Tuesday, November 24, 2015

We broke ground!

Such an exciting day...we finally broke ground! Although we are already a week behind (lot grading delays), we are confident that our PM will keep everything on track. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

SketchUp Practice

In order to aid in our layout planning and to make our blog more aesthetically pleasing, I decided I would play around with SketchUp- a 3D model building program I had used in the past at work but hadn't tried out in a few years.

I used the basement floor plan that I found on the Ryan Homes website, and after reacquainting myself with the nuances of the program, I managed to build a basic model complete with walls, two windows, and a carpet that closely matched our shade of grey.  Unfortunately, Heather informed me after the fact that I had actually created a rendering of the wrong floor plan, as our home has the "reverse" floor plan of the standard Venice model.  So there went an hour of my life that could have been spent otherwise...

On the bright side, I started to get the hang of the program again after not touching it for several years.  If any of our other fellow prospective home-builders wish to give it a spin, it can be downloaded for free from their website.  It may not be the most user-friendly program I've ever encountered but there are plenty of tutorials available on YouTube and it's free, so I really don't have much room to complain.  I'll look to make a model of the correct floor plan sometime in the near future so we can try and put the program to better use.

Rob's (failed) attempt at creating a 3D rendering of the future basement.

Loan Status: Approved

After waiting what felt like an eternity, we finally got word back that our loan has been approved! Now they can finally start construction. Our little plot of land will have a house on it in no time.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pre-Construction/Flooring Meeting

Today we bookended our usual Wednesday workday with two separate housing meetings.  We attended our pre-construction meeting this morning at the Ryan Homes Venice model home, and then had our flooring meeting at Advanced Flooring and Design.  With a great deal of coffee, we managed to make it out of both meetings alive and with an even better picture of what the interior of our future home was going to look like.  We have detailed our decorative choices for the home below:

Main Floor:
-Hand Scraped Engineered Hardwood (Fall Canyon)
-Kitchen Countertops (Rushmore Painted Linen)
-Kitchen Granite (Santa Cecelia Light)

-Carpet-Level B (Graystone: Amazing Greige)
-Padding (Forest-Middle Tier)

-Carpet-Level B (Graystone: Amazing Greige)
-Padding (Viscobond-Memory Foam)

Basement+"Future Kids"/Guest Bath:
-Shower Tile (6X6 Semi Gloss White)
-Floor Tile (6X6 Matte White)
-Vanity (Cherry Bordeaux)
-Countertop (White Cultured Marble)

Master Bath:
-Shower Tile (Polaris Gloss White 9X12)
-Floor Tile (Parkway Grey 12X12)
-Accent Tile (CW28 Wave)
-Vanity (Cherry Bordeaux)
-Countertop (White Cultured Marble)

Laundry Room:
-Floor Tile (Sandalo Castilian Gray)

Pre-Construction Questions/Answers
Living Room (Office)
-Will this room come with a ceiling light? No, but there is one in the entry way and a switched outlet for a desk lamp 

Family Room
-Can we lower the mantle on the fireplace (for TV mounting)? Yes
-Will there be a bump out from fire place? (for future deck placement): Yes 24” bump out 
-Will there be a blower for the fireplace?: No 

-Outlet in cabinet for putting under cabinet lighting in after closing: Yes  
-Can I pick my own granite slab? (We want the non yellowish Santa Cecelia): No but promised it would be will be light/ not yellow
-Can we request that they not add a granite lip? Yes 
-Can we move the cabinets above the refrigerator so that they are flush with the wall?  Not flush but as close as they can get it so that the cabinets will still open all the way. 
- Height of the counter/island? (for stools)- Standard countertop height 

Morning Room
-What type of door to the outside (sliding or patio?): patio

Master Bedroom
-Can they raise the shelving in the closet? Yes
-Will closet have lighting? Yes 

Master Bathroom
-What is the height of shower head? Can it be raised? Yes, they will raise it as much as they can
-Can we add a bench in the shower? NO :(

-Will there be an outlet in the unfinished area for media closet/future bedroom? Yes
-Where is the door going to be located? Far right (sliding) 
-Window in unfinished area? 2 full sized windows 
- Can we section off the utilities? All in one area but will not be drywalled into their own room

 General Questions
-Will there be insulation around water pipes? (We do not want to hear running water throughout the house): No but it wont be a problem 
-Bib locations: front and back 
- Outdoor outlets-how many? Front door, basement door, morning room door
-Where will the attic access be located?  Laundry Room 
-Will landscaping be installed before or after closing?  After
-Smooth or rough ceilings? Smooth
-Lawn- seeded or sod? Sod
-Rock/straw removal before laying SOD: Yes 
-Will we have any ugly utility meters in our yard? NO
-Total square footage of our home? 3,025
-Dual Zone HVAC? No, Single
-Paint color on walls?  Divine White (not pure white)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Maggie Lends a Paw

Heather and I enjoyed finalizing all of our exterior and interior options at our finishing meeting today.  Upon relaxing on the couch after our meeting, we realized that one of our furry children, Maggie, had positioned herself on top of all of our paperwork.  As Maggie isn't always the most sociable of cats, we took this as a sign that she was excited for our family's new home and wanted to help out her human parents however she could!

...or perhaps she just enjoys the feeling of sleeping on top of paper.  Either way, I'd like to think that our little Maggie is just dreaming about our future home and all of the space she will have to run around and play with her brother.  We'll have to ensure that we keep these little guys in mind as we continue to plan our construction!

Change Order Appointment

Well, today we had the opportunity to pick out all our interior and exterior finishes (minus the flooring). It was much easier than I thought it was going to be. After pricing everything out we decided to add the nickel finish upgrade and went one tier up on our appliances.
Our finishes are:
Shake Siding-Silver Mist
Stone-Dakota Ledge Stone 
Shutters-Dark Navy
Trim/Garage Door-White
Cabinets-Rushmore Painted Linen
Countertops-St. Cecelia Light 
Appliances-GE Profile

Cabinets-Tahoe Cherry Bordeaux
Countertops-Cultured Marble

Stone-Dakota Ledge Stone

Flooring: TBD (our appointment is on the 11th)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Welcome to our blog!  Our names are Rob and Heather and after living in an apartment in Virginia for the past year and a half, we recently decided to build our first home together.  As if we weren't busy enough planning our dream home, we decided to further enhance the experience by creating a blog to track our progress and gain insight and feedback from others.  But first, a little background...

We have been together since November 2013 and have been engaged to be married since November 2014.  This will add another layer of excitement to the process, as our closing date (February 2016) falls only two months before our wedding date!  Our thought process was to remove both of these figurative band-aids as quickly as possible so that we can immediately begin enjoying our lives together upon getting married.  In addition to the two of us, we are bringing along our two, furry children; our orange cats named Milo and Maggie (I'm sure there will be more to come on these two).  We plan on diving further into the specifics of our home in future blog posts, but we are building a Ryan Homes Venice Model, complete with four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, and a finished basement.  Our vision is for this home to provide the perfect blend of space for the two of us to relax, space to entertain and accommodate our friends and family, and space for our family to expand further down the road.

This is our first foray into the world of blogging, however we felt that this would provide a useful forum to not only keep our friends and family updated on the progress of our new home, but also to gain feedback and input from those who have been in our shoes and/or have had experience working with Ryan Homes in the past.  Both of us will look to contribute to the blog- although we both have different voices and have different visions for the house, we both are excited to build our very own dream home and both appreciate any feedback or advice that our followers have to offer.  Thanks for joining us on this new and exciting journey and feel free to subscribe to find out how #HottsBuildAHome!