Life and Pets

Tears dry on their own …

Okay, you missed my crying jag. It was actually just a whimper and sniffle, but enough to borrow Amy Winehouse’s song title, “Tears Dry On Their Own” for this Post.

It was such a little thing. Tonight I talked to our contractor for the new house in town. One of the “little” features that I wanted for the wheelchair accessible shower stall was a linear floor drain. Ray, the builder, has never questioned the wisdom of any of the decisions I’ve made (I have other people for that!), but he will tell me if there is a problem obtaining something, or anything fuzzy (indecisive) about my design, and so on.

So, he told me tonight on the phone that our local hardware/building supply store had quoted $950 for the “four part floor drain” that supposedly I’m after. What? What could this drain possibly be made of, titanium?

Tomorrow is Sunday, so I will not be able to ask our retailers what item is $950. Ray encouraged me to check online to see if what I wanted was available and if it could be purchased for less. I have just ordered one for $168, including postage from Ontario, and it appears to be just what I had in mind. There were many listed on eBay, several fancier styles, some for less, but they are sent from China or Turkey or Portugal or Australia, and I was afraid that they would take a long time to arrive, or incur duty and handling as did the last package I received from out of Canada.

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We’ll see if I have missed something critical to having and installing a linear floor drain … will I now need a $700 kit to install it? I think not; fingers crossed!

I trust our contractor, but when he told me what the price of the window and door package would be, I thought the total seemed too low. Silently, I decided, “That seems TOO good to be correct.”. Sure enough, my preference for having brown metal cladding on the exterior of the windows had been forgotten. I had come to terms with having plain white vinyl interior finish for the windows, but I wanted something a little sharper, maybe even wood-like (at a distance), for the outside.

This can be corrected, but sure enough, the windows I prefer will be more expensive. I feel like I’ve compromised on plenty of preferences already, including the exact dimensions of the windows, which I had planned according to the Golden Ratio. I’ve learned that wooden doors are not even allowed in today’s building code; can this possibly be true? I’ve ordered fibreglass doors which look pretty classy to me, but need staining. They look better than steel doors, but this feels like another compromise.

Several days ago, Gary and I toured a house that our friend Tony had mostly built. He showed us his heat/air exchanger machine, which is required in today’s efficient houses, and is another $800 even before the needed ductwork is installed. We admired many of Tony’s choices in finishes, and particularly I admired some of the bargains he had managed to score.

He quoted someone else when he said (in reference to designing and building), “Every ‘what-the-hell’ is $1000”. This applies to almost any project, except where some features are concerned, where a simple “what-the-hell” might be subject to inflation. For example, Tony said, people used to add a dormer to stylize a home (“What the hell, add a dormer!), and that used to be $1000, but is now more like $5000. My own “what-the-hell” might be the new kitchen cupboards for which I chose plywood instead of particle board, and that upgrade would have been considerably more than $1000 also. But you get the idea!

I gave up on my barn door interior design feature, which probably saved several hundred dollars. I’m going to need the savings.

Ray said that he expects to start on the house about June 9th; I think I mentioned this in my previous post. I’m excited, but I’m also anxious, because not only have I likely made some planning errors, it seems like I’ve caught a few mistakes that were nearly made by the others. Or I’ve had to correct some assumptions.  In a way, I want to hurry up to see how this all turns out.

I have friends who have designed and built at least four houses, and others who have built quite a few more. They say that with each house, they realize that there is something they “hate” and would never do again, and some things that they love and would always do. This project of my building of a house might be the ONLY one, to do so is on my bucket list, and maybe part of “my 20 year plan”. I want it to be nice, and right, and not have anything I hate about it.

Today in total has been fun and quite relaxing. I went to three yard sales and enjoyed the visiting but bought very little. When I took garbage and recycling to our transfer station, I found a brand new light fixture in the swap shed (just the sort I would have ordered!). I had lunch on the patio at the Beanery, hoping others would join me, and several friends did. At home through the afternoon, I cleaned the kennel building and puttered.

Boarding this weekend are Rory, Shadow, Blitzen, Oscar, Muffin, and Lucy the cat. Timber and Jasper are coming tomorrow just for the day. I’m not overworked this weekend and think there might be a chance I can dig in a flower bed yet!

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Sunday Brunch tomorrow! I think that Gary and I will be on our own for breakfast, and then later we’re picking up a piece of furniture that I purchased through the local Facebook Buy & Sell… something for the new house.

Enough of my minutia! I need to think about putting myself to bed.

Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Love, Ann

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