Monday, May 21, 2012

Soil Update & Finally Have Model Pictures!

We made our elevation and color selections without seeing a picture of the Victoria Falls cottage elevation or even a rendering of what it would look like since it was new from Ryan.  Yesterday our Sales Rep surprised us with pictures of our elevation Ryan just built as a model somewhere!  Our colors will be different and we have a front facing garage, but this is close to what ours will look like.  We're really happy with it!

On another note, everything should resume tomorrow after a few week delay due to soil testing and engineer review of our soil.  Ryan is going to drill pylons into bedroom and then pour the spread footer on top of these pylons.  We asked for a copy of the engineers report and they are gladly providing us with one, but we're happy with this solution and feel the foundation is going to be very solid and Ryan has done the right thing by eating the entire unexpected cost.

Here are the pictures of the model & I included one picture of a Quartz counter top we found and really like.  We got the standard counter top from Ryan because we decided we would be able to find a better price after we close and we would have more choices to selected from.  We were also leaning heavily toward quartz because of its durability and the fact that you don't have to seal it.  Does anyone have quartz?  What do you think?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Soiled during pre-construction meeting

As I mentioned in my last post, we broke ground on Monday and we were surprised this morning that we didn't have footers yet but just assumed there were still getting preparing before laying out the forms.  We found out during our pre-construction meeting that our PM has concerns with the strength or density of the soil on our lot because it and a couple neighbors lots have were filled in some time ago.  They're working with the developer and are bringing a couple engineers to our lot early next week to determine how to move forward and ensure the footings are on solid ground.  It sounds like either they will need to excavate down to solid ground with a high enough density or they will have to drill holes, fill them with reinforcing steel and concrete and then pour the footings on these concrete pylons.  In either case, our timeline is going to move at least a couple weeks which pushes us into mid August.  We're getting married in September so there is some worry there...  Our PM has been doing this for years and we feel completely confident in him and are glad that he took the initiative to test the soil and stop progress until the engineers decide the right approach.  We feel lucky for this and feel very lucky that this is an item that will not have the cost passed on to us and Ryan will incur the cost and not pass it on to us.  I'm not sure this would be the case with other builders.

I had a lot of questions about how our home will be built and our PM answered every single one of them and was great.  Here is some of the highlights of what we learned (some of these could be dependent upon your floor plan and community):

  • Drywall is only tacked in place with nails and then screwed in - pleasant surprise
  • The sub floor is glued down and nailed with ring shank nails - another pleasant surprise since these nails bite and hold better than common nails
  • Our basement rough-in plumbing will be vented so we don't have to deal with venting when we finish it
  • Based on current electrical code, all non GFCI outlets are AFCI (Arc Fault) - this is great in my opinion because these will trip if an arcing of electricity occurs (sparks) because of a short, a screw driven through a wire (guilty of that myself once), a hungry squirrel, or even bad extension cords.
  • Window wells have gravel in the bottom that drain down to the french drains that surround the foundation.

Next week will be an interesting week and we're really curious to see how we move forward and when we can get moving in the right direction again.

Pre-construction Meeting Today & Ground Breaking!

Our pre-construction meeting is today and we have now broken ground!  We went last weekend and saw the black fence was up and our house was marked out with flags.  Monday they broke ground and we now have a huge hole to admire.  Hopefully we'll get some dates today for the footer, foundation and lumber package delivery.  It's been a long road but we've finally started!

This is what we saw last weekend

As of Monday!

You can see our neighbor to the left had their lumber delivered so we should be closing within a couple weeks of each other