Friday, August 26, 2016

Week 15 continued: Home Inspection and Final Tweaks

Week 15 continued: August 22-28

To summarize this experience: if you are currently reading this and are on the fence about getting a home it. I think the cost is more than worth the potential headache of issues with your biggest investment.

We've been generally very happy with this building experience. NVR/ Homeside paperwork nightmares were by far the greater pain.  I would say the second-hardest part was second and third-guessing your upgrade selections.

We trust our Sales Rep and our PM. They have proven themselves time and time again. This week they really earned their 10's.

Home Inspector came out to see the house on Tuesday afternoon. He found few problems, but those that he found were pretty big.

1. Dryer vented into the attic.
2. Guest bedroom extra bath vented into the attic.
3. Laundry room overflow tub drain ran into the basement with an open ended pipe in the ceiling.
4. Various water and gas pipes required reinforced/additional/some support brackets.
5. Central floor joist (basement ceiling) was cracked.

#1 and #2 are being taken care of today.
#3 apparently this is just how it's done in the Rome - pipe randomly runs into unfinished part of basement.
#4 Done
#5 Engineer inspected and reports it is within tolerance. Apparently only surface cracking, not requiring sistering, etc. (Not so thrilled about this)

The long list of more cosmetic touch-ups found at our walk-through is also being handled as quickly as possible. Because our PM is awesome.
The cabinet face for the master vanity that was mentioned in the report was scratched, I removed it and switched it out with a new drawer face. It is installed
    Garage panel (was dented/scratched) is being delivered to my contractor on Tuesday and they will switch it out on Wednesday as well as installed a slide lock.
    (Ongoing swampy swale issue to right of house). Swale on right of house, the engineer was out and staked out the swale, my excavator will be out Tuesday/Wednesday to regrade and get the grading right, I will have my landscaper re-seed right after.
    Touch up’s at trim around morning room door and garage door. This will be complete today

    Area of concrete at the back corner of the house that needed to get fixed, the contractor will be out Monday, once he is complete I will have my painter come back and re-paint the stoop, back foundation and the trim around the garage door. (On schedule for Tuesday)

    Bow at the bottom of the front window (gunked up with mortar from stone). This is scheduled for today, will have it complete.

    Hearth at fireplace – vendor came out yesterday and replaced the hearth. It no longer squeaks and it has an even reveal at the shoe molding.

    There were some general touch ups throughout the home (casing in family room, casing @ laundry room, nail pop under rail near fire door etc…) These are all complete.

    We had a question about the shower door and whether or not it was scratched or dirty, it was indeed a scratch so I had them come out and switch the door with a new one. This is complete.

    I switched out the island trim so that it is one solid piece instead of 2 pieces with molding in the middle.

    The island outlet has been switched to black.

    All of the nail holes and trim at the kitchen cabinets have been touched up.

    I have a contractor coming end of day today to go through and touch up all of the hardwood. This guy is really good, so it took me a little longer to schedule him.

    There was one hardwood board that needs to be replaced, I talked to Coleman floors and they have the hardwood on order, they’re hoping it is here by Monday and they can switch it out.

    There was a scratched cabinet in the kitchen. We use a guy that can refinish cabinets and make them look brand new, I’m in contact with him now to schedule him to come out, shooting for early next week. There were also 2 cabinets that didn’t soft close properly, these have been fixed.

      These fixes are in addition to the wrong appliances issue we found at our walkthrough. Our SR worked with her bosses to get us the correct ones (one level up) at no additional charge. Still not sure what or how that mix-up happened, but thrilled it will be resolved; hopefully while we're at closing Monday morning!

      As of right now, we plan on going to closing at 11am, then heading to the house to enjoy it for a bit before probably making Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Homegoods, etc. etc. and several Lowes/ HD runs. Fridge delivery is scheduled from between 4-8 Monday night.  Movers, washer/dryer, and new furniture deliveries are scheduled for Tuesday. I'm exhausted and thrilled just thinking about it.

      Also - we received our CD from NVR/Homeside yesterday, and thank the lord, we need to bring about $5k less than estimated to the table. We'll work on the cashier's check or wire transfer this weekend to get that squared away.

      People! This is really happening!

    Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    Week 15: Pre-Settlement Walk-Through

    Week 15: August 22-28
    Days 99 - 105

    8.22 (Day 99) was our scheduled pre-settlement walkthrough. We brought our realtor, sick (and loopy) kiddo, and builder friend to be more eyes; which surely overwhelmed our poor Ryan PM.

    We started in the kitchen and the PM walked me (and occasionally Hubs as he swung by with random concerns/questions), through the whole warranty and demo spiels, including the prep-talk about the all-important survey. I'll only note the variations from everyone else's walk-through notes I've read on other blogs.
    1. No more binder - we got a flash drive that contains all of that info.
    2. No 30-day walkthrough, now it's a 3 week critical systems/ issues check by the PM. The explanation is that they want us to start using the Service website/phone for everything.
    3. No painting on our own or drywall certificate (valid for 13 months) is voided. I pushed back with what I've been reading elsewhere (you can paint your own but they will only paint back to builder color), but PM was absolute.

    Minor issues found all over the place; hopefully most will be easy fixes in this last week before we close. The biggest outstanding concern is that the appliance are wrong. I noticed it in the pics Hubs snuck last week, but of course, couldn't say anything about that until we did a sanctioned walk-through.

    I was able to pull up an email from our SR on my phone, and forwarded it to the PM immediately. Her email containing appliances included a "gas on glass" cooktop, hidden control dishwasher, and well-rated double ovens and microwave. Ours may have been the lowest-end stainless options, and quick searches of their model numbers indicated older models with less-than-stellar reviews. Hopefully this will be resolved quickly and easily....

    We kept a running list of all still-needed fixes that we and the PM both signed off on. Hopefully everything made it on that list...
    For peace of mind, we hired an independent home inspector to check out the house the afternoon of 8.24. We'll give our PM that report as well, and I suppose, add any items found to that formally documented punch-list.

    On the NVR (Homeside) front, I still haven't seen paperwork for the 15% loan...or anything regarding final closing costs/ amount of check needed at closing.
    They did send a paper copy of lock-in verification for the 80% loan on 8/22. I didn't know to expect that, as I thought we had taken care of all of it electronically. Sigh.

    It was such a crazy visit we didn't take any new pics (also because nothing has changed much since the sneaky visit a few days prior).

    The end is SO close!!

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016

    Week 14: Making it Prettier

    Week 14 - August 15 - 21, 2016

    Days 92 - 98

    Not much to report. It was more prettifying all week in preparation for our pre-settlement walk-through on 8/22.
    Hubs snuck in (open front door) on 8/18. Pics!
    Day 95 Front door view

    Day 95 kids bath

    Day 95 living room and dining room

    Day 95 Dining Room with corrected hallway ceiling drywall.
    Day 95 Kitchen View #1
    Day 95 Kitchen View #2
    Day 95  Kitchen View #3. How awesome is the custom oven move to the empty wall?
    Thank you bloggers who originally made that request!
    Day 95 Powder Room
    Day 95 Family Room with Study (playroom) door to the right.
    Day 95 Family Room View #2
    Day 95 View from master bedroom into bath and my WIC.
    Note the "accidental-on-purpose" door swing change.
    Day 95 Master Vanity
    Day 95  Master WC - teeny tiny!!
    Day 95 Master tub & shower with seat.

    Day 95 (Crappy) Landscaping and hydroseed!

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Week 13: Making it Pretty

    Week 13 - August 8 - 14, 2016

    Days 85 - 91

    8/8 - text PM to ask for pics of newly installed appliances (crickets - turns out he was on vacay)
    8/13 - Door unlocked = surprise visit!
     So, we were sad that we wouldn't get to see any progress this week. But an invite to a friend's pool in the area meant a drive by/ door try. We were met with unexpected success!
    We ran through the house really fast, but managed to notice the following changes (stay tuned for pics):
    • Floors uncovered - looks amazing, but now nervous about them getting damaged!
    • Appliances installed - need to check these for accuracy. I thought we were getting "gas on glass", and we saw gas on stainless.
    • Cabinets swapped out for correct finish
    • Laundry-room door swing changed (YAY!)
    • Banister stained
    • 1 coat of paint on front door
    • Interior & exterior door handles installed
    • Yard grading
    • Toilets installed
    • Corrected cabinet and side panels around fridge opening
    Still to be done
    • Missing handles on garage door
    • Replace/repair dented garage door (a new find)
    • More coats of paint on the front door
    • Door swing on master bath
    • Drywall repairs noted previously (didn't check on these)
    • Landscaping & hydro seed (sigh)
    • Cleaning (obviously)
    • Final painting
    What else....
    • We finally locked in the interest rate on our 80% mortgage (doing an 80/15/5), but are still waiting for the paperwork on the 15% one...
    • We ordered our new king bed and bedroom set (moving up from a queen!)
    • Submitted my company's internet service request form (they pay for our access!)
    • Still need to order a fridge, coffee/side tables for the family room, our daughter's "big girl bed", etc. etc. 
    • Need to call the utilities about switching over
    • Need to call Guardian about final stuff. Not sure what this is for, but we were told to do this at our pre-drywall meeting, and I'm already a week late....oops.
    • Shop for rugs, blinds, curtains, garage door opener, dehumidifier, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. (basically, hemorrhage money).

    Our pre-settlement walk-through is scheduled for Monday (8/22) at 2pm.
    People. This is really happening!

    Monday, August 8, 2016

    Week 12: Floors, Appliances, Touch-Up Work

    Week 12 - August 1 - 7, 2016


    Days 78 - 84

    • Hardwood floors & carpets installed - 8/1-8/3
    • Appliances arrive - 8/4
    • Drywall spackling/ touch ups (everything is pink!)
    • Sprayed inside of main vents black (instead of shiny)
    • Bathroom fixtures hung (TP holders, towel racks, etc.)
    • Shower surround in master bath installed
    • Shower curtain rods hung in hall & guest bath
    • Faucets installed everywhere.

    We asked our PM for a walk-through on Wednesday afternoon. It was GREAT to see the progress, and our floors in particular. I love them!! Wish we could have seen the appliances, but we were a day too early. We measured for blinds and took a few pics (see below).
    Work definitely feels slower now that it's detail stuff and not drastic changes.
    We caught a few new fixes:
    • Cable outlet was faced into the loft, when it should have faced into bedroom #3.
    • Long towel bar hung in powder room (had requested it be left off). I don't understand why they install a full towel bar in a powder room. It should be a ring or short bar. So silly.
    • Move TP holder in master WC from next to toilet to on opposite wall.
    • Carpet transitions between rooms obvious in a couple of places - you can see the cuts.
    • Front living room window is being bowed up pretty severely by mortar globs on the stone.
    And a few remain that PM added to/kept on his list:
    • Banged up kitchen cabinets
    • Still wrong vanities in hall and guest baths
    • Door swings of laundry room and master bath need to be reversed
    • Crooked ceiling drywall in pantry hallway (between kitchen & dining room)
    • Horrendous drywall gap and blobs of spackle around front door light switch
    • bowed drywall above loft windows
    • white outlet cover on espresso island
    Some general stuff I don't love, but can't do anything about:
    • Front door has no trim, and a plain white kickplate. Snore.
    • Strange undersized garage carriage lights
    • We paid for upgraded padding in study. It does not feel upgraded in the least.
    • Ugly/cheap-looking window in front door
    • Meh about the stone selection

    One happy note: PM demonstrated that electrician was able to accommodate my wiring request to control front porch and garage lights from the same place inside the front door. Yay PM!

    Day 8: Dining Room and floors! Note the raised box molding to accommodate higher baseboards we'll install ourselves. Resolution to that ugly issue!

    Day 80: Entry View with bonus shots of hubs and PM + So.many.boob lights.

    Master Bath light fixture - not a big fan

    Day 80: Master shower. BIG fan!

    Day 80: The Glorious Tub!

    Day 80: Study with "upgraded" carpet and pad

    Monday, August 1, 2016

    Week 11: Stone, House Number, AC, NVR Hell, and Some Happy News

    Week 11 - July 25 - July 31, 2016


    Days 71 - 77
    • House locked up!
    • 7/26 - Stone on front of house
    • 7/27 - AC starts up
    • 7/29 - Hardwoods supposed to be installed (nope)
    • PM tasks: switching swing on master bath and laundry room doors, checking island placement for oven door clearance

    • Cabinet delivery scheduled for 8/8
      • Cabinet touch-up (trim, replacement for dinged up pieces, etc.)
      • Switch out of hall and guest bath oak vanities for correct Fairfield Wheat

    This week was LAME. We had to rely on pics from neighbors and friends -and only from the outside.
    We're assuming the AC was started up per our PM's note, but can't confirm.
    We did drive up to see the house on Saturday afternoon, but found it completely locked up. Hubs did pry up the garage door, but found the inside door locked too.  He did peek through the windows to confirm that there were no hardwoods in sight. Sigh. I so desperately wanted to say something that sounds a lot like "My Rold Too Go", but bit my tongue.

    NVR Hell. We are so there. The ongoing and constant requests (and re-re-requests) for documents has never really stopped or slowed. This week was particularly brutal. If I get asked to send a letter confirming that I have full access to the funds in our JOINT CHECKING ACCOUNT, ONE more time, I'm going to lose it. I've literally uploaded that stupid letter 3-4x since February or March. To say nothing of the documentation required to support Hub's freaking paycheck deposits. Insanity.

    Time for some happy news. You recall me complaining about not feeling well for my last several posts? Well, there's a good reason for all of my misery. We're having another baby Fab. (S)he is due February 5. Munchie is over the moon about being a big sister. However, she has a stipulation that the baby is only allowed to be a girl. A girl named "Princess Allie Aurora."  I told her I would do my best. So the bedroom closest to ours/ next to the hall bath has been claimed.

    I hope everyone else is enjoying their build experience. If you need me, I'll be curled up on the bathroom floor in our friends' house; praying for the nausea to pass and Ryan to finish the damn house soon.

    Day 73: Stone Being Installed