Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I think we'll make it!

That's a positive title, isn't it? :-)

We had a meeting with our PM today. My husband was caught up at work so I went by myself to check on the progress and get some dates outta him. Well, that I did! Currently we are looking at Quality Inspection on September 4th, Pre-settlement walk through on September 6th and Closing on September 9th or 10th. We have to vacate the apartment by September 13th, so it's gonna be tight but we may not be homeless after all. Phew!

Our rate lock is still expiring on September 6th. What bothers me is the fact that we had sent an email to our SR and LO regarding this, on the very day when our new PM first suggested that closing may be pushed to 2nd week of September. Neither of them even acknowledged our email. We did not stress too much about it then because we wanted to wait and get the final dates from our PM first. And one of my neighbors was told by our SR that they'll manage the rate lock situation, because of the whole PM change but we weren't promised anything like that. I guess we have to start making some noise.
I'm also contemplating the idea of pushing them to close on the day of pre-settlement walk through, I know its possible because I know one of our fellow bloggers did that. So they (NVR/RH) have a choice, either they extend our rate lock for 4-5 days or we close on September 6th. We'll see how that goes. I should say I'm surprisingly calm about this whole thing :-)

Now comes the good part- Progress!
Changes in the master bath are done. YAY!! They framed in for our new tub and shower, centered the window, centered the lighting and hung the drywall.
Right now they are pasting and taping all over the place and it's DIRTY, but I'm loving it. :-)
And and and.... We have lots of goodies in our garage. Our doors, cabinets, trim, tile etc etc etc has been delivered Woohoooooo!!!  So we can expect the first coat of paint, hopefully next Wednesday, then ceramic tile in the bathrooms, mud room and laundry. By end of next week we'll be talking trim and cabinets. Overall we are 2.5 or 3 weeks away from hardwoods and carpet. Can't wait to get there. :-)

It was very dark today for pictures as its been raining all day long and with the drywall people working it was very messy. But the pictures will follow soon....

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Restricted Access

We got a call from our PM last night to discuss few minor things (which I thought weren't even worth a mention on the blog) we found over the weekend when we visited our home to be. We took a couple pics and sent them to our PM to take a look. My husband also mentioned that we ran into the drywall guy, and chatted with him for a little bit. Looked like the dry wall guy did not understand what was going to change in the master bath area (as he had started the dry wall without the framing being changed) and my husband explained it to him. He was like "oh they did tell something about it, but I did not understand"....and we went "WHAT!?!"
Anyway, we mentioned all this exchange to our PM and..... he wasn't happy! He said we shouldn't really be communicating directly with any subcontractors as it may confuse them (in this case, it seemed like he already was) and only delay the process. And if something was incorrect they would come back and correct it as it was their job (even if they have to re-do the whole thing?? wouldn't that be a delay???)

He then talked about the company policy that clients must not visit the construction site without being accompanied by the  PM or SR or any other RH employee. He talked at a length about how dangerous it could be to us and how he could loose his job over this. Liability issues, of course!!
I've read a few of you mention this on your blogs, but in our defense, neither our old PM nor our SR imposed this rule on us. We were only told about no babies on site and coming in when they are working which can affect their progress but nothing about a "Restricted Access". We have been coming and going as we please since May. I guess some PMs are lenient than others, but he insisted on applying this rule immediately!
Looks like we got ourselves kicked out! :-| So it has to be more of a "scheduled" visit from now on (like twice weekly) with either him or our SR or other employees at the model. Oh well, if that's how it's suppose to be......

Sunday, July 28, 2013

We have walls!!!

Yes! We finally have walls. :-)
Now that we can't see thru and thru, rooms look different and tiny, atleast this was expected. Everything looks like a designated space. 
They got all this done in 2 days....they are fast! Of course I took a ton of pictures today, here are few for you all......enjoy :-) 

Dinning to the left
Study to the right
Walking right into the living room and kitchen
Closer look at the future kitchen
Master Bedroom
Going Upstairs
Entry to bonus room
The bonus room

Looking down at the foyer from upstairs
Foyer window
One of the bedrooms upstairs
Entry from garage

Friday, July 26, 2013

Quick Update

Our PM and SR confirmed that our house passed the insulation and energy star inspections yesterday and they have stocked up are dry-wall. But they will start hanging the dry-wall tomorrow! :-| They will be working over the weekend and hopefully dry wall will be completed by next Friday.
Also the old tub has been removed and they'll be framing for the new tub and shower over the weekend!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pre Dry-wall Meeting Sequel

We walked thru our house again with our new PM today. He explained quiet a few things, answering all (zillion of) our questions. Insulation is in and the insulation inspection is schedule for tomorrow morning, and so is the energy star inspection. Our PM is very confident that our house will pass them both. Dry wall is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow afternoon and they plan to start hanging it on Friday. 

And then came the best part......tomorrow after the inspections are completed, they will start on the master bath room framing changes to accommodate the upgrade. Can't wait to check that out..... BUT as there are going to be changes in framing and plumbing, we will need 2 additional inspections of each, which means 3-4 days delay. And given that we are already so hot and heavy on the timeline, our PM suggested having these things checked in the final inspection of the house (when they do final plumbing, electrical, structure etc). I would be worried except that our PM seemed very confident that it should not be a problem as there are no major plumbing changes and frames that will be moved are not load bearing. As a happy medium, he decided to make a note of these changes and mention them to the inspector tomorrow when he is on site and see how he feels about having these checked in the final inspection. So starting Friday, the following 6 days are going to be very exciting.....we should have the master bath changes and dry wall hanged.

He did not forget the other things we had mentioned to him - missing keystone on the dormer window and the little trim on the foyer window. He said that these will be fixed along with the master bath window, which will be centered.

Then he started talking about what's to be expected after drywall, trim, paint, flooring, cabinets, counter tops, appliance etc etc and it was like symphony to my ears.
But the concert came to an end when we started discussing the time-frame. We are not out of the woods yet but I can tell that they are trying hard to get us back on track and we very much appreciate that. We are still looking at Sept 15th I guess, but we may hear some positive changes regarding timelines on Tuesday based on the progress of dry wall etc. I think I'll wait until then to change my countdown widget. On the whole, I'm very happy that things are moving along. :-)

Monday, July 22, 2013

The show must go on.....

Today, its been a week since we met our new PM and now that we had sometime to calm down and make our peace with the proposed delays, we are trying to address some important issues and work for the changed timeline.  By the way, we had emailed a list of concerns (as suggested by our new PM) on the very day and no one from RH or NVR even acknowledged our email.

Our SR and PM however called my husband on Friday evening to report weekly "updates". As you all know, not much has happened inside the house since June 21st, but this time they said we passed the framing inspection (FINALLY) and they will be insulating the house today or tomorrow, then there will be another inspection before they get ready for dry wall. Once we are at that stage we will have another pre dry wall meeting with our new PM and they hope to start hanging dry wall Wednesday or Thursday... Ahhhhh I have been waiting for this since past 4 weeks. I guess I'll believe when I see it!

Our SR kept apologizing for the delays but he said that the closing may not be possible before Sept 15th and he also said they will "try to work" with NVR on extending our rate lock (I want to scream on the top of my voice, "oh come-on, you are the same company".....But deep breathes!). Anyway, our PM was more hopefully than our SR. Again, they never ever will give us an exact date and I don't think I believe any of them anymore.

Coming to the things we will have to address: We are currently scheduled to vacate our place by Sept 13th. For the record, we had planned for this time frame (rate lock date and moving time frame) based on the dates given to us in our pre dry wall meeting held on June 21st, when the projected closing date was August 23rd. That would have given us a good 3 weeks time to move, Oh Well!
We thought it would be better to work with our apartment management than to hang our hopes on RH. So we requested a week's extension to vacate our apartment but turns out our apartment is already leased to the future tenants. But our apartment management said they will check and see if a week's extension is possible with the future tenants. Isn't that nice of them?! Fingers Crossed!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our New PM

Friday our SR finally called us and introduced us to our new PM (over the phone). We chatted for a little bit and I expressed my concern over the delays on the dry wall and the affect of the PM change on our timeline. Our PM tried to assure us that everything is under control and he is aware of all the changes etc. Our PM suggested meeting face to face once so that we can know each other better, I obviously wanted to meet him too, so we decide to meet today at the house. I asked them to give us a closing date so we can plan our lives around it. To that our PM said he wanted to check on few things over the weekend and he'll be in a better position on Monday (today) to give us a date estimate.

All excited, we went to meet our new PM. We liked him, he seemed very thorough and professional. The meeting lasted for a good 1 1/2 hr. We also discovered that our old PM has actually left Ryan homes, he obviously did not mention why, but I felt that he wasn't too happy with Ryan ways.

Our PM said that he is the kind of person who likes to communicate a lot and asked us to let him know if he was communicating too often. I said there cannot be "too often" or "too much" for us when it comes to our home! Then he addressed my concern about delay in the dry wall. Turns out there has been some issues with a city inspector who was giving them a hard time with framing inspection requirements. This was news to us, because we were always told by our SR that everything is on track! Anyway, he said they have been working on it and everything should be cleared out by next Monday and he wanted to have another meeting next Monday or Wednesday for us to check out the insulation etc (assuming we will be all set for that). We walked around the house, and he pointed out that our sewer, utility ditches etc were approved & closed and then we talked extensively about the master bath upgrade and he pointed few other things that needs to be fixed.

But then came the bad news....we estimated a closing date of September 15th! That is straight 3 weeks out of what we have been told till now. We told him that it's absolutely unacceptable for us as our rate lock expires on Sept 6th. He suggested that we compose an email listing all our concerns and the fact that we weren't informed of the major issues and send it to our SR and copy him and our NVR LO on it so they are all on same page. He promised to do everything is his power to expedite the process and said that an email coming from us would help him to get more resources for this project.

And one other thing he suggested was having a second Pre-dry wall meeting with him after the inspections are passed and when they are actually ready for dry-wall!

So that's that......At this point I'm just so tired.....that's all I feel right now.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

PM update!

I found out from my colleague and soon to be neighbor that our PM had quit! I stopped by the model today around lunch time to drop off some paperwork (yes that's today's excuse ;-)) and to find out more about the PM. It's our SR's day off, so this new girl (a new SR for the community maybe) confirmed that our PM is no longer going to work in our community, though he is still with Ryan. Weird that he should be sent to some another community when he has been handling so many projects here. I guess, we'll learn more from our SR, when he's back and if we'll ever get a status update! Now we'll have to wait and meet our new PM. I hope he'll be as good as our previous PM and this won't affect our timeline too much.

I also stopped by our house (of course) as there was a lot of action. It looked like a disaster zone with ditches dug up everywhere and crew was working on something, I have no idea about! So couldn't get inside but clicked few pictures as I saw shutters and some new stuff! Check it out.....



Pipe being laid in front of the idea what's that for....

There's another pipe going to kitchen...could that be gas line?

I don't really like siding on the fireplace! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Switched to NVRM

Yes.... We had to! Since we locked with FFSI, a lot has happened! All the back n forth with RH on the upgrades and lot of discussion about NVRM quotes. Not  to forget the added expense of our new bathroom upgrade, which we will have to pay upfront and the changed sales price etc etc etc.
Now RH has agreed to pay the "preferred lender incentive" in cash at the closing. And NVRM's "origination fee" has been finally waived completely. So the deal became much more lucrative!
Also our time line moved out about 7-10 days with master bath upgrade. Don't know how much more it will move, given that our PM might be quitting! (Just heard about it, don't know all the details'll need a totally different post) We din't want to take any chances there.

So taking all these things into consideration and ever increasing rates,  we locked in with NVRM today at 4.75%, which is still .125% higher than other banks. But it came down to today Vs tomorrow money and about 25-30$ difference in monthly payments, I think I can live with that.....

Monday, July 8, 2013

Progress and Pictures!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. We had a blast....we went away to a cabin in woods of Daniel Boone Forest, KY with family and friends. We needed that break. No phone calls, no internet, no laptop! And it feels good to be back (relaxed) and connected once again. :-)

I took time to catch up with all my bloggers friends this morning. Its nice to know that many of you had made so much progress. Very happy for you.

I realized that with everything else... issues, communication gaps, rain, rain and rain  I have been neglecting the fun part.... Progress and Pictures! So here it is..... Brick's almost done, siding is done too, we have some gutters etc in place. Also we saw a framing inspection list of "things to be fixed", so I guess they had the first round of inspection. We also visited rite rug today to pick out the tile for our new bathroom. We did not change the previous tile we picked for the floor, we just added its counter part - wall tile for the tub surround and shower and the accent tile that goes with it. That was easy!

So here are few pictures of the finished brick.  :-)

The Back Side. They had finished siding on the Fireplace area, but I couldn't get the updated pictures after all that rain! Our backyard is a pool!

Front Elevation

We are missing the cream accent brick on the dormer window and the curved foyer window.

Siding on the dormer and other gable

They boxed in the electrical and plumbing stuff hanging out by the Garage side of the wall.
New Master Bath selection!
 We had our pre drywall meeting on June 21st. And with the added bathroom change, we may see some framing changes. So I'm getting a little anxious about the pace. I want to see some dry wall!! Hopefully it will be sometime soon. Our over all target date is pushed by 7-10 days with added changes, and they say we are still on track for that. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On again....Off again.... On again......

First of all, Thank You All for your support, comments and wishes. My husband (like most of you suggested) had convinced me not to let the little things ruin our home building experience. After listening to all you guys and my husband, I did calm down a lot and I dropped the idea of going to the corporate folks. But, I was definitely going to have a chat with our SR and/or his manager.

So here are some updates!! Good ones... :-)

Our SR informed us that they have approved our request of upgrading the master bath at this point of construction. We were already given a heads up that it will cost us more, and we will have to pay the amount at closing as they cannot add it to the loan amount at this point. And of course, there will be some change to the schedule. And today our SR called with the details, we gave us the number that we will have to pay (it was about twice the upgrade price :-( ). And our closing will be pushed by a week.

My husband and I took sometime to discuss and finally decided to go for it! So we called our SR and informed him that we'd like to go with the upgrade. He said he'll have everything documented and have us sign some paperwork tomorrow with all changes - added master bath upgrade and the attic money we are getting back. So that's how it came up.... and the conversation got interesting!

 I first thanked my SR and told him that we very much appreciate that his manager and he went out of their way to get the approval for the master bath upgrade, but we were very unhappy with the way his manager spoke to my husband over the phone on Sunday about the attic issue. I also said that when nothing was put on the paper, we have the right to discuss it more...until they came up with a resolution that we would be satisfied with. And we talked for a little bit and our SR owned up to everything. He said he had a chat with his manager about that, as he too thinks that the way his manager acted wasn't right and we can expect a call from him. He apologized to us and asked us to give him a chance to make it up to us. He promised that he will make our journey smooth, stress-free and enjoyable from here on.

I feel alot better after having this conversation and I'm getting the upgraded master bath!! :-)
I'm feeling guilty about spending a lot of money on it and still kicking myself for not picking this option earlier. But my husband says it's for the best, and we will enjoy our home a lot more, for years to come!! :-)

Monday, July 1, 2013

No points for Customer Service

There has been a lot of back and forth with our SR and his Manager during the last week about the issues we have had so far.

We drove to the model to meet with the SR on Thursday and we noticed that they had started brick on the master bathroom side of the house, which had been held off till they make a decision on upgrading the master bath. I was furious to see that's how we know about there decision. After meeting with our SR, we caught him up on what had happened when he was out.

He clarified that the decision on the master has not been taken yet and he doesn't know why the workers are bricking that side of the house, as they certainly had ordered them not to! He said they would know by the end of the day Thursday about the decision concerting the upgrade and his Manager will call us. Our SR wasn't sure what the discrepancy was on the attic area. We informed him that his manager had walked with us to the site and agreed that the attic area wasn't built the way it was suppose to be and he would give us our money back! We also expressed our displeasure in their easy resolution of returning the money for attic upgrade.

We did not hear from our SR's manager on Thursday, we did not hear from our SR and PM on Friday (our usual project update meeting) and nobody called us on Saturday either. So Saturday evening we sent a text message to our SR asking why we had not received any updates from him. He replied saying they were extremely busy as its end of the month, but he will set-up something for Sunday, as his Manager will also be at the model and we all can get together and discuss stuff.

We did not hear from them all day Sunday. Then my husband received a call from our SR and his Manager around 6.00 in the evening. And my husband told me that the SR's  manager was being very rude to him! He said that we had agreed on receiving the money back on the attic issue and we should not be discussing it with them anymore. And he also said that we will have to sign an invoice for the bathroom upgrade and they'll start working on it.

So they can take 3 weeks to decide what they want to do about bathroom upgrade, charge us thrice the money. But if they do something wrong they'll give us the money back.
I think its all my fault, I shouldn't have agreed with him about receiving the money back without taking time to think about it. Because that is what he is holding us to!

We never expected them to give away any free stuff, we had agreed to pay for the upgrade we were requesting! Neither did we insist on them fixing the attic area. But once we had the time to think about it and we took our family's opinion on it, we were not happy about their resolution, that's all we told to our SR. Our family and friends said that we are letting them off very easy!!

I DO NOT appreciate the manager's tone with my husband. We have a meeting with our SR today and he will hear from us as much! At this point I'm almost thinking walking away from the house. My husband says we should reconcile with them, he loves our house end of day. But I'm not sure if I want to deal with such people anymore. Is decent customer service too much to ask when you are buying a 400K house?

I know lot of people would answer this question towards the end, but if I had to do this again I would not do any business with Ryan Homes! Neither do I recommend them to anybody.