Monday, June 25, 2012

We have stakes!

We went to our house and took the ever necessary SOLD picture! We also met some of our neighbors when we were out looking at our piece of dirt. I'm actually really excited about our neighborhood now (not that I wasn't before, just even more so now). Everyone was so friendly and it seems like a really active and tight-knit community. We learned about their men's poker night, women's canasta night, movies in the park, and all their other fun events. I got lots of happy vibes there. Everyone had great things to say about their home building process, Ryan Homes, and their PM. Oh, and one of my neighbors is due the same month I am with her first baby too!

We also discovered that RH had staked our house out!!! We met our SR to finalize our selections from Rite Rug and Guardian. We also made a couple last minute changes.
  • Added a utility sink to the garage
  • Added a non-dedicated outlet to the garage (we already added 1 dedicated)
  • Added a switched outlet in the kitchen (so we can install undercabinet lighting later)
  • Removed the attic storage (We watched a video on how to do this yourself and it didn't look too difficult for the DIYer. The one important thing to keep in mind is that you do get a smaller cut out when you don't pay for the attic storage. I believe it is a 2 x 2 instead of a 2 x 4. That means when you install the attic ladder, you have to widen the hole. There are tons of youtube videos and DIY websites that explain how to do install the attic ladder. This was one helpful website.,,20186506,00.html . The other thing to keep in mind is that when you pay for the attic pull down stairs, you also get some extra plywood in the attic. With the plywood and stairs, I am estimating this project to cost about $375.)
Here are our stakes (they are kind of hard to see).

Now we just have to wait to find out when our pre-construction meeting will be.

Rite Rug (Flooring) Meeting and What I Learned

We had our Rite Rug (flooring) meeting yesterday. For those of you that don't know we originally signed a contract for the Verona, only to find out two weeks after signing that the Verona could not fit on our lot. Big whoops! We had already had one meeting with Rite Rug, when we picked out all of our flooring and tile choices for the Verona.

So, when we had to change to the Naples floor plan, we already knew all of the flooring and tile options that we would want. We actually built all of those options into our new contract. It didn't save us any money to pay upfront, but it made the Rite Rug appointment less painful and shocking. 

Here is what I learned about carpet...
  • The included level A carpet that Ryan Homes comes with is basically apartment grade. You have 4 color choices.
  • Level B carpet is still pretty low grade, but at least it has the stain resistor, and a 10 year warranty. You have 8 or more color choices. Don't expect it to feel plush. Level B carpet will cost you around $2,000 to upgrade for your entire house.
  • Level C, D, etc. carpet will cost you  much more.
  • The included padding is 5.0lb. This is low-quality padding.
  • You can upgrade to 6lb, 8lb, or 10lb padding (although I was told that they are getting rid of the 6lb in the near future).
  • The 10lb padding has a protective barrier on the back of it, so liquid cannot seep into the subfloor. Good in case you have pets that have accidents.
  • The 10lb padding will cost more than the Level B carpet. Yikes!
  • I priced carpet out at Lowes and Home Depot, and it can get awfully expensive even with free installation (although they never install your stairs for free). An apartment carpet is around $0.89 / sqft (no padding). An equivalent level B carpet is around $1.99 to $2.49/ sqft (with padding). A nice plush carpet is around $3.49/ sqft (with padding). When you do the math, this adds up really quickly, so even though the carpet is expensive.... so is replacing it!
Here is what I learned about hardwood...
  • Level A has 5 color choices, all oak, solid wood. I priced this exact wood out (brand, width, everything) at Lowes, and it was about $3.95/ sq foot. For what Ryan is charging, you are actually getting a fair price.
  • Ryan only installs engineered wood on a slab (normally you can put anything on a crawl or basement). This means no handscraped or distressed hardwood flooring choices if you have a crawl or basement, because all of the options are engineered (floating floors).
  • Level B, C, etc. are more expensive. The upgrades have wider planks, different color choices, or different types of wood. 
Here is what I learned about bathroom tile...
  • Level A for the bathroom is either white 4 x 4 or cream 4 x 4 tiles (wall and surround)
  • Level B for the bathroom is the same white 4 x 4 or cream 4 x 4 tiles  with a white or cream accent (wall) and 4 color choices ( I think white, cream, darker cream, or tan) (floor)
  • Level C for the bathroom gives you about 10 choices which include 12x12 floor tiles and 9x12 wall tiles in all different pretty colors. You also get to choose an accent tile for the wall (glass, stone, metal, etc).
  • Level D is like C but with extra choices.
  • The prices of each really depend on which bathroom you choose and how big your bathroom is.

Our selections...

  • Manchester 2 1/4" Saddle Oak Hardwood (Level A): foyer, extended foyer, dining, kitchen and dinette, and powder room.
  • Maple Fairfield Spice Square Cabinets (Included)
  • Brazilian Brown Granite Formica Countertops (Included)
  • Colinsville 103 Nature's Mist (Level B): family room, living room/study, zone 2 (upstairs)
  • 10lb padding: family room, living room/study
  • 5lb padding (Included): zone 2 (upstairs)
  • Brixton Bone Tile with Listello SA51 Random (4 rows) accent (Level C): master bath
  • Maple Fairfield Spice Square Cabinets (Included)

  • Stratford Place SO 94 Dorian Grey Tile (Level C): bathroom 1
  • Maple Fairfield Spice Square Cabinets (Included)
  •  Initiator 66205 Resilient: laundry room

Friday, June 22, 2012

Guardian Meeting

We didn't have to have a second Guardian meeting, because we already knew what we wanted from our first meeting. Our Guardian sales rep was super friendly, and put absolutely no pressure on us. I know that some others have felt that their reps pressured them into security systems, speakers, etc. but ours just asked us what we were interested in, and told us about those products.

What comes standard is 2 cable and 2 phone jacks. We didn't want 2 phone jacks, so he let us get 3 cable and 1 phone jack instead for the standard free package. The security system was something we will definitely want, but not for the monthly price that Guardian was charging. If you don't have home phone service, mobile service was $44.95/month. That does include free installation if you sign up for at least 3 years of service, but that is still on the high side. Another option we considered was having speakers pre-wired. It was $565 for a set of 5, or $245 for a pair. If we had a basement, we would have definitely had some pre-wiring done, but for the family room we decided it wasn't necessary (and it would have messed with my decorating style, lol).

Now, we meet with Rite Rug (flooring) tomorrow. Since, we have done this all before with the Verona, we know what to expect so there should be no surprises there. I'll post on that with some pictures of our selections tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Here is a list of our current selections/options for our house. I'll update the color choices after our Rite Rug (flooring) meeting in 4 days. At least this time, we know what to expect. We built into our sales price most of the things we added on last time, so our sales price shouldn't change much. I also added our selections/options as a tab at the top, and will keep it updated.

I included some of the prices, but keep in mind these will change depending on your floor plan, community, or even state. But, I found it really helpful to have some idea of what different options would cost (even if they were a little off from one community to the next). Hopefully it'll help you to decide what to select in your home!

Verona- Elevation A with partial stone

  • Stone- Kentucky
  • Siding- Silver Mist
  • Trim- Dover White
  • Shutters- Black
  • Door- Tricorn Black

  • Elevation A with partial stone
  • Living Room- Turns to Study  ($895)
  • Loft- Turns to Bedroom 5 ($1,290)
  • Master Bath- Upgrade 2 (seperate glass shower with seat and tub) ($2,590)
  • Master Bath- Double sinks ($695)
  • Bath 1- Double sinks ($695)
  • Gas stove hook up ($275)
  • Gas dryer hook up ($275)
  • Attic storage ($790)
  • 12 x 15 Deck

  • Cabinets- Maple Fairfield Square
  • Countertops- Laminate (to be replaced by Quartz after move-in)
  • Kitchen island ($1,490)
  • Kitchen enhanced package (pull out trash and flip drawer by sink) ($275)
  • 42" Cabinets
  • Cabinet crown molding

  • 6 Fan rough-ins ($175 each)
  • 1 Light rough-in ($125 each)
  • 1 Floodlight ($250 each)
  • 4 Recessed lights in Family Room ($125 each)
  • Recessed light package in Kitchen ($695)
  • 1 extra Dedicated outlet in garage ($250)
  • Garage door opener

  • Hardwood level 1
    • Foyer
    • Extended Foyer
    • Mudroom
    • Powder Room
    • Dining Room
    • Kitchen and Dinette
  • Carpet level 2
    • Family Room (with upgraded 10lb pad)
    • Living Room/Den (with upgraded 10lb pad)
    • Zone 2/Upstairs (with standard 5lb pad)
  • Ceramic Tile level 1 (stone tile with standard surround in tub/shower)
    • Bathroom 1
  • Ceramic Tile level 2 (stone tile with glass tile accents on the tub and shower walls)
    • Master Bath
  • Resilient
    • Laundry Room

Monday, June 18, 2012

Goodbye Verona, Hello Naples

Naples "Elevation A"
(but with partial stone instead of all siding)

Goodness what changes these last two weeks have brought! Unfortunately, Ryan Homes was not able to acquire the extra foot needed from the developer to fit the Verona plan on it. There was one more possibility left, requiring Ryan to request an exemption from the county to have the house 14 feet from the lot line instead of 15, but the process was lengthy and time was not on our side with baby coming in less than 4 months.

After a lot of frustration, we decided on a new house, the Naples. Now the Naples is no Verona, but it still has everything we were originally looking for, but with none of the extras that lured us to the Verona. Here is what we are giving up.

-6 bedrooms
-3 baths
-1 guest bedroom and bathroom on the main level
-Front porch elevation

-5 bedrooms
-2 1/2 baths
-All bedrooms and full bathrooms are upstairs
-No front porch elevations

Even though we are giving up some square footage and usable spaces (sorry future guests), we are only giving up the extra spaces that we never planned on even having in the first place. With that said, the house is a little less expensive, and this home allows us to get a 15 year loan instead of a 30. That makes a huge difference in what we'll pay in interest! I think this was God's way of saying, I'll give you exactly what you need, plenty of space for you, your children, and visitors, and a mortgage that will be better for your family in the long run.

As of today, we are officially under contract (again) with Ryan Homes to start building our Naples.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Not Happy Ryan Homes, Not Happy!

So, I have waited a week to write this post, hoping that I could write something positive and uplifting. Unfortunately a week has gone by, and I have no good news. Actually I have no news at all. Our Ryan SR called last week and let us know that the house we choose would not fit on the lot we choose. I guess the lot would have been large enough if it wasn't a corner lot, but with a corner lot, a house must be built at least 15 feet from the lot line. Our house is too wide by 1 foot. It was nice of Ryan to tell us this a week after we signed our contract, and after they cashed our 5% earnest money...

First, the SR asked if there was any other lot we liked. There really wasn't. We wanted a lot on a street with little to no traffic, and it was the last lot left on a quiet street (that wasn't a basement lot). Next, he asked if we wanted to wait the 5 or 6 months when they open up the next phase of the subdivision. Uh... I'm pretty sure you knew I was pregnant and wasn't excited about waiting 4 months for a house to be built to start with, let alone a year.

His next suggestion was to ask the developer if they could buy an extra foot off of the next lot (since our side of the street has 3 empty lots--all basements, and an open area), so that the house could fit. There really was no other option, so he said he'd work on getting that extra foot. That was a week ago. I have been updated via email about once every other day or two, to let me know that they still haven't heard anything.

I understand that mistakes happen, but I feel this situation could have been rectified before we even signed a contract if they had just looked at the measurements. Now, we are in limbo. Our money is tied up in a contract that may never come to fruition, and now we can't put an offer on any other house until they make a decision.

Not sure what God's plan is for us here, but I'm trying to wait as patiently as I can. If this is God shutting a door, I just hope he can do it quickly :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Questions to ask and GET IN WRITING

We finally heard from Guardian and Rite Rug and we will be meeting with them both this week.

I also wanted to included a list of questions ( a long list) that I had for our sales reps when we signed. I also sent a copy to them via email so that I would have all of my questions verified in writing. For most of the questions, we looked at the actual electrical drawings for the answers (very helpful). In case you wanted a good list of questions to start from feel free to steal from below. Keep in mind the answers may be different for your home model, community, or even state.

The most interesting things we found out that weren't included- a 2nd towel rod in any bathroom, a shower rod in any bathroom, no trim around windows (just a bottom ledge), only 1 outlet in the garage, only 1 CO detector upstairs (wouldn't it make sense to have one downstairs too?), and no lights in the closets (except the master)

The most interesting things we found out were included- 2 phone line jacks, 2 cable jacks, 1 smartbox (with all the wiring) located in a closet downstairs, 2 hose bibs (1 in the front, 1 in the back), 2 recessed lights on our porch, and all of the recessed lights in the master bath

Here is our list with answers:

1.       Hose bibs quantity and location: 2- one in front and on in back
2.       Concrete walkway to front entrance: included
3.       Sod sides (what does that mean):  everything around the front of the house, nothing behind the house line
4.       Fence style, material, location: shadow box, treated pine, to the lot line on back (may share with house behind), to the lot line on the right side, matching the house behind on the left side (a few feet from the sidewalk), and to the very back of the house on the front
5.       Deck stairs, rail: included and included
6.       Deck material: pre-treated wood
7.       Deck stain/seal: no
8.       Seeding in backyard: yes and straw
9.       Driveway: concrete included
10.   Sidewalks: concrete included (will be on left side of house)
11.   Trees: 2 in front included
12.   Bushes: landscaping package standard with pine straw and basic shrubbery included
13.   Front entry light: 2 on garage, 2 recessed on porch included
14.   Backyard lights: 1 coach light at deck included
15.   Bathroom hardware what is included and what they look like: brushed nickel, toilet paper and 1 towel bar in all included
16.   Shower rod and what it looks like: not included
17.   Exhaust fans in bathrooms- are they included and where do they vent?: yes in all, all vent outside per code
18.   Bathroom lights and what will they look like: every vanity has one, 1 recessed in guest bath up, 1 recessed in toilet room for master, 2 recessed by tub and shower in master, and 1 flush mount light in center of master bath, 1 recessed in downstairs bath
19.   Bathroom downstairs sink will be what (for the full bath)?: vanity, not a pedestal
20.   Water hose for fridge: tap included, but no hose
21.   Baseboard in kitchen, what it looks like: shoe (quarter round) trim included
22.   Garbage disposal switch included: yes and dishwasher switch included too
23.   Garage drywall, how finished/unfinished: sheet rock, taped and mudded, everywhere
24.   Outlets in garage, gfi or standard, location: 1 gfi by the door to the mudroom
25.   Door trim: yes on all interior doors, standard 2 1/4"
26.   Window trim: no trim around, base below and trim below that on bottom included
27.   Baseboard: yes standard baseboard included, and if there is  hardwood/tile there is shoe (tile may not have shoe depending on when tile was installed)
28.   Window screens: included, but on bottom only
29.   What windows from ply-gem: Builder 2000 Traditional Series 20 year warranty
30.   Windows open?: yes
31.   Energy star: 3.0 yes, used to be 2.5, but have since upgraded
32.   Carpet pad: 5.5lb included
33.   Thermostat quantity and what they look like: 2 digitals included, 1 up, 1 down
34.   Cable and phone outlets location and quantity: 2 phone and 2 cable you choose location, smart box located in the hall closet (covered with white panel) with all the wiring for Time Warner or Comporium
35.   Air conditioner quantity and location: 1 on the side of house (not sure what side)
36.   Laundry shelving: rod and shelf above laundry area included
37.   Hallway lights where, how many, what kind: 1 in foyer, 1 by stairs, 1 in between family and dining, mud room, 1 in laundry, 3 in hallway upstairs
38.   What will floor and carpet transitions look like?: nothing from wood to carpet, metal from tile to carpet
39.   Handrail on stairs: included and stained to match foyer hardwood floors
40.   Outlet color: white
41.   Smoke detector quantity: 1 CO in hall up, all bedrooms smoke, 1 smoke in hall up, 1 smoke in hallway down
42.   Shelves in bedroom closets look like what: 1 shelf across in all
43.   Window quantity in master bedroom and location: 3 in master, everything except the one that said optional on the drawing is included
44.   Interior doors and what will they look like: white 2 panel 
45.   Closet doors and what will they look like:  white 2 panel
46.   Lights closets: only master bedroom has lights in the closet

Saturday, June 2, 2012


Still waiting to hear from Guardian and Rite Rug to choose our hardwood, tile, and carpet colors and electrical. I'm eager to get the ball rolling so we can set up our pre-construction meeting. I'm 21 weeks pregnant, and this baby is not going to wait for the house to be built!