Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week 12: The Penultimate Week

Well  the home stretch is here.  Week 12 was the week to finish everything up.  Appliances, the deck, time for HVAC inspections, Energy Star inspection, etc.  and that was including some staff off for hunting season.  The one thing that our PM has made sure of was that everything was on schedule.  The entire time our closing date has only fluctuated by 1 day in either direction.  Impressive!   As for the neighborhood, they sold a few lots across the street, and now only have 3 lots left.  The one I'm not sure you could even fit a house on it, but there must be one specific layout that thy can squeeze on there.

As for the movers, we're going the Penske route and hiring loading / unloading help for the pieces that I have no idea how to get down and into the truck.  Definitely better than straight movers, but I'm not sure that the moving truck will be able to back into the driveway where we live now.  I'm sure with some creative angles we'll make it work.

Next week is closing (December 14th).  The only thing the PM has on the schedule is our pre-settlement demonstration and some final inspections and touch up work.  Then settlement on Friday.  NVR asked for our latest paystubs so I think that's the last from them.  I'll leave everyone with an outside shot with the sod in place.  Next post the house will be ours, and I'll try my best to fill up my allotted storage! ; )

Friday, December 7, 2012

Week 11: On the Turn for Home...

Week 11 is another week where we couldn't get out to the job site.  Trying to handle life's logistical challenges is making visiting our future home difficult, but we're in the home stretch so hopefully things will start to sort themselves out.  Inside we had the stone fireplace completed, the finish electrical complete and the finish plumbing work started.  As for the outside, the deck construction began (finally!).  Since it was also the opening of deer hunting season, some natural staffing delays were to be expected, but it was figured into our project plan anyway. 

We're trying to figure out how we're moving our belongings to the new home as it's not a "local move", however the furniture only quotes we've received so far seem pretty pricey.  If it wasn't for a few large items on the second floor I would attempt it myself entirely, but unfortunately I'm not sure of another way to get those items moved.

We're also into the final re-checks for our finances with NVR, and have begun to set up the transfer of ownership in utilities into our name.  December 14th is coming up fast!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Locked In and Appliance Time Part 1

Well we finally locked in our rate.  In our area for some reason their rate options never actually had one where we had 0 points.  Either we got a 1/2 point credit to take the higher of the two rates, or pay a 1/2 point for the lower rate.  In our instance the break even point was about 7 years between the two options.  If we stay more than 7 years paying the 1/2 point would be more economical but if we stay / not refi less than 7 years, taking the 1/2 point credit is the way to go.  All in all with the rates so low over 30 years it ends up being less than 2% of the principal, so we took the 1/2 point credit.  I'm not one for paying for points in general, so that also affected our outcome.  I just wanted to get those details out there for anyone else about ready to hit the lock-in phase.

As for appliances, we ended up buying our washer / dryer on a Cyber Monday deal at Home Depot.  We got a LG Steam washer and dryer for about 25% off each, and scheduled delivery right on the web for the Monday after closing.  As for the refrigerator after looking at all of the options out there, we settled on a new Whirlpool french door refrigerator that was on sale, but for only 14% off or so at Lowes.  Since the sale wasn't the best we decided to hold off until the moving coupon I signed up for shows up in my inbox.  That leads me into my quick tip:

There are moving coupons you can pick up at your local post office to help you get settled into your new neighborhood.  Just stop in and pick one up.  These deals include coupons for Lowes and Home Depot.  These retailers also have an e-sign up for basically these same coupons (Lowes has 10% off!).  Just do a google search for the retailer and moving coupon and it should be at the top of the results.

My next post I plan on talking about movers / moving options.  Needless to say so far I'm surprised at what's been cheaper than other options, but I have more research to do.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Week 10: Finish Electrical and inside pics!

Well Week 10 we got a chance to go inside and take some pictures of the progress.  We stopped in on the way to family across the state, so definitely some logistics involved but we got there.  Finish electrical is the big item this week, so on to the pictures!

Sidewalk is done!
Porch still waiting for columns...
Lamp post and garage lights done
All graded before the deck construction starts
Those porch columns and other supplies

Family room moving right along

The stone work should start this week
Kitchen just needs appliances!
Santa Cecelia making its entrance

Just a shot with the granite, cabinets, and tile selection together.  Gas stove where are you?
Morning room looking good

View of the patio door and more morning room

Dining room almost there (ran out of trim!)

Living room

Master bath shower  Soap dish blends in (no white!) 

The rest of the master bath.  Hopefully no cracks under that debris

Master bedroom.  FYI if you have a king bed it can only really fit on the right wall, not centered in between the windows.

Our attic access hatch in the 4th bedroom (office)

Office / BD4 window.  Only really odd window placement in the house, and it's due to the morning room roof sloping in on the left of that opening.

Bedroom 3 in the front of the house

Bedroom 2 in the back corner of the house

Hall bathtub

The bonus room.  It's BIG.

I told you it's big.

Entry into bonus room from loft
2nd story foyer, loft on the left.

Looking down from the 2nd story

 Like I said, a lot of progress, and more finish work to come.  Guardian has to compete their connectivity work, plumbers have finish plumbing, appliances need to come in, flooring (carpet / hardwood) needs to be installed, as well as the power company hooking up the meter so the HVAC testing / tuning can be completed and everything checked out.  Should be a busy final few weeks before close!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Week 9: More inside work and a new toy

Well like I thought Week 9 has no pictures.  I was at a conference all week and couldn't get over to the house at the end of the week.  What did happen was the concrete sidewalks, step, and porch were poured, and the asphalt driveway first coat was laid down outside.  Inside, the second painting was done (just a hint of neutral color throughout, a RH district thing), cabinets and countertops are complete, and the tile work is all done.

Honestly I was a little surprised about the asphalt because I never got a call from my PM about where our pipe chase under the driveway was supposed to be, and of course it didn't get done.  The only thing I had in mind was the invisible dog fence, but I think we may be going the wrought iron look in the backyard anyway.  The more important pvc special work (pipe chase) got done inside, so no big worries unless anyone has an idea that I forgot.

In other news, at the conference I won a Microsoft Surface RT Tablet with Touch Cover at a vendor booth.  I'm actually typing up this post from it, and so far so good.  The keyboard spacing takes a bit more to get used to than changing laptops due to no large bumps on the cover, but I'm starting to get the hang of it.

Week 10 we will actually be able to go inside and take a look around.  Finish electrical is on the list as well as some touch up trim work and possibly some final plumbing, porch work, and other flooring.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Week 8: Siding Complete, Drywall Paint, and Tile

Week 8 had some outside activity but most of it was under lock and key inside as the drywall got some mud and a first coat of paint inside, tile work began in the kitchen and the bathrooms, cabinets started to be installed and the beginning of trim and railing work started.  Outside, the siding was completed, and forms were put down for our concrete sidewalks.  Only outside pictures this week courtesy of our SR.

You can see the forms outside, as well as the trim siding work on the front.  Also our port-a-john wanted a more prominent role in the blog, so you can see his big entrance on the right!
The siding is all done, and you can see the outdoor components of the HVAC on the far left.
Week 9 will be a short post, I'll be out of town on work all week, and with not much on the outside there might not be any photos.  I'll try, but no promises!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Week 7: Drywall, Sandy, Garage Doors, Masonry and Siding!

Week 7 was hectic to say the least.  Sandy came rolling through Monday through Tuesday and there was a lot of conversation between our PM and us pre and post storm.  They had been able to get all of the drywall hung over the weekend for Monday which was great, however when talking with my PM it was looking like the garage doors would not be installed pre-storm.  Later we found out they were able to get the doors installed before the storm hit, fantastic!  The only Sandy damage we had was that some of the house wrap on the left hand side of the house had broken loose and had to be re-done.
The basement was bone dry, no wet drywall, no wet insulation, no big issues.  Needless to say I'm happy that the house weathered the storm pretty well considering we were without power until Friday night at our current place!

The rest of the week had the drywall inspection by the township completed and approved, starting to sand / mud the drywall in preparation for painting next week, finishing of the masonry work on the front of the house and the beginning of siding on the rest of our house. Needless to say they need to fix the wrap before they get to the left side of the house for siding, but it looks to be a pretty quick repair job to get it done.

Masonry work done!

You can see they left their little supply perch in place in the bonus room window

Siding time!

Week 6: Pre-Drywall Inspection, Masonry, and Insulation

Week 6 things kept on chugging, with the HVAC / electrical / low voltage wiring pre-drywall work completed, our pre-drywall inspection, and then insulation and masonry work.  We met with our PM mid-week to review everything in the inspection.  I took a lot of pictures and got heckled by the Mrs. for it.  We don't get the as-built blueprints so it's the last time you can document where any of the wires were ran, why not take a ton of digital pictures, they're cheap!

We also dropped off the pvc for our spare wire chase from the basement to the attic.  Thankfully the Guardian panel is in the basement and not the garage where our electrical panel is.  Unfortunately I completely forgot to ask to put a change in for a sub-panel in the basement before it was too late, so whenever we finish the basement some of that drywall in the garage is going to get cut.  As for the wiring, the Guardian installer must have misinterpreted our changed instructions as he only ran the Cable in the master bedroom to the new spot, and not the phone / data line.  Our PM said it should be a quick fix and that it wouldn't hold up anything.

Later on in the week we had insulation installed and the drywall was ready to be hung into place.

They actually got all of the drywall done between the end of the week and the beginning of Week 7. The big thing was that we finally started getting masonry work outside!

Definitely a busy Week 6!  Week 7 (Sandy Week) had some drama, but we weathered it well.  More details in our Week 7 post!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week 6 Post Delayed... Yay Sandy

So the good news is we're all safe and sound.  Bad news is no power possibly through the weekend.  As for the build, the wiring, pre-drywall inspection, insulation, and drywall were all done by Monday morning before Sandy hit, and I'll detail a bit more on that later.  Unfortunately these three things weren't completed:  a)  masonry work on the front of the house,  b) GARAGE DOORS, c)Sump Pump power.  Our PM secured the job site, however could do nothing about the big garage opening we had to the elements and the subsequent drywall / insulation just installed inside.  I'm almost expecting that there is some drywall / insulation water damage, but am waiting for the PM to give me a post-storm assessment.  The same goes for our previously dry basement w/ sump pump.  Since there was no electricity to the house, I'm presuming that the basement took on water, but to what extent I have no idea at this point.  Again, waiting for the assessment.  I'm not concerned if there is damage, I just want whatever is water-logged replaced.  Last thing anyone wants is mold in their new house.

Hope everyone else fared OK, and I'll keep everyone posted.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week 5: Roof, Wrap, Door, and Wiring

Week 5's update is a little light after the barrage of pictures that Week 4 entailed.  The big thing is that the roofing has been completed, the last of the interior framing should be completed, and that the trades are doing their thing up until our pre-drywall inspection in Week 6.  The lone shot I have for you is our front door is installed!  I know what you're thinking, is that sod for your yard?  Sorry, not mine.  It's for two homes that are about a month or so ahead of ours.  It's still a big "if" depending on the climate if we will get our sod installed before closing or have to wait until spring, but we'll get there when we get there.

On another note, we confirmed with Guardian about our wiring, and with the help of our PM and SR got wall length measurements for our master bedroom.  Needless to say I'm glad we did otherwise our furniture layout wouldn't let us walk to the bathroom from the entry to the bedroom!  So we got everything switched around and we should be in good shape.  Not as dramatic of an entrance to the room, but everything now fits in the space comfortably which is more important.

On to Week 6!

Week 4 Part 3: Windows!

Since our region works on Saturdays as well, we had an added suprise in week 4:  windows!

 The master bedroom / bathroom, and now our fireplace framing is complete!

The garage and bonus room:

Master bath, bedroom 4, family room and morning room patio door: 

The rear of the house all wrapped and ready with windows and a decent amount of shingles done: 

 Bedroom 2, the dining room, and the board covering the egress window:

The patio door frame: 

The entry door and the garage fire door are the last two left:

The stairs to the basement.  Anyone else's stairs have the particle board risers on it like here?  I would think that on an exposed stairs (our basement is unfinished for now) that it would have been solid boards for both. 

The morning room with patio door:

The garage windows: 

The loft / entry windows:

A closer look at the patio door:

All in all one busy busy week!  Week 5 should be the finishing of the roof, as well as all of the trades get in there and get the rough wiring, low voltage wiring, and hvac in place for Week 6 and the all important pre-drywall inspection!