Monday, March 19, 2012

Rome wasn't built in a day....but Florence was FRAMED in less than a month!!!

A Picture is worth more than a thousand words so I will let the story unfold with the pictures below....assisted by a few words :))

                                                                    Land Staked

                                                                 Ground Broken

                                                               Foundation Laid

                                                               Basement Built

                                                              Framing In Process

                                                                    Roof Laid


                                                             First floor & Stairs


                                                                   Family Room

                                                             View from the backyard

                                                                  Morning Room



......& That's how our  Florence was FRAMED!!! :))

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Wheels are set into motion...Pre-Construction Meeting and Ground Breaking

After two months of lull, the last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity. In the last two months we changed our minds on almost everything a zillion times...asked our sales rep a million questions...had thousands of doubts....fought with each other at least a hundred times a week until we completely exhausted ourselves...atleast mentally! In this chaos we somehow managed to finalize our mortgage lender at the end. We decided to go with a local lender over NVR, only because their customer service and customer handling was much more to our liking than that of the latter. For the closing however, we decided to stick with NVR Closing, only coz we are informed they are one of the best in the area.

The terrific part about finally making this decision: I don't know if this has bothered anyone else, but every time we visited the property site, I hated the fact that, all the property sites either under construction or in the pre-construction had the "SOLD" sign on except for ours....Well.... not anymore :)))

We had our pre-construction meeting two weeks ago which basically was all about going over the selections one last time and meeting with our PM.  It was a fairly breezy in and out affair.... turns out our PM is a man of few words. We left from the meeting feeling confident...till we hit our next road bump a.k.a some more questions...Sigh!!!

Over the next couple of days, while just talking to each other about some common issues, we realized that there were certain things which we had failed to voice during the pre-construction meeting. Basically these are concerns which can be addressed after closing, however we wanted to see if we could get it done during the construction time to avoid the hassel later. Since we have a great rapport with our Sales rep we picked her brain on it. Here goes a few of them which might be helpful:

1. We were unsure if they put soap holders in the bathrooms. Turns out that only the master bath has 1 small soap holder (4x4) the other full baths do not. The full baths may have a raised area where the tub meets the wall but its not a guarantee. We ended up going to Rusmur Floors and selecting tiles matching our granite for 3 shelves and a soap holder in the master and a soap holder for the hall bath. Our Sales rep agreed to allow Rusmur Floor install them while Rusmur installs our bathroom. We however did not include this cost in our mortgage but paid for it up front.

2. I noticed while at the model home for the pre-construction meeting, that the towel holder in the bathrooms were over the toilet flush and not at a sufficient height to avoid even a small towel from touching the top of the flush.  If this is something that may bother you in the future  it is one of our pet peeves) it might be a good idea to let your PM know so that you can select the exact location for the towel holder.

3. The walk-in closet in the master has one rod of wire shelving running all thru as a standard. Since we want more than one wire shelf and want to use this space economically, we asked about getting it customized through Ryan's handyman who installs the wire shelving during construction. This turned out to be more expensive than doing it ourselves later. We do not want any holes on the walls when we got rid of he standard shelving later, so we asked our PM not to instal the wire shelving at all. If you are considering customizing your closet like we are, think about not having the wire shelf put at all. If you have already have a customized closet, please share your ideas with us... it will be helpful!!

4. One of our other concerns is taking care of our lawn and the landscaping part of it. We have been told numerous times already by our PM and sales rep that at least for the 1st yr, the grass will have to be watered twice a day for at least 45 mins... that too when the sun is not all high and bright. Given that both my husband and I have erratic work hours in addition to the fact that we have never done this before, we are pretty apprehensive about ruining the grass before it even has a chance!! We are considering having an automated sprinkler system installed which we are told also adds value to the house. We are hoping to get this done prior to them placing the grass so that it doesn't have to be uprooted later. Our PM provided us with the contact information of landscaper they have collaborated with often and we are trying to work it out with him.     

Amidst all this activity in the background, we also broke ground!! Yaay!! :)) Since we haven't been able to go as often as we want... here are the pics taken a few days apart.

                                                                   First Visit

                                                          Cemented Foundation
I'm excited to see how much is done the next time I drive by for a peek...Will keep you all posted!