Friday, October 14, 2011

More details

So I figured it was time to post some more details.
Ravenna model
Click here to see the house we chose to build.  Some quick details.  It's a 4 bed, 2.5 bath, Family and Living room, Dining room, SECOND FLOOR LAUNDRY!!!, TWO CAR GARAGE!!!, unfinished basement, and a morning room.
Some chosen options that stand out:  Walkout basement (still wondering if I can get my bike through that door!), morning room, wood floors, upgraded 42" kitchen cabinets, stone fireplace, and a covered front porch!!!!
There is a house going up across the street and I find myself "stalking" that build.  Being on the way home from work, I find myself driving by a few times after work to check progress.  I'm sure when it's mine going up, I will swing by EVERY night.

Some tips and hints I have heard by now:
1)  Run a PVC pipe from the basement to the attic for future .... anything.  makes sense.
2)  Lay a PVC pipe under the drive way for future underground dog fence, sprinkler line, etc... (def. doing this!)
3)  Insulate the cold walls of the garage before the drywall goes up.
4)  I plan to put in a blue outlet box behind the tv and run a pipe to the basement on both sides of the family room so I can run any speaker wire in the future.

Those are the big ones on my list to do.  Do you have any ideas?  What did you do?  What do you WISH you would have done?

Have a great night.


  1. Spend the $$ on things you cannot do later...that what we did (excavated extra space in our basement vs crawl space, added the 4 ft bump out to the great room). I would get every room "roughed in" for ceiling fans (its a b--ch to do later) and I would pay to have the backyard (that will not be sodded) split seeded as soon as you are able (we tried to "do it ourselves" for 2 years to grow nothing but thistle--just bit the bullet--you will be glad you did :-)

    Congrats on taking the plunge--so excited for you!!!

  2. thanks Julie. Guess what? our new neighbor is an extreme couponer! The backyard is seeded, front sodded. We got either light or fan rough ins in all the rooms.

  3. We are running tubes all over the house and putting in junction boxes in all the rooms to do cable later. In VA we have Trinity instead of Gardian, but same stuff with them - and $195 for a cable drop is ridiculous. Hubby will put all the boxes in, put in the tubing, and put string in all the tubes to make it easier to pull wires into the attic. We didn't finish the basement, so we can pull wires down from the family room, too.

    Some suggestions we got - upgrade all the carpet pads - it will help the carpet last longer. Upgrade the upstairs carpet to at least mid-grade. Otherwise, plan on replacing the carpet in 3 years and paying 3x as much as the upgrade cost through the builder.

    I agree, if it is a room you want or a rough in you might want later, get it now. Our house has an option for a bath off of the 4th bedroom and we put it in. The basement we paid for a 2pc rough in and they ended up giving us a 3pc because that is just what they are used to doing. We added the morning room, large island, fireplace with stone, and we will add extra insulation in the garage, like you.

    Good luck!

    1. Gina,

      How were you able to run tubes throughout the house. I'm in Maryland and and just put a contract on a house, but Ryan is giving me a hard time about doing things like this telling me I need to go through Guardian.

    2. Hi,
      Through this and other Ryan home building blogs, I have figured out it has everything to do with your project manager AND what you want to do.
      For instance, I ran blue flex tube from the attic to the basement and then Family room to basement. My project manager was fine with it; however, he was not keen on me running wires. I received the same excuse, "Guardian does that". My project manager was fine with it because I didn't run wires. So my suggestion to you is see if your PM would be fine with running flex pipe (pvc or whatever) at your discretion. In tricky corners, you can pre-run a string allowing you to tie of electrical wires and pull through after move in.

  4. Thanks Gina,
    It was much cheaper for us to get cable outlets in the rooms and my wife was adamant about getting them now, sooooo she won that one.
    We in fact upgraded the carpet, but we jumped up on the pad installing the thickest pad (with moisture guard) anywhere we have carpet. When I heard (and saw) it had a moisture barrier, it was a no brainer.
    I'm really looking forward to that stone fireplace!

  5. Oh, and for conduit, we were told to use "Smurf tube" instead of PVC.

    You will just have to be sure to put in the correct diameter - I think we are doing with the 3/4in, but they make a 1/2in, too.

  6. At what point did you inquire about adding the PVC/smurf tubes? I've been told by the sales reps that I under no circumstances can run my own cat5/rg6 cable and have to pay the $150/outlet costs from their installer.

    I'd love to have a weekend or day prior to drywall to run all of the network and cable lines to the rooms without interfering with their work.

    1. Ryan homes has contractual agreements with Guardian to run cable/wires/etc... I have heard Guardian will pull out wiring if they find it. So don't bother trying. What you can do though, like Gina said, is to run Smurf/PVC tubing to low voltage boxes. You PM shouldn't care and will allow you to run wires through after move in. I would suggest you install pipe with string taped in so pulling wires through is easy.

  7. We discussed it directly with the PM. We only ran the conduit tube (smurf tube) and did not run the actual cables until we moved in. We did the tubing on the day of our pre-drywall inspection.

  8. I'm not handy at all and I have a question about running conduit/smurf tubes/ pvc: do you just stick it in? is there some way you need to fasten it down or anything? How do you mark where the pipe is so you can access it once the drywall is on?

    I'm assuming a vertical pipe can go between floors in the regular spaces between the studs, do you run things horizontally also or is that all people are referring to? Is there a lot of pre-measuring or planning or do you just bring some pipes and poke them in?

    What are the blue/junction boxes? do you just fasten them to a stud and try to find them later, or what?

    1. Julie,
      The "smurf" tube is blue flexible tubing that connects with plastic "snap fit" connectors. The only tool I needed was a drill for the holes. The attic to basement run was done with two pieces of tubing connected in the middle. The attic side has about 3 feet sticking up (so insulation doesn't cover it) and the basement side has about 12" sticking down. I ran it in the HVAC dead space, so the tube comes out next to the furnace. There was no measuring as I just drilled holes next to the HVAC tubing and the tube is flexible.
      For the family room, I bought low voltage boxes (orange-ish) and installed them where I want them (on the stud of my choice). Then I just drilled a hole beneath and to the basement, pushed the tube through and used a snap fit connector to the low voltage box.
      you can email me at