Friday, October 26, 2012

Stone relief!

I have been pretty worried about the stone we chose. There is only one house in the whole subdivision with the Aspen stone and I wasn't loving it with the siding and shutters they had. It seemed so washed out and peachy. Our SR kept telling me it will look great with my choices but I have been skeptical. I really wanted a light gray siding since our house is one-story. I thought a dark siding would make it seem small. So, we chose Silver Mist and Aspen  was the only stone option available with that siding.
Yesterday, I went to bring more bribery, I mean treats, and to my surprise, the stone guys were hard at work. The stone was still wet, which makes it look darker. Personally, I loved it and wished it would stay that color but I know it will lighten. Today I went by and they had finished up.
Here is the front with the beginnings of our columns....Imagine the front door Black Bean, not dirty off white.
I really like the combo now! I hope it doesn't lighten up too much more.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

There's something about drywall...


Picnic "dinner" in our morning room.... Of course the teenager thought we were crazy but I don't care. When Dan and I built our first home (way back in 97), he surprised me with a picnic in our drywalled kitchen. I say, it's never too soon to start making memories!
Drywall just makes it feel real! I can visualize us living here, our furniture, paint colors, etc. I finally really feel excited about our home. Luckily, only 5 weeks left until its done! Doesn't that seem crazy?
I asked the kids to find a bible verse (idea from fellow blogger and I loved it) that they wanted to write on the door jam of their rooms and they both did a great job picking one that was perfect for them. Daughter chose a beautiful, well thought out verse (a deep thinking young lady):

And our son chose his.... Which he wrote next to the light switch. (our jokester child):


As for Dan and I: What I hope our home always brings us....peace always.

We've been stoned!!!!
 Just a few pics of our drywall progress.
Our kitchen. See all the recessed lighting. I love it! The small door in the corner will be pantry #1. That whole back wall will be cabinets and the fridge.
View from our front door. To the right will be the beautiful metal ballisters leading to the open basement. To the left on the back wall will eventually be our stone fireplace.
Morning room and kitchen. See the opening for the second pantry? I'm not sure exactly what we are going to fit through that door but this pantry got added when we added the morning room. The funny thing is, it goes 10ft high in there. I mean, really? How am I going to reach that! I better keep a ladder handy. Maybe a good hiding spot....hmmmmmm.

I think Dan is going to love the 10 ft ceilings. He "fits" in this house....except for the shower head. I really wish I thought to ask them to raise that before they installed it. Darn it!
All in all,things are coming along. This week should just be finishing the mudding of walls. I brought more cookie treats yesterday to feed the hard workers. The city inspector was there. He said everything looked good, except for some bracing bracket in the garage. He was waiting for them to add that before he passed the garage. Side note: he did not take a cookie.

Today marks day 49 since they dug our hole.  We should close in 35 days. I am getting nervous about that though since the week before is Thanksgiving and I'm sure noone will work that Thursday or Friday (which is fine)  and our walkthrough is scheduled for Monday Nov. 26th at 10am. Mostly worried that NVR mortgage will drop the ball. And, I was proactive and called the title company to set our date and time to sign docs. I'm not taking any chances!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A confirmed closing date!!

YAY! We got a letter in the mail last week (before our pre-drywall meeting actually) telling us our pre-settlement walk through is set for November 26th and our closing date is November 28th!! We confirmed those dates with our PM and they are correct!!! (so far).
This past week the siding was completed (all in one day, actually) and the garage door was installed. The stone has not been put on yet, which I really hope helps tie in the siding and shake color combo because I am getting nervous about the contrast. We used Silver Mist siding and Canyon shake. The shutter and door are chocolate brown. Also, they still need to add the 2 stone colums on the porch. I am not sure when that happens.

In our house, our son's bedroom wall backs up to the great room and Ryan homes does not do interior sound barrier insulation. At our pre-drywall meeting, we discussed this with our PM. The insulation crew was actually there at that time and we talked about adding some. Our PM could not approve this but we did find out what to use and the evening before the drywall started, we went in and hung some soundproofing insulation ourselves. We went back Sunday and apparently it was not brought to our PM's attention because the drywall was hung! Pic below: wall on the left is son's room and this is the great room. We didn't want him to be too disturbed by talking and television.
It's our home and we knew we would regret it so we went for it. We had extra so we did the same thing to the theater room in basement.

Speaking of drywall, I cannot believe how quickly they throw those boards up. Literally almost then entire main floor was done on Saturday. Check out our trey ceiling in our master bedroom. Pics make the room look alot smaller but it is 17x14. Plenty big for us.

So, now we are in furniture buying mode and it is stressful. We decided to get both the kids full size beds for their new rooms. The teenage years are upon us and with their apparent height (thanks to Dan), we figured a little extra room would be nice.Also, Dan and I have never bought a "bedroom set", we just had things that we bought over the years that kind of matched. We (or decided it was time for a grown up set.  Over the weekend, we went to 5 or 6 furniture stores. Ideally, we would like to buy everything at the same store to eliminate varies delivery charges and maybe get a decent bundle deal.. Well, that is not easy to do. We did finally make a decision but, now I am really second guessing OUR furniture. The kids are fine but we decided on a less formal look because we are casual people and I thought this set looked sort of driftwood, beachy. At dinner afterwards, Dan and kids keep telling me it looks rustic and country...THAT IS NOT THE FEEL I WANTED! Opinions PLEASE....I am really thinking of changing my mind.

Hard to tell from the pics but it is a very well made, sturdy set.
The other set I really liked was a more modern, but classic look. See below:
Yes, that is storage under the bed.
Our other big dilemna is great room furniture. (I keep calling it great room because it is 22x19) and we are trying to figure out how to furnish this space. We realize now, and it's too late to change, that we made a BIG mistake by putting the fireplace on the back wall. We really wanted that to be a focal point and when you walk in, you will see it. We still love that BUT, now the furniture issue has made us realize we shot ourselves in the foot. GRRRRRRR!
So, now we either have to use the huge blank wall (see pic above regarding insulation)  for the tv and have floating furniture (which you will see when you open our front door) or we put the tv in the corner (see above pic) which may obstruct view from window a bit. If we did that, we could use Leland's wall part of a sectional and it would swing around but not be the first thing you see when you walk in. I know, it's hard to visualize but I want to make 2 points.
 1. Really think about furniture placement before making fireplace decision. We could have paid add'l money for cable to run behind fireplace but we are spending all that extra money for a stone fireplace that it seemed wrong to cover half of it with a tv.
 2. Walk through an actual model of your floorplan to get a visual. There was not one available for our model but they brought us to the home of an older couple that built this plan 5 or so years ago and we quickly walked through it (they were home, and very nice, but it was still weird). You can't really take measurements and linger when they have their TV program on pause, waiting for you to leave. Know what  I mean?
Anyway, we decided to not buy that furniture until we have actual carpet and can better visualize how that room will look all prettied up. That means, we probably will have an unfurnished living room for a few weeks but I think it's worth it.
Sorry for the long post.....I have lots going on in this brain and I needed to get it out. Now it's time to study for the Ohio Praxis test.....need to get certified to teach in this great state! 12 days to fill my brain with laws, dates, ages, IEP requirements, etc. etc. etc.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Neighbors make the hood

So relieved!!! We went for our pre drywall meeting today and I feel so much better about everything. Our PM was awesome! He has no issue with fixing the floor boards, changing a few things, and adding a couple outlets in places that I knew I would want them. But, most importantly, was the issue I am having with our "exercise room" in the basement. I will try to explain the best I can. Technically, they cannot call this a bedroom because there is no window in the room. We added an egress window for fire safety reasons but it is not in that room. I really want that room to have a second escape route if there is ever a fire, especially since the door to that room is next to the door that houses the electrical, furnace, sump pump stuff. Also, there is no closet in this exercise room". SO, here is my remedy: That room shares a wall with the basement stair case. We all know that space is great storage BUT, they are blocking it with drywall per house plans. Unfortunately, they cannot turn it into a closet. My idea is after the house closes, we add a door from the bedroom side into the stairway space, allowing for storage. In addition, cut another small access door on the other side of the wall, which leads to the large rec room and egress window. Visually, you would open the closet door (which will be under the stairwell) and then open a small access door to crawl out of that room. A friend of ours did this in their basement, and I think it is a great idea.So, we explained this to our PM and he is so cool because he had the framers frame in two full size doors so that after closing, we will just have to cut that drywall out and add the doors. Most importantly, I will have peace of mind! 
On to some great news...we met our neighbor who just moved in last week.....and they are very cool! Actually our PM told us that we were really going to like them, his term being "super nice kind of people". We spoke for well over an hour and the wife gave us the grand tour of their enourmous beautiful home. And my favorite part was that she had the whole house painted before they moved in. WOW!. Color just transforms these homes! I know they suggest waiting 10 months but after seeing how beautiful hers looked, I know I am not waiting. I will touch up the nail pops that arise but to me, it is just not worth waiting to put my touch on our home.
Lastly, I took the advise of other bloggers and took pics of every wall so we know where all the electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and security wires are located. That way, once the drywall is up, we won't have to guess where things are behind those walls.
Tomorrow: siding!!! YAY!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pre drywall meeting scheduled

OK, finally....a pre drywall meeting is scheduled!! It is tomorrow at 3:30pm. As you can guess, I have been making a list of questions and things to bring up but I would LOVE advice from readers on what to specifically look for. All the electrical, plumbing, security, surround sound, and HVAC wiring and materials are installed...but I have no idea what I'm looking at. Of course, my awesome husband will be there too but we are no specialists so advice is welcomed! As for my previous post regarding the subfloor, we WILL be addressing that tomorrow. Also, I scoured all of the basement walls for cracked board #709 and I did not see it anywhere. So, I am assuming they replaced it before installing the walls, but I will double check tomorrow.
On another note:
I think they are supposed to pour the garage concrete today. The siding has been delivered. Bathtubs are in.

AND WE ARE OFFICIALLY RESIDENTS OF OHIO (I couldn't commit until our IL home was packed)....

Monday, October 15, 2012

Some great memories built in this home...

This week was a tough one for me. We drove down to IL to officially move our things from our Amber Lane home....Our things may be gone but the memories we built in that home will live forever. Kayt was 6 when we moved there and Leland was 3 (almost 4). Now they are 14 and 11!!!!
We really had the BEST yard ever! Almost 2 acres of grass and trees and LOTS of fun....I stood on my front porch watching the moving truck roll up and instantly the tears started...and they pretty much kept coming all week.
I knew I needed to take some photos of our yard because we had so many great times there and our new home will have a VERY small yard. Of all the things I will miss about this house, the yard is by far the biggest.
We flew kites in this yard.  We pushed kids on swing sets here.

We hit pinata's from this tree. Leland climbed every tree he could in this yard. Endless hours of trampoline jumping with friends.... Kayt's friend who tried to impress her and jumped off our roof (only a minor injury, thank goodness). So many fire pit memories with friends and family....The Halloween Hay Rides where all the neighborhood kids would jump on and Trick or Treat. Oh, and let me not forget our annual Rib Cookoff. We had that for 7 years in a row and I looked forward to that all year long.
The kids and their friends would venture out in these trees and scavenger for things.

Leland taking one last walk through the woods in the backyard.
I really feel like this is the end of an era and although I know our new home will be beautiful, I just know that the neighborhood will be NOTHING like what we had on Amber Lane. It was special and I am so grateful for the years and memories.

I realize this is not a new home post but I just needed to take some time to appreciate what we had. So, if you saw a crazy woman driving yesterday from IL to Ohio, crying like a baby, that was me. Literally cried the first 4 hours of our 8 hour drive.... I am a great multitasker!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's going to be a loooong week...

Today is Monday and I am blogging about my house today because I won't be visiting it for almost a week!! I know, right?  How will I function?
BUT, the good news is that we will officially be closing on our IL house. Luckily, we have movers coming to pack the house, down to the silverware, and loading it into their truck. Such a blessing to have this perk! All I have to do is clean up after the crew to make the house "broom ready". I can do that!
Back to the new house. We are expecting big changes when we get back next week. The PM says we will likely have our pre-drywall meeting next Monday or Tuesday. He will know better toward the end of the week. We are seriously contemplating hiring an independent inspector to also come look at the house before they start closing up all the electrical and plumbing. THoughts????

Went by on Saturday and the stone for the front of the house has arrived. I am really not feeling it and it is worrying me. The color looks a bit peachy in the box. Granted, I only saw about 8 pieces but from those 8, they didn't scream beautiful. Supposedly Ryan Homes has these amazing designers that choose the stone choices that compliment the siding so they better be right because Mama will not keep her mouth shut if it is ugly.

Last week I posted about how they opened the front window and cut a hole in the floor to concrete the basement. Well, here is the remnants of that. We will be asking them to replace that whole board because when you walk on the patched part, it fast forward 6 months and now a squeaky floor. No thank you. Although, that will be my daughters room so I could detect any midnight sneaky manuevers...hmmmm. I'm sure she will never do that!
As for the basement..... It's still huge and I am so excited!
As you come down the stairs and turn right, this will be the rec area and in the far back, the media room. I am VERY pleased with the natural light coming in from the egress window and the other windows. But, my son tells me that the far window will have to be blacked out for the media room effect to work....He's 11, he knows best. LOL.

Future guest room. It will be finished.
Our home on paper. This is taped to the back door with every option and spec necessary for the subcontractors and PM to refer to...
Tonight I went down to the basement and it looks like one of the basement walls that are currently suspended from the ceiling caused this huge crack. I will be following up to ensure that they replaced this whole board. I also took a pic of the number written on it so I can double check.
And the last thing that was done today was duct work.  All the floor vents are cut out and duct work is meandering throughout the basement and walls. Yay!
I know I really need these next 6 days away because I'm sure the work crew and PM  are tired of the white Acadia cruising by every day. In fact, our PM made a joking comment (but there is some truth to every joke, right?) about seeing my car daily......ummm. I got nothin. He IS right!
So, til next week...... say your prayers and make good choices.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The roof, The roof, The on our house!

Well the darn rain just keeps coming. The news said the the Cleveland area had one of the wettest September's in history with 7.6 inches of rain.....Of course, that is when we build a house. That being said, I am impressed with the nonstop efforts of the Ryan Home's work crews. They literally work rain or shine (and I hear snow too but we BETTER NOT have to worry about that yet!) This Cali girl cannot deal with snow in October.
Today marks 29 days since they put a hole on our lot. I am VERY glad to say that they put the shingles on the roof so now the rain shouldn't affect the interior building process. After the amazing progress last week, this week seems pretty slow in comparison but some key things were done.

On Wednesday, the city inspected the progress so far and approved what has been done. These green stickers were throughout, indicating they could proceed. YAY for proceeding!!! 
I LOVE A PORCH! Now, as some of you know, our home in IL had a large wrap-around porch that I just loved so this one is quite small in comparison...but, I don't care. I just LOVE A PORCH! Oh, and I really love that guy standing on this porch:)
The one thing I thought was odd (but I know nothing about building), was how they poured the basement concrete on Thursday. They opened the window in the front of the house and cut a hole in the floor of the room to access the basement. Then they used they concrete half pipes (I have no clue what they are really called) to pump the concrete down, into wheelbarrows, and workers spread and leveled it. We have 4 places that are open holes into the basement because the windows will eventually go there so I wish they would have pumped the concrete through one of those..but I'm guessing the half pipe machiney thingy wouldn't reach around the house to one of those.  I will say, the basement is poured and it looks huge!
This pic was taken on the stairs looking into what will be part of the rec room (its a huge room).
The other half of the rec room and when the walls are in, the media room will be in the area where you see wood hanging from the ceiling. I did not photo the other side of the stairs which will house another room, a full bathroom, and a storage room with extra laundry hook ups. Because this house is almost 2200 sq feet on one level, the basement is nearly the same sq feet. 1600 sq feet of that will be finished.
Behind this door will reside a very grateful family!
I wish this was a better pic so you could see how beautiful the leaded glass is me, it's darn pretty! IT IS NOT PAINTED YET so it will not be this almond color. Actually, it will be a beautiful Sherwin Williams color called Black Bean. Dan ensured that they used SW on these houses before we signed the contract. That guy is loyal!
That wraps up the week. Oh, and it's raining again.....
Up next: electrical, plumbing, and insulation. Our PM called tonight and said that once those are done, we will have our pre-drywall meeting. He is aiming for October 15thish for that! WooHoo!!