housewerk: the loan, the baseboards, the plans

the loan

Whelp, we decided to go with our current bank with a single-close to 15-year fixed. It locks in the current rate, yet still allows us to refi at our leisure when we're done. We had to think hard about 15 years v. 30 years. A 15-year note has a much higher monthly payment, but we think it would be better to pay off the house in 15 years rather than 30. Since we're starting to get up there in years, this would allow us to pay off the house before we retire (wethinks that's good as well).

Spent a hunk of the weekend putting together the paperwork. The final paperwork package I sent to the banker had 146 pages, and we're still missing probably 20 to 30 pages!


The builder sent us a note asking for details about the baseboard detail. In short, this is the look we're going for:

(photo from BUILD LLC)

a wood baseboard flush (in the same plane) with the drywall separated by a gap (called a "reveal" by the cool kids). This is a detail that requires a bit more work in that z-metal (or z-molding) or j-metal (or j-molding) is used to "float" the drywall above the baseboard. Typically (and less expensively) baseboards are plopped on top of the drywall. The builder is nervous about running this up the stairwell (but it really needs to go up the stairwell to maintain the gestalt). He hasn't told us no yet (and he hasn't sent the contract yet either), so we'll see... We have a Plan B if this doesn't work out.

revised (slightly) plans

We had to get "final" plans (in quotes because there are still some details to work out...) to submit with the paperwork to the banker. I love gawking at the plans. It's like that game in the newspaper where you have two similar pictures and you have to identify what is different between the two. The site plan now shows the hardscape from the landscape design, and the architects moved one of the planters away from the house (had to happen because of the gutter). The floor plans are unchanged except for minorish details (for example, the washer and dryer are moved). The big change was in the electrical plan, which now shows the changes we requested and speaker locations. Looking good!

There are still details to be worked out, but I reckon that will all happen when we get started building. We're starting to keep a list of items we want to discuss before different building phases to make sure items are considered before those phases start.


  1. I didn't realize "float" was a thing! Which is really, really sad, because my house has it. It actually kind of drives me crazy to clean since we've got 3 dogs, but a vacuum does the job well.

    (I'm in one of the houses you saw during the Modern homes tour, btw..which is how I found your blog.:))

    1. Well, shucks. I was thinking (hoping?) that the in-plane trim and reveal would be less likely to pick up dust and whatnot than if the trim was on the outside (I guess that might still be true...).

      Thanks for stopping by! We hope to have our house on the tour someday. And thanks for sharing your home for the tour!

    2. Maybe less prone to gathering dust, but once it's in there it's harder to get out?

    3. Gotta keep it clean. That's the elevated hi-way for the ants!

  2. One other "detail" suggestion, prompted by your photo and the reference to the electrics.

    We used horizontal placed outlets behind all our counter-tops -- kitchen and bathroom -- and in places where we wanted to hide them, such as behind low bedside cabinets. We also used screw-less, snap-on cover plates for all outlets and switches.

    The devil's in the details!

  3. I'm having a similar dilemma with baseboards in my house. What was your plan B if your builder couldn't or wouldn't do a flush baseboard with a reveal?

    1. As it turns out, our build could;t swing this. This was plan B:


  4. Thanks! The info on your blog has been tremendously helpful! And sorry for the double post. I'm having some weird issues with blogspot.