Friday, February 20, 2015

Basement Bathroom & 10 Month Review

Today is our  10 month review.  We had sent a small list of things to our PM of our items.  I thought it was a relatively small list.

1) Various nail pops & cracked drywall - expected
2) Some cracked caulking around the sinks and master shower - expected
3) Venting problem with microwave.  This winter our microwave has been exceptionally cold.  Like 36 degrees cold this morning.  That's refrigerator cold. The PM pointed out that the vent is on the west side of the house - since the wind blows from that direction we are fighting a losing battle. I get it.  They did do something to the damper so that hopefully its a little better.
4) Cold air coming from fireplace.  I understand this is going to happen as well. They took a quick look at it and taped some spots where cold air was  coming in, so it should be better.
5) Driveway cracks.  They'll fix this when it warms up (it's -3 degrees here today). It sounds like they should be able to just replace sections of it rather than the whole driveway, which is preferable.  We'll see how that goes.  That's really the only major thing.  

Overall I've been really pleased.  Our PM has been great.  A few weeks ago we had my son's 10th birthday party, a sleepover.  Have Mercy.  The kids were playing ping pong in the unfinished part of the basement.  Someone got a bit wild and pulled some of the insulation off the wall.  It's held on by these nailed washer things.  My husband wasn't able to find them at the hardware store.  I asked the PM where we could buy them and he brought us half a dozen. Perfect. They probably cost Ryan homes, like .10 each,  so it was nice.

The PM was also impressed with our basement bathroom.  We finished it up right before the wild sleepover so the boys sleeping in the basement would have a bathroom to use.  My  husband did it all himself and I'm so proud of him.  It turned out great.  The PM even joked about Bob becoming a professional drywaller.  Bob emphatically replied 'No!'

I'm not sure what we spent on the bathroom, my husband says he has the receipts and plans on figuring that out.  We tried to choose cost effective options.  The tile was purchased at Lowe's for $5/square.  If you've looked at tile that's a great price.  I think  the vanity was less than $120.  We had replaced the bath fixtures in the master bathroom - we didn't like the way the installed ones sat in the granite.  Husband kept bumping his hands on the back of the sink, so we purchased two that had a longer neck for his big hands.  So, we  were able to repurpose one of those.  The other one was given to my sister in law who had a leaky faucet in her bathroom.  The towel rack, tp holder, and cup were purchased on clearance for $10 for the set from KMart.  I can't remember where the wood finish tile was purchased from.  My dad is a retired electrician, so he did all the wiring for us and had a fan for us to use. My husband did the plumbing - our neighbor had previously done their basement bathroom so he had all the necessary PEX tools for us to borrow; so that cost us a 12 pack of beer.  :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pantry Update

 So the pantry is a great size.  I love that the shelves aren't too deep.  The highest shelf is a bit high, but there's always things you don't use as often, right?  That being said, we also have the 9 foot ceilings, so I feel like there's a lot of wasted space up there.  I have things stacked a bit higher than I'd like on the top shelf.  I'm considering hanging another shelf up there.  Anyway, I had purchased a bunch of red baskets at our local Dollar Tree that I was using in the laundry room at the old house. At the time I bought extra and I'm so glad I did; I used every one of them in the pantry.  I really like having things organized.  In a pantry this big I feel like things need to be in a specific place or you'll never find it.  I probably lose a bit of space by using the baskets, but it's ok; I probably have more than I need and it keeps me from stocking up on things I don't need.  

If I lived by myself I probably wouldn't need labels on everything; I'd know where everything is, right??? Since I don't, this helps everyone else find things so they're not asking me every time they need something.  I got the idea from Pinterest to hang some baskets from the bottom using shower hooks.  I keeps stuff for the kids down there as well as extra plastic bags.  It works wonderfully.

Since we built on a basement, we have a big closet upstairs between two of the extra bedrooms.  It is gigantic.  It currently has an old bakers rack in there to store extra sheets and towels for the kids room, as well as some totes and our vacuum.  This closet is desperately in need of some organization and I hope to tackle that this summer.  

Master Closet Update

When we first began talking about options with Ryan Homes, I was disappointed there was not an option to upgrade closet shelving. I do not like the wire shelving at all. In the bedrooms my main complaint is the dividers for the hanger area. You cannot slide clothes more than about 10 inches. I believe the shelving is made by Rubbermaid; they have a better hanger option but it's just not what Ryan uses. In the pantry my complaint is that the wire shelving is uneven and difficult for storing food. I did find a cheap fix for the pantry; the container store makes some plastic liners that help the unevenness. Completely redoing the master closet simply isn't in the budget at the moment, so I've been trying to figure out what to do. This week Menard's had the Rubbermaid Max Add On closet system for $16 after rebate. That is in my budget. So here are some 'before' shots of our closet. 

Notice the errant Racquetball Racquet. Yeah...

Ta Da! I was able to move the shelf up and install this all by myself.  Initally, I was concerned about moving the shelf by myself.  Hubby showed me I just had to pry the nails out carefully with a curved screwdriver.  Using a level, I moved each of the holes up 14 inches.  I even used a screw gun to put new holes in.  I was able to reuse all the existing shelving hardware; even the anchor bolts came out undamaged.  I did move the right most support over about 5 inches so that it did not interfere with the shelving system.  I patched the holes from the initial placement before I installed the add on unit. The add on unit itself required only a measuring tape - no other tools required.  It was very easy.  My side of the closet now looks like this: 

I did purge some things, which really needed to be done anyway.  I have another unit to install on hubby's side, but I suggested he needs to purge some items too before doing that.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A past due update

We've been in the house 7 months and I'm surprised how quickly this house felt like home.  Everything about it just feels right.  I was so excited to decorate for Christmas, I couldn't wait until after Thanksgiving.  I'll try to get some updated pictures in soon.  I'm going to try and jot down a few things that others may want to know, not in a particular order, just as they come to mind. But first, our house in the snow.

1) We put our own hardware up on the kitchen cabinets.  We used the same hardware we had recently updated in our old house.  We liked it there and we like it here.  In regards to the dark cabinets, I do feel like I have to wipe them more frequently than I had to wipe the lighter colored cabinets at my previous home.  That being said, they wipe pretty well.

2) I still like the darker kitchen engineered wooden floors, but they do show all kinds of dirt.  It needs to be swept frequently to avoid looking nasty.  

3) We got a one level upgrade on the appliance package.  As some others have mentioned, the only appliance I don't really like is the dishwasher.  It is noisier than my old one.  I also miss having a delay wash cycle, especially in light of the noise factor.  The microwave is fine, although there is quite a bit of cold air inside this time of year.  My husband wonders if they forgot to install the damper.  It's going to go on our one year check list just to make sure.

4) We have only painted one wall in the house; in my studio.  We painted it because we were installing shelving so it made sense. I am looking forward to painting the rest of the house.  We have quite a few nail pops coming in and a small crack above the sliding door, so I think it's going to make sense to do that after our final walkthrough.  My husband (a structural engineer) says the house will likely settle more over the winter, so we'll just hold off.  The picture below is of my studio.  Love love love the way it turned out.  

So much I love here, the table slides under the desk so I can still put an air mattress in here if we have a lot of guests. I also love the chandelier.  Being the only girl in my house, I love that this makes my room girlie.

My children occasionally use my room.  At this time, it was being used for legos.  

We found these maps at Costco.  They are a great reference for the kids (and us!).  I'm going to try and carry a bit of a map theme through the room.

5) We've had two service calls out, both in regards to the master shower.  The first was the soap dish fell off the wall.  In the middle of the night.  That gave us quite a stir.  They had used the wrong adhesive stuff when they initially installed it.  It is supposed to stay up now.  We also had two hairline cracks in the basin of the master shower.  They were not severe enough for water to get through, but might have if we had let it go.  In both cases I made a service call through the website.  I wasn't sure at first if I was going to need a log in, but you do not.  You just put your address in and your issue.  It was very simple and they called my back both times very quickly and everything was resolved to my satisfaction.  

I have a few more things to post about and I will try to get some more pictures.  I'll do that soon!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More pictures

Sorry some of these are blurry, but you get the idea.

Dining Room

Guest Room - the desk in this room I've also redone.  It was my great grandmothers.

First floor/ guest bathroom

Oldest son's room, this is the room on the back of the house.

Another view of my oldest son's room.

Younger son's room.

Another view of my younger son's room.

Living Room

Another view of the living room.

One view of the basement. This area is usually littered with toys. It will eventually become a bar.

Laundry/cat room

Unpacked office

Unpacked Studio

Getting Moved In

We are getting closer to being moved in.  The bedrooms and guest room are unpacked. The kitchen is unpacked, but I'm still moving stuff around. Living and dining room have new furniture.  I haven't put any pictures up throughout the house, so it doesn't feel quite complete yet.  Basically, we have the office and the 5th bedroom (studio) that haven't been unpacked at all.  The basement is even mostly put together with the exception of the stuff in the storage part of the basement.  Here's a few pictures of how things are coming.  Other pictures are on my phone, so I'll upload those in another post.

Kitchen: we haven't yet decided how to cover the sliding doors. I also would eventually like a new, coordinating table for the dinette.

The area to the left of the fridge has become my catch all. A rare clean moment here.

I haven't yet organized the pantry; but there's food in it!

Mudroom: I look forward to being able to build something to better organize coats and shoes. The closet in the mudroom is still a disaster.

Master Bedroom: complete with kitty cats.  The dresser/desk in the corner was my grandmothers. I've recently refinished it. I may post some pictures of that in progress at some point.

Master bath

Master Shower.  Not sure why my husband put the scale there. Lord knows I don't want to step on it right now.

Master closet, my half. This is remarkably cleaner than it was. I can't wait to get a better shelving system.  It's not quite working for me yet.

It's hard to believe we have our 30 day walk through scheduled for next week.  We have a large memorial day party each year, so that's been our motivation to get so much done so far. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

All Moved In

We've been in the new house 10 days.  The bulk of our belongings are unpacked.  I've been meaning to update the blog, but I only just found my camera today.  I thought I had lost it during the move.  I thought I'd at least update with some pictures of what the house look liked finished, before we moved me.  We took these pictures after closing.

Garage, which is currently so full of stuff we can't park in it. 

Mud room.  There are currently 4100 shoes there.  Ok, maybe 12.

We closed on Monday, my kitchen was unpacked Tuesday while I waited for the internet and fridge to be installed. 

Living room, furniture was delivered Friday after closing.  Three days with just bean bag chairs.  Not cool.

 This is the first floor office.  Currently, like 5% unpacked.

Dining Room.  Furniture also delivered Friday. We've actually eaten two meals there.  It's pretty cool.

View from the front door.

Stairs going up.  There are 16 stairs. Holy hell.  I'm gonna have some bangin' legs soon. 

Master bedroom; it's incredible how big this room is. 

Master bath, it is mostly unpacked.  While I love the look of the all glass shower, it feels like showering in a fish bowl.  And, the glass is already dirty.  I think I'm going to try some RainEx to try and keep it cleaner longer.

Master vanity, I'm loving having my own sink.  For the record, the mirror on my husbands side is already dirty. Mine? Not so much.

Master Powder Room. Not much to say about the pooper.

Already talked about the shower.  I did get a cool thing to hold bath stuff so they aren't all over the bench.  I'll take 'after' pics soon.

Hallway looking from the Master bedroom. That's a lot of carpet to vacuum, by the way.

Front facing bedroom, son #2's room.

Laundry/ cat room. 

Fifth bedroom/ art studio.  This room is also not unpacked, but has boxes very neatly stacked. 

I realized I am missing pictures of my older sons room, the kids bathroom and the basement.  Oops.  I'll still be sure to take some after pics.  

We are 10 days into our 30 day check up.  I really don't have a lot.  Our floor outlet, which is a half hot, isn't working.  The carpet looks a bit weird in one spot by the stairs.  But, the carpet continues to be an ongoing issue for me.  I continue to walk over hard spots in the carpet.  We talked about this in our final walkthrough and they did fix a few spots.  The PM told me they were likely nail pops; we should hammer them and they'd be ok.  That's dandy, but why am I feeling them in the basement, which is on a slab? I was here on the day they installed the carpet the first time, and I don't think they fully cleaned the floor before putting the pad down.  In other words, I think I'm stepping on bits of drywall mud and who know what else that they didn't clean.  GRRRR.  If I'm right, this will severely, cut the life of my carpet.  So, I have to figure that out.  

Currently, most of our leftover boxes are non critical boxes that were in storage before we moved. And our master closet.  I might spend mothers day organizing my closet.  Woo hoo.