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.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Service call update

Good morning everyone!

Just wanted to give a quick update. A team of three guys came out and they were polite, I was happy about that.

The floor squeak- it was actually the wall. There was a gap in the stud framing to the floor, so the squeak was actually the wall making noise when you walked on the floor. All fixed up with some shims. Acceptable.

The sub floor at the bottom of the steps was sticking up like an inch when they pulled the carpet up! Holy crap! Some nails were lose so they removed them and used screws. All fixed and acceptable. Now here is my question, and clearly I am not an engineer, contractor, ect...... Why do they use nails anymore when they pop?!

The toilet debacle. It was worse by the time they came too. When the tub drains the toilet swooshes, it's freaky! All parties present completely agreed it isn't a clog. Take that 1-800 Ryan Homes girl! Said a plumber will call to schedule. They did the next day and will be here in two weeks. Acceptable, this far.

The linoleum slash and bubble. He said he has great floor guys that can fix it up without ripping it all up and we won't be able to tell. They will call us to set up an appointment. Still not a peep from them, I will give them one week to call and schedule.

We brought up the French drain to the service supervisor too. I don't know why but I'm so ticked off by the answer from the PM and couldn't let it go! He told us that every home drainage system is different depending on the lot. Ok, acceptable. He said that since we cannot see the right side he is confident that it is not meant to be exposed and it goes to the sump pump. I voiced my "frustration" with the PMs answer to us. He started to fly into this ramble of excuses.... I gave a look..... And I have one hell of a don't mess with me look. So I'm not sure if he picked up on it or is just a smart dude, but that conversation quickly changed to.....I'm sorry I'm giving you excuses and that was not an acceptable answer.

So far I'm pleased. Now I have to see if the other stuff gets fixed. I guess I'm a bit skeptical hearing how others are fighting to get stuff that was promised to us fixed properly and in a decent time frame. Stay tuned!

We are going to take advantage of some of these great Labor Day sales, so will get some updated pics up soon!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The floor is squeaking!

Good morning everyone!

If you recall from our 30 day walk through, we noticed where nails from the subfloor weren't shot in correctly. We were told that more nails were placed plus glue. Well, yup, you guessed it, it's now squeaking in that area! Plus, at the end of that same floor board, it's now sticking up. My husband called the RH number and someone will be out this week. He also said he wants the toilet addressed, we just can't fix it so something is definitely not right. We also noticed awhile back that there is a razor gash in the linoleum. We weren't going to mention it until our ten month, but now there is bubbling. So we will be asking to have all of these things Our original plan to wait til the ten month is out the window, I am not OK with feeling the floor board, a bunk toilet or the linoleum. I have a feeling the only way to fix the linoleum properly is to rip it all up since it is one piece. Not thrilled, but I want it fixed properly!

Onto better news, the neighbor had Tru-Green take care of his lawn and they recommended Scott's summer blend fertilizer and did really well for his yard. So we grabbed a bag of that and I have to say, the grass looks a thousand times better already. There is also a fall weed and feed that Scott's has, so we will put down later in the fall too. This was the third time we fertilized and was by far the best stuff. The rye grass RH puts down is now sprouting its rye, so icky!

Will post after RH comes out. Am hoping there is no push back from them. One tiny nudge and I've got my boxing gloves ready!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

First a rant, then some raves!

Hi blogger friends! Apologies for not much blogging, but really, not a whole lot has been going on. We settled in at a warp speed and have gone pretty slow since.

So the rant.... oh boy! I know I have said it before, but my husband is seriously the most patient man alive. And thank goodness for that. So we have been getting some estimates for a fence and to add stairs on the deck. Let me first say that if you want stairs off your deck, have RH do it, it would have been way cheaper! So on this journey, we came across two things that we needed some answers to. First, the right hand side of the house, we cannot see where the french drain ends. We see it clear as day on the left side, but nothing on the right. We would hate for the fence guys to gouge it or anything. So my hubby saw our PM and asked him if he knew.... Are you ready for this, are you ready for this answer? He actually told Hubby to go to the back of the house on the right hand side, dig down til we find it then dig out til it ends! WTF! You want us to dig up the lawn that we have spend hundreds of hours and dollars on after RH gives you total crap?! Ummm, I think not. So happy it was Hubby who handled him, he was a gentleman as always, but he came in fuming mad. I know when he's mad, that I would have required handcuffs and a straight jacket. So needless to say, we have no idea where that french drain ends. Then he asked about the deck, because like many others, we were told it was Trex. After fence/deck guys looked to find the color match in Trex, taaadaaaa, they don't have that color! So it took several days but the PM did text him back with the brand, which is actually Evergreen. Here's what I have learned.... that survey? That is what they care about, and when you fill it out, you are now a number. I get it kinda, the PM can't constantly answer questions and get phone calls from all his prior customers. But after we filled that out, we don't even so much get a wave when they drive by anymore. Hey RH, maybe I would want to build again! Do you think about that? Ongoing customer service and politeness is required for repeat customers! Oh, and the dishwasher was installed with a bum part and started leaking. The first time the guy came out he couldn't reproduce it, shocker. But Hubby called back because HE figured it out, it's some sort of hinge that is sticking out. Waiting on that part to come in for the final fix. And last, the spare upstairs bathroom. So we didn't have a problem until recently. OK, let me rephrase. We don't use that bathroom, 95% of the time, it's just him and I here. About a month ago we noticed it had this awful sucking sound from the tub and sink when you flush. Hubby called the 800# and the very NOT plumber customer service person insisted it is a clog (it isn't), that clogs aren't covered by the warranty (no shit, but it isn't a clog) and they will send someone out but we will have to pay for it if it is a clog. So I'm sure my husband could better explain, but the bowl doesn't fill up full enough and the placement of the pipe thingy that fills the back is way too low. So he has adjusted it some, but is still figuring out how to move the pipe portion. It's seriously just easier to fix ourselves than deal with one more moron from RH telling us it's a clog. Jerks. So what I'm learning, if you have problems, you best come prepared to tell them exactly what it is and exactly how it needs fixed, or you get the run around. Awesome. And let's take a deep breath and move onto happier things!

Now onto some good! The Hubby had a great decorating idea! I was quite shocked, haha! After we went to a huge multi family garage sale, we found two original Beatles albums in great condition. He suggested the powder room be a rock and roll theme. Until we can get some more albums, we just selected some album covers off the internet and printed them out. We still have a ton more to do, but here is the start. We also got some guitar decals to put on the wall that turned out cool. When we are ready to paint, I plan on doing really thick blood red and blood orange stripes. Here's some pics, not the easiest room to photograph, but you get an idea. We also found a mirror at Kirklands to replace the existing one and de-Ryanize that part too.

We also got some decorating and furniture squared away with the loft. I work from home a lot and Hubby spends a lot of time on the computer editing his photos, so we really wanted it nice and comfy up here. The desks are actually from Ikea and we love em! My hubby picked out the rug from RugsUSA before we moved in. I was hesitant, but it actually came out pretty cool!

Oh and I can't forget, a quick snapshot of the front of the house. The garden is looking good and we added lots of different flowering perennials since we started it. The grass is looking OK. The crap that RH puts in is already dying out. So we are gonna de-thatch this fall and again in the spring to prep for more grass seed next year. Disregard the bucket and hose, the car just had a bath and we just watered the front. The siding looks really light here, it's quite darker in person.

And we started a nice little workout area in the basement. Need some more stuff, but I'm stalking craigslist daily. We got the elliptical for pennies there! The "mat" for the floor came from Costco for next to nothing too. I like it!

And now, the biggest addition to our home and family! Please meet Cassidy Grace! Yes, I'm one of those very weird people who give their dog a middle name :) We have been looking and looking. We applied at one rescue, but didn't have a good feeling about it- they seemed really strict and we haven't had a pet in the past 5 years or a fenced in yard. Quotes for the fence all making sense now! So a few weeks ago I was doing my daily stalking on pet finder and saw our precious little pup and her sister were rescued from a kill shelter in NC and brought up by the SPCA. Her paper work said she was 5 1/2 months old, we brought her home on July 19th. Our vet says she is probably closer to 7 months old now. She is a good girl with a very, very sweet personality! She loves people and loves to sleep. A week after we had her, she just didn't seem to perk up yet. Turned out, where they spayed her, she was having an allergic reaction to the internal sutures, so she had another surgery. She is doing great now and is settling into her new home great! She has already learned sit and almost has down mastered. She went on her first walk in the woods yesterday and jumped right into a lake, it was adorable! So here she is, she is a big baby :)

She is quite the spoiled girl, lots of treats and toys! But hey, she's a part of the family! And if you are going to wear the cone of shame, let it be pink! We are also getting some weight on her, she was really skinny.

The back is also coming along slowly. We finally gave up and got some chemical stuff for all the invasive vine. It's all dead now, we just need to drag it out. There are some nice bushes in there that have come back to life too. Next spring we will start to plant some different flowers and bushes that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, along with a pond/fountain feature. Hubby has a great vision of his little nature area and I think it's gonna turn out wonderful!

I think that is all for now. We have some bedroom plans in the works as well as a few more de-Ryanizing ideas. Will post em up as they come along! Have a great day everyone :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

AC- or not!

This past weekend we had a nice get together with kids and adults running in and out of the house while it was hot, lots of doors left open. So that evening we noticed our AC wasn't quite right. Monday we went down and there was a decent size puddle around it, so we shut it off and called the people in the binder. They came out the next day and said the coils were just frozen, all thawed out and should run ok. Well not so much, so they came back out and low and behold..... They put a recalled unit in the house. It was recalled for a valve. So they came back out the very next day again and replaced it. Seems to be working fine now, but I'm gonna run this baby on artic all summer long to make sure there are no further issues! The good thing, the numbers in the RH binder have all came through. This is the second time we had to use them and had people here to fix in less than 24 hours.

We have a full lawn with just a few patches here and there, nothing major though. Would it look like that if we didn't reseed? Doubt it! After the second time we mowed we stopped watering daily, and the rain has come in nice intervals that we don't water much anymore. Still more baby grass coming in every week, so I expect it to look fuller and fuller as the summer goes on.

Got our first settlement crack, if you can call it that. It's right around the corner beading. Lots of nail pops in the hallway going up the stairs, bit just a few here and there besides those. The wall across from the toilet in the powder room is jacked. I don't know if it's from settlement or was like that when we moved in, but it's wavy.

We have been clearing out portions in the back wooded area, not completely but getting all the invasive vine out. We want to make this a nice little nature area, put some bushes in that attract butterflies, a nice pond/fountain and a fire pit. Slowly but surely it's coming along. We have lots of birds coming to the feeders including a beautiful hummingbird! We want to plant a nice tree back there on our one year house anniversary and watch it grow over the years! Our next big outdoor project will be a fence! We just applied to a local rescue for a precious 4 year old black lab
that would fit in perfect with our family! Fingers crossed, we should hear back within a month.

We haven't done much more decorating wise with the house, just really enjoying it, but will get back to it soon. It's so hard without the walls painted! But I'm starting to get ideas even sans paint. I want to get the interior doors painted and the garage floor painted this year.

So I know, a post isn't much fun without pics, so will get some soon and get them up! Figured I would just rattle off a little with the AC post :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

What is going on with blogger?

All of a sudden when I go to my blogger dashboard "home page" it doesn't show the list of all recent posts from all the blogs I am following, it only shows one post, the most recent! Anyone else having this problem? I haven't changed any settings but something must have changed! Ack!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Busted out the lawn mower!

Just wanted to send a quick update that we HAD to mow this past weekend! Still some patches but grass is growing in most of them. Other areas were getting really really high. Glad we did it, it looks so much better! The rain has helped a lot- dying for the side yard to completely fill in, I really want to get a slip and slide! Yup! We are old school :) I say it's for the kids, but who am I kidding?!

Nothing major has been happening, we have just sat back and enjoyed it a bit...but not for long, time to get cracking! I hope I can hold out the year to paint, these white walls are driving me batty, I guess this is a good test of patience :)

Some more nails pops but no settlement cracks yet. Now that the weather is really getting nice and summery, interested to see the settling. For those of you in for awhile, did most of your settling occur at the change of season?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Starter yard progress!

Hey everyone! I just wanted to share our progress with the yard so far. It's not perfect, but we have done a hell of a job so far. We have been given compliments by our PM, the current sales rep and many neighbors so I thought it would be nice to share what we did to hopefully help others! I'm not gonna lie to ya, it's A LOT of work. We spend about 2 hours a day tending to it, but let me tell ya, if you work out, you can skip the gym! So please don't for a minute think what RH does is a done deal, it's ongoing!

So first off, we live in the NE United States (OK, OK, I don't mean to be insulting, our blog name kinda gives it away, but I'm trying to be thorough here) and our development was built on former farm land. So deep down the soil isn't bad (we discovered this by digging for the trees). But on top and the fill, oh VEY! It's crap dirt, if you can call it that. So when we did our flower beds, we took out almost EVERYTHING and put top soil in.

They came out and hand seeded the week after we closed- so the last week of April. They put down the straw mats on the sides of the house and then just loose straw in the front and back. If they haven't done your yard yet, INSIST on the straw mats. You'll see in the following pics the sides are much more established. Also make sure they don't put down too much straw underneath the mats, the places where we have bare spots is where they put straw underneath the mats then the mats right on top- the grass does need a little breathing room. So the following weekend we went out and did the first round of re-seeding. We did it right over the mats and straw, the second you water, it sinks into the ground. We went with Pennington. Just from our research, it had the best reviews. We used the North East blend starter mix. So it came with seed and starter fertilizer. Key word here is starter fertilizer! One of the neighbors didn't think there would be a different between this and regular ol fertilizer and they paid the price! Then about two weeks later (last weekend) the sides were kickin ass and taking names, so we pulled up the mats on the side, used one of those hand cultivators in the bare spots in the front, re-seeded the front (this time with Penn State blend) and put the mats on most of the front. If they would have put mats down all over to begin with, we would be doing a lot better at this point. Didn't know so I didn't ask, so I hope someone can learn from my mistake!

Daily we water, unless there is a good rain. As it's gotten warmer over the last week and in the upcoming weeks I'm sure, some days twice. The key is about a half an inch depth gets a good drink. Too much water is bad too! (Ah, so many rules!) NEVER water in the middle of the day, most of it will evaporate and then start to burn stuff up as it gets warmer. So we are out there between 6-7am then again around 7pm (if needed). We have a whole system going- where the sprinklers go, what areas get a little more cuz it's under more sun and how long. From our experience, the places that get more sun and get bone dry in the front are the areas that aren't growing (my fault cuz the first two weeks they didn't get enough water, lesson learned). We are out there every day pulling weeds and digging up rocks, I mean boulders! They had hay that wasn't de-seeded before they graded our yard to prevent eroding and we are paying the price for that- it's definitely seeding out there. The straw they used was actually pretty decent, not many seeds in it.

It's been a learning process, that's for sure. I wish I knew on day one what I know now! And hell, we may be doing the complete WRONG thing, but it's working for us and our region! I hope the pics can be seen OK, I took these pretty early this morning and the sun is a shining!

Front on the left hand side
Left side yard
Left side yard again, this time I'm in the back looking towards the front
Left side looking into the back- our pile of extra straw in case we need it!
Kinda in the middle of the back, now looking towards the right side. There's my magnolia! She will be an amazing neighbor blocker one day! And the house doesn't sit right on the woods/trees, we were so happy about this!
Right side of yard from the back (for reference, that is the magnolia again)
Right side, this time looking from the front. Love our big side yard- plenty of room to fence in one day. The right of the pic is a pussy willow (My mom had one on the side of the house when I was a little girl, who knew that things like that would one day mean so much?!) Those patches- where they hand laid the straw THEN put the straw mats on it, it was just too much
From right hand side (actually standing in neighbors driveway- you can see on the bottom of the pic he didn't do much with his lawn and it is seriously just weeds). You can kinda see the Red Bud we planted in this one, he's a little guy, for now!
Front again
And now from the front right corner- again can see neighbors weeds on the bottom
And this is a view from the deck, it greened up nicely. You can see a few of the bird feeders in the trees and we have two hummingbirds as well that come to their feeder! See all those vines? I'm gonna make em my bitch :) You can kinda see where we have started hacking. If we can't get the vines off, we will have to have the tree taken out, they are just strangling the poor fella. I think we can save it if we get em off soon.

So again, is it perfect? Not even slightly, especially the front where we didn't get mats, grrrrr!! I can say where there are patches, grass is coming in, so I'm excited to see what the upcoming weeks bring us! I honestly don't count what RH did, since we had a monsoon the day after. So I count from when we started seeding and that was about 3 weeks ago. Not too shabby. As I keep learning, I will keep sharing!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

30 Day Inspection and updates

It can't be! 30 days already?? It's insane! It's like you pine and moan and whine to get into the house and then poof, there goes 30 days.

Nothing too major to fix, some sticky sliders, a door that needed adjusted, filled in a crack in the garage, a few patches of drywall mud fixed, some funky nails on the outside by the garage, fixed drywall in the bedroom closet where they rocked over our guardian box so the guy had to "hunt" for it and there were a ton of spots where the adhesive from laying the floor was on the floor itself. FYI- don't bother trying to get that off yourself. The two big things were a corner on the outside of the pantry was, um wavy, is the best way I can say it. They tried to float it and it looks better. If I'm not happy with it at the 11 month drywall touch up, I can have the corner bead ripped out and a new one put in. The other was that we noticed in the basement TONS of the floor nails were missing the joist for the main level. We don't have a squeak or a creak. So my PM marked it down now so if we have future issues, even beyond the warranty, it's covered. He promised that they went back through and put more nails in, they just don't take the old out. He said it happens all the time. So one little squeak and 1-800- RYAN HOMES I shall call (OK that's not the number but you get the point).

We have been busy! So busy actually that we are gonna take a few weeks to just enjoy a bit, then back to it! We have put up a nice bit of decorations/pictures/etc, put the pulls on the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, hung curtains, got new office furniture, re-potted all our house plants, re-seeded the lawn (3 times now), pulled up the straw mats on the side of the house and placed them in the front, built a nice stone border for the flower bed, planted a red bud tree in the front yard, pussy willow on the side, magnolia to block out neighbors from the deck (OK, OK in 10 years, ha!) and washed our car in the driveway for the first time to name a few, woo hoo!

The neighborhood is just amazing. It's quiet and quaint, but not so much that you want to lose your mind. All the neighbors we have met so far are just super nice. We even had a welcome to the neighborhood goodie bag in our mailbox the other day!

Oh and remember that rain storm with the 4 inches? The basement DID leak! It was coming in around where the municipal water supply enters the house. Concrete guys came out and fixed that followed by the insulation guys to put up new insulation. Problem fixed! And we have had another good rain storm since and she is dry as a bone.

Here's a few pics. I've been really bad with taking pictures when the house is clean! I think about it the second it looks like a gorilla invited her friends over for a romp! I will get better, I promise!

 The morning room with curtains up, what a HUGE difference! Next project, get that table black!
 The cabinet and drawer pulls. I love them, they are modern yet elegant yet classic. Good combo! Made a big difference in the kitchen.
This is about 2 seconds after we moved the straw mats and watered. So she will be a bloomin beauty in a few weeks!
Here is another pic from a different angle- filled with perennials an annuals for color
 Family Room! We love it! Still have projects on the list for this room but it looks great and is super cozy. On the left, still need to get a color to put in the candle holders and as bad as I wanted a gallery wall- that's a lot of commitment for this girl! So I found this idea on Pinterest- "gallery shelves"- GENIUS! The look without the commitment
 We picked these up at Kirkland's. Adorable. I have NEVER decorated my bedroom, never really had something big enough to decorate, so this room will be a very large project!

Again, apologies for not many pics, will get better!! I need to get some of the yard, we have a TON of grass. Our PM said people who can't get their yards going- he's gonna send em our way because we have the best starter yard he has seen. YES! I'm so competitive, I love it!

And last thing and I will zip it.... I read about Kirkland's on someone's blog here, I forget who and apologies! OH EM GEE! Best store ever for decorating! We have been there now 3 times since we moved, it's just a great place to get some decor for rather cheap.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Big thanks to all of you who have or are currently serving, you rock!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Grass seed and 4 inches of rain

Hi everyone!

So, the landscapers were out on Monday and Tuesday to finish up the yard. We, along with half the country are getting rain, and lots of it. It started yesterday and by Thursday we will get FOUR inches!! From scouring the internet, a little rain after seeding, awesome. Four inches after seeding, not awesome. Plus the hay/straw they put down MAYBE covers half the yard anyways. So my question is, anyone else with a similar experience? We were already planning on putting a little more seed down ourselves along with starter fertilizer this weekend, but I feel as if the whole darn yard needs to be redone! What seed didn't wash away won't have a fighting chance since too much water stunts the germination process, from what I understand. Am I being ignorant to the process or smart to call the PM and request some more work? Don't worry, if I'm being ignorant, please tell me, I will not at all be offended!!

On a bright note, the basement is dry as a bone through this so far! This is happy news!

The garage door opener is getting installed today. We practically STOLE a Chamberlain chain drive with On Q compatibility from Home Depot. You can sign up to get daily deals emailed to you and they actually have some great ones. We also saved a ton on LED bulbs through this too.

There is just so much to do and think of once you move in! I already feel like the building process was the easy part! Going into a previously occupied home, it already had the little things I take for granted completed. Not complaining, it's fun to do and nice to be able to do it how we want it. But girlfriend was naive! I guess I figured butterflies would appear and a unicorn would stroll through the neighborhood making it all perfect. Ok ok ok, I am being a bit dramatic, but you get the point :)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Few pics..... and a chainsaw!

Hi everyone!

As promised, some pics. The ones of the house are actually from the day after moving. The house should really start to come together the next few weeks and will continue to get some pics up. I think I'm gonna steal the idea of "top 20" things I love to keep me blogging and motivated to keep chugging along so that thing I love will also be pic worthy....2 birds, 1 stone!

We noticed a HUGE settlement crack in the garage yesterday, it looks terrifying! Got a call into the PM.

They came back out today and worked on the yard, no seed yet but ran another machine over it and raked, looks much better! But not as good as grass, trying.... to.... be.... patient.... They also cleared all the debris we pulled out of the wooded area, there was/is still so much dead stuff in there. Still alot to do but it already looks better. We now have up 3 or 4 bird feeders and several suit blocks- it's literally a little sanctuary in our back yard, so peaceful.

I'm terrified to put a hole in anything, anyone else have this problem? We have so much stuff to hang and I bought these GORGEOUS cabinet/drawer pulls, but the thought of it makes my cringe. I'll get over it, just takes one, right?

Totally stole from other blog's the idea of photos of the hands turning the key for the first time, it was so worth it, I love it!
The night we closed, my husband told me I was gonna learn to use some tools, and boy have I! See, why were the blinds easy to me but hanging a picture seems so scary?!
Kitchen love!
We are going to call this morning room part one. I have curtains and rods to hang plus a couple cans of black polyurethane to re-do the table, stay tuned!
Fam room! LOVE the look of burlap curtains, not loving the fibers that keep falling off of them!
 If you need a washer and dryer, run out and buy these NOW! They are amazing!
See, lots of power tools this past week! I think my husband felt a mix of fear and pride :)

Next up pic- the loft! Getting some furniture delivered this week and will hopefully be pic worthy by the weekend. See, already working, it will just have to be so I can start my top 20!

If anyone can pass any words of wisdom of making those first holes, especially in the cabinets, I'm all ears!