Thursday, July 31, 2014

Deciding on Selections

After we had gone round and round about all of the different options and what we wanted and didn’t want within our 30 day window, there were a few things we just couldn’t come to a consensus on.  For the 5 things we were on the fence about, we each ranked the items that wanted from most to least.  Below is the chart that reflects my choices and BB’s choices and what we ended up with… it’s funny to see where our priorities are!

Spoiler – we ended up with 4 of the 5 things J




Under cabinet lighting - $750

Under cabinet lighting - $750

Under cabinet lighting -YES

Comfort height toilets - $395

Garage Sink - $475

Garage Sink - YES

Window in Family Room - $500

Bathroom Cabinets - $100 - $500

Bathroom Cabinets - YES

Garage Sink - $475

Window in Family Room - $500

Comfort height toilets - YES

Bathroom Cabinets - $100 - $500

Comfort height toilets - $395

Window in Family Room - NO

 Were there any options that you had a hard time deciding on?  Any regrets? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pre-Construction Meeting Questions

We have not scheduled our pre-construction meeting yet, but I've been anticipating this meeting for a while now (that's what happens when you have to wait a couple of months to start your build!). 
We got a note from our SR this week that the PM we thought we were working with is moving.  For now we will be working with his boss while they fill the position.  Hopefully this is a good thing - trying to be positive.  Fingers crossed we get a meeting date soon!
Below are questions I've compiled based on other blogs suggestions plus a couple of my own.
Did I miss anything???

General Questions for the PM:

1.       Estimated timeline/milestones, exact closing date.

2.       What inspections will happen at each stage?

3.       Can we visit the site? Do we need permission from PM?

4.       Rules for visiting the site?

5.       What is the best way to reach the PM if we have questions?

6.       Can we bring in our own home inspector? What is the proper procedure?

7.       How will other homes next to us/across from me be positioned?

8.       Will there be 1 or 2 HVAC units?

9.       Will there be any electrical or cable boxes on our lot?  What about sewer?

Verification Checklist: (Things we already selected with Ryan Homes SR or other vendors- Advanced Flooring)

1.       Selected Upgrades and Options (things we were charged extra for)

1.       Confirm laundry tub is in the garage.

2.       Confirm extra breaker for fridge in garage.

3.       Confirm extra insulation in the wall by hall bath/kitchen and garage.

2.       Interactive Selections (Cable/Ethernet)

3.       Design Center Selections

4.       Lights package, placement / Fan rough-ins

Common Areas:

1.       Smooth or rough ceilings?

2.       Power outlet location for each room (specifically - kitchen, bathroom vanities, garage, deck and TV location)?

1.       Laundry room +1

2.       Master closet +1

3.       Kitchen island +1

4.       Garage +2

3.       Switches for lights and fireplace in family room

4.       Check window size and location in each room.

5.       Door Handles - Which rooms get locks?

6.       Will all windows have screens?

7.       Verification for extra insulation

8.       Wall switch as well as remote for fireplace?


1.       Can we choose our own granite slab?

2.       Can we delete granite "lip" altogether because we plan on doing a tile back splash later?

3.       Size of the fridge that will fit the design of the kitchen?

4.       Is there going to be a rough-in for ice maker (for the fridge)?

5.       Confirm cabinet above stove will be higher than other cabinets.

6.       Any way to move the outlet above the microwave so we can install open window cabinets?

7.       Rearrange lighting above the island for pendants. 

8.       When can we have refrigerator and washer/dryer delivered?


1.       Placement of dryer vent (high)

2.       Can the door open away from the room (not into the room)?


1.       Where will the attic access be located?


1.       Confirm shelves in closets?


1.       Confirm ORB shower in master.

2.       Vent fan locations

3.       Can master bath window open?


1.       Confirm that garage door opener, sensors, and button will be prewired behind the wall and we only will need to buy unit to install

2.       Garage Opener wiring?

3.       Confirm garage be sheet-rocked?

4.       Drainpipe in the garage?

5.       Can we extend the driveway at all?

6.       Location of service door garage?

7.       Will there be a deadbolt in the door to the garage?

8.       Where is the switch for operating the garage carriage lights, light post and porch light? Can they be put on different switches?


1.       Gas line location?

2.       What outdoor lights are standard? Can you upgrade the lights or add more? (We have to have a light below the portico at front door)

3.       Where are the hose bibs located?

4.       Confirm lawn will be sodded?

5.       Grass in the backyard? How far back?

6.       Make sure there are gutter around the house

7.       Confirm extra outdoor lights.

8.       What kind of plants/trees are placed?  Can we alter anything?

9.       Can we pick the placement of the trees?

8.       Grading - how will the finished contours of the lot look? Will it will look different than now?

9.       Seeding/sod?  What is warranty?  Will they seed in winter?  What if it doesn't grow?

10.   How many steps to front porch?

11.   How many steps into house from garage?

12.   Location of outdoor AC unit?  Heat pump?

13.   Location of water meter?  Gas meter?

14.   Mailbox?

15.   What other questions do homebuyers have that I may be missing?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Selections

This is by far the fun part!  I had read through a lot of blogs about the pros and cons of picking out what you wanted NOW vs. picking out the basics and upgrading LATER.  We waffled on this - we both work really stressful/time consuming jobs and don't have tons of free time.  We also have an almost 2 year old and will hopefully expand our family in the future.  Based on that, we knew we needed to keep our selections in our budget, but pick things that we really wanted long-term.  We will still have some projects to work on though - deck or patio, building a shed, more landscaping, garage shelving/organization... the list goes on!

Now, on to the pretty selections!  We had fun picking everything out, we mostly agreed on everything and we each comprised on things. Example - I really wanted a white kitchen, BB was not really a fan.  I could live without the stone front, but BB really wanted it.  We both wanted darker hardwoods.  Overall, we are both really happy with our picks though!

We saw this color scheme in our neighborhood and love it!  This is Elevation D though, and we are doing E. 

Elevation E with Partial Stone.  We LOVE the front porch!

·         Elevation E with Partial Stone

o   Exterior Color Scheme: UEE

o   Main Siding Color: Graphite Gray

o   Shake Siding Color: Silver Mist

o   Stone: PA Sierra Fieldstone (round stone)

o   Shutter Color: Dark Berry

o   Front Door Color: Raisen

o   Brick Color: Grand Caramel

o   Trim Color: White

o   Roof Color: Black

o   Garage Door :  White; cottage front with arched windows

o   Gutter Color: White

o   Front porch:

§  Columns - White, Square

§  Railings - black powder coated aluminum

First Floor
I cannot stress enough how much I LOVE all of our selections!  I'm dying to see it in person all pulled together!

·         Flooring

o   Foyer, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Morning Room

§  Hardwood – Level B: Rural Living 5” Deep Java

§  Stairs – hardwood; Railing stain #6

We opted for white balusters, not metal but this gives a good idea of what we will be doing.

o   Family Room & Study:

§  Carpet Pad A: Tahoe

§  Carpet Level C: Simple Touch – Sand Swept

·         Kitchen

o   Countertops – Granite upgrade #1 (standard in our neighborhood): St. Cecilia Light

o   Cabinets – 42” with crown molding: Timberlake: Rushmore Square Maple Glaze Hazelnut
Example of Cabinets + Countertops + Lighting - I cannot wait to cook in this kitchen!

·         Family Room

o   Stone fireplace (side of house); PA Sierra Fieldstone (round)

Second Floor

·         Flooring

o   Carpet Pad A: Tahoe

o   Carpel Level B: Collinsville-Mocha Froth

·         Master Bathroom

o   Vanity Cabinets: Timberlake, Wyoming Square Maple Cherry Java

o   Flooring/Tile: Ceramic Tile C with surround

§  Brancacci-Aria Ivory 12 x 12 Floor

§  9 x 12 Wall

§  Accent 1” – Random TE22 Bali

It's hard to see, but the listello has light green and flecks of copper.  I think it'll play nicely with the cherry in the cabinets. 

·         Guest Bathroom #1

o   Double bowl vanity: Timberlake, Scottsdale Square Maple Espresso

o   Flooring/Tile: Ceramic Tile B w/ Surround

§  Brixton 12 x 12 Bone Wall

§  Semi-Gloss White 6 x 6 – NO LISTELLO

§  Corner ceramic soap dish
The almond is shown on the bottom, but we are only doing white and no listello.  The flooring lady thought I was crazy for not wanting it, but the curly-ques were the only option and I prefer cleaner lines. 

·         Guest Bathroom #2 (in 4th Bedroom) - same as above.

o   Single bowl vanity: Timberlake, Scottsdale Square Maple Espresso

o   Flooring/Tile

§  Brixton 12 x 12 Bone Wall

§  Semi-Gloss White 6 x 6 – NO LISTELLO

§  Corner ceramic soap dish

·         Laundry Room Flooring: Initiator #66088 (shown above with carpet)