Tuesday, October 1, 2013

2 rooms completed!

So the master bedroom and the dining room are looking good. Only several dozen boxes left to unpack....

We stopped by Kirkland's and picked up the 2 paintings above the bed. That store is great, we are going back for additional paintings as we complete rooms.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Almost moved in

Well, we're moved in and we've survived for the most part. Its been a heck of a week. Half the family got a horrible cold, and the other half got a stomach virus the day of the move. That made things very interesting to say the least. We managed to make it through the first few days after the move slowly unpacking boxes and getting settled in.

Our movers were horrible, Hindmann, nearly every single piece of furniture we own is damaged. Our son's solid oak bed is broken. Our dining room set has dings, scratches, and gouges missing from it. They snapped the top of my desk in half. Our master bedroom set is dinged and scratched. They also dinged damn near every wall in the house.  Not to mention scratching our newly finished banisters.

We had a second set of movers, 2 men and a truck, these guys were fantastic. They moved everything from my mother's house to the new place. Nothing in our boxes was broken, not a glass. No dings or scratches on the walls or wood. Can't say enough good things about these guys.

During the week we had numerous deliveries. all of them went pretty well. The home depot guys for the appliances were great. Levin was good even though one of our sofas didn't fit in the basement. We had to do a no fit refusal and go pick new items on Friday.

All in all we love the new house. We don't ever want to move again in our lives...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 96 - Less than 24 hours until we own our new home!

In less tan 24 hours we will own the house we've been dreaming off since January. Its been quite a journey, not all of it easy or pleasant. We've had ups and downs in the process, selling our house was an absolute horrible experience and not something I'm ever going to want to do again to be honest. We've also had some issues with Ryan and NVR that haven't been pleasant. I will say that we have only ever experienced excellent customer service with Ryan and NVR. They've always resolved the issues we've had quickly and professionally. Kudos to them. We like and respect our PM and SR's and we would be happy to be a reference for the company. (Although RiteRug can kiss my ass)

We are busy packing up our clothes and other items we've used in the past 8 weeks at my Mom's house. Living out of suit cases has been interesting, not as bad as I thought it would (living out of suit cases that is) be when we moved in. Everyone has adjusted well living under one roof and I think we will all have to adjust to the new reality once we are settled in next week. I'm sure my Mom is ready to have her house back to herself. I know we've overwhelmed her with kids, and pets.

All we have to do now is wait for tomorrow.....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dy 95 - Getting ready to move in....

Its been a busy day. We stopped at the bank to get the check drawn for closing, that hurt a little bit I'm not going to lie. Why the hell is closing on the house so damn expensive, everyone needs a cut I suppose.

After that we headed over to Home Depot to get the blinds we need for the house. 22 blinds and $900 later we walked out with blinds cut to fit each of the windows, with the exception of the small 22x22, and 27x27 windows. Lesa is going to find something else for those little windows. We also picked  up the sealer for the grout and granite as well as a few other odds and ends. I also got a spool of speaker wire so I can hook up the new receiver Monday and crank the tunes while we are working.

Later today we are heading out to get new dishes, pots and pans.

Tomorrow we will be packing up all of our clothes, and getting ready to move all of the electronics to the house on Monday after closing.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 94 - Pre-Settlement Walk Through

Lesa and I are getting ready to leave for the pre-settlement walk through. Hopefully the house is going to be fantastic. Realistically, probably not. Considering the amount of work that needed to be completed I'm not even sure the house will be professionally cleaned when we get up there today.

I'll be taking a ton of pictures to document all of the fixes that need to be made to the house.

Look for an update later today.....

....Back from the walk through and we are pleasantly surprised with the house. At the end of the walk through our punch list had several items but none were critical. Our PM took note of all of our concerns, validated and told us that it would be taken care of. Most of the cabinet drawers and doors in our kitchen were damaged, all of the replacements have already been ordered and should be installed Monday. Even with the damage the kitchen still looks great.

What a kitchen!!!
We had several walls that need sanded and repainted, we didn't notice any big dings or dents. Another big area that needs some TLC is the porch. Caulk and paint will fix the issues for most of the porch, we did point out a gap between the porch ceiling and the wall that may be a little more intense to fix but our PM is going to take care of getting it fixed.

So we will have contracts in the house tomorrow fixing punch list items, and cleaners in on Sunday for our closing on Monday.

We are almost at the finish line!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 93 - 4 days till closing...

Quite a few odds and ends taken care of today. I called in to take my Dish account off the mover program and get instillation setup for next week. I got a great deal, I've been with DISH for a long time and in that time we hadn't upgraded our equipment. While setting up the install I upgraded to the Hopper with 3 Joeys, and got a discount of $25 a month for 12 months, and 3 months free movie channels. My bill ended up being roughly $130 a month for America's top 250, love it!

I talked to our Loan Officer and submitted the last documentation they required to close, my most recent pay stub. Done!

Lesa and I will be stopping up at the house later today to take a peek at what they have got done today and prepare for the walk through tomorrow morning.

The schedule next week is super hectic. Monday and Tuesday are killer, Wednesday is a lot of delivery. Thursday through the weekend should be some nice relaxation time. We will have to loop back to my Mom's house to clean up her house and make sure everything is put back together for her.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 92 - 5 days till closing...

Today we received final loan approval, we are clear to close on Monday!

The process is nearly complete we are so excited. Nearly everything is set for next week, just a few more appointments to setup. We are going to run up to the house tonight to see what's happening. Hopefully its looking good for the QCI tomorrow.

Our back splash is in!

Our front door is painted as well. Landscaping is complete.

We did find a crack in our front porch concrete, not sure how they are going to fix that...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 91 - 6 days to closing....

We didn't go up to the house today, we needed a break and we figure we are going to be locked out soon anyway. With final walk through on Friday we are going to relax.

I did have to call NVR today to find out what the hold up is in getting final loan approval. Apparently our loan didn't go in to underwriting until today. The manager has pushed it through and we expect to have everything wrapped up in the morning. Hopefully we won't need any additional documentation.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 90 - 7 days until closing....

We stopped up at the house this afternoon and found quite a few items in the process of being finished. All of the flooring has been installed, with the exception of the bonus room landing. We still aren't sure if this is carpeted or hardwood. The walls and ceilings had been touched up and should be ready for paint tomorrow. The finishing crew was hard at work installing doors and putting down 1/4 round. Our missing under cabinet lighting was installed, yay!

Overall things are looking very good for next Monday. We now have an issue with NVR, of course. Our loan is still in underwriting. I've been bugging the loan officer for the better part of a week to get an update on our loan, still nothing. Today I asked at the start of the day and the end, reminding them that we close on Monday and I've scheduled all of the deliveries and movers. Management is now involved. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly.

The stove we will be selling...

The study

The dining room

Kitchen/Family room

Interior doors with hardware

Kitchen/Family Room

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 89

The tile installers and carpet installers were at the house today. The master bath shower is nearly complete. The installer said that the tile will be all installed today and grouted tomorrow. The carpet is installed everywhere except the first floor. Not sure why it wasn't installed to be honest, I guess they are coming back tomorrow. I will follow up with our PM to make sure that the job is completed this time.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 88

Took the family to the Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival today. We had a really good time, as usual. We picked up a Sky Chair for the front porch which I can't wait to use. (

On the way home we swung over to the house to see what was happening. We were quite happy to see the crew working away at the tile. All of the floors have now been grouted except for the master bathroom.The master shower was in-progress. Lesa and I talked to the crew for a few minutes and they were very nice guys. The work they had done looked great. It was fortunate that we showed up when we did we were able to tell them where we wanted the soap dishes and confirm that the plan for the glass accent that they had come up with was okay. The guys told us that the carpet installers would be on-site tomorrow and they they should be finished with the bathrooms no later than Monday morning. They mentioned that getting over 700 sq. feet of tile installed in 2 days was quite a challenge. (we put a lot of tile in the house)

Our back splash may not be in before closing.  The wrong tile was ordered, depending on when it comes in will determine when it is installed. 

What a dash to the finish! Thank you Ryan team for great customer service. Thank you tile contractors, your effort over the weekend is appreciated! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 87 - Customer service win!

Things are much better today. After blowing my top yesterday I've spoken to the SR, PM, and an area VP. The result is that today RiteRug has a crew in my house, working through the weekend to get my tile and carpet installed. We stopped up this evening and the crew seems to be the guys that a company sends to fix a major screw up. The grout was already down in much of the kitchen, powder room, and entryway.

The plan is to install the master bath tile tomorrow, and grout it on Sunday. The carpet will be installed Sunday, and the back splash will be in Sunday or Monday. After that the painters will be in Monday and Tuesday. Cleaners Wednesday. QCI Thursday. Final walk through Friday.

The house is back on schedule and Lesa and I are quite happy with the service we received. Kudos Ryan Team.

I'm still waiting to hear back from NVR. Our loan has been in underwriting for 12 days so far.

I hate to be the squeaky wheel and pester people, unfortunately its affective.  

Ofcourse I have pictures....

Side walk poured

Master bath light, missing a piece...

Guest bath light fixture

Eat in kitchen

Our grout!

Exterior lights

Our steps, love the detail and lattice

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 86 - RiteRug sucks!

Another frustrating day in the home building saga....

RiteRug hired a crew to install our tile and they are worthless. These 2 guys started the job nearly 2 weeks ago, worked a day and a half and disappeared. Since that time the progress on the house has had to exclude anything that is dependent on the tile being completed. So the plumbing fixtures, rugs, etc cannot be installed. The 2 worthless idiots were supposed to show up today and finish the job. Yeah you guessed it, no shows. I talked to the PM who told me he has escalated this to his manager for a resolution. At this point it could affect our closing. I am beyond pissed off....

We talked to the PM and SR and they have reached out to the area VP and several other people in the Ryan Homes organization to get this mess fixed. The communication this evening has been very good and I've been reassured that everything that can be done will be done.

Progress on the house hasn't stopped and its looking quite good.

Landscaping has started.

The basement is getting close to being completed.

Plumbing hardware is being installed.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 85

Lesa and I skipped going up to the house today. I touched base with the PM today and he said the items we were most interested in hadn't changed. Our tile is supposed to be completed tomorrow so we are planning to run up tomorrow night.

We did notice yesterday that several outlets in the house were installed upside down which we thought was odd. We talked to our SR and he told us that Ryan installed the switched outlets upside down for ease of identification. Not something we are fond of to be sure. We also noticed that the GFI outlet in the kitchen was installed behind the fridge, we asked for this to be moved. I don't want to move the fridge to reset the circuit.

I talked to NVR today to see if my loan had come back from underwriting, so far nothing. Its been 10 days since it was submitted so hopefully we get through without a hiccup.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 84

Early this morning I received a call from our PM about the list I sent yesterday. We had a very good chat about them and they will be addressed. One of the bigger concerns was the front porch, it is actually level, the issue is with the gutters, the PM is looking to see if he can lessen the angle they are installed to provide a better aesthetic. Okay, happy about that. The less concerning items such as the scratches and dents on the cabinets will be taken care of, as will the tile. I was reassured that our concerns would be addressed.

The driveway however could be a sticking point. Our PM confirmed that it should be a 2 inch base and a 1 inch top coat. I expressed my concern that I certainly didn't see more than an inch of asphalt that was laid. The only way to tell for certain is to break a piece of the driveway off to determine if it was installed correctly. This is what he will be doing today. The driveway is shared between my neighbor and myself and we both have strong feelings that what is installed should be installed properly and durable. We would have preferred concrete but it looks like we are stuck with asphalt.

I also received the appraisal this morning and everything looks good, we actually have several thousand dollars in equity. One less thing to worry about.

More tonight after we check the house....

..picks from the house.

The sub I ordered for the media room arrived today as well! BIC F-12, it has great reviews on Amazon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 83

We stopped up at the house and found that quite a bit had been done today. First the good, the electricians returned to install the light fixtures, switches, and outlets. The HVAC contractors installed the air conditioners and hooked up the furnaces and installed the humidifier on the basement furnace. Our granite counter was installed. The painters were busy at work when we arrived.

The bad. We have started a running list of items that will need to be corrected prior to settlement. we've decided to update the list daily and send it to the PM and SR.

1. Asphalt driveway - to thin. Will need to be replaced with thicker asphalt or concrete.
2. Base kitchen cabinets - Nearly every cabinet is damaged. Mostly scratches, some deep, and a few dents. Putty and stain pen aren't acceptable fixes, the damaged doors, drawers, and cabinets will need to be replaced. Please see pictures for examples. 

3. Basement powder room cabinet - This piece has quite a bit of damage to the door, and the cabinet itself. It will need to be replaced.
4. Steps, wood landing - One piece does not fit well, obvious gap.

5. Front porch - The porch is not level, it appears to sag on the left hand side facing the front of the house. This is visible, and it makes the house look bad.

6. Stain on the tile in the kitchen - Not sure if you can get this up or note. If not those tiles will need to be replaced.

7. Outlet in guest bath is behind the mirror.

8. Holes in sub-floor upstairs near banister - These will need to be repaired prior to carpet.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 82 - Issues....

A batch of new issues have arisen that I've brought to the attention of our SR and PM. The asphalt driveway that was installed is woefully inadequate. At first glance everything looks great, however, upon closer examination the driveway isn't thick, hell it isn't even a top coat. Standard thickness should be between 3-4 inches in depth, the edges of our driveway is the depth of the stone added to the asphalt. It was crumbling even tapping it with my foot. I'm not sure how Ryan expects it to last, the first time I turn in to my garage it will be torn up and expose the gravel underneath.

We also noticed several fit and finish items that are worrisome. We sent emails and texts out to our PM and SR and we still haven't heard back from either of them yet. At this point I'm concerned, I expect the best, its what Ryan has promised and it will be what I demand. It looks like I'm going to be making several demands. Hopefully I'll be wrong and everything will be pristine next Friday for the final walk through....

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 81

Some good news work has started to progress slowly on the house once again. The dry wall contractors have returned to finish the garage and the basement. The basement is now ready for paint and the garage is nearly finished.

Unfortunately, the tile contractors are no where to be found. The tile is still not complete. On top of that the person who stained our banisters got stain on the tile! What in the hell, where is the quality control?

Stain on the tile. Sloppy.....
In the kitchen the hardware and molding was installed and it looks very nice.

The banisters and railings have also been installed. I must say I really hope that this was a first coat because I'm not thrilled with the job that was done. We also still have 2 big holes in the sub floor that haven't been repaired. This needs to be completed.

On the outside of the house the columns finally have proper support and the porch isn't sagging.

Still a lot to do before we close...