Paint, paperwork, pest control

Rhonda mentioned last week (ahem) that I haven’t posted all year.

That’s because we are being hammered to make decisions on selections for our new house, as in an everything-right-now kind of  hammering.

exterior selections

We’re doing our best to comply despite the lack of a permit. Last week, we asked for a moratorium on selection requests until we could wrap up the ones currently on our plate. The response? Add another decision to the list.

After reading the response and speaking to other people who have also built a home, we realize that the expectation is unrealistic so there’s no point trying to achieve it. We’re already doing everything humanly possible but will not rush a decision just to check a box.

The larger perspective is that we’ve waited and saved all our married lives to do this and just wish it didn’t feel like all the fun was being wrung out of the experience.

Here’s an update:

We spent the better part of this month finalizing decisions on the exterior components of our home, including

door wood/style/color*

garage door style/color

shutter style/color




gutter color

window frame color

metal roof color

handrail style

baluster style

bead board wood/color

column color

siding color

fascia/frieze/soffit color

window trim color

corbel color

mortar color—yes, the mush between the bricks—we had to choose that, too!

*The word color requires another decision to either paint or stain.

On the surface, the act of choosing seems simple, but the truth is that birthing a baby is easier than picking a front door (and this comes from someone who had a C-section):

  1. You click on the link the builder sends you with instructions to pick a front door.
  2. You see right away that the website is drastically short of viable choices so you begin your own web search for doors.
  3. Once you find a door company with styles you like, you start eliminating the ones you don’t.

Our search and elimination got us to here:

Arched window?


Or straight window?


Six panes or four?


We ended up performing screen captures on all versions, dumping them into PowerPoint and pairing them with all the sidelight possibilities.


Three to four hours later, we had a final door decision—and this was an easy one.

front door

To help us choose paint, stain, and window color, we twice drove to a furniture store that was constructed with our choice of brick.


The first time we went, it was later in the afternoon and starting to cloud over, so we returned another day when we had a break between rainy spells and the sun had finally popped out.

Detail note:

Mortar joints are too wide for our taste, mortar is too white and we don’t like what is referred to as the sloppy mortar effect where mortar ends up on the face of the bricks. We think it hides too much of the brick color and creates a fuzzy appearance we dislike.


You know you’re in deep when you’re analyzing the width of mortar joints on a large, free-standing retail building next to a major freeway.

Besides tackling the house list, we both took second jobs as document compliance techs in response to the bank’s mountain of information requests related to getting a construction loan (thank you Dodd-Frank). We’re appalled at how the loan process has changed since we completed our first loan application in 1983: two-page application, W-2s, credit check—DONE.

Required now is an exhaustive list of submissions to the bank outside routine items like W-2s and paycheck stubs including, but not limited to, an extensive online loan/census/immigration application that took nearly two hours to complete, two years of tax returns, the Patriot Act form (Google it and weep) and pretty much the rest of your banking and financial life history, plus your first born male well, not that one—yet. Intrusive doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Also contributing to the paperwork party was vehicle registration, necessitating inspections, title applications, transfer of insurance and long lines at the tax office—are we having fun yet? Ross was a huge help while he was home on Christmas break and took both cars in for their inspections, saving us from having to take time off work to get it done. Thanks, Ross!

The last P in my alliterative post title is dedicated to pests, as in

squirrel, unwanted rodent—see destructive.

pest control1

We’ve been hearing it in the attic and had a rodent exclusion performed on the house last week where a very brave technician comes to search and seal off entry points around the home and set baited traps.

pest control2

Unfortunately, the trap check on Saturday came up empty, which means it is still up there—ick.

In the meantime, the house next door was demolished the week before Christmas.

next door demo1

next door demo2

Thanks for checking in!

I really miss my sewing machine….



Filed under house

4 responses to “Paint, paperwork, pest control

  1. Rhonda

    Now that you have the block fabrics chosen you must now select the back fabric, the binding, the thread, the batting, not to mention all the label selections. And you must select from four to ten different quilt shops without the use of the previously selected fabrics. Chop chop – we need to know now.

    The house is going to be so fabulous when finished. I cannot wait to see it. Oh and yes, you are having fun. 

  2. Haha, very funny! Thanks for all your help and calming influence when things get overwhelming!

  3. jo ginther

    OMG!! We just did two bathrooms and I thought I would go crazy or at least hang someone in the process. I can’t imagine a whole house!! Find that sewing machine girl and start sewing if you wish to keep any sanity with all this!

  4. If I only knew which of the 1,000 boxes it was in….
    Yes: Brain = Explode

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