Our House

Our House
is a very, very, very fine house...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

It's Happening!

This photo was actually from last week.  The foundation walls had been poured, but they were still in the forms drying.

It was kind of interesting to go to the site and see the "brick pattern" of the walls.  I wonder if there is any real 'value' in doing them that way.  Seems like a decorative thing, but since that will all be underground....   I suppose that is for homes on an incline that will have a walkout basement to have it look nicer.  This photo kind of shows the form of the house.  The lower right corner of the photo is the area that will be under the garage.  The black is the waterproofing.  The mid-left of the photo is where the front 'porch' will be.

And here is the wonderful photo of what the ground looks like right now.  There was an inspector there when we went to the site sitting in a car (At least, I assume it was an inspector).  I know they were doing some of the "under the foundation" stuff to get ready to pour the flooring early next week.  It's happening!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

And the beat goes on...

We've had some more progress since the last post.  The basement walls are all done and waterproofed.  This week the stone goes into the basement and the slab will be poured.  So far we have been lucky as the weather hasn't cost us any days.  Next Monday, we will get our delivery of lumber and (as long as the workers are available) the framing will start to go up on Tuesday.  That is when it should get exciting as it will finally start to actually look like a house.  Soon after that, most of the interesting pictures will come from the inside of the house instead of the outside.  As per usual, my wife will post pictures later. 

We also got some good news this week as we were able to lock-in our rate.  It's one less thing to worry about (and there are many).  We also are finalizing our homeowner's insurance tomorrow.  It is slightly less than originally estimated so that is always a plus (better than when estimates go the other direction). 

So far we are very happy with the communication level with the Ryan Builders.  We have been kept up to date on a regular basis and feel we always know what is going on and why.  I'm hoping that the financial side goes as smooth but we'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

As promised.....

The first photo was actually taken yesterday - after Jesse got off work, we headed down to Culpeper.  I was annoyed at the sun's angle, so we decided to go this morning as well.  Glad we did because then we got to see the footers being prepped.

Looks smaller from as far up as we are.  I cannot wait to see the progress....

This should be fun....

We also went and looked at the two other model homes in Culpeper that we are not living in.  I have to say that for our family, my favorite is the one we are getting.  The Palermo is a good house.  The Palermo with the bonus room and the morning room is just stellar!!!

We are so blessed!

Moving forward finally!!!

We finally broke ground on Thursday (5/15).  Like everything else, it seems like forever when you are waiting but now we are just happy to be able to track progress for a change.  Despite all of the rain in our area, there wasn't a delay to the ground breaking.  However, after it was dug it looked more like we were building a pool then starting a basement.  They weren't able to work Friday as is dried out.  Today they worked at getting the footers ready so that they wouldn't fall behind.  My wife will be adding pictures later.

Our PM has told us that 6/4 - 6/7 will be the biggest changes to watch since that is when the framing will go up.  It's exciting to think that it's so close to starting to look like a house even if the end still seems so far away.

We also had contact from our loan officer for Closing.  I'm happy that rates seem to be going down (and hope it continues for the near future).  I'm still anxious to get to the point where we can lock in a rate.  Nothing will be the same as the comfort of having the keys in hand and the house ours but there are some important moments that will help to at least get us closer to having those keys.

One additional nice part of the building going on right now is that another construction project started by Ryan Homes right behind ours and is about a week ahead of our schedule.  So every time we go to look at the house we can see what our will look like in a week or so.  It made it easier to explain to the kids why they were doing what they were doing now and what it would look like soon.

We are very happy to be moving forward and hope to have many updates over the next 3 months.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Pre-Construction Meeting!!!!

We had our pre-construction meeting today and it went smoothly.  Our PM's are Doug (Main guy) and Wes (more likely to be around).  Doug was there for the meeting but we did get to meet Wes afterwards at our lot.  Both men seemed very nice and it was good to get off on the right foot.  I've listed below our main questions and what the answers were.  We are set to break ground the week of 5/12 (most likely Thursday the 15th).  I have a lot of travel for work coming up the next two weeks so will mostly be getting my "building" fixes on the weekend.  I'm sure my better half will have plenty to say during that time as she is planning to visit almost every day at the beginning.  We are very happy with how things are going so far.
1.       Is it Sod or Seed?
Sod - 100% covered, but some may need replaced as sod really needs TLC to thrive. 

2.       Is the basement door solid?
no, it is a "nine light" (and so is the utility door in the garage) (I had an idea of what that meant, but I had to Google it to confirm)

3.       Does office door have windows?
yes, it is a "15 light”

4.       Master bathroom shower: Slide or swing?
D (our very nice Project Manager) is going to confirm and get back to us

5.       What kind of Toilet paper holders are used? Can we switch to different if we don’t like?  
The tp holders are one kind from their supplier, but we can get ones we like and D offered to patch the drywall at our 30 day if we change them

6.       Is there a choice on Shrubs and Trees? 
no, it is actually governed by our township.  the genus and species are specific.

7.       Smooth or Textured Ceilings? 

8.       Drainpipe in Garage? 
no, I also asked about a mud-sink in the garage.  That was a no-go as well, BUT, with the Palermo model, and the fact that we are not finishing our basement, putting one in after settlement won't be too difficult.

9.       Where are Hose bibs located? 
one in the front of the house and one in the back

10.   Outlets: Where located? 
every 12 linear feet
Is there one in the laundry room? 
Will there be one in the master closet? no, but given that the master closet is on the opposite side of a long wall, one can be run after settlement and it should not be too difficult (or pricy) if we really decide we want one.
Is there an outlet on the kitchen island?
yes, one
How many in the garage?
Two wall and one in the ceiling (for the eventual garage door opener that we will install)
In the basement?
one in the basement (ok, it is an unfinished basement, so I am not anticipating a whole bunch of need there)

11.  Will we have a side door in the garage, and if so, will it have a deadbolt?
yes - and yes

12.   What inspections will happen and at what stage?
Ryan Homes does two different kinds of inspections - Energy Star (done twice by independent, third part inspectors - once pre-drywall, and one pre-settlement) and Quality (also by an independent third party contractor

13.   Can we be kept appraised of days when “significant” changes to the outside look will happen? yes, in fact, they kind of liked the idea that we are planning to do a stop-motion short of our home being built

14.   Where will attic access be located?
in the laundry room

15.   Will garage be sheetrocked?
garage will be sheet rocked and taped.  to finish, it would require 2 coats of mud, sanding and painting

16.   What are rules around site visits?
we can go to the site anytime, but if we want on/in, then we need to call ahead of time and make sure it is an appropriate day/time to go 

17.   Are there extra floor supports in high traffic areas?
no, but the plywood is going to be 3/4” vs 5/8” thick - and there was something with doubling up on something with longer areas and joists and spacings of 16”-19” on center, when the max is 20” on center.  It made sense when he explained it, but I really didn’t quite understand that well enough to relay it here….

18.   Extra interior insulation?

19.   Will the windows have screens?