Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Moving, luck and family.

If you have been reading my blog, you know by now that we have closed on the house last Tuesday.  We did have a small hiccup which delayed closing for a couple of hours but in the end everything worked out and we got our keys.   According to my mom, the next day, December 5, was an auspicious (lucky) day for moving.  But since we were not ready to move at all, she told me to bring rice, salt and a broom to the house.  Rice is said to symbolize prosperity, salt is said to bring spice to your life and a broom is needed to sweep away bad luck.  Although, I am not superstitious by nature, I still brought all those to the house on that day, and doing so made it feel like my mom is here with me and not thousands of miles away. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Four hours and counting...

We will be closing on the house in 4 hours.  I have to say this experience of building a house is sort of like giving birth...painful during labor (in this case the build process) and joy when you see the baby (the finished house and finish line).  I am so happy with the house that when I saw our PM yesterday for last minute stuff I had feelings of fondness for him, much like how Ted felt when he was about to break it off with Zoe in "How I Met Your Mother", unlike the feelings of irritation for him (the PM) during the build process.  

We had an independent inspection done last Saturday.  Our inspector was surprised by the quality of the build RH had done and he only found mostly cosmetic issues.    But it was during this inspection, when we found out that our PM did not put in the drop-down stairs to the attic in the laundry room.  He did provide us with an access but no stairs.  During the building, there was a set of drop-down stairs stored in our garage so I thought that was it, apparently the stairs was not ours but belonged to another house being built.  If this had happened weeks ago, I would have been breathing fire about that but since it was almost near the finish line, I was surprisingly calm about it.  Our PM had promised to finish out the installation at the latest Thursday since we do plan to move in on Saturday.  Oh well.

I have to say that I am so in love with my professional style dual-fuel range and hood!  I think the set just made the house a whole lot classier.  The hardwood flooring is gorgeous.  Our PM mentioned that the inspectors thought the floors were awesome and that it was their first time to inspect a house with so much hardwood.  

 I'll end this post with pictures of the house.  Anybody who is used to blogger would know that they would randomly post the pics.  Our days will become busier after today.  I'll try to update this blog with changes we've made to the house.  Congratulations to those who had recently closed and good luck to those still building.

Typical upper bedroom

My awesome kitchen

Laundry room


Bonus room

Double welled basement door

Stairs to basement

Extra finished basement space

Another pic of the kitchen

Kids in family room

Friday, November 30, 2012

Coming up next is...Closing!!!

I haven't been updating this blog lately.  I have been so busy making sure that RH fixed all the goof-ups before we go into closing next week.  So far, almost everything has been fixed except for Guardian's placement of the intercom panel on the first floor.  We also got final approval of the loan already so we are good to go.  Can't wait to move into the house. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Very late update.

Although we have been visiting the build site at least once a week, I haven't been updating this blog.  Life has been hectic, to say the least.  Anyway, as of last Saturday, this is what have been done:

  • The tile, vanities, countertops, mirrors and hardware for all the bathrooms are done.  Ubatuba granite in the master bath looks good.  I kinda wished we had done granite in all the bathrooms.  The framed glass showers in the master and 1st floor guest bath looks cheap.  I didn't know that soap dishes were included with the ceramic tile.  I don't like it.  I've asked the PM to have them removed.  
  • The central vac is already installed.  I am looking forward to using this in the new house.
  • The kitchen cabinets are also up.  I was second guessing myself about choosing Scottsdale espresso cabs for the kitchen but with them installed.  I am loving them.  One of the base cabinets doors is cracked, they have to replace that.
  • Crown molding for the foyer, crown molding and chair rail for the formal dining room are installed.  The molding really makes both areas look finished.  Hubby was surprised at how much he liked the look.
  • The fireplace mantel is done also.  It is pretty but is kinda puny in my opinion.  This will be a future project for us but in the meantime it is acceptable.
  • Thermostats are up.  The Verona only came with 1 thermostat standard but we insisted that they add another one for the second floor.  
  • The hardwood staircase is in.  It needs to be stained though.  My husband is loving the look of the naked wood though.
  • All the appliances are delivered but not installed yet.
  • Lastly, they have finished installing all the hardwood throughout the 1st and 2nd floor of the house.  I was there when they were in the middle of doing the flooring in the family room.  Sunlight was streaming into the windows and it made the floor gleam!  I loved the effect. 
It is beginning to look like a house.  Can't wait to move in.



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thoughts on the storm

We got through the storm safe and sound.  Our thoughts and prayers to those who were not as lucky.  I hope that people will not use this disaster to further their own agendas.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Passed by the house today after dropping off my little boy off at Pre-K.  All the bathrooms have been tiled!  We also have a driveway.
Tub in master bath

Shower in master bath

Shower in attached

The driveway

I also saw the cabinets which were still in boxes in the garage.  They will start installing those tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Drywall up.

As the title of this post said, the drywall is already up.  I don't think they're finished mudding and taping though.  Was not able to take any pictures as we were so frustrated over the fact that they haven't moved the attic access from the bedroom to the laundry room.  Arrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pre- drywall Walkthrough done!

Pre-drywall walkthrough is done!  We also did the pre-drywall inspection done by an independent inspector.   No major issue were found.  But my husband and I did have a problem with the location of the attic access.  When they started framing the house, I had called the PM and requested that the attic access be out in the laundry room and he said "no problem."  But they had put the access through one of the bedrooms.  Not good at all.  The PM said it would be no problem to move it.  I hope so.

On a positive note, we met some of the neighbors.  They had two kids aged 6 and 4.  Our kids seemed to hit it off with them.  Yay!

We took a LOT of pictures and video of the pipes, wiring and other stuff that will be hidden once the drywall is up.  Hope that is enough since we won't be getting the blueprints.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wish list

I wonder how many of us who have chosen to build with Ryan Homes consider the homes they are currently building to be the ONE.  You know the forever house, the one you will grow old in.  For me and hubby, we are leaning towards a "no".  We have our reasons and a lot of it does not have anything to do with RH (It's not you, it's me...).  We have a wish list of what we would want in our dream house and they include:

  1. A more modern design.  When we started our house hunt,  we really wanted a house with a modern design sensibility.  But existing homes and new home construction in Delaware are more built on traditional lines, especially those who are in developments.  Yes, I know we could have done what we have wanted if we built outside a development and with a custom home builder but our kids are really young, we wanted them to have playmates close by so we chose to be in a development.  In my mind though, our next home will be built by them.
  2. A bigger lot area.  Our current lot size is just a hair over 1/4 acre.  Nuff said.
  3. Solar panels on the roof.  Solar panels are not allowed under current HOA rules.
  4. Vegetable garden.  Vegetable plots are also not allowed under current HOA rules.  But hey, maybe I can incorporate herbs and some vegetables in the landscaping.
  5. Rain water and grey water collecting system.  This is something we will definitely explore once we settle in the house.
I'm not saying that we regret our decision building with RH.  So far, our experience with them has been positive.  And I'm hoping that it will stay that way.

Crate and Barrel sale

For those who are in the market for a new sofa,  you guys better run to the nearest Crate and Barrel and take advantage of their 25% off custom upholstery event.  The selection was really nice and we were able to order a sectional for the family room.    Hubby even insisted that we order an extra set of slipcovers for the inevitable accidents that will happen with our two energetic kiddies.

Hope you guys are able to snag something from them.

On the way to becoming a house...

Our house is becoming to look like a house

We passed by the site just this saturday and to our surprise they have started installing the siding.  We weren't able to take any pictures as we were in a hurry to go home.  With Nascar in town, we weren't too sure how bad the traffic will be. 

We're scheduled to do the independent pre-drywall inspection and pre-drywall walk through this Friday.  I hope everything will go well.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our selections...

I have been posting for two weeks now and I've just realized that I have not posted any of the options we've chosen for our new home. I wanted to do this post first when I started the blog but since I kept changing my mind. I figured just to do this post once the options are set in stone. We signed the last change order today (I swear) so here goes:

  • Verona floor plan, elevation C, silver mist siding, black shutters, white trim, kungfu red door
  • Side entry garage
  • Morning room
  • Bonus room on the second floor
  • Attic access
  • Finished basement with double welled entrance
  • Hardwood flooring (Manchester gunstock) through out the house except for for first floor guest bedroom and finished basement area
  • recessed lighting in every room except for morning room and study where we opted for a ceiling fan/light
This is a break down what we had chosen room by room:

  • First floor living room - converted into guest bedroom, instant impact carpet in pea gravel
  • First floor powder room - converted into attached full bath with shower instead of combination tub-shower for the first floor guest room, fidenza cafe floor/wall/listello package
  • First floor study - at first we had requested that they remove the wall between the study and the family room so we could have a larger family room, they had said yes to that request, but we decided to put back the wall because the living room to bedroom conversion had made the space so much smaller and awkward
  • Family room - added fireplace with a slate surround
  • Kitchen - Scottsdale Espresso cabinets with st cecilia granite, kitchen island, pendant lighting rough-ins over island, gas range hook-up with range hood venting outside the house.  I was taught to cook by my Chinese grandmother so one of the important things I had to have was a commercial grade range hood that will vent to the outside or the house will smell like a bad Chinese restaurant.  A microwave/vent combo that recirculates air just won't cut it.  So Ryan will be installing this hood and dual fuel range from the GE Monogram line for me.  This combination will include warming lamps, warming shelf and a stainless steel backsplash.  The fact the grates can accommodate round-bottom woks is a major plus, as IMO, there is nothing like high heat cooking on a wok!  We chose not to get a backsplash from Creative Floors as the choices were very limited.  We will probably order something from Ann Sacks or have this tile installed. 
  • Finished basement - Aside from the finished basement area we are getting from RH as an incentive, we had them finish off the rest of the basement too.  We plan to make this into a winter play area for the two kiddies.  We also added a full bath (plain white ceramic tile) to the basement 
  • Master suite - owner's bathroom with soaking tub and shower, double bowl vanity, ubatuba countertop, stratford place tile in alabaster
  • Hall bathroom - double bowl vanity, plain white ceramic tile
  • Laundry room - sink, sierra tile 
We did ask for a lot of nonstandards from Ryan but not all of them were approved.  Overall, we are happy with what we had chosen.  Feel free to comment.

Progress as of September 14

As you can see they've started framing:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I was wrong...

I made a post yesterday re a mistake in the computation. After going over the numbers again with our SR, I realize I was the one who made the mistake. So I will repeat what another blogger had said and will eat crow and admit I was wrong.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Progress as of September 7, 2012

We drove over to the home site last Friday and this is what we saw:
Ryan sure do fast work!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Domino magazine

Another special issue of Domino magazine just came out. Domino used to be one of my favorite magazines before they closed it down. So glad they're coming out with special issues. Time for another trip to the bookstore!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last changes going in...

Just talked to our SR about the last minute changes we wanted. He'll get back to me tomorrow about these changes. I hope they're a go. Once I know, I'll list out all the options we got.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We got our approval!

We got an email from our loan officer yesterday and we are approved! I still do need to send some stuff to them but they won't be needing them until 60 days before settlement. So far, NVR has been easy to deal with (knock on wood) and I hope this is indicative of how it will be.

Monday, September 3, 2012

We have footers

Last Friday, we drove to our home site to check out how the excavation was going. To our surprise, this was what we saw
Yehey, we're on our way. Our PM told us he would be able to move us into the house by December. I hope so... I'd hate to spend another christmas in a rental.

I just cannot make up my mind...

I'd like to make a few changes to our selections...again. I wonder how late in the game can you change your mind. I'm sure our SR shudders every time I call. If we get through with building the house without him killing me, I'll nominate him for sainthood!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Not another one...

Yeah, yeah...I know what you guys are thinking...Not another blog documenting a Ryan Homes house being built...Anyway, my hubby and I are building a Verona. I'd love to hear from others who are also building with RH. Just drop me a line.