Friday, September 7, 2012

Shower Door & Big Window Woes Continue

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while now, you might remember the shower door debacle we had last month. You can read the original blog entry We Lost the Shower Door Debate and I'm Angry and then the follow up one 50/50.  Just a short recap - we were told by our SR that we would have a swinging shower door in our master bath but a sliding one was installed instead. We debated back and forth with the production team on this topic. They said they only offer the swinging door when you get a custom tile shower. We did not want tile, because I hate it, but our SR told us that our upgraded master bath would come with the swinging door either way. My husband and I both vividly remember this conversation with her. She is currently on maternity leave so they couldn't even check with her to confirm. We made a huge deal out of this because we hate sliding doors in the shower. We had one in our condo and we were really looking forward to having the swinging door in our new home. We worked out a deal with RH where they would pay for half of our swinging door - since they are not admitting any fault. Part of my thinks they didn't even believe us when we told them that it was our SR that told us we would be getting a swinging door.

Fast forward to today. Our shower was measured for our new door the week before we closed on the house. It has been a month since we moved in and our new swinging door was scheduled to be installed today. The installer was super nice. He took our sliding door out, installed the stationary panel and then realized that the actual door is too big to fit the space. SERIOUSLY?!? We waited a month and now we still don't have our door?!? Our original door was already taken out and the stationary panel put in so now we have to use the shower down the hall until they MAKE a new door and then schedule again to have someone come out and install it. We won't even know until early next week when they can have the door done by. If they make us wait another month with our shower literally torn apart....I might actually lose my mind.

We also thought our big window in our two-story foyer was getting replaced today. It has a scratch so they have to replace the whole window. We received a call from Plygem yesterday and apparently they didn't schedule us for today? My husband remembers calling and scheduling it several weeks back. The lady on the phone wasn't very nice to me so I got snappy back with her. She said my husband told her what the most convenient time for him was but that it wasn't officially scheduled. She said she could have it done next Thursday but when my husband called to schedule, he told her that Tuesdays and Fridays are the only days that work for us. He works from home on those two days and he will NOT be taking time off work on another day to deal with a mistake that wasn't ours to begin with. Apparently they don't care what the most convenient time is for us so why did they even bother to ask and then take three weeks to tell us that didn't work for them? My PM said that if Plygem doesn't call me back by Monday, that he would call them and take care of it. If I have to give a key to the house to my PM so that he can be here while they change the windows out, then so be it. I just want it fixed.

I seriously love my Ryan Home, but it seems that what can go wrong has gone wrong.

On a good note, our sod is getting installed right now. It is totally brown but I'm hoping it turns green quick like the our neighbor's across the street. It's also supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow so we don't have to worry about watering it until we get our sprinkler system in!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Getting our Sod Tomorrow

I haven't been blogging much! Being a new homeowner is a lot of work! We are mostly unpacked and only have a few boxes left in the garage that need to come in. We have only been bringing in boxes as we unpack them because I didn't want boxes all over the house. We will officially be done unpacking by the end of this weekend! I'm still curious to see how much room will be left over in the garage with both of our cars parked in there. It seems pretty long so it shouldn't be too bad. My husband and I both drive smaller cars. No trucks or SUVs here.

My husband was gone all last week for work. He was in PA taking some classes for some certifications. I felt pretty safe being home alone in our new house. Having a security alarm and basically living in the middle of nowhere helped. When he was in the Army and gone a lot, I was always paranoid being alone. Especially during the year he was deployed. Every little noise freaked me out. I even got a dog before his deployment to keep my company! It's nice to have a home where I feel safe. I decided to surprise my hubs when he got back with a housewarming gift just for him. My dad went in half and we bought him his first legit tool box. Here it is!

Here's Sadie on her housewarming gift. She got a couple new dog beds so that now she has one on all three levels of the house! She's not spoiled....not at all :)

Back before we closed, we asked our PM if we could hold off on our sod. We didn't want to worry about watering it while we were trying to get settled. Thankfully he let us wait! We closed one month from today and we will be getting our sod tomorrow. They did the final grading of our yard today. I'm very disappointed with the amount of small gravel, large rocks and even trash that was left in the yard. Yes, I said trash. My husband and I spent two hours tonight digging up the huge rocks and throwing away the trash. There was way too much gravel to even attempt to remove it.We did as much as we could before it got too dark. There are also huge piles of sod everywhere. Who knows what's under those. I'm just glad we had the chance to do that even though I don't feel like it should have been our responsibility to do so. My neighbors told us that they can still feel rocks in their yard so we knew we were going to have to do something about it. I'm also a little upset that the ground had sunken in around our sidewalk and our step in the front. Our PM said they would fill that in today when they did our final grading. Well they didn't. They just pushed dirt up next to it to make it look like the filled it in. Thankfully we checked and my husband filled it in himself.

One of the main reasons we wanted to wait to get our sod is because we plan on installing a sprinkler system ourselves. We didn't get it in the mail in time and thankfully our PM was accommodating and let us hold off on the sod. We got several quotes to have a sprinkler system installed professionally but with all of the other expenses adding up, we decided to tackle this project ourselves. The materials cost less than half of the lowest quote we received. We will be installing a Lawnbelt system. Unlike professionally installed irrigation systems, it does not need winterized each year and turned back on each Spring. If this is something you have been considering, check out I will be posting a blog about how the install goes after we get it in. Hopefully they finish our sod tomorrow. It's supposed to rain Saturday so we will be installing the lawnbelt on Sunday. We also plan on installing our invisible fence for our dog.

Here are some pictures of our final grading and our piles of dead-looking sod. The sod looks a little brown. I'm not too happy about that. The neighbors across the street had their's installed last week and it was totally brown. It already looks green though so I'm hoping we have the same luck.

Our yard is huge and this isn't even the whole thing.
There's another  50 feet behind me in this picture that already has grass and a line of trees.
They call it our landscape buffer. It's mowed by the HOA because it leads up to a street but it's ours :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Awesome Neighbors!

My neighbors are awesome! Within the first two weeks of living here, they have given us vegetables from their garden, let us borrow tools, offered to let my dog use their grass until our sod is installed, and helped me get a new job!! Seriously! There was a position open where my neighbor works and he put in a good word for me. I showed up with my resume, they interviewed me on the spot, and I got the job! I mentioned in an earlier blog, back in June, that I had gotten a new job. That one was just a retail job I was working until I found a "real" one. I am so excited to finally work normal hours and to have holidays paid off again! I used to be in banking so I got spoiled. Going back to retail has been tough. The job was super fun but the pay and the hours were lame! I did give two week's notice so I don't start my new job until September 10th. I went in yesterday to do my new-hire paperwork and I was given a tour and I got to meet a lot of the people who work there. Everyone there seems so nice and I am super excited!

This job has come at a perfect time too! It is great to not only be celebrating our new house but to be celebrating the new job! We are still having issues with our condo air conditioning and won't be able to rent it out until that gets addressed. We also need to get in there and paint and have the carpet replaced but that is hard to do when it is 80 degrees in there! This means we will have two mortgages for awhile. Thankfully our first mortgage payment on the new house isn't due until October 1st. Having a better paying job is definitely relieving some stress financially. We have bought so much stuff for the new house and the list of things we need seems to keep growing!

I swear that I am working on getting some pictures posted on here! Are you guys on the edge of your seats yet? Ha ha! I will post one for Jesse and Lisa since they bought the same fridge as us. So here it is in our kitchen!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My Heart Hurts

It has been exactly a week since we moved into our new home. We have been so busy packing, moving, and unpacking. This past weekend our family room and morning room furniture was delivered. We also got our washer, dryer, and refrigerator delivered. Everything looks great and I swear I will try to get some pictures up sometime this week! Yesterday was my day off and I was going to post some then but I had my PM, an electrician, two HVAC guys, a painter, and the cleaning people all here. Oh, and our brick got power washed yesterday too.

So why does my heart hurt? You all remember that huge window I have in my foyer, right? The one I have made you look at countless pictures of even before it was ever installed? Well it has to be replaced! SAY WHAT?!? There is a pretty big scratch on it. I have spent many many days looking up at the window from my foyer and looking straight at it from the upstairs hallway ever since it was installed. I'm pretty sure if there was a scratch before, I would have noticed it. I looked at it several times during our walk-through last week too and I did not see it there. The scratch magically appeared the day after our walk-through, when we got out keys. As a matter of fact, I noticed it the second I looked up at it. I'm pretty sure the cleaning crew caused it. They were cleaning the window the day we got our keys. They also left marks all over our wall and window trim below the window. The cleaning crew came out again yesterday to address some issues and to re-clean that window since they didn't really do that good of a job the first time. I asked them to tell me if it was really a scratch I saw up there or just something that needed cleaned off. The lady responded with, "Yeah, there's a scratch up there. We noticed that last week when we were here." SERIOUSLY?!?!? You noticed it last week and didn't tell anyone?!? Yeah, probably because they caused it. So my heart hurts because I don't even know how such a window gets replaced. How much of my house needs torn out to get to it? It's making me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. My husband is going to have to be here when it gets replaced because I'm not sure I could handle the stress. I had to hide upstairs when our fridge, washer, and dryer were all delivered because it stressed me out!

I mentioned in my last post that there were not enough outlets installed for Guardian to finish connecting everything in our basement and that our post lamp wasn't working. The electrician came yesterday and installed the outlets in the basement. He also found where the switch for our post lamp was drywalled over. I was impressed at how well the switch was unearthed. I was afraid there would be a big hole in the drywall, but there isn't. This light is really cool. It has a censor on it and automatically turns on when it's dark outside. There is a switch for it towards the front of our garage that we can use if we want it turned off. It's convenient to have because I always forget to turn my outside lights on when I leave the house and won't be back until after dark. Our community doesn't have street light (thank god!) so it's nice to have a light that automatically turns on.

A picture of out post lamp and my beloved window in the background. Taken before the house was power washed.
Sod should be installed next week!

Now for the update on the air conditioning issue. When we first moved in, we had our thermostat set at 74 degrees but the air wouldn't turn off even though the house was 67 degrees. The upstairs was having the opposite problem. It was warmer than we had the thermostat set for. The HVAC guys came out yesterday and fixed it. He was really honest with me and said that he had some wires crossed when he originally installed it. I commended him for his honesty and I told him that it didn't matter now that it was fixed! He was a super nice guy. I even asked him about adding a third thermostat so that we could have one in the basement. Right now our house has a two-zone system. The thermostat on the first floor controls the first floor and the basement. We also have one in our master bedroom that controls the second floor. He said we could have another thermostat installed in the basement and that it would be really easy to do and then we would have a three-zone system. All we would have to do is pay for the thermostat and for the labor. He said he could have it installed and hooked up within 15 minutes! I took down the number for his company and his name. We are going to schedule to have this done and I'm going to request that he is the one they send out.

Now for the paint update. I mentioned in my previous entry that we were not happy with the punch-out guy that was here the morning before we got our keys. I seriously think he just removed the blue tape and didn't do anything. My PM sent out someone else yesterday. Our biggest complaint was that there was paint all over the stained part of our banisters. There were also somes spots on the walls that were totally missed. The guy that came out yesterday was AWESOME! He was super nice and my dog totally loved him. She tried to follow him around everywhere. He actually used a drop-cloth and took his shoes off before coming into the house - the other punch-out guy did neither. He spent HOURS meticulously cleaning up the paint job on our railings and banisters. I told him that I really appreciated the fact that he was taking his time. They look amazing now! He had to come back today to finish up the railings and banisters in the basement and he went around the house looking for any other issues. We didn't put any blue tape up for him and we also have furniture in almost every room so he just got the really obvious things. We will save the blue tape for our 30-day.

I did notice yesterday that there is a HUGE paint spot on the carpet in the middle of our formal dining room. It's hard to see since the paint color is very close to the color of our carpet. I stepped on the spot and noticed the carpet was really rough. Upon taking a closer look, I noticed it was paint. This paint spill was poorly cleaned up and I'm not even sure if they will be able to get it out of the carpet. The carpet in that room may need replaced. This is the only room that we don't have furniture in for now, so at least we won't have to move anything to get this fixed. I think I'm going to walk over every single piece of carpet in bare feet to make sure I didn't miss any other spills.

I think that just about covers the issues I posted about in my last entry. There were other issues but those will be taken care of at our 30-day follow-up. My PM has a list of the things we gave him last week and we have already started a new one. I still owe you guys a post about all of the things I love about my home. I swear I will work on it soon!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Is It Really Mine?

We closed on our house on Monday and got the keys on Tuesday. I still feel like a stranger in my own house. Seriously. I feel like I'm walking around in someone else's house. I'm too afraid to touch anything. It just seems too good to be true. I've considered treating my kitchen like a museum and not using it! Ha ha! This place is just so gorgeous and BIG! Whenever we would visit the house during the construction phase, I thought the house looked bigger and bigger with each visit. I thought filling it up with our stuff would help but I swear the house keeps growing! Even our king size bed looks small in our bedroom!

We started moving stuff in as soon as we got our keys on Tuesday. We brought over one truck load - my dad let us borrow his huge truck - and unpacked it before I had to go to work. We brought the smallest of our three beds so that we could spend the night that first night and anything else we would need right away. My husband brought over and unloaded two more truck loads while I was at work. I felt really guilty for working but our original plan was to move on the weekend. Our air conditioner still isn't fixed in our condo because we are still fighting with our insurance company, but that's a story for a different day! We didn't want to spend one more night in that place! 

In order to save money, we only had the moving company move our big stuff. We also weren't in any kind of hurry to get everything out of our condo since we still own it and won't even be able to list it for rent until the air conditioning issue is resolved. We scheduled the movers for the day after we received our keys. I told my husband to have them come while I was working because I would be a total basket case watching them move my things! My husband said they were great! They were quick and very careful. They seriously didn't leave any marks on our walls. They helped him move extra things without charging him and our total bill matched the quote they gave us a few weeks ago! We are super satisfied and would totally hire them again! If anyone in the Columbus or Cleveland area is looking for a moving company, check out Leaders in Moving and Storage. Here's their website:

Our Guardian appointment was scheduled for the day we got our keys. I thought this appointment was just for them to show us how everything worked. Apparently they have to hook everything up and this takes about two hours. It turns out there was some kind of miscommunication with RH and the electrician because they did not install enough outlets for our Guardian stuff to be connected. They installed one outlet when we needed five. Now we have to wait for an electrician to come back and then we have to reschedule Guardian. He was able to hook-up our security system, which was a relief. I will not give my final opinion on Guardian until everything is set up and working next week. I am disappointed that my PM did not have the electrician come out right away. This all happened on Tuesday and we still don't know when it will be taken care of. My husband put a surge protector down there for the time being so we can still play with our Guardian toys.

I love my house but I'm a little disappointed with how a few things have been handled. We had our final walk-through on the same day we closed. During this time, we had our PM put blue tape in a million different places for things we had issues with. It was supposed to be taken care of the next day by the punch-out guy. I feel like this guy seriously just came into the house and removed the blue tape without doing a damn thing. I think the painters and the trim people were very sloppy in their work too. There is paint everywhere there shouldn't be - like in the carpet in almost every room, on the vinyl, on door handles, and on our stained banister. I can see where nails were placed in the trim and this doesn't make me very happy either. There is a botched patch job on the back of my kitchen island. I paid WAY to much for this island to have it patched in the first place. I hope our PM takes care of it. The front of our house is filthy. There is dirt covering our brick for the first several feet and there is mud on our second-story shutters. There is also mud splattered ALL OVER our front door. Our PM said this would be taken care of.  He thought it had already been. The keys for our house don't work on the dead-bolt for the service door on the back of the garage or for the door that leads from the garage to the house. The door handle on the front door is very loose. Our postlamp also does not work. 

I am also not happy with the cleaning crew. My windows are streaky and still very dirty. My PM had them come back to clean the two-story window in the foyer because I noticed it was dirty during our walk-through. They came back with a ladder that was not even close to being long enough. They reached what they could on the window but just left dirty streaks all over and left scuff marks on the wall below the window from their ladder! Every mirror in the house is streaky and so is the stainless steel. I still want someone to clean the two-story window because for now, I have no way of getting up there. As for the rest, I will just  have to take care of it myself. Now that we are moved in, I don't want the cleaning people moving around my house. It totally sucks to buy a brand new house and still have to clean everything.

So you know how I told you that our AC is broken in our condo? We seem to be having the opposite problem in the new house. We have the first-floor thermostat set at 72 degrees but the air keeps running! The other day it was 67 degrees in here and we were freezing! I'm sure it's even colder in the basement! We even turned it off but it just kept running! The thermostat on the second floor seems to be doing fine. It is much warmer up there. I thought for sure this was something our PM would have addressed immediately, but he still hasn't. Hopefully our electric bill isn't through the roof. For now I will just have to wear sweatpants and a sweatshirt in the middle of AUGUST! I guess it's better than having no AC at all!

I'm done ranting for now! I'm sure there's more but I will just leave it at that for now. I was going to wait for things to be resolved and then only post what hadn't been corrected but I always try to be straight-forward with my blog. I swear I will post an entry about all of the things I love soon! There are so many things I love and I think they deserve their own blog entry! I will also have to post some pictures after this weekend when our new furniture for the family room and morning room gets delivered! We will also be getting our fridge and washer and dryer on Saturday!  I've never been so excited to do laundry before!

I'll leave you with a picture of our kitchen since I left it out of my last entry! I still haven't unpacked my kitchen stuff though. I want to buy liners for the cabinets and drawers but I just haven't found the time. During the building process, I was worried that the island would make the kitchen feel too small. It doesn't at all! It's much bigger than it looks in pictures! I could stare at my kitchen all day and never get bored! As a matter of fact, I do spend a lot of time staring at it! We literally upgraded everything that we could in here and it's absolutely PERFECT!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Officially Homeowners!

Well, my husband already owns our condo but this house is a first for me!

We had our final walk-through today at noon. I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I should have. I don't know about the rest of you, but I sure am getting tired of taking pictures!! I figured I can get more when we actually get the keys. We didn't notice anything major during the walk-through. There were a bunch of spots that will need paint touch-ups. My PM already had the painters scheduled for tomorrow because he noticed a bunch too. There is a scratch on the back of our island but the piece has already been ordered for replacement. Our house also already had it's first nail pop. Of course it's up high in the two-story foyer. Hopefully they can get someone up there to fix it. I don't want to have to look at it until our 10-month inspection, which is when they fix nail pops, especially since it was there before we closed. Also, the window in our two-story foyer was pretty dirty. I pointed it out to the PM and hopefully he gets it taken care of. I don't know how the cleaning crew would have even attempted to clean it since it's so high. I'm sure they don't carry ladders around with them. The brick on the front of the house hasn't been washed yet and some of our shutters are muddy. The dumpster was also still sitting on our front yard. Hopefully all of these things can be taken care of soon. As I mentioned in an earlier entry, we won't be getting our sod for a few weeks. We requested to have it installed when the two houses across the street get their's. This way we won't have to worry about watering it while we are trying to move and unpack. Also, the temperatures are supposed to be pretty high for a while so hopefully it will cool off later in the month.

Closing was at 2:30pm. I'm not sure why, but I thought there would be a lot more people at closing. It was just my husband and I and the rep from the title agency. It took about an hour to sign everything. She explained each page as we went. We will be getting our keys tomorrow as long as the last inspection passes. We also have to wait for the check to clear the bank and for the mortgage documents to be filed. The agent at the title company thought I was funny because I wanted pictures of us signing our documents! I would have thought that a lot of people do that! She said I was the first in a long time. Interesting! I wanted a picture of one of the biggest moments of our lives! Here they are!

So exciting!

The rest of these pictures are just random ones I took after the walk-through. I realized I didn't take any of the entire basement, the master bath, the study, or one of the whole kitchen. I will post more after we move in!

Morning room

Family room

Double oven!!

I love how the cooktop looks on the black granite!


All of the lower cabinets have these pull-out shelves!

Upgraded pull-out faucet. I had to test it out!

1st Floor Powder room

Close-up of the cooktop!

Laundry room. We had the shelve removed so we can install cabinets instead

Formal dining room.

I love these handles! So awesome that RH uses handles instead of knobs!

Food pantry

Garage door opener

Stairs leading to the second floor

Looking in the master bedroom from the doorway. The two open doors on the right are our walk-in closets.

One side of one of the walk-in closets

Other side of one of the walk-in closets. Love the shelving!

Hall bathroom

Linen closet
Bedroom #2

Bedroom #3
Bedroom #4. It's so hard to photograph the bedrooms!

Controls for the ceiling speakers

Water closet in the master bath

Linen closet in the master bath

One of the two lights flanking the front door. 

Of of the two coach  lights on the garage.

Our lampost. Apparently it's a solar light so it turns on automatically!

Light on the outside of the garage service door.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Closing in 14.5 Hours!

We close on our home in 14.5 hours and I can't believe this day is already here! I feel like it was just yesterday that we were standing on our empty lot holding that "Sold" sign. We were full of excitement as one of our biggest dreams was about to come true. Now it's here and I can hardly believe it! I don't think I will believe the house is ours until the papers are signed, they hand us the keys, and we carry the first box of our possessions through the door.

We have our final walk-through with our PM at 12pm and then we head to closing at 2:30pm. NVR hasn't emailed us our HUD statement yet so we still don't have an exact idea of how much we need to get our official check for. Hopefully there won't be any surprises when they email it to us in the morning!

We still have a ton of packing to do! Thankfully we own our current home so we aren't in a huge hurry. As soon as we finally get done moving and unpacking, then we have to finish our remodel projects on our current home before we list it for rent. We are also still without air conditioning because Allstate is basically the worst insurance company ever! I won't get into that though since I'm in such a good mood!

I'm still keeping up with everyone's blogs and hopefully I will find some time during all the craziness of moving to post a few entries myself!

Until next time...