Monday, March 31, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting

It feels like it has been a month since we heard about our mortgage approval and since then there has been little progress, as we just held in a waiting pattern to get things rolling.  Today was the first step in moving forward, it was the day of our pre-construction meeting, in which we met our Ryan Homes' project manager, and went over the construction process and our selected upgrades.

The weekend was two days of non-stop rain, heavy rains that keep you in the house all day long so It was a pleasant surprise to awake this morning to find nice sunshine.  It was still on the cooler side the sun by itself made the day much nicer to get out and about.  The meeting was scheduled for a 9:30 start at the model home which was about a 15 minute drive from our current house.  We got out the door and on the road right on time just about 10 after nine, at the tail end of rush hour, but we figured we would be fine as we were going against the normal rush hour direction.

The drive over was easy no traffic or issues and arrived a few minutes before the scheduled time.  Our sales representative Jackie was already there, so there was no waiting to get into the home.  Bob the project manager was on the way over, but that gave us a littl time to handle some change order paper work to take care of for the carepet upgrade as well as the extra outdoor outlet which will be situated perfectly on the deck we build after closing.

Bob arrived just as Jackie had finished up the change order, so we held off on that document and got all set to take care of the meeting.  After introductions, we started right away by taking a look at the plot plan.  This is a proposed situation of the house on the lot survey, showing where everything is being sent to the town, including where in the building envelop the house will be and the land elevations around the house with measurements included from the corners of the houe to the end of the property line.

I had been a little nervous about the situation of the house on the lot I wanted to make sure there was room for expansion, especially a porch on the front wrapping around a little to the left of house.  If the house was situated in the middle or left side of the lot this would be impossible without obtaining variances from the building envelop.  It's great news that this should not be a problem as the front right corner of the house is going to be in the front right corner of the building envelop, exactly where I had hoped it would be.

We discussed a number of things on the plot plan, including the elevation of the first floor, top of the foundation, and basement floor.  Additionally we discussed the elevations surrounding the house which will be applied with the grading.  We will sit up high with grading forming a natural run off to the side of the house and down gently to the back and front of the property.  The back door of the house exiting from the morning room will be about 6 feet above the ground which provides a lots of room in which we can have some storage space under the deck once we build it onto the back of the house.

Once we completed talking through the plot plan, we discussed the options we had selected and talked through the location each would be situated in the house.  This included the ceiling fan rough ins, wall mount for TV in the master bedroom with the extra outlet up high to support the TV without wires hanging down, the outdoor spotlight and outlet. 

We continued the discussion focusing on the times we could see the property througout the construction and the process to go about gain access, which was through Bob or Jackie. Bob or another Ryan Home representative will be at the building site Monday through Friday 6AM through 5PM, it would be best to call ahead one day in advance ot ensure the day would not be a day with unsafe conditions. For weekend access we will coordinate with Jackie. Bob provided his cell number and let us know he would reach out about progress at least once a week. After which it was time for any questions we had.  We had prepared a list of questions, some we had obtained from other Ryan Homes' blogs some we derived on our own.  The following are the questions we posed and answers we recieved.

Q: Are the electric outlets situated the same as they are in the model home?
A: Generally they will all be in the same locations, but there isn't an exactness to it, they are placed so that there is an outlet every 12 linear feet.

Q: Is there ceiling lights in second and third bedrooms as well as the loft?
A: No overhead lights in those rooms, but there is one outlet which will be wired to a switch so there can be a light plugged into it and operated by the switch.  These outlets will be placed in upside down, so that they are easily recognizable.  I wish there lights in those rooms, but we are at the max on our upgrades so it will need to be added on later.

Q: What size is the eletric service to the house?
A: It will be 200 Amp service

Q: What is the brand n capacity of the furnace?
A: The brand is a Comfort Maker, the brand name may change to ICP, I didn't get the capacity, but will follow up on that later.  

Q:  What is brand and size of the hot water heater?
A: It will be a Power Vent 50 Gallon

Q:  What is the Central Air unti brand and BTUs?
A: Also a Comfort Maker, btu again I need to follow up on the sizing.

Q: What is the lighting and above sink setup in the bathrooms?
A:  There will be lighting on the wall above a mirror situated above the sink in each of the bathrooms.

Q: In the master bathroom will there be a double cabinet under th counter, this is something we had discussed before but wanted to verify.  
A: There was some confussion with this one, but based on our previous discussions Jackie said we will get the double cabinet.

Q: Will there be soap dises in the tubs / showers, seems a little silly but just needed to be sure?
A: Yes, these are included.

Q: Will there be side walks?
A: This was covered as part of the plot plan review as they were there on the diagram.  The will be set off the road by 5 feet and will be 5 feet wide themselves.

Q: Will the Garage be sheet rocked and insulated?
A: The walls along the interior will be insulated and sheet rocked, the walls to the outside will not.

Q: Where the ceiling fan rough ins go will there be added support to handle the weight of the fan?
A: If the location falls on the standard beams, the rough in will be affixed there if, it falls in the midle support will be built there.

Q: Will there be a door between the kitchen and laundry room or only between the laundry room and garage?
A: Both will have doors, and the door between the laundry room and the garage will be a fire door.

Q: What types of plants / shrubs will go in the front garden?
A: The landscaper will select the the plantings, it will be based on the surrounding homes so there is some variation in the neighborhood.

Q: Where will the location be of the water, gas and electric meters?
A: Gas and electric will be on the outside, while the water will be on the inside however it will be able to be read wirelessly so there will not be a need for the meter reader to enter the house.  This is a great thing as in our current hosue the gas was until recently was inside and no wireless reading, which made it hard ot have actuals.

Q: Where will the buried items be located (gas line, electric, sewer line and water line)?
A:  Gas Line - Right side, electric left side, sewer and water on the left side.  The sewer and water lines are also marked on the plot plan.

Q: Is the driveway poured concrete or asphalt?
A: Poured Concrete

Q: What is the material of the garage door?
A: Aluminum

Q: Where does the sump pump discharge?
A:  Out the right side of the house, then use the grading to drain the water down away from the house.  This one is one i may conside running a burried line out to the back of the property to ensure the water gets far away and not just seeps back itno the house.

Q: Are ther gutter covers?
A: This one is important with the wooded lot, but the answer is no, so this will be a must install especially prior to autumn when the leaves start to fall.

This completed our short list of questions, after which Bob discussed a few additional items, around the energy star program and water proofing the basement.

All hosues will be built to Energy Star specifications, and every house is inspected against those specification twice throughout the building process.

The basement waterproofing uses a system Delta MS, which is wrapped around the outside of the foundation blocking water from reaching the concrete.  Any water which makes it through will be fed down into either an outside drain or if it gets through the wall down to an inside drain.  From either drain it would flow into the sump pump and pumped out the house.

We wrapped up the the meeting and decided to head off to the site to see how the other houses in the neighborhood were coming along, including our neighbor's house. I will give a quick update on that tommorow as it quite late now and time to get some rest after a long day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting Set

The date is on the calendar for our pre-start meeting, where we will meet the Ryan Homes' Project Manager (PM) who will guide our house from the empty lot we saw in the previous post into the next house my wife and I will call home.

There are three new foundations in the neighborhood including the house which will be our immediate neighbor on the left.  The lot on the right was still not sold last we were over at the model, but I think it will move soon.  Well we hope it moves soon as it's one of the last lots and once the final homes are done the construction equipment will depart the neighborhood and the top coat on the road will go in and the neighborhood will be all finalized.

We made a few recent small adds to the house, including a spot light for the back yard and a outlet on the back where we will build a deck, need to have power to get the deck all decked out!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Tentative start Date

Today we heard the first actual date for the start of the Ryan Home, house build and it is April 7, 2014.  We will be scheduling our pre-construction start meeting sometime the week of April 1st based on the project manager and our availability, we should get the schedule options tomorrow.  It's been feeling like a lull and my wife and I are excited to get the construction rolling.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Preparing for pre-construction meeting

After weeks of craziness it seems to have hit a slow time as we wait to get the date on the pre-construction meeting where we will meet the project manager who will be guiding our Ryan Home Florence to completion.  

Starting to think about the questions to ask and make sure we can be as involved as possible as the house comes to life.  The neighborhood is shaping up three more houses have foundations in including our future neighbor, it's exciting to see the lots all shape up.

Some of the things that are most on my mind:
How often and what will the process be for my wife and I to be able to stop by?
What will the major milestone dates be, foundation, framing, roof, pre-drywall walk through, dry walling, to be more no?

More to come...I know many other blogs talked about their questions time to circle back and take notes.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Carpeting Round Two

It would have been tough for us to be happy with the carpet we had previously chose.  So we decided to look for a darker color one level up, it's going tos cost us some but there is so much carpeting in there if we didn't like us we would be forced to pull it up and replace just after closing.

Our sales representative reached out to the flooring company, a few days back and asked for pictures of the darker brown options from the level B collection.  When we hadn't heard back yesterday I decided to call over directly to the flooring company.  Once I connected with her, she was very helpful, and immediately sent over a picture of the original darkest base carpetting we had selected previously, and the two darker options in the level B.

My wife and I looked at the picture and were pretty settled on the darkest color.  To finalize it, I decided to take a drive up, which was a little out of the way, about 45 minutes, my wife couldn't make it since she had to work, but I brought up my good digital camera to get better pictures.

Upon arriving, the flooring consultant was with another group, but quickly helped me out by providing the samples. The color comparision is very clear to see from this picture i took.  the top is the darkest base option available, which seem will easily show any minor stains, and seems to have a pinkish tone to it.  The bottom is a dark brown in the level B, color is called coffee.


Our sellection, with a 10 year warranty up from 5 years that came with the base model, and also it has stainmaster, to help repel stains which will be good since we have a animals.

The one extra picture i took was the new carpet up against the flooring we selected to see how it will look next to each other.

We are getting close to the pre-construction meeting with the sales representive and our project manager.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Our Floor Plan Selections

Based on request I am posting our floor plan and elevation selections.  We went with elevation A, we had considered doing a partial stone front, but chose some other upgrades instead.  Here is a picture from the brochure, to give you an idea.
Florence Elevation A

Our color scheme will be Irish Thistle siding, it's a green / grey color, with Berry shutters, and black fox door.  

On the first floor, we decided to add the morning room, it was a must for us we saw it in the model home and it adds a lot of space to the open floor plan.  It will serve as our dinning room.  We also choose the extended counter, sitting down a little lower than the rest of the counter good little breakfast area, or a place for food when hosting a party.

On the second floor we decided on sticking with the loft as we didn't have a need for a forth bedroom, and it also made the master closet larger.  The master closet was a major point for us in our search for a new home, as we currently have limited closet space in our current home.

in the master bath, we decided on a large walk in shower with a linen closet over a garden tub, small stand up shower and no closet.  We didn't think we would have a whole lot of need for the tub, and liked having the closet in the room rather than only the hallway linen closet.

We decided to do the finished basement, but not the additional powder or bath room.  We recieved a incentive on the basement by using Ryan's affiliated mortgage company NVR, so it was a no brainer add on.  The morning room above also came with additional storage space below in the basement, a huge plus!

Wiring Consult

Today was our consultation with the wiring and security company, the representative was very nice individual, who met us at the model home early this morning.  There was a number of options available including phone, data, television, sound and security.  The representative was very thorough and knowledgeable, but we had only a limited budget for this area, so we only did some minor upgrades.  We went with a wiring to support a wall mount TV, and a couple data points as well as some extra cable hook ups.

Simple but to the point, on a side note today we also added a spotlight we plan to put up on the back of the house.  This will be great to help light up the back yard as its pretty big and has the woods in the back.  The supplied back door light probably wouldn't cut it.  

We had travelled through Lowes last weekend which got the creative juices flowing, so we also added an additional rough in for electric connection in the center of the morning room, which we plan to put a subtle chandelier over the table that will beout there.

Things should be heating up now, we learned the delivery date has moved in with a end of June target in from mid-July.  Its going to get crazy quick.