So much to think about

The building is going well on my new house, and the builders are working on the roof at the moment. It all seems to be happening so fast since they began on the first of February, but everybody says this is the quickest part. My parents and sister have been brilliant, overseeing the work and making slight changes to the original plans, as they notice things that could make it look better. There are so many decisions for me to make in the next few months, and my head hurts just thinking about them all.

We have to order the windows this week. What type of windows do I want?
What type of door would look good on the house? What colour of a door? I can’t see colours and don’t understand them but I want the house to look good.
What type of stairs do I want, open or closed? What type of floor, carpet upstairs but wood or tyles downstairs? I want tyles that aren’t a nightmare to clean. If I have wooden floors, I don’t want ones that will get marked by dog paws and look like they need replaced soon after I put them down.

What type of heating system do I want? I’ve more or less decided on oil, but how good are these high efficiency condenser boilers? Will I need something else as well as a back-up. There’s a fireplace in the house already. I love an open fire but hate lighting things and dealing with coal and all that messy stuff. Will I put an electric stove or electric fire there instead. These new wood pellet stoves are economical and give out a lot of heat but they are expensive to install. Its hard to know how much running my own house will cost until I actually move in. I don’t want to be constantly broke forever!

We went to look at kitchens yesterday. I know what size the kitchen is and where everything will go, but what colour of kitchen do I want? What type of wood do I want? What’s my budget? I don’t know!

Do I want curtains or blinds? What type of sofa and chairs? built-in or free standing wardrobes? What colour will each room be painted? I want an alarm system, so that has to be organised when the electrition comes. Oh crap, when the electrition comes, how many plugs do I need and where do I want them? Better to have too many than not enough right?
And it goes on and on and on…

Designing and decorating a house can be fun when your blind, and there are certain parts that I just have no interest in. You really have to trust other people’s opinions sometimes, and when people have different opinions about what looks good, it can be difficult.
I was talking to a friend about this recently, and we talked about how we like our houses to look as good as anybody who can see. Being blind doesn’t mean living in darkness, or having no pictures on the wall, just because you can’t see them. I want visitors to my house to feel comfortable and not feel embarrassed by the lack of anything stylish in my house.

There are two areas that my family and friends won’t really be able to help with much, and these are things that I really need to work well, so any advice would be great!

The first thing is appliances and gagets. I don’t want to put in a washing machine, dishwasher or any appliance and then discover that it isn’t accessible or that I could have got another type that’s easier to use.
Are there any must-have gagets that you couldn’t live without in your house? I’m just curious!

One of the things I’m most excited about is having somewhere to have all my computer equipment and audio together, and setting up a small studio when I move in. I haven’t decided the exact reason for doing this yet, but I have a few ideas I’d love to try if I had the right equipment. Good audio equipment also means having the perfect sound system. Ideally I’d love surround sound through the house if possible. It would be great if everything could be connected so that it could work through my stereo, TV and laptop. The wiring for this would have to be done soon, but I have no idea how it would all work. I know there’s wireless surround sound speakers but I have no idea how these work either. I know you have audio systems where your main source of audio is in one room and you can play it to other rooms in the house, but I don’t know if this is just availible in a stereo or could it be connected to other things? Are these accessible? So many things are digital and have touch screens, and I don’t like it!

I don’t want to spend money on things for my house, and then realise later that I should have got something else instead. When you haven’t bought any of this stuff before, its hard to know what is the right price to pay for stuff and when you are being ripped off.
Everybody is telling me to enjoy this part of the moving stage, because there’s a chance I might never move again, or it won’t be as much fun the next time. I’m trying to relax and enjoy it, while thinking about a million things at the same time!

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11 thoughts on “So much to think about

  1. Wow, you are thinking quite a lot at the moment. Your friend was certainly right about appearance and all that stuff I think. I think that you have to prioritise things in order as to how they are going to come. I mean, the electrics will be all taken care of at a certain stage of the build. Focus on stuff like the windows now first of all. Now, I aim to also hav mine replaced at some point when I win the lotto but all I will say is that your builder should be able to give you tips on them. Look for a good energy rated window and make sure that they are well insulated. Regarding sockets and stuff like that, try to imagine where furniture is going to go. You will want say sockets by your bed for example. If you know you are going to be putting things in certain places then that will help with that. Oh, I love your whole sound ideas. I would absolutely love to do that here in my little place. I am sure I could come up with other ideas and may well come back to you but this is just a start. I actually love this kind of stuff and my only frustration is not being able to imagine how something say like a room will look.

  2. JenJust a thought but would someone down in Cork be able to give you some hints about things that they did during the new build in the Centre that might be of use. I'm just thinking of how they did the new bedrooms down there – kitchen layout etc.I know from renovating our house here five years ago – good insulation and wooden floors were two things there were hugely important for me. Five years later our solid oak floors still look as good as new and that is five years of Clive and Murray chasing each other about and running up and down stairs etc.You will laugh at this one but because I have had two replacement hips – I wanted the toilets fitted slightly higher than normal. It makes a huge difference to me as sometimes I find toilets very low and as I have dislocated my right hip twice I'm really careful about where and how I sit!The very best of luck with all the work … it can seem overwhelming at times, I remember thinking we would never get to the end of the build – but you do and then you are so pleased with the finished result – you forget all about the mess and inconvenience during the build.regardsFionaps-about doing things at the time that seem a good idea – we put in a large tropical aquarium for Murray – because he loved fish and we thought it would be really calming and good for him. It was but five years later it has become a huge pain – lots of maintenance and expensive to run. So think long and hard about things and whether five years down the road … you will really want them!

  3. Thanks for the great advice Fiona. The toilet thing makes sense :)I can imagine the aquarium is a nightmare to clean but betit looks great.Those oak floors sound great. I'd like nice wood like that because I find laminated wood to be quite noisy when dog paws walk on it.Thanks again.

  4. Ah fun times! When picking out a washing machine just make sure that each program that is available on it has a specific click. There are a lot of machines out there that click ten times between programs so it's much harder to set them. A few Braille markers for the programs you'll use will then hopefully do the trick. I try to stay away from thos horrible bump on things. I hate them with a passion. I Instead use Velcro. I haven't done a completely new build but I completely ripped out the inside of the house we baught a few years ago. The best thing I ever did was get impartial advice from a builder that had nothing to do with th eowrk that was being done. He was able to tell me when the electrician was cutting corners, When the person doing the Windows could have done a better job and when I needed to spend more money on insulation at certain points. Feel free to give me a shout if you need specific advice. Between Emma and I we did a lot of the work our selves so we've been there and done that. Light fittings was the hardist part for me. I couldn't care less what they look like. At that stage I had bigger things to think about and I@d been working on the house for four months solid. YOu'll get there in the end. Even if it seems like a massive undertaking now…..

  5. Great idea to have another builder to look at the work. My builder can be quite set in his ways and afraid to try something different, but when he sees that I won't give in he'll do what we want.I don't think lights would interest me either!What about audio in the house? The most important bit, obviously!Thanks for your help so far 🙂

  6. I can't help you with any of the techy questions, but Mr. K used to work at Best Buy-a huge electronics/gadget store in Canada/United States. He used to instaul surround systems and he said you could email him with questions.hodgie7@msn.comAs for colours and such things, that should be fun. I agree with you when you say that just because blind people live in a house doesn't mean it should be uninviting. I personally like curtains because I can operate them more easily. We have blinds in the house we are renting right now and they're ok, but I am afraid I'll make them fall off or something. LOL An appliance we have fallen in love with is the Roomba, which is a little robot vaccuum that runs around nd cleans the house. Mr. K could probably fill you in better about that as well. It picks up dog fur like crazy. Feel free to email Mr. K. He might be able to help you. 🙂

  7. Hi Jenny, i didnt paint my flat but its mostly neutral colours, light cream, white, as its a old building the skirting board is black and I have darkish brown carpets, i do think having darker carpets with a dog are better they do show the hair though if you have a light dog but they dont show up any dirty marks etc. I dont have any wood flooring and again think it would get ruined, but have like this vinyl flooring which i really like in my hall, kitchen and bathroom and its like a light brown its easy to clean anyways for muddy pawsjust with a mop. Regarding kitchen equipment i have a oven which has dials and they are marked with bump on's i have a toaster and a microwave, dishwashers have never impressed me and i think its easier to do, washing machines we have two in a laundry room as i dont have room in my flat, I have quite a few plug sockets with like a piece of wood going up from the flooring and its the same colour as the wall but makes finding the plug socket a bit easier. If you want any more ideas just send me a email, or add my email to MSN I think you may still have it but let me know

  8. Waw, where'd Darragh's 2nd comment go? Bloggers gone mad! Thanks for the great audio advice and the website. Will have another look at that soon.Thanks Terri. I've been a bit unsure about getting a dishwasher, but if my mates and family actually come and have dinner with me as much as they say they will then I'll be glad of one!

  9. I can't offer advice in every area, but one thing came to mind. We raise guide dog puppies and having a porous tile (one with good texture) keeps our puppies from sliding into walls and doors. Now, it will be slightly harder to clean but smooth tile and dogs equals a lot of crashes. Happy decorating!

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