Saturday, April 28, 2012

Time to re-visit some ideas

We have been "home" for about 3 months now.  We are still disgustingly happy with our home.  There have been bumps along the way, but with some patience and time it comes together.

I really enjoy keeping up with the folks who are starting, looking to start, or in the middle of building.  I think we can all work to make the blogs about more then just the "look at my drywall" pics.  We have been posting ideas, thoughts, disappointments, misunderstandings, etc...  This is great.  When I first started this process, all I could mostly find was the "look at the cabinet" blogs.  We all have great ideas, some we acted on, some we didn't.  I think it's great if we can keep these alive for the next family to act on.

I want to re-visit a some of these as you would have to dig way back in my blog history to find these.  I will also add in some I have heard from others.

-Getting an island?  Add an outlet to both sided of it.  We got the standard one outlet and found a second one on the opposite side would be great for laptop charging cable, phone chargers, etc...
-Add a tube running from the attic to the basement.  I ran a 3/4" flexible smurf tube.  This allowed me to run an attic antenna to the basement.  My neighbors have a satellite dish on the roof with the coax strapped to the siding all the way down.  The tube would have saved them this.
-Running rear speakers?  I put in a low voltage electrical box in the family room on the TV wall with some smurf tube punching into the basement.  I put another on the opposite wall.  When I moved in, I just ran my speaker wire down to the basement, strapped it across and back up into the family room.  Perfect!
-TV over the fireplace?  Don't pay for Guardians pre-wire (it was quoted $500 for us).  Just run a PVC pipe from the side to where you want it above the fireplace.  When you install it, run a string and tape it off.  That way, after move in, you just tie the string off to the cables and pull.  Don't forget to get Ryan to put in an outlet.
-Hate stacking pots and pans?  check out the pull out shelves from Rev-a-Shelf.  We bought one from Lowes.  Easily the best damn thing in my kitchen.  I actually show it off to visitors.
-Under cabinet lighting?  Don't pay Ryan's obscene cost.  Just buy the puck kit for $30-ish and install yourself.  They come with a toggle switch you can opt to install.  Mount it behind the front edge of a cabinet and run them in line.  Then run the power cord up between two cabinets, drill a hole in the top of the one over the micro.  Cut the end off and hook up a 90degree plug.  Then just plug it in to the micro outlet and you're good to go.
Note-if you pay for a switched outlet to be put in a cabinet, you can have a wall switch and skip the toggle.
-Have a dog or plan to get one?  Put a 1" PVC pipe down below the driveway when they pour concrete.  I have one so that I can run a underground dog fence through it and not deal with a concrete saw.  Consider the size of pipe.  Running a sprinkler line through would work too.  Depending on your layout, running one under the walkway would be smart too.
-Mount a TV on the wall in a room?  Screw in some chunks of 2x6 between some studs.
-Second floor laundry?  Get the dryer exhaust vent put high enough to hook up AFTER you have pushed the dryer in place.  Trust me on this one.
-Second floor laundry part II, screw some chucks of 2x6 or 2x8 between the joists under the washer.  We have dealt with the "high speed shakes"and finally minimized it by removing the pedestal, adding anti-vibe feet and pushing pieces of those foam pool tubes between the washer and wall/dryer
-CONSIDER LIGHT SWITCH PLACEMENT.  I like the idea of the garage coach lights operated from front door.  Many have chosen to get the garage interior light switched INSIDE house.  Some even prefer the basement light switch at the top of the stairs.
-Hose bibs.  You get two at the plumbers discretion.  I advise you hammer your PM for specific locations desired.  I would also consider getting a third or fourth as well.  You have four sides of your house with grass all around.  Seems getting four hose bibs would have been brilliant.
-plan to put a laundry tub in the garage.  But one could have considered paying for the plumbing outlets and drain roughed in.
-I have heard of some getting a drain in the garage.  Seems like a good idea

I am drawing a blank.  I am sure I have more.  What do you have?  What have I missed?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Holy Crap! is that grass!?

Pictures to follow as my wife has camera.
I came home today and holy crap....I see grass popping out of the hay blanket!  And we have some more rain on tap tomorrow. Luckily this is a good time as Mother Nature has helped out with some rain.  Interesting to both WANT the rain for the grass but NOT want rain as it makes for a dreary day.  
I am still waiting on that "one more time through the house" trip.  Although the replacement screen was laying in front of the garage today when I got home.
ATTENTION, don't send in your survey until everything is done.  I have faith that my PM will follow through with his "word" BUT, I sent in the survey BEFORE they final graded and sod/seeded.  One could wonder if having the survey in the back pocket he would be a little more...motivated.  I emailed him the side pic with the 10ft off the deck outlet and the waterproofing sticking out asking some questions and have not heard back in a couple days.  Time will tell.  I still have the 10 month and am fine if this crap gets pushed off til then.

Stay tuned.  I am planning on putting up some trim in the "mudroom" aka hallway from garage to kitchen with some easy to clean semi gloss paint below the trim.  Add a few hooks to the trim by the door and I have a great place for leashes, jackets, etc...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Keeping Up

I still check everybody's posts damned near daily.  I enjoy seeing the new as well as those that are in.  I like getting any ideas I can pull from a post.  Like tonight, running a gas line for the BBQ grill is awesome.  
So, if you read my post and I am not subscribed to your blog leave my your blog link and I will add you so that I can keep up.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Yard pics

So I mentioned earlier that pics were to follow.  So here goes.
bed mulched, porch painted

look, it's 4/20 and I got grass

I was asked in the last post what I don't like about the grading.  Check out the corner of the porch and how the ground/grass drops off.  That's approx. a 45degree drop!  mowing should suck.

While I am happy that I got an electrical outlet on the side of the house, I would have appreciated it within reach.  Don't see it?  Start at the A/C unit and look up.  That little box is the outlets 10' off the ground.

you may notice the gray drain pipe sticking out.  I was under the impression that additional pipe would be added and more dirt to cover.  Oh well.

one more time through the house

So my PM is rolling through the house one last time while he is "assigned" to me.  We have hit the 90day and will have to start using the 1-800 number between now and the 10 month.
What's he doing today?
Replacing the morning room screen door. Screen was torn when they were "fixing" the leak issue
Replacing kitchen corner bottom cabinet door.  Cracked for no apparent reason
Securing the hose bib.  I think they screwed it to the siding only.  ummmm, you need longer screws guys. 
Fix a spot of drywall where it meets the railing.  It's cracked and looks like shit.
Repair multiple edges of hardwood boards
Toe kick molding under cabinet loose.  They secured it with two nails only. 
Fill a small spot of drive way concrete where it meets the garage concrete.
There may be a couple other issues, but they escape me now.  I am very happy that my PM is making this one last trip through.

On the grass side of things, we got our sod/seed last Friday.  It looks great and we are diligently watering.  It's a great time of year as mother nature helps out a bit with lower temps and rain.  The final grading will be graded a "B".  WARNING, I believe they final grade and sod on the same day to keep you from bitching about the grading.  I would advise getting a very clear understanding of what the PM's plans are if you foresee issues.  Now that my grass is down, I am likely to live it as I don't want to tear up the grass I have waited for. 
I see what you did there Mr. PM.  Well played Ryan homes, well played.

Pictures to follow.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pickup trucks do fit.

For those that wonder if the large vehicle they drive will fit into their garage, check this out.
I was asked by another Ravenna builder to send him some shots of my truck in the garage for a "fit test".  I figured I would post the results so anyone with a question on pickup trucks fitting in garages may benefit.

If I didn't hog space to the right, fitting another vehicle in here would be possible.

Although, I would probably put it on the other side as this would be a tad tight. 

It's tight, but it works.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Not so fast Mr.Grass

Ok, so nothing yet. 
I have not touched base with my PM as to the delay in final grading or sod.  As of 0700 today, I still had piles of rocks in my front yard.  Oh well....all in due time.  One more week I don't have to rake.
Piles of Rocks?  My front yard is widely populated with rocks, most from when they do the driveway.  So one day when I was bored and thinking rocks should be raked into piles and removed.  I got just under a 1/3rd of the front raked into piles before I decided I was A) an idiot, surely they will remove rocks on "final grade" and B) tired.  That's low ranking bullshit work there.  I had sent multiple inquiries to my PM asking if there is some kind of rock removal step.  The email at the beginning of this week said that he scheduled this week for "final grade" and "rock removal".  Sure...after I raked into piles.  haha.  At least the piles will FORCE them to do something.   Hopefully it's NOT level them back out and throw some dirt on top.

One quick note.  If you are like me, the package included SOD in the front, and SEED the side and back.  I talked to a neighbor that got the whole lot sodded for an additional $1000.  So it that's important to you, ask for it.  

I am waiting for 2 weeks of no rain so I can seal my deck.  I am bound and determined to not let my deck fall into shit in this house.  I started doing a little research into a quality seal.  Turns out there is a lot to this topic.  So before you waltz into Home Depot and buy the first color you like, do some research.  Turns out HD's Behr deck stain product is reviewed as some of the worst! 
After a fair amount of time, I ordered this:
Feel free to do your own research.  I have yet to apply, but this is the stuff contractors use.  It penetrates INTO the wood and not just puts a cover on it.  Even better, in two years when I recoat the horizontals, I will not have to scrap, sand, etc... the old stuff.  Just reapply.  I haven't found a bad review yet....and if YOU do...I don't want to see it!

That is all for now.
carry on