About Me

May 24, 2015

Should I Scream? Or Cry?

I am so confused, I don't even know which one would make me feel better in the end. But before I go there, before I explore my feelings of frustration, let me start with a preface: I am acutely aware that our world is full of true issues & many grave concerns. As a community advocate, I fight for those who seek justice, for those who live in poverty & for those who suffer abuse, neglect, racism & bullying. In an instant, I realize that life can change & we as a family have certainly suffered great loss & pain. I do not in any sense wish to minimize any one's plight by my writing. My blog is a personal space to share daily life, in our little house in the big woods. The good, the bad & on occasion, the ugly. Know that at times, I do "spout" off & I'm sure some of my posts don't make sense in the grand scheme of real world problems. But for an instant, they are my concerns or as in today's post, my frustrations, & not meant to trivialize life in any way. I welcome comments & your thoughts as I continue this amazing life, with authentic gratitude & creative intention.

If you're still with me, here's my rant for today. We bought our little piece of heaven in 2000 with the idea of moving our growing family out to the country. It was a divorce sale & we to this day can still not believe the incredible price we paid for the land. Today, it is literally worth 650% more than we paid for it. Not a bad investment. We ended up not building on it right away, as we realized how busy our lives had gotten with dance classes, football practices, soccer games & school projects. Although it is just a few minutes away from our little hamlet, the driving would have been a deal breaker. So we went to plan B, which was to keep the land & work on it slowly, planting fir trees in amongst the poplars & old growth forest. Wildflowers & pussy willows. It was a good decision & we were still comfortable in this house, with short drives to all our busy activities.

Fast forward to the year 2012. Our dd's marriage had just ended & she came home, with baby in arms. We changed our home & our lives around & all of us have thrived with a tiny boy in the house. But we've run out of room! Two households in a home that is meant for one has meant a bit of crowding & tons or constant reorganization. Yes, we could have told our adult daughter to find her own home & she did look, as it wasn't her desire to continue to live in her childhood home as a single parent. We all get along really well but everyone needs their own space. For the sake of our marriage, at this time of life, we also need privacy & sacred spaces. So out came the house plan books. And suddenly, we found ourselves knee deep in blueprints, color swatches, paint chips & flooring choices. It's been a blast but a very long one & we're finally ready to admit, we're tired!! We found our amazing builder, a local small builder, who only does one to two custom homes a year. A real bonus. And we were the first home that began in 2014. He was just finishing up a home & was planning a show home but for the most part from June of 2014 when our hole was dug until the show home started this year, our home was his only. Things went quite fast but now we're at the end, & everything has slowed right down. And the frustration has reared it's ugly head. 

I want to scream to the roof. And cry sobs. I'm so tired ....

This delay is big. And it could have so easily been avoided. But here we are. On April 24th, we sent our builder our counter choices for the house. It was the final choices we needed to make & easy to do. Originally in our plan & budget, we had chosen granite. As we worked through the kitchen design, we added in some neat ideas. The budget started to stretch but we promised to reign ourselves in & then our builder guided us as well. One way we could stay in a comfortable spot was to not include granite at this time. It made sense & of course, it's something we can add in later. So we took it out. We chose some quality laminate with a radiance finish that looked very much like granite but without the cost & upkeep. All was well, or so we thought. 

Visiting the house about a week & a half ago, we met the three lovely, very Irish gentlemen, with beautiful accents, who were installing all the cabinets. The lead installer pulled me aside to ask why, with such a beautiful house & a very unique kitchen were we putting in laminate. I explained that although we wanted granite or a stone of some type, we needed to stay in budget. He told me that he could actually get us granite for a "mere $1,000 more than the laminate you've chosen". Intrigued & knowing $1,000 wasn't going to sink us, I conferred with my dh, who of course, said "absolutely, if it's good quality". Our builder, upon learning of this conversation said "go for it; this guy is the best stone guy around & his stuff is amazing". The bonus was that the laminate wasn't done yet for the kitchen (everything else was) & the stone is in town, so we'd have our counters done in a week, instead of three. We made arrangements to go pick out "our slab". While there, the stone guy/lead installer really convinced us that the light color we had chosen wasn't a good choice & was adding in an extra element of color that was going to make it overwhelming. As we stood back & reflected on his suggestion, it made sense & we did agree. In the end, we chose a black granite & are so excited to see how this will look in this kitchen. Our builder was impressed & now all that had to happen was a simple form signed indicating the agreed change & a price clarification. That's when everything went south.

Are you still with me?

The price quoted came back much higher (though I will say much lower than what we originally had in our budget) & that didn't make me too happy. But I'm not a screamer, so I just pouted a bit while I reworked our budget. Turns out, our kitchen designer didn't estimate the laminate very accurately, so that was the reason for the higher cost. We accepted that & continued on with setting up a time to sign off on the counters. Yesterday, one hour before we were set to meet our builder at the house to do this, he sent us a text that the stone guy/lead installer had "forgotten" to add in the counter for the tea cupboard & now there is an additional charge. 


Now I was mad, because the additional fee wasn't the only issue. The timeline had also changed to a move in date of at least three weeks from now. We were supposed to have possession on May 20th. This is clearly not going to happen. We won't go back to the laminate because everything that was suggested to us does make sense & we do like it. So now we're stuck with a higher bill & a changed possession date. Now we're not moving until June but if we have to wait, I'm hopeful we'll at least get not only the counter we would like, within budget & with an added feature, if he'll go for it. If not, we'll be at a standstill even longer. The house sage continues. Thanks so much for listening & letting me rant without guilt. I know this will, in the end, work out. Just need to get to that sweet spot.

And how was your week with Mercury in Retrograde?
Did you have any obstacles in your way?


Gill - That British Woman said...

I know how frustrating these small things can get, as you are so close to finishing............BUT you may as well be a million miles away with these annoying things happening. Good luck I hope it all works out.

Anonymous said...

What about a quartz countertop? It's partial stone, partial man made and way cheaper than granite (yet looks like it!)
If they haven't cut the granite yet, try quartz.

I had laminate for 15 years (came with our builders package) and just recently had Lowe's put in the quartz. Whole kitchen, plus island, cost $1800 (zero financing over 6 months)and came with a free stainless steel sink. We bought the faucet.
Good luck.

Chy said...

Frustrating for sure Gill. But we're almost there! A little rant and now we move forward.

Chy said...

Good point Cindi. We did ask our stone guy as well as our builder and in our region, quartz is actually more than granite. I know if we went with granite or quartz from Lowe's or HD, it would be cheaper but the granite we're getting is thicker and the real deal from a slab we chose. Might not make sense but as HD told us and then our builder and now the stone guy, there is granite out there that actually isn't true granite. This is a bit more but still lower than we had budgeted for, so it will be what we will go with. I'm more upset about the longer time line to get into our new home but we'll use this extra time to be super ready and then we can really relax when we get in! Thanks for visiting. I really appreciate your thoughts.

Anne in the kitchen said...

So sorry about your delay. I have never built from the ground up, but have remodeled a couple of houses (the current house was remodeled then a few years later had a major addition) Even so I don't think I understand the frustrations of a total build.

I am not one of those people who need High end finishes to be happy. In fact, I am more of a function over form on most things, but when I renovated my kitchen I opted for granite. It did cost a little more but I love having it. You will too!

Penny said...

One of the great things about blogging is you can stamp and yell and lots of people send you a virtual hug and say 'Let it all out, we are listening,we are here, and we understand' Very frustrating to get to the finish line and face a big delay. Sending that virtual hug right your way! X

Chy said...

Thanks Anne. Good to hear that you are loving your granite. I know we will as well. We were perfectly fine with the laminate but it does make sense after he showed us the differences. Now if they would just hurry up and get it in, I'd be happy as a clam once again!

Chy said...

I feel the love Penny! Thanks for the hug. Means a lot. X