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Archive for June, 2010

Where are we so far?

Let’s take stock.  So far, we have received the site and topographic survey and the soil and geotechnical survey.  Well, I haven’t seen the soil survey yet, but Craig has.  Nothing surprising.  Sand, conglomerate (whatever that means), boulders, dense and no underground water.  It’s Greek if you ask me.  Oo, maybe I can impose on my friend Carrie to translate.

On the topographic map, it turns out there is an easement between our property and the road. It has something to do with a drainage ditch, I think.  It also  means that the big rock in the front of the property isn’t ours.  I’m rather bummed; I like that rock.  *Sigh*  It may have to be moved.  I wonder who I’m supposed to talk to about that.

What else do we own?  Two sinks and a water meter.  Yup, that’s about it so far.  The appliance supplier we are working with cannot get the sinks we want.  She can get the European equivalent but at about 3x the price.  However, we were able to find the ones we want at Lowes in Longmont and my wonderful sister has agreed to pick them up (thanks, sis!!).

The sinks we want are perfect for our kitchen.  The big sink is by Franke (we did not order the faucet shown with this mode).  The sink for the island is a Blanco sink.  It’s 14 inches square and 7 inches deep.  A good working size but not overwhelming the island.

That’s it.  That’s what we own so far.   We have a LOT of plans and I love every one of them.  And we are slowly starting to amass the pieces to our home.  I hope my sis has a lot of room in case I need to order more things and store them until we get there!  Tee, hee–thanks sis!!

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Kitchen Features

Yes, I know, I’m a week late in posting.  We’ve been hard at work reviewing materials and working with our builder to come up with options.  We have received the site and topographic survey and the soil and geotechnical surveys are complete.  We’re just waiting for the results.  When they come in, I’ll update you on all those surveys.  In the meantime, let’s talk kitchen features.

I thought I’d share with you some of the features in our current kitchen that I’d like in the new kitchen.  And some I don’t want.

Some years back, 6 to be precise, we renovated our kitchen and dining room.  They were separate rooms; we combined them by knocking out the joining wall, ripping out all the cabinets and appliances and installing custom-made cabinets.  We added a peninsula, granite counter tops and all new appliances.  Based on this, I consider myself infinitely qualified to discuss and manage our home building project.

The features in the kitchen I’d like to include in the design include a spice cabinet built into one of the cabinet doors.  Notice how the cabinets installed have 4 shelves as opposed to the typical 3 shelves.  This makes for a nice-sized spice rack.  Now, if you are like me, you’ve got lots of spices.  So this doesn’t come close to holding all the spices (as you can see from the picture; there are enough spices that I use shelves in the cabinet to hold them).  I organize my spices in alphabetical order (I knew someone once who organized his spices by geographic region–all the Cajun spices together, all the Indian spices together–you get the picture).  I really like this feature.

Another feature I like is a space for cutting boards which also includes a towel rack.  Very useful.

This is next to the sink which is very convenient.  The towel rack is quite flexible so it bends.  And, believe it or not, it hasn’t been broken yet!

Another feature I absolutely love is this recipe book holder.  It pulls down from under the cabinet and holds a relatively large cookbook.  Oh, not the really big ones, but this will hold a normal size book.  I am forever using it.  Alas, from what I understand, it is no longer available.  That is a real shame.  It’s one of the features I get more use out of then you’d imagine.

A couple things I don’t need include a pull-out pantry.  With the huge walk-in pantry that we will have, I do not need this.  I will say that for the current kitchen, this has been wonderful.  I have no pantry, walk-in or otherwise, so this has been very nice to have.  But, I don’t need it in the new house.

Another feature I do not want is an appliance garage.  That is the lower cabinet in this picture.  It isn’t much use for anything right now except large bags of pretzels, chips and my food processor.  Unfortunately, I don’t find it useful for much else.  And, with the walk-in pantry, I can store any appliances in the pantry.

Our new kitchen will have a large island with a built-in sink.  We found a Franke sink that is just perfect.  There will also be a microwave drawer.  These are getting more popular these days.

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I never thought we’d have a security system.  Outside of deadbolts on our doors, and locking our windows at night, I figured we couldn’t have a security system.  Why, you may ask?  Because we have 2 cats.  And they walk around the house all the time—well, ok, they sleep a lot too, but we don’t restrict them to one area like you can a dog.  And I figured that the sensors for the security system would pick up on that and the alarm would go off.  Resulting in a false alarm which I’m sure the police of Grand Lake and Grand County’s sheriff’s deputies would just love to respond to.  I think we would get one free pass before they would start writing tickets.  Not the ideal way to get to know our local constabulary.

So I was a bit hesitant when my life-partner said he wanted to install one of these.  His argument made sense but I was still reluctant to agree to it.  But, like any good intellectual, I did  some research (God love the internet) and found that security systems have come a long way and there are systems out there that detect the size of the thing moving around the house so it would “know” a house pet from an intruder.  And we found an expert and talked to him about options.  He is very knowledgeable about this (and audio systems, too.  Sweet!  A two-for-one deal here) and he was able to tell us how these work.

However, I’m still concerned about something.  Although the system may be able to detect the size of the thing walking around the house, if it detects movement at a height that is closer to human size, will the alarm sound?  The reason I’m asking is this:  the cats can and do jump up onto furniture.  I’m sure you’ve all read about our boys in the “About Us” page of this blog, however I don’t believe I’ve regaled you with their ability to spring onto tall objects.  OK, one of them can, the other not so much.

You see, Hathaway is a plucky little guy, but little is the operative word.  He doesn’t have the springs in his legs you’d think he would have.  For example, the bay window in our current home is about 4 feet off the ground.  For Hathaway to get up onto it, he must get onto the arm of the couch then hop onto the window.   We jokingly say that he ain’t got no hops.  Oh, he can get onto our bed pretty easily, but he has to take a running start.  Yes, he is on the dining room table in this picture, but to get there he has to jump onto the chair then climb onto the table.  He cannot jump straight onto the table from the floor.

Hudson, on the other hand, simply steps higher.  He can get up on just about anything no matter how tall.  This picture shows him on a two-foot tall stack of folded quilts that are on top of a five-foot high wardrobe.  He jumps onto the bed then springs up to the top of the quilts on the wardrobe.  So he can get onto anything.  I could see him getting up on the mantel over the fireplace.  He also loves to get on the counters in the kitchen because he knows he shouldn’t be there but he doesn’t care (and don’t bother trying to discipline him; it’s a waste of time and annoys the cat).  So he would be moving around at a height that could mimic that of a person.  Would the alarm go off then?

Detection for glass breaking would be a good idea.  Because of the cats, we do not have anything breakable on tables or where they can get to them.  These two love to conduct experiments in gravitational pull and anything breakable would not last 2 minutes within their reach.  So, we could have that sort of detection.  I think our expert mentioned something about sensors on windows.  That would work too, although we do like to have the windows open.  Hopefully that wouldn’t be an issue.

We’re expecting a proposal shortly for both the audio and the security system.  And maybe if we ask nicely, our expert will comment on this blog regarding movement detection (hint, hint).  I sure hope the security system is easy to use.  I’m going to be challenged enough just operating this let alone having the cats cause false alarms.  I do have every faith that our expert will come up with the perfect solution for us.

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