Sunday, March 11, 2012

Decisions Decisions

OK - I have a few big decisions that I need to settle on which will determine how much freedom I will have in the flooring showroom tomorrow:

Kitchen Island:

I thought this was a done deal until I added up the costs of it - about $2500 with the granite.  This is currently built into my price.  While It's nice and all having an island with matching counters and storage (3 drawers and cabinets below), I just don't see how it justifies that expense.  The back and sides were thin 1/4" MDF and had a pretty cheap, flexible feeling to them.

I cook a lot and make huge messes so the island is key for me.  But should I go with their island?

Pros: matching granite, matching cabinets, electrical outlet on side, cost rolled into mortgage (not out of pocket), drawers and cabinets underneath.

Cons: it's effing expensive for what it is - simple cabinets with a 10 sq ft piece of granite @ about $80 per sq ft, ho-hum look and feel.


Solid butcher block table with drawers (48" x 36")
Cost: $1200, Savings: $1,280

Island with bar
Cost: $900, Savings: 1,580

Next up:

Upgraded Granite:

Dakota Mahogany vs. Uba Tuba

For my plan it's about $1000 to go from level 1 granite to level 2 granite.  I wasn't questioning my decision to go w/ Dakota Mahogany until I calculated this out.  The sales rep pulled the old "which granite do you like? - I'm not going to tell you that one costs exactly one thousand dollars more than the other".  Oldest trick in the book.

I really like the Dakota Mahogany and think it matches really well with the darker maple cabinets that I'm going with but I'm having a hard time justifying the cost when Uba Tuba seems ok too...

Again - this is already rolled into my price but could the solid grand be better used elsewhere?

Odds and ends:

Raised vanities in bathrooms - I currently have this in the master but should I go ahead and add it to the other two full baths?  I feel odd in a bathroom with the standard height counters - it this a common upgrade that you all have made?

Comfort height toilets - I currently have 2 of 4 toilets upgraded to comfort height - thinking about just making them all comfort height.  It really is comfortable.

Carpet pad - I currently have the first level upgrade - should I just max it out for the upstairs carpet pad?

By the way - there's no better way to take your mind off of stressful decisions than an amazing and exhausting bike ride in one of the most beautiful places in North Carolina:

I <3 NC - born and raised...

I will leave you with a few pics of a model Hepburn that I found online (my kitchen and master will be 4 ft longer :)


  1. I had not seen the Dakota Mahogany granite previously, but it's gorgeous. You seem to really like it and if Uba Tuba is only "okay" to you, I would seriously consider the upgrade. Since you spend a lot of time in your kitchen, will you regret settling for Uba Tuba if you really want the Dakota Mahogany?
    As for the island, we opted not to get it and will add either a custom island or get a matching island since HD and L's sell the same cabinets and counters. It will be much more cost effective to go this route. It will not electric, but I have enough outlets everywhere else that I am not concerned about that.
    We only upgraded the carpet and pad one level. We don't expect the carpet to last more than a few years and will replace it with what we really want at that time.
    I don't have any advice about the comfort height issues. We did not add that feature, but that's because we're not all that tall :)

  2. Here's a thought about the island: I was very unimpressed with the choices Ryan offered for islands in my kitchen. I just don't like the shape of the big one at all, and I was afraid it wouldn't look right in my house. Nay, I knew I would always hate it. They offered a couple other (small - 3x3) islands from other models. I asked for the island from the waverly without the hook. Just the big square part. Ryan wouldn't do it.

    Here's the rub: You can just go buy the exact same cabinets from either Home Depot or Lowes and get exactly the island you want. And I'm sure it costs less, too. I wanted a stack of drawers in my kitchen instead of one of the bottom cabinets. Another thing they refused. I am going to be ordering my own stuff the way I want it. Keep your island, with the crazy inflated prices. My uncle is a builder in Texas and he told me the granite is marked up to double. I don't think I want this granite on my island anyway. I really want a butcher block top.

    Carpet pad? We maxed it out everywhere. And I am so glad we did. You can really feel the difference and my Rite Rug girl said the top level pad was waterproof. That makes a huge difference since spills usually ruin the pad.

    We didn't even hear about different height options, but I think I remember (?) our sales rep and PM saying we had comfort height toilets. But some things are standard in our house which are options in other models, so it's always a "Your mileage may vary" type thing with Ryan Homes.