We Closed!

This is just a quick note to say that we closed yesterday and everything went very smoothly and fast. The movers got our house packed yesterday while we were closing, our first delivery came in the afternoon, and today is full of activity! We’re having all our furniture moved in, blinds installed, cable connected, washer and dryer delivered, and food brought over by my wonderful caterer cousin. God is good and we are grateful!

Oh yeah, I love our new bed! We got the Simmons Beautyrest black  hybrid alcove plush mattress, with the adjustable base. It has the AirCool memory foam. I’m looking forward to tonight’s sleep after a full day of moving.

Pictures and more updates to come!


Week 15: Carpet, Appliances, Final Punch Outs

We visited our home today and lots has happened. The hardwoods and carpet were installed, most of the appliances, most of the lighting and outlet covers, and lots of  drywall touch ups. There’s still quite a bit of touch up work to be done, but we can definitely tell that our home is almost complete! My hubby was excited to see his speakers installed in the media room as well. 

We are loving our carpet choice! The style is called Beckham and the color is called Breathless. It’s super comfy! Yes we did take our shoes off and test out our carpet!

Love our carpet!
This is the upgraded fridge. It sticks out about 8″ from the counter but I love it! My husband thinks it’s too big but he will love it when it’s full of high fructose corn syrup:-).

This is our master bathroom shower and tub. The tub looks much bigger than it did when we saw it during drywall. The tile selection is Stratford Place Alabaster Sands with Whisper Green listello.

Here are some pics of the hardwoods. It’s the 5″ hickory extra dark.

I wanted to show the appliances. Not sure if the fireplace is an “appliance” but I included it here to mention that I didn’t realize it’s operated by remote. No switch! Also, we paid extra to get a 5 burner stovetop but the wrong one was installed. The correct one is on  order. Can’t wait!

Final walk through in one week!!!

Week 14: Our PM, Measuring Windows, NVR, Paint and Granite

Our project manager. Project managers (PMs) have a tough job. They see us at our best and worst when it comes to our biggest earthly investment. They are faulted for much, praised less than they deserve, and work tirelessly to ensure that our homes meet quality standards, and keep their crews on schedule and safe on site. They supervise the day to day happenings for who-knows-how-many homes, serve as middle person between the SM, loan officers, real estate agents, buyers, contractors, HOAs, utility companies and local government agencies. Our PMs name is Sam and he’s the best. I posted the following on the Ryan homeowners and home builders Facebook group and thought I’d re-post here to give a shout out to our PM and to express gratitude for all the PMs who are doing a wonderful job for our families! 

Shout out to our PM Sam Holloway, who always makes time for us to see our home, who never seems to be too busy for us, who didn’t push us to wait until after we close to measure our windows for blinds, who while we were busily measuring the windows, he was opening and closing drawers in our kitchen, marking those that need to be replaced (for scratches, noisy closing, etc), calling up contractors to recaulk and fix minor issues he noticed while waiting for us, who seemed as excited as we are that our heat was on and working well this morning, who follows RH procedure and represents his company well, who is the coolest of the cool, and best PM we could have hoped for! #RHMilan in DC

Measuring windows. It’s pretty simple but a bit time consuming. We measured all 28 windows 😳🙈. Not looking forward to our bill for all those blinds! 

So basically we measured the inside width (top, middle & bottom) and height (left, middle & right) for each window. We used this template: https://www.lowes.com/LCI/Planning/HowTos/measuring_worksheets.pdf

We hope to have them ordered and ready to deliver on settlement day.

NVR. My husband and I had just been remarking about how much fun this process has been. We’ve heard people talk about the stress of the home building process, but we’ve not experienced that at all. So many people are involved in this process, yet all has gone smoothly and without much of a hiccup. Until last week. We got a call from our NVR loan officer asking questions about my husband’s tax status. Granted, it’s a bit out of the norm, as he is a pastor and has a kind of dual tax status, but we thought after explanation it would be quickly resolved and things would continue moving along smoothly. Well, underwriting wasn’t happy with our explanation and wanted us to make changes that would set our closing back from mid- November to potentially early December. Of course at this point, our current home already has renters standing by to move in on December 1, and all the balls are in motion for our original settlement date. Plus, we have guests coming to visit us over Thanksgiving to celebrate with us in our new home. Stress levels rise. Prayers go up. Phone calls and emails fly back and forth. Long story short, after much communication from our loan officer to our SM, to our real estate agent and mostly to the Lord for sustaining grace and trust in Him that all would work out, we reached a workable agreement with our that allows us to keep our November 18 settlement date! Woo hoo! Relationships with all parties are still intact and we are more than pleased and very grateful and excited. A little turbulence but all is well.

Paint and granite. In the midst of a rocky week, our home is coming along so nicely! They’ve finished painting, installed the granite and plumbing fixtures, poured the driveway, and put in the hardwood flooring. We met our next door  neighbor, who informed us of some drainage issues that affect our backyards. He’s been working on getting it fixed and we’ll be following up as well to see if  it can be addressed before they do final grading and grass in our yard. 

Here are some photos before the flooring was installed. With drywall and paint and cabinetry in, the house looks so much bigger and very much feels like home!

Front entry foyer
I love my study! Need ideas for decorating it though!
Formal dining with trim package. Crown molding extends into study and foyer.
Family room with rear fireplace and extra side windows.
Granite is covered up but is Santa Cecelia Light with Sonoma maple espresso cabinets.
Master bedroom with trey ceiling.
Master bath. All bathrooms have Scottsdale maple espresso cabinets with sandstone granite countertops.
The drainage issue. Water pooling in back several days post rain.

Week 13: Tile, Cabinetry, Molding, Room Design, Photos

Today was like Christmas Eve! It was a day filled with anticipation for the “big day”. We walked through our home with all the walls up and cabinetry in and it was such a reality check! We love our home and feel so blessed with this place of rest and relaxation and fun for our family, and this place of hospitality and joy and peace for all we have the honor of hosting in it. We can’t wait for the big day. However, unlike Christmas, the big day is not tomorrow but 28 days from now when we close on our new home.

In preparation, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking and space planning. With the help of Havenly, we’ve settled on our master bedroom design. We also found a local designer to help us with our family room and our son’s room. If you live in the DC, northern VA, Baltimore area, feel free to look her up. She has a wonderful eye for design, is very patient and willing to work with your budget and aesthetic. It’s been a blast and I love not having to bounce around from store to store to find just the right furnishings for our home.

Photos of today’s walk through and our room designs are below. Enjoy!

We have shutters!
Front entry

Trim package in formal dining room

Family room

My kitchen!!!
Master bedroom w trey ceiling
Shower tile in master

Messi (soccer) themed boy’s room.
The figure on the wall will be a Messi wall art decal. The gaming chairs are pretty cool!
We didn’t get the round chair and we’re still deciding on the entertainment unit.
Family room design.
Family room design.

Week 12: Utilities, Drywall, Siding

This is just a quick update to let you all know that things are moving along nicely with our home. I drove by yesterday (Friday) and today (Saturday) and crews were there working hard. They have been putting up drywall this week, and today I saw lots of boxes and doors piled up in the garage, and a gentleman finishing up the exterior siding. We chose Island Pearl for the siding. I was a little worried when I first saw it, as I thought it was too yellow and would not match the La Cava brick front. Now that most of it is up, I really like it! We are not allowed to go on the property without our PM, so I just took a quick photo while driving by. Next week, we plan to walk through with our PM once all the trim, cabinets, doors, etc. are installed. Super excited! I’m looking forward to sharing way more photos with you next time.

34 days till closing!

Week 11: Settlement Date, Pre-Drywall, Independent Inspector

New Home Orientation and Closing Date

Our settlement date is November 18! 

We received a letter stating both the date of our settlement and our new home orientation (November 10). They suggested we block out the entire day for our NHO, although I’ve heard from most that the meeting takes 2-3 hours. They also suggested that we schedule our movers to come at least a day later so after settlement in case there are any delays.

Pre-Drywall Meeting

Our pre-drywall meeting went very well. Our PM is a very chill guy but also very thorough. We had already been in the house a couple of times, but it was helpful to take a slow walkthrough making sure all was as it should be. Mostly, we went over our Guardian placements, all the electrical outlet locations and lighting. I’m glad we decided to get recessed lighting and ceiling fan rough-ins in all the bedrooms. One of our neighbors had his recessed lighting installed after closing, and the price difference was minimal. We had a few outlets moved, thanks to wonderful bloggers and neighbors advice! In a couple of places, the wall outlet was to the side of where the tv would be placed. We asked that they be placed directly below the tv so the outlet wires would be hidden behind the tv console or entertainment center. We also had a couple of changes on lighting. The most notable was in our morning room. In the model in our area, we loved that they had two drum light fixtures above the dining table. We loved that look and decided to repeat it in our home. As you can see in the photo below, the fixtures are placed too far apart, so we asked that they be moved.

In addition to those things, our PM noted a few things that he was already aware of that needed correcting. If you look in the photo below of our kitchen, the fan above the microwave should be directly behind the microwave. It is too far to the right. Our PM made a note for it to shifted to the left.

All the pink foam is extra sealant/insulation to prevent air leaks. The white foam around the outlets are like fire stops. In case of spark or fire, it slows/prevents the fire from spreading.

Independent Inspection

Our inspector found our home in good order, and only had a few minor items that need to be addressed. The sealant to prevent air leaks was incomplete in a few areas and needed to be resealed. Flashing needs to be installed above the garage and morning room (our PM is already aware of this and will be installed later by the roofers). Exterior house wrap is loose near the garage and morning room. Excess mortar needs to be cleaned up from the brick laying process. There was a deep depression outside near the morning room that could pond during heavy rain. Our PM said that once  final grading is completed, this would be addressed, as there should be no areas with standing water for more than 24 hours after a normal rain event. Finally, there was debris in the sump crock that needs to be removed before he crock lid is sealed. 

These were all pretty small issues. We expected no less, as this entire process has gone so smoothly so far. We hope it continues as we head into the home stretch!

Here are some notable photos from our pre-drywall meeting and inspection.

Look at all the outlets in our kitchen! (blue boxes). Also note the microwave vent needs to be moved (apparently by someone named Shobe) 🙂
Our tankless water heater!
As city dwellers, we’re pretty happy for our yard space! We plan to build a deck here at some point.
View of morning room from kitchen
This is our morning room. We asked for two light rough-ins in the morning room to install double drum light fixtures above our dining table.

Week 10: Pre Drywall Scheduled, Independent Home Inspection

Over the past week, the masons have done a beautiful job with our La Cava brick selection and Walnut Grove accent brick. I’m loving how it looks so far! As you can tell, there is more to be done, but our home is coming along nicely. Our PM has another electrical crew out helping with the rough electrical work. They should be done by the end of this week. Hopefully there are no hiccups because we are eager for our pre-drywall meeting, which is scheduled for next Wednesday, October 5. Yay!

We hope to have an independent home inspector come out next week as well to do their own assessment of the work so far. We have nothing but respect and trust in our PM and the leadership he is giving to our home. However, no one is perfect. I’ve heard stories from other home owners across the US who have had issues that were not addressed during the pre-drywall stage, that came back later to haunt them after settlement. I’m hoping to avoid some of that, and also to get a more detailed report from someone with fresh eyes on our home. We will probably get a pre-settlement independent inspection as well. Of course, I’ll fill you in on the details as they come!