Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Private Home Inspection

We found an inspector to come out same day! We were actually having lunch at one of our favorite restaurants Sunday afternoon and Chad's parents noticed a car parked next to them with a home inspection advertisement posted on the side of the door. I left my business card and a note to give me a call ASAP for a home inspection. Monday morning he gave me a call and set up a same day appointment! :)

We met at 4pm and the inspection lasted about 3 hours. Our inspector was VERY thorough and informative. Being first time home owners he really took his time and explained the functions of several aspects of a home that we did not consider the importance of. He pointed out many good items and a few items that could be improved upon. Overall he said he was happy with the work so far. 

Items to review:
  • Loose railing where capped wall will be upstairs.
  • Railing lumber was crooked on capped wall.
  • Insulation missing top portion of 2nd floor.
  • Exposed wood on outside of basement.
  • Exposed wood under fireplace bump out (exterior).
He took pictures of the above items. He is going to be creating a inspection report with pictures and recommendations that we should receive within 48 hours.

We were both very happy we had the inspection done. We plan to have him back for a final inspection and also a radon inspection in the spring. 

If you are building in NE Ohio or need a home inspection I HIGHLY recommend Dean White at Ohio Home Inspections, LLC.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Pre-Drywall Meeting

This past week the weather has been very snowy and brutally cold! We still have not had our garage poured yet. The items that have been installed are:
  • Garage Door
  • Electrial Work 
  • Guardian Hookups 
  • Hose Bibs 
  • 2nd Washer/Dryer Hookup 
  • Insulation 
We stopped at the house Wednesday and noticed the the hose bib installed in the garage did not seem correct. We contacted our PM and told him right away. He said he would review the sheet we went over at the Pre-Construction meeting. We did not check the location of the second bib as it was very cold and snowy out. Thursday we stopped again to check out the second bib and it was in the opposite location as well. 

The sheet does not reflect our layout as this is the traditional layout, we have the reversed layout. (So the location on the sheet is correct for both bibs if you pretend to be looking at our layout, disregarding the actual rooms.) We specifically asked for a hose bib to be placed on the outside of the walkout basement door and then the other on most opposite side of the house in the front. Well, they were installed via the room locations on the above sheet not the actual house locations. The one that was supposed to be located by the walkout is now located below the kitchen. The one in the garage is located more toward the center of the garage, not more toward the front like we thought. 

Our PM called us Friday evening around 7pm. We discussed the bib situation, our PM seemed very understanding and he asked where we would like one added. (He said it would be at no cost to us.) We told him we wanted one added to the very front right side of the house if we were going to leave the others as is. During this conversation he informs us our Pre-Drywall Meeting will be Monday. Seriously? Thanks for the notice! How are we supposed to arrange to leave work early for this meeting? Not to mention, we had planned for a private inspector to come in before the drywall went up. Very disappointed we were not given more of a notice. We explained that we would not be able to make it in Monday. He said drywall was going up Tuesday so he had asked if we could meet him Saturday morning at the house. We agreed. 

The Pre-Drywall Meeting lasted less than a hour. We verified Guardian hookups and outlets had been placed accordingly. He pointed out the location of the thermostat, door bell, smoke detectors, light switches, and various other items. We discussed the hose bib issues and he had said that they were installed via the sheet we signed so someone would have to pay to have another bib installed and Ryan Homes would not be paying for it. Not very happy with that answer. I do not understand why we were not presented with the correct copy of the layout from the get go so there was no confusion what so ever. 

The other issue with the hose bib located below the kitchen is this... Look to the very right at the white pipe sticking out of the wall.

The framed area is where our second washer & dryer hookup is located. We are planning to drywall off the area and turn it into an actual laundry room. (Hence the reason we moved it to the basement.) The pipe sticking out of the wall looks ridiculous and prevents us from having the drywall flush. I do not understand why they would do this!? At this point I want it removed and installed in the correct location outside the walkout on the opposite side of the basement. Very frustrating and disappointing. Not looking forward to arguing with Ryan Homes on this one, nor having to rush to arrange a private inspector to be available on a same day notice to walk through our home. Wish us luck! HA!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Well We Finally Had Our Guardian Meeting...

Late better than never? Well a little update on our VERY last minute meeting with Guardian. Last Monday we received an email from the manager we had been working with at Ryan Homes stating we still needed to have our Guardian meeting. (We reminded them of this at our Pre-Con meeting as well...) So we receive an email from the Guardian Rep mid Tuesday, we reply Wednesday morning asking to schedule the meeting the next week since we already had our evenings planned out for the remainder of the week. Our SR who was copied on the email as well, replied back saying we needed to meet sooner to keep everything on track. And that the "standard hookups" (2 Cable & 1 Telephone hookup) meeting could be handled via phone or email...Wrong answer! We have reminded Ryan Homes on 3 different occasions that we had never met with Guardian. So of course like every other issue we have had when someone did not follow up on something it was just another urgency for Ryan Homes and an inconvenience for us. I replied back and kindly (Maybe not soo kindly?) stating it was RIDICULOUS that we were just now FINALLY being contacted by Guardian and we were not going to be inconvenienced again due to someone dropping the ball. I also explained that I will have my office set up at our home so we would need to go beyond the "standard hookups", therefore, a meeting would be necessary. I also explained that we had plans the remainder of the week and were leaving to go out of state on a snowmobiling trip for the weekend so we would not be available to meet until the following week. Needless to say she didn't respond. I copied her manager on my response as well as the Guardian Rep. Our SR's manager replied stating she understood our frustrations. (She has been great to us.) The Guardian Rep replied as well and called us to set up our meeting. He did say that this was a "He said she said miscommunication." whatever that means. And he had it documented that he had contacted us with no response back. (Not the case on our end, we did not receive any correspondence from anyone at Guardian previously.) He did suggest meeting at the house so we could get a visual where everything would be placed. (GREAT IDEA!)

So yesterday we met with our Guardian Rep. He was very helpful in explaining the best areas to place the items we chose. Our meeting lasted about 2+ hours! I was actually surprised, as I thought this would be a quick meeting. Also, he did mention that the wiring is going to be installed TODAY!

Here are our final selections:
  • Basic Home Wiring Package Included:
    • 2 Cable
    • 1 Telephone
  • Six Pack Wall Plate Outlets: $495
    • 4 Cable
    • 2 Data
  • Home Security System: $250 
    • 36 Month Agreement $39.99/mo. (First 6 Months Free)
  • Klipsch 5.1 Silver Audio System: $965
    • 5 Ceiling Installed Speakers
  • High Speed Digital Flat Panel Prewire: $440 
We ended up placing one of our cable outlets in the garage for a future TV. Chad also selected the Silver Audio System (Surround Sound) which we did not consider previously. It is a great idea as the speakers are set in the ceiling which helps remain as wire/cordless as possible. 

I keep going back in forth in my head about the Home Security System. I know there are many other options such as wireless available that offer a little more features at a lesser price and no cost to install. Most still do require the typical 36 month contract. But I guess the hardwire is nice because it is an actual unit behind the wall. Any thoughts?


We ended up nixing the Home Security System. We are going to go the wireless route after much debate. Wireless gives us more options, flexibility and additional features that would cost a ton to add on with Guardian. We have not chose a system yet, but we will be doing much research over the next month so we are ready to go at move in time. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

And Even More Progress!

I snuck by the lot today and good thing I did! The roof is finished! I was also surprised to see the plumbing has been started. The fireplace and shower panels have been placed in the house as well. The basement and garage is still being dried out to prepare for the concrete to be poured. And we also received a letter today in regards to our Pre-Settlement Demonstration and Settlement dates. 

The Roof is complete!

Powder Room


Kitchen Plumbing

Master Bathroom Plumbing 

Master Bedroom Shower

Master Bathroom Upgraded Shower

Guest Bathroom

Guest Bathroom Plumbing

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Fully Framed Florence!

And we are officially framed! Once again I cannot believe how fast this is all coming together! It was such a great feeling to finally step into our future home! This truly has been a such a dream to build a home, let alone to build our first home! I am feeling very fortunate and lucky for this experience! 

We spoke with our PM Friday and he briefed us for the upcoming week. The basement and garage are currently being dried out so the concrete floors can be poured. The other item on the agenda is the roofing, which will be finished as well. 

Love it!

Front "Living Room"

Closet & Powder Room

Family Room looking at Fireplace

Kitchen/Dinette Area

Looking out our Kitchen/Dinette Area Slider 


Looking Upstairs & to the "Living Room"

My Future Office... The Loft!

Front Bedroom #3

Master Bathroom

Master Closet

Guest Bathroom

Master Bedroom

Looking toward Middle Bedroom #2 (Left) 

Looking Downstairs

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Getting Framed!

WOW! What a surprise today! We were not expecting to find a half framed house on our visit today! As of Monday we just had a foundation! (And a ton of snow!) We did not get a chance to make it by the lot yesterday, but I am so glad we did today! Here are just a couple of pics. Tomorrow we will most likely have a fully framed house so I will be sure to post the finished product. :)

Reverse Elevation

I am absolutely in love with all the windows on the back of our house and our walkout basement! We plan to add a deck and a concrete patio area after we move in to take advantage of our outdoor living space. Also, the back of our house faces a tree line and farmland so we will have a very pretty view!

Just a few sneak peeks at our soon to be home! Looking out our master bedroom ceiling, fireplace & upstairs! I just love the rounded window at the top! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Got Some Wood!

This past week was a busy one! We locked our rate, our lot was graded and our wood was delivered! I can't believe how quickly this process is moving along! I am getting more and more excited everyday! We are looking forward to seeing the upcoming progress this week! (Hopefully the weather doesn't delay us too bad!) 

And we have wood!

Our Future Home!


Progress on our street...

Such a beautiful sunset on my way to see our lot.

Officially our new toy!