Monday, May 30, 2011

More Options...More Shopping

First....Happy Memorial Day to everyone!!!

As we were leaving the development after our pre-construction meeting we drove by a house that had a white roof over their bay window and it dawned on us that we didn't discuss the color of that roof.  The roof material was mentioned but not the color.  All along we thought it was going to be is automaatically whatever your trim package color is going to be...our's is way...don't like it...not going to happen...our sales rep says no problem changing to black...just another change form and after all, what's another change form!!!  So we are still waiting to hear back on changing out the cabinets on the island, will change the color of the bay window roof, waiting on the quote on the Spa Shower, maybe add the carpet runner on the stairs, and if we find a different Moen faucet for the kitchen then we like better we will change that out too.  I think our sales rep will be glad when we finally break ground and don't have the opportunity to make any more changes, but he did say that our folder has been quite handy because he has pulled it out numerous times when other couples have asked for the same non-standard option.

And finally, we did some more furniture shopping this weekend.  We were out for something and decided to take a ride to Johnny Janosik Furniture in Dover, Delaware.  We have been interested in a Thomasville bedroom set for our bedroom and saw that they carried the set that we liked so figured we would head down and see what the prices were like.  Actually figured they would be no better then the Thomasville store since we knew that Thomasville controls pricing of stores that sell their furniture.  We were pleasantly surprised at what we found.  We were having trouble finding the Thomasville furniture so we asked for help.  The sales associate who we asked, guided us to the section, and said she would be right back because Thomasville was having a really good sale and she needed to go get the price sheets.  She came back and showed us what Thomasville does...they have a MSRP which is what Thomasville recommends the piece be priced on the floor for...then they have a minimum allowable price which the stores are not allowed to go below...and then because Thomasville was having a sale, the minimum allowable was reduced by the sales I know that was very wordy and long, but Johnny Janosik's policy on Thomasville furniture is to always price it at the minimum unlike the Thomasville store where you start at the MSRP or MSRP reduced by a sale and then have to try and haggle, at Janosik's the price you get is always the lowest haggling...this is the lowest...and the price was very very good....I think my wife was a little upset that she didn't get to haggle...she loves the challenge and is very good at it!!!  Anyway, we bought a king size bed, 2 nightstands, a dresser and mirror, and a small storage ottoman with a custom fabric...all of that for about the price of what the bed and nightstands would have been on sale at the Thomasville store...great deal...but not the best part...they will order everything and hold it in their warehouse for us till we move was a flat $69...and furniture protection was a flat $149 for everything on the if you never use the protection plan over the 5 years, you get a store credit for the $149...have never ever heard of anyone doing that.

That was Saturday...we also have an entertainment center from my parents house that we were looking for a larger TV console to replace the 48" one so we could use it in our basement with a large TV.  We had the receipt but the manufacturer and model# was not on the receipt, plus it was no where to be found on the unit.  So we went to that store and surprisingly they told us the manufacturer.  They no longer make the set, but still make the TV console unit.  We got a quote from that store and proceeded to drive back to Jonosik's.  They didn't have that model available, but had it in the catalog.  We were looking for the 60" model, but had a quote for the 64".  Jonosik's original price was higher then the 64" quote...for some reason the door configuration is different on the 60" so it is normally more then the 64"...go figure...BUT we showed her the price we had for the 64" and she beat it by $20...while we were wandering around waiting for our sales person to free up we saw a couple of very nice Lane Cedar Chests one of which was a perfect match to our bedroom wife has wanted one for a very very long time, but other things have always come first...needless to say I have her Christmas present already...can't give it to her for her Birthday...that's the house...LOL...anyway, both items were added to our invoice from additional shipping charges and the furniture protection we already paid for covers both pieces as well.

Sorry for the long post, but hopefully others will find it useful.  I know the 2 stores in Delaware are not close to a ton of you, but they ship to a pretty big surrounding area....DC, Maryland, PA(not sure about you Pittsburg folks), NJ, and Virginia.  We went to the Dover store, but the Laurel store they give you a map and tell you to eat first and wear comfortable is that big!!!  The website is and for any of you that may go to the Dover store ask for Deanie Gory...she was fantastic.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pre-Construction Meeting

Today was a very exciting day.  We signed our contract on December 28th and we never thought this day would get here.  Everything with the Pre-Construction meeting went great.  We finally got a chance to meet our PM and it was great seeing him get excited about some of the options we have selected.  We spent 2.5 hours going through everything in detail.  While we were going thru the list we discovered that we could upgrade ALL of our secondary bathrooms vanity tops to granite for $600...doesn't matter if it is 2 additional or in our case 5 additional it is $600.  We had thought about that but we thought it was $600 per vanity and for that price we said no way.  So, we decided to make that change, but that took another hour for us(my wife) to decide which granite she wanted...and of course the granite(ubatuba) was an upgrade so it was $900 instead...oh well...still a good deal 

Our sales rep and PM had talked before the meeting about our concern for having some access panel square in the middle of our nice jetted tub in the master bath.  Our PM said that was not a problem...couple of - make a couple of the tiles into an access panel that will be able to be removed...two - cut a hole in the inside of one of the vanities and make an access panel from there into the space for the tub motor...three - cut a hole from the garage ceiling up into the area where the motor will be located and build an access panel in the garage ceiling....needless to brainer...option 3.  Can I just say I already love our PM!!!

He also said to call him or send him emails with any questions we have.  He said he will be calling every Thursday to tell us how the week went and what is planned for the next week.  He also said he wants us involved as much as we would like...come by any time...just call ahead to make sure it is safe to come by...he even said if we wanted to come by every day he was fine with that...don't think it will be that often, but it is going to be tough to stay away.

And the final, not so great news, but not bad either.  They don't yet have the permit to start building yet and apparently even after they get that they have to wait till some manager from the main office gives them the go ahead to get started.  We will see...didn't sound like the June 1st start was going to happen and then he was talking about 3rd week of September for closing..way too far out to be sure, but it freaked my wife out.  She wants to be done and moved in by the first week in September so if someone wants to buy our house and be moved in by the time school starts they can....I say's our house and I am not about to move twice...if that means we lose out on a potential sale of our be it!!!

@HW - We put our request in for the Spa Shower today...wahoooo...THANK YOU for sharing that with everyone...our sales rep said it would not be a problem to do it...will see what price they come back with.  Did you also notice that the valve has a plug on it for electric...don't forget you will need a GFCI outlet behind the shower wall for it to plug into...I am thinking that maybe we will have it mounted inside the vanity so we can get to it if needed...assuming that meets code.  Will also get you some info on moving...

Also forgot to mention...our sales rep is trying to get the 2 big 33" cabinets on the island changed out to a different version...still 33" with two doors, but behind the two doors instead of having a center post with a drawer half way up on both sides, there will be no center post and there will be 2 drawers that are the entire width of the cabinet...1 half way up the cabinet and the second drawer at the bottom of the cabinet.  Great for pots and pans and oval shaped crock pots!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

House #1 Sale, Final Change Order, Date Change

We have had a very busy couple of weeks:

My wife brought in 4 companies to quote us on moving stuff out of house #1 and store till we move in the new house.  As always, she did a great job negotiating (ThrifyAmy you would be proud).  Good price on the moving/delievery and she negotiated for 3 months free storage!!!

All inspections went smoothly on House #1, no surprises.  Settlement was Friday and went off without a hitch....yeah!!!

Met with our sales rep and did our final change order...imagine that...finally!!!  Here's what we changed:
Changed our brick color again(3rd or 4th time I think) - It's now the darkest red - Commonwealth
4 more stone samples to select from - 1 of the new ones was nice, but stuck with the Bucks County
Decided to tile the whole area where the bar will be
Master Bath tile will be installed on a diagonal to give it a unique look
Added the Tray Ceiling to the Dining Room - I've always liked that...I knew my wife would finally decide to do that - she thinks it was all her idea...what she doesn't know is I have been whispering "Dining Room Tray Ceiling" while she was sleeping...LOL

And the best news of all....we moved up our ground breaking date.  Preconstruction Meeting is this Wednesday and we should break ground Wednesday June 1st or worst case June 8th.  We are targeting the last week of August for settlement...that will be very room for slippage...sales rep says it is an 85 day build process...needless to say we are both sooo excited that the build process is finally here.  Even our sales rep commented that when we first signed the contract in December, the June start seemed a long way off.

We are targeting July 1st to have House #2 on the market.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tribute To ThrifyAmy

This post is a tribute to ThrifyAmy.  A little over a year ago my wife and I were entertaining the idea of building a new house.  We had looked at numerous different builders and developments one weekend and I was digging around on the internet researching builders when I stumbled onto this blog written by this person called ThriftyAmy.  Her blog was the lone diamond in the rough(tons of bad press for Ryan Homes).  As I looked closer I quickly realized that 98% of the bad press was from 5 to 10 years ago so I decided to keep Ryan Homes on our short list.  The following weekend we drove down to Washington and looked at a Courtland and Avalon model home and fell in love with the Avalon.  Meanwhile, ThriftyAmy continued blogging away and soon another blog appeared and then another and another and another.


We have you to thank for all this wonderful information.  Great ideas have been shared.  Problems have been shared and solutions provided...all within this ever growing Ryan Homes blogging community that you, ThrifyAmy, got started!!!

ThriftyAmy...I thank you for making the time and supplying the energy to get this all started.  At this rate, you may have spawned 100 blogs by the time we get to 2012!!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fireplace Stone, Bar Beverage Center, And Neighbors

First I would like to thank Shara for posting pictures of her fireplace.  I must say I was a little jealous since I really like the Bucks County ledgestone that she has.  We went to see our sales rep today and he took us in to see the fireplace in the house that is being built on the lot next to ours.  We loved the stacked stone look and the color was really nice, but I still liked the Bucks County better, but was willing to accept what we had selected.  We went back to the model to take a look at the new samples they had just gotten.  Guess of the new samples is the Bucks County ledgestone...another change order is in the works.

We also got a quote back on the Beverage Center like the one in the model's a GE Monogram Beverage Center (Model ZDBC240NBS).  Here is a link to it: 
I must say, mine will be filled with beer and wine...not soda and juice!!!  This one is much nicer then the original one that was included with the a word of caution...make sure you inquire what model beverage center is included with the finished may or may not be the one that they have in the model.

While we were talking to our rep about things in general another couple came in.  Turns out they are our new neighbors...a very nice young couple with a boy and two girls.  It also sounds like the lot across the street from us may be on it's way to being sold.  Paperwork not signed yet, but there is a hold on the lot.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

We have a Date

We have a tentative ground breaking date set for June 22nd.  It is getting real exciting now and finally feels real.  Now we just have to get the stuff moved out of House #1 and into storage.  4 companies coming this week to give us quotes and decision will be made on Monday.  Plan is to have everything out of there by May 18th with a settlement date of May 20th...whewwwww.