Hicks House

From Builder Basic to Beautiful


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The blinds are coming! The blinds are coming!

Finally, after two months of living in our house, we have ordered blinds.  As you are learning by reading this blog, like many things you may take for granted when buying a house – builder houses do not come with blinds.  And I’m not talking about pretty decorative curtains, I’m talking blinds – the things behind the pretty curtains that keep your neighbors from seeing you nakey.  Yeah, those – we don’t have those.

Not only do they provide privacy, from the inside but they also block things you don’t want to see on the outside. Like the lovely street post that shines right in the window by where you lay your head when you’re trying to go to sleep.

Did I mention how EXCITED I AM that the blinds are finally coming?  I will no longer have to get dressed in the closet.  I will no longer have to worry about street lights at night.  I will no longer have to worry about people walking by staring directly into our house.

Hopefully with the coming long weekend we will be able to at least get up the ones in the bedroom – the rest of the rooms are second priority to being able to actually say: “In the privacy of our own bedroom” and be able to mean it.


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Updates

So now that we’re officially in the new house I know your just dying to know what countertops we picked.  We had the debate going on in this previous post  because obviously its a huge deal and the suspense is killing you.  So I won’t keep you hanging on the edge of your seat any longer.  Here is a picture of the kitchen countertops and all:

we went dark

we went dark

The lighter options although beautiful we felt were too close to the color of the cabinets and the floors, and there is a dark stain detail in the cabinets that coordinated well with the specked black tops.

In other news:

we have a mailbox!

we have a mailbox!

Ken installed our mailbox so now we officially live here, get our mail here and everything.  Things are slowly coming together and it feels more and more like home every day.


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The Move In

So we’ve been officially sleeping in our new house for a little over a week now.  I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures of the big move, because it was just to hectic a day.  Thankfully we have some great friends who came to help, moves go so much faster with 4 men doing the heavy lifting.  Seriously we couldn’t have done it without them, I am a weakling – I have trouble carrying my purse sometimes…(which is mostly my fault since I insist on having a gigantic purse that I then fill to the brim).

We’re slowly getting settled in, thanks to my mom’s help and great advice we set up and made our bed pretty much first thing so that we had somewhere to crash.  The house is still covered in tons and tons of boxes as we try and figure out the absolute best way to organize everything.  In the meantime it’s kind of like camping, with a real roof and bed.  As with everything, the move wasn’t completely without incident my dresser suffered a big scratch right across the top of it 😦 hopefully it will be able to be fixed, we bought furniture crayons and markers to touch up the scratch and help blend it in.  That project will probably warrant its own post, once I get around to it.

Perhaps the biggest mishap came after everyone left.  Since its a brand new house, it didn’t come with some of things we normally take for granted like shower curtain rods.  As the big move was a Sunday and we both had to work the next day, installing a rod Sunday night was a non-question it HAD to be done.  We went off to the big Orange store and bought one of those nice curved rods that gives you a bit more room in the shower and Ken got to work installing it.  Three of the four screws went in and then disaster struck…a screw broke in half with half buried completely inside the wall with no possibility of removal.  A lot of 4-letter words were said but being the problem solver he is, he got the job done.

Meanwhile, I was downstairs trying to get our breakfast and lunches for the work day squared away.  Pretty interesting task when your kitchen is a mess of boxes and you have no idea what is in them.  It wasn’t until after I dug out a pot and put eggs onto the stove to boil that I realized

1.  I had no cooking utensils to use in order to take the eggs out of the pan

2.  I had no idea where the paper towels I use to dry the eggs off were.

Begin frantic search.  I wasn’t able to find either of those two things, but what i did find was a slotted serving spoon (possibly silver – it didn’t matter at this point) and a beach towel.  I almost wish this debacle was video taped because it was most likely quite humorous from an outsiders perspective.

We still have some things at the condo and are taking trips in the cars.  Luckily Ken is like the Master Tetris Packer – expert level.  This is one load in his Jeep:

Looking in the size door of the back seat

Looking in the size door of the back seat

Looking in from the trunk

Looking in from the trunk

This amount of stuff would have probably taken me three trips.  I’m looking forward to sharing pics of our new place, but it needs to be slightly less box infested first, so please be patient.


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Signed, Sealed and Delivered

It’s official, we FINALLY closed yesterday!  After two delays and many many headaches the house is officially ours!  We still have quite a bit of work to do in order to get the condo ready for the market and then rent it out, so there will be several more condo work posts before we start really delving into the new house.

For now let’s just admire:

The Hicks House

The Hicks House

When we stopped by yesterday (you know just to make sure our new keys worked) grass was already sprouting!  Pretty soon that large dirt pile will be beautiful green grass, we’ll be grilling out on the back deck and enjoying our new house.

We can’t wait until we’re all moved in!


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The Great Granite Debate

Due to the fact that we bought the completed house from the builder we were able to negotiate some unusual things into our contract, and one of those things was replacing the Formica counter tops that were already in the kitchen with granite.

What we didn’t anticipate was the large decision that this was going to entail which set off “The Great Granite Debate!”  Of all the finishing touches throughout the home, the cabinets and counter tops are most likely the most permanent features in the home.  They are  the most expensive and time consuming to change out later,  so whatever decision we went with we knew we had to love it for a long long looong time, as these counters are here for the long haul.

So off we went to Classic Stone in Plantsville CT.  All of the research we did online suggested bringing a drawer front or something from the kitchen to help you pick a granite color that best compliments your cabinets.  Since we do not technically own the cabinets yet this was not an option, so we had to wing it.

Another part of the conundrum the cabinets are not the color we’d always envisioned so the granite I had in my mind didn’t jive with the existing cabinets.  Had we started from ground zero and built this house from the ground up I would have gone with a much darker cabinet.  But the cabinets we have are a glazed maple (shown in the photos) that have a darker coloring within the grooves of the door than on the flat surface, and we want to compliment them the best we can.

We were however able to narrow it down to three options and bring samples to the house to compare to actual granite.  Let me know your favorite (I apologize for the horrendous quality of these photographs, the granite was extremely reflective and I’m a bad photographer)

Granite #1 A Beigey Creamy Granite with small speckles of dark brown and red.

Granite #1 A Beigey Creamy Granite with small speckles of dark brown and red.

Granite #2 - Another Beigey Creamy Granite with BIGGER speckles and swirls of dark brown and a reddish color

Granite #2 – Another Beigey Creamy Granite with BIGGER speckles and swirls of dark brown and a reddish color

Granite #3 - A Black Granite with lighter grey/dark brown specking

Granite #3 – A Black Granite with lighter grey/dark brown specking

We’ve made our decision but would love to hear what you would choose and we’ll reveal our final selection once it’s been installed!


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Drive on In

Our turn-around is all paved and beautiful!  We stopped by the house the other day to go over some things and take some measurements and were greeted with this:

gorgeous dah-ling

gorgeous dah-ling

It’s so exciting to see it all coming together! There was even a bobcat like thing parked in the side yard that looked like it was hopefully going to do some grading.  See that big dirt mound peeking out from behind the garage?  Believe it or not, that’s not supposed to be there. Here’s to hoping when we get back from our Weddingmoon there will be a nice level lot without the dirt mount or excess amount of rocks and plus some grass seed.  🙂


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Accepted Offer!

So that beautiful Colonial I posted a picture of the other day… we came to an agreement with the builder and hopefully it will be ours!

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We had the offer in the other day, however I was afraid if I posted anything it would be bad luck. But now we have an accepted offer!  It is still not final, we still have to get the mortgage commitment, have the house inspected and appraised (please appraise) and if all that goes well we should be moving in around mid June.

I will post interior photos soon as well, the builder is going quite a bit of work to the kitchen for us before we close.  The kitchen as is has laminate counter tops that look like granite.  Fake granite is so much worse than regular laminate, OWN YOUR LAMINATE-NESS stop pretending to be something your not!  So we are having it replaced with the real granite.  Also the appliances are getting switched out.  My Fiance K likes to cook so he insisted the builder give us a gas stove since there is gas heat in the house (Duh, why would you have gas running through the house already and not use it to cook?)

Also, it comes with a side by side fridge. If you’ve ever owned a side by side fridge you know how evil they are. They look all nice and pretty and you think this is great I don’t have to bend down to go in the freezer once a day!  But you know what, you have to bend down to half of your food in the fridge. And don’t even try to put a birthday cake, pork shoulder, or pizza box in there because it simply isn’t wide enough.  So that is going too and being replaced with a bottom freezer model.

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See that side by side fridge/freezer… bye bye!  Also notice that all of the appliances in this kitchen are Stainless Steel, with the exception of the dishwasher?  Why that was done is also a head scratcher.  They must have gotten a huge deal on the lone black appliance or something, whatever the guy was thinking he’s changing that too.  Sorry I’m a nit picker but it would keep me up at night thinking about the lone mismatched appliance.

He also has to pave the driveway and grade and seed the lawn.  All before we close!  It’s a lot of work and will be even more once we move in and start trying to make it ours; but I can’t wait to begin our married lives here!