Friday, February 25, 2011

Pictures of Drywall

So exciting! We got to walk through the house this morning to take a look at the drywall that they worked on over the past two days.  It looked great and was super warm in there! They had the heat cranking that was for sure!  I think it was causing some of the structural elements to expand and therefore, our front door was a little tight to close and one of the floorboards was warping.  Our PM said he would get on those things and fix them right away.  The drywall looked great, of course they still have to sand it down but so far, so good!  Here are some of the pictures I took before my camera died. 
Dining Room
 Living Room
 Recessed lights
 Front Bedroom
 Master Bedroom
 Another view of Master Bedroom
 Upstairs hallway
 Front of the house by the loft
 Looking down the stairs (little peeved about the spilled McDonalds french fries on the side there...I mean come on the men who were working could have cleaned that up!)
 Looking through to the dining room/front of the house

They will sand, prime, paint, and then start working on carpentry (trim, cabinets, doors).  We are super excited and loved being able to get a feel for the size of the rooms!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Siding, Shutters, and Drywall...Oh My!

This morning while we were enjoying another day off this week, our PM sent us a picture text message showing us that they were hanging drywall and also starting to put on the siding!  It was so nice for him to do that and definitely not something that we were expecting.  We were so excited that we decided to go up to the house towards the end of the day so that we could see what progress they had made.  We were SO SHOCKED when we got there...all of the siding was done!! AND the shutters were on!  There was still some guys there working on the drywall in the garage so we really didn't want to disturb them by going inside.  The front door was open so I did peak my head in and everything looked pretty good.  I think they will finish up the drywall tomorrow and start to tape and mud.  It was great to see the siding on the house because now it really looks like our "home."  Before the siding, it still had that construction site type feel and now it has really sunk in how that is going to be our home!  Here are a few outside pictures from today.  I hope to have more of the inside by the end of the week.  We are going to ask our PM to take us through on Friday morning so that we can really get a feel for the size of the rooms and everything!  I can't believe that we have come this far already!

Monday, February 21, 2011

We Bought a Sectional!

Well, we have been shopping around for a sectional for a while now and today we finally pulled the trigger and bought one!  And boy did we get a great deal!  We went to a direct furniture store around us called Crawford Furniture.  We had done some research and found a sectional that we liked online so we went to check it out in person and we loved it!  My fiance and I were having a hard time agreeing on style vs. comfort.  This one is both stylish and comfortable so I think it will suit us well for many years to come.  We picked a neutral tan polyester microfiber that is washable for the fabric.  It will be delivered to us sometime in May after we move in.  We are so thrilled and excited to cross something off of our list of things to buy.

We also were able to go to the house and walkthrough today again with our PMs (yes we have two, one is in training).  There were a lot of guys out there working today.  They were putting our furnace in today which is great because that means the house will soon have heat.  There were stacks of drywall EVERYWHERE!  The house is being inspected tomorrow by the town for insulation and then they will start drywall on Wednesday.  I am hoping to walk through again on Friday to see the drywall.  My fiance and I are both off from school this week so we are trying to see as much as we can this week.  I unfortunately didn't take any pictures today but the only difference was that we now have insulation.  We also measured for our refrigerator (the opening is a standard 38") and measured to see if this sectional would fit in nicely.  And it will! Otherwise, we are enjoying our week off.  The next major purchase is our appliances (fridge, washer and dryer) which we plan on looking some more this week while we are off as well.  Hope everyone has a wonderful President's Day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Minor Hiccup

Over the past week, my fiance and I have been trying to switch our mortgage loan to a SONYMA loan with the state of New York that is a new construction loan with a lock in period of 240 days because of the lower interest rate that we would get and the fact that we could lock in right now. We are also trying to figure out how to lose a half percent off of our interest rate by using an Energy Star program through SONYMA.  Let me just tell you it is has been more hassle than it is worth.  Our loan officer hasn't done many of these types of mortgages and neither has anyone in his office so he is not very knowledgeable about the many inspections that you have to do throughout the building process in order to be Energy Star certified.  It has been a really big headache especially because the people at SONYMA are really slow to respond to our loan officer.  With our house about to start drywall on Monday, we need to find out if there needs to be an inspection before the drywall goes up.  Needless to say, after talking to our sales rep at Ryan, she has said that holding off on the drywall will be like putting a wrench in a well-oiled machine.  In other words, that will screw up all of their scheduling of contractors and etc.  We are trying to get this sorted out by the end of the day tomorrow so that we have some answers.  But this whole thing has been one big giant disaster!  I wish someone could give us some answers!!!!!

In house news, they were working this week on fixing the few repairs that we pointed out at the pre-drywall walkthrough.  Apparently, they were also working on things that were not up to code with the town after they inspected.  I guess something was not right with a garage wall or something.  I'm not really sure what it was, my fiance was the one who talked to our PM about it.  They are also working on insulation and will start drywall on Monday.  So hopefully, I will post some new pics next week when I walk through to check that out.  Cross your fingers for us regarding our mortgage change-over...I just want it all to be settled and not have to think/worry about it anymoreeeeee! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pics from pre-drywall walk through

Here are some of the 100 pictures that my mom took at the pre-drywall meeting.  If you can believe it we found even MORE pleasant surprises by looking at the pictures.  I am so so so happy!  While looking at the pictures I was able to see that we are getting A LIGHT IN OUR PANTRY! I was so concerned about it being dark in there and not being able to see what I was doing at night.  When we talked to our sales rep about it, she didn't say ANYTHING about there being a light in there.  And sure enough when looking back through some of the pics, I saw that there was a black fixture that looked like all the other black fixtures where there are going to be lights.  There was even a switch on the inside of the pantry wall! I am so excited about this new discovery! Another light fixture surprise was to find that there is another recessed light at the bottom of our stairs on the first floor!  All of these light fixture surprises are making me so happy! Anyway here are some pictures:
A sunny morning for the walkthrough :)
 They had just poured the garage floor and were drying it with a large (what I like to call) "fire machine" :)
 View from the front door
 Powder room on the first floor
 The guys looking over things in the laundry/mud room
 Living Room and doors
 Looking at the kitchen from the living room
 Looking at the pantry and where the fridge will go (this is the pic where if you zoom in you can see the black fixture where the light will be...makes me soooo happy!
 View of our backyard through the sliding glass door
 Fiance climbing the stairs to the second floor
 Master bathroom with our little window
 Master Bedroom (note not two outlets on back wall)
 Looking from the master bedroom towards the front of the house in the hallway
 First time in the basement (they had also just poured the floor but it was dry enough to walk on)
 More basement

Saturday, February 12, 2011

how it went...

Our pre-drywall meeting was yesterday and although I wasn't able to attend, my fiance, my mom, and my dad were all there with three sets of eyes checking everything out.  I was totally bummed I wasn't able to be there because I really wanted to make sure that I heard everything my dad had to say.  But oh well! I got a pretty thorough update from all three parties when I got home after work.  For the most part, everything seemed to be good.  My dad did find a few things that needed to be attended to but really nothing major.  Here are few of the things that he noticed:

  • The subfloor upstairs in our master closet and the second bathroom is cracked and will cause problems with the flooring if it is not replaced. PM said they would cut out the section that is damaged and replace it. 
  • We had a window replaced on the first floor in the front of the house because there was a crack in the corner of it.  The new window that they put it also has a crack in a different location.  They are now 0 for 2.  PM said they would replace it again. 
  • In the living room, the part of the wall that holds all of the heating ducts was not squared up and my dad said that you could see that it was slightly bowed.  It needs to be fixed if we want a straight wall when they come to drywall.  PM again said that they would fix this. 
  • The molding they had put up around the garage door was completely cracked through and hanging off (I'm assuming due to the cold).  That will also be replaced. 
  • My dad had noticed that none of the piping coming in and out of the house had been caulked and insulated and that needs to be done in order to assure we don't get any drafts.  PM said the insulation guys will caulk all the piping.  
  • There was a joist upstairs in the master bath on the outside wall that had "bowed" written on it but they never put a sister stud nailed next to it to fix it.  PM said they would make sure they did this. 
There were a couple of surprises both good and bad that I asked my fiance about afterwards.  We noticed that instead of a hanging light fixture over our dinette area we would be getting a recessed light.  While at first, I was wanting a hanging light fixture, after thinking about it and some prodding from my fiance, I realized that it is much better for the flow of the kitchen to the living room.  We are going to put the TV on the side wall facing the kitchen so if you were ever watching TV from the kitchen the hanging light fixture would get in the way.  So I guess I have to digress and agree with my fiance.  This is his version of the double sink argument :).
Another thing that I noticed from the 100 pictures that my mom took...was that there is only one outlet on the wall where we will put our bed in the master bedroom!! And I made sure to look in the model at where the outlets were in the master bedroom exactly for this reason.  Now, here is my reasoning behind it.  My fiance and I both have a nightstand with a lamp on it.  And we also both plug in our cell phones there at night to charge them.  Now, I know...we could also use a powerstrip but I WOULD HAVE ADDED AN OUTLET HAD I KNOWN THERE WAS ONLY ONE!! I might ask our PM if there is anyway at all that we can add another one on that back wall.

But otherwise, that was basically it.  My dad had a question about a drain in front of our basement window and if it could be moved because we would be concerned with it somehow leaking and getting in the basement.  Next week, it looks like they will make the repairs and then start with insulation and drywall.  Since I was able to be at the meeting, our PM said that he would give me a personal walkthrough during our mid-winter break in two weeks.  I will be so happy to see the drywall and really get a feeling for the size of the rooms! I will post some of the 100 pictures that my mom took at the walkthrough tomorrow once I get them uploaded. :) 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pre-drywall meeting tomorrow! parents are currently making the drive up here to Western New York! They should be here in about an hour.  My dad is coming to help us with the walk through tomorrow and provide us with an experienced set of eyes and look for potential issues.  I went out to the house yesterday and the front door was locked.  BOOOOO! :)  So I couldn't get inside and check out what they had been up to.  However, they had the prewiring done for the exterior lights on the front of the garage and plumbing run for the hose bibs outside as well.  And I was able to peak through the window and see that much of electric, plumbing, and heating vents had been completed. 

Although, I will not be able to attend the walkthrough tomorrow (couldn't get off work) both my mom and my fiance have promised me many, many pictures so that I can see what they have been up to on the inside.  It is great to know that next comes insulation and then DRYWALL!  Everything is going so fast and it seems like time is flying by and I better start packing!! It is going to take us weeks to pack up our apartment that we have lived in for two years!  (I know it shouldn't take long but we have a lot of STUFF!)  Well, I hope to have pictures to post tomorrow or over the weekend! Stay tuned!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Garage Door and Roof Shingles

It has been a few days since I have updated because not much has been happening to the exterior of the house.  On Saturday, my fiance and I were able to pop our heads in the front door as someone left it open a crack. :)  We were able to see that they have started work on the HVAC ducts.  It was also great to see that our project manager had been out to the house and made of list of things for the contractors to "fix."  As my fiance said it best, "I would like them to not have to fix anything at all but it is good that things are being looked after."  

Today, my fiance was trying out a new route from our current apartment to the house in order to see if it would shorten the drive.  Right now we are driving out there during rush hour and it takes a good half an hour.  When he arrived at the house, he saw that we now have a garage door and roof shingles! Looks like they are doing a lot of work to prepare for the pre-drywall meeting on Friday.  I am disappointed that I can't attend the walk through but maybe I will have to sneak out there and see everything for myself.  Hopefully over the course of the next few days they will be hard at work on plumbing and electrical work.  I will post some more pictures on here tomorrow hopefully when I get out to the house myself to take some pictures of the garage door and roof.  Until then...happy house building! :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Daily Check Up

Today, I drove out to the house after work to see the progress and it didn't look like much had been happening.  They have yet to put on the roof shingles on, I believe because it was still covered with snow. :)  However, the plywood that is covering our garage was moved to the side JUST enough for me to sneak in and have a peek.  I saw that we now have a front door WITH A WINDOW!! I was unaware that we were getting a window in our front door.  The window is high so you can't see into it and it was a welcome surprise.  I also saw that all of our other interior doors were delivered and happily resting in our future breakfast area.  There also looked to be some sort of large box containing maybe something having to do with electrical or plumbing.  

I was shocked to see that the other house in the neighborhood (a few days ahead of ours in the process) had a GARAGE DOOR already!  I believe they are going at a little bit of a slower pace on our house because we asked to close a month later due to our current lease situation.  We didn't want any overlapping payments, which who can blame us, we might actually save a little bit of money this way.  

On another note, we spent our snow day off the other day looking at paint colors (and everything else including mailboxes, blinds, and appliances) at Home Depot.  My fiance and I tend to agree on mostly everything that has to do with the house so it didn't shock me when we were reaching for the same paint swatch.  We both tend to like more muted tones and neutrals so I think it will be an easygoing process.  We think that we are going to paint a neutral color on most of the downstairs walls and a few accent walls here and there.  We might have to bribe some of our friends to help us with some pizza and chicken wings. :)  I will have to post some of the colors that we are thinking of later on. 

And speaking of appliances, we saw a commercial on TV last night that Sears is having a 20% off all Kenmore appliances sale until 2/9/2011.  We are going to look into it this coming weekend to see if it would be worth while to save the money on our appliances while we can. They also give you an extra 5% off if you use a Sears credit card.  Might be worth the hundred dollars of savings that we would get.  Anyway, that's all the news for today. Stay tuned for more! :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Journey Thus Far

My fiance and I decided back in November 2010 to build a house with Ryan Homes in Western New York.  We are first time home buyers and builders so we immediately began searching the internet for information about the company and stumbled upon a few blogs about building with Ryan.  I was very impressed with the mostly positive things that people had to say about their experience despite the negative press found on the internet.  Therefore, I decided to start a blog about our journey with Ryan Homes in order to document our experience and share it with the rest of the world and our families.  We are a little further along in the building process than most who start a blog but I think this post should catch everyone up.  :) 

We got engaged in September 2010 and had been looking to buy a house to move into as we are outgrowing our apartment.  When looking at resale homes, we discovered that any house within our price range would have to have renovations to live up to our standards.  We happened to stumble upon Ryan Homes at the suggestion of my mom.  She thought we should "make sure we explored all our options."  We stopped by a Ryan model home and met with the sales rep. and she spent two hours with us talking about pricing and options.  We were very impressed.  After much thought and deliberation along with sleepless nights we decided to move forward.  We signed a purchase agreement with Ryan in November 2010 and applied for our mortgage soon after.  Within a few weeks, we were approved and ready to begin our journey!  Here are the details about the house we are building with Ryan:

  • We are building a Florence, Elevation B with no stone/brick, just siding
  • We chose the three bedroom w/ the loft (it is just the two of us right now and if we need a fourth bedroom down the line, it is a simple fix to put up one wall to make a fourth bedroom)
  • Upgraded kitchen cabinets to 42" Cherry Spice with island (extra tall cabinets due to our 9' ceilings)
  • Crown molding for kitchen cabinets (nice finished look)
  •  Appliance package (black stove, over stove microwave, and dishwasher) 
  • We also are having them install an ice maker kit so we will have a connection in the wall
  • Upgraded to maple spice double sink in master bath and maple spice cabinet in second bath (this was the only dispute between my future hubby and I, he didn't see the need for two sinks and I HAD to HAVE them...needless to say I WON!)
  • Pine stair with oak handrail upstairs (otherwise would have been a half wall...yuck!)
  • Upgraded light package to brushed nickel light fixtures throughout the house
  • An extra overhead light in the dining room
  • Extra outlet in garage
  • 2nd light on the garage (looks so unbalanced without it)
  • Future Tube for our Flat Screen Television in the living room (this is so you don't see any wires hanging from the tv)
  • Recessed lighting: 5 in kitchen, 4 in living room
  • Upgraded carpet padding throughout the entire house
 They recently broke ground a few weeks ago (January 19, 2011) and since then there has been a lot of progress on the outside of the house.  We expect to close around the end of April or early May.  We are one of the last houses to be built in this phase of the neighborhood.  There is actually another house that is making progress a few days ahead of us.  It is fun to see what their house looks like and we say to ourselves, "That's what ours will look like in a day or two."  Here are some pictures of the process so far:

Our lot (November 2010)
  Putting the sold sign on the lot (November 2010)
Our cabinet/countertop/flooring selections for the kitchen
Breaking ground :) (1/19/2011)
Foundation poured (1/20/2011)
Backfilled with dirt (its looks so small!) 1/27/2011
We have a first floor! (1/31/2011)
And a SECOND FLOOR (2/1/2011)

That is as far as they have gotten up until this point.  We had a snow storm today and travel was difficult so we didn't make it out to check on progress.  However, I also don't think that the guys would have been working today anyway...too much blowing snow and chilly temps.  Our pre-drywall walk through is next Friday so we are excited to see the progress happening inside at that point.  My dad is traveling out to help us walk through and make sure everything is looking good.  He is our "house specialist" as he has been dubbed a "handy man" his whole life.  We are happy to have someone like that in our lives because otherwise we would need to hire our own inspector.  We are very excited to see the progress over the coming weeks! Stay tuned!