Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Guardian Technology Meeting

Met with the guy from Guardian.  They offer all the technology based bells & whistles for the house.

  • Security System
    • The house includes the equipment & installation of a security system when you sign up for a 3 or 5 year agreement.
    • The basic unit includes regular phone line based monitoring for $40/month.  There is another model that runs $45/month that includes cellular backup.  The salesman had a good point in that the last batch of home burglaries, several of the houses had their phone lines cut, so the security system couldn't reach the monitoring company.  The cellular backup option uses a cell phone tower to report issues in case the phone lines are cut
    • We're going with the cellular backup model, we've also found out that the system is not proprietary so we could shop around for a better monitoring rate after the 1st three years.  
    • Also, we're adding a 2nd keypad for the 2nd level.
  • Audio
    • I was never a fan of putting TV's on the wall mostly for the audio reasons.  (I like my surround sound) so the only audio wiring we're going with is a pre-wire for the two surround sound speakers.  The price of the wiring is kinda pricey, but in the grand scheme of things, will save a ton of headache down the road.
    • On a side note, I ordered the surround sound 'in-ceiling' speakers that will utilize the pre-wire. 
    • The pricing of the whole house audio, intercom etc seems unnecessary to me.
  • Whole House Vacuum
    • While this feature is one of the cooler options, we just couldn't justify the cost.  I don't want to put the cost out there because I'm sure it varies based on home model & area.  It was just way too high for our liking.
  • Internet / Phone
    • The house comes "cat5 prewired" which basically means they're going to run 2 locations of cat5 to locations of your choosing.
    • Cat5 (cat5e is actually installed) is the standard for internet Ethernet wiring.  This cable is capable of handling both data OR voice (not both at the same time).
    • My understanding is that they wire it with a standard internet jack however, traditional phone lines can be plugged into the same jack.  So you can use this wiring for EITHER internet OR phone.  
    • We're using one for internet and the other for phone in the kitchen
Hope this helps!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Siding Color

The only thing we knew for certain is that our next door neighbor had sandstone and we wouldn't be able to pick that as a color.  Meg & I drove back up to the established development of Ryan homes and started looking around.  We didn't want anything too light (White or Cameo) and not too dark like Khaki.  While driving around, we met one of the owners who moved in January.  She pointed out the darker colors (like her Khaki) shows lumps / bumps more than the lighter colors.  Even from the car, we could see uneven patches that looked lumpy on her house.

Anyway, the main purpose of this trip was to get a better idea of what 'Tan' looked like.  We took some pictures and decided that either Tan or Taupe would be OK.  Neither were perfect, but we were ok with them. 

The lot to the right of ours was sold before us, so we had to avoid the color siding they chose.  Meg didn't want the same color shutters as well, so I emailed the rep at Ryan Homes.  He provided us with the updated elevation tracking.  So our surprise, our neighbor had changed their color to Khaki.  This means we can have the sandstone we wanted all along!

I've switched the picture on the blog to generally what we're getting.  Milan: Elevation C All Siding.  The picture shows partial stone, but it's the best I could find.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Flooring & Design Center

Santa Lucia Granite
From the agreement, we have 30 days to make all of our selections.  This includes the following:

  • Selections:
    • Interior - Carpet, tile, hardwood, cabinets, counter top, fixtures, fireplace
    • Exterior - Color Scheme (Siding, trim, shutters)
    • Electrical - Meeting with Guardian for security system, cable, phone, internet wiring.
We had our meeting with the Design Center last week.

  • Kitchen / Mudroom / Powder Room
    • Countertop - Everyone and their brother has a suggestion for what kind of counter top to get.  We're going with a lighter granite pictured here.  
    • Cabinets - We're going with darkest cherry option.  When we saw them at the model, we were blown away.
    • Flooring - This is still an open topic.  We originally wanted hardwood but we started to hear that you can scratch, wear-out and damage hardwood flooring.  Megan wanted tile in the mudroom (which is a custom change).  So now we're going to head back to the Design Center to look at the tile again for the floors.  
Cherry Cabinets w/ Santa Lucia Granite
Note: The kitchen picture is one I found online that happened to have the combination of materials we're going with.  This was not provided by Ryan.  I'm hoping it looks this good!  The only difference I see is that we will not have a tile backsplash, we want to do that on our own down the road.

SD91 - Alabaster Sands
  • Living Room / Dining Room / Foyer & Hall
    • All hardwood flooring with the color Gunsmoke
  • Owner's Bath
    • We're going with DalTile SD-91 Alabaster Sands pictured on the right.  The accent tile used in the picture is not what Ryan offers.  We're going with a more simple accent tile.
  • Hall Bath
    • Basic white with a vine listello at eye level. 
  • Laundry
    • Same as owners bath, but this only on the floor.
  • Siding
    • Still undecided, we like the Sandstone but can't pick it due to one of our surrounding neighbors already has it.  We're looking into "Tan" but want to see a sample before selecting it.
Next: Meeting with Guardian