Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Month (or two) of Projects in iPhone Pics

Yeah, so, just over two months in our Oakmont and slowly....very sloooooowwwwwllly, things are getting done.

Last month we had our 30-day inspection. Most of the issues (all small) were fixed by the handyman traveling with our PM. The other issues were fixed shortly after. The longest was a scratched porch rail that had to be ordered so that took a few weeks. The installer came last week and also re-secured several of the toppers on our porch posts that tend to blow off in the wind. He left us two tubes of the cement in case we needed it. So far, every person that our PM has sent to our house has been very accommodating and very nice. We were waiting until the last of the (again, minor) repairs was done to fill out our email survey, but yeah, then we started PAINTING, so we still haven't done the survey.


At first, my husband was against painting before the 10-month inspection and expected drywall patching but then he also couldn't stand the antique white FLAT paint in this house. It is just awful, especially with kids. They just breathe on it and immediately a grease-stain appears that is impossible to wipe off.

(DISCLOSURE: I have only taken pics with my phone and not my DSLR b/c I've been too lazy/busy to take it out. So the colors/lights might not be the most accurate but hey, at least it's something, right?)

We hired a family friend who is a professional painter to help my husband knock out the 9-foot high rooms on the first floor. We did grey in the morning room, kitchen, family room and hall. After researching the heck out of paint and talking to neighbors on their experiences, etc., we went with Consumer Reports' recommendation of Clark & Kensington paint from Ace Hardware (conveniently about 5 mins from our house, too.) It got very high marks in coverage and wipe-ability and is similar in price to HD's Behr. We've been playing the coupon game, too, and haven't paid full price yet for a gallon. ;)

We still haven't picked a light fixture for the morning room so it's really hard to get a good picture of what the grey looks like in here. Also, ignore the furniture, which is temporary. This room has become kid art room and my work area so it is evolving as I find the furniture that works best.

Just more shots trying to show the shade of grey...

Kitchen before

After - it's hard to see. Also, we still plan to replace those laminate counters with quartz - and it will be light countertops with no brown in them. I still don't like these counters but can't dwell on it much since they are temporary.

Family room in grey. Oh the saga of our sectional...ordered in late AUGUST from Macy's. This is it:

It was backordered til 12/1 when we ordered it. We decided we loved it so much to wait it out. Recently, we got an email that it's now delayed until MID JANUARY. We were so angry. Macy's Furniture can't get an answer from the manufacturer as to WHY this is going on. We keep looking for another, but in the meantime still haven't found one we love as much so as of this very moment, we are still waiting for this one. ARGH.

So anyway, when 14 people join us for Thanksgiving next week, they get to sit on my mismatched brown leather couch and chair from our old house paired with our lovely, uber-comfortable grey/green couch from our old basement. We imagine the sectional will go where we have the brown stuff now and eventually we'll get two chairs and a round coffee or end table for where the grey/green couch is now. We did get a bigger TV (I was skeptical, but it was kind of necessary.) We are still looking for a media console/cabinet. We haven't found anything we like yet, and husband is still trying to convince me to let him build one.

Left wall in family room showing grey

Painting stairwell - fun!

Grey down hallway on first floor

We also did grey in the upstairs hallway -shown here:

The grey we used is actually a grey we loved from Behr and used in our old house - Gentle Rain. We had Ace color match it. The dining room is Latte, which I believe we color matched from a Sherwin Williams swatch. 

 Latte going up  in the dining room. We (okay, well husband) painted the entire wall, although our (his) next project is crown molding and a faux-wainscoting. Figured we may as well have fully painted walls until that project is done.

The chairs from our old table (above) were another of his projects... he recovered those and we'll use them as extra seating and in the morning room. I'm currently waiting for this table and sideboard to arrive from Levin TODAY!!

Husband went to JoAnn Fabric last week on his lunch break and wowed the ladies in his suit. He bought supplies to recover the chairs:

Old, kid-food-encrusted seats:

New, pleather-covered seats! Such a transformation! We should have done it years ago.

Husband is really a busy, busy man. His other projects include...STAIRS!

Until we are ready to build a deck/patio... we desperately needed a way to let the dog out that didn't involved the front door and front yard. Sooo, he built some stairs from scratch. From scratch b/c we needed more than you can buy premade.

I don't have a pic with the railings finished, but they are done now.

He also took a cue from the neighbors who took the rock from our foundation's digging and built a fire pit, and did the same with the rock from the house going up next door for us:

That's done now, too, although I can't find a completed pic.

So, now he's started painting our master bedroom. He's obsessed now with painting, LOL, since we've seen what a HUGE difference it makes on these walls. He also may have lost his mind because after nine and a half years of marriage, he finally relented to letting me have an accent wall. I then lost my mind b/c I think I picked a super bold color...however, I think we both love it. The plan: 3 grey walls (yes same grey) and one teal wall, where our bed is. We (he) is partway done.
My inspiration piece is this decorative box below that I saw in Target. Our bedding is grey, white and yellow. The accent wall matches the teal on the box. So far, I'm not including any coral anywhere, but I still love this box.

Cutting in the teal on the accent wall.

 I started to panic a little here...I was feeling a bit like Ariel, you know, Under the Sea.

The idea... when our headboard finally arrives (also on backorder) - it will take up much of this accent wall. 

I also have this artwork I got on Etsy to put on the wall:

Husband is cutting in the grey on the other walls every night this week after we get home from whatever activity we've had...and we've had one every night! I think I'm going to try to convince him that crown molding would also be awesome in our room.

I still have to pick colors for the other bedrooms and other brain is pretty fried at this point. I need to start serious thinking about window treatments. Sigh.
Right after we moved in we (he) did install this kind of blinds on EVERY window. We got light filtering on most of them and light blocking on the two in the girls' room. I LOVE these blinds, especially with the internal cord.

How long is this post?? LOL. That about catches you up on what we've been doing. I can see it will be along time before our furniture is set and a really long time before I can work on accents and such. But I am just so happy to have paint done. I love it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

2 weeks since close

Holy cow, do we have some crap. After our initial move in and 4 pod emptying, I was lulled into a sense of semi-organization because we had a scheduled weekend trip the first Friday/Saturday after close so we waited until the SECOND weekend in the new house to empty our two big storage units. As in the units we filled in April and May when we put our old house on the market.

Oh, how I wish it was actual furniture filling my garage and basement right now, but 90 percent of it, I swear, is just CRAP! LOL

Suffice to say, we are making use of all of the dumpsters around here to get rid of the clutter.

I really won't have house pictures in this post b/c the house looks like it did in my last posts, just with a lot of aforementioned crap lying around. It's the internet, people, you know I have to wait until I have enough done that I can at least PRETEND it looks semi-decent. LOL. Also, I've had NO TIME FOR PICTURES. Life goes on. Kids get croup. Preschool driving sucks up hours of my life. Responsibilities continue at church and work. Some day, I'll take pictures, and post, some day...

Back to closing, two weeks ago - it was so dang fast. Seriously, it took 25 minutes and we were walking out the door with keys in hand. Props to NVR for leaving the best parking spots especially marked for those of us about to sign 30 years of our lives away. (Or hey, maybe you're lucky and did a 15-year before the interest rates jumped. If so, darn you!!)

We were at the house by 10am and with the girls occupied elsewhere until 2pm, we got started with a few guy friends unloading our pods.

Let me make clear that we are overwhelmingly satisfied and happy with our build, the house and the people involved from Ryan. The little nitpicky things I am about to mention are only for those curious and perhaps some things can be helpful for those still in the planning stages.

So far, we have found very few issues - a box-cutter looking set of scratches on the top of our island that are actually really hard to see except when the light hits it right, some window latches missing, a tiny gouge in the bottom of the master bath tub (fiberglass) and a couple little gouges around the door knobs to the study. Seriously, not much AT ALL. 

We had our refrigerator delivered the day of closing. I had to wait a day for my water/ice dispenser because my husband had to go out and buy a longer or better (I forget) connector. We did have some service issues with Verizon, whose installation we had originally scheduled for closing day as well. The Saturday before our Monday close they started calling leaving us voicemails that due to a service issue (they didn't have the necessary hubs in our area yet) they were going to have to postpone us. We were pretty ticked off since we had booked this weeks before and they had plenty of time to figure it out. Fortunately, instead of a week, they ended up being able to do it the Wednesday after close. Our mattresses were also delivered that day - Yay for master bedrooms that fit king size beds! The king size bed is just awesome.

My husband ended up taking the whole week off from work and doing things like installing ceiling fans, the garage door opener, washer/dryer, tvs, etc. (**We paid $180-ish for the exact garage door opener we had wanted that also went on sale at Sears the week before close. MUCH better than paying, what was it? $600? $800?- I can't remember -  and having it in our mortgage!)

Thoughts By Room
  • I've decided the laminate counter top I chose is too dark. That being said, it's fine and we picked the laminate because we plan to put in quartz in the near future so I'm not terribly disturbed by it. 
  • The dishwasher is right next to the corner cabinet/lazy susan, which means both doors cannot be open at the same time, which means, whatever I need to put away in the lazy susan cabinet has to be set on the counter first, the dishwasher door closed and then the cabinet opened. It's not a huge deal, but not the ideal way I'd lay out that corner.
  • I love the laundry room next to the kitchen. LOVE.
  • We are so glad we got the regular island because we adore the open space (dinette technically) between the kitchen and family room. (We put a small round table on one end of the morning room for breakfast.)
  • I had to buy a bigger sized step stool from Target (Oh Target... you may as well take my firstborn next after all the money I have spent there this month.) to reach the top two shelves on all of my cabinets. I'm 5'5". Even my 6'3" husband can't reach the cabinets above the fridge.
  • The pantry is awesome. I hate to complain about shelves since it's better to have so many than not at all, but the wire shelves can be annoying for some items. Flat shelves would be better. But again, just having the shelves is 100x better then not having them.
Morning Room
  • We are still figuring out what to do here. We have a small table for breakfast with 2 chairs (b/c we only on 6 chairs still and we need 4 in the dining room for dinner. Haha), the girls art supplies, and my secretary desk. Our thought is besides morning use, we will use it for the kids art/craft stuff, and my work from home job/regular home management type stuff, the thought being I can watch them while I work. We'll see how that goes. We need some shelves and possible additional seating in here. We have yet to buy a ceiling fan for this room so it currently doesn't have its own light source.

Family Room
  • It's huge. Get ready for this - my husband is right. It desperately needs a bigger TV. Our old TV and our old furniture looks ridiculously tiny. Sigh. The sectional we bought is back ordered until freaking DECEMBER 1, so right now we have two (mis matched) couches in there and our matching chair and ottoman. It works temporarily, I keep telling myself. We like the recessed lighting and so far have also not bought a fan for this room.

Dining Room
  • We've had dinner in here every night. Needs some curtains, a buffet and well, yeah, I just want a new dining room set. We'll see...

  • All good. No real observations here. 
  • We have ceiling fans/lights now installed in all 4 bedrooms. We are on the hunt for new master bedroom furniture since we got the new king mattress. Our old furniture is in the guest room, awaiting its first guests this weekend! We want something solid wood so we are taking some time researching and price shopping. I hope to do this soon though. 
  • We are getting the light blocking cellular shades (with cords internal) for all the bedrooms. Using our 10% Lowe's coupon from the post office. Ha.
Front porch
  • All I dreamed it would be.
  • The cul-de-sac full of little kids is awesome. Our girls ride bikes out there almost every single day. Exactly what we wanted for them!
  • Also, a great place for the girls to watch our neighbor's house go up!

  • We got to use the pool twice! It closed today for the season. I'll close for now with that and will talk to you all soon with more pictures.

P.S. Water your grass. It really does work. ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Final Walk-Through Done

We did the pre-settlement/final walk-through this morning with our awesome PM Dave. It took about 90 minutes and he went over everything in every room and things like warranties, service calls, lawn maintenance, etc.

The items to fix are tiny and we are very happy with everything about the building process.

I didn't take many pictures at all because not much had changed since my last visit. The one thing I really wanted to see was our oven installed:

Love the 5th burner in the center
Here's a wider view... our refrigerator (which will arrive after closing on Monday) goes behind the open basement door. There is another set of cabinets and counter top there as well.

The only other pic I took was of the family room...

Now that I look at it, Dave's hard hat adds an artistic touch, don't you think? Hahaha

I don't know if they say this to everyone to make them feel good but our PM said they (the workers on site) have seen a lot cars come into the cul-de-sac to look at our house. He also noticed (as did I) that our house really doesn't look like anyone else's on our street and few in our entire development. He said the front porch and stone have attracted a lot of attention and compliments from these drive-by-ers. 

Panoramic of our cul-de-sac from earlier this summer - shows the other homes and their elevations.

So now we just have to make it through the busy weekend without jumping out of our skin in excitement. 

Closing at 9am Monday!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Landscaping Done!

Okay, I know I said no more pictures until walk through but my husband stopped by today after our PM told us yesterday that the landscaping was done. Drumroll... 

Can you find BOTH trees?

The angle above really shows how much front/side yard we have since our house is turned on an angle to face the cul-de-sac. I had never realized how far over our property extended when it was all just rock. This is a good chunk more than I ever imagined. Yay!

Front View - all done on the outside!

We got our HUD-1 today and fortunately it was negligibly different from the original estimate. We had to laugh that the NVR rep who called said it was our "final preliminary" estimate. Sigh.

I just about finished setting up the utility transfers. That was a part time job in itself this week. Fun stuff like the wrong city and zip on one and the lack of our permanent water meter added a lot of drama. 

I did get to do some fun stuff like buy our girls new comforters and a few accessories. 

It's hard to believe this is finally happening after starting this whole process in early April. It's also amazing to see all of the choices you made on paper and from little product samples transformed into a real, life house. I'm still a little in awe of that.

5 days to close.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

8 Days & Counting

We took the girls (and our friends) to see the house today. We got about 5 minutes inside before a dry wall contractor showed up (at 6:30pm on a Saturday) to finish sanding. They said painting was to start Monday. 

Immediately we noticed our lamp post up and a light on over the garage. Okay, so we may have had to find an alternate route into the house after the garage and front door were locked. I'm guessing this means we will be locked out the rest of the way through so I'm glad I got a few minutes to snap a few pics before we had to get out.

Our 2-and-a-half-year-old going up the stairs for the first time.

We love this stone detail on top of the garage.

Heading inside...

Powder room fixtures - they are nicer than I expected, honestly.

She took off her cowboy boots to feel the carpet. I am SO pleased with the carpet choice we made. It's called Intuitive Sweet Tea. Our Rusmur rep had told us that with kids, we should go with the darkest color we could stand. I believe this was also a friese (sp?). We stayed with the standard padding, as Ryan had recently upgraded what was considered standard. It feels awesome and looks fantastic.

Laundry room, off of kitchen

Pantry doors - I like the lever handles

Dining room light fixture - I barely remember picking this out but I like it.

Our oven was in the kitchen finally, but not installed. It was also in several pieces and I didn't have a chance to find the stovetop, which was a bummer because I wanted to look at the 5th burner area again and dream of the grill pan I'm going to put on there, ha ha.

A very, very, very dusty kitchen

I'm now very happy with my choice in floor and cabinet...I think it looks exactly how I wanted.

Morning room - I can't wait to use this room. We have a few ideas including my work space for my work from home job and the girls' art supplies/table so they can work on things while I'm cooking or writing.

The pass through from morning room into kitchen. I'm still not sure if this is exactly wide enough to eat at. We shall see.

The black dishwasher blends perfectly with the (very dusty) cabinets. Love.

Glass doors into study are in.

They finally located our data connection and fixed the dry wall holes they made searching for it.

Carpet is in upstairs as well! I really didn't have time to shoot many pics as the dry wallers were walking in the door.

But....I got a couple ;) The girls loving their new room.

Our little one just ran around in circles, so thrilled at finally having open space!

Master bath

Master bath light fixture - in case you were curious what comes with a standard bath.

Same light in girls' bath - not sure if they put the light down more in our bath or if we just have a bigger mirror. Didn't notice the difference until we were home and looking at the pics.

Girls' bath with the cognac cabinets.

We did notice this scratch in the porch rail - something to mention at Friday's walk through. Looks like a box cutter scratch.

Meters and A/C and such.

Grading was started and the back yard is looking a lot more level. Yay!

We plan to put our deck off the morning room:

Love, love the front porch. Sigh.

Mailbox on site

I also love the recessed lighting on the front porch.

Overall, we are very excited to be so close to the end. I probably won't have pics again until the walk through. Have a great Sunday everyone!