Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pre-drywall meeting and siding!

Things have been moving along so quickly with our house, and the next major milestone to closing was the pre-drywall meeting, which took place last week.

We arrived at the home site bright and early to meet with our PM.  Luckily we were able to schedule it while Everett was in preschool and Foster slept through most of the meeting, so I was able to get a good look at the work and ask all my questions.  Later that evening we did bring Everett back by the house so he could see the progress.  I want to keep him as involved as possible so he'll feel more comfortable and secure about moving. 

The meeting went really well, primarily the pre-drywall consult is to show the homeowner where all the major utilities are behind the walls and so that the homeowner can check to make sure that all their options are accounted for.   We also brought our PM a copy of the home inspection we had done so we could go over the small items Lance Keller had found and discuss how they would be addressed.

Overall the meeting went well, everything looks good, and the few items we caught were easy fixes.  We went room by room, and I checked to make sure that the all the switched outlets were in good locations (i.e. not where I was going to put computers, alarm clocks, or TVs), and I was satisfied with their placement.  I wish we could have skipped the switched outlets, and I still don't understand why we couldn't, but at least they won't be in my way.  One surprise was that the sitting area of the master bedroom will have its own switched outlet, I hadn't realized that, but the room is so large that code dictates the need for another switch.

Our tub and shower pan were already installed in our master bath, which was a surprise.

and I was very happy to see that the area I am planning to install a medicine cabinet was free from electrical wires.  I still don't understand why Ryan doesn't install medicine cabinets, are they considered outdated?  We don't have them in our house we are renting (built in 1999), and it is really annoying to try and store everything under the sink.  Medicine cabinet install is one of the first projects I'm tackling once we move in!

That big empty space between the outlet and the switches is where my medicine cabinet will be installed
The shower/tub was also installed in the kids bath

I was also able to double check that the attic access was in the upstairs hallway and got a good look at the amount of storage space we'll have available.  It looks like the whole space above Everett's room was floored for attic storage, which is awesome.  I think the extra money for the drop down stairs and storage was a good choice.   Our PM also told me that the floor supports for the attic are the same that they use for the second floor, so there is no worry about overloading the storage space weight-wise.   Its the same floor construction that they use when they do the optional attic living space for the Rome model, so if in the future we ever wanted to pop out the roof and expand, we could do so.

Attic access stairs

We got to take a look at the loft and the extra bedrooms as well as the laundry room.

Everett's room
Guest bedroom

When we headed downstairs I made a happy discovery, I have an outlet on my stairs!  I was actually considering adding one, and was sort of kicking myself that I didn't do it, but low and behold, there was one already there!  Now I can easily vacuum the stairs and have a nightlight.  Its the little things, right?

When we got downstairs we found a few mistakes, the first the PM had already recognized, and that was that the electrician had forgotten to add the recessed lights in the dining room.  This wasn't too big of a deal, and it let me confirm once again the placement of the lights with the PM.  We also discovered that our pantry outlet had not been installed and our PM made note of that.

Looking into the dining room (minus the recessed lights)

We also asked the PM about the placement for the vent in the dining room.  We noticed in the Rome model that the vent is oriented perpendicular to the window, which means that half the vent is blowing directly on the window, and not out into the room.  We asked the PM if the vent could be switched so it would be parallel to the window, so that it would better heat/cool the room.  The PM told us it wouldn't be a problem (and it has been switched).  You might want to think about this if you are building a Rome, its weird in that the dining room vent is the only one located perpendicular to the the outside wall, all the rest of parallel.

I was also happy to find that there is a vent in the pantry and also one each in the master closets, but slightly less happy to find that there isn't a vent in the kitchen.  There are two located in the morning room, and one in the family room, and I hope that will be enough to keep the area cool/warm.  I haven't read any complaints about the temperature in the kitchen, so I'm hoping Ryan knows what it was doing when it configured the HVAC system.

Looking into the ventless kitchen, gas line and water line for fridge installed on far wall, water for sink to the left

Morning room and breakfast bar (so, so, so glad we added the extra windows!)

Everything in the family room looked fine, the speaker pre-wires and cable connections were in the right places, and the fireplace with blower looks to be installed in the correct location, and the eyeball lights are over the fireplace.  The gas line for the fireplace is offset from center, so I don't have to worry about it when hanging pictures.

The one other small problem we encountered was with the light switches for the kitchen, the ones on the wall between the foyer hallway and the hallway leading to the pantry and dining room.  I had asked during our pre-construction meeting for these to be moved over as close as possible to the foyer hallway so that it would be easier to turn the lights off when leaving the house, and so I could use that wall for a bar cabinet like this one 

Well, the switches were still in the middle of the wall- currently we are working on a resolution, and I'll let you know what happens.

The study also looks great, with the phone jack just where we need it to be and the switched outlet on the far wall away from where the desk is going to go. 


They also were able to move our outlet in the garage to the exterior wall close to the garage door.  We have a dedicated outlet in the center of the back wall of the garage for the fridge/freezer, so I thought it would be silly to have two outlets right next to each other, now we'll be able to use the non-dedicated outlet to run extension cords for holiday lights. 

We also got to check out the backyard, and I was able to measure it out and it will definitely be able to house a small swing set.  With the playground just down the street we don't need anything extravagant, but it will be nice to have a structure for the kids to swing and slide and climb on right in our own backyard.

I cannot wait for the boys to have this wonderful safe space to run and play!

We also had a surprise in our driveway, the house siding!  I was able to take a peak, and it looks just as good as I thought it would

Lots of boxes
Irish Thistle

I had one last thing to accomplish before we finished our meeting, and it was an idea I got from some other Ryan bloggers.  I brought a sharpie with me and I was able to write some special secret messages on the framing boards which will be covered with drywall and always be a part of the house.

Right on at the entrance to the house I copied a traditional Irish blessing and added our names and the date

and I also wrote a little blessing for both boys on the inside of their bedroom doorways

I just thought this was such a cool idea and I'm so excited that I got to continue the tradition in my own house.  This is one of the special things that you get to do when you build and I think it is so neat that our names will always be a part of this home.

Bonus Update!!!

A few days after our pre-drywall meeting I drove by the house (mostly to check on the pantry outlet, dining room recessed lights and dining room vent position), and I found that the siding and the shutters were up and the house was completely dry-walled! no moss grows on this crew!

Irish Thistle siding, dark berry shutters

I love the front door detail, its so Greek revival!

We even have drywall!
This Saturday evening we'll be headed back by the house to take a look and see what progress has been made, the drywall will probably be taped and mudded, and maybe we'll even have some paint!


  1. Things look great! I love the Irish Thistle siding! Very nice! I would almost guarantee that your drywall will be taped and mudded and probably paint. You may even have some tile work or cabinets installed in bathrooms!

  2. I'm going to be stopping by on Saturday afternoon and I can't wait to see the progress! I'll hopefully have a new post up with pictures by Monday.