Monday, March 30, 2015

Bunk Beds

I was reading a post on another blog about bunk beds, and I wanted to share what we purchased our boys about a year ago.

We purchased from an online website Bunk Bed King (locally {in Texas} as Bedz King) and were really happy.  We got the boys the "Honey Tall Twin Stairway Bunk Beds" for $598 with free shipping shown here:

Whatever selection you choose, I recommend getting the "Tall" version.  It adds a few inches to the bottom bunk headroom, so your child can sit up and not hit their head.

You can get them in 5 different colors, variations of Twin or Full, with or without trundle/storage, and with ladder or steps.

You can also purchase these bunk beds from Amazon too, in its many variations.

Friday, March 27, 2015

I Don't Remember Asking for a Pond

If you've been following my blog, you will know I have had concerns regarding the landscaped berm the developer is required (by our township) to put behind our lot for privacy and sound concerns.

This is an example of a landscape berm (although much bigger than what is proposed):

Being a Civil Engineer (with a specialty in grading and drainage), I have been keenly following their progress and comparing what they have proposed to what will actually work (and fit).  The biggest problem is there is no space behind our lot to place a landscape berm due to easements.  Behind most of the lots on the street there is 15'+/- of open space behind, but behind my lot there is only 3'+/-.

Originally (per the County engineer approved Grading Plan), the lots were to drain to the rear, into the open space, into a swale (ditch) and into a larger ditch (with an easement).  Not onto my lot or over my lot.  If stormwater is channeled across multiple lots, a drainage easement is required, to prevent the home owner from regrading the ditch and creating flooding (ponding) issues.

First problem 

The proposed landscape berm plan we were shown has the berm off of my lot, not on it.  

Here is a photo I took on 3/22/2015.  Look at the location of the yellow capped lot pin:

My lot is to the left of the yellow pin.  The berm is sitting on the lot line and over onto my lot.

Second Problem

I let Ryan Homes know the current layout for the berm will create drainage issues including flooding on my lot.

The proposed layout creates a natural swale (ditch) across the rear lots and onto my lot.  When I mentioned this to Ryan Homes about this they commented "field modifications will be made to ensure the water drains out into the ditch".  I was supposed to have a conference call with them this week to discuss but no one has called me back to set a time.

While I was out at the lot today, I took this picture:

This is a photo from the street looking towards the rear of the lot.  Notice the pond?

I'm not one to point out a problem and not provide a solution.  I sent Ryan Homes a sketch of a solution that has the berm behind the lots, with no drainage problems.  We'll see what happens next.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Furniture

This last weekend we stopped at furniture store that was running an awesome sale: 55% off everything.  We are needing a few items for the house, specifically a table with chairs for the Morning Room and a Sofa and Loveseat.

We've been looking at La-Z-Boy Gallery for the Sofa and Loveseat, but even with the 35% off they were going to give me they couldn't beat this other places prices.

For the Morning Room, we are getting:

Winner's Only, Quail's Run - 6 piece set ($990)
Winner's Only, Quail's Run - Sideboard ($608)

For the Family Room:

La-Z-Boy Reese Reclining Loveseat - ($945)

La-Z-Boy Reese Reclining Sofa- ($980)

This is the fabric we selected for the sofa and loveseat:

We may also pick up the following matching tables for the Family Room:

Winner's Only, Quail's Run Table set

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pre-Construction Meeting

We had our Pre-Construction meeting today.  Things went as expected.  Our PM went over our house selections, floor by floor, including our exterior choices.  He answered all my questions listed on the
"Pre-Construction Questions" page.

We found out our Breaking Ground date is scheduled for April 6th.  Our Pre-Settlement date is scheduled for May 11th-15th and Closing is set for June 18th-25th.  We were hoping for a Closing date in July, but maybe with the typical construction delays it will get pushed back.

Additionally, we received an update on the landscape berm.  It is only going to be 3' tall and will partially sit on my lot.  Needless to say, we are not happy.  We were originally told it was going to be 4-5' tall and not on our property.  I do not fault Ryan Homes, just the developer who is trying to save a buck by cutting corners.

Also, the proposed landscape berm will create a drainage problem for me because all of the neighbors lots will drain towards mine, which is not what was approved by the county engineer.   Plus, there is no drainage easement allowing them to do this.  So, technically I can install a dam and the problem becomes my neighbor's.  (Probably won't, but I could).

Here is a picture of the staked lot I took today:

They had the bulldozers out pushing dirt from the lots to make the landscape berm.

Also, they revised the types of trees on the buffer to:

White Spruce
Norway Spruce

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Revised Plat with Aerial

Here is an image of the Revised Plat layout with a 2013 Aerial photo:

Our lot is highlighted in blue.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Links to other Ryan Homes blogs

Not much is going on here.  I am anxiously waiting until next week when we have our pre-construction meeting.

So, I've decided to add a page with other Ryan Homes blog links, current and past (if still maintained).  If you have a blog you would like added or know of one I should add, head over to the "Other RH Blogs" page and add a comment listing the blog link.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Date for Pre-Construction Meeting

We now have a date set for our Pre-Construction Meeting: March 18th.

I have a list of questions I am hoping to ask (On the Pre-Construction Questions page).  I have looked at other blogs for types of questions they have asked.  Some have been answered already, so I am not going to ask those.  Also, I have added some new local building code requirements I want to make sure they are aware of such as:
  • Carbon monoxide detector requirement.
  • Horizontal rebar in poured concrete foundation walls requirement.
  • Passive Radon requirement.
Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Starting at Price Went Up

I have been monitoring the Ryan Homes website for several weeks to see if there were any changes in the Home prices.  Good news - the "starting at" prices went up about $20,000.

This is good for a couple of reasons:
1. This may indicate the appraisals have been coming back higher.  Since we already locked into the price, it's like free home equity.  (Say goodbye PMI)
2. Also, since we already locked into the price, we saved that money.  (Makes me wonder how much the homeowners paid that have homes already built).

Whatever the reason, its good news.  I have read some some blogs where the houses went up by as much as $50,000 from the signing of the contract to closing.

Lastly, we are now being told we will break ground in late March.  It's getting close.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Couch Style Vote Off

We are looking to purchase a new couch and love seat.  We really want a reclining set and La-Z-Boy seems to have the quality and styles we are looking for.  We will probably end up going with a solid color, but we are heavily considering going with a print.

If we went with a print, it would probably be:
Cover Color:Rouge (G980406)
Cover Pattern:Bayberry (G980406)

But we still can't decide on the couch model.  Leave us a comment on which one you like and why.




Here are the Jenna and Reese as a solid:

Images courtesy of