Saturday, January 17, 2015


Hi all!

Update on the upstairs bathroom....the plumbers have been out at least 10 times. After cutting a hole in the master closet, the problem remained. So they cut more holes in the garage and vented this toilet for the third time and it's better. The smell is gone and the bowl doesn't completely drain when you use the shower/tub. It goes down about an inch now and the sucking sound is barely there. They are at a loss of anything else to do, so we told the project supervisor that we are happy wih the fix as long as if the issue comes back we are covered, and he said we will be. The plumber was concerned other Florence's in our development could have the same issue and just went undetected- it was clearly the plumbing layout with a lack of venting. I guess I'm glad I'm a tad neurotic and pushed the issue! This toilet now has 4 sources of venting!

We will be calling to schedule our 10 month inspection and drywall fix soon, it's all due in Feb. I can hardly believe we have been here for 8 months, it actually feels longer and shorter all at the same time. Our PS for issues since we have been moved in recommended the drywall guys first, so if we aren't heppy with fixes he will do another touch up at the 10 month.

We have nail pops, seam splits, baseboards seperating at the seams and a few other settlement issues. Overall, not terrible. No cracks or anything like that. Our biggest issue with the drywall is just bad workmanship from the get go. Tape showing, really bad corners, I mean awful! Our other biggest complaint is the workmanship on the baseboards, it just sucks! Get on your hands and knees and check it all! They just made places fit and it is completely uneven!

Another complaint, which may not be a RH issue, is the base flooring. We picked out an almost white carpet (not so smart on my end) and the base linoleum flooring. The carpet sucks, and not just because of the color. Yes, dirty spots due to the color but it has worn down to a nub in a lot of places. 90% of the time it is just my husband, the dog and I, so it's not like we have "high traffic". The linoleum has seams showing and we were told there is just not much they can do about that. I took the base flooring for a reason, I had a 5 year plan to hardwood the whole house. The up charge from RH was insane for hardwood. So I am thinking my 5 year plan is now a 3 year plan! And because of this new 3 year plan, if the baseboards don't get fixed to my liking at the 10 month, I won't loose sleep, they will all be coming up and getting replaced when we do hardwood. We are on our second steam cleaner because we have to use it so much just so the carpet doesn't look completely matted and dirt brown. Not sure if I would have done flooring differently, I refused to pay for hardwood at RH prices, and why pay to upgrade when it's all going to come out, but just a warning if anyone else has a plan in mind like mine.

The lack of closets on my model is baffling. But this is my own dumb fault for not realizing this. It is still annoying!

I have two major regrets. First is not getting the 4 foot extension on the family room. The extra space would have been perfect, the family room is just not all that big in the Florence model. The other is a different elevation. We have B elevation, it was either that or K due to houses around us. So we went cheap and did B. There are two Florence's with K elevation and it makes such an impression to the front of the house, I really wish I would have chosen it! Those are the two major things I wish I would have done differently, the semi regret is not getting a fire place, but we would have needed the extension to accommodate it, so not a HUGE regret. There are cosmetic things like French doors and granite that would have been nice out of convenience but I stick to my guns on the ridiculous up charge and happy I saved that stuff to do over the years.

With the drywall repair and 10 month coming up, means I can paint soon! So as we update rooms with color I will post pics up! We have some DIY projects coming up and as spring rolls in, some big plans for our front and back yard, will post all! 

Most blogs I follow, everyone is settled in, so hope everyone is enjoying their house as much as we are!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bathroom update

Hi everyone!

So the new bowl for the bathroom was installed and that's a no go. They will be back next week to cut a hole in my master closet. The plumber said he has seen a problem with other RH that the vent is too short. So cutting the hole in the closet will allow him to view this and go from there. If that's the case, they want to connect that vent to the one with the master bathroom, so they can prevent going straight to the roof. I can appreciate this, I don't really want a hole cut in my roof during winter, or ever for that matter. Ongoing saga, but we love our plumber. His name is Randy, he's respectful that I work from home, nice to the dog and always takes time to just chat with us for a few moments. 

Have started decorating for the holidays! My mom will be out for thanksgiving but not Christmas, so I have 90% of Christmas decor up. Holy moly, we didn't have much and bought a ton, and it's still pretty sparse. Guess this will take years to gather over time. My husbands grand-dad always had a train set up in his basement, and now with our awesome new house, we have room! So he made a platform with train tracks on the perimeter and we are putting the Christmas tree in the middle! Will get pics once it's all complete, but so far it's just adorable.

*I'm gonna take two seconds to plug donating to the Salvation Army this season, so please ignore if you are offended. My grandfather was a prisoner of war in the Second World War. When he was released, he was put on a ship to come back to the U.S. On the ship was a Red Cross booth and a Salvation Army booth. The Red Cross booth had coffee and doughnuts, but they were for sale. Now, my grandfather was a prisoner for years, he had no money! So he went to the Salvation Army booth and they gave the POWs the money for coffee and a doughnut! He always told my mom to donate to the Salvation Army and she told me, and with modern technology, maybe I can help better a Vets life just by sharing the story to a larger audience.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fence and a few updates!

Hi everyone!

So clearly I am one of those really bad post build bloggers. I try to keep up and it just never works out! I guess better late than never...

Updates first! The leak from the morning room to the kitchen never came back. They came out and cut several holes in the drywall to see if there was any damage. There was none! So we didn't press to have it all replaced. The project supervisor was nice enough to do some extra holes in several spots to ease our mind there wasn't damage. They mudded and painted, can't even tell! While he was there, I showed him some of my beef with the finishing work- he agreed it was crap and they will fix it at the 10 month. He recommended to me that we make our drywall appointment before the 10 month inspection. That way, if anything was missed or not fixed to our satisfaction, they will fix it then. I really like this guy actually. He gives it to us straight and doesn't make promises he doesn't keep.

The bathroom. Ongoing still. We have a new toilet bowl sitting in the garage waiting to be installed. If this doesn't work, they start cutting holes in the wall. I'm not thrilled, but I want it fixed. So rip the whole bathroom out if that's what you gotta do! Again, the project supervisor told us this may take some time to fix, that's cool, as long as the end result is fixed and not "patched."

We are now going into the 5th week of not being able to park in our driveway or garage. Let me rephrase, our ENTIRE community cannot park in their driveway and we are all on the street, some for 3 weeks now and some of us for 5. They came through and ripped out all the aprons at the bottom of the driveway into the street and some of the curbs too. They replaced the curbs immediately, but the aprons have just been sitting there. So what a great time to go to an HOA meeting! I have to say, it was comical. At first I wanted to give the developer a bullet proof vest, but then he turned out to be quite... let's say smug (I'm being kind here). They went through and inspected what needs fixed before the final coat on the roads in preparation to turn the community over to the township and they felt the aprons and lots of curbs needed replaced. Hey, I like that they want it fixed and done right, but the time frame here is just not acceptable. We were originally told they do one side of the street and have that done in one week, then do the other- we were all dug up by week 3. Then they said it would be fixed by Halloween. Now it's next week. I'm clearly not holding my breath here. This is a developer issue, not a RH issue. But fun stuff I was absolutely CLUELESS about when I decided to build a home. The amount of money spent to fix things after the fact is insane!

OK, a few pics, nothing major. I love how our house looks with a fence. Pics aren't great, just used my phone and not my husbands camera.

Front of house with the fence, and much of it cut off, but you get the jist. I feel like we look comfy now. I want to put in at least one more flower bed. The combo of the flower bed and fence, it just makes us look a little "different" than all the other houses. Our community is Florence heavy since that is the model here, so I need to stand out a bit :)

The deck steps. Turned out great. We want to put a some type of trellis up there and something pretty that climbs without taking over. I'm thinking morning glory. Any suggestions?
This is the right hand side of the yard if you were looking from the street. Once it was all fenced in, we have so much more than we thought! Couldn't even get it all in the pic, the one corner goes way out.
 And this is the back. Again, more than we thought! There is still about 25 feet behind of woods that is our property. Continuing to work to clear out the vines and we will be planting some things to attract birds next year. It's a little bird sanctuary back there, they love it! Will be planting some veggie gardens about where I'm standing too.
 Here is a pic of the family room. We got new end tables, sofa table and TV stand. We had black before and it made the room WAY too dark. Liking the new look! End tables made out of old wine barrels, they are really cool! We found a place that has reclaimed barn beams down the road, we are really thinking of getting those and putting them in here. What do you think?
And Cassidy! Think she likes her Halloween costume? She has this look of complete humiliation and despair on her face. When we took it off the first time, she didn't "talk" to us for like an hour. But she warmed up to it and the neighborhood kids thought she was adorable.

So, I know I may be early to start asking about this, but please post pics of Christmas decor! I never had a good spot to decorate, just bought some Merry Christmas stuff and called it a day. Very excited to dress up my home with Christmas stuff!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I heart my kitchen and morning room!

Hi blogger friends!

As promised, I have some updates with pics this time! We have some friends coming over today to see the house for the the first time, so we did a shakedown last night and got the place looking like normal people live here :) Right now I have some pics of the kitchen, morning room and powder room. The dog and husband are currently camped on the family room couch and have zero intention of moving, so more to come!

The fence and stairs from the deck are also completed, I am so in love. It is a dreary, rainy day here, so pics to come on that too. It looks freakin amazing! As you go through these developments, all of the houses look the same. So I am pleased to say with how we set up our fence, you get to our house and go, hmmmm, that house looks different! Love that! Add a few more flower beds next year and we should stand out. I know it will never look completely different than others in the development, that's impossible, but I just want my touch. I'm a tad competitive, obvious much? haha!

As far as the fixes posted earlier.... we have now had multiple series of rain and no further leaking in the morning room/kitchen. I'm so grateful! Leaks seem to be ongoing once you get them and so far it is fixed. Will be calling next week to get the drywall replaced and painted- I'm sure this will be a fight as they didn't seem keen on replacing the drywall. I've got my boxing gloves in place if needed! The spare bathroom, they put a piece on and it is a bit better, but not fixed. They just came out this week so I wanted to give it a few days. It now only makes a little sucking sound. But I didn't flush at all yesterday and this morning there was ZERO water in the bowl. I'm sorry, not normal. Will be calling them back as well.

We are now working on the bedroom, kids rooms and the loft. I want to get them settled before winter then give projects a bit of a rest until spring. I'm ready to lounge, cuddle up with blankets and watch movies this winter!

Cassidy the puppy isn't such a puppy anymore! Will have to get some pics of her too, cuz what home is complete without a fur love child?! All potty trained, it was easy actually. There were only a few "oh hell no" moments with that! She has learned sit, stay, down, paw and sit pretty. Working on come and leash training at the moment.

Tell me those bar stools aren't the coolest? Got them from Bassett and totally in love! I think it shows a bit of our personality. I really want to get pendent lighting over the bar area- hubby is devising a plan! Ignore the table next to the fridge- I still haven't found anything to do with that area to put all the crap on when we come in the house.
 Kitchen again, love my owls. It somehow became our thing, but worked out well! On the list, a nice back splash.
 New trestle kitchen table! Handmade by this company I found online. Really great price. Google Carpenter James if you are interested! I wish the rug was a bit bigger- but the next biggest size would have been too wide for the room, so took what I could get. I wanted color without the "kid" look!
 Just another view. Isn't the table dreamy?
And again! Apologies for the plants on the old bar stools. I waited a little too late in the season to find good plant stands to put the plants on, but hey, they work for now!
 The powder room, it is SO hard to photograph, nothing does it justice! It's a really cool spot. And replacing the mirror in here made SUCH a difference!
Another angle
 And another angle....You can see the mirror again
This is going into the powder room. We call it conversion space.... go from our grown up house to the play areas haha! My husband saw these comic book pics and had to have them. Hey- I'm a smart girl, the key to a good marriage is compromise- so he got this area and the powder room :) OK OK, the loft he's getting input in on as well. We are making it "movie themed"- kinda. Pics on that soon too!

Have I mentioned I want to paint? Oh how badly I want to paint. I'm pleased with decorating for now but the "look" won't be completed really until there is paint. I sit and wait patiently..... I have to. We have SO many nail pops, it's insane. Lots of places where the seams and taping are showing as well. I thought I had a crack earlier, but it was just a tape seam, so that's good. We also have alot of areas of REALLY bad corners, I mean bad. Wavy. I can't say for certain it was like this when we closed, maybe it happened with settling of the house, maybe it didn't. We were so damn happy to have a house that, looking back, I don't think we paid as much attention at closing as we thought we did. Finishing work is just total crap, I mean CRAP! I bought the value size blue tape for the 10 month follow up and dry wall repair and I have no doubt we will use it all! I don't have high hopes on the finishing work being done right, because if it wasn't done right the first time, are they gonna pay attention to detail the second go round? I doubt. The baseboards look like a 5 year old did them, for real. I've spent so many days and nights being upset with the finishing work, I just can't anymore. I'll put up a good fight but have made peace with the fact I may have to do it myself.

Opinion! We are going to paint the interior doors black... do you think it is safe to do it now or wait until the 10 month and dry wall repairs?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Hi all!

Just want to send a quick update to the service calls....

No real rain to see if the leak is fixed.... We are forecasted 2 inches tonight and tomorrow, so that should be a good test. To be continued.

Toilet debacle. They came and agreed something ain't right. Said they needed to order a part and will be back. He said it sounded like it was gasping for air. Still no follow up if and when the part will be installed. Hubby contacted RH today for follow up.

Floor guy came out and fixed up our linoleum slash, looks good. The bubble was not a bubble, it's the seam! He said there isn't much you can do about it in new homes with shifting and settling- it just takes a few years to settle and seams will show. Looked it up and he is right! I mentioned I kinda regret not getting tile or hardwood from the get go and he was like noooooo, that was smart! Settling is horrid on tile and hardwood and the up charge is insane. He gave us a card of a local place to call when we want to upgrade for pennies if we don't want to do it ourselves. He recommended giving the home a few years to fully settle too for areas we don't want carpet. He was awesome, very nice and gave us tons of tips for flooring and new homes.

So far, everything is getting fixed or in process. It takes forever! I think I'm realistic that I get stuff needs tweeked and will even break. What I'm shocked at is how long it takes! And that no one but us is actually going to follow through to make sure the fix is done once we call. It is what it is, but man!

Our fence is postponed a bit. The township wanted more info before they would approve the stairs off the deck. They have til Friday to approve or nay, so we will see. The company we hired wants to do it all together, so we were to start tomorrow but now on hold. I'm cool with that, fence isn't all that useful if the pups can't really get to it!

We have two more pieces of furniture to be delivered next week then will get some pics up. Plan to get up the fall/Halloween decorations purchased this far too. I love fall, it's just the best decorations and smells!

Question to all.... I follow one blog that has amazing adds to the house to deryanize it. I can't add columns and such like they did, I'm not that handy or have true wood working tools. What are some things you have done or want to do to give your house that "yours" and not RH feel? I know things take money and we could just pay people, but I really want to do some things myself, so I can say, hey, that's OURS, we DID that! I just think that would be so cool! Internet can give the how to but I just lack the creativity of what to do! Would love any ideas!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Morning room leak update

Hi all!

Our original PM and the siding/roofing guy came out today. They crawled up there and was able to see part of the tape and flashing where the morning room meets the house was "not right." So they fixed it up and now just have to sit back and wait for some rain....

Both hubs and I were politely insistent our drywall be replaced. They stated they would be back out to make any drywall repairs once we know the leak is under control. Here's my concern- if it's been leaking for awhile but just now finally made it through the house, the only way to assess the all of the damage is to start yanking it out. We did have some hellacious storms last Saturday, but I'm not convinced it wasn't an ongoing thing.

So far, was fixed quickly, the first portion. So we will wait for a few rainy days then call them back to check out the drywall. Plumbers come tomorrow too. The service manager we dealt with a few weeks ago is on vacay this week so we will have to wait til next week to find out about the flooring guys.

On a brighter note.... Very soon we will get some more pics up of a few changes to the house! By the end of the month we will have a nice, new fence and depending on how motivated I am, I might put another flower bed in this fall, we shall see. Also some new furniture and decorating changes on its way, so will get all this up for anyone interested soon!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

When water is bad!

So I was overly thrilled today to see some rain- we put crabgrass killer down a few week ago and apparently we had more weeds than grass! Our lawn looked horrible so we thatched and seeded this past week. So wouldn't anyone's first response to rain be a huge Woooo Hooooo?!?!

Well, then we sat down to eat dinner.....queue the dramatic music.....we have bubbles of water throughout the entire archway from the kitchen to the morning room. Immediately up to the attic and that is dry, so must be coming from the morning room. Call and left a message at RH 877 number and will call on Monday. Oh how scared I am! Hubby actually opened a few of the paint bubbles to let the water run out and there was a lot more than you would think could come out!

And here I thought I was starting to run out of things to blog about, silly girl. Will keep updating.... But for all of you who haven't closed or sent in your survey....WAIT!! Don't do it right away!

Oh, and the floor people never called to set up an appointment. We will tackle that on Monday as well.