Posted by: SoccerGirl | July 14, 2009

Toilets, Faucets, and Sinks, oh my!

As the first week of construction came to a close, mom, dad and I made a trip up to the property on Saturday July 11th.  After the grading was done last weekend, we got news this week that the concrete slab would be poured by the end of this week, so we planned to go up and check things out.  As you can see from the picture below we now have a concrete slab and expect that framing will begin this week.

Concrete Slab

Concrete Slab

The drive to the property takes about 3 hours, so we left home about 8:15, but this was not to be our usual drive with one pit stop along the way.  Instead, since more decisions needed to be made regarding kitchen and bath fixtures, mom and dad decided that we would stop in Winston-Salem at the Ferguson Showroom.  You may be wondering why we went to the one in Winston, when the house is in Ashe County and we live in Raleigh.  I was wondering the same thing when my mom told me the plan.  Well, there is a showroom in Raleigh, but their Saturday hours were more limited.  There is also a store in Boone, which is about the same distance from the property as Winston, but their hours were more limited too.  So we ended up in Winston and spent about 2 hours browsing and deciding on a toilet, bathroom faucet, kitchen faucet, kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and shower fixtures.  Again you may be wondering how it could take us 2 hours, but believe me there is more to the whole process then just pointing to something and writing it down.

I’ll start with the toilet, now you’d think a toilet would be pretty simple, right, I mean we all know its purpose, so how can it be complicated?  We didn’t think it was that complicated, and prior to our shopping my dad, being the analytical type that he is, researched toilets using Consumer Reports and decided on the model he wanted.  They had it in the showroom, and it looked pretty good, but then another model caught his eye and he thought maybe we should change to it.  Here’s where the complication sets in.  We were looking at Kohler models and apparently there are different flushing technologies, who knew?  There’s the Class 5, which just sucks the water down, or the Ingenium, which swirls the water around the bowl, and the Class 6, which swirls the water around the bowl and sucks it down too.  Of course you also have to decide on a bowl shape, seat height and color.  After much discussion and clarification of the different technologies, we finally decided on a toilet.

That decision finally made we moved on to the bathroom faucet.  If you’ve ever browsed the bathroom fixture aisle at Home Depot or Lowe’s you know they just put all of the faucets on display, you look at them and pick one.  The same was true here, except there was a much larger variety of brands and styles.  Of course the ones on display showed only 1 or 2 finishes, there were more available and we had to decide which would work best for our bathroom.  We debated about oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel, or chrome, finally settling on chrome.  The debate came about because we’re not sure what the counter top will exactly look like because the decorator mom had met with is looking for a remnant piece of granite and we’re not sure if she found the one my mom really liked or not.   You also have to decide if you want a centerset model or widespread.  After much looking over the different styles we decided on one from Moen.  We also made a simple decision on the bathroom sink, there was only one decision involved there: the color of the sink.  We decided on “Biscuit” which is an off white color.

Now to the kitchen faucet and sink.  Our kitchen is really more of a kitchenette, with just a small amount of counterspace.  We knew though from experiences at our current home what we like and don’t like in a kitchen sink and faucet.  Our requirements were simple: a sink that isn’t too shallow and a faucet with a high arc and sprayer.  Looking at the wall of kitchen faucets it was pretty easy to narrow down our choices, we knew that we only needed the faucet and handle, no separate sprayer or soap dispenser (mom and dad installed one of those and it didn’t work well so we didn’t want to make that mistake again).  So we decided on a Delta and again had to chose the finish.  Since we knew that we would have a stainless steel sink we decided on chrome for the kitchen faucet.  Since we don’t have much counterspace we didn’t want a sink that would take up to much space, so mom specified that it be a single bowl and no more than 24″ or so wide.  We settled on one from Elkay that was 25″ wide and 10″ deep.  However this decision has changed.  After leaving the Ferguson store we discovered that the sink we chose was about 3 times what we wanted to pay.  So, while we were in West Jefferson at the Lowe’s store we saw a much more economical one.  My dad called the Ferguson store on Monday and changed our choice to match our budget!

Finally it was time to sit down with the salesperson, finalize a few things, and type everything up.  Mom and dad were given an allowance from the builder for all of these fixtures, so the goal was to be as cost effective as possible while still choosing things we liked.  When we sat down, a few things changed from our original choices.  First, we found out the toilet we had decided on was being discontinued, so we went back to the original model my dad had read about and decided he wanted.  This also meant that we changed the faucets, because we had picked them to coordinate with the styling of the toilet.  Mom and I quickly picked out another one though.  The builder had already selected the shower enclosure and doors (no bathtub), so we just had to look at those and make sure they were ok.  With everything finalized we left the showroom and finally continued on our journey.  Our thanks to Latonya Peeples at the Ferguson store for all her help.

We have had other decisions to make: what color stone for the bottom of the structure, the color of the epoxy for the floor (we are leaving the concrete in place), and the lighting for outside.  Mom and Dad wondered what it would be like to have to decide everything for the entire house.  Hopefully this experience will help us if we ever build the house!

We finally arrived at the property and I got to see for the first time what had happened since construction began.  Mom and dad got to see the site with the concrete slab poured.  In my head it was bigger than it is in reality, but we all have a better sense now of exactly how large the garattage will be.

View as you would drive up to garattage

View as you would drive up to garattage

We dropped a few things off on the property, mom and I watered our apple orchard (which is doing well), dad sprayed some of the weeds and poison ivy, we went into town to pick up a few items and drop off a check to the electric company, and headed back home.

It was a long day, but very exciting to see progress being made.  Stay tuned for even more updates as framing work gets under way this week!

Me helping out with the grading work  :)

Me helping out with the grading work 🙂



  1. Did you “grade” a nice level spot next to the garattage for my little trailer?

    • I’m sure we can find you a spot somewhere! Just let us know when you’re coming.

  2. So are you considering a career change? You look like a professional!

    • I don’t know, in this economy construction may not be the best profession to enter. I’ll probably just stick to it as a hobby 🙂

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