We blogged about the building process of our house to document it for ourselves and to help others. Our house is finished and we have moved in and we love our home. Building a house isn't a process that goes perfectly, no matter what builder you pick, and this is our story. Every problem we had during the building process has been made right by Ryan homes. This isn't complaint blog, its how we felt at the time of our post during the building process.

Friday, December 19, 2014

We had our Pre-construction meeting

We finally had our pre-construction meeting this week. It lasted about an hour and half, my husband loves to chat, lol. It was great getting to meet our project manager. He seems really big on following up on the details.  Not all my questions were able to be answered at this stage, since we are still have some time before we break ground. I will post the answers I got next week sometime. We got a new estimated start date of 2/9, which could change depending on how long the county takes on approving our permits. Which would give us a closing date in early May. I prefer to close at the end of a month to be able to skip the first month having a mortgage payment, but we will see. I did find out where the electrical and cables boxes go the lot can't be answered because the power company can put them wherever and don't tell you beforehand. O well it's not like if we knew we could change the location anyways. I did forgot about one thing at our meeting that we didn't go over, our red flag for the tile floor in the master shower. I had a list with me but my husband was holding it, a lot of good that did, my list in his hands, lol. I think that's the only thing we missed going over but I will be sure to bring it up later.

I'm still happy with the delay at this stage, but I'm sure that will change once I move back in with my parents during the build. 4 months of living in a house totaling 6 adults, 1 kid, 4 dogs, 1 cat, and a talking parrot, sounds like fun. :) but very thankful.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our Pre-construction Meeting is coming up

Our meeting is coming up this week. We sent over all our questions 2 weeks ago, so it wouldn't take so long to ask them all the day of. The paving has started last week. Actually being able to see the difference has got us really excited. This weekend we went back to the design center to get another look at our flooring. This was my husbands first time seeing the floor choices I picked. We ended up changing one thing. Thank you to Ryan Homes for letting us change sometime this late. We only changed the laminate in the kitchen and morning room. We still haven't sold our condo, but we have decided it would be best to move out of our condo before we sell it. People seem to like the place empty better, as all the units around us are selling for higher then we are listed are empty and we have updates they don't have. I think the main thing is we have a dog and cat, and it's hard to keep it spotless (hairless) when pets are living there. Lucky my parents have agreed to let us live with them instead of getting an apartment, we just have to clean us a room out to be able to stay in. That's the hard part.

It's looking like we will be moving in May maybe. I would love the weekend of May 24.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Status update

We have been pushed back again due to weather this time. We don't have a new construction start date yet. I'm thinking by the end of November construction will start. We went out to look at construction site this past weekend to see where everything is at. Not much to see but dirt, but it was nice to get a feel of where our lot will be. We plan to look again after the roads are in to get a better feel of the size of our yard.

I have come up with a list to do as soon as we move in.
Buy washer and dryer install (the week we move in)
Buy blinds and install (most important in master bedroom and bathroom)
Put a fence in (as soon as the ground is warm enough)
Buy and install ceiling fans for family room, morning room, and master bedroom
Make pet gates for the dinning room,  living room, and spare bedrooms (we don't want our dog going in rooms we won't be using regular yet)

Future to do list
Build a deck
Put in a patio
Get a new sectional for the family room
Get a new dining table for the dining room
Get new master bedroom furniture
Paint (we are going to wait the full year like they recommend)
Tile kitchen and morning room
Tile spare bathrooms
Replace vanity in spare upstairs bathroom
Redo master bedroom closet shelving

I have updated my pre-construction meeting questions since I posted.  The updated list of questions is below.

·         What is the estimated timeline or milestones for our build including closing date and rate lock in date?
·         Can we come by the weekend before the pre dry wall inspection to take pictures and take notes ahead of time, so we aren’t rushed to get back to work from taking off that day?
·         Are there Plumbing, HVAC, and Electoral plans with our options (door location changed, morning room, extended basement from morning room above, master bath, fan rough in) we can see and have copies of?
o    Is the garage pre-wired for garage door switch/button and sensors?
o    Is there outlet in the garage on the ceiling and wall?
o    What are outdoor lights are we getting all around the house?
o    Is there an outlet on the back of the house?
·         After the insulation is installed but before the drywall goes up other, can we see it?
·         What inspections will be happening at each stage? Can we attend if they are scheduled?
·         If we want to stop by weekly to see the progress is there a day of week and time that works best not to get in the way of workers but also be allowed to check out the house?
·         Will you provide us weekly update as what’s being scheduled for the week and if we are behind and how much behind?
·         Project Manager, do you have any vacations plans during our build that you will unavailable?
o    What are your normal work hours if we want to make plans to stop by and discuss something?
·         How will the Holiday season and weather affect the schedule?
o    What holidays do the workers not work on?
o    What type of weather will delay what stages of the build?
·         Do you expect any more county delays as for approvals after are building starts?
·         What is the grading of the driveway?
·         Where does our house sit on our lot?
·         What is the back yard size?
·         Can the Granite lip in the kitchen not be installed?
·         Does the floor of the laundry room have extra support?
·         Is there any insulation in the laundry Room inside walls and floor?
·         Tub access panel, do we have one? If so what does it look like?
·         Can the left over materials such as flooring (tile, carpet, wood, laminate) paint (wall, trim, front door), and siding be left in garage for us to have in case we need later?
·         Will there be a bathroom door to the basement bathroom rough in? Will the rough in be open to the rest of the unfinished part, linking both unfinished areas together?
·         Can the Light for the fan rough-ins be the closet to the door on the light switch plates, then the fan, then any others for all the rooms with fan rough-ins?
·         Where if any will the electrical or cables boxes be on our lot?
·         Where is the Sewer line?
·         Where will the AC unit be located outside?
·         Where will the water meter and electoral meter be?
·         What are the Model # of water heater and HVAC?
·         Will we have more than 1 HVAC unit?
·         When do we point out the exact location of the cable and phone?
·         HOA paperwork date estimate?
·         If we see something that wrong, who do we need to talk to about getting it fix?
·         Can we bring our own inspector to the pre dry all walk through?
·         Where will the houses next to our house be position at?
·         When will the landscaping/grass be installed after closing?
·         Is it a problem if we install a fence before the grass goes in?
·         Will hay be put over the dirt until sod or seed is laid?
·         If water ponds in the yard (grass) will you fix this and up to how long after that grass is installed or closing date?
·         Will the grass be seeded or sod?
·         Is the garage at a pitch so the water can easily drain out?
·         Will the Driveway be concrete or paved and when in the process of building is this done?
·         Where will the hose bibs locations be in the front and back? (Not blocked by adding a deck later)
·         What type of windows will be installed?
·         Screen in Windows?
·         Trim/crown molding on the top of the cabinets in Kitchen (saw at model) is that included in what we selected?
·         Are the floorboards (subfloor) nailed glued and or screwed? Is this everywhere?
·         Is there a deadbolt on the garage door, basement door, and front door?
·         Will the garage be sheet-rocked and painted?
·         Is there insulation in the wall between the garage and kitchen and in garage?
·         How many steps will there for the front door and garage door?
·         Where do all the vents lead to outside including the dryer vent?
·         Do you install our Mailbox?
·         Which room doors have locks?
·         Where is the thermostat?
·         Will you be changing the locks for us right before closing, or do we have to do that after closing?
·         Where is attic (garage and house) access?
·         Will there be shelves installed in all the bedroom closets and laundry room?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Pushed back a lil more

We got news of another push back of 2 weeks. It's all good for us since we are still selling our current place. Hope to have an offer soon. We had to change one of our options a little. We wanted to relocated our patio door in the basement and the location we picked wasn't an option after we found out we were getting a rear covered porch in that same spot. We move the door a little and changed the size of the door and it works now. I really like the smaller door and rear porch. At first I didn't because I thought it would get in the way of adding a deck later, but I think it's a nice add on to have the door covered and will also save us money on material for the deck.  We also got some of our questions answered already. We can't wait to see everything start to come together and break ground.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Pushed back and pre construction meeting questions

So are pre construction meeting has been pushed back, it's all good still since we haven't sold our place yet. Our new break ground date is on Monday 10/27.  They will begin to move the earth for our foundation on Wednesday 10/29! So our new pre construction meeting is Friday 10/24. I can't wait to get started. I have come up with a list of questions for our meeting. It's a pretty long list. I'm guessing some of the questions will be answer before I even ask, lol. Just in case I want remember the ask and write down the answers so I don't forget and ask again.

Question List:

Will there be a doorbell or knocker on front door?
Is there a deadbolt on the door to the garage?
What do the doors look like that will be installed in the morning room and basement, do they have deadbolts?
Who is the Service Provider or when will we find out?
We paid for the fio pre-wire, if the service provider isn’t Verizon, can we change this?
When do we point out the exact location of the extra outlet cable and phone?
Picture of lights and all fixtures
What type of windows will be installed?
Where will the hose bibs locations be? (Not blocked by adding a deck later)
Grass- seeded or sodded
What inspections will be happening at each stage?
Will the garage be sheet-rocked and painted?
Screen in Windows?
Is a Dehumidifier need for the basement?
Shelving in closest for master can we ask for it not to be installed, just leave the materials shelves and brackets in garage?
Granite lip in the kitchen, can it not be installed, just leave the material in the garage?
Trim/crown molding on the top of the cabinets in Kitchen (saw at model) is that included in what we selected?
Is there plumbing plans we can see and have copies of?
Is there HVAC plans we can see and have copies of?
Copies of all the plans (electoral…)
Are the floorboard (subfloor) nailed glued and or screwed? Is this everywhere?
Can the half wall with arch in the Family room be a full wall with arch?
Will the driveway be paved before closing?
When will the landscaping be installed after closing?
Width and length of driveway
Is there a sidewalk on both sides of the street?
Is it a problem if we install a fence before the grass goes in?
Tub access panel?
Left over materials: tile, paint, carpet, wood be left in garage?
Hay put over the dirt?
Model # of water heater and HVAC
Landry Room walls and floors insulation
Light in garage (where is the switch)
HOA paperwork date estimate?
If I put up a fence before the HOA rules and it does fit the rules can I keep it, if not who pays the cost to adjust it?
If we want to stop by weekly/ or every other week to see is there a day of week and time that works best
If we see something that wrong who do we need to talk to about getting it fix?
Can we bring our own inspector to the pre dry all walk through?
Are there any trees on our lot to be left or added?
If water ponds in the yard (grass) will you fix this up to how long after that yard is installed or closing date?
Estimated timeline/milestones
Which room doors have locks?
Where is the dryer vent on the outside
Power outlets in the garage and outside?
Can we close on early Friday Morning?

New closing date estimate?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Got our start date and some more information on questions we had.

We got our construction start date, October 13, 2014. We are so excited. I also got a couple questions I had answered. Like what the front door looked liked. We didn't want a door with a big window and the good news no window. We also wanted to know what the shower door looked like. We were scared it would look out dated not getting a frameless shower, but we actual really like the frame. So we will keep it for now, we are switch it out later. I want to leave some home improvement projects to do later, I enjoy little projects (keyword little). I also had questions about our HVAC and water heater.  We don't have model numbers yet but we got the size of water heater (80 gallons) and the brand if the HVAC. Pictures of the shower frame and front door inside are below (ours will be brushed nickel instead of the oil rubbed bronze in picture).

We have now scheduled our pre construction meeting for a couple days before. Trying to think of other questions to ask during our meeting, if you have any ideas for questions let us know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Flooring (with Pictures) and Wiring

We were able to have our Wiring Appointment on a Saturday which worked out great for us. Note I thought wiring meant outlets too, but it doesn't, lol, but I will list that stuff here anyway. We got a total of 6 cable/phone ports included since we did the basement. Here is a breakdown of what we got.
2 Cables and Fan/Light-Family Room
Fan/Light-Morning Room
Cable, Surround Sound, another outlet - Basement
Cable and Fan\Light-Master Bedroom 
Network Jump from Family Room to Basement for wired internet from the router (My fiance is gamer so this was important to him and only used one of cables
Phone-Living Room

I was very happy with this appointment. I let my Fiance do the basement just like he wanted because he wanted the surround sound for a while but he wanted wireless until I pointed out to him wireless isn't full wireless, you need power or you don't get good sound. So we needed to have it pre-wired because I didn't want him putting holes in the wall trying to run wire.

We wanted a Saturday for our Flooring appointment too but they were all booked for 2 months on Saturdays, so we had to take a weekday appointment. Since my fiance and I work different shifts it meant one of us was going to have to miss the appointment no matter if we did an early or late appointment unless we took of work, which we were both too busy to do. So we agreed I would go to the appointment without him and send him pictures for approval before I picked anything. Of course I forgot to bring all my paperwork to the appointment. Sam at the flooring place was trying to tell me the wood floor in the foyer wasn't included, but I remembered my SR telling me it was. And of course my SR was off this day, so I couldn't call to confirm what he already told me. So Sam said she would do it without the wood in the foyer for now and we could fix it later if it was included. She had me go ahead and pick the wood just in case. And it turned out I was right. My SR e-mail me the next morning to let me know. Sam said she would reach out to my SR and ask them fix it if needed. So I waited and waited never got the new flooring paperwork to sign and it was the last day for changes to the floor if I want to include it in my mortgage, which I wanted to. So I tried calling my SR and he was out of the office again, but the Lady in his office said she would look for it or notes about it and call me back. She called me back  saying it shouldn't be a problem if we miss the deadline. This had me worried. So we missed the deadline. The next day I finally heard from the Sam (the flooring lady) she replied to my e-mail, but didn't answer my questions in my e-mail about had she talked to my SR and that it was past the deadline, but did included the updated floor paper for me to sign. I didn't want to sign without getting okay that we could still included the cost of the floor in our mortgage because it was past the deadline. So my fiance tried to call our SR and he was off, but the same nice lady that answered the phone last time told us it was okay to sign. So I reached back out to Sam the flooring Lady and stressed to her that she missed the deadline, she told me to just sign it anyway and she would send it to my SR, and that she never sent the one without the wood flooring. Really? She didn't even reach our to my SR about it, and she didn't even send him the one before the fix or ask him about what was included. She was the one that made us miss the deadline. So I signed the corrected paperwork including the wood floor. The next day my SR was back in the office and called me to say no problem about missing the deadline and even extended the deadline for us to add an outlet (Note: I had tried to add an outlet while he was out and missed that deadline too). So we got to add an extra outlet in the basement that was so needed (the nearest outlet to where we wanted to put our TV was 6 feet in both directions). It was all okay in the end, just wanted to share the details. I know I get extra worried when I cant get my questions answered and I need to relax. lol. These deadlines aren't hard deadlines, just a timeline to get things done.

Time for pictures of my flooring. Note: the lighting in design place was hard to see the colors and get good picture coloring. I also picked a carpet that was discounted at first and didn't find out until the end and had to re-pick it and re-match. Someone had put it in the wrong spot. I picked dark carpet because we have a dark hair dog and to hide the stains. We upgraded the padding everywhere to the blue one.

I will include prices in another post later.

 Kitchen and Master Bath Cabinets
 Kitchen and Master Bath counter top
 Outside Color Scheme
 What the outside color actually looks like (We picked Canyon) I wanted a lighter brown but the lighter colors were for accent colors.
 The top laminate is the one we picked for the Kitchen, Half Bath, Laundry Room, and 2nd floor Hall Full Bath (We thought it would be easy to replace the flooring in these places later on our own for way cheaper)
The one the left is the tile for our master bath its level 4 (D) We wanted this to be super nice since it was going in shower and around the big tub because it was worth the cost and too hard to change later

 We didn't want a shower pan so we picked the floor for our shower note it will be 2in instead of 1in pictured but the same color. This way a price change Ryan Homes charged us on top of the flooring people charging us but it was a must for us, since it would be hard to redo this later.
Wood floor in the foyer with the carpet for both the Steps, 2nd floor and basement. 

Left is the same carpet as above in different lighting and the Right is the carpet for the living room, dining room and family room (note: I wanted the one on the right for the whole house but it was way too pricey)

 The Kitchen and Master Bath cabinets and countertops again together
 The master bath tile again in different lighting with the shelf this time

 Everything we picked out together
 Cabinets for the 2nd floor half bath  and flooring (we will replace this later)

the dining room, living room, and family room carpet with the wood in the foyer

 Both carpets we picked with wood

The rest of the pictures are just extra pictures of everything above

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Our Floor Plan

We added the Morning Room (that extended the Kitchen) We are not doing any of the OPT. Windows, we hate windows on the side, who wants to look at the side of their neighbors house

 We picked the 3 bedroom layout and upgraded the master bath to the highest option.
We getting the finished Basement free (it's included) and we did the rough in for the bathroom for later. We add the doors to the back under where the doors are in the morning room on the first floor.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Our Lot and Phase 1 of Our Neighborhood

We picked Lot 80. To us it was the best choice for us.

We have decided to build our new house

We have been living in our condo for around 2 1/2 years and now we want a real house with a backyard. We have looked online for houses in the area with the features we want and couldn't find anything we liked. So we wanted to build a new house. So then the hunt was on to find a builder and neighbor for us. At first we couldn't find anything in our price range without getting a townhouse and we didn't want to settle for a townhouse. Then a new neighbor sign went up near where we live now and the prices on the sign looked perfect. So I went online and found out more information.

The builder was Ryan Homes. They had a couple different models with different features. We wanted at least 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, laundry room up stairs, large upgraded master bath and new big kitchen that was open to the family room and eating area. The Ernest Hemingway fit that perfectly with staying in the price range we wanted. So then we decided to go to the sales office. We meant with the SR and got more information. The SR had me a little worried when he told us the price of getting a bigger lot that was a must have for us. It put us at what i thought our max budget would be without any other upgrades. I thought we were going to have to settle for something we didn't want. The SR priced out all the upgrades we wanted and lot then ran the numbers for us. He even told us about a loan option we had never heard about before, a conventional loan with no PMI and min or 3% down, wow. Sounded like a dream mortgage, lol. He told us where the closet model was since their models homes weren't even started yet (i have heard this is the best time to buy because the price goes up after models are build). Later that day we drove to the model and fell in love. We talked it over that night and ran our own numbers just in case, it was a good.

 The next day we went back to lock in. We really wanted the biggest lot without having to a pay a premium and we got it. I was worried we wouldn't get it because it was the biggest lot (not counting the corner lot, which we didn't want anyway because it would be along the main neighbor road, meaning busy road) without a premium. It turned out it was a mistake and that lot we wanted had a premium, but lucky for us the SR made a mistake in our favor, and we still got it without paying the premium. This was a $8,000 savings to us. Made me very happy.

The next weekend we shared the great news with our families. My dad wasn't too happy about our idea at first, but after 1000 questions he shared our happiness. Can't wait to start picking everything out.