Saturday, May 25, 2013

Question for those with the stone fireplace

This week (yesterday) they installed the stone facade on the fireplace.  I think they did a pretty good job on the stone but the mortar is pretty bad.  The sides are dark/messy and there are some serious stains on the pretty hearth stone.  Does anyone with the stone fireplace have any staining issues on their hearth, as shown below???   How do they finish the edges?

I wanted to catch them before they installed the mantle because I wanted it lower (or not at all) to be able to mount the TV a little lower but they had it done too quickly.  

I  was also disappointed to see there wasn't any stone leftover (and there's no dumpster in our yard anymore so no diving).  I guess I'll need to ask PM to get a couple of extra pieces.  I would like the extras to use to cover the TV hookup hole if I ever want to take the TV down in the future.

Update (long overdue)

Just wanted to do a quick update with pics.  Last weekend they installed some of our trim, kitchen and bath cabinets and the doors (so awesome to walk in an see).  This week, they did the siding and shutters and another coat of paint.  I'm so excited to be close to the 30-day mark.  So ready for this process to be over.

We did get a tenant for our current home this week!  That's a big relief and now I can start the heavy-duty packing!!!

There was an issue I had to deal with this week concerning the kitchen granite - in the end, I had to pick another color but it's a long story for a separate post.

dining room

bedroom 3 and linen closet

loving the tray ceiling in the master

there's a  LOT of holes in the upper hall ceiling!
fireplace w/ bucks county ledgestone

shadowy basement :)

fireplace w/bucks county ledgestone

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Now that we've passed the Energy Star test, PM has provided our estimated walk-through and closing dates.  As of now, we are looking at our walk-through on June 21st and closing June 28th!  Those are both Fridays, and I have to admit I'm a little nervous about closing on a Friday (no "next day" cushioning so NVR better be on their toes).  Very exciting now.

Speaking of NVR, I was told that they will probably let me lock starting the beginning of next week so (little does she know) I'll be making daily calls to our loan officer to check rates and credit points.  I immensely dislike the rate roulette game and am looking forward to having that part over with :)

I'll be going through tonight to check their progress on the drywall.  I kind of lost some excitement because I wasn't pleased AT ALL with some of the quality issues I saw when the drywall went up.  I think they moved way too fast with no thought to doing it right.  Drywall is an art and not everything can be covered up by tape and spackle.  There were quite a few pieces of drywall that were so damaged or poorly installed that I would hope they have the decency to replace them...  Is it wrong to want nice smooth, even walls?  I don't think so...  I've also found issues with electrical wiring shortcuts, a crooked sump pump and other miscellaneous items.  Think it's about time for another meeting with PM :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Day 45 - Drywall

On Thursday evening I went by the house and watched as the were loading drywall through the upstairs window.  By Saturday evening, they had it all installed.  Now for the taping, spackle,  sanding (and repeat) process!

Each part of the process so far has brought it from a dirt lot to a house.  Now with the drywall, I can finally "see" each room (structurally speaking anyway).  It was an amazing to walk into each room and just start imaging what it is going to be like living here.  

Here are the pics, in random blogger order:

living room, with bay (you can see where the sun comes in at 7:30 pm!)

standing at front door looking into dining room (more pretty sunlight shadows from the DR windows and front door)

bedroom 3

master sitting room

looking into master from sitting room

master view from bathroom


family room into kitchen

family room into kitchen and morning room

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Day 43 Update

We've gotten past plumbing, HVAC and electric and are at the insulation stage.  We were too late to order Roxul, so thanks to a tip from a fellow blogger and our future neighbor, we got the installation contractor to just add some extra regular insulation between the study/family room, bedroom 4/master sitting and the wall between bedroom 3 and the open foyer.  Hopefully this helps with dimming some noise.  We also had them insulate the areas of the garage not usually done (Ryan only does the parts that touch the house).  We think we got an ok deal, it cost us an extra $200 for the insulation, but more importantly it got done.

They have also completed the brick front.  It's been raining and overcast the past couple of days so I was not able to get a picture with nice lighting.  I also didn't have my camera so tonight's pictures were taken with the standby cell phone camera.

Two questions for you all:  First, does the unfinished area of the basement get any kind of white/silver insulation on the walls?  I believe I've seen pics on some of the blogs but maybe it's a regional thing??  Second, does the brick and grout look different in the end than when first installed?  I'm not loving the super muddy/ugly orange brown color of the grout, or the fact that there is no contrast between brick and grout.  We picked the darkest brick they had to choose (Boral Berkshire), but it still looks off to me.  Hopefully it's prettier when finished :)

here she is!
hard to get a nice picture with the dumpster...

you can see a good representation of the off-color grout above the garage; I also think there are two "splotchy" looking patches under the window
master sitting area with insulation on wall shared with bedroom 4

bedroom 3

family room with extra insulation on shared study wall


insulated garage - I like the windows and service door (I think)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

End of First Month

Between last Friday and today, they got the plumbing and HVAC mostly complete, as well as a good start on the electric.  Guardian should be out Friday and next week are inspections, insulation and possibly drywall!  PM said he will give the "main office" his target completion date after the Energy Star inspection (don't know when that is though).  PM also mentioned there's been a delay with our brick, saying there was something about a supply problem, so I hope that comes in soon.

Current pics, in random blogger order.  I couldn't get too many because my memory card ran out of space (and the kids were getting bored)...

garage windows/door, kitchen windows and master bedroom above

drain for the welled exit waiting to be installed
study, living room and bedroom 3 above (the small window is the jack/jill bath)
garage steps
kitchen, they've already marked for the cabinets

kitchen island

view out of the window above the kitchen sink

kitchen wall (double ovens and refrigerator) looking into mud room and garage

family room - "HOLE" marked for drywall hatch
that wall is into the study (the one we want to insulate)
We learned that they get the drywall into the basement via a hole in the family room floor (our neighbor's was in the living room).  This is true even though we have the double welled walkout in the basement... Strange.  We also learned that they don't screw down our subfloors, just nails and glue.  Think I will still want to try to drive in some screws at some point, at least on the first floor under the hardwood.

Insulation:  We were too late to order Roxul so we just purchased some regular insulation hoping that something will be better than nothing.  I did hear from a reliable source that the Roxul does some for the sound, but it's mainly the high pitches - does not really do anything for the lows.  I also am going to get a quote from the insulation contractor to see how much they will charge to insulate the garage and between bedroom 4 and the master.  We only purchased enough insulation to do between the study and family room.  I think insulating will be a little harder than I thought because the studs are not standard/uniform so we will have to cut the edges down (the spacing between our studs varies by an inch or so in some places).  I though it would be simple to just roll in between the studs cut the bottom and staple the sides.  We also don't have 16" on center interior walls, it looks like they did them for 24" on center; meaning I'll never be able to find a stud to hang things :)

We had a meeting with PM this afternoon to discuss some framing issues and the electrician was there.  I won't even go into the fact that I asked PM last week to let me know about the electrician's schedule (because I wanted to be there to make a few changes).  But I'm glad we caught him.  I was able to get the recessed lights above the kitchen island installed on their own separate switch.  I was surprised to find there are only two lights over the island - I could of sworn there were three.  But two is correct, according to the blueprints (had to triple-check).  Because the electrician had already done upstairs, there was only one switch move that I wanted and could not get. Guess that's not too bad.