Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Framing the Foundation

Some progress has been made.  They constructed the foundation and began to pour the concrete.
 From what I can tell, they construct a framework with the pieces you see above and to the right.  Then they pour the concrete in the slats in the top, sort of like a mold.  I guess next they will take these frames off and we will have our basement.
This picture to the left is just showing about how much yard we will have off of the back of our house before we hit the hillside.  They projected about 15 feet from the back of the morning room.  If we add a deck/patio, that will obviously cut down on our "play" space for the kids.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Pouring the Foundation

Today I decided to take a drive past our new house on the way home and there was a lot of action.  Before I left for Hershey (on Tuesday) our new neighbors had their foundation poured and I knew ours would come any day soon.  To my shock, theirs is practically framed.  They have both stories built and you can actually see the stairs through the front door.  It's pretty cool... can't wait for ours to get to that stage.  As I was driving down our street there were tons of cement trucks buzzing in and out, so I was hoping they were pouring ours.  I didn't want to get too close because I didn't want the guys to yell at me.  From what I could tell in the pictures to the right... the big red cement trucks would dump cement in a truck that had that yellowish arm.  From the end of the arm, there was a tube that led down into our hole (basement) and was pouring cement. 
I assumed it was pouring a solid bottom base to our house. We returned later to find out that the big arm with the tube was filling specific trenches in the ground/hole/basement.  Our project manager mentioned something about putting a "footer" in, so maybe that is what this is.  It looks like it goes along the outline of our house.  Maybe they pour this as a solid base for all of the walls and framing to be built on, then they fill in the rest of the cement later.  I am totally guessing on this!  At least they are doing something, and it looks pretty cool from the different angles.  The top picture is taken from the front of the house, from the road.  The bottom picture is taken from the back right corner of the house.  Walking around the back of the hole, it doesn't look like we are going to have much of a yard.  It all depends on how much they backfill up aginst the foundation.  Even then, it will only be an extra two feet or so.  Oh well, I guess the kids will just have to play on the hillside!  Hopefully they'll keep working this weekend, and I'll have another update soon.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

We are officially renters!!!

As of this morning, we are officially renting our own house.  We had our closing yesterday at 4:30 PM.  We signed all of the paperwork and had to the chance to meet Jim, the gentleman that is buying our house.  He's a real nice guy and we're glad everything went so smoothly.  We're also super excited we get to stay here until our house is built. We made our first monthly rent payment, plus security deposit, so we are all set.  To the right is a picture of our house now "officially" sold!  Woo hoo!!  Time to start packing up and get ready for the move.

As for the new house.  We drove by this morning and it looks like they broke ground this week.  You can see they dug out the hole for the basement/foundation.   Our future neighbor across the street purchased theirs right before us, and their foundation is already poured. 

As we were sitting there a big construction truck came by, and the kids were totally awestruck. We had to sit for a good 5 minutes and see what he was going to do! Can't wait to see what's next. We are all very excited! I'll check back in when there is more to report.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Pre-Construction Meeting

This whole process seems like it has gone on for years, but today we finally had our Pre-Construction Meeting with Ryan Homes.  Leading up to today there were many decisions that needed to be made... flooring (basic linoleum and upgraded a level of the carpet and pad), exterior (brick and black shutters/door), interior upgrades (cabinets and gourmet kitchen with extended island), wiring, additional space/rooms (4ft. extension to the family room and additional morning room - a free Ryan bonus the month we booked!).  And even as of 20 minutes before the meeting we still were up in the air on a few things... now we are sure about the black appliances and getting a fridge.  It was too late, however, to add on the home office! We are building the Victoria Falls, elevation B, with a brick front and a porch.  If you visit the Ryan Homes website: the model you see at the top is exactly what our house will look like.  You can use the arrows to scroll through sample pictures in the top banner.  Along the right of the page you can view the floor plan and also take a virtual tour. 

Just sitting in the model home at the Berkshires in South Fayette today got us excited to break ground.  And to think, two weeks ago we almost pulled the plug on this whole thing!  We are still concerned about the Marcellus Shale drilling possibilities in South Fayette, but the way we looked at it was... drilling is going to happen in western PA.  We could could back out and lose our $15K deposit, buy somewhere else, and still run the chance of drilling coming to that neighborhood in the future.  We're rolling the dice that we'll be safe in the Berkshires, and it is definitely something we will closely monitor and advocate against once we move into South Fayette.

Pat, the project manager, was very friendly and helpful.  He knows what he is doing and I look forward to speaking with him on a regular basis throughout this process.  He gave us an estimated delivery date of June 8th, which is nice because we don't have to be out of our current place until June 29th... giving us plenty of leeway for any setbacks (or just to take our time moving all of our stuff).  He said they should be breaking ground by next Wednesday, or even as early as Monday.  I'll keep you posted as things progress.  As for now, here's our new house...