Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pictures from the Pre-Drywall Meeting

Morning room.  The framing coming out from the right will be the breakfast bar.  The dishwasher and sink will be on the kitchen side of it.  Off of it, at about a 45 degree angle towards where I was standing, will be our gourmet island.

Living room.  Behind me is the kitchen, to the right of me is the morning room.  That is our fireplace.  You can see three of the speaker mounts in the ceiling (white things) and there are two rear speaker mounts just over my head.  To the left of this living room is the foyer, dining room, and half bath.

Standing in the foyer, looking into the living room.  Behind me is the front door, to the left of me is the dining room.  To my right are the stairs (up and down).

Master bathroom.  Tub and shower will be surrounded by tile and the shower walls will be glass.  Can you say squeegie?!

Dining room.  To the left of me is our front door.  To my right is our living room.

I think this is my favorite space.  The playroom for Riley and Baby-to-be!  This is in the basement, off of the main area.  French doors will close off that opening.  We thought this was going to be about 9x8.  It's 12x9.  SCORE!

Kitchen.  I am standing in the Morning room.  Living room is to my left.  If I turned just a little, you'd see the mud room/laundry room that you pass through to get to the garage.  In the corner there is the pantry.

And, the outside!  Not much has changed out here since the last pictures.  Two top right windows are to the loft - one of the rooms I didn't take pictures of.  LOVE that room.

Pre-Drywall Meeting

We were at the house this morning, bright and early before work. We were meeting our Project Manager there for our pre-drywall meeting. The purpose of this meeting was for him to walk us through the house, room by room, and show us everything that has been done that we won't be able to see once the drywall is in place. He showed us all of the electrical as well as what switch connects to which outlet or light (something I am certain I will never remember as there seem to be a million switches in the house!). It was a lot of fun to see all of this again. He gave us a rough idea of our remaining timeline, along with a quoted pre-settlement date of August 9th. He said that two days later, on the 11th, we'll receive our keys. At last! A more solid date!

Here is the rough remaining timeline (going off of memory, so I could be a bit off with my estimates):
  • Today: Insulation inspection and Home Energy Star inspection take place; drywall is delivered.
  • Tomorrow through the next 10 days: Drywall is hung, taped and mudded.
  • By end of week: Brick is installed on the exterior of the house (** More on this below)
  • After drywall is complete, ceiling is textured.
  • Flooring is installed
  • Siding is installed
  • Paint crew primes entire house
  • Cabinets installed, trim and doors painted and installed
  • Lighting and appliances installed
  • Carpet installed
  • Cleaning crew comes through and does heavy cleaning
  • House is complete
Wow - really isn't a LOT remaining - but lots of one-day long tasks in there, too. He mentioned how many times the painter comes back to do touch-ups, as well as a walk through he does himself where he sticks blue tape everywhere that he sees a blemish with trim, drywall, etc. I love hearing how meticulous they can all be. 

When we were in the basement, thank GOD I asked a question about the French doors that are going to be installed from the living room into the playroom ... because it was met with "What French doors?".  Quickly, our PM flipped through his papers and admitted to it being a mistake on his part.  He overlooked the note that we were to have French doors there (this is customization, so I am sure it isn't something he is used to).  I had no problem with that since he quickly said they would re-frame it and admitted to it being a mistake on their end.  No harm, no foul!  I just want my door!

All in all I was very pleased with today. Except for one thing. This is probably my first personal experience being somewhat dissatisfied through this process.

When we were originally picking everything out for the house, Kevin and I were 100% certain that we wanted the exterior to be vinyl siding with stone accent. We were told at that point by our sales rep that stone wasn't an option in this development, only brick. That stunk, but we still wanted the brick. We picked out a great color and I remember driving through the neighborhood that night realizing that yes - no one had stone, only brick.

This morning when we pulled in for our meeting, we quickly noticed something. One of the houses across the street from us had some of their exterior installed since we were there last. And it's STONE. I immediately asked our PM about this, letting him know that we wanted stone but were told we couldn't have it. He wasn't 100% positive, but believes that something recently changed to where you can now have stone. This is where I get frustrated. Knowing that we originally really, really wanetd stone, why weren't we contacted when this change was made so we could file a change order? Especially because those people started the building process before us ... so this option had to have become an option while we were still in the planning process.

Suffice to say, I have an email and a voicemail in to our sales rep already this morning. Our brick is sitting in the front yard, waiting to be installed by the end of this week, so I don't know what our chances are of getting this change in. I will still love the brick if we can't get the change, but REALLY want the stone. Both Kevin and I do. And this is something I don't ever foresee us redoing on our house, so I'd love for it to be perfect the first time around.
I'll keep you posted.  Pictures from this morning's meeting coming up in the next post, since this has become so long.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pre-Wire Meeting

During lunch today we drove out to the house to meet with our Guardian Technologies rep for our mark-out meeting.  During this time we walked through the house and literally marked on the studs with spray paint where cable jacks, phone jacks, surround sound speakers, and any additional wiring was going to go.  This gave us the first opportunity to actually walk through our house and see everything.  Wouldn't you know it, my camera died.

Everyone told us how the house would look small when you saw it framed and would look much larger once the drywall was complete.  They are right.  Until I got to the basement.  In the Florence model, if you choose to finish the basement, there is a standard section that is finished and another section that is unfinished storage.  We were able to request that some customization be done to our basement, where we wanted to finish a larger portion of the storage, and close it off with French doors.  The plan is to have this be Riley's playroom (and baby-to-be's!) and once they are older, turn it into a workout room.  We had this idea after seeing the model Florence where they had finished an extra portion to use as their design center.

Anyhow, when we walked to the basement, I was blown away with how large the finished area looks.  BLOWN.  AWAY.  Granted, the Florence model near us is an older version Florence and doesn't have the larger morning room on it ... so the basement is smaller as a result.  This will be our first time to see a larger finished area, but if it is true that spaces look smaller when framed and larger when finished, I think we're going to be absolutely amazed at this massive playroom.  I couldn't be happier - the more room for toys, the better!

A team of about four electricians were on-site working while we were at the house.  They were all extremely friendly and carried on small chit chat with us - something that makes a difference in my eyes. 

About 45 days to go.  I feel like as we get closer and closer to a finished product, it becomes more and more painful to wait!

Also, early this morning Kevin received a message from our project manager.  He was informing us that the basement had been framed and he was expecting us to be "very happy" with it (wonder if he realized how gigundous the playroom looked as well!).  Additionally, he'll be calling in a day or so to schedule our pre-drywall meeting for early next week.  Exciting stuff!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mark-Out Meeting with Guardian Technologies

I just received a voicemail from our rep with Guardian Technologies.  This is the company that handles all of our electronic wiring (speakers, components, cable jacks).  We knew that this meeting would be coming shortly, as it is necessary to have it before drywall begins so that we can literally mark on the studs where certain things should be (such a cable jacks for wall-mounted televisions). 

Anyhow, our rep just informed me that our pre-wire (not sure exactly what that is) was supposed to be Friday, but has been moved up to today and that it is imperative he meet with us tomorrow at some point to do the mark out.  Basically, I took one thing from that whole message:  "... been moved up to today".  Anything being moved up is good news to me.

So we'll be meeting with him tomorrow during our lunch hour to do our mark out.  Fun stuff!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oh ... and One More Thing

I feel that this is worthy of being mentioned.  We've never been through the building process, so I am not sure exactly what is to be expected, but I guess I wouldn't have been surprised at all to walk around the work site as the house is being built and have to step over scraps, or see piles of sawdust, loose nails here and there, and possibly this afternoon's lunch-time Coke can sitting on our property. 

Well, what did surprise me is that with our house we've found NONE of that.  Every single day that we've visited the site and walked around the house and peeked inside, we've not seen a single scrap, pile of sawdust, or remnants of that workday whatsoever.  I am super, super impressed by this for some reason and just felt that it was worthy of being mentioned!

What a Difference a Day Makes

My last post contained pictures that were taken last Wednesday after work - the framing of the first floor of the house was complete.  For kicks, we stopped back by the house the very next day and were amazed.  Absolutely amazed.  I've heard that the building process for Ryan Homes is a well-oiled machine, and so far I am a big believer.  TWO days to frame an entire house, start to finish?  That is incredible!

Our project manager has been calling us faithfully every week with updates, which is very nice - and I guess that I would have this expectation anyhow.  He called Friday morning.  On Friday they were pouring the concrete in the basement and in the garage.  I was amazed to see that the house is completely framed and then the basement is poured.  I assume there is a very good reason for this, just not sure what it is.  And frankly, I don't care as long as things turn out right in the end, right?

Friday afternoon the plumbing inspector and another inspector would be out to look over things, then he said that the roof would start on Monday.  Well, we stopped out this afternoon, around 2pm, and saw that not only had the roofing started, but it was just about complete.  The men were just finishing up the last part of the morning room.  Again - incredible.  And we were out there Friday night (can you tell we're anxious?), so we know for a fact the roofing didn't begin until this morning.

The rest of this week will be electrical and plumbing work and we'll be meeting with our PM and the Guardian rep next week (day TBD) for our pre-drywall meeting and mark-out meetings, respectfully.  I can't believe that we have just about six weeks to go until we get to move into our home!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

It's Starting to Look Like a House!

Wow - it's really starting to look like a house, isn't it?

We stopped out yesterday after work and were very pleased to see this progress. We're going to go out again tonight and again tomorrow afternoon, as we've heard most of the framing is completely done, start to finish, in three day's time. The weather forecast is excellent (other than scorching hot) this week, so I don't see a reason why we'd have delays!!
Front of the house

Left hand side.  Bump out is for the fireplace.

Back of the house.  Two living room windows and the morning room.  We'll be adding a two-level deck off of the morning room.  That may be one of our favorite parts of the house - windows on all sides and plenty of natural light.

Peeking through the living room window at our stairs!

Our backyard!  Nothing will be built behind us.  Ahhh, privacy!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Finally, an update!

I am so, so behind on my postings! We broke ground on Friday, May 28th and I've been delightfully surprised at how quickly things are going. That afternoon we drove out to admire our big dirt hole. Knowing that no work would be done over the weekend or on Memorial Day, we didn't drive back out until Wednesday when we were shocked to see this:

Then we just happened to swing out there on Thursday and saw this:

We also met the couple building directly across the street from us. Small world - Kevin went to high school with the girl and graduated with her brother. She and her husband have a 17-month old son and another baby on the way, due in August. They were super sweet and it made us even more excited to get settled in to our new home!

These are two other houses across the street from us, as of last Wednesday. They are about two weeks ahead of us. It blows my mind to realize this is where we should be around Wednesday of next week!

According to the message left by our project manager, this week they will be backfilling around the foundation, and next week they start framing. I understand that the framing is done in an amazingly short 2-3 days. Incredible!

The best piece of news was when I received a phonecall from our sales rep last night. Understanding that things can and do change, she wanted to share that she received the latest production schedule and that we're slated to have a finished house at the very end of July. JULY! I can officially say that "next month" we'll be in our house! Unreal!
We are going to drive out tomorrow after work to see any additional progress. I can't wait!