|Re: chicken and egg question - choosing design items||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Jennifer Lynn Mccoy (poljlmpanther.Gsu.EDU)|
|Date: Fri, 2 May 1997 20:41:48 -0500|
At Lake Claire Cohousing in Atlanta (just completed), we did a combination of group choices and builder choices. Group committees researched and chose things like siding, windows and cabinets. The architect chose the wet cellulose insulation. The builder gave us options on appliances -- an allowance of a dollar amount, and then we could upgrade the appliances from a wide choice provided by him. The builder chose the minor things like door handles and faucets. We chose paint colors as a group -- one of the more intense bonding experiences! We chose a single interior color for all units, and three exterior colors, deciding as a group which units would be painted which color. And all this by consensus -- (we also paid extra when we didn't like the first colors that went up and had them repainted). One thing I can't emphasize too much: standardize, don't customize. Our architect and builder were too nice after we signed contracts and allowed us to customize - architectural changes as well as finish details. That confused the subcontractors, who made mistakes installing things; slowed the project; and raised the price (we paid 20% on all changeorders). The result is we have 12 custom units which we're all happy with, but they're all much more expensive than originally envisioned, and it was difficult along the way. One other piece of advice -- listen to expert advice on things like design and paint color. We made big mistakes in the beginning because the group wanted to make its own choices. E.G. on paint color - no one had the expertise to know how the chips actually translate into interior and exterior walls (though several thought they did!) and so the group rejected the colorist' advice that we had sought. When the paint went up, the group groaned, and after several trials and errors, finally let the colorist "fix" our choices to achieve what we were striving for. Jennifer McCoy Lake Claire Cohousing, Atlanta jmccoy [at] gsu.edu
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