Color Us Excited

insulation 0419

It’s official: our Some Day house will no longer look like our local Sonic. I know, I know: it’s disappointing, particularly if you were looking forward to the drive-up roller-skating service we might have offered, but Lynn and I are not sad to see it go.

It’s not like anyone forced the choice on us in the first place, but as the process has gone on, and our original roof choice was negated for reasons no one can remember, and the windows arrived framed in a color not evergreen, and the stucco sample showed up lighter than expected, and the exterior trim choice changed, and the garage doors weren’t available in forest (technically, they were, but it was a nearly $1,000 upcharge)     . . . well, the color scheme seemed like it was falling apart.

We’ve driven all over town, looking at stucco, staring at roofs, examining trim, studying garage doors. And yesterday we gave Dusty decisions that, while not irrevocable, would be very expensive to change. So I think it’s safe to say our house will now look like my Colgate sweatshirt — gray with maroon accents.

(Colgate not the toothpaste but the quasi Ivy League private liberal arts university where my dad earned his undergraduate degree. And while this sounds very preppy and exclusive, my understanding is that my dad went there because it was close to home, a dairy farm in upstate New York, and if you ever met my dad, even once, you would be hard-pressed to find anything remotely preppy, or elite, about him.)

The one piece that we settled on early and never changed our minds on was the faux river rock that will skirt the bottom of the house. Before we started building and were walking around Riverwalk, looking at the large piles of rocks from a house build and a headgate rebuild, I thought it would be cool to use rocks from our own foundation excavation.

While Dusty said yes, that would be cool, he assured us, as he is wont to do, “That’s expensive.” And it’s just as well, because I don’t think our excavation excavated a lot of rocks. So we’ll settle for faux rocks, which are still going to be plenty heavy, if the sample is anything to go by.

fuzzy stone 0419

The most prominent rock in the skirting has a distinct maroon tint, and I (I don’t think Lynn was ever serious about it) contemplated a maroon stucco. But ultimately it seemed wiser to bring the color out by going with a burgundy roof. (Tomatoe, tohmahto — I’m sure there’s a technical difference between maroon and burgundy, but darned if I’ve figured it out, after 20 years in a color business.)

When our stucco sample arrived, it struck both Lynn and I as lighter than intended. Fairly beige. And even though that is SpongeBob’s favorite color, it’s not mine. Even though it will be sad that we won’t be able to tell people we live in a French toast house, we scuppered plans for that color and went looking for a new one.

Ultimately we gravitated from browns to grays. Sometimes gray strikes me as a cold color, particularly on a dreary winter day, but as we looked and looked, even though the preponderance of stuccoed houses in Gunnison are shades of brown, the grays seemed to be a better answer.

wi stucco 0419Since the color chart comes with such tiny pieces, we were going to get larger samples of several shades, and then we realized that a house on Wisconsin Street, a scrape-and-build of a couple years ago, is a very attractive gray — and it comes in a house-sized sample. Dusty tracked down the contractor to verify that the stucco work had been done by the company Dusty uses, and once he and the stucco guy quit playing Phone Tag, we’ll have a name to go with our color. For now, I’m calling it “Toasted Marshmallow,” because I’m sure that will be more fun than whatever the real name is.

The limited garage door palette — unless you want to upgrade for $1,000, at which point you have 1,800 color choices — focused heavily on browns. On-line recommendations counseled going with white, but that seems like an iffy choice in an area that is spectacularly muddy these days. That pretty much left charcoal or black, and black is a premium color, which I assume means $$. So, charcoal it is.

So here is the revised color scheme, now set in faux stone: Summer river rock topped by Toasted Marshmallow (not really) stucco, trimmed in Lifetime (a brown stain), with windows that came surrounded in bronze (which means drab brown), accented by charcoal garage doors topped by a burgundy (Colgate) roof, a portion of which will be topped by black solar panels. If you don’t like it, too bad: the decisions are already in motion.

Whew. Now that that is settled, we have a whole entire week to pick out every last interior color.

We didn’t know this before, but our insulation installation has to be inspected. (This process is so educational.) Then it gets drywalled, perhaps by the end of this week, followed by taping and texturing. Lynn, it turns out (perhaps to no one’s surprise) is more particular than I about her texturing — she wants it smooth. Which is, of course, “expensive.”

Staring at Dusty’s office ceiling yesterday afternoon, I announced I would be fine with skip-troweling. It just sounds fun, doesn’t it? The drywallers are today being tasked with putting a sample of their lightest skip-trowel on some of the drywall for Lynn to inspect.

Then, while Dusty wings his way to Mexico for a week (if a border is “closed,” does that mean vacationers cannot pass? It may mean my solar panels never get here, since they are made in Mexico — and France), his crew starts painting, which is why colors need to be selected a week from today. No pressure there.

Actually, the pressure on interior colors is a lot less. If we don’t like those, it’s not a $20,000-plus correction. One paint brand I looked at (I don’t remember which one) even tells you if you don’t like your original choice, they will give you a new color free, gallon for gallon. How’s that for a deal?

So things are moving, perhaps galloping, along. If you need me, I’ll be studying paint samples.

Update: While I was putting in pictures (I think with a bonus caption box I seem unable to remove), Dusty reported that the stucco color is “614.” When I looked this up on the color chart (where it looks much darker than on the house — it’s a stucco thing, I guess), it turns out the name is Smoke Signal. So, Toasted Marshmallow it is.

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