Saturday, February 28, 2015

Looks important to me....

This morning between 9-10am we had another showing on our existing home. We packed up Morgan and the dog and headed out to Panera Bread for breakfast.  We finished breakfast at about 9:30 and decided to burn the remaining time with driving by the new home to get a glimpse of how things were going.  To our surprise there were about 6 or 7 crew members hard at work.  I'm not sure what part of the process this is, but it looks important to me---:).  Does anyone know what they're doing? I assume this is a part of the footing/foundation....??
It was far too cold and still snow on the ground so I couldn't imagine working in these conditions.  I'm so thankful for the crew and people that have a hand in bringing the home together....cheers to them doing correctly!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I knew I felt the ground rumble...

So we officially broke ground today on our new home!!  We drove by the lot today and as planned there was a huge hole in the ground.  The RH's crew works really fast because you could actually make out the layout of the basement.  We were both surprised at how large the base of the house looked. We were once amazed at how large the lot looked and at the size of the backyard.  Well, unless they change where the home sits on the lot or our eyes are fooling us on the size of the hole that's been dug, our backyard will be a lot smaller then we anticipated.  I think we're both okay with that considering you couldn't pay me to cut the grass and Dwight wants to limit how much time he spends caring for the lawn.  Having said all of that---we're just happy that the show is officially on the road!!
Oh wait...we're expecting another snow storm tonight and into tomorrow.  This will likely slow things down a bit and if this frigid cold and snowy weather continues then it's likely that the process will be slowed down even more....oh mother nature...please cooperate!
Basement area.... 
If you strain your eye you will see Dwight in the backyard :)
Poor Morgan waited patiently while we surveyed the lot.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting---Finally!!

We finally had our pre-construction meeting!!! Our Project Manager (PM) has scheduled us to "break ground" this upcoming Monday.  Yeah.....!!!
As you can imagine I had a ton of questions going into this meeting.  It lasted a little over 2 hours and our PM and Sales Rep (SR) were both there to go over blueprints and answer our questions. I compiled a list of questions that popped up on other blogs and some lingering questions that I sat on over the past few weeks.  Our PM and SR were thorough and pretty much answered all of our questions.  I didn't care for all of the answers---but that's another story!  You'll see a list of questions and answers below.
While there were no major surprises, I must say that I was disappointed that we cannot have guardrails on the front porch.  According to the building code, rails are only required when there is a 30" rise off the ground.  We will be around the 24" mark.  Maybe I'm overthinking things but a two foot drop off the front porch seems rather unsafe!?!?  Our PM said that he could give us some contacts for installers---but this would likely cost us an additional $1200 out-of-pocket.  After spending thousands of dollars on this home there is no way that we will be open to shelling out this type of money.  I hope we can find a resolution because I'm not thrilled about the idea of falling off the front porch after having a glass a wine! Ok, you got me...I will probably have the wine glass in my hand when I fall!!
Another undesirable was the location of the A.C. unit.  The unit will be garage side and visible when you are driving in to our cul-de-sac.  I'm sure that I (well Dwight) can plant some flowers or something green or colorful next to it so that it is hidden.  I'll wait until things are completed to see how much of an eye sore it becomes. 
Outside of those issues, everything else was straightforward and as expected.  We went over each room and there features, upgrades, and even sizes.  I was like a hawk in that I wanted details about room dimensions and matched them to what we had on our planning sheets. There were several plans for the Milan going around and what I noticed about this was that the model home that we visited provided us with a slightly different floor plan, offering slightly larger guest bedrooms and a slightly larger plan for the finished basement.  Of course I didn't pick this up until after we had signed our contract, but I guess that I can let go of a couple of inches. We have copies of the blueprints so I'm sure that I will obsess over every nook and half inch during the building process.  I told the PM that I would pull out my measuring tape if I had a question about a room size (I was joking of course). Maybe not....:)
Oh, I almost forgot. We decided to change the trim package, door and shutter colors for our home.  I fell in love with a home on a fellow blogger website.  I hope that Nokomis..."Our Journey to Naples" does not mind me sharing.  Our home already had the same siding colors as this home but we had white trim and brown/red door and shutters.  We changed to black shutters and a black door.  We switched to an almond color trim for our home. Therefore our pillars, gutters, garage door, and trim around the home will be the almond color.  Our home will look similar to the homes below (Nokomis-pictured lower) without the rail of course--and we have a slightly different elevation and model.  We will have stone that stretches along the lower half of the home and a side car garage door.  However, in terms of colors it will be pretty similar to the homes pictured below:
So here is some of the Q & A from the pre-construction meeting that we found out:  
General Questions for the Project Manager:
1.       Estimated timeline/milestones, exact closing date?  Late half of May.  Right now we are scheduled for May 22nd, but I'm expecting the end of May or first week in June.
2.       Can we visit the site?  Do we need permission?  Our PM was pretty cool and flexible here. While we will need permission at some stages, he asked that we use our best judgment in deciding when to visit based on the condition of the lot/home.
3.       What is the best way to reach the PM if we have questions?  Text....yep, he said we could text him!!  I warned him that he might want to rethink this.....
4.       Can we bring our own home inspector?  What is the proper procedure?  Yes...he just needs us to give him a few days notice.
5.   Is the subfloor nailed, glued, or screwed?  Is this throughout the entire house? (squeaky floors)  Subfloor will be nailed/screwed and glued in certain areas.
6.   Exact square footage?  3298 finished and 560 unfinished.  The two rooms in the basement that are not finished, we are planning to complete at a later date. 
7.   Deadbolt on all doors leading into the house?  Front? Garage? Morning room?  On all exterior doors.
8.   Can left over materials: tile, paint, hardwood, vinyl be left in garage for later use?  Yes, they will leave left overs in the storage area of the basement for us.
9.  Extra insulation due to highway?  He is going to get back with us about the extra insulation and sound proofing.  He believes the front windows will have the heavy laminate and there will be an extra layer of insulation in the front of the home...however, this could extend to the sides. 
10.       Smooth or rough ceilings?  Smooth....
11.       Switches for lights in family room. Will there be dimmers?  Yep, with dimmers.
12.       Door handles- which rooms get locks?  All bedroom doors and doors in the basement.
13.  Is there a sump pump and where will it be located?  Yes, it will be located near the exit well staircase.
14.   Where are the hose bibs located?  How many?  There are on the back of the house and one on the side.
15.   Gutters around the entire house? Covered?  Yes, around the house---but they are not covered. :(
16.   How many steps to the front porch?  Guard Railings?  3 steps but no guardrail...:(
14.   How many steps into the house from garage?  2
15.   Location of outdoor AC unit?  Heat pump?  Garage side of the home.
16.   Is the driveway asphalt or concrete?  Asphalt
Here's to breaking ground next week......