Friday, June 28, 2013

Pre-construction Meeting and Milan Tour

Today was the Pre-construction meeting with Jason and Luke.

Here is how today was "supposed" to go.  (Key Bill and Ted music)

I printed 4 different model homes that I was interested in seeing. Two were priced similar to that of the Rome and two were way above our price point. I wanted to see some of the bells and whistle upgrades of the higher priced models as well as those that were similar to that of the model we were purchasing.

My mother was due to come over around 10 and my Pre-construction meeting was at 1:00pm.  That would give us at least enough time to tour at least two of the models.  And give Nana time with Liv.

Real World.

My mom gets to my house a little before 10:00 am as I was finishing up a few emails. She isn't even at the house ten minutes when we get a request for a showing for noon. The Pre-construction meeting is at 1:00 so, not big deal, I reschedule for that time and then we SCRAMBLE to pick up the house so we can go at least get one model home tour in.

We drive to one of the model homes and do a quick tour.  See the model here.  I was a poor photographer, I only took pictures of the rooms that were similar to my rooms.  I will do better next time.

During the model home tour I get another showing request for 3:00-5:00 PM. We drive home quickly to pick up Joc and the dogs. They go with Nana. I take baby to the Pre-construction meeting.   The plan was for them to walk/stay around the neighborhood with the baby and the dogs.  That idea didn't work out because it was 95 degrees and walking them during meeting was out if the question. 

Pre-Construction Meeting

During the meeting, I met the current project manager Jason and another man named Luke.  Jason would be the project manager but if for some reason he had to leave to go to another development, Luke would step in.  Luke will be at all "major" meetings to ensure he has a good handle on what is going on.  Jason and Ryan Homes Kudos to you for this.  This was an excellent idea. 

We discussed the "rough" timeline of everything that was going to be happening through July.  Hopefully by the end of July the shell of the house will be built and we'll have a pretty good idea what the house looks like!

Here is the projected schedule that I understood today.  Obviously this is subject to change either by nature or Jessica's misunderstanding :)

Week 1- (6/23-6/29) - Underground plumbing installed, house staked out.  Request to move light pole and utilities.

Week 2 - (6/30-7/6) - Transfer of ownership from developer to Ryan Homes.  Concrete poured including slab and driveway.

Week 3&4 - (7/7-7/20) - Lumber delivered and framing done.

Week 5 - (7/21-7/27) - Pre-dry wall inspection/meeting.

We took a quick walk to the lot and they showed me the fabulous utility and telephone pole in my front yard.  They will need to request it moved.  They explained that my driveway would be at about a 17% 'ish grade uphill.  The house was staked out and I could see where it would sit on the property.  They explained how they would grade the lot and place sod/seed for the landscaping. (I forgot to take a picture today but will try to swing by there this weekend)

We discussed all of the details of the construction including the appliances, the furnace, the tankless hot water heater.  The only discrepancy we found was we had the wrong elevation.  The elevation I chose was elevation L.  This has stonework along the entire left front, and along what they call the water-line along the front.  It goes a foot or so up from the bottom of the home.  The SAR had elevation L lite which only had stone along the water-line, similar to the model home.  However, my paperwork had the correct one and so my SR, Brian, came to the rescue and assured me it was easily fixed.

Here is the difference
In the elevation below the stone is on the entire left side of the home.

Note in the model home below the stonework is only along the bottom of the front.

After the meeting I barely make it home by 3, I throw dogs in the car and we all go get Snow Cones with Nana and Joc. We drive to find shade and sit for a moment to eat our Snow Cones.  Nana and Joc leave to avoid rush hour traffic and the daily thunder showers we've been getting.

Here is where the fun begins!  I sit in my car with two dogs and a 6 month old in 95 degree heat.  There are only so many places you can "drive" to.  So, we find some shade and sit ....and wait....wait to return home at 5:00.

After a fairly exhausting day I go home.  Oh..the air conditioning feels so nice.  I bring everyone in and at exactly 5:00 as I am carrying Taylor's crate into the house, I receive a text that the 3:00-5:00 NEVER went to the house and they were requesting to reschedule to 5:15-6:15. I get the dogs back in the car (and of course Liv) and again wait an hour in my new shady spot until 6:15. 

Not the day I had envisioned. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

'Dozer Excitement!

Today we had a showing at the Hathshire during lunchtime so we (Me, Joc and two dogs) decided to take a peek at what was happening at the Glenn.  I felt a little "stalkerish".  The PM who I will be meeting on Friday was probably the man in the truck wondering who this crazy woman was in the pouring rain taking pictures.

Folks we have 'dozers!!! 
and lots and lots of rain :(  But it was a quick storm so hopefully more was done!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Final Selections

Today was our Final Selections Meeting.  First let me say how awesome Patty and Brian are.  I really liked the colors of the model home but I didn't like the stone.  Patty and I went through the matrix of color/stone combinations and this is what we came up with.

Exterior Choices
Elevation L Cottage Style
Sandy Tan Shake Siding
Irish Thistle Vinyl Siding
Kentucky Sandstone Stone Veneer
White Trim
Dark Berry Board and Batten Shutters
Black Fox Door

The shutters will be the dark berry like below.


The siding and shake siding will be like the below but my stone is more gray than this.

We finally got the blueprints for the 3-Car Garage

Model Home again with Irish Thistle and Sandy Tan

Additional Changes:

Upgraded all bath vanities to Espresso
Under cabinet lighting with rail
Additional outlets in Master closets
Additional outlets in closet that will house the electronics
Recessed lights in loft instead of ceiling fan
3 Recessed lights over island to be converted later to Pendant Lights
Ceiling Fan rough-ins in all bedrooms, study and morning room
Outlet over fireplace for Data Pre-wire
Outlet on first landing of stairs for vacuum/night light
60/40 Under-mount sink

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Rome Floor Plan

Here is the first floor plan.  

We are getting the morning room with the Gourmet Island.  We are getting the optional side fireplace and also two additional windows in the morning room.

Here is the Second Floor Plan

David is more excited than I am that he will be getting his own closet.  This was one of our favorite features of this floor plan was that there were two separate master closets.  Another incentive is the alternate shower/tub combo.  This includes a separate tub and shower feature.

Originally, we were going to convert the loft to a bedroom, but when we went into the model we loved how the loft was open at top of the stairs.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

We have a Plot Plan!

Patty called me early this morning to let me know that there would be no issue with having the fireplace on the side of the house.  I did like the fact that they told me they would have to check on it first before confirming.  I would have been upset if during construction I found out that it couldn't.

She called me back toward the afternoon had a surprise for me!  My plot plan is now available. I have been very excited to see how they will place our home on the lot.  We are going to have a gorgeous backyard.  We are a bit close to our propery line on the right hand side but that is what we get for choosing a 3-car garage!  I asked if we could find out how close our neighbors built their house to their property line to gauge how close their house would be.

Here is our Rome on lot 95!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Flooring Decision Change

I've been driving my mother and husband crazy since my appointment with Advanced Flooring.  I don't like the Level A hardwood choices and I certainly don't like the Level B hardwood choices.  I am having the hardest time justifying paying $7-10 THOUSAND dollars for something that I hate.  I also am having a really hard time giving up granite countertops to pay for them.

They remind me of the flooring that would be at a steak house covered in peanuts.

Update: I figured it out!  This is what the floors remind me of.

I dragged David to Home Depot, Lowes and Lumber Liquidators to look at flooring.  Are Armstrong and Bruce losing all new construction sales in the Carolina's due to this new no laminate floor on a concrete slab thing?  There are not a lot of basements here. If so, why is it that the three above do not know about this? 

We do love dark hardwood.  We just don't like the hand scraped wood and think the one in the model was a little dark.

We priced a hardwood at Lumber Liquidators that I really like.  It's still dark but not as dark as the above.  This is still engineered wood but it can be refinished. They are sending us a sample.

Flooring Decision - I am changing my floor selections and will put Vinyl flooring on the first floor and we will have hardwoods that I actually like installed after closing.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Advanced Flooring/Design Center Selections

Our flooring appointment was today at Advanced Flooring.  When Kristen originally called to schedule my appointment, I had jokingly asked if they "hated babies"?  She replied that she preferred children not to come but couldn't "request they not come".  I understand that the appointment would be much easier without children but that statement in a nutshell sums up my flooring experience at Advanced Flooring.

I HATE my flooring option  choices.  I hate how the appointment went. 

I only have a specific budget for flooring, I based my upgrades on the flooring.  I have been searching other Ryan Homes blogs to get an idea of what I wanted.  I had a particular vision in my head.  In the first 10 minutes of the flooring appointment it all changed. 

The very top of my flooring budget included Level G laminate throughout the first floor (excluding Family Room and study) and Level B carpet in the rest of the house.  If for some miracle I liked Level F laminate we could upgrade to Level C Carpet.  I decided to upgrade the Master Bath to tile level C because I don't think we could get someone to tile for that price.  We would also get vinyl flooring in the secondary bathroom and laundry room.

Let me start and say as we walk in to Advanced Flooring the store is set up with a large desk and a high top island covered with a black colored fabric/carpet.  Inside this island are Ryan homes tile, granite, linoleum and laminate countertop selections.  Directly in back of the island is a room with Ryan homes carpet and hardwood selections.  To the left is another home builder sample selections and to the right was another home builders cabinetry, bathroom and sample selections.  On the floor was another builder hardwood flooring selections.  I think a Ryan Homes rep should go there.  The way it is set up gives a false impression of what you can choose especially if the flooring right under your feet is not an available option.

We sit down with Brenda and she goes through the list of options I chose on my contract.  I advised her of the upgrades to the original contract I thought I would make.  She nodded and made the notation.  She asks if I made my granite choice, I said "no" and she rolls her eyes.  She stated that I was to have had this choice already made and that she only had the granite choices there to choose the other options. 

We get up and stand next to a high top island and she places our kitchen cabinet choice on the table.  She opens one of the drawers of the island and we pick out the granite that I like.  I really like the Caledonia.  We had originally discussed Luna Pearl but in person Caledonia was so pretty.  It has both taupe and gray.

Next we picked out the Master Bathroom tile.  After speaking with my mom, I decided not to get the white Level A tile.  If you choose Level B tile, it's just the same tile with a scroll accent tile.  I do not like dirty white grout so we chose to upgrade the tile to Level C tile.  I'm not crazy about having the accent tile at all and saw to my right a bathroom that had the tile on the diagonal.  I asked if I could get the diagonal tile but no accent tile.  "Ryan Homes doesn't do tile on a diagonal, I could price it for you as a custom upgrade".  It's quite discouraging because it's beautiful and right in front of you.
I agree to do horizontal tile with accent tiles. 

I wanted something neutral that wasn't too gray or too tan.  I chose Castillan Gray with Wisteria Tortoise accent tile.  The tile looked gray with some tan tones in it and the accent tile has greens, taupes, grays and slate colored tiles.

The shower does not come with any shelves or soap dishes so I added an almond color corner soap dish as a $50 upgrade. At the store the almond looked good with the tile, now that I think about it and see the pictures should I have NOT gotten one? This is VERY gray in this picture.  (Edit - changed to the travertine soap dish for $100)

UPDATE:  Upon making my changes with Brenda I have upgraded to the travertine soap dish for $100.  The white shower pan and almond soap dish doesn't really make sense.

Here is a picture of this tile (not the accent tile).  Thank you to the blogger who posted this.

As we start to look at the flooring for the first floor, Brenda starts to explain that Ryan Homes has pulled all of the laminate flooring options out of all of the other design centers due to the fact that laminate could no longer be installed over a concrete slab.  The moisture from the concrete expanded the laminate and caused it to buckle.  Due to this they were forced to put transition strips between each room.  In a larger room you might even see transition strips separating the room.  WHAT?  I have a 5 month old.  Transition strips in each room on the first floor is not an option.  My vision was a large open area with beautiful floors all throughout the first floor.

Brenda sits down and calculates the difference between Level G laminate and Level A hardwood and advises me that it is only an $800 difference between the two and wonders why I am having a difficult time deciding on the Level A upgrade.  I explain I do not like the level A choices and when I say I was wanting something a little darker, Brenda says I would have to go to a Level B hardwood. The level B choices are only hand scraped engineered wood.  The Level B is a $3000 upgrade, so I either have to pay another $800 - $3000 for a floor I hate. 

 If anyone has been playing at home, do you remember my walk-through of the model home?  I hate the hand scraped hardwood.

I'm very hesitant about leaving the laminate choice for hardwood.  One of the incentives in our development was a free granite upgrade.  My budget is very tight that the one large item that I would have to relinquish would be my granite.  I ask her to please show me the laminate before I make a decision.  She reminds me again about Ryan Homes pulling them and that she doesn't have them on the floor, they are in the back.  She says she wants to make sure I want the level G laminate before she goes in the back and pulls them all out and I change my mind.  I am dumbfounded.  She reluctantly goes to the back and gets the laminate.  She comes back and lays them on the island.  She then tells us that they are having a really hard time getting the company to stand behind their warranty.  This statement convinces me to reconsider the laminate. 

We again lay the Level A hardwood against the cabinet choice.  I really do not LOVE any of the choices.  She then says that the reason the model home has upgraded flooring is because none of the Level A hardwood choices match the Espresso cabinets. 

We go look at carpet and I pick a Level B carpet since I can't afford an additional upgrade.  We choose knapsack Level B carpeting.  She calls it a textured plush which I do like.  It has a little more texture than your basic plush carpet.

I give in and agree on a Level B hardwood called Spice Chest.  It's lighter than the model home and you can't see the wavy lines as much on this sample.  You can also see my now Laminate countertop choice in Jamocha since upgrading to Level B hardwood means I have to forfeit my Granite Countertop Incentive.  :(   

Brenda agrees to give me until Monday to finalize my choices.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Guardian Appointment

First let me start by saying we had decided NOT to go with the security system offered by Guardian.  I knew what we wanted and what rooms we wanted them in.  The security system was not in the budget.

Our appointment was this morning at 10:00 am.  Our appointment was with Brian.  He introduced himself and met Olivia.  He has an Olivia too! 

He explained that today's appointment was just to pick out what we wanted to get and in what room.  The actual placement of the items will be determined during the pre-wall walk through. 

The choices we decided at our appointment are as follows:

Package of 6 inputs $710:
Master - Coax
BR1 - Coax
BR2 - Coax
BR3 - Coax
BR4 - Coax
Loft - Coax

Additonal 4 (Included free with home)
Loft - Data
Br4 - Data (David's "Office")
Study - Data
Study - Phone

Pre-wire data run to the Study $440

We told him we were in a contract with another Security System Company and he offered to give us 5 months for free to get us out of our contract duration so the cost would be

$250 installation
$215 Carbon Monoxide Detection
$195 Smoke Detection

*huh??  How did that happen??  He sure was good...

Total $1810

We got home and have a few changes.  We are definitely not getting the Security System.  We found we have longer than we thought on our contact.  I am chaning the routing to the "master closet" which is $665 for the Data pre-wire and we are probably dropping one of the data installations.  I also emailed Brian about surround sound pre-wire.  We may add that if it's not too much.