Thursday, September 1, 2016

Weekly Wednesday

Every Wednesday we have a weekly call with our Program Mangers and Sales Representative to give us updates on the house.  I must admit the process on the house was janky and we asked to be updated only to find out that they provided these weekly calls for the buyers. Not sure if they invite at a specific stage of the build or for only those who request it.  Either way, it was necessary for us because the miscommunication was awful and it appeared that the team had amnesia.  We have been engaging in these calls for several weeks and it has been helpful; however, I noticed a pattern amongst the team.  It appears that the team is trained to tell you "no." A word to the wise, document everything you discuss with your building team.  Even if you have a conversation face-to-face or via phone, do yourself a favor and follow it up with an email to confirm what you are being told and to create a paper trail in the event there is miscommunication about your options/upgrades/customizations and other pertinent details regarding the construction of your new home.  Also, if there is a custom item that you would like to add to your home, be certain you request it early and do some research to provide pictures, measurements etc to get what you want because they will tell you "no" on some customs that are definitely possible to do for you. So do your due diligence and go over your paper work with a fine tooth comb including the options to be certain that they are discussed in your pre construction meeting and go over every item carefully.  You want to be sure your PM has all your details to avoid mishaps during your build.  If you find later on in your build that something is missing they will have no other choice but to remedy the problem. If not, they will contend your requests and by all means, do not settle on your home if you find things wrong with your home.  I also strongly suggest an inspector for your home because the PM is not always there to catch a cover up or missed item in your home. Our last build went nice and smooth because our PMs worth ethics were high.  Lastly, building a new home can be stressful for some people and its important to take care of yourself.   Do not take anything for granted.  If you have a question ask it, even it may seem silly but ask and keep asking.  It's your house and you are paying the money and the builder gets to provide excellent customer service. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Laundry Room Update & a Misft on our Elevation

Toll Brothers options selection is on the web which means literally building your house out by adding and deleting options that configure the space as you see it.  I wasn't quite familiar with this process so I did not dab into very much. Our focus was primarily on the structural items of the house.  One day I decided to check it out with very little knowledge of the model's potential beyond the basic floor plan.   I had already decided that the laundry would be in the basement and it would be a laundry/craft room for our granddaughter and I.

Well, upon pushing the button I discovered the alternate laundry room location.  The standard location is in the mudroom on the lower level.  Anyway, the alternate laundry location is in this area that you see in the picture.  It closes up the two story foyer which I was not happy about but my hubster really wanted it there even though he doesn't do laundry.  The nerve. lol  We went back and forth.  As I continued to listen to the advantages of having the laundry in this location, I surrendered!!  Threw out the white towel and began redesigning my original plan.  This two story foyer is now a laundry room.  I later asked the SR what would happen to the outside elevation.  She sent us a picture and I did not like it.  If you look in the picture the large window reduces in size to create the laundry room and outside the panel between the window and the door gets larger.  I did not like it but my hubster was so happy that I gave in that he did not consider the different options we may have been able to get to change the outside elevation.  Ugh
This is the foyer area of our model which no longer exist because it will be closed off and made into a laundry room.
This picture came from our neighbor's home who we visited often so that we could get a sense of what our house would look like because we did not have a model to visit.   The laundry has been framed out and we are pleased that we did close this area because it feels warm and inviting. We will have a flush mount instead of this longer lightening fixture to accommodate the change.
Once we move into our house, we are going to explore putting a transom above the door to reduce the panel on the outside.  
Sorry, I tried to download a picture of the outside elevation with the change but it says the file is not  compatible.  :-(

Friday, July 29, 2016

Selfie Moment

This is the back of the house!  I have so much to share and I am way behind, but I wanted to at least share this selfie!  Too Funny!  

Thursday, May 19, 2016


We were supposed to break ground yesterday and our PMs told us on our Weekly Wednesday call that the machinery failed and they could not start which means we were disappointed when drove up to the lot.  They told us we were rescheduled for today, Thursday, May 19.  My hubster drove by the lot and this is what he saw--an opening--some progress but nothing to make us jump for joy.

I sent an email to our PMs letting them know what we witnessed and could they give us an update.  The email reply was an automatic reply from our PM who noted her absence for today and our SR is out on Thursday and Friday.  Thank GOD for two PMS!  I followed up another email addressing the other PM who sent us the picture above.
We are leaving the office to check out the lot and take more pictures!!  YAAAY!

Monday, May 9, 2016

It's a STAKE out!!

This is the little gadget the surveyor uses for accurate measurements to stake out your lot.  It has a  picture of your entire plot plan. Look closely and you can view the plot plan of our lot.
We were scheduled to meet with our SR who showed up at 11:00 am and the surveyor showed up at the same time.  This timing was impeccable. We were able to catch him in action. He said it would only take 5 minutes to stake out the four corners; but I asked him to stake out other points so we can get a better since of the house layout.  He was very generous laying out the additional stakes per my request.  This made both my hubster and I very grateful so that we can get a sense of the layout.
This picture shows the young 23 year old engineer student with the additional stakes in his tote.
He is a senior at Towson University.
He said once he stakes out the lot it is automatically sent through his gadget and they return for the next phase.  There are three phases to stake out the lot.  Phase 1 - the four corners  Phase II - The additional stakes for the foundation walls Phase III - Precise stake locations before foundation walls are installed for concrete guys to pour the concrete

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Breaking Ground

During our Weekly Wednesday check in call with our SR and PMs, they confirmed the plan to stake out our house on Monday, lay the rocks for the driveway etc etc etc which means this is the beginning of breaking ground on our lot and possibly digging the hole by the end of the week. We are scheduled to meet with our SR on Monday at 11:00 am to a take a picture with the new signage.  They replaced the signs and we no longer have a sold sticker on the new signage, so we decided to have her take a picture to get a full photo instead of a selfie.  We are not sure if it will be staked out at that time; but it's definitely scheduled to be staked out on Monday.  :-)  Unfortunately, my granddaughter will be in school but we will return so that all three us can be in the photo.  Our PMs told us that our building materials for our house will be delivered in June and we can expect closing in December.  They also said, we may get lucky and close in November since our basement will be unfinished along with good weather conditions.  Toll Brothers take approximately 6 - 8 months to deliver a home so we are happy to be on the schedule to close before the end of the year.  When we built our first townhouse with RH we closed the day before Xmas eve.  It was awesome; however, I pray we get to close in November before Thanksgiving.  

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

2nd Pre Construction Meeting

Today was our second pre construction meeting.  
We asked for this meeting in an effort to be on the same page with all of our selections because we had countless email communication between us, SR, PM, the Big Girl PM and the consultant at the Design Studio.  The meeting went well and we were able to identify and add some additional selections that were not noted.  For instance, we had no clue that the bannisters we saw in the model were NOT the standard bannisters.  I have walked into the room with the brick, stain door colors and bannister options many times and never paid attention to the bannister options sitting in the far corner.  I noticed that there were several options and our paper work reflected the standard.  I am so happy I saw them today to upgrade them to the white stylish option.  The standard was straight and boring.  I considered the iron balusters but with my decor the white was the better option.  We spent a lot time on the electrical and will visit after installation to be certain all fixtures are installed according to our placements.  We did not get the mother in law suite on the first floor as I hoped because the request was too late; however, we can still turn that room into the suite easily since the basement will be unfinished.  Overall, we are pleased and still waiting for the permit with the greenhouse revision.

Monday, May 2, 2016

How do you like your FRIDGE?

Check out the Video...I AM IN LOVE!
I absolutely love this refrigerator!  I love gadgets and technology!  This refrigerator won my HEART!  Which refrigerator did you choose and how do you like it or hope to enjoy it? I have found that the counter depth are really nice to align with the kitchen cabinets but they compromise on space.  I have not used it; however, looking on the inside it feels like there is some precious space missing.  I would suspect that with a minimum of two people the size should be sufficient but I am willing to differ.  In the meantime, I like the 28 cubic feet fridge with water dispenser and the additional features on this fridge just tickles me.  My only challenge will be syncing in up with the iPhone because this is a Samsung product.  I just switched from the Samsung note and feel inclined to switch.  I don't know how many times my hubster and  I would ask what is inside the fridge so that part of the app is a lot of fun.  Anyway, this is on the top of my WISH LIST! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Getting Closer

We are getting closer..

We received word that the original permit was finally approved, the fees were identified, the check was written and the runner has returned it with our new structural revision of the greenhouse. Oh happy day!!  This means we are just two weeks or less from getting the new permit back so that we can get our lot staked and break ground.  In the meantime, we will meet with our SR and both PMs for another pre construction meeting on Tuesday, May 3, to be certain all of our customs, upgrades and options coordinate with the paperwork.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Buy a House in 2016

 We were clear having had sold our Ryan Home the Rome that we would purchase a new home to suit our fancy.  Well, we signed the purchase agreement on September 20, 2015, with the expectation that we would be moving into our new home at the beginning of the year.  A FRESH START, A FRESH YEAR!  As things would have it, we will be moving into our new home the YEAR 2016; however, little later in the year.

We are in a semi-stand still which we are managing to be patient, because partly we are the ones who chose this route.  First, we did not know Toll Brothers took 6-8 months to build your home, whereas, Ryan Homes could build your home within 72 to 90 days.  During our first round with Ryan Homes it took 72 days to build our townhouse and when we built our Rome in Fairwood, it took 120 days because of the weather and the additional customizations we requested for our home.

Secondly, this is a Toll Brother issue--the introduction of a new model that was never built in the community.  Prince George's County took nearly 4 months to approve the first permit/home, two months to approve the second permit (someone knew somebody that knew somebody) and our permit has taken over 5 months (along with inclement weather) and still waiting.

Third, we had plenty of time to study the home since we did not have a model to look at in the area.  None.  We were buying sight unseen.  During our research, we discovered a few structural upgrades to our home. We requested them and the suggestion was to wait for the original permit to return and submit a revision.  The permit was finally approved this week; however, we are still waiting for them to receive it permit to submit the revision.  Once the revision has been made to the permit and it is in hand of our PM, they will be able to stake our lot and schedule a date to break ground   We can't wait.  Our prayer is that we can break ground in May with the expectation of a settlement date in late September or October.  This means we officially accomplished our goal to buy a house and move into our new home in 2016.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Quick Updates and a Date!

We finally selected all of our customs, options and upgrades for our home.  We started our process in September; however, we are just coming to the point of finalizing our selections at the Design Studio, the Toll Brothers custom department and Audio Buys.  We were told we could not have a pre-start meeting until all of these items were satistfied with our sales office along with the plans and building permits.  The plans/permits were submitted on December 2, 2015.  We were told this is a new model for our community and the county is slow to approve the model.  The first Langley II took four months.  The second Langley II took approximately two months.  We are hopeful that we would have received our permit in January because of the prior Langley approvals in our community.  However, we were faced with the holidays and the BLIZZARD which slowed the process down too.  This means we are still waiting for our permits.

In the meantime, we have a firmed pre construction date!!  🎉🎉🎉
Initially, we were scheduled for February 15 at 10:30 am. We were hit with more snow and our appointment was canceled due to inclement weather. So disappointing. We have been pushed back, but we do have a new date!!

February 29, 2016    The day after our 16th Anniversary 💑

After building both of our Ryan Homes (a townhouse and single family home) along with a purchasing a condo last year and guttering out the entire unit, we feel quite confident that there are a lot of interior design choices we can do at a later time to make the home our home because most builders have limited choices and are quite expensive.  We decided to go with 50 percent standard options and 50 percent upgrades.  For instance, we opted out of letting Toll Brothers finish our basement and used that incentive towards purchase of our home.  It's going to feel really weird not having the basement done, but I would not have it any other way.  I have great design ideas for the basement and too excited about it. I will post our selections soon. I need to remember how to set up those sub headings. Lol

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Laundry Room- Where is yours and Why?

One of my desires for our new home and all other past homes was to have my own dedicated luxury laundry room. I want it to include a folding table, hanging space for wet clothes, ironing board, a television to watch HGTV while folding and ironing.  There are some clothes that I like to wash a particular way and they require being hung.  This picture above captures only part of my vision.  Well, there is a little glitch in this desire.  Since I am traditional when it comes to laundry, I want the laundry room to be housed in the basement which would include a combo space for my granddaughter to work on her crafts/scrapbooking. 

The challenge:  my husband's desire and my desire.
My husband's desire is to see the laundry room upstairs on the upper level with the bedrooms which is definitely a no brainer in terms of practically.  Everyone can be responsible for taking their clothing to the laundry room without having to travel to the basement. Well, I tend to be tradition when it comes to the laundry location which is in the basement.  My vision is to create a luxury laundry room with the cute fixings that offers functionality and practicality.

I love this eclectic look.  It warms my heart!  There is plenty of space to fold and sit to do arts and crafts and anything my heart desires.

My question is to everyone:  where did you house your laundry and why?  Some people have chosen the mud room area, some have chosen upstairs which I have heard rumbles the house when drying depending upon the type of dryer, some have chosen upstairs.  My challenge is his desire, my desire.  I discovered that the home could accommodate an alternate laundry location upstairs.  Why did I share this with my hubster.  lol lol  He now wants the laundry upstairs which would close off the two story foyer that gives you a grand entrance.  At first, he was stuck on the grand entrance. Once I share the good news with him, he is convinced that this is the best location. Well, I understand why he feels this way.  The laundry was housed in the basement and I tend to wash clothes on a regular basis because I hate seeing the pile of dirty clothes in the basket.  Well, my challenge was getting the clothes back upstairs. lol He said, Nadase, the clothes go down, but they never come up.'s so true.  I on the other hand still want my laundry in the basement, because I want the larger space.  What are some of the pros and cons you have found with your laundry location (size, location, missing clothing etc).