Structural, Exterior, and Electrical Decisions – Part 1

Don’t mind the poor quality of this photo. Our sales agent had to capture it from a strict social distancing vantage point. Better to have than have not. AMIRIGHT?

Part 1.0 – Structural Planning

This part can vary depending on who your builder is. In our case, the builder is Quadrant Homes and this part of the process was pretty straightforward. Quadrant has established home plans you pick from, each with a few elevation options. Then there are a small handful of structural additions you can make depending on which home plan you build. Examples of this include: covered back patios, converting lofts to bedrooms and adding a shower to powder rooms.

Our last home we built was very similar, however unlike Quadrant who does not allow for custom structural modifications, our previous builder did. Last time around I moved my fireplace, deleted a non-load bearing wall and modified the stairway to name a few.

If structural modifications are something you are particular about, you will want to ask the sales team about it before you commit to building the home. You don’t want to get stuck early in the process with a floor plan that you don’t love and can’t change.

There were a few small modifications I wanted for this home, but Quadrant sticks strictly to the city approved plans. Anything I want to change later, I will have to do by applying for permits and either DIYing them or hire a contractor. Not a big deal- but it’s easier if your semi-custom builder can be flexible from the get-go.

Note: if you’re building a fully custom home, this is almost never an issue unless you’re wanting to do something that compromises the structural integrity or violates a building code.

Okay, so what did I pick?

Home Plan

Our home’s very non-sexy name is called the M-260R. Sounds like a fancy robot if you ask me. #AlexaDoTheDishes. I picked elevation A, which had the most windows out of all the elevations for this plan. Unless you’re a vampire, light is your friend. Trust me; Always opt for more widows if you can.

In addition to ensuring I selected the plan with the most windows, I also elected two of the four available options.

The first was non-negotiable. We live in the rainy Pacific Northwest, so a covered back patio is a must have. The second was the addition of a shower in the first floor powder room. This is a also a must have for us because we host out of town family and friends and wanted to ensure they didn’t have to share a bathroom upstairs with our son.

The other two options I omitted were converting the loft into a bedroom and converting the home management space into a study with access off the great room.

Part 1.1 Exterior

For our exterior, I picked the lightest and brightest color scheme. This was another area Quadrant was not flexible about. I honestly didn’t like any of the provided color schemes but this specific option gives me a light greige house with accents that will be easy to change later, like the brown garage door. Whyyyyy though?!

Pro Tip: if you’re like me and dislike the established paint colors, choose the color scheme that has a body color you like. It’s way cheaper and easier to repaint doors, trim, etc. than it is to repaint an ENTIRE exterior of a house.

In my case I wanted (and got) a greige color that will behave as a neutral (SW Acier). I will likely keep the panel/eave color (SW Ceiling Bright White) and front door color (SW Caviar), but I will have to see how the SW Repose Gray and SW Acier get along. They tend to make each other look tan and that’s worrisome to me. Hands down that SW Urbane Bronze is going to be one of the first things I change though. Not only because IMO it’s ugly, but also because our house is south facing and a dark door = a hot garage in the summer.

Here are the Sherwin Williams paint chips for reference as the rendering above is not accurate.

The other part of the rendering that is not accurate is the stone color. I was nervous that I was going to end up with a peachy/pink toned stone, but in reality the stone is gray toned, which is good. Here is a photo I snapped of my neighbors house with the same elevation and color scheme. You can see the SW Acier and SW Repose Gray in action here as well as a debut of that SW Urbane Bronze.

The last thing I will leave you with today are a few things I modified on the exterior of the home that I shared on this Instagram post.

First (1) is that I changed the fireplace to and internal fire box to avoid that awkward bump out on the side of the house. Second (2), I opted to add trim and window grids to the 4 windows on the north end of the house. Third (3), I will need to hire a contractor to continue the trim under the windows to the left of the porch. We are a corner lot and it just looks silly as this is the front of our home. Fourth (4), I added three fixtures to the front porch so I can hang pendant lights (like the rendering below). and Lastly (5), I opted to remove the metal roofing because, while beautiful, their plans do not carry it down the entire porch and it looks goofy.

Home Exterior With Changes
Home Exterior Without Changes

Phew, that was a long post! I will dive into our electrical and plumbing plan on my next post; Structural, Exterior and Electrical Decisions – Part 2, so stay tuned!

Until then, stay well!

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