Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Our Floorplan

As I'm anxiously awaiting our next weekly update from the PM to see what was done this week despite the snow, rain, and overall bad weather, I figured I would stop by and post our floor plan.  Our floor plan is the Strauss with basement entry and rear-loading two car garage.  It's 2034 square feet, which, in our area at least, is really big for a townhome.  We will have a nice sized kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, and 2 powder rooms. Here is the floor plan.

For the basement level, we opted for the completely open rec room with no storage and the optional powder room.

For the main level, our community includes the powder room, the island, and the patio.  We added the optional hutch.

For the upper level, we didn't make any structural changes.

Even though this is our first house, it is pretty much our dream house.  We plan to stay here for as long as we're in the DC area.  Eventually, we would love to live in the Philly area, where I grew up, but this house is the perfect location for now since our jobs are in DC and a lot of our friends are in MD.  It's just the two of us and our puppy, but this house gives us room to have family visit and even some room to grow in the future.  We are really happy with our decision to go with this floor plan in this community.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Starting to See Some Progress

We drove by the house this weekend to see the progress.  We have foundation walls now and underground plumbing is supposed to go in this week.  It's exciting to start seeing some progress on our house and the community around it.  

We had our puppy with us so we didn't stop in the model, but it looks like they are still trying to sell one of the townhomes in our block of six.  They've sold three across the street from us in the next block of eight.  

We were the first to buy in our block of homes.  Now that the block is almost sold out and the next block has started selling, my husband and I can't help but wonder who our new neighbors are.  It would be really great if they are some other young professionals, but I'm sure whoever our neighbors are, our home will be a thousand times better than our current apartment.  We are so excited for our move in May!

Here are some pictures from our visit:

This interior unit is our elevation, but we don't know what color our shutters and door will be yet.
Our homesite with foundation walls
Back view of our homesite
Our block with the foundation walls poured
The March delivery homes have most of the exterior complete now
The entrance to our community
So much work has been done since we signed our purchase agreement in October!  It's amazing!

Friday, January 23, 2015

We received our first update

Last night my husband and I received our first construction update email from our PM.  By the end of the day today, all of our foundation walls will be poured for our house and the other houses on our block.  Next week the plumbers will work on all of the underground plumbing and connections. Our PM even included a picture of the work in the email.  We're really looking forward to driving by the homesite tomorrow.

Work on our house

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our First Change Post Pre-Construction

Well, we already changed our mind on one of the things in our house after the pre-construction meeting, and our project manager accommodated our change with no problem.  I think he is going to be great to work with over the next few months.  

Our change: We are getting a light prewire put in our morning room area since we'll be using this as our dining room and want to add a chandelier.  Originally, we thought it would look good if it was centered between the two walls.  Then we saw the picture below and decided to change the location to centered between the end of the door and the wall.  I think this will look much better, and it won't block access to the deck.

Anyway, I am getting really excited to get our update from the PM tomorrow, and I can't wait to see what's been done on our homesite this weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting Follow-up

Since I only did a relatively quick post after our pre-construction meeting, I want to go through some of the questions we asked our PM during the meeting along with his answers.
  • What are the anticipated dates for the pre-drywall meeting and settlement?  There aren't any tentative dates yet, but it should be in 8-9 weeks and possibly longer depending on the weather.  We'll get an email from our PM 2 weeks before the pre-drywall to set up the meeting.  He anticipates that settlement will be about 6-7 weeks after the pre-drywall meeting.
  • We want to bring our own home inspector to the pre-drywall meeting and the pre-settlement walk through.  How should we coordinate this?  Once we select a home inspector we should send their license and insurance information to our PM, so that the inspector can be approved by Ryan Homes to be allowed in the house while it is still under construction.  Our PM needs this information at least a week in advance.  He also said that he would schedule our pre-drywall in the morning and then our inspector could come through with us that afternoon.
  • Can we visit the homesite whenever we want?  Yes, we just have to call in advance.  24 hours notice is best.  Our PM wants us to visit as often as we want, so that we really feel like we are part of the process.
  • Will we get updates throughout the construction process?  Yes, our PM will either call or email us weekly with updates on what was completed during the past week and what is scheduled for the upcoming week.  
  • How many steps will there be to our front door?  Our PM anticipates that there will be 1-2 steps, and if there are 2 steps they will be spaced out (one closer to the sidewalk and one closer to our door).  He does not want to have to put up a railing since it changes the look of the front of the house.
  • Are there any exterior outlets and where are they located?  Yes.  There will be an outlet by the front door, an outlet on the deck, and an outlet out back by the AC.
  • Are there any exterior lights? Yes, there will be a light on the deck and a light by the front door.
  • Will there be drywall in the garage? Yes
  • Will there be outlets in the garage?  Yes
  • Can we put a deadbolt on the garage door? No, because that has the door is according to the plan and can't be changed. Our PM said he will give us contact information for a handyman that can install a deadbolt in our door after settlement.
  • Can we move the recessed lights above the island so they are centered?  (We plan to replace the recessed lights with pendant lights after we move-in.)  No, because there is a joist that runs over where we want to move the lights.  Our PM said we can revisit this during pre-drywall in case there ends up being a way to make the lights more centered.
  • Can we pick our own slab of granite?  No, but there shouldn't be too much variation in the slabs.
  • Is there an outlet on the kitchen island?  Yes, there are two outlets on the island.  One will be on either end.
  • Is it possible to move the attic access to the closet? No, because there isn't enough space in the closet.
  • Can you change the wire shelving in the laundry room so that we can put in a stackable washer and dryer set?  Yes
  • Where is the thermostat located? On the wall between the stairs on the main floor.
We also went over the placement of all of our prewires and all of our options.  During the meeting we went floor by floor.  Our PM gave us details on what would be on each floor and gave us a chance to ask questions.  

The only question we still have is what color the exterior siding and shutters will be.  Our sales rep has been calling the main office daily to try to get us this information, but the designer for the community still has not yet decided on the color scheme for our block.  We know it will be something neutral and it is our only minor issue so far, so it is not really bothering us.  Overall, we are really happy with our entire Ryan Homes experience so far.  We can't wait to stop by our homesite this weekend to check on the progress!  

Monday, January 19, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting Complete

We had our pre-construction meeting today, and we found out that they broke ground already and put in the footers. We thought that construction would probably start before our meeting since we waited a couple weeks to schedule it until we had a day off.  It was so exciting to see that construction already started!  From here on, our project manager will be sending us weekly updates.

This was the first time we met our project manager and he was very helpful. He answered all of our questions and was willing to accommodate us with some special requests such as moving the shelving in the laundry room so that we can put in a stackable washer and dryer set. He was very open to us bringing our own inspector to the predrywall and presettlement meetings. He also said we can stop by the homesite whenever as long as we call in advance.

We were really happy to see all of the progress in the community while we were there. There was another set of Strauss homes finished and one almost done. The condo models were also opened and another condo building was going up. The playground was complete too. We can't wait to see how far along the community is when we move in May. 

Our homesite
The footers on our lot
The alley behind our homesite with other Strauss town homes 
Newly built Andrew Carnegie NVHomes 
More Andrew Carnegie NVHomes 
New building of condos
More views of the other Strauss town homes in the community
More views of the other Strauss town homes in the community

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting on Monday

We have our pre-construction meeting on Monday morning, and we are very excited to finally meeting our project manager.  We're hoping that the PM will be laid back and let us stop by the house to check on the progress.  We live about a half hour away from the community so we will only be able to stop by on the weekends, but we are really looking forward to seeing our house being built.  I plan to take a lot of pictures of the building process and post them here.  I can't wait to move in to our first home in May!

We also cannot wait to see all of the progress in the community when we go in for our meeting.  Our community, Greenbelt Station, is a mix of NV Homes Andrew Carnegie townhomes, Ryan Homes Strauss and Strauss Attic townhomes, and Ryan Homes Matisse and Picasso condos.  The community will also have a park, a playground, and walking paths.  

Last time we stopped by the community was in December and they had almost completed the first building of condos.  They were also working on two blocks of Strauss townhomes with delivery dates in January and March and one block of Andrew Carnegie townhomes.  The playground was also almost done being built.

This time the condo models are going to be open and we plan on stopping by those.  The playground and some of the townhomes will also probably be complete or nearly complete.  It is amazing seeing how quickly the community is coming together!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Construction to begin in the next two weeks

We just got an email from our sales rep that construction will begin on our house in the next two weeks!  We are working with our sales rep to set up our pre-construction meeting with the project manager.  We will likely be meeting with the project manager on the 19th since we are both off work that day.  So far everyone we have worked with through Ryans Homes, NVR, and their subcontractors have been so helpful, and we can't wait to finally meet our project manager.