Thursday, April 30, 2015

Basement Walls and Lumber

PM told me the framing for the basement walls was scheduled to start today and he was right.  Plus, as an added bonus, the lumber arrived too.  Here are some of the pictures I took today.  I didn't get any close up shots because they were working and I didn't want to interrupt them.  Maybe I'll take some close up ones after work. Update: Added close up pictures.  Concrete has been poured.  They said frames will come off tomorrow.

Front of house.  Gravel is where driveway will be.

Neighbor's lot dug.  They are building a Victoria Falls.

Right front of house.

At rear of the lot looking towards rear of house.  (See the edge of my "pond" on the right?)

Lumber for our house.  (Reminds me of a boat.)

Another picture of the front of the house, looking across driveway.

I took the following pictures after work:

Right front of house

Right rear of house

Rear of house

Left side of house

Front of house

I expect they won't start framing the house until next week.  The concrete will need to cure before they can begin framing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No Walls Yet

Not much progress, except that they filled in gravel, getting ready for the walls/basement slab to be poured.  PM said the basement wall guys are backlogged, but should pour the walls sometime this week.  Here are some pictures of today's site visit:

Left front of house - (The walls will sit on top of the poured concrete footer)

Left rear of house - (The white pipe with cap is for Radon)

Right rear of house - (The rectangular pieces inside the perimeter are supports for the house columns)

Right front of house (There should be 4" of gravel underneath the basement slab)

I also found out, much to my dismay, that the electrical boxes will be in the front of the lots, not the rear like the other phase.  See the orange conduits poking through?  That is where the green electrical transformer will go.  Fortunately, it's on the left side of my driveway, near the lot line.

Also, see the light green PVC tubing near the curb?  It has my house plans.  Wonder if anyone will miss it for an hour while I make copies?...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Footers poured

I was just out there yesterday taking photos.  But, I wanted to see if they made any progress today.  They did.  They have now poured the footers and I expect they will pour the basement walls by the weekend.

Overall - left front corner

Left front corner

Left rear corner

Right rear corner

Right front corner

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Getting Ready to Pour

Went to visit the site again today.  Looks like the foundation is getting prepared. Here are some pictures of the progress:

Front of House

Left side of House

Rear of House

Rear of House

Right side of House

Right side of House

Front of House

While I was there, I ran into the Developer (not Ryan Homes), whom I had never met before.  I was taking pictures of the "Dry" Detention Basin.  (I use the quotes, because it has more water in it than it is supposed to).

"Dry" Detention Pond.  Standing Water level too high - Micropool should be about 1/4 of this size per plans.
At least the ducks are enjoying it.

First words out of his mouth, as I am walking up the hill, are "Is there a problem with the basin?".  So, we talk about some of the problems I have noticed.  He is planning to fix them soon.  It seems someone contacted the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and reported them for erosion control violations.  I wonder who did it?

We also talked about the "pond" on my lot and the landscape berm issue.  They are still trying to come up with a fix that makes everyone happy.  Hopefully, we'll know more in the near future.

My "pond", which they are going to drain.

One of the issues with the detention basin that I deem to be a big issue is an outlet pipe (also missing the rock outlet protection) that doesn't discharge any water:

Outlet pipe that has water coming from under endwall.

I have visited this site on numerous occasions and not once have I noticed any water coming from this pipe.  Instead, there is a constant flow of water coming from under the concrete endwall, where the algae is.  The developer said this is common.  I'm a civil engineer and I have never seen this happen before.  I asked other engineers around my office and they said this is not common; it's a problem.

Hopefully, they will fix this, since this is the pipe that runs between my lot and my neighbors.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Broke Ground

Update: Got an email from the PM today stating:

"To be honest, I was surprised that they dug your home on Friday as well. It had been scheduled for Monday (today). I found out late afternoon Friday that they had decided to get a jump on it. I would have let you know if the schedule had changed, but that was not the case."

So, it appears, there wasn't any miscommunication.  He just didn't know.

We were told by the PM that the ground breaking wouldn't happen until Monday or Tuesday.  However, I decided to drive out to the lot today to check on things and sure enough it looks like there is a hole in the ground.

Site of our future home

So now I'm wondering why our PM isn't communicating with us.

We are super excited that the house building has started, but a bit miffed that we are not be kept abreast of the development.

Here are more pictures of the dig:

Looking North to South

Our "pond" is still there...

Looking South to North

Looking West to East

The boys are happy to see the house started.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Riverstone Backsplash

I was at Home Depot getting ideas for our new house (paint, appliances, blinds, etc).  One thing that caught my eye was Riverstone used as a backsplash.  Has anyone ever done this or seen it done?

Riverstone Multi 12 in. x 12 in. x 12 mm Natural Stone Mosaic Floor and Wall Tile
at Home Depot ($9.95 each)

I think it looks really nice once its up on the wall and grouted.  Here is a Pinterest pic of someone who did it:

River Stone Backsplash

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Blinds(ter) Window Coverings

One of the things (on the long list of needs) we plan to purchase are blinds.  I really like the Silhouette Shading by Hunter Douglas:

Hunter Douglas Silhouette® shadings
Fabric/Material: Sunscreen Privacy Shading

They act as a blind with sheer material on both sides to provide privacy.  You can let less light in by changing the angle of the blind.  While very nice, they can be pricey.  For a standard 36"x62", I was quoted $490-650 each.

So, instead, in an effort to save money, we are probably going to go with Faux wood blinds, specifically the 2" Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds.  Not sure what color yet.

2" Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds

I have compared prices at Home Depot, Lowes, Costco, Menards, JCPenney,,, and local blind manufacturing companies.  Blindster has the best deals in the most colors.  It also has free shipping, a free fit guarantee, 60 day satisfaction, lifetime warranty and my favorite a lifetime upgrade guarantee.  The lifetime upgrade guarantee means if you want to upgrade to a better blind at a later date, this will issue you a credit towards your new purchase for the price you paid with the original purchase.

If we buy the 2" Deluxe Faux Wood Blinds from, it will only cost $1350 for all 29 windows.  Ryan Homes wanted $2500 (installed) and only gave us white as an option.  Plus, with Blindster, I can upgrade to a nicer faux wood or some type of shades in the future for just a little more.

What company have you used (or intend to) for your window treatments?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Breaking Ground Tuesday

Got an email from the PM.  They are scheduled to break ground Wednesday.  They were going to do it today, but developer is paving the road today and tomorrow.

Update: Ground breaking pushed back until next Monday/Tuesday because PM said excavator not available until then.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Panoramic Header

I just found out my camera (Nikon 6800 Coolpix) can take 180 degree panoramas.   So from now on, I am going to take a picture of the lot, when I visit, and post the current picture as the header.

If you are interested in replacing your header background with a photo, follow these steps:

1.  On your blogger page, select the Design link.
2.  Select the Layout tab on the left.
3.  Click Edit on the Header gadget (tab).
4.  Find the Image section and add your photo.  Make sure you click "Shrink to Fit".

Here are more pictures from my (wet and muddy) site visit today.

Lots of rain + poor grading = flooding

See the waterfall at the silt fencing?

My own private pond...

Flooding part II.

Final Grading and Sod

No, we haven't somehow completed construction yet.  In fact, they haven't even broken ground yet (supposedly this coming Monday).

What I want to know is if anyone has had any final grading and/or sod issues.  I was driving around  the neighborhood and noticed a lot of irregular lawns.  There were valleys where the water service line had not been backfilled correctly (I think), and the ground had settled leaving bumps and valleys on the lawns.

I contacted the PM to ask about this and this was his reply:

"This is settlement that will need to be corrected. Many lots were sodded late in the fall and the ground hadn't had enough time to settle. We warrant our lots with a one-time settlement repair during the first year for cases such as these. It is not done on purpose."
I'm curious how they repair the settlement.  Since the sod has already been laid and has started taking root, will they pull it up, regrade and resod?  Or just add dirt on top and add seed.

I am tempted to ask if they will wait on sodding our lot (they are required to sod the entire half acre).   Then, let the ground settle for 3 months.  I'll get a lawn roller to make sure the ground is compacted, have topsoil delivered, and then have them add the sod.

Has anyone done this?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Paint Color Palette

Not sure if we are going to use Sherwin Williams paint yet, due to cost.  I have some coupons, so we'll see.  But I really like the "Rustic Refined" paint palette they have in the HGTV Home collection.  They create a softer, relaxing feel.

Here are the colors in the collection.

From: Rustic Refined Paint Color Palette by Sherwin Williams HGTV Home
Link to Sherwin Williams webpage

Specifically, I'm thinking:

Morning Room - White Raisin
Family Room - Outerbanks/Copen Blue
Dining Room - Smokey Topaz/Independent Gold
Living Room - Cascade Green
1st Floor Bedroom - Cascade Green  (Amish Quilt theme)
Bedroom 1 - Copen Blue (Coast/Lighthouse Theme)
Bedroom 2 - Outerbanks (Boy's Bedroom - Lego's Theme, but not too over the top)
Bedroom 3 - Outerbanks (French theme)  (May change color based on decor we find)
Master Bedroom - Outerbanks 
Master Bathroom - White Raisin
Upstairs Bathroom - Copen Blue
Downstairs Bathroom - Independent Gold

Here is how some of the colors look together:

From: Rustic Refined Paint Color Card by Sherwin Williams HGTV Home
Link to Sherwin Williams webpage