Positive Side Effects
In an effort to stave off deep depression, I've tried to look at the brighter side of things as they played out. Had I not been faced with the commercial property debacle, I'd have finished the house in the fall of 2016; instead, I may not be moving in until spring of 2019. Along the way I made quite a few changes to the house that would not have occurred otherwise. What would it have looked like? Which changes were for the better?
While the roof would be unchanged (even down to the choice of contractor), the siding would have most likely been vertical plain boards. Aside from significant cost savings by going with my "faux board and batten," it wouldn't have looked all that different.
As it happens, I like the board and batten siding choice, particularly the final color (example below), although the original plan would have looked a bit more sophisticated.
One other noticeable difference would be the exterior doors, particularly the garage door: I'd wanted them all to be nearly solid glass to admit more light, but that would have cost many times as much. But the ones I chose are acceptable.
I'd made many changes to the interior between the time work halted in October 2016 to when it resumed two years later. These changes are detailed here:
Of these, the ones I might have regretted had things gone as originally planned would be those that pertain to lighting. I'm rather fussy when it comes to illumination, and having the chance to reevaluate things definitely worked out for the best, particularly with respect to the kitchen. And speaking of the kitchen, one thing I know I'd not have considered two years ago was my choice for kitchen countertops—ceramic tile—which I feel is significantly better than my original plan of using concrete.
The office ceiling change (above) was a measurable improvement, although I'm sure I could have lived with the original arrangement.
I'm not quite sure how things might have played out had I stuck with the original heat pump model I'd chosen; the extra time allowed me to research them more thoroughly, and I'm sure the unit I ultimately chose is much better. I was also afforded an opportunity to find a really nice wood stove (below), which I might not have found otherwise—although my severely curtailed budget may prevent this choice, and force me to accept a much more economical alternative.
Other infrastructure changes include a much-improved HVAC ductwork design, many subtle electrical system changes, the addition of a second head in the shower, and more. Although the commercial property nightmare nearly killed me, there was a faint silver lining for which a small part of me was thankful.
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