Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dryer Hose Box

While browsing through blogs and Pinterest, I came across this picture of a dryer hose hookup. I hate that I am not able to push my dryer completely against the wall because that stupid hose is hanging all over the place. This seemed like a great idea, so I asked my SR if this is something that could be done in our house. He liked the idea so much that he had me forward him the photo and he might do the same thing in his new construction home! He has to check with corporate and our PM first, but hopefully they'll go for it! Here's to hoping I can finally push my dryer completely against the wall! 

Grading, Rocks & Dumpster Diving

Took a drive by the house tonight and I missed the waterproofing step! The yard has been graded and the foundation has been filled in- yay! It's been super windy out, so hopefully framing will begin early next week. I've been so excited lately and can't wait for our home to be finished :)

Our second pile of rocks

Space between our house and the neighbors

& the neighbors house.
 2 days ago when I drove by there was not one piece of wood up !

oh and I didn't take a photo of it, but DF told me there was a man in the dumpster when we pulled up. I told him he was crazy and it was just the wind blowing things around. Sure enough, a few minutes later a man popped out of the dumpster with a bunch of "goodies." Perhaps he's selling all of that scrap metal he took? I know it's stuff in the trash, but I'm not sure how I feel about random people being in the neighborhood dumpster diving- especially when I actually move in and live there. 

Did anyone else notice this happening in their neighborhood? 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

We've got lumber !

My wonderful SR took a picture and emailed it to me of our house being delivered!

I happened to be meeting at the model home again with the guardian rep, so I of course had to take a drive down and check it out. Framing should start sometime this week!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Final Walk-Through Checklist

While viewing other blogs, this blog had a nice long list for things to check at your final walk-through. Although we're super far from that stage, I wanted to make sure I had it saved somewhere for when that time comes.

Just saving this blog on a separate tab/page so it's easier to locate...

I'm a little bit (or maybe a lot) OCD... so I've been going through blogs (like Thomas's @ Ravenna Speed) and various realtor websites with suggestions of things to check and/or ask during the final walk-through.  I compiled a pretty long list of things to check and/or ask, so I thought I'd post the compiled checklist in hopes that it'll give others ideas of what to check and/or ask during their final walk-through.

If you think of something that is not mentioned on the checklist please let me know so I can update it.

Final Walk-Through Checklist
(You may want to bring a level, measuring tape, notepad, and pen.)


Make sure the ground around the foundation slopes away from the house.

Make sure the water does not pond in swales.  To check, water the areas with a hose, if possible.

Check for signs of erosion.

Make sure basement window wells are clean and graveled.

Make sure the shrubbery is placed at least 2-3 feet from the foundation.

Roof and Gutters

Make sure the shingles flat and tight.

Make sure the flashing is securely in place.

Make sure the gutters, downspouts and splash blocks direct water away from the house.

Exterior Appearance

Make sure the trim and fittings are tight.   

Make sure the paint covers the trim smoothly.

Make sure all shutters are straight.

Make sure exterior lights work and are properly aligned.

Check foundation for cracks/damage.

Make sure foundation is fully painted, if applicable.

Make sure landscaping is installed according to your contract.


Open and close all doors.  Make sure doors are properly fitted and operate as intended.

Make sure all six sides are painted – front, back, top, bottom and both ends.

Make sure locks, including deadbolts, operate properly without binding and that thresholds are adjusted correctly.

Check for warping.

Make sure hinges are clean and free of paint.

Make sure locks are securely installed and do not rattle when the door is closed.

Make sure the exterior doors have been sealed with weather-stripping.


Open all windows.

Make sure all locks operate properly.

Tracks should be lubricated to prevent binding.

Make sure screens are in place and not torn.

Check for broken window panes.

Make sure the windows are sealed and protected by weather stripping.


Walk the perimeter of each room, checking floor and ceiling moldings to be sure they are uniform.

Look for gaps that need caulking, protruding nail heads and proper finish.

Examine all wall and ceiling surfaces under natural light, and if possible, at night under artificial illumination.  Poor drywall work tends to show most when the lights are on.

Look for visible seams, nail heads, or other irregularities.

Be sure the walls are square.  Otherwise, tile floor or patterned vinyl flooring will be askew.  In small spaces, anything that's out of line will become a constant source of irritation.

Inspect the wall finishes for uneven paint coverage.


Be sure all wall outlets and switches operate correctly.

Test light fixtures, making certain they are attached securely and contain the correct-wattage bulbs.

Locate the main electrical panel and review the function of each circuit breaker and fuse.

Your new home must be equipped with ground fault and arc fault circuit interrupters (GFCI and AFCI).  GFCIs protect bathroom and exterior receptacle circuits, while AFCIs protect bedroom receptacle circuits.  Ask your builder how to test these devices.

Check all electrical fixtures and outlets.  Bring a hair dryer (or outlet tester) to test the outlets.

Test the doorbell.

Test the intercom system, garage door opener and any other optional electrical items.


Walk across all floors.  You should hear only a minimum of squeaks and notice a minimum of spring when walking on the floor.

Make sure floor coverings have a relatively flat surface.  Due to the nature of wood, a wood floor system will have a certain amount of unevenness.

Examine carpeting for stains, shade variations, loose edges, ripples, or tears.

Examine seams in carpets and vinyl to make sure they are tight.

Examine ceramic tiles and grout for surface cracks.  Joints between ceramic tiles should be adequately filled with grout.

Make sure molding is installed and painted.


Check countertops, cabinets, and appliances for any nicks, scratches, cracks or burns.

Make sure the cabinets and appliances are level and properly anchored to the wall or secured to the countertops. 

Make sure cabinet doors and hardware are properly aligned.

Check all cabinet doors and drawers; they should open fully and without binding.

Make sure all appliances operate properly, including the range hood fan and light and the garbage disposal.

Make sure all appliances are the model and color you ordered.

Check spaces for standard appliances unless specific measurements were given to your builder.  The space allotted for your appliances should be correct.

Ask for the instruction manuals for every appliance in the house – the range, refrigerator, dishwasher, furnace, heat pump, water heater, electronic thermostat, everything.


Look for scratches, chips and nicks in the sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets.

Examine caulking around tub and shower enclosures and at countertop backsplashes.

Make sure all faucets work properly.

Check that the sink and tub stoppers hold water, and that the shower strainer is fastened securely.

Make sure the toilet is securely fastened to the floor.  Do not test the toilet by trying to rock the fixture back and forth because that will break a seal that is correctly installed.  Just sitting on the toilet is enough to tell if it is tight.

Make sure the toilet-paper dispenser is at the right distance and height.

Make sure the towel bars are in practical/proper locations.

Make sure cabinets are securely fixed to the wall.

Check cabinets for any nicks, scratches, cracks or burns.


Test the air conditioner, furnace and hot water heater.

Ask about the capacity, shut-off mechanisms and the type of filtering systems installed.

Review the operation of your heating system.

Locate the furnace filters and ask about their care and maintenance.

Make sure heat registers are not located below a thermostat.

Check the location and number of cold air returns and make sure they are unobstructed.

Learn the location of any fuel lines (gas, propane or oil) and understand how to operate any shut-off devices on these lines.

Make sure the fireplace draft and damper work.

Mechanical ventilation

Locate the switches for ventilation and circulation fans (normally placed near the thermostat).

Locate supplemental fans and switches in each bathroom and in the kitchen and make sure they are operating.  Make sure you understand how to achieve proper ventilation in order to avoid condensation problems, which may not be covered under the warranty.


Locate the shut-off valves for the main water supply and the location of other shut-off valves throughout your home.

Check all faucets and plumbing fixtures, including toilets and showers, to make sure they operate properly.


Examine the basement walls and floors for indications of dampness or leaks.

Check for any obvious defects in exposed components, such as floor joists, I-beams, support columns, insulation, heating ducts, plumbing, electrical, etc.

Certificate of Occupancy

Ask if your local municipality has signed off on your house.

Stumbled upon this discovery

We are building the Florence Elevation B, but it is the reversed version of the model. I actually took screen prints of the floor plan and flipped them in Microsoft Word. All of the words were backwards and it was really hard to read. I happened to stumble upon this blog and noticed you can actually flip the floor plan right on the ryan homes site. Neat! So much more helpful.

Elevation B Reversed


The foundation is set and waterproofing will begin next week!

The distance between our house and the neighbors- a little more space than I had originally pictured.

Common space behind the house

I've been trying to figure this out for a while, but I think our property line ends at the back of the black skirting.


We met with the Guardian rep and he was really nice. He showed us the many options/upgrades they provide. We didn't have the money or see the need for almost everything he offered. It would be nice if money wasn't an issue, but that's not reality. We did decide to get an alarm system. It will be $46.00 per month. We can turn the alarm on and off from our cell phones, computer, iPad, etc. The systems comes with the keypad and door sensors. We are paying extra for an egress window contact and a motion sensor installed in the corner wall. I will feel much safer with an alarm system. Overall, it's about $400 we will be paying out of pocket for the equipment. I thought the rep would be really pushy, but he wasn't. He even told us to go home and think everything over and give him a call back. We also picked our outlets. We chose three TV outlets and one data outlet. I will be meeting with him sometime next week to finalize all of the alarm specifics and sign off on the papers!

Pre-Construction Meeting

Our pre-construction meeting went pretty good. It was about an hour. I had previously researched tons of blogs and typed up tons of questions to ask. Our PM Blake was very nice and helpful. He seemed really to the point and didn't put a bunch of "fluff" in when we were talking. He didn't mind all of my questions and has called us on a weekly basis to update us. I'm glad he is our PM and I'm looking forward to building our house with him.

My list of questions that I compiled. Maybe it will help some of you too.
  • Garbage Disposal
    • Yes comes standard
  • Cabinets come with knobs
    • Extra $
  • Kitchen Sink Sprayer
    • Standard

  • Pantry light
    • Standard

  • Is the icemaker kit a kit or hookup in wall
    • Rough in in the wall

  • Fixtures- sink/lighting
    • All standard Moen

  • Vent fans/auto vent switches in bathrooms
    • Vent fans in Master Bath and Half Bath. Automatic vent fan in 2nd bathroom

  • Outlets in bathroom drawer
    • Can't do

  • Outlets- how many and placement
    • You do not pick the placement. Outlets are put every so many feet (I forget how many he said)

  • Heat/AC Vents- how many and placement
    • Again, you do not pick. Placed every so many feet. 

  • 3 way light switch- from front of room and back of room
    • Standard

  • How many hose hookups
    • 2- Our PM said he would put one in the front and one in the back- thank god!

  • Outdoor lighting
    • One light on garage and on front porch

  • Group utilities in basement for future finish
    • Standard

  • Standard doors and windows
    • Yes

  • Lights out back/flood lights
    • Light out back near sliding glass door

  • Garage painted
    • I can't remember what he said

  • Blocked off backyard from slider or stairs
    • It will be blocked off. Can add your own stairs/patio later

  • Grass/sod
    • Grass Seed

  • Outside outlets
    • Yes, one out front and one out back

Picking out our colors

You would think this would be nothing but fun, however it was also very difficult. I am very indecisive and change  my mind a lot. After it was all said and done and I stopped changing my mind it became fun! We had previously decided on a siding color, but our neighbors had picked it already, so we needed to go with something else.

We picked out our colors for everything, but a few days later I was having extreme anxiety and wasn't sure how it was all going to look together. I just couldn't picture it. We took another trip to the model home and put everything out together. After seeing it all side by side, I felt much better with the choices we made. My SR said it was normal to feel that way, although I think he was being nice :) I have changed my mind so many times during this process! 

We originally picked Sandtone siding and Dark Navy Shutters- well DF picked it, because I hated it. 

And then I threw Island Pearl with Georgetown Blue shutters into the mix

We settled on Sandtone, but I couldn't stop thinking about how much I hated it, so I made us go back and change it. Happy Wife, Happy Life right!? We settled on Stone Mountain Clay with Georgetown Blue

Flooring with the cabinets

We wanted the countertops in the model, but they were too expensive. 
We tried to match the model counter color the best we could.

Thornwood carpet next to the linoleum

Rockport on the left and Thornwood on the right

We ultimately went with Rockport

Wood stain options for handrails

We chose the one on the bottom

All of our door handles will be the silver color

Cabinets with flooring and countertops

We chose the Bourdeaux Cherry Cabinets

Our cabinet is the first one on the left

All of the colors laid out. 
The siding and shutters are wrong.
We changed them after this picture was taken.
As you can see we went pretty neutral with everything. 

We will eventually upgrade to tile and hardwood floors, but for now this is perfect!