Are ALL The Home Builders Con-Artists And Criminals?

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Dear Laurel,

I’m at my wit’s end. It’s about the home builders!

My husband and I finally decided to purchase a beautiful home, yet to be built in a new community of about 70 homes. The model had everything we wanted. Well, lo and behold sometime after we went to contract, another entity got involved and things began to change and by a lot. Apparently, there is a clause in our contract which states that the holding corporation may change home builders without notice.

This home builder cut every corner imaginable– and making any changes is prohibitively expensive. For instance, we could put in our own kitchen, but we would have to pay for their kitchen and an absurd fee to install our kitchen.  In addition, we are not allowed to have a home without a kitchen! It would be less expensive to rip out this kitchen and put ours in later!

We consulted with our lawyer who just shook his head and said that pretty much we were going to have to live with this; it is very common in the home building industry. They call the shots while the home owner has virtually no control!

Here’s my bucket-list of issues.

  • The cabinets are one foot short of the nine foot ceiling.
  • The cabinets are WHITE, I mean the brightest white I’ve ever seen. I want white just not so blinding. We did have another choice and that was this weird ashy gray finish.
  • The counters are white silestone. I cannot get my own sample. I have to go the sale’s office to look at it.
  • The back splash is white subway tile. That one, is alright, I guess, but it’s the cheapest crap God ever created!

There’s more. I just found out. There’s no pantry! There is a side by side washer/dryer however in the kitchen. Is that weird, or what? We have two little kids and lots of nephews and nieces. We need food storage! Can we move the washer/dryer? I really don’t want to move it to the basement. They won’t be finishing it. Yes! Another surprise. No finished basement!

Then, the wall color. It is all Sherwin Williams Putrid Gray. I don’t remember the real name, but it’s not what I want and I certainly don’t want it all over my home. I don’t mind Sherwin Williams. They have some nice colors. Why on earth can’t we select our own paint?

The bathrooms are the same situation as the kitchen. Same finishes. Same colors.

Laurel, we are already maxed out on this purchase. Oh, I guess another 20k wouldn’t matter at this point, but that won’t buy a new kitchen or bathrooms!

I want moldings too!

The house is still basically nice. The ceilings are still nine feet and the windows are big. It is bright and airy but just lacking in the character and charm I was so hoping to get.

I am hoping and praying that you’ll come up with some solutions but I’m so upset, I can’t think straight about this. I read your post about the horrible painting contractor.

Do all home builders and contractors suck?

Thanks so much,

Betty Baitinswich

*********

Oh, Betty and anyone else out there who is at the mercy of their home builder, first of all… No, they don’t ALL suck, but a lot of them do. And sometimes it’s difficult to know in the beginning what you’re getting yourself into. They will always try to make themselves appear as attractive to you as possible.

They want to sell you a home.

Before, I go on… For those of you not familiar with my “dear laurel” letters. There is no actual Betty Baitinswich. However, she is an amalgam of a few different letters or comments I’ve received recently and my prior experience with clients who’ve purchased a builder’s home.

I also want to add that I do receive a lot of letters asking for advice like this. You can certainly ask and perhaps I will include it in a blog post, but generally cannot give specific interior design advice without a signed contract and a hefty design fee.

Love your comments so much because they enrich the blog and help to foster an even greater learning situation. But the point is, it needs to benefit everyone, not just your unique sitch.

End of lecture.

And now… we will return to our regularly scheduled program…

“How To Kill Your Home Builders And Make It Look Like It Was An Accident”

 

hehehe… I’m being my usual cheekysefff. There are some wonderful home builders (I guess). But of course they are in business to turn a profit. It would appear that many home developers do not care one iota about the people who are buying their homes. If you are a home builder and feel differently, please state your name, company and why you feel that statement is false; respectfully, of course. We’re listening.

Yes, there are rotten people in every industry, including my own. But your home is almost definitely the most expensive purchase you will ever make. And well… it’s your haven. It should be beautiful, well-built and safe!

I am not saying not to buy a builder’s home in a development. Just be careful. Make sure your lawyer looks over every letter of the contract.

If they seem at all slippery. Run. Read online reviews about your home builder. Here is a scathing report I discovered from Consumer Affairs about Toll Brothers.  In this age of internet information, you would think it would be in their best interest to keep their rep a little cleaner. No?

The upside is that you are getting a brand-new home, usually with none of the issues typically found in old homes. Usually.

Deb, please just go out and buy the paint you want. Never mind that he’s charging you for paint he’s not using. He buys Sherwin Williams Disagreeable Gray by the 5 gallon container.

You can go to the manufacturer(s) for samples of tiles. They’ll be happy to send you whatever you want.

Alright. Let’s get to the rest.

And please know that this isn’t just about home builders homes, but it could be any home you’re planning on purchasing, OR already live in!

 

Let’s begin with your Home Builder’s Kitchen. The basic model.

Generally, the home buyer is given some choice in cabinets but usually it’s maybe 2 or 3 choices and they are all pretty bad I have found. Sometimes, they’ll offer an “upgrade.” Same thing.

Cabinet manufacturers usually offer two shades of white.

  • some shade of Linen

and

  • neon-blindingly-bright-to-match-your-washing-machine-white.

The cabinets almost never go up to the ceiling. It’s all pretty craptastic.

 

You have three choices when dealing with the homebuilders kitchen.

  1. Live with it.
  2. Rip it out and start over. (I’ve known some who’ve done this!)
  3. Augment and paint.

 

Remodelando+la+casa+kitchen+makeover+-+before

Here we go. Standard fair. This is the kitchen of a wonderful blogger I just discovered, Cristina from the Romodelando  La Casa blog . She chose door #3— Augment and Paint.

Remodelando+la+Casa+Kitchen+with+new+range+hood+design+1

Here’s what she did for 11 large. Holy Crap! And, she and her hubs did it all by them selfies! Folks, to be clear, these are the SAME cabinets, but everything else is new. Please check out her blog in the link above and here and here. It is chock full of wonderful advice— including how to paint your cabinets. There are lots of other great projects too!

IF you don’t like the color of your cabinets, it IS possible to paint them. It is a lot of work, but from one who did it or rather had it done, it is absolutely worth it!

 

waterleaf-interiors-white-kitchen-open-shelves-blue-glass-cabinet-doorsWaterleaf Interiors

photo-jeff-herr-hgtv-washer-dryer-pantry-Hyser-Kitchen-160-a-3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.1288

HGTV – photo by Jeffrey Herr

Let’s discuss the laundry in the kitchen.

I had a client who has this. Actually, it is in the eating part of the kitchen. One solution for Betty who is sans pantry, would be to have a top and bottom washer/dry and then use the other section as a pantry and/or broom closet.

photo-jeff-herr-hgtv-washer-dryer-pantry-Hyser-Kitchen-160-b-3x4.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.966.1288HGTV – photo by Jeffrey Herr

hendel-homes-traditional_laundry_roomHendel Homes

This is a very cool idea, I think. That is a radiator grille material in the doors. Very clever!

ledge-over-front-door-builders-homedum dum dum.

The ol’ ledge-going-to-know-where-with-no-access-gathering-copious-amounts-of-dust-over-the-front-door-abomination.

Yes, indeed. Oh, it seemed to be a good idea. Homeowners want to put coats somewhere grumbled the home builder. Fine. There you go. I made them go somewhere.

addicted-to-decorating-reader-question-how-to-decorate-ledge-above-front-doorvia: Addicted To Decorating

Yes, typically, what lives underneath the overhang to nowhere are two coat closets. Fair enough.

Sorry, but it’s shit design.

For decades, homeowners have been scratching their perplexed heads wondering what on earth to do with the dangerous and unreachable landing. I have seen it all. Dead plants. Living plants. Murals. Plastic flowers. A dead cat.

There’s a lot of death in a place that’s inaccessible.

6a44d3bcb9b19c8ae18934cfb320cf15

Hope we don’t get a little earthquake. Hate it when the sleds fall on the kids and they have to go the hospital for stitches.

home-design-ledge-lonely-plantSweet.

bad-home-design-ledge-over-front-door

This one, the builder added just for spite.

idiot-standing-on-ledge

How do these homes get a C of O? Anybody? You can’t take possession of your home without so much as a lightbulb, but you can build a death-trap of a ledge. That’s okay.

ledge-over-the-front-doorno words.

Balcony-04

However, about 13 years ago, I had a lovely client who lives in a home with one of these. Hers, however, is 4 feet deep. Four feet is actually enough to do something with. And so we did. We put in a door which you can’t see, from the master bedroom and created a sunny nook for reading. We could’ve put in a door on the other side, but that lead to one of the kid’s bedrooms. BTW, this contractor was a doll. We were of one mind about everything. There was no railing originally, but now, it is a safe place to go!

So, as long as your ledge is at least two feet deep, you could put in a door (and a coordinating railing) from whatever room and then you could put up some living plants. Or create a little, safe play area.

home-talk-bathroom-mirror-before

I’ve always loved the idea and have done it of putting a frame around an existing, boring bathroom mirror.

home-talk-adding-frame-bathroom-mirror (1)

That’s better! Bathrom makeover by Home Talk

oak-staircase

The builders home – standard oak staircase.

In all fairness, this isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen. But it is wrong and lacks finesse, that’s for sure. It should not be all wood unless you are living in a hunting lodge in the Adirondacks. Something like that. The risers should be white, as well as the spindles and newel posts.

maggie-over-by-studios-stair-case-makeoverMaggie Overby

They did a nice job on updating their standard builder’s staircase.

cool-stair-railing-traditional-home-louise-brooksTraditional Home – Louise Brooks

Here’s one that is anything but standard but I think i love it!

classic-newel-post

My favorite classic newel post and stair railing. (original source unknown)

bronxville-entry-classic-gray-walls-tobi-fairley-cr-laine-stool-circa-lighting-sconce-pilasters-traditional-entry-gracious-home

This is me! Well, not me, but my fabulous client who lives just a half mile from me in Bronxville. Just a couple snaps with my phone. I’ll take proper photos later. This is the job I was talking about in this post. A lot of the furniture is in already and is looking quite smashing.

Love how the door is framed. Very elegant! That was there, I believe, but the wainscoting is new. I didn’t have much to do with that other than to give a reassuring, yes!

bronxville-dining-room

We just put up window treatments in the dining room. The wainscoting is new too.

You want to know the wall colors?

Yes, please Laurel…

The walls in the entry are classic gray. Everything else is Cotton Balls except for the ceiling in the dining room which is Glass Slipper. All by Benjamin Moore.

makeit-loveit-window-trimmingMake It Love It

Windows. Not really much to say. What a difference!

rachel-halvorson-sitting-area-velvet-blue-sectional-large-windows-linen-roman-shades-architectural-details

I saw this room a couple of days ago by Rachel Halvorson on her instagram have to admit that I’m a little obsessed with it. I’ve already posted it on instragram, twitter and pinterest. Love everything and especially all the little trim details. That’s what makes it soar, IMO!

15.classical-house-ben-pentreath-interiors-l

Closing with a little piece of heaven by the wonderfully talented Ben Pentreath. Please check out his website. It is chock full of room candy for days!

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.44.34 PM

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Above, lots of wonderful ideas for classic mouldings from Windsor One to add charm and class to your boring, builders home. Or really, any home that could use sprucing up!

Guys, I’m on my way to the design blogger’s conference! I apologize for any typos,  etc.

xo,

Laurel

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  • Judi - December 12, 2016 - 11:50 PM

    Hi Laurel, Thanks for posting this subject. May I please put my two cents worth in.
    I don’t have a lot of love for contractors and remodelers. They have their own language and system for profits. My last builder tried to charge me for tool rental,
    Did he think I was nuts. I would say to only work with a builder who has a regular crew, and can have a foreman or himself on site daily. Also, ask about drug screening for the crew. Why? The roofer was smoking pot while laying shingles. I’m lucky he didn’t fly off the roof, break his neck and sue me. I’m done with building. BTW, my builder was named “builder of the year ” in his local builders’ association or whatever you want to call it. Rigged? Must have been.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - April 18, 2016 - 9:13 AM

    Hello Laurel,
    Are you able to share with me the wall and trim paint color in your neighbor’s home in Bronxsville? So beautiful.
    Thank you,
    CindyReplyCancel

    • Cindy - April 18, 2016 - 10:02 PM

      Laurel,
      Please confirm we are speaking about the same room. There is a cat in the photo and CR Laine stool in the corner designed by Tobi Fairley. I do not see a ceiling in this photo.
      Thank you,
      CindyReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - April 18, 2016 - 10:17 PM

        Hi Cindy,

        You have it correct. There are two rooms in the post. The ceiling is in the dining room with the white drapes with black and white trim. But there’s only a tiny sliver showing.ReplyCancel

      • Cindy - April 18, 2016 - 10:05 PM

        Dear Laurel,
        Are you able to tell me if the door and wood work were sprayed or hand painted?
        Thank you again!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - April 18, 2016 - 9:43 PM

      Hi Cindy,

      The client’s trim and dining room color is Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls. The color in the entry is Classic Gray. And the ceiling color is glass slipper.ReplyCancel

  • Bryan Sebring - April 8, 2016 - 6:25 PM

    Great advice about checking online reviews for builders. If a builder does shoddy work or just doesn’t care for his clients, eventually it will show up online. You can’t hide from the internet. 🙂 I am a builder/remodeler in Illinois and I care about my clients. The comments I read… I hear a lot in my industry. And it’s embarrassing. But I know many other young builders and the number one thing I tell them for success is: be patient with your clients and care about them. If a builder does this, its easy to be successful in this industry. Great Article!ReplyCancel

  • Libby - March 9, 2016 - 8:07 PM

    I love these tips! Your strategies are clever and the results are great. Thanks, I think, for making me aware of the shelf of death. It can’t hurt to know these things! And, your sense of humor cuts through the nonsense of housing, building and decor like a laser!
    Congratulations on your award, Laurel! Well-deserved.ReplyCancel

  • Jill - March 9, 2016 - 1:24 AM

    Okay, Laurel, it’s all your fault. Because of you, I’m sold on Cotton Balls, for both north and south facing rooms. But also because of you, I’m also sold on Farrow and Ball. But I don’t see an equivalent on your chart. Does such a hybrid creature not exist? Please say it isn’t so…ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 9, 2016 - 10:01 PM

      Wimborne White is a beautiful clean white from F&B. It is closest to Simply White, but really, Simply and Cotton are very close.ReplyCancel

  • Susie - March 7, 2016 - 10:53 AM

    the walls in my condo are white, just the same as when I moved in 12 years ago. You can’t go wrong with white as a backdrop. However just about everyone in my building replaced the ceiling pot lights above the kitchen counter with pendant lights so we can change the light bulbs without having to crawl up and stand on the kitchen counter. Those with more money to spend have replaced the shower/tub combo with a walk-in shower. Most of the people in my building are senior citizens and the condos have to be made more user-friendly.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:56 PM

      Hi Susie,

      I love pendant lights over the counter in any case and it’s good to vary the lighting in any room.

      I’ve gotten to the point where I could really do with the tub too. Not because I have trouble getting in and out, I just prefer it.ReplyCancel

  • Val - March 7, 2016 - 4:53 AM

    Same here in the UK, and I suppose, everywhere in the world. My partner bought a house off-plan, it was before we met. I suspect he didn’t pay any attention to the interior design, everything was builder grade. But being a civil engineer himself, he visited the site every day, and made the builder put the right thickness of hardcore on the driveway (they put less than required by the building standards) and move the back garden wall where it belonged according to the plans (initially they built it 3 feet into his garden).ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:53 PM

      Hi Val,

      I’m wondering if this was a single home or part of a development. Here, they put up these sprawling developments. The reason that there’s little choice in finishes is because they are obviously buying in bulk to save costs. They don’t put it like that, however. Good your partner was able to crack the whip and make things right!ReplyCancel

  • John Miller - March 7, 2016 - 1:39 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    I hope you’re having a great day! I just wanted to follow up with you about the email I sent a few weeks ago. Did you like any of the content ideas I suggested for your blog? I’d really love to write for you!

    I hope to hear back from you soon!

    Thanks!
    John MillerReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:51 PM

      I’m sorry John, but I’m not accepting any guest posts at this time. Thank you for your inquiry, however.ReplyCancel

  • christine - March 6, 2016 - 1:28 PM

    I recently had a light bulb moment, similar to this post. Short history, moved from
    Illinois home, 100 year old Georgian colonial with proper proportions, trim and moldings. Move to Houston area. Purchased well known builder 10 year old home in well known planned community. Home has no window trim, cheap door trim also used as baseboard. Flow through house room to room is either curve or square cut, no consistancy, heights of doors and windows all over the place. Wall color, swine,1970’s oak cabinets in a 2001 built house.

    Over past year have been touring model recently built thinking I’ll buy newer home more up to date. Sorry no. No matter what price, mid $400s to over a million, they are all like what I have. Same paint, same cabinet, same labour, same level of workmanship. The only difference other than price is square footage. Yes you can have upgrades for triple what you would pay if doing it yourself. But realize in $800,000 home there is at the most a frididare appliance package and builder grade downdraft in cooktop. No hardware on any cabinetry, but there is granite, every home has granite, usually the same as every home, oh but I got fake corian in pink beige throw up. So you get another bedroom, a study, pluse 2 small formals, it just large, not quality. Most builder model homes, with few exceptions, always include all upgrade options, so when they say starting price they mean what you see you DON’T get. I sympathize with All the Betty Baitinswitch.
    ChristineReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:45 PM

      Hi Christine,

      Yep! Typical story you encountered. We had the cheap door trim also used as baseboard in our old townhouse. It was built in 1987. Eventually, we put in hard wood floors, changed the baseboards, added wainscoting and crown moulding– painted and I was the happiest girl on earth! It really doesn’t take much!ReplyCancel

  • Pinkie Crabtree - March 6, 2016 - 1:18 PM

    Just painted my great room classic gray. Changed it from a sunny gold. I must confess I miss the warmth of the gold. But hopeful after seeing your photos that I can make gray feel cozy as well.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:42 PM

      Hi Pinkie,

      Great name! That is a big change but if you’re like me, it takes a while to get used to something new. Classic gray is one of those colors that goes with everything! So you can add in warm colors, creams and whites and it’ll be lovely. Of course, you could have some deeper tones too.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny - March 6, 2016 - 11:31 AM

    Oh wow, I squealed with joy when saw the name of today’s post in my email! Lauren, you probably never meant to make me THAT happy, but here I am, with a huge smile and best mood ever, LOL

    So OK,I’ll try to make it short. Once when we were very young and pretty and very poor and had a new baby girl, we won a lottery. It was not in the US. It’s sort of a lottery where the state decides to subsidize some amount of apartments in a new built, so these apartments can be purchased at a lower price by somebody who is young, poor, and promising(able to pay his mortgage). So we won, and started paying mortgage while the homes existed strictly in blueprints yet (and of course we payed rent too)
    First of all, this took a year more than a promised date. Several times we set the dates with the movers-and called them off because the place wasn’t ready. Our landlady (extremely nice lady) had to call the future renters and ask them to call off their movers. It was like series of unfortunate events.
    Finally the builder said we can move.
    I think for the first couple days something important wasn’t there-I can’t recall was it water, gas, or electricity, or maybe two of these. Maybe three?
    The walls were crooked. They were so crooked you could see it right away. And you couldn’t unsee it))
    The kitchen was represented by a little MDF structure, the size of two or three lower cabinets, with a sink and a tiny range.
    My then-husband didn’t want to change it. For months. Until I asked him to get some pan out of it, and everything that was in the said structure fell on him and hit him in a knee. Then he said: “OK maybe you’re right. Maybe we do need some other kitchen”
    SO I found the carpenter the countertop the sink the range the everything really fast LOL. Until his knee still hurt.

    Fast forward several years-we sold the place exactly for the price we bought it(and as you remember-we bought it much cheaper than other people in the same buildings, because we won the lottery). We tried to negotiate but the buyers told us:
    -Your builder is the talk of the town. Everybody knows what and how happened in these houses. We’re not giving one penny more.
    And still I’d be lying if I say I was deeply unhappy. I was happy. It was our first real place that was ours.
    And now I remember it rather fondly-not for the epic mess of a build it was of course, but because of the good old times or how they call it.

    But let me tell you. Now when I’m less young, pretty, and promising, and on my fourth (purchased) house-yeah, desire to kill grows exponentially. Even though it’s not a new build, and you custom everything, and frankly the contractor is a very good guy, knowledgeable and honest-you still feel sometimes that hospitalization in some quiet specialized place would do you good. I picture nice lush grounds, and kind nurses, and activities like painting or ceramics..

    (No, it was not short by any means. I am sorry))ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:28 PM

      Hi Jenny,
      First of all… I LOVE long comments. That was quite an interesting story! Haha! on the quiet hospital setting! ReplyCancel

    • Jenny - March 6, 2016 - 11:36 AM

      PS * Laurel not Lauren of course. So sorry! (and for all the other typos you might find) I type too fast when I drink coffee..And your blog makes me so giddy and excited, I type even faster..))ReplyCancel

      • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 11:30 PM

        Jenny, I am called Lauren so often that I actually took out the URL laurenberninteriors.com Anyone who types it in gets redirected to the correct site. I’m fine with typos. I make them too. I try not to but it’s impossible to catch them all!ReplyCancel

  • Megan - March 6, 2016 - 10:22 AM

    Hi Laurel,

    Oh, those weird ledges over the front door!!! I hated those the moment I saw them and could never figure out why they existed! I love your idea of expanding the ledge and having usable space (if I ever live in a house with a death trap,er, ledge I will so utilize that idea. Much safer than sleds perched waiting for a good door slam).

    Thank you also for advice regarding home builders. It is nearly impossible where I live to be in a good school district and near well, anything, and not live in a subdivision. I currently live in a 20 year old home that is full of nothing but “builder grade” materials. Hubby and I have made improvements and I finally talked him into painting the trim white.

    I also enjoyed Christina’s photos and look forward to checking out her blog in more detail! I don’t think I have the fortitude to paint my kitchen cabinets, but admire what an amazing job she did! The kitchen was transformed!

    Another great post!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 9:36 AM

      Hi Megan,

      In the case of my client, her ledge was already four feet which was a lucky thing. We even considered making it even deeper but didn’t. Funny, this development is within walking distance of the high school in my old wonderful school district! Of course, the developers understand that it’s crucial that if they’re going to put up 70 homes, the schools need to be pretty awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Gina - March 6, 2016 - 10:00 AM

    Laughing again, Laurel, especially about the sled crashing down from an earthquake. I had a client with one of those but it was deep enough to work in something nice. Thank you for the accurate molding photos!! I’m heading to a huge millwork showroom next week with my builder. I’ve been there a few times already but this time I know I won’t be distracted by the multitude of choices. Classical Craftsman. Period. Have a wonderful time at the Blogger’s conference!ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 9:33 AM

      Hi Gina,
      Greetings from the Design Blogger’s Conference! Love the classical craftsman style too!ReplyCancel

  • Dolores - March 6, 2016 - 7:57 AM

    Thank you for another wonderful post, Laurel! Even though I will never ever build a house- I still learned something of value- I have been trying to convince my husband that all the windows would look soo much better if he added extra molding on top.I must have failed at conveying my vision to him as he just thinks it’s a waste of money. NOW I can show him a photo to prove my point!
    What do you think of adding the moldings to the door openings as well so the doors and windows are all the same height? I think it would make the 8 ft. ceilings look taller.
    And Ben Pentreath.. I have his wonderful design book on my coffee table and refer to it often- and, regarding his blog-I am one of his anonymous groupies 🙂ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 6, 2016 - 8:54 AM

      Hi Dolores,

      I like that idea a lot. I’ve heard that mouldings can be addictive! The people who did the one I showed in the photo said that it’s pretty easy to do oneself. Well, I better get going. Plane leaves at 12:10 for ATL!ReplyCancel

  • Cathlin - March 6, 2016 - 1:09 AM

    That’s pretty miserable, and I’m grateful we ended up on a different “construction path”, but mostly I’m psyched to see windsorone in the post – we will be using their moldings! Nothing like trim for impact.ReplyCancel

    • Laurel Bern - March 6, 2016 - 8:52 AM

      Hi Cathlin. Yes, I’ve heard so many of these stories. Thanks for stopping by!ReplyCancel

      • Cathlin - March 6, 2016 - 10:25 AM

        Awful. Obviously I’ve seen homes like these in developments, I just didn’t realize that this could be the result against the homeowners’ wishes. Your suggestions are beautiful and I can’t wait to show my friend and encourage her with the solutions! Their poor house has all of these conundrums…and now I know how it ended up that way? Diabolical, really.ReplyCancel

        • Laurel Bern - March 7, 2016 - 9:39 AM

          Hi Cathlin,

          Some home builders aren’t quite so draconian, however, my experience is more like the one I wrote about. And have received notes recently about the overly white cabinets which I’ve also seen recently and the lack of paint choice.

          Then, there are the lack of mouldings, the boring “sanitary base” baseboard. It goes on and on…ReplyCancel