Thursday, May 31, 2012

We're running out of time!!!! (in a good way)

Ah, yes, my favorite Jack Bauer quote from "24" took hold today after our predrywall meeting. Our PM Abe walked us through the house, and showed us what was going to happen next. Everything seemed be calm, until Abe told us that our final walk through would be July 16th, and he expected us to close by July 19th.

Yep, seven weeks from today.

We have 49 days to get everything ready, buy everything we need, and move into our dream home. It's going to be quite a ride from here, but we can't wait.

We got an added surprise today - the siding and shakes started to go up on the house.

Abe said that would likely be done by Saturday, and the stone should be on by next weekend too. Abe also helped us work through a few small issues and made note of some minor fixes we wanted.

All in all, it was quite an exciting day. Even if we suddenly realized we're running out of time. :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Not quite measuring up...

Lauren and I spent a good while this afternoon inside the house. We checked out where all the outlets, lights, and switches will be, and we had a good opportunity to figure out just how our house would look with the furniture in it.

Ah, but there's the problem. 

After measuring out beds for the kids in their rooms, it became obvious that some rooms - because of their layout - wouldn't work very well with the beds we had planned for them. The same thing happened earlier in the bonus room, when we realized a sectional wouldn't work. It's a harsh truth, but the tape measure doesn't lie. 

We had earlier commented about how the kids were really interested in the size of their rooms, and now all three kids may end up with different sizes of beds (at least for a while). The good news is by changing up the bed sizes, each kid will have a good amount of play space. And, it will save us a little money in the short term, because we'll be using a twin bed we already have for our son Alden instead of buying a new full bed. (we were going to give them all at least a full size bed, but logistics in Alden's room means a twin makes more sense for him right now - at least for a few years). I guess it is better to find out now than to buy everything and realize it doesn't fit after the fact.

Did you make any changes once you measured out the furniture in your rooms? 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What's up with that?

So the other day, we went to the house as framing was finished, and noticed a big hole drilled into the slab in the guest bathroom downstairs. Yep, as we had suspected, they had forgotten to leave a hole for the pipe. That meant they had to drill a line for it. We hated to see them drill into the foundation, but that's apparently not as uncommon as we thought (even the Guardian rep said he's seen it many times on his house visits). Besides that bit of a bummer, things are progressing quite nicely:

- Roofing was installed Wednesday (hello shingles!)
- All framing is complete including the french doors for the guest bedroom
- Pre-drywall meeting is coming next week (our inspector is coming Tuesday, and the meeting will be Thursday)
- We've been approved for our loan (woo-hoo!)
- And, in late breaking news, we just locked in our USDA loan rate at 3.5%!!!

All in all, everything is going quite well.(begin slow piano background music...) I mean our house is spacious....It's a little audacious...It's almost outrageous....the excitement's getting contagious...I'm becoming loquacious, because I've got to say...

<insert crazy dancing dude in red sweatsuit...>

ooooooh-weeeee! What up with that?! What up with that! He said, she said, you said, we said, what up with that! What's up with that!

What's up? I said what's up? This blog post is crazy, but building this house ain't lazy..., what's up with that....

Before we go any further with this blog post, we'd like to hear from former Vice President Al Gore about the environmental impact of our house:

Oh, sorry Al, I guess we are out of time. We'll have more news soon. Thanks for reading (and putting up with our crazy blogs...).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Don't want to miss a thing....

I've been to the house for 8 straight days, but I'm so glad to have made the 25-minute trek up there. When framing happens, the house changes almost overnight. This is how the "house" looked just a week ago:

And now....

It is an amazing transformation - framing was basically completed by Friday night. They still have to configure the bonus room modification a little, and add the spot for the french doors for the guest room, but other than that, framing is just about done. The above picture also gives a first glimpse to our porch, and we are thrilled to see it. Check out more photos of progress: 

Here is Hannah's room (Bedroom 2 based on this Rome floorplan). 

Here is McKenna's room (Bedroom 3).

This is Alden's room (Bedroom 5 instead of loft, with two foot extension based on Elevation L).

Our happy girls in the master bedroom. 

Alden is beaming as he enjoys the view from his bedroom.

This is a side view of our enormous pantry. To the right, you can see the walk-in area. It is approximately 7 feet wide by 4 feet deep. Lauren is thrilled. 

This was taken from the entrance to the guest bedroom downstairs, with the full bath in view. 

This is a picture of the garage. It is not real wide, but we think it is is 4-5 feet deeper than the garage in our previous home. 

Here is the view of the family room from the kitchen. 

Sliding door is in (nice tinted glass throughout the house too). 

A better view of the tinted windows from the morning room. 

A view back to the front door from the kitchen. 

Our master bedroom. I still can't get over how big it is, even after we removed the sitting area and second closet for our bonus room. 

Other bloggers have said this, but if you get a chance, check out the house during framing week!! It goes by so quickly and the house changes dramatically overnight. We can't wait to see what's next, but it will be hard to top this week. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Heads up to a future Rome owner (and blogger)

A fellow Ryan blogger had asked about Silver Mist siding in a post today, and we know how hard exterior choices are without seeing them on a house. When we drove through our future neighborhood tonight, we took pictures of two homes with Silver Mist siding. (the SR had given us a sheet with all nearby exterior colors to help us with our choices). Here are two homes (not Romes unfortunately) with Silver Mist:

This Capri with the siding visible on the second floor was facing the sun near sunset.

This Florence is across the street from the Capri, and had the sun behind it near sunset. 

Hope these help. If anyone else needs quick siding photos, we can try to find one. (we're visiting our future neighborhood all week during framing). Good luck to all. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Once, twice, three days of framing...

So, in keeping with our musical theme for our blog, here's a special performance of our headline song:

(wish the current SNL was that funny...)

We came back for Day 3 of framing (thankfully the weather cooperated) and all of the kids got to see how much the house has progressed from the outside. It also gave us our first glimpse of the upstairs too. 

The above picture shows the view from the outside today. (Editor's note: the girls look sad because we were leaving as this picture was taken). 

This is the view from McKenna's bedroom (Bedroom 3). 

This is part of our bonus room modification, but the closet shown will be pushed back about six feet and span the back wall. 

This is Hannah's room (Bedroom 2).

Here is Alden walking into the family room. 

Here  is the view coming up the stairs into Hannah's room (Bedroom 2).

Our hallway looking toward Alden's room (Bedroom 5 instead of loft).

Our garden tub spot. (we'll be using the shower a lot more though).

We were especially excited to see the bonus room, and realize that yes, we think the furniture layout will work just fine. There will probably be a bit of a traffic jam between the laundry room, bonus room (bedroom 4) and Alden's room (bedroom 5), but we think it's worth it for the bonus room and to keep the bedrooms the same size. (yes, the kids have measured it out). We are hoping that the roof will go up soon upstairs, so we can see everything as a family. But, the way things are going, that won't be long. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Stairway to "Heaven..."

We came back to check out the second day of framing at the house, and noticed a lot of work being done. The workers didn't leave until 7:30 p.m. tonight, and got the entire first floor ceiling tacked in. We also noticed this...

Yep, the stairs have been installed. From this angle, it almost looks like, well, let's just say it makes me think of a song:

(Aw, c'mon!)

The stairs weren't the only exciting development. With all the wood in place downstairs (well, except for the guest bedrooom, but that's coming...) we got a better sense of just how it might look. 

 This is the view from the driveway today. Progress is a beautiful thing.

The picture above is a better picture detailing the work that was completed - notice the ceiling and other work in this view from the kitchen looking back to the front door.

Hannah in the kitchen from what will eventually be the guest bedroom (and full bath) downstairs.

A view from the kitchen looking into the family room and study. 

This is one of my favorite pictures, because it shows just how deep our house will be. This picture was taken from our front door, and Hannah is standing at the edge of the kitchen (that will make for a long hallway, but the french doors just to the left of the entrance will open it up a little). 

Lauren caught me in one of my Jack Handey moments, having a "deep thought." It's amazing how much our house has changed in just a few days. And there is more to come. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Freeze Frame!

We got an email from our awesome PM Abe Saturday morning that they had begun framing on the house. So, we had to hustle over there to see what was happening, and sure enough:

That huge pile we had featured on our last post was already cut way down by the time we got there yesterday. It is amazing to see the framers in action. 

Here's the view from the garage and a look at all the windows. 


 Here is a look into the family room (left) and into the morning room (right). 

 Here are two views from beyond the backyard of the house after work was completed for Saturday. We were a little nervous when we looked from this angle because we realized that Ryan had built in the dining room instead of our bedroom downstairs and full bath. But our PM assured us later that they do that for every home here. Charlotte is apparently the only market that offers the bedroom downstairs option, so they have to "stick frame" it in later.  

 A view from the lot next to ours that shows the back and side, and a picture of Hannah and Lauren in the kitchen. 


Here we are in our family room. We can't wait until the second day of framing starts, to see how much more they can get done. For those of you who read this far, a public service announcement: 

(Happy Mother's Day everyone!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pour some slab news on me....

Looking at a pile of dirt with pipes sticking out is one thing, but when you see the slab poured, that's a whole new feeling. I stopped by the home site on my lunch break Thursday, and this is what I saw:

I was actually quite surprised that they went ahead and poured the driveway too. For most homes, they do that as one of the last things, but I guess they figured "When in Rome..."

This is our front entryway and porch. (excuse the finger on the left - it was a sunny day and I couldn't see the image very well until I got back to work).

Does this look like a 12x 14 back patio to you? Me either, but I think it may just be a deceiving angle (but I am bringing my tape measure to be sure next time). UPDATE: we measured - it is 12x14. Ryan 1, Kevin 0.

 Our "backyard" while standing at the edge of the morning room. (you can see the pink stake in the background). This is why it is so important to us to have the backyard graded down a whole lot. We want it as flat as possible, since we don't have much to begin with.

This illustrates the depth of our house. Our neighbor has a Florence, and our house will tack on quite a bit from theirs. (again, makes our backyard pretty small....).

And, in other exciting news....

Here's a sneak preview about what's coming soon (hopefully in the next couple days). I saw that delivered Thursday, and thought, 'wow, that's a lot of wood.' But then we came back Friday night and...

Our wood pile is blocking one lane of the street. Maybe they'll start framing early just to clear up the traffic jam. (we hope). It's amazing to see how they already have all the walls basically done, they just need to tack them up. 

Here's the door to enter from the garage. We have lots of other things already here, including...

Here is a picture of our sliding doors and lots and lots of windows.

Like I said, it's a traffic hazard. They might as well go ahead and get it up. (I'm only thinking of our neighbors when I suggest this of course...)

Framing should start soon. We can't wait to see it happen.