Thursday, July 5, 2012


Its official. We have signed the 3,500 papers required, I have developed carpal tunnel...but all worth it. We own our home!! It has been an amazing journey and we loved every aspect of it. All the stress, excitement, worries, elation, ups, and downs seem to fade away in the pure satisfaction..and it feels so good. Now we begin the scurry of moving. It will really sink in, I think, that first night we sleep there. I am looking only forward to that, and spending as much time as I can with my family in our new home.

Keys come tomorrow...

Walk on through to the other side

Just got done with our pre-settlement walk-through. It was great. Our PM was very thorough and gave us some fantastic maintenance tips. We only found a few minor things for the punch list. A few paint touch-ups, some silicone here and there, etc. It was great. We are very very pleased with the final outcome of our new home...

Now off to the title company at 3pm to sign our lives away...I will check in after that(well after I stop sobbing in the corner like a school girl).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Some things suck, and some things dont

What doesn't suck:

So we officially have less than 48 hours until we sign our lives away. I am so excited. We get the keys sometime around noon on Friday. It has really gone quick. I really cant believe we are there, and its happening.

What does suck(literally):

So while talking to my brother in-law, and perusing the Internet, I found what seems to be the BEST solution for a back up sump pump. Some people told me to get a battery back up sump pump, however after the horror stories, I decided against that. I am going to use a water pressure back up that uses your existing cold water pressure.

Here are my cons with the battery ones, that aren't present in the the water pressure:

1. Need to replace the battery every 18-24 months, cost in between $150 and $300. Just about the price of a new unit.

2. The battery is constantly charging, using electricity.

3. The battery will only last around 10-12 hours of continuous service. Meaning if your power is out for more than that(look at what these storms just did to the east coast) you are literally screwed.

This is the unit I am going with, cost is $299.00.

Basepump, The Water Powered Backup Sump PumpBasepump is an extremely reliable, very powerful, water powered backup sump pump system. With no battery to wear out or maintain, no charger to plug in or monitor, it is designed as an automatic, independent system from the primary sump pump. Basepump is essentially in a class by itself. Mounted on the ceiling, high above the sump, it doesn't have to fight the downward force of the water that most competitors' pumps must push up vertically. For this reason, Basepump consistently removes more water per hour than other water powered backup sump pumps and even rivals the best battery powered backup sump pumps, short- and long- term. Period. So instead of a flooded basement because of a sump pump failure or a power failure, install a water powered Basepump backup sump pump before it happens.

When the water in your sump rises above normal for any reason, the Basepump float is lifted.
This activates a valve, sending municipal water under pressure through the Basepump
Ejector. Then, acting like a giant soda straw, it draws the sump water up and ejects it to
the outdoors. As the float returns to its lowest level, the pumping stops after a pre-set
period of time, draining the sump down until the water rises above normal again and
the cycle starts all over again.

Basepump typical installation to the outdoors.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

If you build it, she will shop..

So after getting the "final approval" we let loose this weekend and pretty much got most of the "essential" items to move in taken care of. We had already purchased our family room furniture, refrigerator, and garage door opener. This weekend we purchased our blinds, ceiling fans, morning room chandelier, floor lamps, office desk, dehumidifier, backup sump pump system, and more. It was fun and relieving to get all that out of the way. Here are some pics of a few things we got:

Zoomed: Style Selections 23"W Brushed Nickel Style Selections 5-Light Chandelier Pendant Light with Faux Crystals Shade
The brushed nickel chandelier for the morning room. Lowes($150)
72" Torchiere floor lamps. We fot 3 of them. they are brushed nickel to go with the rest of the lisght fixtures. ($39.95 each, Home Depot)
Ceiling Fan for master bedroom ($80, Lowes)

Bought 2 of these. For kids bedrooms.($70, Lowes)

White Faux Wood Blind, 2 in. Slats, inside window mount, had to buy A LOT of these. Lol.($32.25 each, Home Depot)
Winix 50 Pint dehumidifier. Has bucket, gravity drain, and a pump drain. Lost of cool features and settings. Many people dont think about Dehum, but in a new house, they are crucial. ($299 - 20% from coupon i got in the mail. Bed, Bath, and Beyond)

Friday, June 29, 2012

I found that approval from others is nice...

Just heard from our loan processor at NVR, Lesley. She called and told us that we have final approval and the green light to close. WOOHOO. This was the last thing i was stressing about. She said we can now deposit money, spend money, charge stuff, whatever we want. NICE!!! (not that we have really been adhering to that). Now all we have to do is wait for next Thursday, take our ID's and a check for closing costs and the house is ours. Super stoked!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pour me a stiff one of the hard stuff...

Went by the house and noticed something new..... we have a driveway, walkway, and sidewalks. Nice. Seeings we close in 9 days, I was wondering when that would go in. Sucks for the movers, the drive will be too new for them to park the truck on, so they will be hauling everything from the street. Ouch.

Close up before the driveway, but after the cloumn was painted and the carraige lights are in. Nice.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sneaky it

I saw this and for me it may be a must have.
From Rev-A-Shelf, another cool product. Tired of wet, stinky sponges sitting out on the sink...
Found this kit at Lowes -
Zoomed: Rev-A-Shelf 1-Tier Plastic Pull Out Cabinet Basket

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I need a lift

We opted NOT to have Ryan put in a garage door opener. Main reason, it was a $400 upgrade, and I very well knew they arent that expensive. Went up to Lowes, got the top of the line model, with installation for $300. 2 favorite things about it -
1. The monitor. You can keep it up in your bedroom and if you are not sure if you shut the garage before bed, it tells you and you can shut it from there.
 2. Battery back-up. Nothing worse than when the power goes out, it raining cats and dogs, and you come home and have to get soaking wet because the garage door doesnt open.

      Monitor and close the garage door from anywhere in your house with the MyQ-enabled garage door monitor
  • 3/4 HPS* DC belt drive system for the ultimate in quiet performance
  • Battery Backup System provides up to 20 open/close cycles in the first 24 hours of a power outage
  • Timer-to-Close feature can automatically close the garage door after 1, 5, or 10 minutes
  • Motion-Detecting Control Panel allows easy programming of remote controls, keypads, and MyQ™ lighting accessories, and turns lights on automatically when movement is sensed
  • Auto force-sensing technology constantly monitors garage door opener system and adjusts forces to temperature fluctuations
  • Quick-install rail system provides faster and easier installation – assembles in 60 seconds
  • Delivers 200 watts of light with adjustable light time delay
  • HomeLink® compatible – the in-vehicle remote control system
  • Includes two 3-button remote controls, one wireless keyless entry system, and one control panel (not shown)

    • Protector System® safety sensors with Rapid-Snap® brackets project an invisible light beam across the garage door opening and automatically reverse the door if anything interrupts the beam while the door is going down
    • Sensing technology will stop the door from closing if contact is made with a person or object
    • Opener lights turn on automatically when The Protector System's infrared beam is broken
    • Security+ 2.0™ anti-burglary technology assures a new code is sent every time the remote control is used
    • PosiLock® theft protection assures that once the door is closed, it stays locked
    • Manual release handle in case of power failure
    • Lifetime motor warranty
    • Lifetime belt warranty
    • 5-year parts warranty
    • 1-year accessory warranty

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    And she gave me the cold shoulder

    So we went browsing today, knowing that closing is coming and that we needed to buy a refrigerator soon. We wanted to wait for the 4th of July specials so we  weren't planning on buying. Really only wanted to get a few models in mind to narrow down. We knew we wanted a French Door. So walking through Lowes, we stumbled upon something. A Samsung, 25.7 cubic foot, gorgeous refrigerator. Absolutely great features. Best of all, we negotiated for the floor model. The fridge is listed at $2599.00. However due to a very small ding in the right door, and an even smaller scratch in the bottom freezer door (both not very noticeable and easily covered by a 1st graders art project) I was able to negotiate the price down almost $1000.00, to $1675.00.  Not to bad, we are VERY happy with this purchase. Moral of the story..haggle when you can! Here is a pic and some of the features (one of my favorite is it has 2 ice makers, one for the door ice and one that dumps ice into a bin in the freezer. With my love of margarita, you can never have too much ice on hand):
    Refrigerator Features
    • 17.4 cu. ft. Refrigerator Capacity
    • External Filtered Water/Ice Dispenser
    • 2 Humidity Controlled Crispers
    • 5 Tempered Glass Shelves
    • 3 Gallon Door Bins
      3 Gallon Door Bins Spacious shelf on door secures extra large containers (like gallons of milk) for easy access.
    • 6 Door Bins
    • Dairy Bin
      Dairy Bin Shelf inside a refrigerator door with a liftable lid designed to store dairy products.
    • Cool Select Pantry™
      Cool Select Pantry™ Multipurpose drawer with separate temperature controls to thaw, chill, crisp, or freeze stored foods.
    • 1 Extending Half Shelf
    • 2 60W Interior Lights
      2 60W Interior Lights Light located in the freezer that is activated when the door is opened.
    • 1 Slide In Shelf
      1 Slide In Shelf Shelves that slide in for easy creation of more shelf space.
    • 2 Slide out Shelves
      2 Slide out Shelves Shelves that slide out for easy access to food products in the rear of a refrigerator.
    • 4 Spill Proof Shelves
    • Exterior Water and Ice Dispenser
      Exterior Water and Ice Dispenser A device on the outside of a refrigerator door that provides instant access to ice or water.
    Freezer Features
    • 8.1 cu. ft. Freezer Capacity
    • EZ-Open Handle™ on Freezer Door
    • In-Door Pizza Pocket
      In-Door Pizza Pocket Compartment on the inside of a freezer door designed to store a 16" pizza box.
    • Auto Pull Out™ Upper Drawer
      Auto Pull Out™ Upper Drawer Shelf in top of freezer that automatically slides out for easy organization, storage, and access.
    • Built-In Automatic Icemaker
      Built-In Automatic Icemaker Internal mechanism that freezes water and divides the resulting ice into cubes for easy access.
    • Exterior Water and Ice Dispenser
      Exterior Water and Ice Dispenser A device on the outside of a refrigerator door that provides instant access to ice or water.
    • Cubed and Crushed Ice
      Cubed and Crushed Ice Ability of the device on the outside of a refrigerator door to provides instant access to cubed or crushed ice.
    • 60W Interior Light
      60W Interior Light Light located in the freezer that is activated when the door is opened.
    • 1 Large 2-Divider Opaque Bin

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    It's Alive...

    Ran by at lunch and to my suprise..We have electricity!! We also have appliances(not all installed yet), light fixtures, switches, plugs, thermostats, water heater, and air conditioner. here are some pics, i forget to get one of the dual carraige lights:

    I like the brushed nickel look.

    Love the programmable thermostat

    I think the black appliaces is going to be a nice contrast to the light colors we selected. I plan on putting in a darker backsplash as well.

    I like the stove. I do love to cook, and I like gas stoves, but to be honest, I have been cooking on electric for so long, I prefer it now. I know, im in the minority on that.

    Friday, June 8, 2012

    I've been stoned, hung, floored and screwed

    Walked through the house with the PM today. They got the kitchen cabinets in, kitchen, foyer, morning room, mud/laundry room, and bathroom floors in. Doors were all hung, and they were putting in the baseboards while we were there. WOW. Still amazed how quick they work. Stone was finished last night too. We went by last night and the stone guys were finishing up. All the doors(and first floor windows for that matter) were locked. We really wanted to get in as I knew they put the floors down. So to our suprise the stone guy used the scaffolding, got on the roog over the front door and climbed into an upstairs window to let us in. nice. I guess buying luch for him paid off again. Here are some pics. Everything looks amok, but its the best I could get as  they were working.

    Kitchen, morning room, mud/laundry room, foyer, powder room floors

    Upstairs bathroom floors

    Went back later with wife(column was put in)

    Wednesday, June 6, 2012

    Getting stoned and seeing cool colors!

            Went by last night and the stone mason had just gotten there. About 4pm. He said he had some truck problems and lives about 75 miles away. He said he may just get a room nearby for the night. Ouch.
             Went back this afternoon, about 11:30 and took the stone mason lunch. Figured he had a bad day yesterday. He loved it. He wound up working last night until it was too dark to see. He was supposed to have help today but the guy called off. Talk about no luck. He had finished the little garage stone and was about 1/3 of the way done with the house stone when I went back after work. There is a space between the top ledge of stone and the siding flashing. The flashing is at a bent angle to deflect water, and over hangs the stone a little, however the gap between the flashing and the stone ledge annoyed me. It annoyed me only because i didn't want water to be able to get in there. I addressed it with the mason and he said they typically don't mortar that gap because its messy and may not look good. We talked about silicone, so I went to Lowe's and bought a tube. I took it up to him and he said he would be happy to fill the gap while he had the scaffolding up. Makes me feel better.

    They put a primer coat of paint on the walls. They also painted the door! Navy blue to match the shutters.

    Love the color of the stone with the house colors. even the mason made a comment on how he thought they went really well together. Its so hard to tell from the pics, but some of the stones have grayish and blueish tints. And with the siding being a dark grey and  the navy door and shutters it looks really good. Can't wait to see it finished. Should be tomorrow.

    Here are a few pics:

    Right side of garage. There will be top ledge stones above the top 2 stones, under the flashing.

    Monday, June 4, 2012

    Avoir une petite amie

    Oh my what a difference one little thing makes. Like siding. I pulled up to the house and much to my suprise the siding and shutters were complete. My PM told me it probably wouldnt be done until Friday, so it was truly a suprise. It almost looks complete. The colors look so good in person. Cant wait until the stone is done(talked to PM and he said should be done tomorrow or Wed.) to get the complete look. One more suprise. The door was unlocked and I found a treasure trove in the garage. Lots of boxes, doors, and countertops. All the cabinets etc were in there. Even our mailbox. NICE.



    Tuesday, May 29, 2012

    A picture's worth $28,000

    Well based on the price per square foot, thats about what the living room is worth. Here are a few pics with the drywall up:

    Living Room from Morning Room

    Morning Room from Kitchen

    Kitchen(I guess it comes with a wife) from Living Room

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Mr. Gorbachev, DON'T tear down this wall

    Went by the house today just to see what was going on. As I pulled up, so did our PM. He was very accomodating, took me and the boys through the house. Workers still working, and low and behold, WE HAVE WALLS. Fantastic! They have hung most of the drywall, and will tape and mud next week. Its funny, perception that is. When there were no walls, it seemed like the house was much smaller than I knew. But with the drywall up, the house seemed to double in size. You really would think the inverse would be true, but i can attest its not. It was great to "see" the rooms. I did not take pics as I was to busy BS'ing with the PM. I will try to get in this weekend for some pics, although when I went by yesterday, much to my chagrin, the house was locked up. Remember: A house is made of walls and beams, a home is made of hopes and dreams!

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Pluggin' away

    So we had out pre-drywall meeting today. All in all it went well. I am very pleased with some of the new standards they have to meet, such as a VERY high efficiency furnace, due to the new Energy Star 3.0 rules just set into place. I did ask about the hose bib, and the PM said he could raise it anoher inch or 2. I told him not to bother. That wont really make a difference. Another thing I noticed, we have a crap-load of outlets and switches. I love it. I dont have enough plugs to fill half the outlets. HA. We also received our pre-settlement and closing date. July 5th. 45 days. I am excited. I know it will be a long wait though.

    Friday, May 18, 2012

    I found out I have shingles, and was floored

    So stopped by the house today. Gaurdian was there pulling wires. The guy was really cool and we chatted for awhile. We have shingles(they have been done for sometime, just havent gotten around to taking a pic), and the porch, basement floor, and garage floor are all poured and set. Even the furnace is in.
            One thing im a bit annoyed about, and please let me know your thoughts. So when choosing the placement of the hose bibs, the SR talked us into one in the garage as opposed to the front of the house. I loved this idea, as you dont have the faucet sticking out of the front of your house, can leave the hose hooked up and stored in the garage, etc. Well little did I know, and we were never told, that when its in the garage, its literally about 6 inches from the floor of the garage.. I couldn't get a kids sippy cup under it let alone a watering can or anything else. I was there while the plumber was there and asked if you could move it up and he told me no. I think im going to press the PM to have it moved. Sorry I didnt take a pic of it. Next time I am thre I will and will post it. Our pre-drywall meeting is Monday, so I will bring it up to him then.

           Also, while going through the house, I noticed a lot of issues with the wood being chewed up, pretty badly. I saw where the PM went through and marked the bowed wood and other things that needed fixed with his orange paint, however none of it addressed the crappy wood. I will definently be bringing every piece up on Monday.
    Here are a few pics, just of the shingles and garage floor.

    Saturday, May 12, 2012

    Love thy neighbor

    So I took my parents out to see the framed structure today. As for now, we will only have neighbors on one side and none across the street. So they will be our only neighbors. They were outside today and I was able to meet them. A young couple, and to my best estimate, maybe in their late '20's. They have a new baby, of about 4 months, and a dog. They were extremely nice. This meeting makes me even more anxious for the house to be built. I can't wait until we are able to move in, have the neighbors over and shoot the breeze over a nice bottle or merlot. Just another thing to look forward to that will make it seem like its going to be forever before we are able to move in.

    Thursday, May 10, 2012

    I've been framed!

    I can officially say I've been framed. I visited the house today and took the contractors lunch(a platter from Subway). Gotta keep t he ones building your home happy! Well it must have inspired them. When i went back after work, this is what I saw:

    Keep in mind that is not where that circle vent goes. it will be moved(its fake anyway)

    Kitchen and morning room from garage

    Looking in toward the front room, powder room, back room from garage

    Garage door to inside

    Kitchen and Morning room from gargae