Friday, January 10, 2014

14 Day Meeting

Along with our realtor we met with our Ryan Homes sales representative this evening for the 14 day meeting to go over our house options.

There are a quite a few options available and this is what we went with:

-Two additional 110v outlets in the garage. Only one is standard but I wanted more flexibility with my workbench, power tools, etc. I also eventually plan to restart work on my currently stalled Beetle restoration project and the extra outlets will be beneficial for that. I also want to install additional overhead lighting in there and unless I hard wire them in I'll need additional outlets for those as well. So now there will be one on each wall.

-Four ceiling fan rough-ins. These will be in the living room and in each bedroom.

-Added a second window in bedroom #2. The other two bedrooms each had two windows and we wanted the third to to have one as well along with the additional natural light it will provide.

-Center island in the kitchen. Jenny wanted the additional counter space.

-Pull down attic stairs. A simple access panel is standard but in our current house we have a substantial amount of stuff stored in the attic to keep it out of the way and wanted to make it as easy to possible to get up there.

-We had a choice of four outlets between cable and telephone. We're probably going to drop our landline phone service at some point since we now have an unlimited cell plan but we figured it was good to have one land line outlet in the house. We put this in the kitchen and the three cable outlets went in the living room, master bedroom, and bedroom #3. When our youngest son gets older we'll eventually have an outlet installed in his room as well but we're told it should be very easy to do so.

For flooring we went with the basic carpet and linoleum. Jenny's dad and brother are flooring contractors with their own business and we can get upgrades down the road for less hassle and less cost.

For kitchen cabinets we got a free upgrade to anything we wanted and Jenny selected the maple cognac finish. Also for the kitchen she chose a 3D laminate countertop that looks like granite in the Antique Mascarello finish, and stainless steel appliances.

For outside the house we chose Elevation A with white windows and trim, graphite siding, Old Lexington brick around the foundation, dark navy shutters, and an outerspace colored door. (Darker blue but lighter than the shutters.)

We're also getting a morning room as it was a free incentive for using NVR Mortgage. The additional space this provides was one of the reasons we went with the Sienna model over the Sorrento that we originally were considering.

We priced out adding a deck but we're still on the fence over doing that or a patio so we'll be adding that sometime after the house is built.

One thing I will say about this process is I was somewhat surprised by what are considered options. I had assumed that something like ceiling fans or a pull down attic stairs would be standard things included in the base price of the house. It doesn't take long for options to add a substantial amount onto the overall cost. It's definitely worth it though get these things done up front versus needing to get them done later.

We're also getting the reverse floor plan without the basement. Basements aren't done in our area and from what I see online reading through various Sienna blogs we seem to be in the minority with that. I've yet to find another person blogging about building one that doesn't have a basement.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Welcome to Jeff and Jenny Build a Sienna where we'll be blogging about about the process of building a Sienna model house with Ryan Homes.

Who we are: Jeff (technology integrator for a local school system) and Jenny (medical education administrator for a major teaching hospital). We have two sons, Zach and Matthew, two cats, a loveable but dimwitted Cocker Spaniel, an ever snoring Pug, and a betta fish. To say our home is a zoo is a bit of an understatement but we wouldn't have it any other way.

For the years we had planned to eventually sell our current house and get a decent amount of land out in a more rural area. With the birth of our second child in May 2013 we really started feeling cramped and needing something bigger. About a year ago a new Ryan Homes development started going up down the road from us. We passed by there nearly every day and after looking at their website we eventually decided to visit with our real estate agent to get a more in-depth look at what they had to offer. We spent far longer than planned on that initial visit but were really impressed with what we found. We also decided that as much as we wanted additional land we wanted to stay close to family, not have to make our son switch schools, and keep reasonable commutes to our jobs. On December 30 we put down a deposit on a lot and signed a contract to build the Sienna. We're on our way.