Monday, September 29, 2014

The End Is So Close I Can Taste It!

We went by the house again on Saturday. When we got there, there was only one guy painting some exterior trim. We asked if it was okay to go inside and he didn't care, so we did! These guys move sooo fast!
Here's a list of the stuff we got to fully see for the first time (not threw a window)
  • Cabinets
  • Cabinet hardware (most of it)
  • Counters
  • Railings (all stained)
  • Painted walls
  • Trim
  • Tile floors in all the bathrooms
  • Shower doors
  • Doors to all the rooms
  • Fireplace
  • Light fixtures
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Some mirrors
  • Porch
  • Sidewalk
  • Walkway
  • Faceplates installed on a lot of the electric sockets (fan rough-ins, speak rough-ins, etc)

This all happened in a week people! That is insane! So far we are LOVING everything we picked out. I'm obsessed with our cabinets and really like our counters (they're not granite but they look pretty good to me!). We also really like all of our tile selections.

A nice surprise was that we have open railings on the basement stairs too! We definitely thought we were getting a capped wall "railing" so that was awesome!

All in all, we are SO excited about everything! Everything looks amazing and I CANNOT wait to move!! We're so close!!

Here are some pictures!

Center - You can see our porch, walkway, and sidewalk have been poured!


Our BEAUTIFUL cabinets! So happy we went with the white!

Another view of these beauties

Our island sitting in our Great Room. I'm guessing they're waiting to put floors down in the kitchen but it looks funny!

Fireplace - slate - I LOVE the slate and it flows well with our kitchen counters

Morning Room

1st Floor Powder Room - Like the tile we chose!

1st Floor Railings (very happy with the stain) and a light fixture!

Another view of the railings


Secondary Bath - Love the gray tile - So happy we got a double vanity there

Secondary Bath shower - stuck with the basic white. We'll have a shower curtain there anyway!

Master bath - It was dark so it was hard to take a picture

Expresso cabinets

Check out this sexy ass shower! I was worried about the dark tile but I realy like it!

Basement railing! A pleasant surprise!

Basement - painted, trim installed, and recessed lights
Other Updates:

Kitchen Table - I will be building this bad boy with my dad this weekend. All I need to get is some 4x4's (which apparently, no one sells .. Lowes, Home Depot, and Lumber 84 totally let me down). I'll probably have to go down to a nice lumber yard but not thrilled with paying their prices for just some 4x4s .. Oh well .. If any one has any tips on where to get these I would appreciate it!

Ugly Couch - The ugly pink couch has been stripped of the ugly pink fabric and is currently sitting naked in my parent's living room. My mom (who's a nurse and practically lives at the hospital) has had time to sew and cut some of the new fabric. That's all so far so it may not get done until after we move ..

Appliances - We went shopping this past weekend! After a ton of research we ended up getting a Samsung fridge and Samsung washer and dryer from Best Buy. We also got Best Buy's 5 year protection plan on all of them (we both used to work at Best Buy and they have really good protection plans for a really good price). They were having a sale so we got about $1000 off the fridge and about $200 off washer/dryer. Then we saw that Lowes is having a huge sale on appliances so we checked their prices and they were cheaper than what we payed ($323 less) so we went back to Best Buy and had the price adjusted! Good stuff!

Tip: Most retail stores like Best Buy (I'm guessing it's the same for Lowes and Home Depot) will price match! They'll even price match places like Amazon (but it has to be sold BY Amazon and not a private seller or company you've never heard of). You also normally have a certain amount of time after your purchase too! For example, if you buy something at Best Buy, you have 15 days (or 30 days for Silver Card Members) to price match if it goes on sale there or anywhere else. I would check out Lowes prices since they're having that sale right now. If ou see that someone is selling it cheaper now, you just bring your receipt back to your store, and they pull up the prices online on the competitors website and you go from there. It saved us over $300, so I'd check it out!

Fridge - We got this goliath of a fridge. Do we really need this HUGE of a fridge? No, not really, but it was the same price as the smaller one we liked with slightly better reviews. Plus it has two ice makers and ice does not last long in our house! I'm SO excited to have a fridge that will allow my food to last! Our apartment fridge is probably a million years old (I may be exaggerating) and sucks at keeping food fresh. I also can't wait to have a bunch of room so I can actually see what's in there! I can't tell you how many times I find something in the back of the fridge and I'm like "What?? That's still in there?? I was looking for this tupperware container!"
Samsung - 31.6 Cu Ft - RF323TEDBSR

Washer/Dryer - Pretty excited about these babies too! We looked comparable LG's and they had similar reviews. We just got a better deal on the Samsungs. Plus, we got a protection plan on both. I can't tell you how tired I am of putting money on a laundry card to do laundry! Having our own washer and dryer is going to be amazing!
Samsung Washer - 4.5 Cu ft - WA45H7000AW

Samsung Gas Dryer - 7.4 Cu ft - DV45H7000GW
My fabulous dog bowls also finally came in the mail! I feel like I ordered them 5 years ago. but they're finally here and they  look beautiful. They sent me these pictures via email and they're just as beautiful in person! Gotta love hand made stuff and supporting small businesses!

I hope everyone else is as excited about their home as we are!

Up Next:
  • Grading
  • Flooring
  • Deck (will probably be in two weeks)
  • I'm not really sure what else they have to do!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Locked Out!

They're finally locking the doors to our house so we're locked out :(

We knew it was coming but we were hoping we had one more week where we could sneak in and check things out.

We went by yesterday and peaked through the windows and we saw that they put in our hand railing, cabinets, counters (we think), and doors. The house is also all painted!

Obviously, no pictures this time or in the forseeable future since we can't go inside. My bf may try and schedule a time to meet our PM during the week but it's not feasible for me since I work so far away and pretty much work the hours they work.

Hope everything is going well with everyone else!

Monday, September 22, 2014


Our siding was finished this weekend! WooHoo!!! I was so excited! We were originally going to go down on Sunday, but we couldn't wait that long, so we went down after work on Friday and just made it before the sun went down. We LOVE it! We personally think our home is the most beautiful on the street (we are a little bias I guess ... haha!).

Just a recap:

Siding: Sandy Tan
Shake/Accent siding: Pebble Clay
Shutters- Black
Door - Will be painted a bright red




Close up!

Our PM updated us on Friday to let us know that the siding was done and to give us some updates on what will be happening this week.

  • He wants to wait a couple extra days for drywall to dry (In a previous post I said our PM told us it would take 2 weeks .. apparently my boyfriend meant to say days (not weeks) when he texted me! haha! I thought 2 weeks was a little abnormal ...)
  • Trim will be added this week
  • Walls will be painted
  • Cabinets and counters will be installed
  • Flooring should be installed (since it goes under our cabinets)
  • He also wants to try and do sidewalks, the driveway, grading of the yard, and plumbing stuff
AKA .. They're doing a TON of stuff this week!

He also let us know that we already have electric set up! He was pretty excited about that because it sounds like that's normally a headache.

Trim - Found these in the garage

Kitchen counters
We also measured the two dining room windows and the powder room window for some blinds.

Other than that, we hit up the Sherwin Williams 40% off paint sale and bought about 20 gallons of paint and a bunch of painting accessories (we needed everything because we've never painted a home before since we've been in apartment!). It wasn't a pretty price tag but it was much prettier after getting 40% off (Paint was 40% off and supplies were 30% off)! Today is the last day if you're interested in the sale!

We also looked at some Refridgerators and washers and dryers.
We're in between a high-end GE (The sales guy at Best Buy said GE is one of those brands that isn't that good in the lower end models but their higher end models are really nice) and a Samsung for a fridge, and we're in between LG and Samsung for washer/dryer (I think we're leaning towards the Samsung on this one though).

Hope everyone else had a nice weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quick Update - Siding has been started!

Our PM texted my boyfriend yesterday around 3:00 to let us know they started our siding! We decided to run down there after work.

When we got down there they had about half of the regular siding (not shake) put up! We both LOVE the color (Sandy Tan). We were a little worried it was going to be too light for our taste, but it looks awesome! Our PM said the siding should be all finished by Thursday or Friday. We'll probably go down there this weekend at some point.

We also noticed that they spackled the drywall (at least in the Garage). I'm guessing that is what they did on Monday. I think they're also going to start grading the yard soon because we have a bunch of big piles of dirt in the backyard.

Exciting stuff!

Right - Some siding done

Left- Finishing up the left side of the house!

Giant piles of dirt - We're guessing this is for grading!

Things are happening so fast, it's crazy! Hope everything is going smoothly for everyone else!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Drywall Done - Up Next: Siding

We stopped by the house on Sunday to check things out. All of our drywall is up already! I really can't believe how fast they move sometimes! At first I was a little dissapointed when I saw that the outside of the house looked the same, but then we walked in and I was pleasantly surprised by the drywall!

They still have to put on the spackle and finishing touches, but it's pretty much all done! It was so cool to see walls up and to really see what the space will look like. I fell in love! It made everything so real! I can see where I want my couches, and I can picture what it will look like with cabinets, furniture, curtains, etc.

I was also really happy to see that they used screws for our drywall and not all nails. This should grealy reduce the amount of nail pops we have! Oh, and we decided we are definitely painting when we move in. We may regret it but whatever. Lol!

TIP: If you are painting your house any time in the near future - Sherwin Williams is having a 40% off sale this weekend (September 19-22) so it's a good time to stock up! You don't even need to have your paint tinted. You can just go and buy the buckets of paint and then bring them in later to be tinted once you decide on a color.

Up Next:

This week our siding should be going up! I can't even tell you guys how excited I am to see our color choices! I'm also a little nervous. What if I don't like it? I'm sure that won't happen but if it did I would cry.

I'm also going to get started on calling power companies, water companies, cable companies, etc. so we don't run into any last minute delays. I am SOOO ready to be out of our apartment so if the power company holds us back I'm not going to be happy!

We also started looking at appliances. Originally we were going to do this REALLY last minute but we changed our minds. Both of us used to work at Best Buy so we know some of the people that work there still, so we're going to go there and buy everything (if you buy a ton of stuff from big stores and ask a manager you will likely get a discount .. just an FYI). We need a TV, Fridge, washer, dryer, and speakers. Will definitely be a fun shopping trip until we see the total price!

Without further adieu here are some pictures!

Kitchen/Morning Room

Taken from Moring Room - Hallway, basement door, pantry, dining room

Great room (and office door)


Biggest bedroom (other than Master)

Master (Horrible picture but hard to take a picture of)


We're so excited! We're still on schedule to close on October 22nd. I pre-settlement meeting is scheduled on the 19th.

Hope everyone had a nice weekend and saw some great progress on their homes!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Update - Repairs

Yesterday, my boyfriend went down to the house to meet with the PM to check out the stuff he fixed that we noticed during our inspection. Our private home inspector sent us a full report on his findings with everything from suggestions to things he thought really needed to be fixed. We forwarded it along to our PM and he ended up fixing almost everything on there!

The gap in the roof was fixed, some loose nails were fixed, they completely replaced the one wall in the basement that was crooked, straightened the vents that were crooked. Those were all the things that really needed to be changed.

He also went the extra mile and added attic access in one of the bedrooms. The bedroom with the fancy big window has a separate attic area that would have been unaccesible once drywalled so he threw in an access door in case problems ever arise in the future up there. He also checked in on why they had a return vent and supply vent right next to each other. It was per plan but it doesn't make sense so he moved one of them down the hall(In case your wondering about this - it doesn't make sense because the supply vent would be pushing out cold or hot air and the return vent would be sucking it right back up which could have caused problems with AC and heat upstairs).

I was also informed by my BF that most, if not all, of insulation has been installed. They're also going to move the speaker wires in the greatroom back where we wanted them. We want our surround sound coming from behind us and right now it would be coming from the ceiling in front of us.

They should be starting drywall and siding today! He said drywall takes a long time (2 weeks) in our community because of the humidity and the fact that we're near a canal. There's so much moisture in the air that it's taking a while for everything to dry and seal up. He did say, though, that we are on schedule! He also said he'd let us know when they started the siding because we're really excited to see it!

Overall, we're really happy with our PM. Would we recommend Ryan Homes? I'm not so sure. Would we recommend our PM? Absolutely.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pre-Drywall Meeting

This past Friday we had our pre-drywall meeting! Everything is moving so fast! It's crazy! We're only 6 weeks away from our expected close date!

The fact that we're only 6 weeks away from our new home is:

a) Exciting!! - I cannot wait to get out of our apartment! The smallness of our apartment just makes everything cramped, cluttered, and messy. I was cooking this past weekend and I was getting so frustrated with having no room, but then I got even MORE excited for our new home and new kitchen with counter space and cabinet space and storage and I could go on and on!

b) Nervous! - You know how much stuff we still have to do? A lot. I'm supposed to be whipping up a kitchen table from scratch, and I haven't even bought the wood yet. Oh, and that couch? Still stripped down to the bare bones sitting in my parent's living room! Oh, and have a mentioned that I work full time and I'm also in graduate school? Oh, and I'm taking two accelerated courses versus my usual course load of only one course! I'm going to be a lunatic!

We've been trying to get prepared though. We've started packing a little bit here and there. It's a little difficult, because you don't want to pack up stuff you'll need in the next 6 weeks. I didn't think I would need my vegetable peeler, so I packed it. Guess what? I've needed it twice!
We also looked into cable providers. If you have a really new development, I highly recommend looking into this ahead of time. The only provider we have is Verizon Fios and then a local small cable provider. We'll actually need them to come and dig a line in our yard for the hook-up so I'm going to schedule that ahead of time. Our PM said it's probably best to do it ASAP after closing before the sod is established so you can just lift up the sod instead of them having to dig up the yard.
I also got some folders and dividers and I'm going to try and organize all of our paperwork. I want to have all of our medical stuff, house stuff, and pet stuff organized so important stuff doesn't go missing during the move.

Meeting Details

We had our meeting at around 1:30PM on Friday. My boyfriend got there around 1:00 and so did the Guardian rep so they went through early before I got there. One tip I have is to make sure you know where you want all your cable, data, speaker hookups. For example, if you're having cable hookups for TVs in bedrooms think about where you're going to put the bed so you know where you might want the TV. Once I got there I corrected some of the places my boyfriend put the hookups! Lol! He just kind of plopped them on random walls.

Once that was done we went through the house with our PM. It wasn't as thorough as I thought it would be. It was more just a time for us to ask him about stuff or tell him about anything we saw. I think he normally walks through with people more carefully, but since we had our own inspector coming it wasn't really necessary to make us walk through everything twice. We noticed a few things like the second fan in our master bath wasn't installed, but he already knew about it. It was sitting downstairs in the garage waiting to be installed. We couldn't think of much else so then we just waited for the home inspector to come by and he told us to just give him a call once that was over.

Our inspector showed up a little bit later. He was a really nice guy. We started in the basement and worked our way up. He looked over everything very carefully and very slowly which was good! I'm glad he took his time. Overall, he noticed a few things but everything looks pretty good! Once we were done our PM came over right away and we showed him some stuff that we found. Here are some things he noticed and our PM's response:

  • Wonky looking wall in the basement. This isn't a structural wall but would definitely affect how good the wall looks cosmetically once drywalled
    • PM will definitely have this fixed
  • "Sleeve" on gas lines should be longer
    • He'll check in on the code and ask the plumbing guy to look at it and confirm
  • Flex duct seemed to be too long (14 ft)
    • Code recently changed in our county to allow flex duct longer than 14 ft
  • Missing nail plates (these are metal barriers they put on the wall where beams are close and there is wiring - this helps prevent someone from accidentally puncturing any of the wiring or gas lines when putting up drywall)
    • He'll have them installed no problem
  • Recommended we get more insulation downstairs near the HVAC system in foyer - apparently it gets really loud in Ryan Homes, which I have heard about before.
    • Apparently, they started putting insulation inside of these ducts a few years ago to help with the noise. He said he'd ask if we can have more put in.
  • Gap in lumber making up the peak over our garage
    • He'll have that fixed
  • Uneven roof on the side of the house
    • He said this was fine because everything is tight from the inside.
  • Crooked vents (dryer vent on the outside of the house was crooked)
    • These will be fixed
  • Return and supply of HVAC system too close upstairs. Right next to each other - doesn't make sense
    • He's not sure why this happened. He said he'd look at the blue print to see if they were installed in the right spot. If they were, then he'll ask why it's like this on the blue print, because it doesn't really make sense.

Overall, everything went really well! We even have a garage door installed! Yesterday, after my boyfriend and his cousin were done "celebrating" an Eagle's victory, I picked them up and we went to look at the house. They had all of the cable and data wires hooked up already. The only issue we saw is that they put the rough in's for the rear surround sound speakers too far up. We want them behind us when we're watching tv, and right now they're positioned above where the couch will be vs behind the couch. Technically, we're not supposed to go into the house so we shouldn't know this yet, but I feel like we should say something about it before the drywall goes up.

Front - Garage door, window trim decor, and wrapping added


This week they'll be putting in drywall and our PM said our siding should be up by the end of this week! Sooo excited! Oh, I also asked him about sod care and if he had any tips and he said he gives us a whole manual on house stuff, including a section on sod, so we should be all set! He's been really great with everything. We definitely had a few hiccups during the entire process but our PM has been wonderful.


Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Shingles and Tubes

We made our weekly trip to our home this weekend and saw a finished roof! That was pretty much the only new thing on the outside of the house. I can't wait for siding!!




This past week they apprantely did plumbing and HVAC stuff. We got to see our AC unit, our secondary bath's tub, and our master shower's floor! We also saw our HVAC system and a bunch of other rough-ins. Kind of cool to see how they put everything in.

Secondary bath tub

Master shower floor


AC unit - it's a lot bigger than our neighbors - even the Rome's (bigger house than ours) but not sure why.

Wet Bar rough-in in basement

We also wrote some quotes on the beams. I originally got this idea from Pinterest, but I've seen a few other bloggers do it as well! We just wrote some feel good quotes that will give us some good ju-ju. It's also kind of cool to have our own little touch within the bones of the house.

By our future deck - "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" - Oscar Wilde

In the kitchen area - Something for myself and any future girls in our family to remember! "Be a girl with a mind, a woman with attitude, and a lady with class."

"You don't love someone for their looks, or their clothes, or their fancy car, but because they sing a song only you can hear." -Oscar Wilde

Man Cave - "The problem isn't the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem." -Captain Jack Sparrow
By fireplace switch - "Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remember to turn on the light." - Albus Dumbledore (I'll be Harry Potter nerd forever!)

A quick conclusion on the decking situation. As many of you know, we were told we were getting a Trex® deck (in writing) and then found out that it was actually a GeoDeck material deck. We let them know that this isn't okay since they told us we were getting a name brand, more expensive deck than we really were. We gave them an option of giving us a Trex deck or making it up to us by giving us some free additions like pendant lighting, etc.

In the end they decided it was best to give us Trex®. They explained to us that customer service is very important to them and giving us little extra things, such as lighting, wouldn't resolve the problem. We are now getting Trex's Enhance decking. There are three levels of Trex (Select- good, Enhance - Better, Transcend- Best), so it's very nice they're giving us the middle of the line decking. It comes with a nice warrantly against wearing and fading. In the end, we're pleased with the way they handled it. Would we have gotten anything if we hadn't asked? Probably not, but I can't really fault them for that. You HAVE to ask if you want something. This also proves that it's very important to get everything in writing!

We also did a little shopping yesterday. We didn't get any big appliances, because we're waiting to get those, but we got little things like curtain rods, storage containers, hand towels, etc. I saw that some of you got some awesome deals on appliances which is awesome! TIP: If you need curtain rods, and don't want to pay an arm and a leg for them, try Home Goods, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls. We got a 120" rod for $30 (covers all three morning room windows) and smaller ones (32-46") for $15 each. Not too bad. Originally, I was going to make our curtain rods from some pipes but this saved me a lot of time!

For awhile, I've been trying to think of what to put over our couch on the wall. I looked at Art shows and checked places like Marshalls/Home Goods countless times. I couldn't find anything I really liked. We finally toured the model in our community, since it just got fully finished a couple weeks ago, and I saw this really cool tree picture on the wall. It was simple and very pretty. I got inspired and decided to make my own version! We went to Michaels, and I got my canvas for 40% off, grabbed some paint and went to work! I'm very pleased with out it turned out!

Painting - It's pretty big (30" x 40")
I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend!!