Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Design Updates: Volume 3


In order to contain cost as we near the bidding process for our home project, we're tracking a number of suggestions from contractors (along with things we've come up with ourselves) that would save money. Some of these things make enough sense that they need to be worked into the plans before the bidding, and some we'll wait until we see the costs to decide if we want to implement them.

One item that we want to get into our home design before bidding is dividing the large, floor-to-ceiling windows in the family area into smaller windows. Just as a reminder, here was a rendering of the interior of the family room (click to enlarge):
It was always the plan to have at least one division in the large windows to the left so that there would be an operable portion that could be opened and closed. This would allow for cross-breezes in the Summer. However, there would still be large portions of glass making up the bulk of the window area, and cost is a concern. The larger the expanse of glass, the more expensive the window.

One contractor also pointed out that the large areas of glass would likely have to be tempered glass, which is an extra processing step done by the manufacturers for windows that gives more strength in order to protect against breaking. With small kids in the home, it's also a safety issue. Having tempered glass would add even more cost to already expensive windows. The solution will be to divide the windows into many small windows, likely of a standard size. This will save on cost in multiple fronts, as smaller, standard size windows are cheaper, and smaller windows would not have to be tempered glass.

Here's some examples of large window areas could be divided into smaller windows without losing the aesthetic feel of the space:
Dividing windows will also give more options for selecting which sections will be operable and which will be fixed glass, so all in all it's kind of a no-brainer design change. We don't have the specifics on how windows will look yet, but my brother is working on it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Design Updates: Volume 2


Now that we're back from our vacation, time for another post! This one regards some interior choices we made some time ago in order to save money while still providing a high level of design. Suffice it to say, as we keep our eyes firmly fixed on our budget, we are very glad to have IKEA as a great option for low-cost, well-designed items. And we're not stopping at our kitchen.

First-Floor Bathroom

This is a very small bathroom, enough for a sink and toilet. Here's what we're going with for the sink and faucet (the cabinet is shown in white, but we would actually be using this or this for the cabinet):
This is the sink from up above:
Boys' Bathroom

We've picked out this series of cabinets for the boys' bathroom (just an example):
And the boys will get this cool sink:
Overall, we wanted something fairly masculine and "cool" for the look of the boys' bathroom, and we're thinking about a black and white tile pattern for the floor

Girls' Bathroom

Here's a picture I found that uses a very similar set-up to what we're using in the girls' bathroom. The cabinet style, bowl sinks, faucets, etc. are all the same as what we've picked, and there will be two sinks just like is shown here. I think the mirrors will actually be something more like an oval rather than these square cabinet mirrors, though:
We're thinking of a light green tile backsplash for the girls.

We haven't quite gotten to choosing things for the master bathroom yet, but we'll have to do that soon!