Tuesday, October 18, 2016

All's Well That Ends Well . . .

We closed today!  It has been 17 months since we first signed our purchase and sale contract with Ryan Homes and it has been quite a journey.  There have been lots of delays and lots of frustrations along the way.  But we are finally done!  Here are a couple of pictures we took at the settlement office with our loan officer - she's been our loan officer for 17 months!!

The house turned out beautifully and right now we are just thrilled to be closed and moving forward with our lives.  Here we are with our keys!!

I will have some follow up posts about our NVR Mortgage experience - would make a good Halloween story.  Lol

I will also have some additional posts on my thoughts and tips on the build process.

But today was a good day!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Final Walkthrough and 3rd Party Inspection

So we are just about done.  We had our final walkthrough with our construction manager on Friday.  The house looks amazing!!  We are very excited to be almost finished with our build and have already started picking out/ arguing over furniture.  Lol  The final walkthrough took about two hours.  Our construction manager took us through every room and floor of the house and explained all of the major systems, the electric panel, water main pipes, gas fireplace, garage door, etc.

We are actually getting some really great energy efficiency and comfort systems that we did not expect.  We have two zoned heating and air conditioning and on the second floor we actually have two thermostats.  One thermostat just controls our master bedroom and closet because those are over the garage and a second thermostat for the rest of the second floor, but both are part of zone 2.  There is a thermostat on the first floor for zone 1.  We are getting a tankless water heater.  I may update later about how well this works, but we are excited about this feature.

Our house uses electric and gas.  We have a gas stove, gas dryer, gas fireplace and furnace.  We have an electric oven.  I'm glad we were able to set it up that way.

So we had our 3rd party inspector meet us during the final walkthrough and he did his inspection while we worked with our construction manager.  I would definitely recommend a 3rd party inspector - at either the pre-dry wall inspection and/ or the final inspection.  We only used a 3rd party inspector for the final inspection similar to the inspection you would get before buying an existing home.

The biggest thing he found was that the gas line was not hooked up to the furnace in the attic - basically if this was left undone we would have no heat on the second floor and would be wondering why.  Eek!  This seems like a big deal and I'm grateful he caught it.

So with a few final items to be corrected, we anticipate closing this coming week.  Wish us luck!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Good . . .

I walked through the house on Sunday and took a few pictures.  It looks really good and we are excited.

Here is the kitchen.  I love it.  I have never had a double oven so I am looking forward to that.  I think the cafe lights over the kitchen island look great.  I did not think the standard appliances would be all that great but they seem pretty good so I may not sell them and get something else.

We got the morning room upgrade and I love it.

Pictures of the family room/ great room.  I love that we got hardwood floors on the entire first floor.


Finally our master bathroom - these pictures do not do it justice.  It really looks great.  I'm glad we got a tiled floor in the shower.

The Bad . . .

So I finally had a chance to walk through the house since the flooring has been put down, lighting installed and the appliances have been put in.  The house looks lovely and is coming together nicely, but (and with Ryan Homes there is always a but) there are a fair number of issues that we noticed that need to be fixed.  Here are a few of them:

Here are cabinets in the laundry room.  As you can see the knobs are uneven.

The stairs were recently stained to match the first floor hardwood floors.  This was done in a pretty sloppy way, but I assume they plan to clean this up before closing.

More troublesome, it appears that the builder started adding a carpet runner, which is an upgrade we did not get, and then realized the mistake and pulled it up, but the staples remain.

The stairs leading to the basement need some attention where drywall is showing through.

More issues with the trim around the basement stairs

This is a fallen recessed light from the basement that needs to be fixed.

Finally this is a minor thing, but the gutter on the front of the house is bent.

In addition one of the windows is broken.  It broke during installation, but it still has not been replaced.  The garage door is bent and is being replaced as well.  So as you can see there are a fair number of trim and finishing that needs to be taken care of before we close.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Moving Right Along

So I have not been able to keep up with this blog and match the pace of our home construction.  Construction started in late July and here we are on September 20 and our house is scheduled to be completed by October 14.  Here are a few pictures of the first floor since the drywall went up.

The first picture is a picture of the exterior of the home with siding and windows.  The second picture is in the entrance way looking into the dining room.  In an earlier post I mentioned that at the pre-dry wall inspection we noticed that these arches were not in.  That was corrected in the entrance to the dining room.  The archway entrance to the living room is still not correct.  The stairs and the stair railing are in as well.

Here is the kitchen.  The cabinets and granite turned out very nicely.  At this point they were covered while the house was undergoing a second painting over the dry wall.  The appliances will be delivered towards the end of the month.

Here is the "activity center" organization upgrade in the mudroom from the garage.  I think it will be very useful for the boys to store their backpacks and easily locate them in the morning before school.

Final picture from the first floor is a picture of the coffered ceiling in the family room.  I'm glad we chose to add recessed lighting along with the ceiling fan rough in, but we will definitely need a telescopic light changer pole.  Lol

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Pre-Dry Wall Inspection and Observations

So we had our pre-dry wall inspection and walkthrough this week.  We did not take a 3rd party inspector with us on this walkthrough but I plan to do that in the next couple of weeks.  On the one hand I marvel at how much has been done and what a great house it is going to be, at the same time there have been a number of strange blunders that do not inspire tons of confidence.

For example, in the basement the framing for the bathroom rough-in was a foot and half off so that needs to be re-done otherwise we would not be able to have a bathroom.  Our construction manager caught this himself, but he said it was due to a plans and drawing error.  WTF?  One thing you assume when you buy a house like this from a big developer is that the drawings are pretty much cookie-cutter set in stone so this was a surprising revelation.  The second basement error is that the plumbing rough-in for our bar (something my husband wanted)  was accidentally put in the middle of the basement floor instead of along a wall in front of the stairs as we agreed.  Our construction manager assured us this plumbing error would also be fixed, but again weird.

I am attaching these two photos of the front of the house.  In the first you will see the house partially framed, but no windows over the garage or door.  My husband observed that we were missing windows over the garage and over the front door.  We sent a note to the construction manager and after a couple of days he said they just had not gotten to it and sent the second picture showing the added windows, but I really think they forgot or didn't realize the windows were missing until we sent a note.

Finally if you have seen recent pictures of the Avalon you know they have curved archways leading to the family and formal dining room and in the doorways leading to the kitchen and great room.  It appeared that these arches had only been done for the doorways leading to the kitchen and great room.  My husband pointed out that this feature seems to be missing from our home and our construction manager was not sure about it.  It was not until we took a quick look at the Avalon across the street that is closer to being finished that our construction manager could see what we meant.  Again weird that my husband needed to point out this very standard feature appeared to be missing from our home.

All of this just gives me a stomachache.  I realize that I liked the idea of building a house more than building it.  Building it puts you right in the sausage factory and I don't like hanging in the sausage factory - I'm not sure I want to see how it's done or in some cases pointing out how it is not being done.  But my husband has been really enjoying the process and stays on top of everything.

They are expecting to get the drywall delivered in the middle of next week, and while they rushed us to have this walkthrough, I suspect they will not be able to start the drywall process until closer to the end of the month.  That's my update for now.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Big Update and We've Been Framed!

So for a variety of reasons I have not been updating this blog, but that stops now.  So let's get to it!   At the end of June our house finally broke ground!!  And as most people know once Ryan Homes finally gets started things start to go really fast.

It took a couple of weeks for Ryan Homes to fully clear our lot and and start the foundation.  But once that was done they quickly put up the temporary foundation posts.

Then all of a sudden the foundation was in and framing began.

Our construction manager has been great.  He has been great about answering questions even though he is working on five houses at once.  Please see earlier posts regarding the year long delay in the start of this community and why Ryan Homes is working hard to get everyone in their homes by the end of the year.  My husband visits the site every Thursday and our construction manager always spends time with him.  He is organized and patient.  We are feeling very good about things so far.

Right now we are scheduled to have our pre-dry wall meeting on August 10.  As others have advised I will try to get a third party inspector in just to make sure everything is on track.  But so far we are excited, just need to pull my pennies together to pay for this thing.  I may do a post in the next week or so on the latest from NVR mortgage - always more exciting than it should be.