Our White House, Part 2.

We picked our lot, put down the earnest money, and submitted a change order for a few minor changes we wanted to make to the floor plan we picked. We wanted to change a few doorways, nothing too major, if you start moving walls you have to pay extra earnest money and architect fees. I had a realtor, Heather, come by and give us a selling price quote for our house, but we won't be putting it on the market until Spring. I'm a little hazy on the way the dates will workout - we have to lift the contingency on our contract by the time they start sheet rocking. So, I'm not sure what that means in terms of us moving, but Heather said she'll read over the contract and let us know. I'm nervous because I don't want to have to shut down OMB for a long period of time, but if we have to live with Mimi that would have to be what I do. 

Step 2 is going to the design center, the fun stuff! The builder gaves us a 20K budget, everything else we have to cover. I'll just go ahead and tell you that 20k goes real quick. Oliver had a lot of discussion before we went, it really helped keep us on the same page. We want to spend the bulk of our money on things that are really important to us - floors and countertops. 

We have wood grain porcelain tile in our house now and absolutely LOVE it, so we want to have it in the new house. I was actually pretty surprised Oliver was 100% on board with such a white floor, but we both want a light and bright house. #ourwhitehouse  The problem is that you have to have the time through the bottom floor because of the open floor plan, that's $$$. 

I also asked for a quote on laying it in a herringbone pattern, but I won't hold my breath. I mean, it's just so pretty and I think it's worth the cost. 

Kitchen cabinets were next, I requested that the uppers be white and the lowers and island by grey, hopefully they don't charge me extra for it. I did add a few upgrades, like a sponge rack inside the drawer and a cookie sheet divider. 

Standard countertops are granite with this builder, but I want something a little cleaner looking. Quartz is my next choice and of course I picked out a level 7 {goes from like a 1 to 12 I think on the price scale}. The backsplash was a source of argument between us...

They showed me this stainless steel backsplash and I super heart love it so much. Oliver did not, but we compromised and I got a baroque shaped tile that I think we look gorgeous. It's actually the one in the picture above with the quartz.

The bathrooms were the hardest for us, I didn't love any of the standard items. I tried to mix and match some standards with a few upgrades, but nothing was speaking to me. So, I got a standard stone tile and they will tile it like this - the longer rectangle tiles are a bit more expensive. I got a level 1 quartz, I just couldn't make myself pick any granite knowing I would not like it. 

I was lucky enough to find an example of the exact brick and stone I wanted, both standards thankfully! It's hard when you are just seeing a small board of a few bricks and trying to imagine what an entire house will look like!

The designer got back to use quickly on prices for most of the items we picked, we have to review the list and decide what we want to go with in the next 2 weeks. The next appointment she will have everything laid out and we will once again go over our choices. 

I know for sure that I'm changing the grout on the floors to a darker color, Oliver wasn't sure what that would look like, but after showing him a few pictures he agrees that it will be easier to keep clean. After reviewing the price list I can tell you we have to make some tough decision already. No frameless shower door for SkinnyOli, that was 4k! They also quoted me 15k to put wood upstairs in the game/media room for OMB, no. way. We will just have our floor guy come out after we close and install the same laminate I have upstairs right now. I'm not too happy that they charge extra for different color paints or to change the finish to eggshell, but it is what it is. 


  1. Congratulations. It's going to be beautiful! I love following you on here and instagram! You're very inspirational. You and your husband are so cute together and your kids are precious!

  2. We just built a house a year ago, so I know exactly what you're going through!! Good luck, it isn't a fun process but once it's done you'll be so happy you did it!!

  3. Awesome and your Oliver looks FABULOUS!!!

  4. Your choices are lovely! Coming from a home builder's wife - you have to remember you aren't building a custom home. I know that's so hard to remember, but in any event, you are building a production home so their standard options are exactly that standard. I get that it's frustrating because they definitely put a percentage of profit on each item, but you do the same with your clothing. ;) Building a house is exhausting, stressful and downright a money pit! The one thing my husband tells all our friends that build: go the cheapest you can on paint, fixtures and carpet. Close on a Monday - have your painter and floor people in there for two weeks and then move into the house! You will save a ton of money. When we build our forever home, Eric always says, our whole house will be filled with carpet to include the kitchen. :) ...and fair warning...every little thing will cost extra, so that herringbone layout - $$$$!

    1. Why the cheapest carpet? Oliver's pushing to upgrade that so it lasts longer. Thanks for the tips!

    2. I think she said cheapest carpet with the plan of tearing it all out when you close and hiring your people to do the work. Gorgeous choices! Now I want a #newwhitehouse!

    3. Right, she's saying it's cheaper for you if you go builder grade on things like paint and carpet, and then have your choice of companies to come install what you want... That will be cheaper than paying the builder for the upgrades.

  5. Is that countertop LG Viatera Rococo Quartz? If so, I just had it installed and it is soooooo gorgeous!

  6. Upgrading the paint is SO worth it. Builder grade flat paint will look dingy in 5 minutes.

  7. I love that your sharing house info and all but look at Skinny Oli! Woowoo!

  8. You've probably already thought of it but just a reminder to check your colors in different lighting

  9. I work as a designer for a builder and help people like you who are building semi custom homes. A few tips I tell my homeowners are to upgrade the flooring, cabinets, and countertops. Those are the most permanant finishes, and the rest is easy enough to swap out and upgrade later. Light fxtures, plumbing fixtures, etc. No one wants to rip out carpet after a year and deal with moving furniture etc. Paint is 50/50 on if people want to pay to upgrade or repaint themselves when they move in. Your floor plan will help dictate that if you happen to have any 2 story rooms, arge stairwells, etc. Good luck and have fun!

  10. This house is going to look amazing!! We built about 5 years ago and it was the most amazing but stressful time in our marriage!


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