Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We have stuff!!

Hello Readers!!

Well, again I must apologize for a prolonged absence, but this time it is for good reason.  I have had to spend the last 4 days digesting a hat after my bold proclamation that I would eat said headgear if my siding guy didn't show up last Sunday.  Well, not only did he not show up last Sunday, he hasn't been back since!  I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, as our Ohio weather has been rainy and even a little snowy today.  But the next couple days seem like they will be dry at least, so hopefully our siding will get done.

On the work related front, the mudders and tapers have been busy working and from what they told my wife, they will be done tomorrow.  I stopped by after work and they were gone but I could see some progress and they have gotten almost all the ceilings done with whatever that texture stuff is.

Our refrigerator receptacle has been uncovered from its drywall burial, but I am concerned over a couple other outlets that may be covered.  On our wall next to the cold air return going towards the Family Room, it seems there should be a plug, as its a big enough area to put something, but there is nothing there.  Any fellow Venice readers got anything there?

On Monday our counter tops showed up in our garage, and today when I went there it was like Christmas!!  Cabinets, doors, hardware, mirrors, and other assorted goodies were stashed in there.  Also there were two pallets of stone in the yard for our elevation and our fireplace.  Yay!!  I am looking forward to our weekly email from our PM to see whats getting done on what days next week. Sadly, I think we will be locked out soon, and my after work stops will come to an end if the workers aren't there, since our community doesn't have a full-time sales rep in the office to get a key from.

That's all for now, but here are some pictures.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Getting Caught Up

Well, it sure has been a long time since I posted.  There has been a lot going on at our house, so lets dive right in.

The Friday after my last post, 11/18, when our PM said they would begin insulating, nothing happened.  I emailed our PM as I was a little concerned that my late change on the basement plug may have set things back.  He got back to me and said that wasn't the case, they would begin on Saturday.  All was well. In fact, later that day the insulation was delivered to the house so they could begin Saturday.

Drove by a couple times on Saturday, and there was zero activity!  This got me a little torqued, and I wanted to email our PM and see what was up, but my wife told me not to or else I was going to become a pest.  It took me a little while to get behind that idea, but once I figured when I drove by on Sunday and saw nothing going on, that would bolster my email beef.

So Sunday rolled around, and on my morning drive to our house as I came around the corner, sitting smack dab in my drive way was an insulation company truck!  The two guys were busy getting after it, so I left them alone, and at the end of the day the house was done.

Come Monday(love Jimmy Buffet), the drywall was delivered.  I was at work, but my wife drove by and got to watch the unloading in progress.  It sounded like quite the event, and she took some pictures which I will post soon.  To get the drywall upstairs they took out the closet window and loaded it in through the hole in the house.  Also the siding, shutters, soffits and trim were put in the garage.

Tuesday the drywall hangers were there, all 8 of them, and by the end of that day the drywall was all hung.  Something I didn't know, on the outer edge of the drywall sheets it was nailed to the joists, but inside the sheets they used screws to hold them down.  I thought they used nails only.

Wednesday had the arrival of the mudders and tapers.  This was a crew of two and they said they would be there Friday and Saturday, and I think Monday. 

Thursday of course was Thanksgiving, which we hosted at our current house for my wife's family.  After we ate, we loaded up a couple cars to take them up to give them the 50 cent tour.  Well...much to our surprise when we rounded the corner there was a guy working on our siding!!  Its a little Oriental gentleman somewhere in his 60's at least, who I recognize from one of my many drives through the community, when he was siding another house.  I couldn't believe he was there working, I was happy to see that, but surprised nonetheless.  He has been there every day since, just him, his ladders and scaffolding, and power tools.

Friday I took the mudder, taper, and siding guy some coffee and doughnuts.  They worked throughout the day and made good progress.  But since this is a multi-day job on both their ends, its a pretty uneventful trip to our house.  It is nice seeing the siding go up though.

Saturday, repeat Friday.  More mudding and taping(this time just one guy, apparently Friday night got to the other one), and the siding is coming along nicely.  I am guessing no drywall work on Sunday, but I will eat my hat if I go there tomorrow and I don't see my siding guy.  He only has the front to do, then the shake and stone(which I assume is a different crew)and a little on the back and side of the morning room, and he will be done. 

One thing that caught my eye on  our Turkey Day tour, was our refrigerator area.  I saw the ice maker rough in, but noticed there wasn't a plug cutout in the drywall.  I saw the plug when they did the insulation, but it must have been covered by the insulation when they did the drywall.  I emailed our PM and he got back to me and told me that they usually have a plug or two on EVERY(his caps) house they have to find.

On Black Friday my wife and I went out to get our refrigerator that was on sale.  Since we are getting GE appliances, we kept it in the GE family(the green lights will match), and picked up this model.

Then it was off to find a rug to put under our dining table in the Morning Room.  We have an idea of the furniture we want to get for the Family Room, and Living Room(we decided not to make the front room a Dining Room, but rather somewhere to sit), and we hoped to find a rug that would tie all the colors of furniture together along with the cabinets, flooring and counter tops.  This is what we decided on.

It looks a lot better when its not so fuzzy, but the Kohl's website wouldn't let me copy a bigger picture.

So that's where we are now. Hope everyone had a great holiday, and happy building!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Frustration then Relief

Well, last night we had our pre-drywall inspection and all went well.  Nothing out of the ordinary was found, and our PM was very complete in going over everything that had been done so far, and took the time to answer all our questions. 

So right now we are getting some inspections out of the way today and tomorrow, and Friday they begin insulating.  According to our PM they will start drywall on Tuesday.

You would think with nothing going on today it would be rather relaxing...but NOOOO.  What started it all off was when I went into our basement to get some clothes out of the dryer.  As I turned around I was staring straight at our upright freezer that will be coming with us, and going into the unfinished part of the basement.  Almost immediately I realized that there was no plug in the unfinished part for this freezer.  There is one plug near the sump, but I plan on plugging a battery back-up there, and a dehumidifier.

So once I got to work I emailed our PM, and he got back with me that it could be done and he would see that the late change fee would be waived.  But I would need to contact our sales rep as he didn't know the price and we would have to sign a change order.  Our normal rep wasn't at her community, so I tried the other one she handles, and got another rep who we have talked with before, but she wasn't sure of the price either and would submit the request to the cost manager.  The only bad thing is or PM said this would need to be decided on and executed today.  I didn't want to make a blanket "go ahead" statement, since the cost was up in the air, and was concerned it would be too much.

As this was going on, I also called our loan officer to check rates for our lock.  We were quoted 4.25% at the initial sales meeting, but in light of the recent decent in loan rates I was hoping for something lower.  Sadly we could only get it to 4.25, and I left that call still not locked.  I called my best friend whose advice I rely on in matters of finance for some words of wisdom, and at the end of that call I felt better about the 4.25 so I called the Loan Office back to lock in.

After that call was done I needed to call our Sales Rep as I was a bit short with her during our call and I felt bad about that.  There was some frustration coming through as I was certain I wasn't the first to want this plug put in, so I wasn't keen on having to wait for an amount.  Before I could even get my apology out, she told me that she had spoke to the PM and he had been looking into it on his end and they had gotten a figure that was quite acceptable to me.  So I gave the go ahead to get it done, and I will go by the office Friday to sign the change.

Once that call was done, I had to call my wife to tell her that we got the plug and were locked in our rate.  As I was talking to her, my call waiting flashed with our Loan Officers number showing, so I told her I would call her back.

I clicked over and he told me that his numbers weren't adding up right, so he called someone to look over it and he discovered that we did qualify for the 4%, and would I like to lock at that rate?  Needless to say I typed that email to him requesting that new rate as soon as we hung up!

So, even though I got off to a rough start this morning it all turned out well in the end.  Got a tasty rate, and our chest freezer will have a home between our laundry tub and sump pump in the basement.

Good Times!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pre-Pre Drywall

Our Pre-Drywall inspection is set for tomorrow at 5pm.  I went by the house today and it was a hotbed of activity.

  • The gas lines got ran for our dryer and furnace and stove.
  • The HVAC guy tied all his loose ends up.
  • Plumbing was there doing our water heater.
  • Electrical was getting ran, and will finish tomorrow.
Over the weekend Guardian was there and got their stuff prewired, and the concrete guy was back cutting the garage floor.

Also the framers were back and put the rest of the walls up for the basement powder room, and the wall splitting the finished/unfinished portions of the basement, along with the frames on the staircases.

I went to a model Venice to measure window openings for our cellular shades and wooden blinds.  While I was at Lowe's checking prices, I had the sales lady work up a total for what we would like to have installed...GULP!!!  That didn't even include the Roller Track shade I want to put over the slider in the morning room.

But to take the sting out, there is a 15% off sale on Custom Bali shades starting on the 16th and going until mid-Dec, so the 4 cellular shades won't be so bad.  The wooden blinds will be store cut Levelor, and I will use the 10% off coupon that can be had from the post office in the change of address packets.

I wonder if for future purchases the 10% off through the Ryan Homes Advantage program is stackable with other discounts?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lots O' Stuff

Well today found the following going on at our house.

  • The roofers were out and finished up their end of things.
  • The concrete people came out and took the wood off where they poured.
  • Our garage door was installed.
  • The HVAC guy was out and put in the furnace and did some more duct work.
I received an email from our Guardian rep last night and he asked me to call him today.  I thought it was about the change I had contacted him about on Tuesday.  I had inquired about eliminating one of the cable jacks in the Family Room and changing it to a data plug on the other wall plate in the Family Room.  We had chose the "6 Pack Wall Outlet" option, and I couldn't figure out where to put the last plug, so we just added another in the Family Room.

But since we are current AT&T U-Verse subscribers and will have that installed at our new home, they are deploying wireless set-top boxes(and I am sure all the other carriers will follow suit eventually), and even though I am not going to be an early adopter of that technology, I figure by the time we want to change the family room around the lack of a jack on the other wall won't be an issue.

Anyway, his call wasn't about that, but he wanted to meet me at the house to go over where everything was going to be.  Because as it turns out, they are coming out tomorrow to do their wiring.

Once I was done there, I came home and in the mail was an envelope from Ryan, and inside was the dates for our Pre-Settlement Demonstration, and our Settlement Date.  Both of which are scheduled for December 29th.  We have our Settlement at 9am, our Pre-Settlement Demo at 1PM(backwards I know), and then we go BACK out to where we did our Settlement to get our keys!!

Now I just have to get that Pre-Drywall Inspection out of the way so I can lock our rate in and see how much $$$ we have to bring to the table.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Went to check in on our house (guess I can't call it a lot anymore) today.  I saw that there has been a good deal of progress so far this week.

Most of all the HVAC ducting had been run and installed, the rough plumbing had been done and our tub and shower units upstairs were in place.  The wall between the kitchen and morning room was up, the roofers were there getting started.  They got the roof covered and were just finishing snapping chalk lines when it started to rain, so they called it a day.

But the best thing I saw was the cement truck, and getting our basement, garage, and front step poured!!

I took that opportunity to do the following...

The cement guys were really helpful in answering all my questions, and I think I will have them add a walkway between my driveway and garage service door, and a patio in back of the house when they come back in the spring to finish our driveway.  They were so friendly that I picked lunch up for them, and they seemed quite surprised.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Second Floor Done

The framers wrapped everything up Friday afternoon, and this is what they left behind.

When I got there towards the end of the day, there was a truck there unloading the shingles and assorted things for the roofing, which I had hoped would get done on Saturday but it didn't.

I did get the weekly call from our PM who told me that the roofing would get done on Tuesday, rough mechanicals would get done this week(HVAC and plumbing), our garage and basement would get poured and then the furnace would be set once the floor was ready.

I stopped by this evening after work but could barely see anything due to the early nightfall(curse you daylight savings time)!!  But I did see that it looked like the utility trench was dug(time to call AT&T to have our U-Verse line dropped), our house number spray painted next to the window, and I think the vent was put on the fireplace(again the dark didn't help).

So that's where we are now.  I was looking through some of the pictures that I hadn't posted when I came across one that was rather interesting.  It was taken when they dug the foundation, but before anything else was done.  What you see in the picture, I have read the logical explanation for, and also the mystical explanation for...make of it what you will.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Going Up! Second Floor:

Carpets, travel goods and bedding material, soft furnishings, restaurant and teas...

Sorry about that.  My affinity for British sitcoms took over for a bit there.

So here we are on day # 2 of framing and I guess I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.  This is what was going on at lunchtime.

The workers were having lunch also when my wife arrived, and the lead one told her that tomorrow they would be working on putting the trusses and roof on.  Needless to say when she went back after work and saw this, she was surprised!

I don't know what to say...I was amazed when she sent me the pictures at work on how much had been done in two days.  I thought the one picture was quite funny where they have to cut the house wrap from around the windows in back!

I am looking forward to the weekly call from the PM tomorrow to see whats coming next.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I've Been Framed!!

Well, somewhat anyway.  The framers arrived sometime this morning after my wife and I had gone to work, and when she stopped by the lot at lunch this is what greeted her.

They had the floor down, and since I didn't see the I-beams, I guess those were put in their places in the foundation and also had started on the garage walls.

When she stopped by after work, THIS is what she saw...

Now that is progress.  I am almost positive that by the end of the day tomorrow(if the rain holds off), that the second floor will be done, and maybe a roof joist or two up.  But whatever gets done, I am thrilled with.

A couple questions for those that have made it this far.  Am I to assume that the lumber for the basement has been set down there and at some point will be suspended from the floor/ceiling before they pour the floors?
And also, at what point will the plumber come out to put the pipes that need to be put down before they pour, and when might the pour itself be done?

Thanks and happy building!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ready To Start

Yesterday the crews were out and put the PVC piping around the foundation, and did the back filling.  It took all day since they had to fill a dump truck, drive it to our lot, dump it, spread it, and repeat.  Got to say I was a little nervous watching that arm swing around our foundation as it moved the dirt.  But they did a great job.

Our lumber arrived today, and it seems like there is no room to move on our lot.  I spied a large waterproof bag with everything that had our plans in it, and I wanted to snatch it and take it home tonight to read and then drop it off in the morning, but calmer heads(my wife) prevailed.  I took these pictures in the morning, and when I went back tonight, they had also dropped off the tub and shower unit. 

So, according to our PM framing will begin tomorrow.   I am hoping the rain will hold of until they are done, but who am I kidding?