Tuesday, April 24, 2012

To Paint or not To Paint?....That is the Question

I have been debating with myself about the whole painting issue. RH recommends that you don't paint until after your 10-month inspection. I know there will most likely be nail pops, but will that really happen in every single room? What if we don't paint and then magically we don't have any problems with our walls? We would have lived in our house for almost a year with white walls!

I like the idea of painting before we move in because we won't have to move furniture around. We are also definitely hiring someone to paint for us. My husband and I HATE to paint and we are not that good at it either. It would take us FOREVER to paint our new home - not to mention the two-story foyer! We would also have to hire a color consultant. I just don't trust myself to pick out colors, especially since the floor plan is so open. Each room flows into the next so it's important for the paint colors to compliment each other.

What is everyone else doing? Painting right away or waiting until after the 10-month inspection?

The Verdict is In.....

I finally heard back from our SR today. She took complete blame for the appliance issue we (I) had. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, read my previous post. She was able to get the change order processed for us to upgrade our appliance package, even though we are three weeks past our 30-day selection lock-in. I hate confrontation so I'm happy that this was taken care of. If she would have come back with a "no" answer, I would not have simply just let it go. We are getting the Premier IV Built-in stainless steel appliance package. This includes GE Profile appliances. Now I get to pick out a new (better) refrigerator to go with my upgraded appliances :)

I am also excited because I found the building permit approval online for our house!! This just makes things feel a little more real! We should be breaking ground in about two weeks!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Extremely Ticked Off

So this is the first time, and hopefully the last, that I have legitimately been upset at Ryan Homes during this process. It may not seem to be that big of a deal farther down the road but for now, I'm pissed.

When making our initial selections, we were asked if we would like black or stainless steel appliances. We were shown pictures of both. Seemed simple enough at the time. I've always wanted stainless steel appliances so that is what we chose. We were never told of options to upgrade to a nicer set of appliances. I only learned of that option by reading so many blogs where people mentioned which level they upgraded too. Since we are past our 30-day window, I ignored it at first. I thought maybe in our region we did not have as many options as everyone else. Boy was I WRONG! I've been shopping for a refrigerator and I was told by the salesman that GE and GE Profile differ slightly in color and that I should confirm which I was getting for the rest of my appliances.

So I e-mailed my SR and asked her for the pictures and model numbers of the ones we are getting. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. The dishwasher and microwave just look so cheap. The double wall oven didn't look as sleek as I was expecting. To make matters worse, I googled the model numbers for each and found extremely bad reviews, for the dishwasher in particular. We are building our dream home and I don't want to have to worry about poor-performing appliances. I want the top-of-the-line appliances to go with my gorgeous gourmet kitchen. I also don't want to have to replace any of them in the next year or two.

I replied to my SR and let her know of my disappointment. I asked her if there was any chance we could still upgrade. I also asked her to send me pictures and model numbers of ALL of my options. I told her which one we wanted, Premier IV Built-in Stainless/Black with the gas cooktop. She said she has to check with the costing manager since we are outside our 30-day window. Hopefully I expressed my disappointment enough for her to make sure this happens. It's not like they already ordered the appliances or anything. Heck, they don't even break ground for another two and half weeks!

I should hear back on Monday and I will let everyone know the verdict.

Word Verification on Blogger

I'm stealing this post from Ravenna Speed, maybe together we can spread the word! It's super frustrating doing the word verification, especially when on a mobile device. I turned mine off, will you turn yours off too? :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day

I just wanted to let everyone know that Earth Day is April 22nd. Most stores have energy efficient appliances on sale. I went to Best Buy last night and they are up to 25% off!

I didn't get to buy any appliances though. I couldn't justify buying my refrigerator and washer and dryer this early -- Even though I would have saved $600 on the W&D pair and $500 on the fridge! Where would I even put them? Not to mention that our mortgage rep told us not to make any large purchases between the time we were approved and the time we close. Boo! At least I can still dream about my new appliances. I have already picked them out!

The Fridge is from GE. It has French-doors and has an ice & water dispenser in the door . I picked GE because I want all of my appliances to match. I was looking at a GE Profile fridge but the sales guy at Best Buy told me that the Profiles have a gold tint to them so they wouldn't match my other appliances! He just saved me a huge headache! He also said that this model is actually getting discontinued next week. He said the new one will basically be the same but the icemaker will be inside the door and will take up less space! I guess there is a benefit to waiting.

Aren't the washer and dryer beautiful?!?

LG Front-loaders in Graphite Steel w/pedestals

On a different note, has anyone picked out a dehumidifier yet? We were told that we should put a dehumidifier in our basement and connect it to the sump pump for at least the first year. They said since the basement walls are poured, we would need the dehumidifier to get rid of the extra moisture. I know NOTHING about dehumidifiers. I did find one that I like -- lets be honest, I picked it out because I think it's pretty, lol! I know enough to get one that is big enough to handle the square feet in our basement. Other than that, does anyone have any advice on picking one out?

Here is the one I have my eye on so far:

Here's the link to it: http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10051&langId=-1&catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053&productId=202885720

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Feeling Bummed

It is so exciting watching everyone else's progress on here. I have to admit that it is bumming me out a bit. We have already made all of our selections - feels like forever ago now - and we still have about 22 days until they break ground. I don't know what the hold-up is. Maybe just because other houses are in front of us? Either way, I decided in order to cheer myself up that I would make a blog about some of the things I am excited about the new house. These are in no particular order, just how they pop in my head.

Having a HOUSE - right now we own our condo but it feels just like living in an apartment. I can't wait to have people over and have a house that I am proud of. We will have so much space and it will just feel so much more comfortable when having a large amount of people here at a time.

Having a garage - I am so excited that I won't have to scrape my car off in the winter. Our condo comes with only 1 carport parking space. Neither of us likes to use it because our neighborhood has about 10 stray cats that love to lay ( & scratch) on the cars parked in there. Parking in the regular spots isn't fun either. Some of our neighbors' cars look like they've been in the demolition derby. Dents and scratches everywhere. They park all crazy. My husband and I both hate our current parking arrangement. His car got a nice white scratch on the side of it, courtesy of one of the neighbors I'm sure.

Trash service - Odd one, I know. Where we live now, we have to drag our trash down a ways to a dumpster that is shared with dozens of other residents. Of course  no one takes care of this area. There is always trash and glass on the ground. People also leave their Christmas trees around the dumpster and they just sit there FOREVER. The smell is awful. When the dumpsters are full, we are forced to leave our trash in our house until they empty it. I'm excited to have a large trash can in the garage to place my trash until trash day. Then all we have to do is wheel it down to the end of our driveway.

Having a Yard - Our lot is half an acre!! I know that is a lot to mow but my father is giving us a riding lawn mower! The only yard we have now is a large grassy area next to the parking lot where everyone walks their dogs and DON'T clean up after them! Yuck! We have a dog and it will be nice to have an area for her to run and play and not be close to where cars are driving by. We are also excited to put in a patio and entertain people there too.

Dining Room - We will have a formal dining room and a morning room with a table in it. So much space to entertain! We use our current dining room as an office (more on that later). We hosted Christmas last year and we had to rent out the clubhouse at our condo in order to accommodate everyone. It was such a pain taking everything back and forth. Not to mention, the clubhouse isn't kept up that well.

Study - We are so excited to have a designated study! We won't have to take up a bedroom or the dining room (like we are now) in order to have a place where we can both sit at our computers and hang out. This is especially important since my husband works from home twice a week.

Fireplace - It's not even the functionality that I'm super excited about, it's the aesthetics. We are going to have a gorgeous floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. I'm so excited to be able to hang stockings on it during Christmas and to put our tree next to it! We don't have any room in our condo to put a tree now. I have a pathetic 12'' tree that I put on our entertainment center.

Kitchen - What about the kitchen, you ask? EVERYTHING! IT'S GORGEOUS! Granite countertops and beautiful 42'' cherry cabinets! A gourmet island! Stainless steel appliances! A double oven! Recessed lights! I could go on and on! Our condo was built in 1972. We still have the original cabinets and floors. Just picture that for a minute. I think the cabinets are made from particle board. The drawers are made of plastic - yes, I said plastic! The floors are so yellowed but I think they used to be white. The appliances are probably from the 90's. They are some off-white cream color. Super ugly. It's embarrassing. I hate showing my kitchen to people who come over. I hate being in there. I'm not the greatest cook but I'm sure a brand new gorgeous kitchen will help inspire me to become better!

1st Floor Laundry - I was originally hoping for a second floor laundry but having it on the first floor is still a MILLION times better than lugging everything down to the basement! Our current laundry room isn't even finished. It has concrete walls and a concrete floor. So cold and depressing.

Large Finished basement - We currently have a finished basement but it's only really big enough for the stuff we need to store. In the new house, our "living room" will be in our basement. This will be our main area. We are also keeping our two cats in the basement. I'm so tired of them getting in and on everything. They scratch everything and their hair gets everywhere. I'll be able to have all brand-new furniture on our first floor without the fear of our cats ruining it. I also won't feel guilty for locking them in the basement. It's a pretty large area and we will be down there most of the time. They also won't be able to bother any company that comes over (unless they go downstairs). This is important to me because some people are allergic or just don't want a cat all up in their business.

New Windows - The windows in our condo don't even open! Talk about feeling claustrophobic! They are the worst ever! You can even feel cold air coming through them in the winter. I am so excited to open all of my windows in my new house on a nice windy day. There's nothing like fresh air to cheer you up!

Media Room - We aren't having RH finish our media room. My husband doesn't think it's big enough so he will be doing it himself or hiring someone else to so that he can extend it more into the storage area. The media room is the only request he had when looking at houses. He's easy to please! I just hope we don't have to wait too long to tackle that project.

Home Audio - We are having Guardian put in two sets of two speakers in our ceilings. Two on the first floor and two on the second so that we can play music throughout the house. I'm really excited about this. My husband and I both love listening to music - especially when we are cleaning. I already have visions in my head of us dancing and sliding around on our new hardwood floors to the music.

HUGE luxury owner's suite - Our current bedroom has a king size bed and two dressers in it. It is so cramped and we trip over each other when trying to move around it. Our new bedroom will be so big that it has french doors leading into it! We could walk side-by-side and still fit! We will also have our own separate walk-in closets!!

HUGE luxury owner's bathroom - Our bathroom will also have french doors! We will have a stand-up shower, soaking tub, and DOUBLE VANITIES! Our current "master bathroom" is a joke. It has a small vanity that is right next to the toilet that is right next to the shower/tub. It's so difficult getting ready in there alone, let alone together. Also, if someone is using the toilet, the other person can't get ready. Our new master bathroom will have a separate room for the toilet!

NEW Everything! - Everything will be clean and shiny and only used by us! We won't have to worry about appliances or our heater breaking - at least not for a long time (I hope!) Everything will be new new new! Our condo is 40 years old. I have no idea how many people have lived here. No matter how much we clean it, it never really feels clean. Know what I mean? There's always something that needs fixed or replaced. The whole place is just way out of date - minus some of the upgrades we have done ourselves. We try to make it feel like a home as much as we can. I've just never been that attached to it. We have lived here for almost 6 years and I never even bothered to decorate it that much. I'm sure when it comes time to move, I will feel a little more sentimental. This is the first and only place I have lived with my husband. We lived here when we were dating, when we got engaged, and when we got married. This was my home while my husband was deployed and off to military schools. Ok...now I'm starting to feel bad for talking trash about our condo, lol.

I'm sure I could think of so much more to be thankful for about our new house. I just can't wait until they start building it so I can at least be excited about taking pictures of the process. For now, I am just sitting here dreaming about all of the things I listed above.

What are you guys most excited about for your new home?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Final Selections

Today we chose the locations for our hosebibs and spotlights. We also looked into getting a rough-in for drainage and a waterline for a sink for a future wet-bar in our basement. It ended being too expensive so we decided not to get it. A bar without a sink it will be! We are ok with that though because our kitchen is at the top of the basement stairs. Not too far to travel if we need a sink. We also have a powder room in our basement with a sink. We weren't dead-set on a location for the bar so now we can always decide that later.

We decided to have them "delete" the shelving in the laundry room. I want to be able to put in cabinets instead. I got that idea from another blogger! He said that they use drywall anchors and it is pretty difficult to remove on your own. I don't want to have to patch any walls! More on the laundry room later.....

We chose our brick, siding, shutters, and door colors. We originally picked a different siding color, but we weren't able to get the color shutters and door that we wanted with it so we changed it. I'm glad we did. I like the color we ended up with the best.

Brick = Virginia Vintage Tudor
Siding = Georgian Gray
Shutters = Black
Door = Black
Trim = White

Now that all of our selections are locked-in, we are ready to just sit back and wait for them to finish building our house! Can't wait! Our tentative date for breaking ground is May 9th. I thought she originally said April 25th. Doesn't matter either way I guess. The "delivery" date is still the same.

Advice for people making their exterior decisions: Drive around and look at what your neighbors have. The brick samples look nothing like they look on an actual house. Some of the samples I consider to be ugly actually look really great on a house. It's hard to look at something so small and try to imagine it on a house.