Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 11: Behind on updates

A few weeks behind but honestly not much crazy has happened until this last week.  Our house has been bricked, and we are still waiting on siding.  We maybe getting siding today as I type this.  Ryan homes and their siding crew had some issues they didn't agree on and the crew fell behind due to having to redo some homes.

Looks like we will be without a drive way until the Spring.  Super bummed about this!! The weather has been quite chilly lately so they have stopped pouring the driveways and sidewalks.  They will pour our porch though so we can utilize our front door. 

Interior wise we are now past the drywall/mudding phase.  Most of the trim work is completed with a few areas that need fixed or they didn't have enough material.  Once all the trim work is complete they will be painting everything a beautiful stark white!  We didn't have them paint for us.  I am kicking myself for it in some ways.  I would love for the paint to just be done all together so we could move in and hang stuff.  However, I loathe flat paint.  It shows everything and with 3 kids and 2 dogs I need something I can wipe.  Our goal is to try and bust out paint in the main areas of the home before we move in.  

Cabinets---now here is the doozy!  Our cabinets were installed last week.  I went by the house and was surprised to see when I peeked in the windows the cabinets.  However, as I looked closer we noticed that the cabinets did not look like the ones we picked. They were white but they were not the door design I selected from the model home.  I rushed home and pulled my paperwork and saw painted linen and assumed it was correct but Ryan had installed the incorrect cabinet.  Frantically I sent our PM and Sales Reps an email letting them know of the mistake.  Much to my surprise the cabinets on the paper work matched the cabinets in our home.  Yet, that is NOT what I selected during our meeting.  We pointed at everything with our sales rep and she printed the selection sheets.  Come to find out both white cabinets are called "Painted Linen" except one is Rushmore and the other is Sonoma.  Thankfully our representative had wrote on our folder Sonoma and on the master sheet accidentally selected the wrong name.  Ryan homes is fixing this and has ordered all new doors for us to replace the ones currently in our home.  They assured us that this will not hinder our completion date.  WHEW!

Windows- We have a total of 17 windows in our home and we ordered faux wood blinds for 14 of them.  I didn't order any for the morning room since I plan to make valances for those.  They will be installed the day we close!

Flooring- We selected all basic flooring for this home.  After viewing the options and the cost during selection we decided any upgrades we would do on our own.  Our first upgrade will be done before we move in and that will be replacing all the vinyl linoleum on the first floor.  We will be replacing it with the Mannigton Restorations Laminate Historic Oak Charcoal.   So we will be installing this in our entry way, powder room, morning room, mudroom, kitchen, and dining room.  Super excited about this!  We plan to upgrade the carpet in the first year or so.  

Closing dates-  We have been told that our final walk through to visually see our home and see it complete before close will be on 1/4/2017 @ 9:00am.  Our closing date is 1/6/2017 @ 10:00am.   We are so excited and trying to plan everything to line up so we can hopefully move in the following weekend after flooring and paint are completed!

Please feel free to comment and ask any questions!

Entry/Foyer looking in from Dining Room
Entryway looking into Dining room we will be using as a sitting room :) 
Powder room with huge window
Kids bathroom with added vanity
Kids bathroom tub
One bedroom

Door off living room into my office
Basement stairs
Basement with mounting wired.  The hole in the wall is our water access. 
Kitchen with gourmet island.  Waiting for the granite counters to arrive and new cabinet doors.
Living room with wall mount wiring
Upstairs hallway 
Room two of four
Master bedroom with wall mount wiring
Master Bathroom
Master Bathroom

Friday, November 11, 2016

Week 7: Pre-Drywall Meeting

The Pre-Drywall has officially arrived.  When we arrived at our meeting yesterday the drywall was already being loaded into our home!  We had two stand in PM's yesterday since Brandon our PM was on vacation.

We started the process in our garage looking all all the electrical outlets and placement.  I am SO SO SO excited and thankful that we went ahead with the third car.  A note to anyone building with Ryan, the two car garages are not spacious by any means, neither are the driveways.  So if you can't swing a third car or don't really need it.   Ask to extend your driveway out and bump out the garage for extra space.  My husband never could park in the garage.  We had way too many bikes and toys, yard equipment, and tools taking up half.  So he parked his truck in the driveway which made it extremely hard for guests to park or even get in and out of their cars.  Our community does not allow sheds with our HOA so it was a needed necessity for us.

The walk through went great!  Everything was where it needed to be placement wise.  We even had a few extra surprises which turned out to be complete accidents.  The only thing we asked to have done before the drywall was having blocking placed behind where our TV's would be mounted.  In our guardian options we did have  them add the upgraded outlets for mounting in our master bedroom, living room, and basement.

At this meeting they explained the efficiency of our home.  The crazy part about this is our home is even more energy efficient than our last! Which means even more savings for a larger space.  I can speak to the efficiency.  We came from an all electric home the first time we built.  Our electrical bills were 300-400 a month!  Our most recent Ryan was 80-100 depending on the season.  Gas was rarely more than $20.

At this meeting they also give you the remaining tasks and delivery updates.  Our Brick is set to arrive today and should start on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Drywall can take as long as 10 days but most times is 5.  After this point it will be wrapping up the exterior and starting the detailing of the inside.  Adding cabinets, vanities, lighting, stairwell balusters (super excited about the metal), and trim. We likely will not have a driveway until spring since colder weather is around the corner. This will be the same for our landscaping package.  So we will have to deal with dirt and rock until then.  The dirt foundation will raise at least another foot and they will do their best to make sure one area in the back can have a swing-set.  Our Final walk thru is set for January 4th and our closing is set for January 6th. At least now I can set up deliveries and installations for things we need done after we move in.

Below are photos from our visit yesterday.  I wasn't able to get photos of all the rooms since there were workers unloading the drywall.

Front of home

Powder Room with large window, the first room to get blinds!

Powder room window

Living room looking into study

Living room into study.  The TV mount is on the right.

Finished basement area facing wall mount.  The other room will be unfinished.  We plan to finish in a few years!

Basement steps looking into unfinished room.

Basement bathroom rough in. Will finish on our own.

Basement bathroom rough in again

Basement living area again with mount. Blocking will be placed for our TV.

Bedroom #2--Likely my daughters room.  She is debating right now.

Bedroom #3- She likes this one as well because of the bump out for a desk or sitting area.

Upstairs laundry room

Kids bathroom, will have double vanity as well.

Master Bathroom-view of double vanity, toilet room, and the back half is part of the closet.

We upgraded to a garden tub/shower.  WORTH IT if you aren't into the full bathroom upgrade.  You lose some closet space if you did the full upgrade.

Master Bedroom

Hope you enjoyed today's blog! Have a wonderful blessed day.  Happy Veteran's day to all the men and women who have served our country! 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 6: Updates...updated

This past weekend our PM let us know that all HVAC/Cooling/Plumbing had been installed in our home.  We had some heavy rain a few weeks ago so they were trying to dry out the home before placing electrical.  All is dried out and ready for electrical to start.  He also went through the house and did his own inspections marking areas the framers needed to come back and address.  So by the end of this week electrical and fixes should all be done.  The municipality needs to come out and finalize inspections on all the new items.  Our PM hopes this will be complete by Friday.

You know what is next???? Our Pre-Drywall meeting!!!  We were going to hire a company to come out and inspect our home, which was an additional $300.  We have heard great things about this and did not do this prior.  We also didn't really have any issues with our last home.  After talking with our PM and hearing about all the inspections our house goes through we decided against it.  Our PM is also VERY thorough so I feel like we can rest easy and save those funds for something else.  

I don't have any photos this week.  All looks the same at this point until we get to go into the house. Which again should be next week.  Fingers crossed things keep moving smooth like this.  Our last home from the date they started drywall we were only 25 days out from close.  So I am crossing my fingers that we are on the same time frame.  I would love love love to move in before Christmas. That would be the ultimate Christmas gift.

So my previous post I shared that we had locked our rate with NVR.  Randomly last Wednesday I received an email from our loan officer at Union Savings asking if we were still set to close in November.  Clearly she hadn't seen my emails letting her know we were not closing until potentially January.  I also let her know since I hadn't heard back we locked with NVR.  Basically, kindly said have a happy holiday over the next few weeks! She came back with an offer she took to her Manager. They offered us a lower interest rate that drops our payment about $30/mo and our closing is super low.  Well darn it we don't want to rock the boat, but HELLO we want that lower interest rate.  Today I sent the dreadful email to our reps at NVR and our sales team.  Surprisingly he came back asking for the estimate to see what they can do.  I haven't heard back but it sounds like we are in the negotiation phase again with lenders.

I hope you found some of this useful!! Until next time, have a wonderful week! <3

NVR ended up coming back and matching the 3.625 rate Union Savings offered us.  Even though it is minimal this does save us almost $30/mo.  So we went ahead and stayed with NVR.  They didn't want us to leave like last time and use another lender.  So we are back in the same boat locked and ready.   We just sent over all our updated pay stubs and banking documents for the file along with our insurance rep information for the Homeowners insurance.  So all the paperwork is up to date!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Week 4: We have a house with soon to be roof!

This week if I am a guessing person brings a roof and maybe the start of electrical and plumbing.  We normally get our weekly updates between Wednesday and Friday from our PM.  So hopefully I will know soon what to anticipate before next week arrives. 

Yesterday we finally locked our rate.  This time around we have decided to use NVR for our lending. They offered us a decent incentive that allowed us to bring less closing costs to the table.  We are going with a lender paid mortgage where we take a higher interest rate to avoid the PMI on our mortgage payment.  Which even taking the higher rate it was still under 4%!  We may refinance in the next year depending on rates and equity to get back down to the low 3% rate with hopes we will have decent equity to avoid PMI in general.  So at this point we no longer need to worry about the election affecting our rate.

Interior plans-  As you know in previous posts, we are still planning to replace some flooring before we move in and paint the main areas of the home.  Our first home we had someone paint before we moved in and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Ryan does do the fixes but they do not touch up with your paint.  So you are responsible for this.  We had to repaint our stairwells but it wasn't a huge deal.  I am all about a home feeling like a home right away verses waiting a year to paint!

Flooring wise we plan to replace the vinyl (basic included) with the LVP.  Unless we get an amazing deal on a hand-scraped engineered hardwood.  We are leaning more towards the LVP because it is hardier for our kids and dogs with less maintenance.  It is also easier to clean and gives the wood look we are going for in our home.  I would love to do our whole first level, but we are still pricing out the flooring.  Hopefully I can get a decent deal to pull this off.  If not we will do the entry, powder room, dining room, kitchen, morning room and possibly the study.  This would leave the living area with carpet.   We did not upgrade our carpet or pad.  We plan to do this in the next year or so.

Check out a few progress photos below.  Until next time....have a great day!

Paint colors:  I am actually between these two options...Which Gray do you like?
Flooring: Love the color of these Luxury Vinyl Planks. Do you have LVP?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Framing has begun and is probably finishing up as I type this...

So Wednesday ended on an even more exciting note.  We have the start of what looks like an actual house.  This house on the outside definitely looks larger than our Florence did on the outside.  I will say though, our Florence was deceiving.  Once you walked in it was a very open floor plan.  The kitchen was by far my favorite part of our last home.  I cannot wait to see what our kitchen will look like in this home.

Our PM has really been amazing about keeping us posted on our progress.  The last photo is one he sent us at 5:30 pm yesterday.  So we are really thankful that he communicates with us on a regular basis. I would say by Friday most of the framing will be complete.

 Check out the progress below.....

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Week Three: Basement Floors, Wood Arrived, and Even Framing...

Whoa, I feel like it has been a lot longer than three weeks!  Time seems to be really dragging until  I look at the calendar and realize they are really busting butt to build our home.

On Monday they poured our basement and garage floors.  They also installed the water and sewer lines to our home. By the afternoon of that same day our wood had arrived!!

Tuesday things got even more exciting.  They have still been working on tying in the lines from the house.  But they also in the evening started framing everything to start building.  We have some great friends that live in our community who take evening walks and photo our progress.  Things are starting to get a little more exciting over there and I can't wait to move in .

Backyard:  We are still concerned about this.  As we know this is not really our PM's issue since he came in later with the plans and went over the plans with us at the pre-construction meeting.  However, we are a little more upset that we were told during the initial selection of our lot (which is "premium") that it would have a gradual 2 ft drop in the back.  Now, it is a gradual 4-5 ft drop from the morning room to the edge of the yard.  When we stand at the back of the home we are high enough to see our neighbors roof.  During selection we picked a yard we could utilize and have a swing set for our kids. At this rate we cannot have a swing set.  We have voiced this to our sales team and they are hoping we can bring in more dirt  to help level things out. We are early in the game so there is still time to fix it.  But my advice would be to make sure you double check everything!  Especially when it comes to the lots.  Initially we were told our lot was not a premium, but when we sent in our options they came back and said it was a mistake and was a premium.  So as you can see we have had a few hiccups with communication and these are some what major items of concern for our family.

Hopefully by the end of this week we will be sharing some completed framing photos!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week Two Continued....

An email from our PM with this image attached.....

The foundation is now complete and I plan on installing the waterproofing tomorrow. After that we will hopefully install the sewer/water service to your home along with the underground plumbing, structural steel, and drain tile gravel. Once all that is complete we will backfill your homes foundation. 

I already spoke to Savanna a bit about this earlier. The dirt around the foundation now is just stock pile. We will use that dirt to fill the voids around the house and it will not be steep! I will do the best I can to give you guys a useable yard a promise. 

Have a great day,


Yesterday I had emailed them after driving past our lot with a concern about how high the piles of dirt were.  I was inquiring if our back yard would be a large hill.  We plan to add a swing set and this hill would not allow for it.  Thank goodness it will hopefully be less noticeable.  
We also are excited to see that we will still have a fairly decent yard in the back.  Our front and side yard are fantastic, but we were concerned that it would take away from our backyard.  Things are looking up!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Week Two: Footers and the start of a basement

Wednesday marked week two for the construction of our new home.  Since last Friday nothing really happened at our lot visually to the eye from the road.  Which makes things seem like they are never going to happen.  I have to drive by our lot every day to get the kids on the bus.  I also see it in the afternoon when I pick them up from school.  So every day it is a reminder that things are moving slower than normal.

I emailed our PM on Tuesday just to get an update on where we stand.  He said as of last Friday that had filled our hole with gravel and placed the tile drains.  They had hopes to start the basement by the end of the week.

There is hope as of this afternoon they placed the basement forms (not sure of the correct terminology) to pour the walls.  Once this is done and the basement walls set then the next steps will be the basement floors and the garage floor.  I remember this part of the process being the slowest, but it is hard not to get anxious!  January seems so far away at this point.  I know once framing starts things will start to look up.

Check out some photos from today my husband and daughter took when they were in the community. Also feel free to check out my posts from 2013 giving a weekly timeline of our Florence build.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

We are building another Ryan Home. Week 1: Excavating

If you read the intro you would know that we already have built a home with Ryan.  We tossed around the last year selling our home or staying in it long term.  Since we built in 2013 we have added another little one and our kids were starting to out grow our living room.  After much research and open houses in our district.  We decided that we would build again with Ryan in the same community.

This wasn't a walk in the park.  We had many appointments and debates.  We actually even considered another builder.  But after all the back and forth we really came to love the lot offered by Ryan and the bang for our buck we were getting sticking with them.  The other builder wanted to charge us crazy amounts for things already "standard" with Ryan.  Our last home was a breeze and we never had issues with it.  We honestly loved our home and were quite sad to leave.

The next 4 months I will update on our weekly progress and how the process is flowing.  As of right now we love our PM, and he already is keeping us posted on the progress of the lot by sending photos.  Initially we were told November for a delivery date but it is now looking more like December 28th or the first week of January.  So in the mean time we are staying with family and driving the kids back and forth to school!

Here are the options we have chosen for our home:

Main Level

White Linen Cabinets for the kitchen (Upgrade package 2 with hardware)
Gourmet Island
Granite counters (Isla--I believe??)
Trim Package #2 (encased doorways, crown molding, and chair rail)
Metal Balusters (Stairwell- this will be in the basement as well)
Recessed lighting in the kitchen
Moved the dining room light to the morning room (we will use dining room for sitting room for now)
Morning Room with no extra windows
Lights in all rooms on main level (something we didn't do in the last house and drove me crazy)
No flooring upgrades (we plan to do after we move in to save some $$)
No Paint (will do own our own since they use flat paint)
Living room we added the cable access to mount our tv.

Second Level

Upgraded bathroom cabinets (black color with hardware)
Upgraded bathroom tub to a garden soaker tub.  (we avoided the fancy upgrade because we lost the closet space and I honestly don't mind a standard looking bathroom.  I just wanted to be able to take a bath when needed)
Lights in all bedrooms
No upgraded carpet
No Bonus room
Master bedroom we added the cable access to mount our tv.


We finished the basement but did not add the bathroom rough ins.  The water line runs next to the room we would use for the bathroom so we will do this on our own to save some $$.
There are 3 unfinished storage rooms so there is potential for 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.  In addition to the already finished space.
Added cable access for a wall mount in our basement to mount the TV.
No upgraded carpet

Elevation D
Trim- White
Brick- Montgomery
Shaker- Cobblestone
Hardiplank- Aged Pewter
Shutters- Black
Front Door- Indigo Blue (I hope this looks okay! I was going for the Gray look but thought the blue door would break it up)
Third Car Garage
No Deck (we will do this on our own)

Corner lot-- Super excited about this, however I think the placement takes away from our backyard. We got a premium lot that is .42 acres.  However, our home has to sit back 45 feet.  Our lot is more wide vs deep so the home has a lot of front and side yard (more than before) but we do have 3 kids, so I hope there is enough space for a swing set and our dogs to run in the back.  Our HOA has strict rules on fencing corner lot placement so I am not sure we will put a fence.

Thank you for visiting!!! I will keep you posted as the weeks progress.