Monday, May 20, 2013

Boy things move fast!

We had our pre-construction meeting about 2 1/2 weeks ago and I came armed with my list of questions, thanks to all of the blogging community!  Nothing too crazy, mostly just basic questions that I wanted to double check on.  I think my biggest disappointment is that they do not install a back-up system on the sump pump.  Having come from a house that had quite a few water issues in the basement because of that very issue, we were not that happy.  However, it is something that can easily be added after the fact, so I guess it's not that big of an issue.  During this meeting we did add a few more electrical outlets, but pretty much everything else was correct and went smoothly.  They informed us that we were to begin construction the week of May 13th, woo hoo!!!!

Fast forward a week or so and I had driven by the lot to see that they had indeed begin digging!  This picture was from Tuesday, the 14th.

I got a call on Thursday from our SR and PM just to update us on the progress.  Turns out that they had actually started the digging at the end of the previous week.  The foundation was in and they were pouring our concrete that day and the plumbing groundwork would be going in the following week.  We drove by on Sunday with the kids and saw all of the progress.

I met my first neighbor via the blog too!  Turns out that they are the lot right next door to us!  We're probably about 2 weeks or so behind them, so it's nice to see how their progress is going as well.  When I drove by on Tuesday it didn't look like they had any of the framing above ground done, but by Sunday it was totally up!  Boy do they move fast!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Upgrades, Options and Elevations, OH MY!!

Like I said in my previous post, I was shocked at how quickly they have you start picking out your options, etc.  I didn't feel like I was quite ready for that and needless to say, changed our minds a few times!

We started out with the Elevation C and ultimately it was my husband who decided that he really wanted a front porch, so we opted for Elevation E instead with Partial Stone.

I am so glad that we chose this elevation...I'm in love with that porch and I haven't even seen it yet!  Choosing the siding colors, etc. may have been one of the most difficult decisions because trying to choose the color of your entire house from those tiny little swatches is HARD!  Let's hope Ryan knows what their doing when putting together their color schemes.
  • Siding Color - Sandy Tan
  • Shake Siding Color - Pebble Clay
  • Shutters Color - Black
  • Front Door Color - Black Fox
  • Trim/Garage Door Color - White
  • Stone Color - Dakota Ledgestone (this was my second choice, our neighbors, who are also building a Rome had already chosen the one that I really wanted)

First Floor 
Ryan was running a Bundle Package when we originally signed our paperwork, which included Hardwood in the Foyer and Powder Room, the Morning Room and Upgraded Owner's Bath for a special price.  So we also added hardwood in the Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen and Morning Room.  We were advised to do the ceramic in the Mud Room because it's more durable and the Vinyl would have been a little bit lower than the hardwood, which would make for a strange transition.  We also got the Gourmet Kitchen with a Gas Range, Stainless Appliances and added a Stone fireplace.  Originally we were just going to go with one of Ryan's refrigerators, but decided we could get a nicer fridge for probably less money elsewhere.
  • Cherry Hardwood 
  • Carpet B in Family Room and Study - Collinsville Mocha Froth
  • Ceramic in Mud Room - 12x12 Fidenza Cafe
  • 15-Panel Door for Study (NS request that I saw on someone else's blog and asked for)
  • Stained Railings w/ White Baulsters
  • Countertops - Santa Cecilia
  • 42" Cabinets - Wyoming Square Cherry Bordeaux
  • Satin Nickel Hardware for Cabinets
  • Fireplace Stone - Bucks County Ledgestone
Kitchen Counters, Cabinets and Flooring. Family Room Carpet

Flooring, Carpet and Mud Room Ceramic

Second Floor 
On the second floor, the only major upgrade we did was the Owner's Bathroom, which was included in the Bundle Package.  We also decided on Double Bowl Vanities in both the Guest Bath and Owner's Bath.  When we visited CTI to select our flooring options, etc. the one thing that our designer did "sell" us on was to make sure and upgrade the shelf in your shower.  Otherwise, you are stuck with this white ceramic soap dish that sticks out of your beautiful ceramic shower surround and really throws off the whole look.  I think this was only like a $50 upgrade, so it was a no-brainer for us!
  • Carpet A in entire upstairs
  • Double Bowl Vanities in both bathrooms
  • Vanity tops in both bathrooms - Cultured Marble White
  • Vanities in both bathrooms - Andover Square White Timberlake
  • Owner's Bathroom w/ Soaking Tub & Shower Alternate Layout
  • Ceramic Surround in Owner's Bath - 12x12 Stratford Place - Truffle Field
Guest Bath w/ Carpet in Hallway

Owner's Bath w/ Carpet in Bedroom

Close-up of Ceramic Surround in Owner's Bath

We were so happy that the promotion the month that we purchased was a FREE finished lower level!  This was one of our "must-haves" when purchasing a new home, so it worked out well for us!  We added a Powder Room and Wet Bar.  The Wet Bar placement ended up being one of the hardest decisions during our pre-construction meeting!  And ultimately, it was a picture from a fellow blogger's blog that helped us decide!  The basement is probably one of the spaces we will use the most in the new house and one of the places I am most looking forward too!
  • Carpet C - Simple Touch Capri
  • Wet Bar Counters - Jamocha Granite (formica)
  • Wet Bar Cabinets - Wyoming Square Cherry Spice
  • Powder Room
Wet Bar Counters, Cabinets and Carpet

Wet Bar Counters, Cabinets and Carpet

Entire House!

Friday, May 3, 2013

First attempt at goes nothing!

Okay so this is going to be my first go round and blogging, so I hope I do okay with it!  I've enjoyed reading everyone elses blogs as my husband and I have started this process that I only felt right by sharing our experiences too!

I'll start with a little background...we had found the community that we wanted to build in almost as soon as they started selling homes there in Bel Air, MD.  The next big task was figuring out which floor plan was right for us and our family.  We first toured the Palermo because I liked that it didn't have a formal living room as I sometimes feel that can end up being unused space, but we didn't like the feel of the felt very closed off to us.  So our next stop was the Rome and as soon as my husband walked upstairs into the loft, he said he didn't want to look at anymore homes and so our decision was made!

I was surprised at how quickly they have you start picking out your options.  The day we went to tour to visit the community and told the SR which model we were interested in he already had us sit down and start choosing layout upgrades, elevations, etc.  I'll add our options that we ended up with in a separate post.

We break ground in a little over a week and I can't wait to see things really start moving!  As of right now, we still just have a stake in the ground, but not for long...