Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Night View

This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago.  I decided to do a night drive by and found the lights on and it bought me to tears.  The house looks gorgeous in the night with the lights.  I can only imagine how pretty it is going to look next Christmas!!  Can't wait!! As you can see, the black front porch shutters were not installed at that time; nor did we have trees and shrubbery on the outside; but it still looks beautiful.  We are still waiting for the exterior painting (black door, the white trim and the brick to grade in ivory pearl).  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Breaking NEWS!!


Our LOT #28 & LOT #52 broke ground the same week on October 3, 2012, only a DAY apart.   I just found out last week that LOT #52 went to settlement the week of December 17 and have already moved into their brand new home.  We were only a day apart which meant we could have easily been in our home this month.  (RANT) How is this possible????   I was really hoping we were going to be in our new home by the end of this year; but it was dragged out to January.   This was a huge disappointment; but it was set up that way from the beginning.  When I asked WHY I was told we had several customizations that is requiring them to move the date out further.  Honestly, I know they could have closed us by the end of December because they were moving at a rapid pace with our home even with some of the mishaps of reordering supplies.  They have done a wonderful job with building our home and we could have been in our home before or by December 31.  Typically, it takes 75 days to build a home and 90 days is given for grace.  We are way past the 90 day mark approximately 100 days into our build.  I have watched some of our fellow bloggers break ground the same week and have closed on their homes so I know it was possible and I also know that the customizations were done so early that we could have gone to settlement this month.  They also said that they had to factor in the weather too.  It bothers me that we did not close by the end of this month because we waited so long to break ground and it will be over a year by the time we close.  February 9 to January 11.  I really wanted us to start the new year in our home.  In the meantime, I am keeping my fingers crossed and prayers lifted that we close as scheduled and we won't keep getting dragged out further and further.  Enough is Enough.  In the meantime,  I am happy we will be moving into a brand new home, I am happy my husband and I will be building our new foundation for our marriage in our new home, I am happy to have more time to tidy up loose ends to move as scheduled, I am happy that we get to live in a home that meet our needs and desires and I am happy that we had a great team to work with at Ryan Homes, Angela (SR),  Howard & Moe (Loan Officers), Stephanie (Loan Specialist), Greg and Ryan (PMs) including Dina at CTI, Mary at M&R Flooring and Kenneth at Guardian.  Lastly, I can't wait to get into our new home and jump for joy like a little girl with two afro puffs blowing in the wind.

Currently the following items need to be addressed before we can have our walk through as scheduled:

1.  Exterior house painted.  We are on the schedule for Wednesday/Thursday of this week of December 24 provided that the weather will allow it because it must be 50 degrees or higher to paint.  According to the the Washington, DC Metro area weather forecast this week, we are expecting rain and temperatures below 50 degrees.  It would be nice if the weather cooperates and shifts to warmer temperatures.   I really would love to see the door painted black along with the ivory pearl from the brick to grade and all the outside trim.  It would have been a nice gesture if the PM scheduled the painters while the painters were painting the house on LOT #52 since we were only a day apart or scheduled the painter when the weather was pleasantly warm the past couple of weeks.

******As of December 26 it is raining cats and dogs outside (no exterior painting will be done and the weather is calling for temperatures below 50 degrees****

2.  Installation of the OTR microwave and cook top.  

3.  Final paint of the interior home

4.  Interior railings stained to the same color as our espresso hardwood floors.

5.  Window in bedroom 2 needs to be replaced (it's cracked at the top)

6.  Installation of outside railings

7.  The PMs complete punch list completed

8.  Hepa system installed for the Central Vacuum System

9.  Receive Final Approval Letter from Ryan Homes

10.  Installation of large piece of slab missing from the floor to ceiling fireplace.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Dead Bolt Lock

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we were officially locked out of our new home; however, we still had access whenever someone was working on our home.  Now that we are 19 days out from closing on our new dream home we were told that the locks have been changed and the only people with the keys to our home are the PM and the PM.  We have two PM's in our community.  This means that they will not authorize anyone access to the keys unless they open the door.  Each day the PM's make sure the locks are secured in the basement, the garage access door near (mud room) and the front door.  They will leave the garage door open only if they are expecting deliveries after business hours.  Our new home orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 10:00 am and our settlement is scheduled for Friday, January 11, 2013, at 11:00 am at which time we will receive our new, shiny three keys.  **If you have a basement expect to receive a set of three keys that are interchangeable with all three doors.  If you don't have a basement, expect a pair of keys for the front door and the mud room door.  Ohhh, if you have a basement that is in-ground that does not include a well way exit, expect two keys. 


I promised Henry and Elise that I would check out the neighborhood to see if I could find their Victoria Falls elevation that they are building.  Unfortunately, the Victoria Falls is not a part of our series for our community; yet, if someone requests the home RH will build it for them.  This home is directly next door to our Rome.  It is a Victoria Falls, Elevation D.   I love what they have done to the exterior.  They chose to combine the home with stone and brick which took several weeks to get approved through the county.  I know Henry and Elise are looking for a brick home with their elevation but I could not find their elevation after driving through our community.  

Thursday, December 20, 2012



Drove by the house today to take some exterior pictures because our PM said "we will be getting the last set of trees today for our landscaping".   I was hoping to get some evergreen or pine trees because they resemble Christmas trees.   To my surprise, we received three Holly Berry Christmas shaped trees that are absolutely gorgeous.  Not sure what the other tree is but I love the placement of each tree.   In the meantime, they added some more shrubbery that look like a pile of sticks strung together and appear taller that the others which I can not name in this moment.  It looks a little funky right now,  but I am sure when they blossom they will be beautiful.

Grass, Trees, Shrubbery and a House Number

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Three Pictures....Plus One More

Our Home Still Under Construction
Still waiting for the door to be painted black, the missing black shutters to be installed, the columns on the front porch to be painted dover white and the planting of the shrubbery and trees for our lot.
The trees you see in this picture are from my next door neighbor's lawn (Lot #27).

This is a picture of our kitchen from last week still under construction before the infamous backsplash GONE WRONG!! Please continue to share any ideas/suggestions/thoughts of what I can do to remove the backsplash GONE WRONG!!  You can see pictures on DWtimes 2 blog that she posted yesterday at:

This is a picture of the backsplash gone WRONG!!  This is absolute terror!!  It is a total eyesore!  My preference is too still have my tumbled stone backsplash.  I was told that to remove the backsplash would cause damage to the drywall and unfortunately, since this is my mistake, Ryan Homes will not even entertain the thought of allowing the tile company to change it before closing. I even called Lowe's and they won't do it because they do not remove backsplash (only install). I wish I knew how to do it myself because I would go pick up the supplies and start chipping away and install the color below:

This is the color I should have chosen--it's neutral and would go perfectly!  Yet I took a risk and made my first blunder as a new interior designer on the block!  The only thing I can say now is that RISK creates GROWTH!  Plus this is another opportunity to use my creative energy to resolve what appears to be a total nightmare!
 ***I deleted some pictures from my blog and was able to upload these pictures.  I still have the task before me to create more storage space.  My last paper will be written today and will allow me to create some time to devote to this blog***

Saturday, December 15, 2012


We are still making daily progress on our home.  Yesterday they cleaned the entire house and unveiled the carpet, hardwood, granite counter tops and it looks lovely with the appliances.  Today they placed the sod down without the trees which was weird because normally they grade the lot, plant the trees and than lay the sod.  I am still anxiously waiting to see what the tree placement and choices will be; however, it was a wonderful surprise to see the entire lot filled with grass.  

Later today, the workers came to install the back splash in the kitchen. The two tone kitchen with the Rushmore Maple Square Butterscotch cabinets and the Rushmore Maple Square Espresso gourmet island with the St. Cecilia granite looks absolutely beautiful together until the workers completed the back splash.  I came back to the house when they were just a few tiles away from completion and I gasped for air.  The back splash was installed with great skill and is awesome; BUT the color does not go with my palette.  I wish I had gotten there just an one or two earlier and would have stopped them from installing it. Part of the problem is that the granite and the back splash are competing against each other.  The colors are in both products but does not offer contrast. I really love the granite and called the tile company representative to discuss the colors and she assured me that the two would work together.  Well, it's a hot mess!!  I am so disappointed that it did not work out; however, I am happy to have taken the risk to think outside the box.  I have no idea what the outcome would be because I want it changed immediately.  I was told that it would be a messy job to remove the back splash because it would damage the walls.  I sent an email to our tile floor representative asking for suggestions/options because I know I can not live with the color as it is unless I change my entire theme to blend the colors.  It isn't so much that the colors are not in the same palette--it's just that when you look at the back splash you see a dark tone and the granite looks like it has swirls.  Honestly, it looks like a bad wardrobe combination.  I know our PM isn't going to allow for the tile to be replaced while under construction, but I am going to go for it anyway.  My dream kitchen became a disaster in a matter of hours.  If anyone has any information on how to replace the back splash or any other suggestions, please share.  In the meantime, the plan is to replace the back splash or change my entire interior design of the morning room, kitchen and family room which is not a bad idea because I do see the potential in making it work and I have already come up with some alternative designs.  I wish I could show you some pictures of the two tone kitchen because it's gorgeous; hopefully this weekend.  

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda....

Hey everyone!!  I have been taking a moment to peek at the blog posts and respond when I can because I have been so busy with finals this semester.  As I peeked, I noticed a recurring theme.  A theme that, I, too, have been entertaining on so many levels so I decided I get to nip this in the bud...TODAY and move forward.  It seems like they need a 12 Step Program for New Home Construction Builders because I realize I have agonized and gave importance to a few things and cried over other things and jumped for joyed for a lot of things.  Honestly, I guess this blog is that program because it gave us all the opportunity to share our ups and downs with so many people that we may never meet in person but have had the opportunity to connect with in this forum.  Hopefully, some of us will stay connected and not disappear as I have seen so many others do.  

Anyway, the intention of this blog is for everyone to take the opportunity to 
of what they shoulda, coulda, woulda have done had they known while building their new dream homes plus an opportunity to express an attitude of gratitude for the things they did get.  I thought this would be awesome because it could heal so many at one time and also support those people who will be building afterwards and use this post as a learning forum.  Simply just respond in the comment section with your list.

So here is my list:
 I should have made sure I understood the dynamics of picking the exterior colors of our home instead of being concerned that the meeting was becoming lengthy. 
I wish I could have picked the colors I really wanted in that meeting instead of regretting the colors that I have that I can't do anything about at this time.
I wish I would have stopped our SR and made sure I knew all the options for picking the exterior colors of our home based on the options I had with black shutters/doors because only I knew of one at the time that she pointed out but there were so many others.
I wish I could have picked the Stone Mountain Clay siding at that initial meeting for our siding color but when I found out the scheme wasn't what I wanted it was too late because you can't pick the color of the home to the left or right or across the street from your home.
I wish I could have submitted the metal ballisters as a non standard request but did not know I could have done so when we sat at the table the first day or any day after before the deadline.
I wish I could have submitted the 15 lite panel doors as a non standard request because I have learned they hang differently from the standard doors and now I must order the doors later but my new home will be altered because of it.
I wish I would have not listened to our SR when she said, just get the doors from Lowes instead of from us.  Big mistake!
I wish I would have submitted the non standard request to have the brick continue around the entire garage instead of listening to our SR and DH say don't worry about it.  Ugghh

Here is my what I am grateful for:
I am grateful to God for making this dream a reality.
I am grateful for building this new home that my husband and I get to move into as our "forever home" as empty nesters.
I am grateful for the support of Ryan Homes and their flexibility to do whatever it took to approve our loan to build this home.
I am grateful for building this new foundation with my husband of 13 years come February 28, 2013.
I am grateful for the perfect model and floor plan called the Rome to meet our needs and function according to our lifestyle.
I am grateful for so much livable square footage that the Rome offers and the lower price it cost us.
I am grateful for an excellent interest rate.
I am grateful that we survived the 6 month underwriting process. Wheww...that was rough!
I am grateful that I learned the true virtue of patience.
I am grateful for all the non standard requests that were approved for our home.
I am grateful to have a wonderful RH building team at Fairwood.
I am grateful that I was able to use my interior design vision to implement into the structure of the home.
I am grateful for our soon-to-be new neighbors we met and the opportunity to  to fellowship together once we move into the community.
I am grateful for having the opportunity to take advantage of the "Home of the Month" special for the lot and model we had chosen which gave us a total of 65K work of incentives.  
I am grateful that LOT#28  and the Rome model we had chosen were still available and came with these huge incentives when we  finally qualified in January which was the Home of the Month special.  Our timing was impeccable!! God is good!!
I am grateful for being able to drive by often to check on the status of our home on a daily basis because it's only 5 minutes away.
I am totally grateful for this blog because it was through this blog that I learned so much about the home building process.
I am grateful for the wonderful people I have met on this blog and the opportunity to share what I have learned and for others to share what they have learned--priceless!!!
I am grateful for God's provision for us to build our new home.
I am grateful for to put the things we did get can be implemented after settlement without no one telling us what we cannot do.  
I am grateful for having an attitude of gratitude for all the wonderful things we have in this new home to share with my DH, family and friends.
 I am grateful to have a new home to move into on January 11 with all the beautiful options/upgrades/non standard requests that we picked and to have the perfect floor plan called the Rome!

Lastly, I am grateful, in advance, for our settlement moving easily and effortlessly!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

So What's Going With LOT #28???? - Update!!!


In the meantime, I will take this opportunity to update you on the progress of the house:

1.  Our new home orientation (walk through) on Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
2.  Settlement on our new home on Friday, January 11, 2013.
3.  Locked in at an excellent rate of 3.25 %.
4.  Drywall completed weeks and weeks ago.
5.  The house is illuminated--we have electricity.
6.  The cabinets are installed; however, we are missing a couple of cabinets. missing cabinets came in TODAY! 12/12/12
7.  All bathrooms are complete with tubs, commodes, showers, granite sink tops, vanities, mirrors, lightening, shower surround, floor tile, faucets, etc.
8. Floor to Ceiling Fireplace installed, waiting on the large platform piece.
9.  Guardian work completed.
10.  Porch columns installed
11.  Garage post, front door post, recess porch lights, recess, sconces and floodlights installed.
12. 60/40 sink installed with kitchen faucet
13.  Espresso Hardwood Floors on entire main level installed.
14.  Carpet throughout home installed with exception of small storage room.
15.  All additional lightening fixtures installed including standard lightening.
16.  Exterior siding, louver and brick is installed, missing shutters on front porch
(I am not too crazy about our exterior colors, we discovered after the brick installation that the house sits SW which doesn't get the sun shining directly on the house and the red brick that I thought would pop is not popping  :-(   I am hoping once they install the missing porch black shutters and paint the columns and paint the door black it will make an impression on me).   All of the other shutters are installed.
17.  The trim throughout the entire house is installed and looks fabulous.
18.  The small storage room in the basement is finished (non standard request).
19.  The wet bar is installed with full set of cabinets on both sides with Ubatuba granite counter top.  The sink and recess lightening is installed too (comes with wet bar).
20.  The grading on the property is complete and expecting the sod.
21.  The initial painting was completed; however, they guys had to come back to patch various locations and will be repainting the last coat.  They showed up as I was leaving--12/12/12
22.  The driveway, crosswalk and porch are complete.  We have more than a 30 inch drop from the porch so we may be getting a railing.  They are bringing in more dirt and may try to give us a steep hill to avoid installing a railing.  According to code in the Maryland area, if the drop on the porch is higher or at 30 inches they are required by code to install it.  I really would like the railing for safety measures.
23.  The large unfinished storage room in the basement insulation and laundry hook ups installed.
24.  The laundry tub is installed in the basement.
25.  The whole house humidifier is installed.
26.  The sump pump and battery is in position.
27.  The house is painted with a platinum white which gives the walls in the house a two tone affect.
28.  Vent registers installed throughout the house.
29.  Deadbolts installed on all doors.
30.  Central Vacuum System installed
31.  We do have plumbing that works (forgot to add)
32.  We do have water of course too.
33.  I forgot to mention the St. Cecilia granite looks gorgeous on the island and cabinets.

Outstanding Items:
1.  The trim on the exterior needs to be a painted (door, columns etc.
2.  The house number installed.
3.  The sod installed (this week) YAY!
4.  Stainless steel appliances installed; namely the dishwasher, cooktop, double ovens, OTR microwave.  (The refrigerator that will be installed is a RH standard, we opted out of this feature and purchased a Samsung French door with APPS)!  YES!  I can't wait to use it.  Stopped by today and guest what I found the appliances installed.
5.  Final paint and clean up.   Paint job completed TODAY!
6.  Durango shelves removed and installed in desired location in guest bathroom.
7.  110V additional outlet removed and installed in desired location.
8.  Waiting for the correct kitchen cabinet above the microwave.
9.  Backsplash installation

**This will be my last week visiting the interior of the home.  I only plan to take pictures of the exterior which includes the completed landscaping.  If the shutters, doors are painted, I will take photos of them; but I don't think they will do that until later.  I am very anxious to see the landscaping completed and our tree placements.**

I will re-enter the home on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 10:00 am for our "REVEAL DAY." 

I want an element of surprise and I am sure whatever items we find from the new home orientation will go on a punch list to be completed before closing on Friday, January 11, 2013.  We have done a fantastic job being certain our non standard requests were met to my specifications from my daily visits to the home at least three times a day since we currently live only 5 minutes away.   Our PM has done a  fantastic job meeting our requests and continues to do so which is a blessing.

Monday, December 10, 2012

We are going out on TWO dates!!

It's official!!
  We received our letter from Ryan Homes 
for our new home orientation on 
Tuesday, January 8, 2013, at 10:00 am 
our settlement is scheduled for 
Friday, January 11, 2013, at 10:00 am

Sunday, December 9, 2012

......And Locked OUT!

We are officially locked out of our new home!  This means if we want to see our home we must check with the SR for the keys on the weekend.  This does not; however, stop me from stopping by during the week to check in on the progress of our home.  I will at some point stop going by the home the closer we get to our walk through.  I do want to experience an element of surprise for an official REVEAL DAY!  I will give an update on the progress of our home hopefully with pictures this time.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Guess WHAT?  
We locked in our interest rate at 3.25%!
What can I say, GOD is GOOD all the time!!!!

** I am not a DC native; however, my husband is a Washingtonian, but this was the only song I could find to celebrate the theme of locking in our rate, so for all you Washingtonians out there you can understand the excitement through this song the most since you were dancing off it while growing up in the District of Columbia :-) 
PS. I must keep using the videos for my blog until I can figure out how to create more storage space.  Don't have the time dedicate to resolving this issue until after final exams.
 I must remained focused on studying

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

WE GOT THE POWER! (And tips from bloggers on how to restore storage space)

 The lights were installed yesterday throughout the entire house including the garage post lights!  The Lamp Post Light! The Front Door Post Light!  The Floodlights!  The Morning Room outside post Lights! The Recess Porch Lights!
Today to my surprise the Electricity was powered UP!  
We definitely GOT  THE  POWER!!! 
The Illumination in the house is everywhere and looks fantastic!!


It feels so toasty on the inside of the house -- what a blessing?
I imagined what it would feel like with the fireplace burning on those cold winter nights because it was installed yesterday.  We chose the floor to ceiling fireplace and it looks awesome with the eyeballs above it (more lights)! YAY!
All the vents in the house were blowing warm which I am extremely happy about because it was difficult to enjoy all the progress in the COLD AND IN THE DARK!

The door bell is LIT up too and it works!!  
Just Awesome

***Sorry everyone no pictures to share!  I maxed out my google storage and have not figured out what to do just yet without paying for the additional storage space per month.  Plus if I were to delete pictures from my blog it would delete them permanently and mess up my plan to incorporate my blog into a book. Any suggestions??