Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ahhhhh... I am finally sitting down!

It has been a whirlwind these past three weeks! We closed on a Wednesday, had painters here on Thursday, movers and phone/internet on Friday, satellite/couches/unpacking on Saturday...Trying to find all our kitchen necessities (I was determined to cook a meal in our new house on Sunday), unpack, unpack, unpack....OH, and it's almost Christmas so I definitely needed to shop and decorate for that. You get the picture, it's been busy.
Here is a little of what we've been doing since we moved in....

We still are looking for the "just right" comforter so his twin one is working for now.

Our entry! I love the color! It looks so different in the daylight vs. night.
Dan putting his handywork to use in one of the storage rooms. I love having a home for all the decorations.
Below are the shelves in the garage. He just finished those last night. We will hopefully get organized enough that I can park in the garage...don't hold your breath, I'm not!
Remember waaay back when we wrote bible verses on the door jams and floor? Well my sweet dad printed off those pics, framed them, and mailed them to me. I LOVE IT! The plan is to hang next to the doors but we haven't gotten that far yet.

Our bedroom furniture..We decided against the more rustic set that we originally bought and got this beautiful set instead. The painter is coming back tomorrow to paint our room and the media room so I will add more pics once that's all done.

Speaking of media room....we got those sconces on clearance and put wireless puck lights from Costco in them. They come in packs of 6 and have a remote control with two brighness settings. It is a perfect way to have just a little light to manuever around and can turn off before we start the movie. These walls are getting painted a dark gray tomorrow.
Our new couch...IT IS SO COMFY! It's called the Collins from LaZboy and we picked Pewter fabric.

Our kitchen in complete disarray. Notice the "bargain" bar stools we scored..Yeah, they are too short:) Hahaha, They will work for now.
 I hate how I can't get a good angle in our room so show you the size. It's much larger than it looks.
My bath...I have waited 8 years to have a big tub again.
And finally....decorating the tree. It used to barely fit in our old living it looks fun size!
I will try to update more after Christmas. I pray that every one of you get to spend the Christmas season with those you love.
Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We CLOSED Today!!!

It took exactly 84 days from a hole in the ground to keys in our hands (pretty impressive really). We got the call at 12:30pm that the funds were transferred and the home was ours. So, of course I headed over as soon as I could (an hour later) and the local phone company was already there hooking up our phone and Internet. Yay!

Our PM and handy man were there doing last minute detail work. But I wasted no time slapping up some sample strips of paint colors to make sure they looked how I wanted in each room. Tomorrow the painter comes to paint the kids rooms, entry, and great room.
These are the two colors I'm deciding on for around fireplace. It was already dark out so it's hard to tell but kids like the darker "pavestone" color. I keep thinking the lighter "amazing gray" will let the fireplace pop. Thoughts? I'll see how it looks in the morning light.
While the painter does his thing, I will be painting the office and sealing granite and grout. Should be a fun day hanging out in our HOME!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gift for PM ideas please

Ok, my husband and I want to get our PM a nice gift for all his hard work, and frankly, for putting up with me....Trust me, he deserves an award for that!
We have been brainstorming ideas from gift certificates for dinner for he and his wife to GC for hardware store. We even thought about tics for Cleveland Browns game but we don't know if he likes football. We haven't come up with one that feels right.
So, I would love some ideas from fellow RH bloggers.


Walk through: CHECK Sign paperwork: CHECK....We just need those keys!

Oh my gosh!!!! I am crawling out of my skin with excitement! I just want tomorrow afternoon to come NOW! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks....I can't help it!)
The front without all the debris. Unfortunately, it's too late to get a yard put in or our driveway and sidewalk so we have to wait until spring. 

Yesterday was a big day. We had to go to the bank and get that big downpayment certified check. Goodbye money!
Then to the house for our final walk through. That was a great experience. It took 3 hours and our PM showed us ALL about our home. He showed us how to turn off the water from every faucet, the mainline and the hose lines. They actually have locations inside the house to access the hose lines so we can shut them off during the winter. I did not know this but I like it. We were also given a very thick notebook with all the details, warranties, and recommendations for our home. It will be nice to have all that info in one location.
 As we walked the house, our PM had a notepad and any tiny flaw that he saw, he wrote it down so they can fix it by Wednesday. By the time we were done, there were 27 items on his list. He was incredibly picky, which I like, so if there was a tiny scuff mark on a wall, he wrote it down to make sure it got touched up. Most everything was just minor. The only major issue was the half moon shaped window that is up above all the other windows in the morning room. There is water inside that window (Dan and I did not even see it, our PM did) so he is getting that replaced.
Older photo but that top window is the problem. No big deal, they are replacing it.

It may not be done by Wednesday, but it will be done as soon as he gets the window. Oh, and because we have the cottage elevation, the windows only have the one longer strip down the middle (not the 6 or 9 panel look), they are having a hard time replacing the front window that is cracked. Our PM said he may have to go to another county to get one, but it will get done.

On Sunday, we went by the house to check on it and the 'handy man' was there, touching up paint and cleaning. He must have stayed all day because when we walked in this morning, it was totally shiny and ready for me to move in!!! I so appreciate his hard work.  I am excited to show you our kitchen. It turned out so great. I took a walk through video of the whole house but it's 6 minutes long so it won't let me insert it here...hmmmm... I may have to make it a youtube video and insert the link. Not sure about that though.
Here are some pics in the meantime.

I forgot to take a close up of the granite but it looks beautiful. Most people seem to choose the Venetian color (which is beautiful, my mom has it) but I love gray tones so I want with Pearl Gray (but we found out from the granite company that they call it New Caldonia). RH should probably change that name on their end.
Here is a pic off the internet.

 I think the colors from the fireplace and kitchen are a nice combo.
Also, we found hardware for our cabinets and will probably get those installed next week sometime. I think that will make a huge difference in the look of the kitchen. They are also stainless, so it should complement the appliances and counters nicely.
I counted 41 cabinets total so that's alot of hardware!!!
We get the keys tomorrow. Today I am purchasing concrete sealer so we can seal the garage floor Wednesday night (weather permitting), before we fill it with crap our beautiful things:) The painter comes on Thursday to paint the bedrooms before furniture arrives on Friday.
Oh, and we were issued our new home number yesterday by the phone company....for some reason, that really got me excited!!!
Chat later, gotta go pack this apartment up!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Keys in 3 days!!!

I can't believe we are finally at the end of this home building journey. We do our final walk through and sign paperwork tomorrow. We get our keys in Wednesday. Movers arrive Friday!!
I'm not sure if Dan and I are more excited about having a big kitchen or having our mattress back. We sure have missed that thing!

Today we went by so I could see our granite (home from California) and our "handy man" was there touching up paint, patching and sanding spots that weren't perfect, and adjusting doors. He said he wanted to have it looking perfect before our walkthrough. The handy man is basically the guy who is in charge of the final touches on each house. He has a long punch list and goes through everything, adjusting, replacing, repairing, whatever needs to be done.
We asked him about installing the cabinet hardware and he said he could do it after a price I can't complain about, especially because he already has the proper tool to do this and the knowledge to do it quickly. He also said he installs ceiling fans, lights, etc. So, RH bloggers, ask your "handy man" about what he/she can do after you close. The price may be just right!

Oh, and I LOVE my granite! I do not have a pic tonight...forgot my phone but tomorrow I plan on taking video and pics to give a virtual long as most of the clean up is done. If not, I will do it on Wednesday.

One final note regarding appliances through RH....DO NOT pay the upgrade fee for the stainless. I really wish that we did not do this. I am underwhelmed by the appliances that we have. The fridge is not all stainless, it has black sides, the dishwasher feels cheap, and the stove basically only has a stainless door and a panel on the top. Otherwise, it's black. I'm sure they will cook, clean, and store everything just fine but for the price, I wish we would have taken the standard and sold them on Craigslist, then bought what we wanted. From the beginning, my gut told me to do this but my husband didn't want to deal with selling stuff and replacing so I gave in. Next time, I will go with my gut.

Update on bathroom tile: Because the edge tiles do not have the same undertone, RH has offered to replace all of the tiles after we close or cut us a check for the cost. It's up to us. Either way, I am satisfied with their resolution. But it will be settled after Wednesday so it doesn't delay our closing.

Oh my gosh! I can't wait for tomorrow....and Wednesday....and Friday (when we can actually sleep in our new home)!!!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Bathroom Tile: Advice please

At this point, I am a bit disappointed with our options with the tile issue in our master bathroom. Our PM and the flooring manager both agree that the edging tiles have a different undertone than the main parts of the tile. They ordered about 30 new ones but they too are the same reddish undertone. Here is the problem, when the lights are on in the bathroom, the difference is not noticeable but as soon as the lights are turned off, you can see the difference. Our PM called last night to ask me what I wanted to do about it. I think he wants me to say that it's all fine but we spend $1195 on that upgrade and I just can't swallow that cost, knowing it doesn't match. If we tell them to rip out the tile and pick a new one, we will not close on time so that is not an option. We close in 8 days! I asked about getting a credit for the tile but our PM said he will have to ask his manager about that. I don't love this resolution because it still doesn't get us matching tile but at this point, I just don't know what to do.
PLEASE, any suggestions?

We've been blue taped! Warning: lots of photos

I have so much floating around in my brain that I don't know where to begin. So, my awesome husband bought me a ticket to California so I could be with my family for Thanksgiving. Let's just say that there may have been a minor melt down (depends on your definition of minor) right after we sold our Illinois home and he knew I needed a dose of mom and dad. He's a good man! So right now I am enjoying 70+ weather for a few days before we get the keys to our house and crazy begins. The problem is that my body thinks I'm on Ohio time and I woke up at 4:40 this's the price I pay so I will take it.
Ok, Ok, I'll move on to the THE HOUSE!
We are down to the nitty gritty now. Once the blue tape hits the walls, you know you are getting close. I met the "handy man" last week and he said he goes through every inch of the house, marking any imperfection in blue tape. The last week is spent having all the contractors come back through fixing stuff. So in all the pics, you will see blue tape but it's a good thing. ..
The next time I see the house, we will be doing our Pre-settlement walk through (which is on Monday). We get the keys on Wednesday. How is it that the time has gone so slow yet flown by all at the same time?

The house has carpet!
Kayt is enjoying her soft, comfy floor. She says she may just sleep on the floor...So I guess I get to return her new bed we bought her.....Yay for us!
 Leland laying on our master bedroom floor. He was trying to make snow angels. Lol. It kind of worked, with the new carpet fluff.
Our least favorite thing about this floor plan is this bathroom. This is between the kids rooms so they will have to share it and according to my 14 year old, that counter is NOT enough room! I admit that she is right. We tried to get them to extend this out but RH does not offer an extension on this side of the house. According to RH, this one-story floor plan has such a huge footprint (2100 sq ft on one level) and it is 50+feet wide so that they cannot always fit this plan in some communities. They don't want to extend the side of the house anymore because it would make it even harder to fit on many lots. Our lot would have been able to handle it but they won't offer that option. When I get my handy dandy survey, you can bet I am going to address this.
 Basement carpet....I LOVE this color. It's perfect for the basement.
Upstairs carpet: Great carpet for the bedrooms but I am not sure I love it in the great room. For fellow RH bloggers, these are level 3 upgrade carpets with 8 lb upgrade pad. The bottom is called Sand Swept. I can't remember the top color right now but if anyone is interested, I will look it up when I get home. For some reason, the top is softer and more plush, even though they were supposed to be the same type. The upstairs just doesn't feel as thick. But it will be fine for now.
Our Rapid Recovery water heater. In order for RH to get the Energy Star rating, they have to have specific types of water heaters (according to our PM) and this one supposedly only costs $260 a year to run....My concern is if it can handle the size of the big bathtub I plan on using regularly. PM says that the rapid recovery means it heats water quickly. I will let you know how true that is!
This is supposed to be our "laundry room". We decided to add additional laundry hook ups in the basement and use this room as a mud/school bag/winter coat room. With the right storage set up (we have some research to do on this), this room will function perfectly as the after school, winter wear drop spot. Of course, it would be awesome to have our laundry room on the main level but having two hook ups gives us the option to move it upstairs in a few years if we want. Notice the big, dedicated electric dryer outlet on the right side?
Well they forgot to put that in the basement. I noticed this on Sunday afternoon. But no worried, Dan called our PM and he said they would get that in before we close. A small oversight.....glad I caught it now instead of when the delivery guys were here trying to install the dryer.
Speaking of basement, someone left us a nice gift......
I sure hope it's not what I think it is...but I think it is! SO GROSS!!!
 I really love the windows. They are 6 feet tall all along the back of the house and the cottage elevation has this picture window look, as opposed to the 9 grate window look. And the grates are in the window so you don't have to clean between the grates (our Eham home had grates on the outside and it was a major pain to clean). This makes me SO happy!
For RH bloggers, someone posted about how the windows are only single hung...and you are correct. Only the bottom part moves. That is a bummer because you can tilt the bottom part in to clean the outside of it, but not the top part of the window. For our one-story, not a major deal, but for all the two-story owners, this will be a problem. Maybe if enough of us complain about this, they will consider double hung windows.
Stairs down to the basement. Did I mention how much I love my railing?
LOL! Superman is currently playing in our media room!
Master bathtub fixtures. They are so pretty.

These next photos were taken by Dan yesterday.  He stopped by midday to check everything out since he's been hunting for 10 days. They painted our front door. I think it's beautiful.
The granite was being installed as he was there. I can't wait to see this in person! I've been imagining how it was going to look for 3 months now. Oh, and I guess the appliances were going in too. I am excited to pick out a backsplash and hardware to finish off the details.
Dan said they had the fireplace going. They told him that they run it all day to burn off the new smell. Good idea! Dan said it was really toasty warm in the great room.
Our PM said they will be doing the initial grading today and getting the enormous pile of dirt off our lot. Unfortunately, he also told us that they will not be able to pour our driveway until spring. I could write a whole post about this...not sure if I want to. Maybe I will.
I will update on bathroom tile later. I am supposed to hear back later today on that issue.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Update on Guardian and Tile issues

Starting off with good stuff!

I really like our carriage lights. The camear didn't pic it up, but there are some suble details in the glass that are pretty.
Oh, and they prepped the floor today for carpet tomorrow! I went in tonight and walked the entire floor again to make sure the squeaks were gone and they were. Yay!

I heard from NVR yesterday. Actually, my rep has been out of town these past few days but her boss has called me on his way home from work to update me on the Guardian issue. He said that they are trying to get us homeowners "grandfathered in" who already had contracts signed before the new policy took affect. He says they are waiting to hear back from underwriting by tomorrow. If they do not accept this than RH and Guardian will have to do something to eliminate us paying this cost out of pocket. Most likely they will lower the cost of the home to reflect the cost without the "walk away" items and either RH or Guardian or both eat the cost. I will definitely keep you posted.
Of course, just when I think I am impressed with communication, I get a phone call today from our SR telling me that we need to come in and sign a change order form to state that the Guardian items are not being rolled into our mortgage, except he has not heard from NVR, he just assumed that we were going to pay this all out of pocket. Well I'm not signing anything until I have an answer from NVR in writing!
As for the master bath tile, Rite Rug has ordered more tile and we (Rite rug mgr, our PM and me) will meet at the house tomorrow to see if it matches. I have no idea what will happen after that but, again, I will let you know. My biggest concern is that one of these two issues will hold up our settlement, which would really be bad because we have to move out of this apartment by the end of the month.

I really have been impressed with our PM, minus one frustrating day, and I appreciate how quickly he responds to my concerns. Last night when he called to update me regarding the tile, I told him a few cabinets had been dinged by the painters and he said he would go over first thing in the morning to look and order new doors if necessary.... Below is a pic of one of the cabinets. I think a new one will need to be ordered.  He had no problem with taking care of it.
I meet with our PM tomorrow afternoon regarding the tile. I will be taking more pics (big surprise) now that lighting is in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Winter warm up!

It is hard to believe that only 70 days ago RH dug a hole for our basement. Fast forward to today and we are picking out paint colors and calling cable/satellite companies for pricing.Two weeks left and we have the KEYS!
I stopped by the house this morning and was SO excited to see the fireplace done!!! This was the major selling point for Dan and me because we love having a fire going during the winter. Of course, we may change our mind after the first utility bill comes.  We really wish it was wood burning but I am a little excited to not have to clean up ashes anymore.
The stones were still drying but I had to sit and enjoy for a minute! I just love it!!!!!! Our ceilings are 10 ft high so I think it's a beautiful focal point. I can't wait to paint and get our new comfy couch in here:)

And they stained our railing. It am very pleased with the color but they left a huge mess on the wall. A family friend asked me to double check that the railings were at least 4in apart for child safety purposes (GREAT advice and I did check). They are just over 3 inches so hopefully no little heads will squeeze through that. Besides the mess, the railing is a bit loose so I will have to have them tighten those up before we move in.
 And a couple pics of us creating our own art for our home.
 What our family believes....
Kayt isn't done with hers yet but they are looking good so far! I have another three or four panel piece in my head that I want to do (thank you Pinterest) but I may wait until we are moved in to make sure I get the right sizes.