At least that’s what I keep telling myself…because the past couple weeks have brought plenty of changes. There have been changes to our wood stove venting, and therefore our solar panel layout; our kitchen appliances; our first floor bathroom; our flooring; and our well allowance.
Wood stove venting- By order of the fire marshal, our interior wood stove vent cannot bend twice at 45 degree angles before exiting the home. It’s too hard to clean and you can’t have more than 15 degree angles inside the home. Venting needs to run straight up and out. This modified design also throws a wrench into our solar panel layout.
Solar panel layout- Solar Wind Electric had sent us a clean-looking solar design that accommodated all 12 panels and positioned them in a way that made brushing off snow a bit easier. Because our wood stove vent will now run straight up the south wall and exit the roof lower than we planned, our panels will have to be reconfigured away from the heat source.
Kitchen appliances- Originally, our U-shaped kitchen layout called for an electric slide-in range facing south. I fell in love with the idea of cooking meals while admiring the mountains. Really, just being able to glance at the view from anywhere in the kitchen! Alas, our home is so air tight, it’s highly recommended we vent our stove. I hate the idea of a huge hunk of metal obstructing our view. Instead, we’re opting for a stove that has a built-in downdraft. Unfortunately, we found no induction stoves with this option (which crushed my soon-to-be husband’s dream of being the coolest kids around). In fact, there’s essentially only one kind of slide in range with a downdraft: Jenn Air. And from what we’ve seen, they’re never on sale. Our only option at this point is to buy a cook top and wall oven as two separate appliances. The cook top will remain at the south end of the kitchen, but because of the downdraft venting, the wall oven won’t fit underneath. After much arranging and rearranging our kitchen plan, we came to the conclusion that the north wall is the best (really, only) spot for it.
First floor bathroom- When we designed our home, we thought it would be practical to have two full bathrooms—one shower upstairs next to the master bedroom, one shower downstairs next to the guest bedroom. What we didn’t think of at the time was accommodating children. And children take baths, not showers. Our first floor bathroom is now a standard tub shower.
Flooring- We got the quote back for our flooring options, and it’s over budget…by a fair amount. Our first floor has a pretty big area that will be slate, which is driving our price up quite a bit. But because it will work so well with our passive solar design (not to mention look nice!), we’d like to keep it in the plans and compromise somewhere else. Perhaps we’ll forgo the bamboo flooring on the second floor in favor of cork.
Well allowance- The original quote for our home included a $7,000 allowance for digging a well. Nobody realized we’d need to dig to China to strike water. Really, our well is 600-feet deep! And $4,000 over budget.
Fortunately, we saved $4,000 by switching from Marvin to Pella brand on certain windows. (Windows that didn’t compare spec by spec were not changed.) We also saved $500 by switching the first floor bathroom to a tub instead of shower. We’re crossing our fingers that the hearth quote comes in low, so we can save money there as well.
It comforts me to think that all home builders likely go through this same process and share our stress. I don’t want to sound callous. I just want to know that we’re not the only ones juggling money and making compromises!