Monday, December 31, 2012

How to Create a Countdown Clock

Steps to create a countdown clock for your Blogspot blog:

1. Go to a site that let's you create a countdown clock and create your clock.  Here's one such site:

2. Copy the html code after creating your clock from the creation site.

3. Return to Blogger. Go to "Layout" and click on "Add A Gadget"

4.  Scroll down through the "Basics" gadgets once the pop-up screen comes up.  Scroll down and select the "HTML/Javascript" gadget.

5. Paste your countdown clock code in the pop-up box that opens when you select the "Html/Javascript" gadget.

6.  Congratulations!  The clock should now be on your page.

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years RH Blogging Community.  Here's to a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 in our new homes!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

January 2nd...

If they don't break ground January 2nd, I am going to break bad January 2nd. If they won't dig a hole I will do it myself! Let's get this show on the road!

Just a vent. That's all...Please send construction vibes our way so they start on Wednesday!

Can you tell we are a little...eager to see our home?!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Ode to the Hole... I'm losing it!

Oh hole, oh hole, where art thou
Our brown canvas lies bare, waiting for you, like the trees waiting for their summer foliage
Our hearts remain empty without thee
Waiting...wishing...desiring for our days to become complete in your company.

Others have found their holes
Like young fawns uniting with their mothers out of the womb
We wait for your presence in our life and to fill you with finest slabs of concrete
To complete you with santa celia granite, saddle brook floors, and soap dish-less showers
For you shall provide the foundation of our daily lives for years to come.

Oh hole....Oh hole

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Garage Door Openers and Fans--What did you get?

We are beginning to look at ceiling fans and garage door openers for when our house is complete...well, started :-)

We have fans already for the 3 bedrooms and are looking for one for the Master and the morning room. We are being very picky about the one in the morning room! We also are looking into the Chamberlain 3/4 HP Diamond Plate Garage Door Opener, but are open to suggestions! Also looking at the Genie Silent Max 1000. To those of you who didn't purchase these things through Ryan, what did you get?


Friday, December 21, 2012

Pre-Con went well

Had our pre-con today.  Our PM is really nice and seems like he'll be great to work with.  We got to walk our lot and see it staked.  The yard is huge, especially for metro-D.C. standards and we get a little extra space beyond our lot that goes to the edge of the forest preservation area.

Of all of the little favors we asked of the PM, we only got approval on one, which was the chase under the driveway for future wiring, but that's fine. They had good reasons for not doing the others.

The excavating should start on January 2 and we should be under roof by mid-January. Of course, the first snow flakes fell today, so we are hoping that's not a bad omen.

We also met more future neighbors today who have a little girl around our oldest son's age. Everyone has young kids, which is going to be great.

Pre-Con Day!

On our way to Pre-Con!  That's all...

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Prepping for the Pre-Con Meeting: Great Questions

Tomorrow morning is the big day! We just wanted to share some great questions our friend who used to work for Dan Ryan Homes shared with us to ask in addition to all the ones we have (some may repeat, but we figured it is still worth posting!):

Talk about each and every room in the house, the basement, the garage, and the exterior.  Also talk about each of the options you selected, and look at the blueprints - ask them to tell you how to read the basic things on them at the meeting if you need help.  The buillder builds off the blueprints, so look at them - a lot of questions get answered there.

In each space, make sure you know what finishes are going to be installed and what they look like.  Keep asking - what does that look like?  They should be able to show you an example in the model, or in a book, or on another house.  You saw the flooring when you did your selections.  Pay attention to location also.  For example...

Flooring - Color/Type - Where are the flooring breaks between rooms?
Cabinets - Color/Type/Upgrade?/Drawers?  Doors?  Height?  Knobs/Handles? Locations?
Faucets - Color/Type/ Picture?  Locations? 
Sink - Size/Color/Type/ Picture?
Countertops - Color/Type/Backsplash?
Toilets - type/size
Vanitys - type/size/location
Pedestal Sink - type/size/location
Windows? - Location/size/type
Exterior and Interior Doors - Location/size/type
Door Knobs - type/deadbolt?
Lighting fixtures- type/location/picture
Light switches/plugs - type (location is normally set for you - if you have special requests, let them know)
Cable outlets - location/number?
Phone outlets - location/number
Closet/pantry shelving - type/location?
Trim - what trim is used in house?  locations?  Crown Molding?/Chair rail? 
Bathtubs/showers - type/size Tile or Fibergalss finish?  Color?
Shower doors - type/location
Rails - type/color/see picture
Hardware - Toilet paper and towel rods - location/type
Fireplace - location?surround?mantle?hearth?
Heating vent covers - location?type?
Appliances - see pictures of these.  color?  What appliances do you get?

In the basement, in addition to any of the above that apply...
Heating system?  Location - Fuel? Service? Warranty?  1 Zone or Two?
Hot Water Heater - Location - Fuel?  Service?  Warranty
Location of Columns and anything else which will impede future finishing.  Columns can't be moved. 
Basement Bath rough in?  Type/Location?
Basement Exit?  What type of door? 
Electric panel location/finish?

Grading - how will the finished contours of the lot look?  It will look different than now in some cases.
Seeding/sod?  What is warranty?  Will they seed in winter?  What if it doesn't grow?
Siding -- type/size/color
shutters - type size/color/locatoin
Brick/Stone - type/size/color/location
What will need maintenance on exterior?  What is painted?
Exterior Trim - Color/location
Window/door features (fancy trim pieces over windows/doors) - size/location/color
Shingles - type/color/see sample
What is off of back door?  Deck?  Covered with rail?
Sidewalk location
Driveway - width?  will they do 2 coats?
Water/Sewer connections - location
porch - size? location?
Steps to front porch?
Steps into house from garage?
Hose bibb location/number?
Exterior electric outlets location/number?
Location of outdoor AC unit?  Heat pump?
Location of water meter?  gas meter?

Drywalled?  Full or partial? 
Garage door opener?
Garage door type/size/insulated? Windows?

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

What Do You Wish You Would Have Done?

Before the final, final pre-construction meeting in two days, I'd like to know if there's anything that you wish you would have done to your house or asked at the meeting, that you didn't do or ask.  Looking forward to your responses...

Monday, December 17, 2012

In brick...maybe

Trying to find our model in our elevation in brick is turning out to be near impossible.  We think the picture below shows our house in brick.  If it isn't, it's so close to it it would be nearly discernible.  Our brick is red, so it is a little different, but you get the idea.  We weren't totally sold on our model/elevation because we've only really been able to see it with siding, except for the one stone version we've found.  Now that we see it in brick, we love it!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Homes popping up everywhere... except ours!

It is amazing how quickly what was once an expansive area of dirt has changed into a neighborhood! The house behind us is quickly moving along, the one to the right of us has foundation and so does the one diagonal to us. We are surrounded by houses and construction! The good news is that once our house is done we won't have any construction around us. But, it makes us exceptionally excited for our pre-construction meeting on Friday! We will post our questions as we get closer. Can't wait!!

Here is our lot and everything around it:

 View from what would be our side yard to front of house

 View from side yard to back of house

 Side yard view, right of house

Another side yard view looking at all the houses across and down the street

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Crisis Averted

After a night of panic and confusion, we received an email from our SR bright and early letting us know we can do the bathroom upgrade. We will be signing the Change Order this afternoon. Needless to say, we are still a little nervous about anything else that may pop up, but I guess that goes with the house building territory. We still don't understand why there was a miscommunication and why a bathroom upgrade was not even mentioned to us when making our selections or even in the finalization meeting. A friend said "Because you didn't ask the right questions." I guess not! Oh well crisis averted. Time to go back to being excited home builders!

Monday, December 10, 2012

We hit our first snag...

Yesterday we were looking at the schematic layout and noticed something odd... why in the regular bathroom was there no door and there appeared to be a door in the alternative bathroom layout? So what was in the shower? We emailed our SR only to find out that we had the "standard" bathroom and that shower, although separate from the tub, did not have has a curtain rod. Um WHAT? That makes no sense! We were told by our original SR that there was no difference between the standard and alternate layouts. When we met with our current SR for our finalization meeting we even asked if the shower door glass we had was clear and she said yes! But today our SR said that we would need to do an upgrade (at an extra cost of course) and that she wasn't sure we could even do that at this point since the lumber was ordered already. She has an email in to find out and will let us know tomorrow. She then said we could just get Lowe's to come in if we didn't do the upgrade to add glass...why would we have someone come into our brand new house we are paying all this money for and add something else?! We are going to push for this to be fixed obviously.

Our main concern is what else was overlooked or not appropriately explained to us and what surprises are we in for when our house is complete?! We asked her if there is anything else we should know about so we are not surprised and we are definitely going through everything extremely carefully with our PM at the pre-con meeting next week. We are a little unnerved...

Has this happened to anyone else??

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mark Your Calendar!

Our pre-construction meeting has been set for December 21st!! I hope time goes by quickly!

Pre-construction Questions--Anyone?

We are sitting down as we prepare to schedule our pre-construction meeting and going through questions. For those of you who have been through this, are there any question we should ask or any you wish you would have asked? We found a list on another blog, but we want to make sure we don't miss anything. Thanks in advance!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen...we have a start date!

That's right! We got word from our SR that we start the week of December 31st! Happy New Year to us! She is contacting us tomorrow to set up our pre-construction meeting. FINALLY this is going to begin!

We also stopped by to see how everything has been progressing and WOW! Our back neighbor's house is up and framed! There is a picture in the neighborhood progression timeline. It is getting easier to see how our lot will be laid out and we walked around trying to figure out where our backyard and side yards will be. Since our lot is so flat, our side goes on for quite a way! We are excited to walk it with our PM soon! Two new foundations also sprouted up. It is amazing how quickly everything moves. It has been so much fun watching what started out as dirt and just a few house turn into a beautiful neighborhood!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Last Changes: Stainless Steel Appliances

We headed over for our weekly trip to our development to meet with our SR to change our appliances to stainless steel. With how beautiful the kitchen will be we had to have the stainless. It will really complete the look. We did the second level stainless steel convection range with 5 burners, dishwasher and microwave and upgraded to the french door fridge. We are happy with this choice!

We also had a talk about start and completion date. Looks like we are looking to start the last week of December! Our pre-construction meeting will most likely be the week of December 17th and we are estimated to be completed by the beginning of April!! We will get all these dates finalized Thursday next week when they put out the official start date calendar. We can't wait! We are getting closer to seeing our home begin!!

Here are pictures of our appliances: