Showing posts with label guardian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guardian. Show all posts

Thursday, October 23, 2014

6 Days Left

Only 6 days left until we close!

We stopped by the house today, our PM has been nice enough to leave the doors unlocked when we ask so we can stop by and get in after work.  We got to see our carpet and hardwood floors and it was exciting to see everything installed.  Our appliances have also been installed and a lot of finishing work is still being done.  Found a few nail pops already in the living room on the TV wall, however really no other issues in the rest of the house.

We also received a call from our PM today that when Guardian came to wire our rear speakers in our basement, they accidentally made the cut outs in the drywall for rear speakers, when we only ordered the rear speaker pre-wires.  Instead of re-dry walling to correct this, our PM was able to work with Guardian to provide rear speakers for us! Only thing that we're a little disappointed with are the location of the speakers.   They aren't exactly evenly placed on the wall, we probably should have done a better job at looking at the locations of these when they did the wiring.  But it's something we can live with and the free speakers were a bonus.

They were able to do a rough grade of the yard today, PM advised they will be coming back out in the spring to have this touched up as well as to have our exterior painting done.  Hoping that the grading does not become an issue and will be something we are looking at closely.

Just a few pictures

Turned the fireplace on - You can see the flame if you look closely

Unfinished storage side of basement
Basement Speakers - Left speaker farther away from the wall than the RIght...

Upstairs bedroom and carpet

Dining room Hardwood
Hallway Hardwood - 12 panel basement door

Cherry Java Cabinets / Santa Cecilia Granite / Dundee Saddle Hardwood

A few nail pops on this wall

Living room Carpeted

Master Bedroom Carpeted

Morning Room Hardwood

Mudroom Hardwood

Gas Range and Microwave

Light to the second floor

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

2 Weeks and Counting

Two weeks left until we have our final walk through and sign our paperwork!

We visited our house today and there's been a lot of progress that has been made but there's a lot more that needs to be completed over the next two weeks.  Not sure how it's all going to get done but our PM has assured us that things are on schedule and it will be completed on time!

  • Some of the updates from our last visit:
    • Most of our trim has been installed
    • HVAC is installed
    • Drywall being finished
    • Banisters are in and are being stained
    • Stone Fireplace is installed
    • Bathroom cabinets installed
    • Master Bathroom Tile Installed
    • Fixtures and shelving are being installed
    • Electrical being installed
    • Siding has started
Granite will be installed tomorrow and our siding and front stone exterior should be done by Friday.

We had a concern about the grading of our yard, since there have been large puddles of water.  Our PM has advised that they will be grading next week and filling in the areas around our house where the ground has settled so that water doesn't pool around the foundation.  Something we'll be keeping an eye on.

Pictures in no particular order:

Master Bedroom - Alarm 

Banister - Stained Cherry

Banister - Not Stained Yet

Banister Going Upstairs

Basement - Rear Speaker Locations

Basement - TV Wall

Stone Fireplace!

Front of House - Pillar Installed



Master Bath 

Master Bedroom

Motion Detector

Nook Wall

Tiled Shower


Smoke Detector

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.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Guardian Update

This morning we met with our Guardian Sales Rep to go over our low voltage wiring selections.  The meeting took about two hours even with the research and preparation we completed. Oddly, the selection of our low voltage wiring was the most challenging part for us so far.  

Wires Wires Wires!

Going into the meeting we had a general idea of the type of selections that we wanted to make.  The other Ryan Home blogs that we have read were very helpful in this process and making it easier to get through this quickly.  

We knew that we wanted:
  • Flat Panel TV pre-wiring for the family room
  • Cable outlets installed in all of the bedrooms
  • Rear surround sound speakers pre-wired for the basement
  • Security System
Our sales rep was very knowledgeable, able to provide good answers to our questions, and provided some nice guidance and assistance in our selections.  He was very low pressure, only sold us on what we were interested in and did not push hard on the other services that Guardian provided.  Adam had to probe him a little bit to find out more and see if there was anything that we might be missing.  

There was no price sheet available, instead we would ask about a service or product and the sales rep would provide us a price.  One of the things we wish we had seen on other Ryan Homes blogs was pricing, so we've decided to include what was quoted to us.

Flat Panel TV Pre-Wire
There were a couple of options that were available - same stud flat panel pre-wire, same-wall flat panel pre-wire, and an option to run wiring to another location such as a closet to place your a/v components.  We made the following selections. 
  • Same stud flat panel pre-wire
    • $330
  • Includes Single HDMI/CAT5/Coax
  • Added 1 additional HDMI for $85
  • Unable to swap out the CAT5 or Coax for other outputs like the HDMI
  • Need to add an additional outlet to be raised for the TV - $125
Cable/Data/Phone Outlets
Our home plan comes with 3 cable outlets and 2 phone lines.  We asked if we could swap out the phone outlets to have cable outlets instead. We could change one, however we were told that Ryan Homes makes Guardian install at least one phone line.  

We aren't huge TV-in-the-bedroom people, but we decided that we wanted to add cable outlets to all of our bedrooms, so that in the future if we ever wanted to have cable in any of these rooms, they would be pre-wired.  We aren't comfortable with the thought of someone from the cable company coming in and drilling holes in the side of our house and through our walls....
  • Additional outlets are $100 per or $495 for 6
  • We choose to add the 6 additional on top of the 4 cable and 1 phone line that we get with the house
  • 1 Cable in the family room
  • 1 Cable and 1 CAT5 data in the bigger side of the basement
  • 1 Cable in the smaller side of the basement
  • 1 Cable in each bedroom
  • 1 CAT5 in the smaller upstairs bedroom that we will be using as an office (putting the phone line in here as well)
  • 1 Cable in the morning room
That's a lot of places to put future TVs!!!!
Wall o' TVs
Speakers and Such
Lots and lots of options with speakers.  We settled on only having the rear speakers pre-wired in the basement which will fit our needs.  It would have been nice to have all room audio and outside speakers but we just couldn't justify the cost.

Here's some pricing that we wrote down on some of the audio options that might be of interest to folks:
  • 5.1 speaker pre-wire - $495
  • 5.1 speaker with speakers included - ranges from $965 to $1800
  • 2 room audio speakers with the built in amplifiers - $1735
    • Just pre-wired - $620
  • 4 room audio speakers with the built in amplifiers - $3000
    • Just pre-wired - $1245
  • Outdoor speakers - $720

Security System
We went back and forth before our meeting on whether we felt a security system was worth the cost. We decided in the end that it is.  This home is a huge investment and we want to be sure that we protect it as best we can.  The peace of mind knowing that we will have some protection while we are away from the home is worth the cost. 

Locked Up!!!!
  • Base Alarm System - $250
    • Includes
      • 1 motion detector
      • All 3 entry doors
      • 1 Keypad
      • Cellular Communication
      • Interactive Package
      • 30 hour battery backup
    • We added
      • 2nd floor keypad which will be placed in the master bedroom - $140
        • Includes chime - when doors open will chirp/chime
      • Smoke detection - located on all floors including basement - $450
  • Monthly fee
    • Two Options with or without warranty - $44.95 or $39.99
    • We choose with the warranty option just in case something did go wrong in the future
    • We had to sign a contract but received 6 months of coverage for free
The security system is hardwired which is nice.  We inquired about Carbon Monoxide detectors, however our sales rep said they weren't worth the investment, and made a good point that we could get some plug in ones to alert us when we were home or entering the home.  With their detector, if we were away from the home and Guardian was unable to reach us, the fire department would come and potentially knock down our door!

Per our sales reps suggestion, we are placing the motion detector in the morning room to allow for maximum coverage. The motion detector detects temperature changes and movements.  At no additional cost, we were able to select the "pet immune" motion detector which will not give false alarms for anything under a combined 100lbs.  

We both liked Guardian's security application that we could arm or disarm the alarm via our smart phones. This could be convenient if we forget to turn the alarm on or if we needed to disarm for visitors coming to our home while we were away.  The application also has ability to control lighting, thermostats, video, locks, and even garage doors (not compatible with the garage door opener that Ryan installs).  Our sales rep said that we could add these items after closing, as Ryan Homes does not allow these to be sold to customers during this time.  

We asked if there were any options or services that other folks either get or are interested in.  He mentioned central vac and intercoms but we weren't interested and we weren't pushed at all. All in all, our sales rep did a nice job providing us all of the info we requested and getting through our paperwork quickly.  

Well folks, that's it for now and all of our selections should be finalized!!!  No more decisions, no more money on selections, and now we wait for our pre-construction meeting that is scheduled for the end of this month!!!