Wednesday, February 17, 2010

open houses

My husband and I loaded up the car with two point five children, three bags, one snack bag, three DVDs, and three blankets.  We went to a few open houses.  We are collecting new house ideas for the house we build (someday). 

The first house we visited was the dream house ... on paper.  It was built using ICF (insulated concrete forms) which I must say is AWESOME.  IF you ever build a house, spend 5% more and use ICF!  Your 3000 square foot home can be heated for $100 (instead of $375).   The owners had knocked out a wall and added a sun room.  And inside the sun room, the owners put a 'hot tub'.  I am so NOT kidding.  It was like having a huge bathtub inside your living room.  And since the owners had knocked out a wall, that was like putting a HUGE hole in concrete.  The home was inefficient.  And the electric bills were over $300 monthly.  Moral of Story:  DON'T PUT A HOLE IN YOUR ICF WALLS.  LOSER!!!  Oh, and by the way, house number one was GHASTLY! 

The second house was a dream house ... in Billy Ray Redneck's dreams!  It was hard to see the carpentry work behind all of the trophy heads taking up every square inch of wall space.  I am sure the arts and crafts era trim was beautiful but I could not take my eyes off of the floor.  If I dared to look up I was sure to meet an elk, moose, grouse, dove, deer, antelope, emu, raccoon, squirrel, big fish, ostrich, fox, coyote, hyena, or jackalope in the eyes.  And the wood plank floors were quite nice! 

The third house was a dream house ... in New York City's upper east trendy loft district.  Minimalist.  There wasn't a thing in the house.  Literally.  No cabinets in the kitchen.  No trim.  No woodwork.  No ironwork.  No closets.  Barely a door in sight.  No light switches.  No doorbell.  Nothing.  Very odd. 

The fourth house was a dream house ... in Texas, of course.  The Floors were all Concrete.  Just concrete.  Do they do this anywhere else in the USA?  The builders pour a slab of concrete.  And that is it.  That concrete becomes your floor.  Your floor is just the slab.  I am having a difficult time wrapping my brain around schlepping my feet all over a slab.  I feel like this house is naked and incomplete.  Although a central vacuum system would probably work excellent!  So this slab can be stained.  The most popular color for staining concrete:  "COCA-COLA".  Yup, Coke.  Not even "DR. PEPPER".  Nor "MOUNTAIN DEW" (but then again who wants to schlepp over piss-yellow floors?)  Is using your slab for flooring a way to save money?  I guess it cuts down on carpeting, hardwoods, and tiling.  Besides slabs crack in Texas, so why bother with other flooring.  Add flooring after your slab settles and cracks. 

We finally returned home... completely depleted of excitement over picking out interior features for our future build.  Completely and totally depressed.  Picking a house is kind of like picking a mate... it takes a lot of time.  And the house (like the mate) must be perfect ... for you ... just not perfect for everybody else!

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