Saturday, April 9, 2016

More details!

So the girls and I took a little drive to check out the house tonight.  Of course, they wanted a milk shake on our way there like Daddy got them before he left.  After getting them a chocolate malt to share, they were ready to take on the world.  
The garage door was down today, so we could really see how it will look on the front of the house.  We both really like the look of the door with the window and hardware details.  And look, there's stone!  On Monday, it looked prepped for stone, but the PMs didn't mention stone work this week.  What a pleasant surprise!  I also saw some forms and rebar on the porch just waiting for the concrete to be poured. 

 There's a coat of stain on the interior railings now.  It isn't finished as you can see stain on the balusters, but I like what I see so far.  I can't wait to see the flooring and compare the stain to the floor finish.  

Tile has been added in all of the bathrooms.  We opted to do a larger master bath and forego the tub.  We opted to have some stainless steel soap dishes installed in the corner now as we couldn't easily do that later.  After settlement, we will be removing 1-2 rows of tile and adding a feature using mosaic style tile instead.  I was impressed with how high they tiled each of the showers in relation to the ceiling.  Considering how tall Luke is, this is a definite bonus for us!  I can't wait to see what gets completed next.  - Ashleigh

Monday, April 4, 2016

Cabinets, vanities, doors, gutters, and a coat of paint

Things are really starting to take shape within the house.  I was surprised to see the kitchen cabinets installed when we came in today.  I checked, and the drawers are dove tailed and have the soft close feature. This was important to us because it was a "new feature" that wasn't going to be offered until Spring contracts.  But, we convinced them to honor it for our contract since we would be settling in the Spring.

Imagine how these cabinets will pop 
once we put some color on the walls!  Color suggestions anyone?!

The doors have been installed on the interior.  If you look closely, you may see little eyeballs peering through the door handle hole.  The girls couldn't help but play hide and seek all throughout the house!

If you look closely, you will see that gutters have been installed.  The crew was working on these when we got there.  They were incredibly efficient and had already moved on to another house before we were finished checking on the interior.                                                                                
 One coat of paint is on the walls.  We still wish Ryan Homes would offer a selection of paint choices.  We think it would be very reasonable to have 3-5 shades of paint on hand.  From those shades, the client should be able to choose one for the interior of the house.  This would go a long way in helping the home feel a bit more personalized and would really allow the finishes to pop.  As it stands now, we will have to paint almost every room ourselves.  We knew this going in, so we are not complaining, but it is definitely an area where Ryan could improve.

    Master Bathroom vanity with cultured marble top.  We opted for upgraded vanities due to water resistance, real wood as opposed to particle board, etc.  Vanities have been installed in all of the bathrooms.  We did not pay a fee to upgrade the basement full bath cabinets.  But, for whatever reason, we were able to select the matching vanity to the kids' upgraded bathroom vanity upstairs.  I'm curious about how quickly things will continue to take shape.  But, this was a ton of progress in less than a week's time!   -  Ashleigh

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Picture updates...we have drywall!

We have drywall!  It didn't take long after our "pre-drywall meeting" to actually have drywall.  We were told it can take over a week for the drywall process, and we are happy for this part of the process to drag.  Drywall is such a pivotal piece in how the home will finish.  So, we are happy for the crew to take their time hanging, taping, mudding, sanding, etc.  We probably won't go too much this week to give them some space to work since they will be spending so much time inside.  (I did take a peek in the garage and saw that cabinets have been delivered...they are still in boxes, but it's so exciting!)   -Luke and Ashleigh

Interestingly, this heater is on full blast.  We think it is helping heat and dry the house to a certain point so the drywall can dry well in a more controlled environment.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

One more time...

Some of our friends wanted to get some ice cream and see the house, OF COURSE!  So, just two short days after our pre-drywall meeting, insulation is already installed.  EVEN IN THE GARAGE CEILING! It's crazy how something as simple as insulation can change the sound and appearance of the inside.  It was even a little warmer!  Random: I like how they foam everything.  I mean there is spray foam anywhere insulation couldn't fit: drill holes, cracks, window jams, etc. The house is tight!

On a personal note...I have to leave the country for work.  So, today and tomorrow will be my last times to see the house for awhile.  I'm leaving it to my girls to hold down the fort and make sure progress is being made.  I don't know if I'll have enough service to blog or check anything, but Ashleigh will keep you updated as best she can.  Here's to hoping the baby stays in and house keeps coming along!   -  Luke

Monday, March 21, 2016

Pre-drywall Meeting

Today we got to have our pre-drywall meeting!  This is a huge milestone in the building your home schedule that Ryan Homes prints off and gives you.

Since we have been to the house every few days, nothing came as a shock to us during this meeting.  But, we were able to use the running lists we've been keeping from our visits to make sure the meeting went as we needed it to.  Over the last couple of weeks, we already got them to move a few simple things and change/ fix areas of concern.  We're believers in catching and fixing things early to save everyone a headache in the long run.  

We met another neighbor last week (hey Brian!) who gave us pointers and hints of interesting items to look for. Although not life changing concerns, there are some things that can be easily overlooked or forgotten.  For example: blocking for the kitchen cabinets and mounting TV's, finishing the basement closet, subfloor on main level, and garage insulation.

The meeting started upstairs and we worked our way from top to bottom going over all our selections and 'what's where', 'why this', and 'how come'.  We asked questions as we came to things and felt that the PM's responses were reasonable.  

The main level's subfloor was a concern for us.  We are going to have nice, upgraded hardwoods running throughout most of this floor and don't want issues with noise/ buckling/ replacing in the future.  We've heard that others needed it to be replaced or repaired within months of moving in.  Most of it is due to the floor sagging or buckling causing the wood to warp.  The remedy would be to replace and/ or reinforce the subfloor after the fact (what a mess that would be) .  We were reassured that the wood we chose doesn't usually have this issue and we should be fine as they treat and inspect the floor before installing anything (supposedly the wood that had the issue was a different brand, size, thickness, etc).  We'll see!

Next was garage insulation.  We think we know what's code, but what's actually done?!  Brian told us that they didn't insulate the ceiling of his garage causing the rooms above to be cold and loud.  We are not sure if it was an oversight by someone or laziness by the installers but it was missed in his home nonetheless.  We were told that it's standard to install it on the outside of all "livable space", it should be there!  So, we were right to know that it should be there, but we are glad we asked instead of assuming.  We also filled Brian in on this "standard" installation technique so that he can work with Ryan homes during his first year of ownership.

We left feeling comfortable and confident that our expectations are clear and will be met.  We are excited about the progress to come.  Final walk through/ demonstration set for May 16!   -   Luke and Ashleigh

Monday, March 14, 2016

Roofing, Plumbing and HVAC

On to roofing, plumbing and central air… things are moving fast so keep up.  Friday, 11 March 2016, was a busy day at our house.  Roofers continued the momentum the framers came and went with, done in one day and coming back to finish the roof vent and pipe collars. 

HVAC was nearly completed on Friday except a few things in the basement.  I really like the trunk style runs in the attic and the glue/ filler they use to seal the pipes from letting air escape.  One issue, not really a problem, but something to be moved….  In our basement they placed an air return in the center of the wall where we want to put a wet bar, it would interfere with the cabinets and overall layout.  RESPONSE from Project Manager: I’ll meet with HVAC contractors to move it over a bit.

Plumbing did their thing and nearly completed as well.  A few more pipes to connect in the main level and basement.  Another little concern about rain leaking down the roof vent pipe, but this was fairly normal due to what I mentioned above.  Roofers are to install the pipe collar on their next available stop. 

Us being nitpicky and having great PMs!  We were told on our initial pre-construction meeting that the basement sometimes comes with a closet under the stairs.  It’s not a standard option, but typically comes prefabbed when they are framing out the house, it wasn’t installed nor a header where we thought it should go.  RESPONSE from PM:  The closet isn’t a standard option, but we talked about it at the pre-construction meeting and I have it noted to add for you guys! The framers will frame it out when they’re in the house for their “punch out”. 

Lesson learned:  It doesn’t hurt to ask and it pays dividends to have a great relationship with the people working on your house.      -Luke

Friday, March 11, 2016

Pre-Drywall Scheduled for 3/21

We just got another email updating us on the progress of the build and told “I hope you are doing well and enjoying this beautiful weather! We’ve had great spring weather since the start of construction on your home, so you guys must be lucky!”  Lucky…. that is how I feel going through this build and experience it with my family, BLESSED!

Pre-Dry is set for March 21: Our HVAC contractors and plumbers have been working this week and electricians will be following early next week. After that, we will be focusing on getting ready for your county inspections!

In the meantime, below are a few pictures of the inside progress thus far:     -Luke


Basement Bathroom 

Upstairs Hall Bathroom
Master Bathroom