Showing posts with label Orchard springs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Orchard springs. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lumber and Framing

We received a call from our PM this morning that the lumber was dropped at our site first thing this morning and that the framing would begin at noon.  We've heard from others that once the lumber gets dropped, the house would begin to go up quickly, and boy were they right!!!

Pending weather, we should have a roof on the house by next Wednesday.

We have the beginnings of our house!

Photo from our PM - Lumber Dropped in the AM

Framing Begins!
Looking through the Garage
Looking from the Backyard to the Back of the Home
Morning Room to Left
Left side of House - Stairwell Window Framed
Morning Room and Basement Window
Window's and Doors  - Kind of strange, just laying in the open
Panoramic View

Friday, August 29, 2014

Waterproofed and Backfilled!

Waterproofing - check
Backfilling - check
Meeting neighbors - check


Our foundation had the Geo-Mat waterproofing installed on Thursday the 21st.  Things seem to be progressing pretty well.  When we visited our lot, we noticed that there seemed to be some water collecting in the ditch.  We asked our PM about this and he advised that this was normal.  We did receive some rain a few days earlier, so hoping that it is in fact normal and nothing to worry about.  

After the waterproofing, we were advised that the foundation inspection would occur on Monday the 25th and they would backfill on Tuesday.

Geo-Mat Waterproofing

Some water in the ditch

Waterproofing on Left Side


The inspection must have passed because when we arrived at our home on Tuesday, the backfilling was complete!  We are starting to get a good idea on the size of our home and the layout of our yard.  Our backyard looks like it will be a decent size but not overwhelmingly big, so we're pretty excited about that. Patio...  Built-in Grill.... Firepit....  Golf putting green.....  One can dream.

Backfilled - Front

Backfilled - Garage 


Yup, that's the basement

We also had a chance to meet our neighbors on our visit.  They seem really nice and friendly so we are happy about that!  They moved in a few months ago and have not had any issues thus far.  They mentioned that our PM was great with them and we've been feeling the same way with the communication that we've been getting from him.  We also talked a little bit about the development and how nice it would be if they didn't go ahead with the 2nd phase and we just had the trees behind us!

Lumber gets dropped on Tuesday, September 2nd, and framing is to start that day or the day after.  That's all for now folks.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Whole Lot of Updates!

We are long overdue for an update on the progress of our construction of our Ryan Homes Venice at Orchard Springs!  Time has quickly flown by and we can see how easy it is to put off the blog updates!  This post should bring us up to date to where we are currently at in the construction process.

Over the last 4 weeks, the following has happened:

  • Pre-Construction Meeting
  • Waiting on the Permit
  • Clearing the Lot of Trees
  • Digging the Hole!
  • Footers
  • Foundation

Pre-Construction Meeting

Our Pre-Construction meeting was on July 30th and went without a hitch.  The meeting took us just about 2 hours at a nearby development model home/sales office.  We were offered the option to drive to our lot to see it staked out, but declined due to time constraints, plus it would be really hard to visualize the lot with all of the trees still there.  

Our PM (with Ryan Homes since 2005) and our SR went through our Venice model plans and we reviewed and verified each of the options that we selected.

A summary of some of the things we discussed/reviewed during our meeting:
  • Our Venice model is a Version 5 model
    • Includes a few different/added features from the previous version, one of which is the french doors in the morning room.
  • Estimated Start Date August 11th
    • Pending Permits which were with the County
  • Estimated Completion will be October 28th - plus or minus 2 weeks
  • Trees will be removed once Ryan Homes purchases the lot (we did not know that Ryan Homes didn't own the lots)
  • We get to choose our Santa Cecilia granite slabs for the Kitchen
  • We are unable to widen our driveway due to the building plans already being approved
  • We asked about raising the dryer vent and our PM said that he would check on this
  • Our basement will have an additional recessed light install in the area where the plumbing would have been pre-plumbed - we are getting this corner completely finished
  • Our PM recommended a few things for us for when we move-in
    • Battery Back-Up Sump Pump
    • Generator
    • Dehumidifier
    • Painting the garage with a sealing paint
    • To wait at least a year before we have a patio installed due to foundation shifting (makes sense but wondering if this is something that we really have to wait on)

Thus far, our PM has since been great with communication and we are hoping that this continues through the process. He has kept us well informed on the status of our permit (which was delayed by the County), when they would be digging, when the footers would be poured, when the foundation would go up, etc.  He also was accommodating and text-ed us pictures of our dig when we were out of town.

Construction Timeline through 8/21/14

  • 8/11/14 - Trees Removed from Lot
  • 8/14/14 - Permit Received and Digging Begins
  • 8/15/14 - Footers Poured
  • 8/18/14 - Foundation up

Our lumber isn't expected to be dropped until September 2nd.  We were told that after the foundation is up, things will slow down a bit until the framing begins.  They are going to try to complete items such as waterproofing and starting the plumbing so that the timeline can stay on track as much as possible.  Our PM has mentioned several times that he is committed to building us a quality home and that will not push things just to meet timelines, which is why he gave us a plus or minus 2 weeks for completion.  

Size Matters?

When we visited our lot after the hole was dug, we were expecting to be WOW'd by this grand, giant hole in the ground, but it looked so small to us!  We know that the Venice isn't the biggest model out there - but we liked it due to having the most usable space of any model we saw. With the finished basement, it is just about 2,900 sq ft, and the size of the hole definitely looks deceiving.  We went to visit another Venice model just to make ourselves feel better about the size and set up of the home, which we have confirmed is perfect and plenty big for us!

Less than 3 months before we have a new home!

Orchard Springs Development News

In the last 4 weeks from our last update, the last 2 lots have been sold!  All 22 lots in Phase I at Orchard Springs have been sold out!  Right now it appears that Phase II will not begin until Spring 2015.  So we can enjoy the trees that are currently in our backyard until they start construction!

Now for a few Pictures!

Before - With Trees
After - No Trees! - And a Port-a-Potty
Digging Action
Dug out Dirt
It's a Hole!
Our Basement - Looks Small!
Footers Poured
Rear Right Side
Start of a House
Right Rear
Santa Cecilia - Kitchen Slab 1
Granite Kitchen Slab 2

Sunday, July 13, 2014

No More Changes and a Field Trip!

This morning we signed our final change order for the items we added with Guardian and signed our waiver to make any additional changes.  It's crazy to think that 30 days have already gone by since we signed our purchase agreement!  Our options and selections are now locked in and our Road Map / Pre-Construction meeting is set for July 30th.  Things seem to be moving pretty smoothly so far and we're hoping that it continues this way.  Anxiety dreams have already started with thoughts of our movers damaging our walls and tracking mud and debris on our new carpets and hardwood!  It's way too early in the process to start having these dreams!

Here's an aerial view of our development. This photo is more recent than Google Maps which only shows 4 homes constructed.

Orchard Springs - Our Future Home!
After signing our change addendum and waiver paperwork, we decided to take a trip south towards Canton to a Ryan Homes development called Emerald Estates, located in Jackson Township, since they have a decorated Venice Model.  It was about an hour away, however it was worth the trip.  This model had a lot of upgrades compared to the local Venice model that we saw and included a lot of the options that we selected for our home.  It is also built in the non-reversed plan (what we have) which allowed us to get a really good feeling of how our new home will be laid out!

We were excited to see that this model had the same cabinet color (Cherry Java) and hardwood flooring (Dundee / Saddle) that we selected for our home!  It also had the hardwood instead of the carpet in the living room, hallway, and powder room that we upgraded to as well.  We love the color combination and are extremely happy with our decision!

Kitchen w/ Cherry Java Cabinets and Saddle Hardwood

Another Kitchen Photo Showing the Cabinet and Flooring Combination

Looking into the Morning Room

Saddle Hardwood in the Foyer, Hallway, Powder Room

Hallway from Foyer

Living Room with Hardwood.  We will be using this as a Dining Room

This model has the upgraded kitchen with the built-in cook top and double wall oven, which looks pretty amazing.  It also includes the glass inserts in the cabinets above the microwave.  We like this look, but talking to the SR at the model, he said that there have been some issues with condensation and difficulty with cleaning it.  Still looks really nice though...

We didn't really know how awesome the upgraded kitchen set-up is, it wasn't discussed during our upgrade selection conversations, and we didn't see it on our options list that we received.  This probably would've priced us way over budget anyways, but if we saw this model before we made final decisions on our selections, we just might have splurged on this....

Double Oven and Fridge Surrounded by Cabinets/Storage
Turkey in the Bottom and Pies in the Top Oven, that would've made for some convenient holidays!

Glass Inserts in the Cabinets above the Microwave

The basement in this model was pretty spectacular as well. The standard option that we received is to finish half of the basement with the unfinished side being a storage area located under the kitchen and morning room.  This basement had a non-standard custom upgrade to finish the ENTIRE basement!  We have already started to kick around ideas of making this a future upgrade to our home and having this area finished.  While it removes some of the storage area, it does make for some really great livable space.

"Bigger" Side of Basement

Looking into the Non-Standard finished Basement
Area that would typically be a non-finished storage area.
Pretty Awesome!

We saw some good decorating ideas (Ryan Homes really does a nice job staging its models) and we are really excited about getting our new home started!  Today's visit to this model really reinforced to us that we made the right decision on the Venice Model and we can't wait to start building our home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NVR Loan Appointment

On the 18th we met with the NVR loan officer at the Orchard Springs model/sales office to go over our loan application.  We emailed the majority of our loan documents to him prior to the meeting utilizing the checklist that was provided to us.  We were assigned a loan officer from another territory because the one typically assigned to the area was busy.

Our appointment was scheduled for 5:30, however the LO showed up about 45 minutes late because he went to the wrong community and got lost on the way.  Not a huge issue for us, he did call us to let us know that he was running late, and it gave us a few minutes to chat with both the sales manager and project manager who were at the model home.

Our project manager let us know that he has been with Ryan Homes for about 9 years and currently lives in a Ryan home in a neighboring community.  He answered a few basic questions for us before our LO arrived.  We look forward to working with him, we feel like we are in good hands.

Our LO was friendly and extremely thorough with the application process.  He provided us with a lot of valuable information and made the process as easy and painless as possible for us.  It was a looooonnng process but should hopefully make underwriting and approving our loan an easy one.  It took us about 3 and a half hours to get through all of the documentation and completion of the application.  We were only missing a few documents that we need to get together and was told that the typical time frame for a decision will be about 28 days.

Overall, despite being a long process, we left feeling good knowing that we got this part out of the way.  And now we wait...

Friday, June 13, 2014

Location, location, location

Our initial plan was to purchase a house within the next one to two years, however we stumbled across an amazing area and dream location that we couldn't pass up. The development is located in a small township with preservation easements surrounding the area.  The quiet and semi-rural feel in a smaller development is just what we were looking for and we fell in love with it instantly.

Phase 1 of the development consists of 22 lots, we chose lot 22 which was one of the last three lots available in the development. Phase 2 will bring another 27 or so lots beginning in the fall and this will be the last phase of the development.

Phase 1

One of Nora's requirements for our home was to be able to look out our back yard and be able to see the trees and have a bit of tranquility while drinking her coffee in the morning. While there will be a home behind us, the layout of the development and the preservation easements will still provide us with a nice view of nature.

We are paying are paying a premium for this development, homes here are about 20% higher than similar models in neighboring Ryan developments, however we envision ourselves hopefully living here for the rest of our lives and the location is well worth it.

A lot of trees that will need to be removed from our lot!  Doesn't look like much right now.

Our Lot!  #22!

The corner lot will provide us with a nice sized yard that we will be able to take advantage of. Since the road leading to the development is out of the way and will only be used by those living or visiting the development, we don't have the typical corner lot concerns if we lived on a major road.

We took both sets of our parents through the neighborhood and they like the area as much as we do.

We are already envisioning how we want to design our landscaping that will provide us with just a bit more privacy in our backyard. A lot of fun projects to come!

Meeting our SR and Decisions

We met with a very nice and very pregnant SR who provided us with a lot of great information on the homes and developments in the area.  She was extremely friendly and patient with us and was able to answer all of the questions that we had.

When we were reviewing floor plans, we were initially looking for a floor plan with a first floor bedroom (Nora's thought that if our parents needed to stay, if she broke a leg, or for when we were old and gray and too fragile and gimpy to walk up the stairs to our bedroom). We didn't want a ranch style home and the SR provided us a few different options with the first floor option for us to review.

As we talked through the floor plans, we ended up deciding that a first floor bedroom wasn't necessary and that it made sense to both of us that we would move forward without it. When we get old, fragile, and gimpy we will just get one of those sweet rideable roller coasters (stair lifts) for old people to take us up the stairs.

Sweet Ride
We liked the Palermo with the first floor home office and that was the model that we thought we would be selecting after leaving the office that day.

After taking some more time to look through all of the floor plans that were available, we decided that the Venice would be a better fit for our needs.  The bedrooms are a little bit larger in the Venice and we decided that we didn't need the first floor home office.  To us, the design and layout, is perfect with a lot of usable space and will be big enough to for us to grow into and start a family.

With the morning room and finished basement we would be looking at about 3,000 sqft of usable living space and is perfect for our current and future living situation.

Venice 1st Floor

Venice 2nd Floor

Venice Basement

Our journey begins!

Hey, look at us! Sold!

So, we bought a house!!!  Purchase agreement signed and initial options selected on Friday the 13th!  We are both excited about our journey towards building our home with Ryan Homes.

Throughout our decision to build with Ryan Homes,  we spent time reviewing blogs and taking advice by other Ryan Home owners and have decided to also share and document our experiences with the home building process.

2014 has been a great, busy, and memorable year for us. Newly engaged, starting a new and exciting job, and now building a new home!

Join us on what we are hoping is a positive and enjoyable process!  We will document the good, the bad (hopefully minimal or nil), and the ugly (hopefully we don't experience this!)