Sunday, March 25, 2012

What a whirlwind this has been!!!

So, I had totally intended to keep this up to date as we moved along but with our crazy work schedules, birthday/vacation getaway, school and all the craziness of building this house (all good so far!) I've taken pictures but I haven't really had time to blog about the process.

We are building in SC, about a 45 minute drive from where we currently live. The good news is that it makes it easy to drive down about once a week and check on the progress of things. I'm going to attempt to recap the highlights and post some pictures up to this point and then maybe, just maybe, I will do a better job at keeping up with this blog.

First, let me say that the sales rep in our subdivision was super easy to work with. Our realtor joined us when we finally decided to sign and helped us to get a few things "thrown in" ;) as we are the first RYAN built home in this neighborhood. Our realtor really played up the whole "they are the pioneers" in this development for you and you should be willing to give a few concessions. In addition, RYAN was offering up some pretty amazing incentives: $20,000 in upgrades including $3,500 in closing costs (as long as we used NVR Mortgage ~ no problem!) Yeah, I heard a few bad things about RYAN and NVR, however, being a transplant from the DC area I was familiar with their reputation and felt comfortable moving forward with this build.

After looking at a few of their models, we chose the Venice floor plan. We knew that the morning room was NOT going to be an option for us ~ we HAD to have it! We went to the sales office with the idea that we would ask for EVERYTHING, throw in all the options we wanted and knowing it would probably come in over budget, then we had a list of things we were willing to sacrifice to be able to afford the house we wanted. Weren't we surprised when we found out that we didn't have to sacrifice a single thing!!! Our options include:

*elevation K cottage lite with stone
  ~siding: stone mountain clay
  ~board & batten: sandy tan
  ~shake siding: sandy tan
  ~shutters: black
  ~front door: tricorn black
  ~exterior trim: autumn beige
  ~stone color: kentucky
  ~garage door: standtone
  ~gutters: wicker

*corner lot so we could have the side entry garage
*morning room
*kitchen gourmet island
*uba tuba granite countertops
*stainless GE appliances
*timberlake wyoming square cherry bordeaux cabinets
*oil rubbed bronze fixtures
*upgraded laminate flooring on the entire first level in armstrong native cherry
*tumbled stone backsplash in the kitchen with a beautiful 5 row listello
*matching cherry cabinets and granite counters in all bathrooms
*jetted soaking tub in master bath
*ceramic tile in bathrooms and laundry room
*2" faux wood blinds throughout
*garage door opener

Once we made it through the mortgage process (which was very nerve wracking for me, however, it was rather quick and easy according to my mortgage broker brother who talked me off the edge more than once during those 10 days!) construction really took off.

We had been planning a cruise to the Bahamas for DH's birthday for several months and had our initial pre-construction meeting with our project manager (PM) two days before we left!! On our way out of town March 2nd, we drove by the house to see if anything had been started. Much to our surprise, they had staked out the foundation and the plumbing was in place. We were told they were awaiting the plumbing inspection before they could pour the foundation.  Here's a picture of what we saw that day:

Satisfied, we were off to the Bahamas for 5 days of rest and relaxation. The weather wasn't very good, the food was terrible and we found ourselves wishing to get home faster!! We spent a LOT of time that week talking about the house and how excited we were to see how much progress had been made by the time we returned.  One week after we left, we drove by again, on March 8th... Here's the picture:

We have a foundation!!
All DH could say was, "Seems smaller than I remember." Just wait, this is only the foundation, give it a chance. We went home, unpacked and a few days later (on Monday) we contacted the sales rep on site to ask a couple of random questions. He asked if we had been down to see the progress and when we told him we drove by on Thursday, he said, "Well, you mght want to take a drive down if you get the chance. They're working on the second story now!" "What the?!?!?!?! Seriously?" So, our next day off we scheduled our light wiring walk thru... (this would be March 13th) here are some pics from that day:

So now it's really looking like a house!! I can't believe all of this is only 12 days! I'm a little scared it's going TOO fast...  A few days later our PM called and said he needed to schedule the pre-drywall walk thru. Apparently, all the light wiring is in, HVAC is done, inspections completed and insulation is currently being installed... time to make sure all the outlets and prewires are all where we want them before the drywall goes up!!  We met with the PM on March 20th for the pre-drywall and this is what the house looked like then:

windows and doors!! I was so excited, I didn't take many inside pictures this time. Not much difference inside anyway. It was a quick visit but WOW. The PM informed us that it looks like they are on track to complete construction around the end of April!! We were expecting the end of May at the earliest... our lease in our current house doesn't expire until June!!! WOW. That's all I can say. I don't know what more there is...   The PM also told us that the siding would be started this week, drywall would go up this week and that we should expect cabinetry to be installed next week...

We are off this weekend, so we decided to take a quick trip to see how much progress had been made. We expected some of the siding to be up but ... dare I say it again??? WOW...  March 24th:

The siding color seems a little darker than that little bitty color swatch in the sales office but I still love it. It's called Stone Mountain Clay. The trim color is Autumn Beige, the front door and shutters will be Tricorn Black, board and batten as well as the shake siding will be Sandy Tan and the garage door will be Sandstone. The front of the house, beneath the beige trim mid window height, will be a slate blue, greyish stone. I can't wait!!

okay, I couldn't resist these last shots... they are my favorite so far!!

So... that's where we are as of today. We are LOVING the house so far, it's everything we have dreamed of. No issues, RYAN has been fabulous to deal with and we've been very impressed with our PM and his attention to details. He marked things for quality (or lack thereof) that we wouldn't have ever known or noticed once the drywall was in place. He is making sure this is done the right way and I have to say I love him for that!