Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We Have Carpet!

This evening's visit to the house revealed that all the carpet has been installed.  I am so very happy with our selections.  I took pictures, but am running out of steam tonight, so I'll get those uploaded tomorrow. 

All that remains left to be done are shutters, gutters, a small bit of siding on the side of the house, fridge, microwave and stove set in place (they are currently sitting in the morning room), and our French doors to the playroom installed.  Other than that, just cleaning and the remaining 'punch outs' by our PM.

I've left a message for our Guardian rep this evening and am hoping to hear from him tomorrow.  In the living room we opted to have them do wiring for us to hang a television on the fireplace and then run all the component cables, as well as speaker wires into the hallway closet, where we're be placing all components up on a shelf (I completely prefer things hidden rather than making an area look cluttered).  I expected to open the closet and see speaker wire tied off, but instead I found myself staring at what appears to be a LOT of component jacks, labeled 'front speakers', 'rear speakers', 'subwoofer', etc.  No wire to be seen.  I am just a bit confused as to how we will hook this up to our home theater receiver, as I've always connected straight speaker wire.  Maybe I am just completely missing something here or someone out there reading this can help me out.  If not, I hope Guardian has an answer for me in the morning.

One of the people across the street from us appeared to be moving in this evening.  They are in the house that was always just about two weeks ahead of us ... and that still seems to be right on track, as we'll receive our keys in just thirteen days.

Time to go rip another link off of the paper chain ...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Two Weeks to Go ...

Why do I feel like these two weeks are going to just creep by painfully and slowly?  It is as though we're so close that it hurts.  On the very last day in our old house, I made a chain of paper links - the type we all made back in grade school to count down to a special holiday - to count down to when we should be in the house.  When I created that chain it had seventy-three links on it. Now just fourteen links remain.

Kevin and I both agree that we're most likely going to stop by the house every single day from here on out.  Tonight when we stopped, workers were still hard at work, installing siding and painting the exterior door frames and column on the front porch.  When we were in the house a few days ago, we made notes of all of the 'imperfections' that we saw - a ding in the wall, a smudge of paint on the ceiling, etc.  Today when we walked through, all of those areas (and more) had already been fixed.  This is what Ryan Homes calls their 'Punchout week'.  Technically it begins next week, but it is when the Project Manager goes through the house, scouring it for marks, dings, and anything that keeps it from being perfect for the homeowner to move into. 

Oh - and that kitchen hardware?  I actually love it.  I spoke too quickly last time, without seeing it with the stainless steel appliances.  It compliments them and the sink beautifully and I am glad we didn't mention anything to the project manager afterall.

I have new pictures to share and I can't stop looking at them tonight.  It still feels as though I am looking at someone else's home, or just walking through a model.  I still cannot fully comprehend and wrap my mind around the fact that this is going to be "our" home.  Our dream home.  My dream family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Piece of Advice ...

Our meetings last night went really well. We're pleased with what the patio guy can do and the price he can do it for. He has asked us to check with our PM about the dirt in the back of the house once it comes time to grade the land. He would like to come and place stakes where the patio will be and ask them not to touch any of that dirt - otherwise we're going to have to end up paying for dirt to be brought back in and built back up. Definitely not something we want to have to do. So we have that call to make.

The painter should be emailing me today with his final quote. He would start the very evening that we get the keys (Tues or Weds) and be finished by Saturday evening. We're happy to hear this.

All of the trim is up in the house now as well as painted, and all doors have been painted but not hung. Our cabinets were in place in the kitchen and look beautiful. One is damaged, but I am not going to worry about that right now, as I assume they'll be replacing it without me saying a word. I'll follow up, of course, but not going to let it worry me.

A current piece of advice for those of you going through the selection process for your colors, upgrades, etc is to document everything. Even the little details that you don't think will matter or that you're sure you'll remember. So much happens that you most likely will not remember. Specifically, I am bringing this up because of the hardware on our kitchen cabinets, as we believe it is wrong. Kevin and I both specifically remember saying that we wanted oil rubbed bronze hardware and this would make sense, seeing as how all of our light fixtures, door fixtures, and bathroom hardware is oil rubbed bronze. The hardware is brushed nickel, which I personally am not a fan of.
I went through EVERY piece of paperwork last night looking for something to show that we wanted the oil rubbed bronze, but it looks like right now all we have is our memory of it. I am not sure how well that will hold up when bringing this to our PM's attention. Worst, worst case, we go to Home Depot and pick out our own hardware and replace, but we definitely would rather have them put it on with no additional expense to us. I'll let you know the outcome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Meetings Today

We are heading to the house after work today - I can't wait to see what was done over two days of time.  We're guessing that we either have a driveway and sidewalks, or all of our cabinets are installed.  We shall see!

We have a meeting with the patio guy first.  We are pretty sure we're going to go with a Flagstone patio off of the deck, but want him to actually see the property and talk about the actual dimensions.

Secondly we meet with the painter.  We received our first estimate last week.  It was higher than what we thought it would be, but then again, we've never used a professional painter, so maybe our expectations were just unrealistic.  We want him to actually see the house and what we'd need done and are hoping that the quote will come down as a result.

Of course, I'll be posting new pictures this evening!  Just think - three weeks from today we get our keys!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pretty Impressive

I know I've probably over-used that phrase during this process with Ryan Homes, but I really have been pretty impressed with a lot of things by them.  I was just going back and reading through old posts - to see where my emotions were in the beginning of this, etc. 

I came across this post, where we had just picked out all of our colors.  This post was written after a meeting we had on April 18thThat was exactly three months ago from today and even on that date, Ryan Homes had given us an estimated date of taking possession of our house on August 11th.  And what is the date they are telling us now?  August 11th

Pretty impressive estimating to me.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Paint Colors and Master Bath

We stopped out at the house this morning to walk my in-law's through it, as they hadn't been there since the first few days of framing.  We walked upstairs and were so excited to see the tile surrounding the bathtub and for the shower walls had been installed!

Additionally, ALL of the tile that had just been installed yesterday is now grouted and complete.  Ah-maz-ing.

Picking things out for the house - the upgrades, appliances, furniture, flooring - has been such an easy process for Kevin and I.  We have really agreed very easily on everything so far.  I wasn't sure that picking paint colors would go as smoothly, but I was pleasantly surprised!  This morning we finally decided on our final colors and we are thrilled about them!

Here we go:

From left to right (shown on our carpet sample):
Morning Room and Half Bath color - Rustic Adobe
Main floor (minus morning room and half bath), all of upstairs (minus bedrooms) and basement - Croissant
Master Bathroom - Travertine
Master Bedroom- Beach House

Of course, the picture doesn't show the true, true color, but you can get a feel for the neutral look we're going for.  All trim throughout the house is white, which is why I've laid the white paint sample across the bottom, to show the accent.

Three Weeks to Go ...

We met our new Project Manager on Friday.  Just as everyone else we've dealt with from Ryan Homes through this experience, he is super friendly and very professional.  We met him just around lunch time, so it was a busy time of day in the house.  The flooring people were there and we were amazed at what had been accomplished just since that morning.  Our tile in the kitchen / dinette / morning room / laundry room had already been laid (minus grout), hardwood in the dining room / half bath / foyer was about three-fourths complete, and the vinyl for the other two bathrooms was being cut.  We didn't walk upstairs to the master bathroom, so we weren't sure what had been accomplished in there as far as flooring goes.

We listened in awe as our PM told us what will be accomplished next week:
  • Cabinets will all go in (we got to take a peek at them, as they are all sitting in the garage)
  • Appliances will go in
  • All lighting fixtures will be installed
  • Driveway and sidewalks will be poured
  • Fireplace stone will be installed
  • Second coat of primer
Next week is huge.  He said it is one of the most exciting weeks at the house because it really all comes together.  We are going to head back out next Thursday again to take a peek at it all.  I can't wait!

The following week (week of July 26th), the following will be done:
  • Siding
  • Carpeting
The week after that (week of August 2nd), the following will be done:
  • "Punch outs", where the PM goes around the house and puts pieces of blue tape on all blemishes, dings, and any imperfections he can find.
  • Cleaning crew comes in and cleans top to bottom.
And the week after that?  Well then, we become true owners of our new house!!  We are still scheduled to close on Monday, August 9th and receive keys on August 10th!

Now it is all happening very, very fast!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lots of Updates!

I have really been slacking on the updates.  May I blame the stomach flu that I had this past weekend?

As of right now, all drywalling is completed, taped and mudded!

This week will be spent priming the entire house.  Next week, flooring is installed!  That just seems like such a huge step to me.  Carpet will not be installed yet, though ... so flooring just includes the hardwood and tile. 

Our PM called last week to share the news that he is being transferred, so we've been assigned a new PM.  He left us a voicemail yesterday and we returned his voicemail today.  I hope that we can set up a time to meet with him in this next week or so.

Last night we went to the house to meet with the contractor that we used for SO much stuff at the old house.  We are wanting to get things all set up for he and his team to come and build our deck and patio.  We'd like this to be done starting the day after we close so that within days of actually moving in, everything is 'done'. 

Here is the decking we've decided on, as well as the railing.  Also shown is a picture that we found of how we'd like the flagstone patio to look:

I am also contacting painters to get quotes on painting the house.  This is a amazingly generous housewarming gift from my parents and we're SO appreciative, as this will save us (by 'us' I mean Kevin ... ha!) so much time and energy.  I hope to have someone lined up by the end of the week.  The only thing is that Ryan Homes will not allow ANYONE (not even a professional painter) into the house to do any work of any sort until we've closed on the house. 

Lastly, Kevin and I have started our last minute shopping for things for the house such as ceiling fans, bathroom shower curtains, etc.  We've been putting it off, but now realizing we have exactly four weeks (FOUR weeks from today!!), we need to get a move on with things.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Okay ... We Love It.

We drove past the house just after noon today to show our nephews and niece where we'd be living.  Again, I continue to be amazed at the speed of the work done.  The two houses across from us were getting their driveways poured!  And ours?  The brick is almost DONE!  Okay ... now I get why we were too late in the process to change to stone.  And you know what?  WE LOVE IT.

Additionally, while we were there, the GE guy pulled up and was taking appliances into the house right next door to us.  I have to imagine that he had ours on his truck, too.  Exciting!  We could see a lot of drywall had already been completed, but didn't want to get in the way of the masonry work, so we just tried to see what we could from the road.  We'll go peek through windows tomorrow!

I called our sales rep on my way out of the development just to tell her that we are very, very happy with how the brick looks. 

So ... I Take That Back ...

Well, we don't have stone now.  Back to brick. 

Remember how I said I was awaiting a phone call from our sales rep yesterday to confirm that they received their manager's 'okay' for our change?  I hadn't heard anything by 4pm, so I called.  I don't exactly understand the explanation, but apparently it has something to do with the topo.  At this point the topo would have to be changed and the city would have to do some approvals, etc.  I wasn't exactly sure what this meant so I asked if it meant that we would have had to have been on a different lot (thinking topography of the land).  "No".  She told me that if we were doing just vinyl siding - no brick - we could make the change at this point, but that the ledge is prepared for brick, not stone.

Not fully understanding - and I am sure I didn't relay everything word for word - Kevin called our project manager just to understand better.  His explanation was simply that it is too late in the process to make that type of  a change.  We get it, we understand it.  We can't be mad at Ryan Homes and we aren't.  We're disappointed, but will still be very happy with the brick and our home and don't want this to taint our excitement in one bit.

And it won't.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


After playing phone tag with the Ryan Homes sales rep yesterday afternoon (no response to my email because that was to our specific sales rep, who was off work yesterday), Kevin and I decided to just drive out after work and discuss the stone situation in person. I was all ready to state my case, why it is only fair to provide us this option now, etc. etc ... and then to my surprise (and extreme pleasure), it was as simple as asking.

Me: "We noticed this morning that the house across the road has had stone installed on their exterior. We originally wanted stone, but were told that it wasn't an option. Our brick has been delivered and is to be installed Friday. Any chance that we can change to stone at this point?"

Rep: "Absolutely - let me just double check it's available for your model and then we can have you guys sign paper work. My manager just needs to give the okay, but as long as he does, the change can be done".

What?! It was that easy? Ryan Homes, redeemed! Glad that I only had to deal with about 8 hours of being upset about something - now I am thrilled! We are still waiting for the official phone call this morning that the manager gave his okay, but we cannot think for any reason at all why they wouldn't. And the price difference wasn't bad at all. Maybe that is because I was just expecting a lot more, but it was a $700 difference. Totally worth it, in my opinion, since this was our ideal preference and a part of the house we would never change once built.