Friday, July 11, 2014

Update: Two weeks from move-in

It's been two weeks since we moved in and so far progress in the house has been a little slow. Both hubby and I have been swamped at work and have upcoming deadlines. Plus there are also a ton of work that needs to be done in our other home before tenants move in. Some things have been accomplished in the new home though. Our garage floor is awesome (Armorseal is great)  and so is the silent garage door opener that hubby installed.
First coat

Some good stuff

Blinds have been installed throughout the house. Hubby also installed a ceiling fan in our master bedroom. (Our master bedroom is still filled with boxes so no pics to show yet). I bought this two-blade fan from Lowe's.

Choosing ceiling fans has been a dilemma for us that's why we only have one installed so far. We paid for some ceiling fan rough-ins, each was $100 more than the light rough-in, so that we could have separate switches for fan and for light. However, all the ceiling fans that we like already come with remotes and only need one switch in the wall, thus the fan switch that we paid for will be useless. We would like to be able to control the fan and the light separately from the wall. Sure there's a way to do it but we could have just added light rough-in and provided a sturdier bracket (easy to do).  For those still choosing your options, that might be able to save you money.

We also have under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen.

And we have already installed an island!
Island planning

LOL! Just kidding :) Husband put together these boxes with the dimensions that we would like for an island. I have to get used to the space and make sure it's the kind I want before we build it. A big part of the reason we did not go for the Ryan Homes gourmet island is that we did not like the shape and it's just so overpowering. The other (non-gourmet) island on the other hand seems very small. I have a nice good-sized kitchen island in my previous home and I want something similar to that. So we will probably build a 54" square island something like this (but more modern looking):

This is not my photo and I just saved it from the web. I acknowledge whoever this pic belongs to :) Thanks
I already got a quote from the Timberlake cabinets distributor in our area. I would love to get a contrasting color of island cabinets, so I might get the dark Java or Espresso of the same Sonoma shaker design and then put white quartz countertop. But then I change my mind sometimes and think that I should stick with the same white cabinets but with a butcher block countertop. Your thoughts?

Basement update: Our sump pump and Zoeller pump have been replaced by brand new ones (we insisted). Problem is not totally gone though. I called PM when the sump pump was making loud noises, sounded like pebbles grinding. When he got to our house, the loud noise stopped. I showed him the video but he couldn't say what was wrong with it but he's confident that the pump is working well. Anyway, it rained yesterday and I'm happy to say that our basement stayed dry. However, there was water in the exit stairwell drain, which tells us that there's a clog somewhere in the line (draintiles) going to the sump pump.

Flooded drain

Oh, and hubby was in the attic last weekend and he noticed that some parts of the attic have less than the required 14" spray insulation. I have mentioned this to PM and he said that he's going to take care of it.
10" insulation

Well, I could say that PM is really working hard to address the issues in our house. We are still waiting for other things to be fixed but so far he has done a good job. He also gave us a nice little surprise. Remember our safety railings in the morning room?

It's now gone. Well, we asked for a simple walkout (like the garage steps) so that we could access the backyard from the morning room. But instead he gave us this:

Not quite a full deck but enough space for a few chairs and small table and has steps down to the yard. This would do until we build a much bigger deck in the future. Thank you PM for this :)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

House pics after closing

Sorry for the late post, these are photos that we took after our closing on June 24th. After closing, we have epoxied the garage floors, sealed shower tiles and installed blinds. We are in the midst of moving and will have more pics to post soon.


hall bath shower/tub combo

hall bath vanity

laundry room

looking from laundry room

huge bonus room

in the master bedroom looking at master bath and  hallway

door to closet and water closet (right)

master bath shower

bathroom fixture

We asked that master closet shelves be left uninstalled

dining room

powder room and mudroom opening


great room

kitchen showing morning room

kitchen showing pantry (left) and door to basement

cooktop and hood


Our vehicles could fit in our 3-car garage. LOL!

Mudroom looking out the foyer

First install

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Above fridge cabinet

This post is for Kimmie (and for those interested) . Here's what our PM did with our above-fridge cabinet. He built a bump out from the wall with 2x4s and drywalled it so he could attach the cabinet on the back.


We were scheduled to close yesterday (Tuesday) at 1pm but did not actually sign the paperwork until around 5pm.  NVR settlement were supposed to give me the HUD 4 days before closing but I did not get a preliminary HUD until the night before closing. Of course, I lost sleep scrutinizing it and found some numbers that had to be adjusted. The morning of closing day comprised of endless back and forth emails between lender, settlement company, builder and me.  We had to sign a Ryan homes addendum at the last minute. Anyway, glad that's over :)

Well, technically still not over. We headed to the home after closing and guess what, problem with the sump pump :( PM should be checking it right now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Update: 6 days from closing (No excitement here)

This photo above perfectly depicts what I feel right now, 6 days from closing. Like there's a big storm cloud hovering over my head. Sorry to be such a damper, I really want to feel excited as we approach closing, but I am just not. At least not totally.

I really do like this photo taken by hubby but that storm caused major panic in my part. Due to lack of proper grading and electricity to power the sump pump, water flooded the stairwell and made its way to the basement. I freaked out (still am) and would like to be assured that our basement won't be flooded in the future. I am not comfortable closing until after a major downpour and the basement remains completely dry, not a single drop of water. Am I being unreasonable?

In other news...
I mentioned in my previous post that half of our driveway had to be torn apart. This happened because they forgot to run electrical wires under it. Good things resulted from this: we got a slighty wider driveway and we were able to run a PVC conduit (for cable lines) under the newly poured concrete.

Half driveway

New driveway

In my other previous post here, I mentioned the tube (water line) sticking out in the middle of the floor of a future finished space in the basement. PM told me that they will dig a trench and pull the line and make it flush to the wall so that the protrusion will be the same as the one in the Palermo model.

Model home basement. Not a very good pic but see the protrusion on the right wall.

Water line sticking out 19 inches from the concrete wall

Yes, they pulled the line, but not all the way. Not happy about this. If you look at the model pic, the bumpout is around 6 inches and ours is about 19 inches, and that's not even including the thickness of the 2x4s and drywall to be used when finishing the wall.

On a brighter note...
I stopped by earlier today and the house is looking great. They are just putting the finishing touches and cleaning crew was also there.  Landscaping has been done and sod is ready to go down. I do not have many interior pictures because the inside was still a mess. PM is working overtime to have the house ready for the Ryan Homes quality inspection tomorrow. We are supposed to have the pre-settlement walkthrough on Friday but PM is requesting to move it to Monday. Then we close on Tuesday.

Here are some exterior pictures taken this week:

We have a willow oak tree in front. This tree will be huuuuge! We might replace it with something else.

Black front door

Side garage with lights on

Some interior pictures taken this week:

GE cooktop on black slate formica

Kitchen mess

Stained balusters and carpeted stairs

Hope to write an update again soon. I'll take more pictures next time. Also, hopefully this apprehension will turn into excitement soon!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Twelve days from closing and appraisal

This home building process is really testing my patience. We never seem to run out of issues in the house. I don't want this blog to be all about my rants so I don't post all of them here. But there are so many! Some minor but a few major ones. Our walls have holes in them because fixtures are not centered, not leveled, incorrent placement of vents, there's a door where it's not supposed to be, etc. One of the major ones is that half of our driveway had to be torn apart and repoured next week. Our presettlement walkthrough is scheduled next Friday June 20th and closing on the 24th. Our new PM is working hard to address the issues and have the house ready by then.

On a brighter note, our appraisal came back to be higher than what we paid for so that's good.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Update with Exterior pics

First of all, we have a new PM since about 3 days ago. They said our first PM is really busy overseeing so many constructions and cannot devote his full attention to all the details in our home, I guess especially with all the questions and issues we have. (Or maybe he just thinks we are a pain-in-the... ). The new PM said that he will take care of the issues we have raised in my previous post and others that didn't make it to the post. So we will wait for these things to be addressed.

Anyway, some other major things have happened this week. Our house is now covered in vinyl sidings, in fact way too many sidings that an area supposed to be brick was also covered with vinyl sidings. Of course, that will be fixed too. The driveway has been poured, all the shutters and trims were installed. Doors have been painted black, the front brick steps have also been installed. The interior of the home has been painted, all doors have been painted, flooring (except carpet) laid down, cable/phone jacks were installed, balusters are in. All the bathroom vanities and mirrors have been installed and showers have been tiled. The kitchen cabinets were also installed but they took them apart so that they could fix the leaning bar wall mentioned in my previous post.

Here are some pics. I was only able to take pictures of the exterior of the home, forgot to take pics when we were inside.  'Til my next update.