Saturday, October 19, 2013

What I wish I had known.....

After moving in and living here for about a month now... I have few regrets.... but there are some things I wish I had known...

1. Upgrade the pad on the carpet. I can feel every little bump from the subfloor through the carpet.
2. Work with your PM and electrician if you can to move electrical outlets and light switches.  I really didn't think this was that big of a deal...and it's not huge... but I have a big china cabinet that lights up and the outlets are next to it instead of behind it. Light switches seem to be in odd places, especially in the basement. I have to go downstairs and around the corner to get to the light switch.
3. Check every single window after you move in and inspect things closely before your 30 day walkthrough. Luckily, it has taken about a week for them to fix things and we keep finding things to fix. We have a great PM, so he just keeps sending people over to fix everything.
4. Ask PM if you can either install toilet paper holders/towel bars yourself, or mark where you want them.  Our towel bar in the powder room is up really high and I don't want to deal with patching holes to move it right now.
5. Don't bother with a blower for the fireplace.  Ours heats the entire house without the blower.
6. If you bake or host holidays... splurge for the double oven. This is probably the only real regret I have.
7. If you have a handy husband, don't pay for kitchen/bathroom knobs. We were able to pick what we wanted from Menards and installed ourselves for much cheaper and could do pulls on drawers instead of all knobs.

Things I'm soooo glad we did....
1. The upgraded paint package. We did Pavilion Beige and with the 2 story entry, it looks great.  There is no way my husband was going to be able to paint that!
2. Builder built deck.  Yes, it's standard,  nothing fancy... but it's done. We grilled out our first night here.
3. splurged for the cabinets I wanted.  Love my kitchen, it's the best part of the house.
4. rough-in for water softener. We had our water softener installed within the first couple of weeks we were here and it makes such a huge difference not only showering, but cleaning too.
5. Upgraded fixtures and doorknobs.  We got the bronze upgrade. Love it! Looks so good.
6. Added windows in morning room and family room. We have a great view of the pond behind our house, and the windows brighten it up.  We decided not to add side windows to the living room and bedrooms since they just look at the neighbor's house.
7. When they actually lock you out.... typically, the windows aren't locked.... we found ways in anyway, and we checked on things DAILY and took TONS of pictures.

The house has been an ongoing organizational mess... now that we are at least mostly unpacked... I will post pictures tonight after I give it a good cleaning!
And as much as apartment living/temporary housing sucked.... yes, it was totally worth it! Hang in there!


  1. Did you find any issues with your windows?

    At our pre-drywall I asked the PM if they would oil the windows prior to closing, he looked confused but they are a bit tough to open and shut for someone like me. I'm not sure if it's standard protocol, but I guess they have someone check all the windows to make sure any that have issues get corrected prior to closing. Or at least he made it seem like they do. Did your company do that for you?

    1. I assume that they are part of the inspection... but we have one window that is very hard to close and lock. PM said we need to push in while closing so that things line up right. However, we only have to do this with one window so I think it has issues. We will be watching it and are putting it on our list for the 10 month walkthrough. We have another window that is leaking. Not a lot, but we noticed there seemed to be something "growing" on the window seal. It was white, so I think it was caulking/paint that was bubbling up. They've resealed it twice, but it still leaks, so they are coming next week to take the siding off outside to find the issue. This is the biggest issue we've had with the entire house though.

  2. We had 13 windows that needed to be repaired. Check out this post for pictures and explanation: If you are having the same issue, be sure that they repair both sides even if only one side seems to be the issue. They only fixed one side the first time. This caused the way to build up and escape out of the other side. I have many window sills that are the third ones put on.

    1. Thanks for the info! Wow! 13 windows??? yikes!

    2. I saw on your blog how things got much worse than just a window leak... have they fixed everything????

    3. The drywall and baseboards have all been repaired. We are in the process of getting the new floor for the foyer as it was quite damaged from all of the water.

    4. Yes, eleven windows were fixed initially, two new windows were fixed when they came to repair the other side of the first eleven, and finally had to replace one window as the repair just didn't work. The thing that really bugged me about this was that when they originally did the window sills, the paint was sprayed. As they replaced the sills, they were painted with a brush. I have such a mishmash of textured on the woodwork in my house: some painted, some sprayed and some badly painted so that the brush strokes are highly visible. That's just my OCD acting up :)

  3. Thanks for the helpful hints and insight! We will be closing in December and I will be sure to follow up on everything you mentioned!!!

  4. Let's see..
    1. We upgraded the pad in all of 2nd floor, and family room. I agree it is absolutely worth it.. even though we didn't upgrade the carpet itself.

    2. Electricians have zero common sense.. we have light switches BEHIND doors, or in far corners over counters that make them unusable. We have outlets in the strangest places to make them tough to use.. Switched outlets should really be in corners not the middle of a wall, so they can be used with corner lights and night stands.. who installs this stuff in such dumb places! Electrical has been our main complaint.

    3. Love that double oven. Never saw the value of one until we got one, won't do without now.. It really shines in stainless too..

    4. We got the RH knobs.. it was the cheapest upgrade at $200, and that added knobs for whole house. Just counted them yesterday, about 60 total knobs.

    5. Love the added windows in morning room and family room. Can't agree more. We also have the side windows with extended family room, but I agree one looks into the neighbors house.. So we planted a Green Giant tree right outside it! We added 1 window into one bedroom upstairs.. It looks into neighbors house, but it faces north in a room facing North West, and makes that room shine all day, turned it into a playroom.. favorite room in the house.

  5. "Ask PM if you can either install toilet paper holders/towel bars yourself"

    We asked our PM to not install the toilet paper holder and they refused. Said they needed to be up for the inspection. Our PM was good, but his response to nearly everything was no.