Friday, July 31, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

7/28/15 - Final Walkthrough

Today we met our PM Mark out at the house to do our final walk-through.  We had gone over the high points with him a few days ago, but when we were there then, the house wasn't quite finished and hadn't been cleaned yet.  Today was the first time we've seen it all cleaned up and I have to say, it's beautiful!!!!   

During this meeting Mark went over the massive amount of information they give you for your new house.  There is a big binder that has the entirety of the information for the house that is there for us, but he had a check-list of things to cover as well.  He explained the applicable warranties for the different parts of the house, the roof, drywall, appliances, flooring, etc.  He went over Ryan's recommendations for cleaning and caring for the different finishes in the house as well as the contact information for the Ryan helpline and the other subcontractors related to building the house.  He explained how they handled the 30-day meeting and then the 10-month follow up and what we could expect with those, and he even gave us some recommendations of his own for a few things as well.

Once we went over everything paperwork wise and talked about the survey (more on that in a bit) we did our actual walkthrough.  As I said before this is the first time that we've been in the house that it has been all cleaned up and completely finished and man what a difference a few days makes.   Everything was postcard perfect.  To say that we are beyond pleased with the outcome would be the biggest understatement.  I've followed a lot of blogs and done a lot of reading about the entire process of building a home and more specifically building a home with Ryan and I've seen varying degrees of issues that people have had at their final walkthroughs and I am pleased to say that we truly had none.  

Now to be fair, we did have an earlier walkthrough a few days prior to go over any issues that we had, but other than wanting the chain on our stairwell light fixture shortened, we didn't have any issues then either.  I believe this is completely due to the the diligence and over-sight from our PM Mark.  I've said in a few other posts that I get the impression from him that he really cares about the houses he builds and the satisfaction of his clients and I think that is truly evident in the finished product that we walked through this afternoon. I kept looking for issues and things that needed addressing as we were walking around and I just couldn't find any.  Everything was as good or better than I expected.  It was pretty nice being able to sign off on the checklist for the house and only have three things on it.  

1. Raise the light fixture in the stairwell a few links.  It sits a little lower than I'd like.  Not really an issue at all, more of a preference 

2.  Replace a window pane in the stairwell.  It was put on the list, but is already in the works to be replaced, they are just waiting on the new pane to arrive

3.  Remove the orange fencing behind the property 

Pretty simple list I think.  No fit, finish or construction issues at all.  Even the things that we'd noticed through our many visits to the house were usually corrected before we ever even had the chance to bring them up.  Again, I have to give the credit to our PM.  He's been 100% on top of this every step of the way.  

Which brings me back to the survey.  As someone that's worked in the automotive business my whole adult life, where Customer Satisfaction surveys are treated as life or death, I can 100% understand the emphasis that they put on their survey.  Mark went over it briefly with us and explained that it's important to Ryan and to him that we fill it out and of course he hopes we are happy with the house and feel as though we can give 10's on the survey.   I think this is something that a lot of people don't completely understand, and as someone that deals with this just about every day I'd like to take a second to cover this.  (if you don't care, or already know, feel free to skip down the the pictures!)  When they talk about hoping to receive a "10" for a score on their survey it is because anything less is considered a failing score.  Chalk that up to an archaic survey practice where anything less than perfect is unacceptable, but the reality is it's a pass/fail survey where perfect is "passing" and anything less is considered failing.  It's important to remember that when you're filling out your survey.  I've had many well meaning customers that loved the service they got at my facility but upon getting their surveys gave us less than perfect scores because they simply never give perfects because there is always room for improvement.  They didn't realize that even though they loved us and brought us cookies at christmas, they had hurt us with their response to a seemly innocuous survey.

Do not get me wrong,  I don't presume to tell anyone how they should rate their particular experience or the people involved, I just want people to understand the reality of the survey because a lot of people simply don't realize that it really is an all or nothing thing.

For us, we have been beyond happy with our PM and with all the other people involved in this process.  It hasn't always been easy and there have been a few obstacles that we've had to deal with, but as of today, we have no issues whatsoever with the people that have helped us build our home and we have nothing but positive things to say about all of them, and our PM Mark most of all.  He's made this a real pleasure for us.  

Now, on to a few pictures.  These are the last ones you'll see before paint, furniture and decorations.  I have about a million pictures of the entire process of this house however, so if you're reading this and would like to see something that isn't posted let me know and I'll see what I can do.

3 More Days to Go!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

7/23/15 - Our Pre-Final Walkthrough

Not sure what exactly to call this, but tonight we did a bit of an impromptu pre-final walk through with our PM Mark.  After a very long and aggravating day at work I stopped by the house to meet up with my wife to grab some dinner and much to my surprise the guys were still out there working away. I hadn't planned on looking around tonight since we were going to meet our PM there tomorrow to do that, but when I saw the house all lit up and wide open I had to see what all had been done.

While I was snooping around I stumbled across our PM who was still there as well, so since all parties were there we decided to go ahead and do the walk-through we had planned on doing tomorrow.    It was really great to get to see the house getting all buttoned up.  All the walls were cleaned up and painted, the trim gleamed white, the doors were painted red, the railings were being stained and all the final touches were getting taken care of.  It's amazing to see how far it's come in the last few weeks.  It's really starting to look like a home.   We've very happy with the attention to detail that w've seen through the final stages of this.  We've been very happy to find that any concerns we've had have usually been addressed before we even think to bring them up.  It's really comforting to know that our house is being built with pride.

For those that have messaged me and asked, we plan to keep this blog going post close.  I've read a lot of these that basically end at closing day, but we'd like to keep this up for us and for future Ryan owners.  We have a bunch of decor/upgrades planned post close so we will be sure to keep up the picture taking and posting so everyone can check it out.

7 Days To Go!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

7/22/16 - 1 Week to Go!

Wow things sure do move fast now.  I stopped by the house yesterday to see that the hardwood floors were all in and most of the carpet was done too.  I did notice what appeared to be water collecting in the basement which seemed to have halted the carpeting process down there.  This worried me a bit so I sent a quick e-mail out to my PM Mark asking if has was aware and what the cause was.  We replied right back (which was awesome!) and asked me to give him a call if I had a second so that he could go over it with me real quick.  Turns out that the flooring people had cranked up the A/C in the house while they were doing the installation and the pump in the basement for the hvac equipment hadn't been connected yet so it was all condensation from the A/C unit, and not outside water which was a big relief.  He let me know that he was on top of it and was actually out at the house while we were talking. 

Today I stopped by and was happy to find that all the water was gone and they had fans and a commercial dehumidifier running to make sure all the moisture was gone.  They also had done a bunch of touch-ups and it appears that the blue-tape fairy had visited as well.   It's really exciting to see it getting finished up.  Our final walk-through is this Tuesday, but our PM asked if we could meet him out at the house Friday afternoon for a walkthrough so that if there was anything we wanted addressed it could be done before the final so we could know everything was as it should be.   I thought that was a pretty awesome was for him to do this.  I've been very happy and impressed with how great Mark has been.  It feels like he really takes pride in what he does and is really trying to make sure everything goes as well as possible.  This is a huge moment for my wife and I and it's nice to see that the people involved feel the same.

Now on to the pictures!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

7/18/15 - We Have Power!!

On our way over to VA Beach today to run some errands we stopped by the house and found the electricians out working hard.  We took a quick peek and then went on our way so as to not disturb them.  After running around all day, and even visiting another Ryan site to take a look at the pretty decorating that all their models have, we stopped back by and to our delight, we had LIGHTS!!

12 Days left to close.  Everything is coming together very nicely.  Our PM seems to be on top of everything and most (if not all) of our concerns have been handled.  We can't WAIT!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

7/16/15 - The Home Stretch!

After work today I stopped by the house like I usually do and to my delight, I found that there had been quite a lot done.  I know I've posted a ton of pictures that probably look very similar to these, but oh well lol.  I tried to put them into some type of order so I can go through like a bit of a walkthrough.

This is from the front door looking into the great room from the foyer.  As you can see, there is the beginnings of the final electrical install.

To the left is a coat closet and a half bath/powder room

From there, to your right is the dining room

And to the left are the two staircases

Straight ahead is the great room

From there, the kitchen is to the right, and all our appliances are here as well as all of the plumbing is completed!!  We went with an appliance upgrade that was three or 4 levels (I can't remember which) above what came standard.  We wanted the whisper quiet dishwasher as well as the upgraded range which is gas (also an upgrade)

We also did in-ceiling audio in the kitchen/morning room with a volume control mounted on the wall

Off of the kitchen is the morning room.  We opted for the additional windows here as well to give us as much natural light as possible.  The left wall that you can't see has sliding doors that will open out onto a 20'x30' deck that will be built after we move in.

Next is the finished basement downstairs.

At the bottom of the stairs is a large storage room.  It's unfinished, but does have electrical and HVAC

On the right is a full bathroom with a walk-in shower

Then there is the main living area in the basement

The sliding doors from the basement walkout lead to a small platform/deck with steps down to the back yard.  Since the house is built on a hill, we opted to do it this way rather than having the yard back filled to make it a true walkout.  This gives us a much more useable back yard.

And here is a shot from the morning room doors looking down at it.  You can get an idea of the back yard too.  The wooded area past the sod is our property, but it's an RPA so it has to be left alone for the most part.  (Ignore the screwed up sod.  it rained like crazy about an hour after it was laid and they haven't come back yet to straighten it out)

To the right of the main basement area is the theater room and off of that is the mechanical room that houses the HVAC equipment, tankless hot water heater, sump, structured wiring cable and data panel,  and all the wiring for the multi-room audio, surveillance cameras and the theater system.

Across from the mechanical room is the 5th bedroom/ the kids playroom

Now we move upstairs..

First is the Master Bedroom.  We did the standard bedroom layout, but we added the tray ceiling and some extra outlets/ceiling fan rough-in

Walk-in closet in the master

Next is the master bath.  This is an alternate/upgraded layout with a shower stall and a soaker tub, as well as the tile and the expresso vanity

From there we go to bedroom #2 which will be the guest bedroom

Next is the hall bathroom, again with the expresso vanity

Across from the hall bathroom is the laundry room.  This is one of our favorite things in this house, our old house had the washer and dryer at the back of the garage and it was such a pain to do laundry.

Down from the laundry room is bedroom #3 which is our son's room

His room also has a walk-in closet with a window.  We plan to remove the door and put his desk under the window to give him a little sitting room to do his homework.

And lastly is bedroom #4 which we be my wife's scrapbooking room and our office.

I think that covers most of it.  It's still got a little ways to go, but it sure is coming together nicely.

14 Days to Go!!!