Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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Destination Dallas: Our First Homebuilding Debacle

Oh, almond windows, how I loathe thee. 
I suppose it was bound to happen. 

For weeks, I’ve been obsessively pondering every square inch of our new home (while "watching" Beauty and the Beast, I was actually mulling over my foyer flooring). But it wasn’t until this weekend that I noticed a single word, buried in the contract, that sent me reeling: almond.

I was flipping through the thick document, trying to find the dimensions of the living room windows so I could start thinking about curtains, when I spotted it. Somehow, I'd missed it before: Our windows are not white, but rather almond (or, as the builder calls it, “sandstone”). Panic quickly ensued. 

Our paint color on the left, window frame on the right.
(The paint color is grayer in reality than it looks here.)
One room in our current house, the sunroom, has cream-colored window frames, and before we found out we were moving, I devoted a lot of time and mental space to figuring out how to disguise them, replace them, or paint them. Now I’m going to have not just off-white—but sand-colored—window frames in EVERY ROOM OF MY HOUSE. 

The sunroom of my current house, in all its cream-colored window glory.
Our builder and designer discussed with us every other detail of the home—whether the front door, the door knobs, the flooring, the outlets—but for some reason neglected to mention the almond window frames. My builder's explanation: Everyone in Texas now uses them—they’re designed to blend with the earthy-colored exteriors—so they don’t even consider it worth discussing. That leaves me to add “non-white windows” to my list of Texas real-estate oddities, alongside (mostly) non-white ceilings and textured walls. 

In the model home, the beige windows do seem to blend, even with gray walls,
so maybe I'm being overdramatic? Only time will tell!

Unfortunately, by the time I noticed, the windows had already been installed, and we’re not about to fork over thousands of dollars to change them (according to the builder, they’d just have to be trashed or donated to Habitat for Humanity). My last hope is that they can be painted; we’re waiting to find out if doing so will void the warranty. Otherwise, I’m just going to have to rely heavily on curtains, blinds, and shutters. This is where I would insert a sad face if I used emojis, although my sister has been one source of solace, offering her own home-decorating crisis as a lesson. 

When she installed bamboo blinds, she fretted for weeks over the long cords dangling in front of her windows, and beat herself up for not spending a little more money for the cordless version. But eventually, she stopped noticing the cords entirely—and suspects I’ll do the same. So here’s hoping that my ugly windows eventually “disappear”—even if they can’t physically be replaced—and in the meantime, I’ll file this away as a lesson for the future: Don’t ever assume anything when building a house.  


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