Thursday, May 31, 2012

Beautiful Venice and Some Old Black and Whites.

Look at her.  She's beautiful.

Who would of thought that some PVC pipes and PEX tubing (thanks Thomas!) could be so beautiful. I love the light coming in too.

I sneaked a peek inside the garage and look what I found when I looked into the dining room area!  Isn't it angelic?

When the SR and I looked at the house we saw this on the floor.  At first it looks like water but when you touch's rather sticky and strange.  It was on the wall and the floor.  I think it's growing some mold buddies but it's drying out in the basement so I don't think it will last very long.

Check out the vent for the fireplace!  Exciting!

I am just so in love with this brick and that window.  I'm tempted to leave a little love note to the brick layers telling them how beautiful of a job they are doing.  I just love it!

Did you ever think scaffolding could be so awesome?  I love all the textures here.

Another shot of that beautiful brick and window.

I finally touched this brown's very plastic.  The black tape on top the brick is pretty thick and sticky.  When's the last time you saw tape stick to concrete?  I've never seen it.  It must be some strong stuff. I wonder what it's for.

And....some memories.  I think I might starting putting my "old home" photos in only black and white.  I bet you they'd make some cool photos for my new house.  I'm going to start working on that.

Here's another showing how close my current neighbor is.  She's very close.  She is a good neighbor too.  I hope our new home has good neighbors.

Well that's all for now folks!  I hope you enjoyed.  I can't wait to find some time to catch up on all your wonderful house building photos too.  I've really enjoyed looking at them when I have had a chance.

Have a GREAT weekend too!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Keeping Things in Check.

I want to make sure I show the positive side of this building process too.   Since I don't have any pictures I have a question for you all and a few positive thoughts to present.  :)   First off,  the bad always comes with the good....otherwise we wouldn't know what good really was.  If you see me blog about that's just because it's what was nagging me and I really appreciate the support I get from all my blogger friends to find the "balls" to address it with the PM.   Building a house is not the time to be shy about things.  So THANK YOU blog buddies. here's my super awesome list of positive things that I can think of that I love about using Ryan Homes so far:
1.  The process. about informative and easy to understand.  The SR, loan officer, Flooring people and PM are easy to talk to and very professional.  If I've annoyed them, they have never let me know or have even hinted for a second that I might be "that buyer".  This puts them on the top of the list of people I have ever had the pleasure of having a business transaction with.  I can freely voice my concerns, feel heard and am even encouraged to continue to seek answers to my endless questions about almost everything under the sun. Even when I've been wrong, they have never told me to take a back seat and step out of the building process. This is professionalism at it's best.  

2.  The ease of the build.  They don't monkey around.  When they say it's going to happen....put on your seatbelts because the ride begins NOW.   So Exciting!

3. The variety of selections and options.  Although some are more costly than I would prefer, they let you know your options and encourage you to build your dream house first.  Then, once you realize your dream is pretty expensive, they let you change your mind enough times so you don't freak out and feel secure in your final decisions.  I can't say how invaluable this is.  I changed so many things by taking things off, putting things on....etc....until I found my comfort level.  The process they took me through has allowed me to trust that I can do this and I did make the right decisions.  Building a house this big scares me to death......Ryan Homes helps to take out the scary for me.

4. Quality. not everything is the absolute best you can buy but I believe for the value you get good quality.  I've been in other builders homes and I have to tell you...we went with Ryan because those other builders lacked in quality compared to other homes in the same price range.....not to mention the development locations chosen by Ryan far outmatched the competitor's in almost every neighborhood that I've spyed on...including ours.

Ok...well my lunch is over...but this is a pretty good start.  I'll work on putting a little more positive in later. :)

Before I go: Here's my question......How do you all keep yourselves in check in regards to your purchases?  I keep thinking about everything I would love to put in my home.   Like...I don't need a new washer and dryer but the pair I have is yucky and gross and have been in my old wet basement......How can I put these old danky things in my nice new 2nd floor laundry room?     I know it sounds silly but I'm really fighting some shopping demons.  Is this just a girl thing?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Flashing is not to protect wood from water? WHAT?

Here is what my PM said about the lack of window flashing on that window I've been upset about:  " The flashing is not there to protect the wood  it sheds the water out from behind the siding around the window. As long as they have it taped it’s okay."

UPDATE (3):  Here is the building code that refers to the problem in this post: R703.8 Flashing.
corrosion-resistant flashing shall be applied shingle-fashion in a manner to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or penetration of water to the building structural framing components. Self-adhered membranes used as flashing shall comply with AAMA 711. The flashing shall extend to the surface of the exterior wall finish.
 If the tape does not overlap the lower pieces (shingle-fashion) then the windows are out of code.  I just might go and check every window now. The one window in question is DEFINITELY not to code because the overlap is wrong.

Added 6/1/2012
Here is a photo of how the flashing tape is suppose to be put on.  I got this from Protecto Wrap's website.  It is their installation instructions.  Protecto Wrap is the flashing tape that my builder is using.

Now I like my PM but I do NOT like this answer.  Here's what I want to say:

1.  I did not pay over $200,000.00 on a house to have tape make it "okay".
2.  Flashing refers to thin continuous pieces of sheet metal or other impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into a structure from an angle or joint. Flashing generally operates on the principle that, for water to penetrate a joint, it must work itself upward against the force of gravity or in the case of wind-driven rain, it would have to follow a tortuous path during which the driving force will be dissipated. (Source:
3. Uhmmm....if it's there to shed water.....isn't  that to protect it?   (Sorry if I'm sounding female doggish here)

So...if #2 defined is correct...then that window is still wrong because there is no tortuous path for this water to travel to keep from getting in the window.  It just has to go down the side into the tape they put up to make it all okay.

I'm sorry PM.  I do not agree with you on this one.  

Disclaimer:  I am not saying my PM is a jerk or anything like that.  I truly do like the guy and I generally like to see the best in everyone I meet.  That being said...He said exactly what was said above in quotes. upsets me but I'm not against him.  I'm against his current thoughts on the apparent okay taping of my house.

If it were your house, would you let tape make it all better?   I think we all know the answer to that. 

UPDATE #1(cause I'm sure there will be more): I just reviewed the window with a construction manager friend of mine and he said that the FOIL TAPE (not flashing) is not needed because the window has it's own flange (nailer) on the bottom of it. I'm not sure I buy this 100% because all my research still says otherwise. I'm  so nervous about the house and didn't see why this window would be different from all the rest. I still don't fully understand why you'd bother flashing all the windows but this one. UPDATE:  There is self adhesive flashing this is not foil tape.  It is some sort of flashing.  I still have to research its uses.

As long as a building inspector says this is ok then I will not bring it up anymore.    My lack of knowledge on building terminology is a hindrance so I need things spelled out clearly to understand them.  When the PM wrote "Flash Sill" on the sill, I assumed that I needed to check out anything and everything about flashing. 

The jury is still out on this though.  I have one more construction buddy to talk to and some research on flashing tape to do.  I don't want to make a big deal out of it if I don't have to.  I just wish they would have done it like the others in the first place or at least proactively told me about it and why they did what they did so I could just enjoy the building process.   Clear COMMUNICATION is a virtue.

UPDATE #2(later that morning..):  Here is the response I got from the PM this morning: "When the framer comes to put the front door in we will redo the window"    I like this.  This is what I expect for the amount of money that I'm paying.  THANK YOU.    Now I don't have to freak out and research and I know that it will be taken care of like it should have been in the first place.  At this point, I don't care if they are mad about it.  I know they wouldn't accept anything less if it were their own house so why should I accept anything less for myself?  Perhaps this will set the tone to make the future work precise, as it should be skipping corners on my house please.  Is that too much to ask?

A look inside with HVAC installed.

Going to the second floor.

The dining room or study.  Your choice.

A curiosity.  The steel beam sticks out farther than the wall so I'm interested to see how they are going to do the brick.  My guess is that they will have to break half of the back off of the bricks that cover this area.

A pic of the ThermoPly and the tape that seals it.  

They put this cardboard like stuff on the stud to make it even with the one beside it.  It will be hidden so no biggie...but still interesting.  I'm glad that they are making it even.

View of the "pond" from office (bedroom 4) window.  We are planning on accidentally planting some plants around it to make it prettier.

A break in the ThermoPly that is in the gable.  It looks like it's doubled.  I found several areas like this but the PM and a construction friend of mine said that this does not matter.

Remember that unflashed window?  This is it from the inside.  It's still unflashed but the PM said it was fixed.  I will be upset if this is not fixed.  The workers just taped a piece on the outside to make it look like they did it right.  It really pisses me off that they are trying to be sneaky like that.  I hope the PM gets on their bums for it.  This is so wrong. :(
Here it is from the outside.  My theory, that they just taped it on to make it look like it was flashed, was correct.  Instead of taking the window out and doing it correctly they just tried to trick me.....and I'm guessing the PM. Poop!  I can't believe they would do that.  Water can still go down under that and rot the wood.  GRRRRRR!!!  I wrote the PM and said that my husband and I will do it if we have to.  I don't care who does it...I just want it done right.

This is what the window is suppose to look like.  Flashing that is actually covering the sill so that if water gets in it sits on the tape and not the wood.

Super Awesome Morning Room.  You can see the blueprints scattered on the floor.

The Kitchen/Mudroom/Pantry.  HVAC sneaking in from the top.

I finally got to see what goes in the blocked out area in the blueprints.  More HVAC.

Ahh....I can't wait to use this....Minus the splinters of course.   My splurge.

A view of the master bath and to the right the laundry room.

Master Bath and a look in bedroom 4 (study).


Walk in closet!  Oh yeah!

Standing in the closet taking a picture of the largest bedroom. Bedroom 3. 

I took this because you can see the nail holes where the sunlight is peeking through the ThermoPly.  Siding will be over this but I personally think it should be taped because water can get under siding and there is no need to invite water in the home if all it takes is a little tape to fix it.

Kaylee's Bathroom. :)

They do not insulate the garage unless you pay for it but they do insulate the HVAC that runs in the ceiling.  We are just going to insulate the garage ourselves.  Not that hard to do...just annoying to do.

Upstairs looking down the stairwell.

Dining area/Study.

I found more mold. :(  I think I'm gonna go in and just start spraying some mold killer.  I said this to the SR and she said laughed and said "knock yourself out".  I might.  I really really do not want mold and the way that they handled fixing the unflashed window sill does not give me much faith in how they will handle the mold.  

Overall everything looks good and I'm super excited about this stage.  I can't wait to see the bathrooms set up.  :)  The mold and the flashing are just small annoyances and I'm sure they will fix it.  If know you'll hear about it.   Alright...I hope you had a great Memorial day!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We got our basement window! LOVE IT!

I had a "LOT" of fun tonight at lot 308.  :)  Enjoy!
Yes!  New House! New House!  Yes!

They put some type of cardboard paper like stuff and taped it in where the post under the garage beam is.

I've never seen a more beautiful pile of cardboard boxes of HVAC stuff in my life! Oh Sweet Jesus!

 Here's the basement window.  Can I get an "Amen"?   Best decision EVER.

Fluffy Bubbly insulation stuff.

The back of the walkout basement.  Who wouldn't want a window there?

And...they fixed the flashing?  I'm not sure.  Everything I read about flashing said not to cover the nails.  Does anyone know?

An underneath peek.

It looks like the sides still overlap the bottom it ok for it to cover the nails on the bottom?  Does it matter?  I don't want any water damming up if it happens to get under the siding and run down the wall.
UPDATE:  The sides do NOT overlap the bottom.  I got inside and checked it out.  Not happy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Starting to Cherish and to Remember: My Old Home

Thanks to  another blogger (Update:  It was WJ who inspired this blogpost. Thanks!) for the inspiration to do this.  I'm sorry I can not remember the name because I'm totally distracted by Neil Diamond on American Idol while I'm blogging.  I just don't have time to figure out who it was when someone's signing Sweet Caroline...especially Neil!  Good Times Never Seemed So Good!  :)

I figure if I started taking pictures now so that I would be able to get over it by the time we move into the new house.  I'll share inside photos later this summer.  This house rescued me.
I bought her right after I learned that not everyone who is engaged actually gets married. At that same time, I had sworn off ever renting because that was too much of a step back for me.  I needed to have things my way first so I knew what I wanted when I had the chance to have it.

Then along came one dog, two dogs, then another...then another.  All Rescues.

This all happened right after I had just got my first job AND bought my first new car.  A car was something that I had been looking forward to since I first ever had a job at the age of 14.5. I knew what I was going to reward myself with once I had a career.  Just when I thought everything was falling apart...other things were building up for me.  Thank Goodness.

Then...I worked.  See that siding?  I read a book and I did that.  I'm 5'3" and I have to tell you...I surprised the crap out of my neighbors who were men's men that were union carpenter's, electricians and workers.  I'm very much a woman.
I knew I'd have dogs in my new home...but I never thought that I'd have three....or four.  They just came as I slowly healed.
Then......I did something different.  I said yes to a man what truly loved me as much as I loved him.  He loved who I was just like I was.....tomboy, nerd, competitive, sarcastic, hyper, distracted ...sporadic...........everything.  Together we created this.
 This is Spyder, a rescue from an animal shelter in Texas, letting Kaylee learn how to pet him.

Here it is.  We brought all those rocks in the landscape  ourselves with the help of our neighbors wheel barrow.  I completely sided the house on my own.  Dustin and I were dating at the time but he let me do the ENTIRE thing so I could say..."I did that"....and he hates siding.  I love it.  See the sign on the far left at the end of the ramp?  Dustin made that.  See that AWESOME stone around the door?  I did that.  My hands got so dry from the cement I can't even begin to tell you what it was like to wash my hands.  See that addition that the front door is in?  We closed in the old porch and made another room together.  See that cedar shake and scalloped siding?  I put that up three different times because the first time, the OSB was rotten and the nails didn't hold. I put up Ferring strips  and nailed them into the roof studs and then  I redid the decorative siding.  That was hard because you have to be very good a measuring to space it out right. The second time the wind caught the scalloped siding and then it slowly peeled off.  Then I had to solve that problem by nailing it much much tighter than I had.  So far it's holding. She's come a long way....just like me.  I will miss her.

Dear New House,  This is where I come from.  I sure hope I like you as much as I liked her. I can only imagine how wonderful the new memories are going to be.  Sincerely, Charissa