Thursday, August 9, 2012

We're Back!! With pictures!!

Hi Everyone!  I hope you are all having a great summer!  Our life has been a whirlwind since we closed on our home (June 1st).  Closing was quick and easy.  We had our final number one week prior to closing, so there were no surprises or last minute trips to get a cashiers check.  The only issue we came across with NVR was our appraisal.  The loan processor sent me the appraisal via email in April and there were several errors.  The street address and zipcode were incorrect.  The square footage was inaccurate.  And the appraiser used a one level patio home (slab) as one of our comparables.  After several emails back and forth, we had it all worked out to our satifaction.  Apparently, the loan processor is not suppose to send the appraisal directly to the customer (according to our SR).  But, I'm glad I had the opportunity to review it with a fine tooth comb and request changes.  My biggest piece of advice regarding NVR is to Stay. On. Them.  Check in with your loan processor weekly to see if they need any additional documentation and offer updated account statements if you have them.  That's what we did, and everything seemed to go smoothly.

On June 1st, our closing was at 9am.  By 10:30am we had our television inside the house.  Our digital cable, phone and internet connected by 11:30.  By 3:00pm all of our appliances had been delivered and we (i.e. my husband) hung a celing fan in the master bedroom and pendants over our island.  We didn't waste any time!  The following day, the movers we hired had everything out of our old place and into our new house by 11am.  Things could not have gone more smoothly!!!

Since then, we've pretty much been unpacking and tackling various projects inside and outside on a daily basis.  We took a week off in June for a beach vacation and then jumped right back into home improvement projects upon our return!  Here is what we've been working on: 

The yard.  We underestimated how much work it would be to get those little seeds to grow!
Luckily, it came in pretty well, thanks to around the clock watering by DH.
We have some bare spots that we'll take care of in the fall.

Temporary steps to access the backyard.
So much easier than pulling the grill out of the garage every night!

Can't wait to have a deck next summer!
Pressure treated wood or composite? 


Family Room:  DH put the recessed lights (not eyeballs) on a dimmer.

We have temporary shades on all of the window right now.
I'm getting ready to order celluar shades for all of the upstairs windows.

Can't wait to paint an accent wall and make the fireplace pop!

Morning Room:  DH hung the chandy and put it on a dimmer

Our wedding guests used their fingerprint to sign our wedding tree!
I can't wait to have this matted, framed and up on the wall.
We celebrate our one year anniversary on August 20th!

Kitchen & Morning Room:  Pendants hung by DH

I love cooking in here!
It has actually inspired me to cook more often!

We LOVE the appliances!
So glad we switched out the included items and purchased our own!

The brushed nickel hardware nicely compliments the stainless steel.
Any ideas on something decorative I can put in those empty canisters?

Inching toward the top of the "to-do" list is switching out the kitchen faucet!

Powder room:  Hung towel ring

New faucet

DH did this himself while I was out shopping one day!
I was impressed!

More garage organization.

We are very pleased with the progress so far.  We still have the study and dining room to organize on the lower level.  I would show you pictures, but they're acting as a catch-all at this point and are total disasters!  Besides some new furniture, there isn't much happening upstairs yet.  But now that we have a good dent in the lower level, we'll be making our way up the steps for some decorating.  We'll keep you posted!  Until next time, Happy Building!!

Monday, May 28, 2012


We're 4 days away from closing and everything is coming together.  There was a good cleaning done on Friday and we can now appreciate how all of our selections look together.  We're very pleased with the results!  There isn't much left to be done.  Our fireplace mantle was replaced - so that still needs to be painted.  And the entire 2nd level still needs paint touch-ups.  The coach lights near the front door are going to be installed tomrrow.  Other than a little paint, there are just a few odds and ends that need to be done on the inside of the home.  On the exterior, we need landscaping, grass seed and some finishing touches on the trim.

Can't wait to see it with landscaping!

Family Room

Morning Room

View of kitchen from family room

View of kitchen from morning room

Powder Room

View of foyer from dining room

View of dining room from foyer

Master Bathroom

View of master bedroom from bathroom

A shot from the other end of the master.
It is huge!

Hall Bath

Hall Linen Closet

We can't wait to move into our new home!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Appliances! Check!

When my husband and I were considering selections and upgrades for our new home we decided to take the appliances that RH included (black dishwasher, range and range hood) and upgrade on our own.  I spent a lot of time researching brands and watching prices.  I waivered back and forth between black and stainless a few times since September when we signed our purchase agreement, too.  Last week, Sears had a great promotion - Buy 4 appliances over $399, get 25% off.  So we had to pull the trigger.  We went went with Whirlpool for all six appliances.  Here they are:







We'll be listing the dishwasher, range and range hood that were included with the house on Craigslist shortly after closing.  Our PM was nice enough to leave the range and range hood in their boxes in our garage.  I hope they all sell quickly!!  We can't wait to use our nice, new, quiet appliances.  We've both been using apartment grade appliances since we left our parents' homes for college.  Our current dishwaser and washing maching sound like jet airliners getting ready for take-off, and our current refrigerator can barely handle a weeks worth of groceries!  We're glad we treated ourselves to these overlooked little luxuries!

P.S.  Only 10 more days!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Over the past 10 days there hasn't been much progress worth sharing.  Things seemed to be moving at a snails pace.  I'm not sure if it's me getting antsy or the fact that there hasn't been much visible progress, but either way, today we've picked up some speed!  It appears that our brick has been washed and the outside trim (gutters, downspouts, railings, front door) is well on it's way to being completed.

So excited to finally see the front door painted!

"Fine Wine" front door (minus a few coats of paint)

They've started the drywall reapirs on the inside.  Here is a before and after of a little snafu in the master.

Before - Oops!
Cut the doorway a little too high!

After - All fixed!

The location of our Guardian Voicelink was driving me nuts!  They installed it right on the cased opening!  I don't have an "after" photo, but now this little box is centered neatly between the doorways.


More (but not all) of our lighting has been installed on the interior and exterior of the house.  You'll also notice the addition of the shower surround in the master bathroom.  I'm still perplexed as to why the electricity is installed on a piecemeal basis, but I guess as long as it gets done by closing then it doesn't really matter when they complete it.  We'll be getting the exterior lights flanking our front door that I was up in arms about in my last post.  I am very happy that PM was able to accomodate my request.  I hope RH will consider making them standard again with the front porch.  Our interior railings have been stained as well.

Master bathroom shower light and glass surround
The same light is over the soaking tub.

Foyer light (Is it crooked?)
Lamp Post


Patio light outside moring room
Railing Stain:  Chestnut

We met with PM last week for a walk through to make sure we were on the same page.  It was a relief to see that his punch list was nearly identical to ours.  He reassured us that our home would be completed to our satisfaction.  The meeting eased much of our concerns and has allowed us to relax and enjoy the last few weeks of this process.  This weekend we are going to purchase our appliances and start packing!
Only 15 more days! 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Disgruntled Homebuilder!

PM called on Friday and we had 30 minute conversation.  It was a relief to finally hear from him as we've had a major communication breakdown over the past several weeks.  He didn't give much of an update because there were many other issues that needed to be discussed.  I mentioned the letter we received from RH about our May 14th Pre-Settlement Demonstration.  He told us to plan for the last week of May, as he never planned to have the house done by the 14th since he knew we aren't closing until June 1st.  No problem. 

One thing I noticed that has been causing me a great deal of stress is the fact that we don't have lights flanking our front door.  The Oakmont model we toured has them and our electrical blueprints indicate that we should have them.  I never mentioned it earlier because I assumed they would be added at some point and didn't feel I should point out every single thing I thought was wrong and risk making PM feel micromanaged.  Well, I started looking at the other homes on our street with front porches that were ahead of us in the construction process and realized that they didn't have these lights either.  I started putting two and two together and realized there is probably no plan to add them.  I asked PM about it.  He said RH has done away with them because of the recessed light in the porch.  I am very upset about this.  I think the front looks completely unfinished without them.  Most of the other homes on the street have them.  And we were under the assumption that we would too.  In addition, we saw folks moving into their new home (an Oakmont) in a nearby RH community this weekend and they had the lights!!  I was furious (and took pictures)!!  Why are they cutting corners in our community?  We spent a lot of money on the facade of our home and if we would have at least been notified that RH has eliminated this from the plans we would have paid to add them as a NSO.  PM said he would see what he could do but couldn't make any promises.  To be continued. . . .  

We discussed a few other  issues we have with the house (still smelling gas!) and scheduled to meet there on Wednesday for a walk thru.  I am hoping that much of my anxiety is relieved after that visit. 

I'll update on how it goes, but until then, here are a few pics of our island!
I love it!

View from family room

View from morning room

View from pantry

WTH?  Didn't the installer noticed that the trim was too long?
Or that the counter isn't resting on the corbel?
Something else to add to the punch list!