomplish a few things. We found cupboard doors to match the flooring. We had a look at counter samples, all of which I really disliked. We put together a layout for the kitchen which initially made sense but by the time we were finished was all a blur. We discussed a cost which we managed to keep at an acceptable level so far. And blessedly, the 300 types of kitchen door handles was narrowed down to the 20 or 30 that had reasonable price tags, so picking them was easy. Okay, this kitchen has a plan. Let’s quit while we’re ahead.
And so that’s the progress so far. The stress is being kept at bay, the fun has just begun and the sun will rise again tomorrow (actually, this is the West Coast – it’s going to rain til next Christmas, it seems). And the mixed metaphors continue to roll in. Oh what the heck, if I’m confused, you might as well be too. Don’t worry, though, as a wise friend once told me, this too shall pass. And so far, it’s ok, this walk on the edge is a hoot. Stay tuned as we carry on. Talk soon.