Until today no significant work had been done on the site for the last three weeks because of our lack of plumbing permit. In the last update I filled you in on how we didn’t have a septic design and how that prevented us from getting a permit. After much phone calling and constant nagging by the builder to the Health Department, we finally got our approval and plumbing permit. Today the plumber set to work laying pipe. Rain is in the forecast so I don’t know when we’ll actually be pouring the slab.
Scroll down for some pictures of the progress.
We used the waiting time to finalize the windows. Quotes came in a little higher than expected, but not by much and the cost is somewhat offset by the Panda doors coming in lower than expected and that the other exterior door line item looks high. We’re willing to spend a little more to get good windows because that’s a longer-term investment in the house. Vinyl was specified for all the windows, but I think we’ve made the decision to go with the Andersen 100 series composite windows instead. They look a little cleaner, especially on the outside. Vinyl windows invariably have an ugly weld joint in the corners, while the composite windows have a clean flat look. Also, they come in different colors, so we picked black for the outside, white on the inside – oh so minimalist.
Another reason to go with composite is that larger panels are available than you can get with the weaker vinyl frames. Larger panels are good, we gots some big windows. Switching to the more expensive composite windows has the unexpected effect of reducing the cost of some windows. How? Since the composite windows can be made bigger, some of the windows that require three or four vinyl units can be filled with one or two composite windows and that reduces overall cost. For instance, the 8 foot by 8 foot window above the dining room went from $2,056 for 4 vinyl units to $834 for two composite units. We also applied this strategy to the windows in the kids rooms to go from four panels to two with the same overall dimensions for a savings of about $600.