Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Selections

I guess it's time to post information about our selections!


  • Victoria Falls - Elevation L (Front Entry Garage)
  • Stone - Kentucky
  • Siding - Georgian Gray
  • Board & Batten - Georgian Gray
  • Shutters - Dark Gray (Cottage Style)
  • Front Door - Brown Bean


First Floor

  • Hardwood throughout first floor except for mud room and laundry room
  • Direct set hardwood staircase with carpet runner
  • Family Room
    • 4 ft family room extension 
    • Slate fireplace with recessed lights above
    • All optional windows
    • Additional recessed lights
    • Gold surround sound in ceiling with wall mount center channel 
    • Flat panel pre-wire
    • 2 Data pre-wire's
  • Kitchen
    • Scottsdale Maple Cognac cabinets
    • Premier IV Stainless Steel Appliances
    • Base counters (going with a 3rd party install after we close)
    • TV Pre-wire
    • Recessed lights
    • Pre-wire 2 pendant lights over island
    • 3 switched outlets hidden inside cabinets that we'll use for under cabinet lighting
    • French door to outside instead of sliding glass door
  • Extended laundry room with laundry tub
  • Dining room
    • Tray ceiling
    • Bay window
  • Living room (Office)
    • Converted into office so we added french doors between living room and dining room and also between living room and foyer
    • Optional side windows
    • Flat panel pre-wire
    • 2 Data pre-wire's
  • Garage
    • Dedicated circuit

Second Floor

  • Hardwood in hallway
  • Upgraded carpet in bedrooms with special upgraded padding (see picture below)
Master Suite
  • Flat panel  pre-wire (terminated in closet where receiver, cable box etc will be hidden)
  • Silver in ceiling surround sound
  • Tray ceiling
  • Ceiling fan rough in
Front bedroom (second office)
  • Flat panel pre-wire
  • Data jack
Master Bath
  • Luxury bath
  • 72" jetted tub
  • Digital pre-wire above tub (terminated in the one master closet where cable box etc will be)
  • Ubatuba granite counter top
  • Wyoming Cherry Spice Cabinet
  • Upgraded Tile surround & floor
  • Unfinished basement - we're going to do this ourselves so we can customize it
  • Basement 3 piece rough in 
  • Spotlights in back yard mounted on 2nd floor
  • Additional exterior outlets for Christmas lights etc.


Victoria Falls Elevation L

Kentucky Stone

Carpet in the bedrooms and stair runner, hardwood entire first floor (except mudroom and laundry) and 2nd floor hallway
Carpet padding - great for allergies and with pets & kids

Master bath floor & wall tile.  2nd upstairs bath flooring similar tile

Mud room & Laundry (Our only level 1 lol)

Master counter & cabinet (wanted a different look in the  master)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Guardian Home Technologies

Guardian offers a number of options including ones that they advertise and ones they don't.  One of the things they don't advertise is that they will rough in wiring for surround sound and stand-alone speakers if you don't want to purchase the speakers from them.  They also don't advertise that they will install speakers in the ceiling and wire them to wherever you want without having to upgrade to the Lyriq audio package.  When you look at the pricing for prewires  without buying the speakers from them, you'll see that they really don't want to be in the prewire business and want to sell the speakers.  The difference in cost between a prewire surround sound and one with the speakers is about the retail price for the speakers.  After looking at all of these options in a few different ways, we decided on what we wanted them to do because we're busy enough and have enough on our to-do list and didn't want to add more to it such as installing speakers or tv's, etc.

One of the debates we had was about wiring for a home network since nearly everything is wireless now.  We both work from our home offices a decent amount and we have networked printers and network attached storage devices (which can be bandwidth intensive).  We also have electronics that either only have a wired network capability or behave a lot better on a wired network and we have VOIP office phones (Voice over IP) which require a wired network connection.  We decided to have Guardian install network jacks in various places for these reasons.  Another nice side effect is the way they wire the network and phone jacks.  If you have a phone jack in one room and you decide you need a network jack there instead, you simply go to the basement and switch connections in the panel and now the phone jack is network instead (or vice versa).  We also decided to have them wire for our TV's so that the wires were hidden and we can hang them.  In 2 locations we're actually having them wire the TV's and terminate the cables in a closet so we can hide the cable box and other things in there and the other locations wired will have their tables terminate at the bottom of the wall below the tv.  We also decided to have a Gold surround in ceiling in the family room with an upgraded non-ceiling center channel and a silver surround in ceiling in the master.  Also keep in mind with the hanging tv's that you have to add electrical to the wall where the tv is hung and also ensure that you have power wherever your pre-wire terminates (including your subwoofer) so this ended up requiring 6 additional outlets I believe.

Now the part everyone wants - Pricing!  Keep in mind that there are different options not listed (for example speakers in the wall instead of ceiling) and pricing varies across the US.  Good luck negotiating - they basically don't other than for free months of monitoring.

Surround Sound

Speaker only packages with optional additions and upgrades
Klipsch 5.1 Silver Audio System (Surround - Speakers Only) $1,030
Includes in ceiling Klipsch R1650C speakers
Upgrade to Klipsch G12 Center Channel (not in the ceiling) $140
Add a Jamo SUB210 subwoofer $250

Klipsch 5.1 Gold Audio System (Surround - Speakers Only) $1,735
Includes in ceiling Klipsch R-2650-C speakers
Upgrade to Klipsch G16 Center Channel (not in the ceiling) $190
Add a Klipsch SW110 subwoofer $440

Bose AV35 Theatre System $5,330

Full home theater packages
Klipsch/Pioneer 5.1 Silver Audio System (Surround - Speakers Only) $2,874

Includes in ceiling Klipsch R1650C speakers
Upgrade to Klipsch G12 Center Channel (not in the ceiling)
Jamo SUB210 subwoofer
Pioneer receiver
Logitech Harmony 900 Remote Control

Klipsch/Pioneer 5.1 Gold Audio System (Surround - Speakers Only) $3,963

Includes in ceiling Klipsch R-2650-C speakers
Upgrade to Klipsch G16 Center Channel (not in the ceiling)
Klipsch SW110 subwoofer

Pioneer Elite receiver
Logitech Harmony 900 Remote Control

In Ceiling Speakers

In ceiling speakers without Lyriq audio package $620
One pair of Klipsch R1650C
One wall mounted volume control

1 inside ceiling speaker and 1 outside speaker $755
One interior speaker
One AW-500-SM speaker with volume control

Lyriq Audio Package

Four Room Studio Lyriq Audio Package $3,195
Charge and Play Input
Local Source Input
3 Pair of Klipsch R1650C In - Ceiling
1 AW-500-SM Dual Voice Coil Outdoor Speaker
Four Source Eight-Zone Distribution Module Upgrade
Multi Source Input

Two Room Studio Lyriq Audio Package $1,860
Charge and Play Input
2 Pair of Klipsch R1650C In - Ceiling

Flat Panel TV Prewire

Remember that each pre-wire will also require at least 1 additional electrical outlet - upgrade from Ryan.

Same Stud Bay (up to 5 meters with standard speed HDMI) $330
Same Wall (up to 10 meters with standard speed HDMI) $440
Standard/Remote (up to 20 meters with standard speed HDMI) $610

Security System

This depends upon your area and community I believe.  We got the base system installed for free and then added a couple of upgrades.  I'm a firefighter as well so I find a lot of value in the monitoring of smoke and heat detectors especially since we will be leaving our dachshunds and kitty home at times by themselves.  We were able to get 6 months free possibly because of all of the items we purchased.

Standard (free install) system - requires monthly monitoring package for a certain term (2 or 3 years?)
1 Standard Keypad Included
1 Standard Motion Detector
1 Control Panel
1 Siren
3 Door Contact
1 Heat detector

1 Window Contact $70
1 Smoke Communicator $170
1 Carbon Monoxide Detector $190 (you're required to sign a contract saying that if your CO alarm goes off and the fire department kicks in your door, Guardian isn't liable - pretty funny)

Outlets and Connections

Smart Connections Package with router $1,060
3 Cable outlets
2 Data outlets
1 4 port Multimedia outlet

Six Pack of Wall Outlets $495
Any 6 outlets

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oh Ryan Homes...

We received the answer about our Board & Batten and were surprised what it was.  Wes (our sales rep) went to bat for us and did everything he could but Ryan will not give us any other options for Board & Batten color.  We really like the color of the siding, but we aren't happy being forced into have the same color Board & Batten.  Through this whole process we have been completely open with Wes (probably more than he would like at times lol) and told him that we feel so strongly that if we can't get the color Board & Batten we want (or alternatively Shake siding) we would rather have no Board & Batten and then we would install the color we wanted ourselves after closing.  He mentioned this to the Ryan Homes management team and unfortunately they won't allow us another color choice (we have no choice on Board & Batten - we get the same color as our siding) and won't  leave it unfinished (I'm assuming code reasons).  Even after we told them that we would simply be tearing it off after closing and replacing it with another color they wouldn't budge.  Now we will need to order the right Board & Batten from Plygem and pay to have it installed after we move in.  This is ridiculous but apparently we have no other choice.

In another Ryan community, someone complained about the color and they were allowed to install Shake siding the color they wanted after they complained enough.  We would love the have Shake but Ryan would not approve that either so we're back to tearing it off and replacing at our own cost.  Having no color choice and no flexability when spending thousands on the elevation we selected is a very strange and unsound business decision on Ryan Homes part.  We would be willing to even pay the difference in the cost between the Shake and siding if the Board & Batten were not available but to our dismay, Ryan Homes has said no and has given no explanation.  Being in business myself, this drives me crazy because I go out of my way to make sure my customers get what they need when they need it.  Baffling....  At least we have Wes there to help us and if it weren't for him we would not be as happy as we are with Ryan Homes (NOT happy with the management I want to be clear)...  We can at least address this in our survey at the end so we can ding the management on this...

Enough venting :)

Our Elevation

Here is our elevation!  If you ever happen to see a picture of it built anywhere please share since we haven't found any ;-)

Victoria Falls Elevation L (ours will be a front entry garage like the bottom)