Saturday, April 21, 2012

Just a quick update and a picture

There hasn't been much to talk about lately.  With the pre-drywall behind us we wait awhile until a quick walk through to just verify a few things like cabinet type/color, counter tops and stuff.

Here is the outside of the house.  As you can see we are a corner lot.  I like it because we have a large side yard on the south side of the house which will get a lot of son.   We also got half siding and half brick on the front.  This looks stupid on some houses/elevations because brick suddenly turns in to siding.  With the Rome (Elevation C)  there is that part that sticks out in the middle of the second floor.  This is nice because it made that bedroom bigger (or the loft area if you don't enclose it) and it makes it so the brick just doesn't turn in to siding in the middle of the house.  Look around the community you'll probably see what I mean.  I also thought the brick would wrap around the house for about a foot, it does on some of the other homes, I don't know why it doesn't on ours.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pre-Drywall followup

I showed my wife the pictures of the house and she loved seeing them.  She couldn't make it to the meeting with the project manager.  It's really interesting to see your house in this state.  I still think the pictures will come in handy down the road when I am doing some home improvement projects.

I stopped by and took a look at the house to make sure the stuff that was supposed to get fixed got fixed.  It looked good, but I caught one more thing, a stud without a nail protector.  I emailed the project manager about it.

One thing I do wish I had done was adding a second outlet to the garage, there is only one (technically two, one on the ceiling for the garage door opener).  I can always add an outlet if I want down the road myself, but it will be a little bit of a hassle since it is an outside wall I would have wanted it on.

I don't think I'll have much to post on except pictures of the progress for awhile.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pre-drywall with the project manager

My previous post talked about my pre-drywall inspection with my home inspector.  This post is about my walk through with my project manager and the types of things that were done.

The project manager will show you some of the features of the home, but I learned more from my home inspector than I did with my project manager.  We started by going room to room.  One of the big items that is done here is verify that the options selected are all correct (at least the ones installed).  This includes fireplaces, light fixtures, ceiling fan mounts, extra outlets, low voltage cables for TV, Internet and phone.  Almost all these you should check that you like there position.  I asked them to move a ceiling fan mount since it was centered in the room, but since there was a bulk-head in the room it wasn't centered on the ceiling, so it looked funny. (I'll include a picture once we have the house finished and the ceiling fan is put in). I also had a wall mount phone outlet, but I felt it was too low so I asked him to move it up.  Both of these things was no problem for him.  You should also look to see if you want any of these moved.

As we went around I also pointed out things that my home inspector made notes about.  My project manager pushed back on fixing some of them (there was a stud that I thought bowed too much) but in the end agreed to fix them, mostly to get me to shut up.  In this case the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

The whole meeting took about 2 hours, after wards he let me stay in the home to take pictures.  Taking pictures at this stage will be very valuable later.  I now have pictures of where all the pipes, power lines, sprinkler lines, and duct work inside the walls.  If I want to renovate something later this will be valuable.  You are not given any paper plans (Ryan will tell you there are proprietary) so this is your only way to know what is where, plus paper plans can be different that what is done.  I also took a lot of video of me slowly scanning the room, I think these will be valuable because you can get a better perspective of the room.  When taking pictures, remember to try to get landmarks in the photo, things you will see when the house is finished like windows, doors, outlets (you'll have to make a note of what outlet it is because they all look the same).  This will let you know where exactly in the house the picture was taken.  Trust me when looking through walls it all looks the same.  Post it notes are also nice, you can label things and then take a picture of it so you have a note of what you took a picture of in your picture.  These are just my 2 cents.

Lastly, I asked the project manager when I could come back and see that things were fixed.  He told me I can come back in 3 days and everything would be done.  This way I know that things actually got fixed, instead of just being told they did.  Remember that the project manager works for Ryan, not you so he doesn't have your best interests in mind.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I had my pre-drywall inspection today.  First I had my home inspector come out and give it a look over, then the project manager came and we went through it together with me pointing out things the home inspector pointed out to me.  We had about a dozen things to fix, but all were small stuff that didn't make me question the quality of the home.  I am going to break this in to two posts, thus one about my home inspector walk through, and the next one how it went with the project manager.

My home inspector came in the morning and we walked through the house together.  I had the option of letting him do it himself; however, I would recommend against that for two reasons, you'll learn a lot about your house by watching and listening to him, and you'll need to know what things need fixed so you can tell your project manager.  Being there in person will help with that.

We started by walking around the outside of the house.  We found a couple spots in the housing wrap that needed patching, around a window and vent.  We then went inside.  We spent 15 to 20 minutes in every room just looking at everything carefully.  He spent a lot of time showing me things and explaining why they do cretin things, so I learned a lot about the home.  We found some studs that needed nail plates to protect the wires running through them.  Some of the steal beams running through the house were missing bolts or had nuts that needed tightening.  We checked that there was foam insulation behind all outlets, which is required for energy star rating.  Overall we probably found a dozen things that needed to be fixed.  Nothing was detrimental but having them fixed decreased the likelihood of problems down the road.

Even though we didn't find any major problems I still recommend a home inspector at this stage, the reason is that there is a chance something major is wrong.  If there is a problem and the project manager didn't catch it  chances are you have no chance of catching it.  A home inspector will most likely find any problems, plus compared to the cost of your house having a home inspection is cheap.  I think the people that are posting horror stories about building a home on the internet would probably have been saved if they had hired a home inspector.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Here is a picture of the house on April 1st, it is amazing on how fast the house goes up.  Not much to report since out back fill inspection.  I can't go inside the house to see how things are progressing.  We have our pre-drywall in just over a week.