Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting COMPLETE! - Ryan Homes Build

We officially had our meeting this past Friday! It went well. I have no complaints and am very excited about moving forward. Talking about moving forward.. it just doesn't feel real yet. :) We met with our project manager and our sales rep - obviously it was our first time meeting with our project manager and I have to say that I really like the guy. Just like everyone we have met through this process, they are all real, down to earth, good people. We look forward to working with him.

All of our questions were pretty quickly and easily answered through the project manager going over the details of our options. I only had three questions left unanswered. :) Our meeting lasted about an hour and a half because we chatted more than was necessary.

They have already started the town houses in our development and are hoping for approval on our home in another 2 weeks or so at this point. Fingers crossed it happens soon! This county definitely drags its feet on projects. That's why I am assuming our closing will be pushed back longer than any three month build because of the continuous county approval for each stage of the build PLUS this expected terrible Winter. It is what it is though. :)

So the plans are as follows: break ground at the end of this month, pre-drywall around the end of February and then closing around the end of March. I'm okay with a delay into April. It allows us more money for closing because we've been so lax in saving for our closing costs. Oops! :)

As I drove by today they appeared to be working on paving the turning lane into the development. It is dug out and half the road is closed to pave, so that's a good step. Soon we will have a completed entrance. :)

Probably the worst picture I've ever posted. Hard to make pavement look nice. ;) Our home will eventually be straight back and to the left. I'm thinking you will probably see it somewhat from the main road. 
According to our PM, it sounds like we will have about 10ft from the side of our house to the end of our lot. So with the other houses next door with the same footage, we should have about 20ft in between the homes. It's more than I was anticipating and I can't wait to see how much space it really is. Also, we are told our driveway should be about 15ft long without the garage included. I can live with that because then we can park 2 cars in the driveway and 2 in the garage. Not that we have 4 cars, but I'm just thinking of guests. :) But of course, nothing is ever for certain, so we will just wait and see!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Fingers Crossed - Ryan Homes Build

SO. Tomorrow is supposed to be the day. Just like two weeks ago was supposed to be the day, but we were told we would have to reschedule our meeting again. So, it goes without saying that HOPEFULLY tomorrow evening we will be finalizing everything at our pre-construction meeting and be moving forward on building a house. I am at my wits end and ready for some progress. I love my family and am grateful for the time we have gotten to be with them, but I am so ready for my little family to have our own personal space again. Plus I really want to dig through all my belongings that have been living in storage almost two years! It's going to be like shopping.. but for free! Hello awesome.

I realized today I haven't taken any more recent pictures which is a little disappointing on my part. The curbs have completely been poured and we have a relatively good idea of the location of our lot and the roads in front of and behind us. Today as I was driving by the one side of the entrance was being PAVED. That's a HUGE step forward.

Nonetheless, fingers crossed tomorrow stays scheduled as planned. I can't wait to hear of our "breaking ground" date! Because when that moment comes.. only THREE more months.. give or take days, weeks, or months due to winter weather. But as long as I see the framing, it's one more step to having our own roof over our heads.

Also, I've LOVED reading every single one of your blogs and enjoyed your journey. I've lived vicariously through all of you even though I haven't been commenting. I do check in and am extremely happy to see all of your beautiful homes. There is sunshine ahead! ;) Congratulations to all of you as most of you have moved in or are in that home stretch! Such a rewarding experience and beautiful accomplishment for everyone. I hope to keep reading some of your journeys post-build. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Curbs, Lots, Dirt, & a BABY! - Ryan Homes Build

View out behind the sales office

It has been a LONG time coming, but we are still in the process of building our home and hopefully moving forward for good now. They still continue laying the roads, curbs, pipes/utilities. Delays have occurred that have been related to weather and the county permits & approvals. Not going to lie, the delays have been really tiresome and frustrating, so I've attempted to back off and not watch the movement like a hawk like I used to. I am really hoping from this point we move forward and pretty quickly as well. :)

We visited the sales office yesterday & it really did make me look forward to the future again. Each time I stop by, the excitement gets re-ignited and I'm thankful for that. I look forward to this home and this community so much! :)

In my last post I originally left off stating that construction was slated to begin middle of October. Well, October has come and gone into November. So clearly we haven't started or I would have been back to posting sooner. Mama always said "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". I wouldn't say I don't have anything nice to say, as I understand there is so much that goes into the development and the foundation of starting a brand-new community, but I just don't exactly have anything to say in general. BUT slow progress is still progress & I've been waiting for this opportunity.

According to our SR, who is somewhat in the dark as to when paving is set to begin, but is under the impression that hopefully within the next two weeks that progress takes place. They are currently pouring the curb and laying the gravel, so all that's left is the asphalt. ;)

Our pre-construction meeting is now slated for November 28th with construction hopefully beginning December 1st. It makes me wonder how difficult it is to build a house in the Winter, but we will clearly be seeing! :) 3.5 weeks to that day, but I'm not going to focus on it because I don't want my heart set on another date that may change again.

BUT onto the GOOD news that we ran into yesterday, is the fact that we finally have a stake showing the general vicinity of our lot! :) I was so stinking excited for this, because it was the first time we've ever seen something depicting where our future home will be besides on paper.

Sweet little lot #95!
The stake is probably positioned where the beginning of our rear-loading garage will be.
The mound of dirt in front will house the 1.2 acre "common area". 
I kicked off my shoes because I didn't want to get them dirty trudging around the development.
So here I am standing for the first time in what will specifically be my future home.
Standing in the middle of the road that will be in front of our home, looking to the left.
Which in the future will house the shopping center. 
Looking directly forward through what will be the front of our home to the rear.
Our little "stake" housed in the middle of the photo.
Standing in the middle of what will be our road! It was FREEZING! 
Celebrating our stake! Someday we will get to slap a "SOLD" sticker on a real sign. ;) 
Early morning this past week before pouring the curb
Early morning this past week before pouring the curb. 
The next morning - completed curbs!
The next morning - completed curbs!

So, some progress has been made! Apparently they are letting the gravel "settle" and then the asphalt will be next. I did not get a picture of it, but the curb is set to be poured for the road that comes from this entrance to the road around the round-a-bout. I'm assuming this starts Monday and then we will move forward with the gravel application & settling, before asphalt is poured in that area.

View from the main road from September

The picture above shows the layout of "Phase 1". The round-a-bout is half pictured. The gazebo and sidewalks seen in the upper-middle part of the picture depicts the common area which is directly in front of our home. We are the first row of homes pictured in the middle of the paper - with the rear  loading garages. To the right are four sections of town homes. The lots shown on the bottom of the page and directly above are the front loading garage homes. The street directly in front of our home will be Stubenhofer Street & from the looks of it should not be a very busy road because there are main access roads elsewhere to get to the front loading homes and the town homes. I look forward to this because that is one reason I selected this lot - to have a not busy street and a big area for our son to play in given that we have a smaller backyard due to a rear loading garage. The open area on the left of that paper is where the shopping center will be. I also am looking forward to being able to simply walk right across the street if I need something to pick-up for dinner at the grocery store. Granted, that development part of the subdivision will be later on down the road.
Lastly, we have HUGE news not related to the house. We are expecting an addition to our family in June 2015! We will then be a family of four. :) I'm REALLY hoping to be closed by the first week in March (which is our estimated date of settlement) because I've got things to get in order before the arrival of another child! I look forward to decorating both kids rooms now. :) Time to get the nesting in order as soon as I can. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Delay in Movement - Ryan Homes Build

So originally we were planning to have our pre-construction meeting this coming Friday. Not necessarily a surprise, but the date is now pushed back to October. We don't officially have a new date for pre-construction, but they are anticipating the beginning of construction being October 13th.

This isn't something worth pointing the finger at Ryan Homes, because I know our county. Our county has extremely strict stipulations related to any zoning, building, paving and so forth. The county supervisors have had strong, strict requirements since this development has been in the works to be approved in 2009. So the completion of this entire project is something that is probably not going to come easy. They have an idea of the way they want the community and neighborhood to look and they are going to stand by it until the vision is fulfilled and I cannot be against it. I have extremely high hopes for this community and am more than willing to wait it out. No matter HOW BADLY I WANT MY HOME. ;)

I just want a job well done. In my parents neighborhood, which was a RH development from 2003, it feels as if the house could fall down when the wind blows or the rain pours and you can hear every little thing outside when in the living & dining rooms. And just for clarification so you all don't get the wrong idea about all RH's, our previous home was a RH and was build spectacularly.

With that being said, I would assume that we have a January/February closing. As long as the Winter does not prove to be an issue, I believe that maybe we will see that date. Fingers are crossed! It is only going to be sweeter with time. Even though I want nothing more than to be inside those four walls. :)

In addition, they have added in fire hydrants and it appears they have finished the majority of the plumbing line work. Clearly, I do not know all that needs to be done. But it really does look like they are ready for the paving to begin. I am hoping any day now. :) The other great part is that they removed the brush to the entrance to our section of the community which will lead to a roundabout with our home directly diagonal to said roundabout. Progress people! I am still excited to see the day that we have a sign indicating our lot! :)

 It doesn't seem like much, but it sure is pretty to us. It is progress and a new place to call home in the future. We are grateful and blessed. Also, assuming that our home will be somewhere near the brush/wood/tree pile in the first couple of pictures. :)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting Questions Updated - Ryan Homes Build

Most of these questions were answered within the overview of our options reviewed by our project manager. Quick and easy. There were three or so that were left at the end to ask. :)
  • Smooth or rough ceilings? NEVER put any thought to this until I saw this so frequently in other posts. Why would you do rough ceilings? I got laughed at. SMOOTH
  • Have the appliances changed? The refrigerator is no longer being sold. Found the newer model that had been sent to the SR. 
  • Standard recessed lights over each shower? I continue to be told yes. But this is just a reminder to verify. Yes. 
  • Standard recessed lights in porch? Again, told yes. I'd like two built-in. Yes, two standard. 
  • Remove granite backsplash lip? I don't know the true wording for this, but I think that it looks cleaner with the lip removed for backsplash application. Easy to remove after we move in to put backsplash, but this is a quality control issue according to inspector. 
  • Crown moulding on kitchen and laundry cabinets? I haven't found much clarification on this. It would seem to me that this would not be standard, but I never saw it listed as an option? Continue to need clarification. Although for sure not in laundry room. 
  • Will laundry cabinets be installed high enough to accommodate our stands? Yes. 
  • French door vs. sliding door in back? Crossing my fingers for a french door.  Yes, one stationary, one that opens. 
  • Different switch for pendants vs. recessed lights? MUST have this. Yes. 
  • White mantle? Praying this is possible, but if not we will install ourselves. We do not want a stone mantle. Most likely doing stone. 
  • Glass cabinets above the range? End of cabinets? Really crossing my fingers on this one. The glass makes a huge difference in my opinion. Not an option. Would have to reach out to Timberlake distributor instead. 
  • Do the end of the cabinets round at the wall? This is something that I'm just simply clarifying. The upgraded kitchen shows this online, so I am assuming this is a yes. Yes. 
  • Outlet on landing of stairs? Wondering if we can add this in. Seems simple enough to request to add-in. I want to be able to put scent plug-ins here. A little silly you may think.. ;) Not present and not a big deal the more I think about it. 
  • Switched outlet for tray ceiling lighting in master and dining? We are planning on putting rope lighting in the tray. We have already paid for the outlet, but just want to make sure it is run by a switch. Yes. 
  • Move crown moulding on tray to bottom? This is related to a model home we saw in MD which has the rope lights in the master and dining room trays. Our SR is not sure our PM will accommodate this. It never hurts to ask. If it cannot be done, we will ask to leave off the crown moulding and apply it ourselves. Because otherwise, the outlets placed in the trays would useless. Yes, will be 1/3 way down
  • Extra insulation in laundry, bathrooms, and between master/bonus? I cannot STAND to hear the bathroom shower or toilet running in the bedrooms next door - this happens as my parents home that was a RH from 2003. Will do ourselves. 
  • Mini deck and porch having trex/geo-deck material? Hoping for trex or some variation because of the cleanliness and way it looks. Concrete. Not exciting but it is what it is. 
  • Archway vs. raised in bathroom between sinks and shower/toilet? This is a pretty big deal to us. It changes the openness of the bathroom A LOT and I'm hoping this is a simple fix. Archway, no. Possibly raised. 
  • Tile ABOVE the showerhead? No bigger frustration than halfhearted tiling. Our previous RH (that we did NOT build) had upgraded tile, but it stopped below the shower head. Made our nice bathroom seem a little less nice. Yes. 
  • Have shower head raised high enough? My husband is 6'4" and many shower heads do not accommodate his height. Hopefully a simple request. Yes. 
  • Light rough-in for morning room? CANNOT remember for the life of me. Kind of important! Yes, chandelier. 
  • House paint color? A beige/greige/off-white may be nice? I think we may paint sooner than the 10-month inspection anyway. So it is kind of a flexible point. Forgot to ask. 
  • Light on the back “deck” recessed or on the wall? I believe one of the neo-traditional models we saw had a recessed light in the overhang of the small "deck". Recessed per plan. 
  • Laundry room light? Our previous, lovely home, had the large, long tube light in the laundry room. But am starting to entertain the idea of additional recessed lights here. From what I understand it's a typical round light. 
  • Wood stairs to bonus and wood stairs to bottom of basement? Yes, wood stairs to bonus but not to basement as that is not per plan. 
  • Is the blower necessary now that we have a new fireplace? TBD.
I'm not necessary interested in timelines as I know timing, weather, and other situations arise. We can be flexible and accommodating for this ride. :) But I am definitely SUPER excited for the future. 

Time is Moving Forward - Ryan Homes Build

We stopped by the farmhouse this past Saturday and had a great time talking with our SR about the progress, fireplace stone selections, and lo-and-behold.. a time to break ground! :)

August had felt SO far away and when it appeared, I didn't put much thought to it. From what we had been seeing, we knew that the roads would be poured in the development this month, but I had gotten so used to waiting and watching that it didn't click that once the roads were in, our home would soon be built! :)

Our options for the fireplace stone selection are different then what I had seen in other Ryan communities and I'm really stuck at what to choose. We want something that has some color and depth to it and we were looking forward to choosing stones that were round - not liked stacked brick. We want some color because we have a lot of grey/black/brown/white colors and we need something to warm the place up.

This is literally the only thing that we have had trouble deciding on because it was different than what we were expecting. We are taking the week to think it over and will go back tomorrow to place our decision. I am thinking the left of the first row. I could even entertain the idea of the left one on the third row mostly because of the shapes and change in colors. I love the colors of the one on the right in the third row, but not the stacked brick look. I think hands down, especially after posting here, that we will choose the top left selection.

Anyway, onto BIGGER news.. we set our pre-construction meeting for Friday, August 22. And, the BIGGEST and BEST news.. we are set to break ground on Monday, September 1st! I went to the farmhouse on Saturday not expecting any kind of news like this, and I left BEAMING and almost hugging our SR I was so excited! :) It is finally starting to feel more REAL after waiting these past couple months. I can barely wait for those days to come, but I know they will be here before I know it. We are having our pre-construction meeting earlier than the typical week beforehand because we are going out of the country for two weeks. So unfortunately, we won't be here to see them break ground, but from what I'm expecting is just some excavating so it's not too much of a bummer. We will be back in the country on the 11th, so I plan on racing over and scoping the area out. My family is also right down the street from the development so I am hoping they will keep us updated! The biggest reality check of this whole thing is that we have been pretty lax on our savings for closing and December/January will be here before we know it. I would love to be in the house before Christmas, but I am not sure if that will happen or not. I know we will find out more during the pre-construction meeting in relation to the planning phase. But January does give us further time to save those pretty pennies! :)

There is no logical progression to these pictures, just some that I took while we were scoping out the area with our SR the other day. He took us to see different areas than what we had previously seen. I just love everything about the serenity of the area and, in a way, am sort of sad about the significant changes that will overtake this land in the future. I was able to scope out the proposed plans online yesterday that gave me a LOT of insight into what to expect from the community. They are definitely retaining the sense of small-town feel, but it is also going to be extravagant in and of itself as well.

These trees are part of the "greenway corridor" and will separate the different neighborhoods. 

Hard to tell because it is such a BIG panorama, but this serves as the entrance to our section and will someday house a roundabout. Straight ahead will be 1.2 acres with sidewalks lined with street lamps and benches all leading up to a gazebo in the center. If you click on the picture to zoom in, you can see a pile of dead trees in the middle. Hypothetically, this is where our house may be as it is not staked out.  

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A Sight for Forgetful Eyes - Ryan Homes Build

I had a weekend-day off and as a family we had nothing planned - finally! So as a spur of the moment thing, we drove to Maryland to visit the Ernest Hemingway model. I did not realize this model existed until reading through Brandon's blog [building with Ryan Homes - Park Place] about the journey of building an Ernest Hemingway alongside his wife. Literally the only blog that I can find in regards to an Ernest Hemingway model. Where are you EH builders?! :)

Anyway, it was refreshing to see because it's been a few months since we've seen the home. The other EH model in Charlottesville is honestly almost the same. They are different elevations with the one having a half porch versus a full porch, also one has an attached garage (no bonus room) and the other a detached.

The front entrance to the model was locked, so we walked around back and went in the back door that led directly to the kitchen. Directly is an understatement because I about walked right into the bar extending from the kitchen. If there is no dinette/morning room, there is what seems to be a foot in between the door and the bar.

It was awesome to see the double ovens in person. I was a bit skeptical about how they would look because I assumed the area would just feel so cramped losing the extra counter space. Completely opposite. I am excited we went with the double ovens now.

I fell in love with this dining room. I have two very different ideas floating in my head now. I am literally not going to know what to do until I am in my own space. Originally, I was thinking of doing a beadboard type dining room which we have seen in another model and it was incredibly stunning. But after seeing this model, it was so light and airy and just the most perfect shade of blue that I fell in love. Very tastefully done! We got the level 2 trim specifically for the fact that I did not want the wainscoting because we would remove it to apply the board and batten.. I have been second guessing myself since signing for the level 2, thinking of the level 3. Although, I know all the extra trim is very easily completed as a DIY, also.

It was extremely difficult to get a picture to do the Master shower justice. This is specifically the bathroom that we will be getting with the 4-bedroom layout with the shower only feature in the Master. We did request the shower pan be tiled which did get approved and I cannot wait to see that! The bathroom does appear as a hall in a sense - when you walk in the bathroom the closet is on the left and the double sinks on the right. When you walk through to the "next section" the shower is on the left and the toilet on the right. The window you see in the shower is just a reflection, as it is actually a square window located between the shower and the toilet. When we go to our pre-construction meeting we are going to request that the drywall that separates the shower/toilet combo from the closet/sinks be either raised or changed into an arch, because it really makes the room feel crowded. I'd like to take the most advantage of the 9ft ceilings as possible. The other bathroom pictured is the hall bath. I'm really crossing my fingers that the tile in the shower goes above the shower head.

We took a different way home so that we could stop by the model that mimics our kitchen cabinets, granite, and flooring. It was so refreshing to see as well!

There is no way to do the flooring adequate justice in pictures. I can not for the life of me determine the true color of it. Misty Gray is such a misleading color name, because there are hues of black and brown in addition to the gray.. and I LOVE it! It also appears so different in certain shades of lighting.

We have kind of put to the side the fact that we chose the metal balusters until we saw them in person again. Another exciting feature that I look forward to seeing in my own home. Our stairs will be wooden and stained to match the hardwood throughout the first floor with white baseplates. Another unknown of what it will look like in person, but I can't wait! :)

We continue on with the waiting game while the crew finishing laying the plumbing/sewer and road for the development and then, with fingers crossed, we will have our pre-construction meeting! I'm sure it will be mid-August. Simply enough, I will just continue to be patient because it is going to be so rewarding in the end. We cannot be grateful enough for what the future holds! :)
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