Sunday, December 6, 2009

Weekend tidbits

Our kitchen faucets were installed; we chose Kohler "Clairette" model K-692-VS (VS is for "Vibrant Stainless"):

The stream can be switched between the multi-stream mode (seen in the picture above) and a more singular "solid stream" mode, with the press of a button on the back of the faucet head. The head of the faucet is detachable as well, so it can be used as a flexible spray hose. And yes, that's genuine well water coming from the faucet. :)

Here's another shower-mural-in-progress picture:

The bannisters have been installed on the upstairs newel railings:

Garbage disposal is installed:

The refrigerator has been slid into its hole:

Yeah, I know: the fridge protrudes from its cubby by quite a bit. It's a bit jarring at first glance to be honest, and I feel stupid for not anticipating/planning this better. Although I am not sure I would have done much different, since I like having a big fridge. We're stuck with it now.

The double-oven is getting close to being installed as well:

Here's the work crew dining area:

One item not included in our builder's bid (due to our cost-cutting efforts at the beginning of the project) is closet hardware\shelving. Although it may seem like a minor omission, I think it is important that we have these done before move-in, since it's hard to unpack your stuff w/o shelves and clothes hangers. I spent a lot of time this weekend researching many of the different closet organizer systems. The basic categories are:

  • Wire-based shelving
  • Particle-board-based shelving
  • Solid wood shelving

My starting inclination was to go with solid-wood shelving, but after reviewing several different brands I am not very happy with their value proposition: they seem like far too much money for what is invariably just cheap pine boards that have been sanded and stained. So to get solid-wood shelving for a reasonable cost, I would have to build the shelving myself and I just don't have the time. I'm not interested in particle-board systems, so that put me back to wire-shelving. We have some Rubbermaid wire shelving in our current house; while it definitely works well, it has an "industrial" look and feel to it which I was trying to avoid. Long story short, the current front-runner is Elfa; although it is wire-based shelving, the Elfa system has a myriad of accessories and decorative trims to dress it up. We'll probably stop by their showroom this week for some design consultations (they help you design the closet(s), and you install it).

We need to think about blinds to cover the windows. In case we had run out of money, my backup plan was to tack up used bedsheets from thriftstores over the windows (I've always said that a Winnie the Pooh bedsheet makes for an elegant window treatment), but it doesn't appear that we'll be driven to that extremis. :) I started looking at Levelor brand wood blinds which are very nice, but very expensive; then I discovered that Home Depot has a 20% off sale on them right now :) so maybe we can get them after all.

I spent a lot of time this weekend researching security camera systems. Beyond the house's security system, I plan to have several exterior IP (network-based instead of CCTV-based) cameras to cover strategic points in case any issues arise. For obvious reasons I do not plan to go into great detail on this blog regarding the security systems I'm installing into this house. I will say this: it is absolutely amazing how approachable these IP cameras have become. A rank amateur such as myself can put together a compelling surveillance system without much work. Costs are still somewhat high for IP-based cameras; I've been looking at Vivotek who seems like one of the best value-for-the-money manufacturers.

Last but not least, we purchased a bunch of cardboard moving boxes yesterday and will start doing some packing over the next few weeks. Fun, fun, fun (not!).

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