Friday, March 20, 2015

Final CTI Choices

We made it through out CTI decisions this morning in about 1.5 hours. We've read where this sometimes takes 3 hours to get through everything.  I can't stress enough about being able to get these items picked out early in the process so that you can know where you want to spend the money.

I wish this was the first thing we had to decide on as the cost is a bit unknown and you can easily go over budget if you are not careful.  Overall, I think we got what we wanted and it was all less than $8,000.  (Prices may vary per region and home model.  This is based on a home the Washington D.C. area)

If you want to know a rough price for certain upgrades, let me know as I have a list of what they will cost.

This is the shelf that can be added in the master shower for $75.  You can add two of them, but we went with just one as we have the seat in the shower as well.  This looks a lot better than having a "stripper pole" in the corner of the shower

These will be our cabinets and granite in the kitchen.  The hard woods will be in the kitchen, foyer, powder room, morning room and family room.

The carpet for the room with the fireplace is not as gray as it looks.  It is actually more beige tan and has a higher pile.  We chose level C in this room, as it will have more use out of it.

We chose the middle color carpet for Zone B and the basement.  Its a lighter tan color, but dark enough to where it should not show much traffic patterns or stains.  The last image is of the Zone B and basement (left) and Family Room (Right)

Our master bathroom tiles and accent piece.  We did confirm we were able to mix and match the accent piece with our tiles.  We like the glass tile in the accent piece, but not the shiny or iridescent ones.  Thankfully they had something that was more contemporary but still ties into the natural look we wanted.  The granite in all the bathrooms is the St. Cecilia light with the same cabinets as the kitchen. 

We like the look of this color scheme for the kitchen, but wanted a little darker floors.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Talked to our SR and due to bad weather in the D.C. area, our expected finishing date will likely be moved to right by 2-3 weeks.  Also, our construction permit is still being processed by the county, so we could not start now if we wanted to.

Hopefully it will work itself out shortly as we are moving from one coast to the other and planned on moving into a finished house when we arrived.  It looks like we may have to unload our stuff into a storage site and find temporary housing till our home is completed.

Our SR was going to see if they can find us a town home within the community or nearby to rent month to month because of our situation!!!  I certainly don't want to get locked into a rental lease.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

CTI Preview

Our Realtor had a preview appointment yesterday so that we could get an idea on cost and colors.  We were able to do this because we live on the opposite coast and will not be able to get to the design center to see and make the decisions ourselves.

There was no issue with us doing this and our SR helped us get this lined up, knowing we were buying the house, sight unseen.

Here are some of the images our Realtor sent us of the cabinets and granite, which we already knew what we wanted.  The hard part was visualizing everything together to pick up a good hardwood.

We like the tiles below but not the accent piece.  From what we were told, you can mix and match the tiles and accent pieces

One thing that we were told different from the SR is the option of a 10lb carpet pad.  The standard is a 5lb pad with an upgrade option to an 8lb pad.  We decided to add the 8lb pad in the entire house.

Here is a breakdown of what we are doing:

Hardwoods - Kitchen, Foyer and living Room, Powder Room and Morning Room.  It was only about $200 more to upgrade to lvl B hardwoods.  Lvl A has good stuff, it just depends on what you are looking for.  It was an additional cost of $1995(Living Room) and $1495(Morning Room) to have the hardwoods installed.  I am trying to get a discount or rebate for that as they would have put carpet and vinyl flooring, respectively, in the rooms anyways.  SR said there was no rebate because the cost is minimal to them, but I will push for it anyways.

Carpet - Basement, Zone 2 (upstairs and bedrooms) and Family room (Room with fire place).  We are going with level B carpet in entire house because it has stain protection and 10 year warranty and level C in the Family room.  We like the top grey color and pile.  There are soo many options for carpet, it gets a bit overwhelming.  I would suggest going to your local home improvement store to get an idea on what you like/want before going to the CTI appointment so you can filter out most of the options you dont like.

Master Suite - Upgrade to lvl C.  It was only about $900 to upgrade over the standard white or almond tiles and it gives the house a more custom look.  We also will add a shelf for soap and stuff for $75, which is better than a cheap soap dish stuck to the wall.

Overall, our Realtor did a great job for us in getting most of the items pre-selected, but we sent her tons of texts and emails every time we found something we liked, which she encouraged.  I would recommend to do your homework on the brands and models to find out what you like.  Both of us have spent hours going through colors and styles online to find ideas we like.  This has allowed us to be specific in what we want and made it easier overall in making our final selections.  Also, our Realtor has a couple clients that are building Ryan Homes in various stages and has been through the process a few times  before us, which has made the process easier for us and her as she knows what we can and cannot do.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Last day for changes

Had a great meeting with SR today to go over all the structural details of the home and make any last minute changes that we wanted.  We went over options we did select and options we did not select.  I thought was helpful as it is a refresher of what is available just in case you forgot something.  I have purchased new construction before, so I did not feel pressured to choose additional upgrades and we had a clear idea of what we wanted in the house before we started this process.

Overall, nothing changed much from when we first drafted up our wants and desires.  A few things did change however and I'll provide some info for others who have not reached this point yet:

1.  We decided to not get the under cabinet lighting.  We can do this later ourselves with wireless LED lights or use the extra outlet above the microwave to hard wire lights if we want.

2. Two house bibs are provided and confirmed to one in the back and one in the front at the discretion of project manager/standard location.

3. We opted to not have the basement sliding glass door, for budget and security reasons.

4. We got trim package #3, which includes thicker baseboards, trail trail in family room and crown molding in family room and upstairs hall.

5. Confirmed hardwood floors are standard in kitchen, foyer, powder room and MUD ROOM!!!  We will be adding hardwood floors to family room and great room.

6. We decided to get the gas fireplace in living room.  It is only a white mantel with stone veneer.  It costs considerably more to have the stone go all the way up the wall, so we opted not to do that.

7. Added flood light to back of house, with location set by the master bedroom window for easy adjustment and light bulb changes.

8. We asked about the tile in bathroom and the tile goes past the shower head, but not all the way up the wall.  This is much better than other blogs that mentioned it only went up to or below the shower head.

9. We upgraded the cabinets in the bathrooms to match the ones in the kitchen.

10.  We upgraded the granite in the bathrooms to St. Cecilia.  We were told it is a shade lighter than the granite in the kitchen, just so everyone knows.  This isnt an issue for us an should work out better being less natural light in the bathrooms.

11. We confirmed Venice Model Elevation E.

Overall, it was a pretty quick process, only about a 30 minute phone call.  When you get ready for this, I would recommend having a list of all the pre-selected options and your change orders for review.  We caught a few things that were not updated on the change order from last time, ie., the bathroom cabinets and granite, which would have been a big let down if we did not catch it.  Just make sure you go line by line and ask questions if an item or upgrade is not listed or you are unsure of what it is.

Monday, March 2, 2015

CTI Update #2

Talked with SR and there is no issue with CTI being backed up, although he said he would try to push for an earlier appointment if possible.

We sent in our guardian options, only selected surround sound (basic package) and HDMI rough in for the basement.  No pressure at all from staff and all we had to do was send in a sketch of where we wanted the items located.

We were unable to get the wet bar location moved, although we did try and SR was on board with moving it next to basement bathroom.  I guess the PM did not want to deal with it, so we saved 1,200 for doing the rough in.  We will most likely add in a dry bar with fridge and storage at a later time. For now, we can use the extra money on flooring!!!