Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The end is in sight!

I can't believe the end is here! We did our final walk-thru of the house today, and it looks amazing! I chose not to go check the house for the last week and a half (pre landscaping) so that I could be surprised by the final product. Although my darling husband thought it was silly, it was totally worth it. This is what I pulled up to this morning:

I love the look of the house! The landscaping is great, although it will be better when the shrubs have a chance to mature. Martha, our mailbox, is still looking shiny and perfect.

The PM walked us through EVERYTHING about the house. Mildly redundant, but a lot of good information. There were still some minor touch-ups that we noticed; which will be addressed before Monday, our settlement date. It is still hard to believe that we're almost done!

The house next door to ours, on the right, is about a third of the way through the construction process and the house directly behind us will be started in the next couple of weeks. It will drive our neurotic puppy nuts, but the disturbance should be minimal.

Here are a few pictures of the inside:

Guest Bath

Master Bath


Rena's Playroom/My Office (Known as the Bonus Room to Ryan Homes)

Kitchen/Morning Room

For those of you waiting for the picture of Rena, here you go!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2 Weeks

Two weeks from yesterday we will have possession of the keys to our house! Not to mention cable, internet and a home phone. Two weeks from today we will have our belongings. Two weeks from tomorrow we hope to have unpacked a lot of those belongings...I think you get the point.

We are one week away from doing the final inspection. At this point all of the major construction has been completed, including a mailbox. Now, those of you from areas that still have mailboxes everywhere feel free to scoff, but in Maryland finding a mailbox that isn't a set of small metal boxes that are in a central location is a rarity. Here is ours!

Beautiful, isn't she? I've named her Martha.

The front porch has been completed as well. Here is the completed front of our house, sans landscaping.

One of the nicer features of the front is the recessed light in the awning. No front porch light fixture to battle with when the bulb needs to be changed!

The items that are left to do this week are the landscaping and touch-ups inside. There are still small items that need attention, but we are thrilled with how it all looks. I don't plan on visiting the house again until the final inspection, so I will update with more pictures after that!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hardwoods, and tile, and asphalt...oh my!

The house is really coming along! We now have the hardwood floors on the main level, the bathrooms have been tiled and we have a driveway and sidewalk.

It's really starting to come along! Although, the white accent piece at the top has yet to be straightened. They've also done a lot of the grading in the back of the house, getting ready for the landscaping.

This is the awesome kitchen and my darling daughter racing through it.

Tiling for the guest bathroom. 

Tiling for the master bathroom

Friday, July 20, 2012

2 steps forward, 1 step back

As the house progresses, the margin for error grows. Our PM has been great about us walking through the house whenever we please, but it seems that each time we notice new issues. I thought I'd compile the ones we've come across, in case new homeowners want to look for the same!

#1: Accent Piece

The white piece at the top is crooked. It's slight, but apparent. Fix: The PM brought the siding guy over to straighten it. This has not happened as of Sunday, hopefully it will happen soon!

#2: Squeak/Odd sound when walking in the kitchen. Fix: A pipe below the floor was rubbing against its strap. The PM brought a plumber in to make the necessary adjustment.

#3: Chair rail
The two lengths of chair rail were not properly aligned. The PM made the same observation and is having it fixed. Fix: It has been properly adjusted and just needs a fresh coat of paint.

#4: Master Bath
Because it's on the edge, we are hoping it will be covered with tile. The PM is aware of it and I guess we'll wait and see! Fix: The tile covered the crack and it looks amazing!

#5: Cabinets
A couple of the cabinet doors are not level.

Other than these, the house looks amazing! They've painted the walls and trim, which look really great. (There is no way I could have done that well!!) The final inspection is still set for the 8th, and I'm hoping we iron out all the issues before then. Tile and flooring started going in today. I plan on visiting the house this weekend and will update with more pictures then!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cue Dry Wall!

The house has walls, siding and one month until the final walk-thru! My mom, Rena and I went to check out the progress. Here are a few pictures of our findings.

Front and back of the house: I am really pleased with the siding and shutter colors! The door will be a dark brown, similar to the shutters.

Main Level: This is one of my favorite parts of the house. I am standing in what will be the kitchen, looking into the living room/family room/room with the TV. Perfect space for the little one to run around like a maniac with minimal damage to both herself and the inanimate objects around her. To the left is the morning room.

Top Floor: A picture of Rena and I in what is likely to become her room! She just needs to decide if she'd prefer a bigger room or better view.

Hanging out in the master. I'm glad we had the extra windows put in! I love the natural light and the breeze.

Overall, I am pretty happy with the progress and timeline! Our PM says they will be putting in the cabinets and plumbing pieces next week, as well as doing the first round of painting. I will go take more pictures later next week to update!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pre-Drywall Walk-Thru

Today was our pre-drywall walk-thru, as I'm sure you've gathered by the title of the post. It was amazing to see what our house has become! Our PM took us through each room, pointing out important elements, answering our plethora of questions and laughing as our one year old squealed throughout the process. He did a great job explaining everything and offering his insight to answer our questions. On our standing Friday phone call (tomorrow) he will be giving me the date that he predicts the house will be ready! We're looking at late August. Update: Our final walk thru is now set for August 8th! As a teacher, it'd be much appreciated to have time in the house before the start of the school year!

At this point the next walk through will be at the final inspection. I have been told that I may walk through the house whenever I'd like, which I intend to take full advantage of!

I took a ton of pictures of the inner workings of the house; these are a few of the more interesting ones. If there are any questions I can answer or pictures you'd like to see, please let me know!

From the outside:

This is a closer look at the window above the awning that I love:

This was my one year old at the end of the meeting, barely holding it together:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tress versus Truss

My darling father pointed out that I made an error in word choice. He took great pride in pointing this out to me, as well as rubbing it in repeatedly since I am a grammar fanatic and English teacher. Rather than type "truss" I typed "tress". For my more visual readers...

My house with trusses:

My house with tresses:

Lesson learned: No trusting spell check without paying closer attention.

Here are a few more pictures of the house as of Wednesday, June 20th.

Friday, June 15, 2012

What a difference a day (or two) makes!

These pictures should speak for themselves...

As of Wednesday (no change from the previous week):

As of Thursday afternoon:

As of Friday afternoon:

After speaking with the PM, I was informed that they will be finishing up the framing around Tuesday, getting the trusses in and having the plumber and electrician do a walk through towards the end of the week! The build has really come along. We were also able to walk through a Ravenna that has the bonus room completely framed out but pre drywall. It was great being able to see the actual floor plan as we will have it. Now it's just waiting until we get to do our pre dry wall walk through at the end of the month. Until then, I'm just collecting decorating ideas and inspiration in hopes of having an idea of what we're going to do with the house.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weeks 1 through 3

We are in our third week of the building of our Ravenna! The foot is in, concrete is poured and a lot of dirt has been moved to various locations. This week they are supposed to be starting the framing, but it looks like Mother Nature will have a say in that. Seeing as it's been raining all day today (the day it was supposed to start) I would imagine there will be a slight delay. Other than, everything has been running smoothly. Our project manager has been diligent about calling each Friday with the updates, which I find to be quite fulfilling in terms of keeping us in the loop.

Week 1: 
The foot looks small. I've seen a Ravenna, as the model in our community is one, and I know it's not small, but it's amazing how it looks in that form.

This is a picture of the foot, basically an outline of the house. 
I guess this doesn't look small, but it did in person!

Week 2:
The concrete is poured and more dirt is moved. I'm a little nervous about the size of the garage. It definitely cannot be described as spacious! It is supposed to fit two cars, which I think it can, there just may not be much extra space for other items.

The garage is the slab of concrete pictured here...definitely not excessive in size.

These two pictures are from the rear of the house from the farthest point of the backyard. 

Week 3: 
I will update pictures from week three as soon as I have taken them!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Tomorrow it all begins. After months of meetings, contingent contracts, selling our previous house and "flipping" to non-contingent we are finally having our pre-construction meeting! My husband, who will henceforth be referred to as "CD", and I will be meeting with the powers that be at Ryan to do whatever it is you do at a pre-construction meeting.

At this point in the process have made all of the option selections, met with the electricity guru, selected flooring and have our build start date (May 23, 2012!). Everything has gone smoothly, but in retrospect I have one major piece of advice for future home builders: Take your time on picking your options, they will "lock you in" to those choices after 14 days, even if you haven't met with the other contractors (e.g. flooring).

The issue we ran into was we chose the cabinets we liked, then weeks later at our flooring meeting realized that none of the tile options worked. They had a sample of a cabinet finish that coordinated really nicely, but that switch had to be done with Ryan. After a couple weeks of waiting to see if the change would be approved, I finally got the answer I was looking for, but not after a few threats on our sales guy's life... This is not one of Ryan's more efficient processes, to say the least.

Other than that minor trauma, everything has gone smoothly thus far. I am looking forward to tomorrow and getting started with what will be our home!

As this is my first post, I intend on updating this regularly with pictures, rants, raves and any of those "I wish I would've known" moments. If you have any questions, comments or advice, I'm happy to hear!