Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Update: Basement walls and bath rough-in

It's been more than a week since my last post so this update has been long overdue. Here are some photos of last week's progress (April 19-26):

April 19th
Foundation walls. Styrofoam were used to leave space for bricks.

Basement stairwell exit

Basement window

Missing a basement window here.

April 21

Yay the window appeared! Plus spray-on material and 1" geofabric wrap for dampproofing.

Black corrugated pipes (draintiles) also for dampproofing

Garage is partially filled with dirt

April 22nd

Basement is now buried!

Savannah Moss bricks have arrived.

April 24th
Brick return side garage

Front stoop
 April 25th
Plumber testing the sewer ejection system. The other one is the sump pump.

April 26th
Hubby getting exact measurements of pipe locations before concrete is poured.
More plumbing pics

3-pc bath rough in (L-R: sink, toilet and tub)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Update: Basement/Foundation Walls

Heavy rain on Tuesday (April 15th) put construction to a bit of a standstill as the workers spent most of Wednesday pumping water out from the swimming pool (aka basement hole). Despite that, the builders were still able to make great progress.

On Thursday afternoon, PS sent me a pic of the crew forming the basement/foundation walls. These are 10" thick concrete walls which sit directly on the footer - which is designed to distribute the weight over the home over a larger area. Once the forms pass the county inspection they will pour the concrete, wait for it to dry, and then strip the forms.

Checked the county website Friday morning and sure enough, our address is on the scheduled inspection for the day. By the Friday afternoon, PS sent me another email that after they finished setting the walls Thursday, a county inspector came by and approved the foundation projection (a fancy word for the concrete forms). Then the concrete contractor came by and filled the forms with concrete. Wow that was fast!

After about 24 hours the contract pour will strip the forms and once this is done they will begin installing the water and sewer along with water proofing our home.

So we might be able to witness all these actions when we go to the site today (Saturday). I may not see our PS there because he will only be there for a few hours and he doesn't typically work on weekends, but I wish to give him a shoutout and tell him that I have been pleased (so far) and grateful for the daily updates!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Update: Footers now in place

They have started forming the footers. After the footer form is inspected by the county to make sure
it meets and exceeds the county requirements, they will fill it with concrete and strip away the forms.

Next week after the forms are stripped they will begin to form and pour the walls.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Permit approval and basement digging

We received an email last Friday (April 4th) from our Project Supervisor (assists the PM) that our building permit has been approved. Yay! We drove by Monday night (April 7th) and saw the approved county permit displayed on our lot.

Approved county permits

Checked the county site and permit is now active (from plan review status), approved FOR FOUNDATION ONLY.  So I guess after building the foundation, there will be another inspection, and another permit approval will be sought.

We took some more pictures as we drove around the neighborhood, which won't stay like this for long as Ryan sold more lots in the new phase.

Driving around

Future common area for lake access

Rear view of houses on our street

The Springhaven to the left of our lot. So much progress! There was nothing on this lot two weeks ago.



The PS also agreed to email us a picture of the daily progress in our lot. That's great since we won't be able to visit the site very often. They started digging for the basement today (Wed, April 9th) and anticipate finishing the excavation by tomorrow. Here's the pic for today:

Basement excavation

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Waiting for Building Permit

It's April 1st already and we yet have to start digging. Groundbreaking was supposed to be yesterday but I have not heard from our PM, so I checked the status of our construction permit from the county's website and found out that they are still reviewing the building plan. I am new to the home construction process (pardon my ignorance) so I was actually surprised by the plethora of information I could get from the county's website showing construction permits that have been completed or are still pending for our and our neighbors' houses that have been built or are still being built.

First, I found out that our house is going to be 4856 sqft big (including the unfinished basement). Yes, I am now just realizing that lol. We want more space and I know we are getting a bigger house but I personally did not think it's gonna be that big. We opted for the Palermo which is one of the smaller floor plans (if not the smallest) in our community. I just did not realize that the extra 1st floor  bedroom, bonus room and morning room would add that much to the house size. That is huge and there are only three of us. What are we gonna do with all the space? Who's going to do all the cleaning? :)

From the website, I also looked up information such as home size, no of rooms, lot dimensions, yard size, interior, options (fireplace, decks, porch, etc) and estimated value of all the houses in our development. Interestingly, if you add the estimated value of our house plus the land value, their total will be about $56,000 less than the purchase price that we are paying Ryan. Does that mean Ryan profits $56,000 from our house? I assume their profit is more than that probably because the actual cost of construction is way lower than the estimated value of our house. I just wish our appraisal will come out higher than the purchase price. 

More important, I found out from the county website that there is an inspection at every step of the home construction process. I'm sure this is common knowledge to everyone but it's totally new to me so I'm excited about that. The county inspects almost everything including:
Concrete Encased Electrode (what is this?)
Fire Plan

The website also shows the different subcontractors that Ryan uses for plumbing, electrical, gas, fireplaces, heating and air, etc. I also see A LOT of "Rejections" after the county performs its inspection and Ryan homes had to correct the mistakes before being approved. For example the Ravenna across our lot had its foundation rejected after inspection due to the following reason: R318 HDG nails for all toe nailing into pressure treated wood. The electrical has been rejected too and the reason was: Painting. Huh? (Painting over an outlet?)

I don't necessarily know what those reasons for rejection mean, but it's comforting to know that the county has somewhat a "strict" standard for inspections. This eased my worries a bit and made me feel a little less anxious of the construction process and the nightmares that's been going on in my head (I have been reading about ryan homes nightmares). I am still leaning towards getting a 3rd party inspector before drywall and right before closing but of course it can get expensive. Did any of you hire your own inspector?