Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Demonstration and Inspection

Tuesday has proven to be a very busy day for us.  We knocked out the final walkthrough (aka demonstration) and home inspection, received a preview of our Settlement Statement (HUD-1), and even did some window shopping at Ethan Allen for a nice desk.  

I am soooooooo excited to finally get a P.O.R. shot without the blasted dumpster.  In our excitement, we forgot to get a new rear picture to add to the progressive GIF but it looks like the appraisal picture with painted foundation that matches the siding. (edit:  A new rear photo was taken on 28 September and added below) The progressive GIF for the front has GIFs for both the front and back have most definitely been updated (see Timeline post).

"I see my red door and it has been painted black..."  (verse 3)

OK, my door was never red but in my mind it could have been and, really, I couldn't pass up a good Rolling Stones reference.  A little punch of red would actually look nice but the color package mandated a black door.  Besides, I'd have to get the red door approved by the HOA now (eek!) so I'm thinking it'll remain black for quite some time.  Black or red, it looks mighty sharp.   Hello, pretty house! :)

Final Walkthrough
The final walkthrough with the PM was roughly 2.5 hours and probably would have been closer to 2 hours if it weren't for tangential conversations. All in all, it was straight forward.  I even wore some wickedly vibrant socks for the occasion.

Two of the three trouble spots in the attic mentioned here were addressed:  column (mostly) and furnace overflow pan.  Our PM will take a look at the ridge in the floor.  Bonus points for asking us if we want to swap out the door handles to the unfinished attic space for locked ones (same key cut as the front door).  -- Yes, please!  Our unused brushed nickel hardware was removed from the house (likely during cleanup) and our PM will track them down.  If they're really gone, RH will need to (read: had better) send us another set or refund our money since we bought our own oil-rubbed bronze plumbing fixtures out of pocket.  (Speaking of which, our community should be getting the ORB plumbing option soon/now.) 

The house was not as clean as we (including our awesome real estate agent) would have liked and still needed some touch-ups.  I've given up thinking the house will be absolutely spotless and all areas exceptionally smooth and without imperfections.  A girl can dream though, right?

There were a few areas where we had some concerns but I'll save that for the home inspection section.

Home Inspection
How many times have you gone to a meeting with the PM or SR and written things down and STILL forgot to check/mention something?  I highly recommend getting a home inspection done but not through one of RH's independent third party inspectors.  Aside from the possibility of a biased inspection, an extra set of eyes and someone trained to methodically go through every bit of your home is definitely a plus.  I'll eventually post a separate page for useful nuggets of information including some great energy saving tips from our inspector (you rock, C!) and the bits below.

Where you might need some trained/professional/experienced eyes:
  • furnace and A/C (you can pay extra to have the HVAC techs come out to do CFM testing (air flow))
  • electrical panel/wiring
  • radon:  this is best done after the house settles a bit (and definitely after construction in adjacent lots is complete)
  • thermal imaging -- typically not needed for new builds but useful to find any missing insulation and drafts.  On older homes, this can also help identify water leaks and mold

Here are a few things you can do on your own:
  • open/close and lock/unlock every window and door
  • open/close the garage door(s) and test the car remotes and the electric eyes
  • open/close all cabinets and drawers
  • test plumbing (hot and cold)
    • sink faucets, showers, toilets, tubs (including jets -- make sure you point them DOWN)
    • hose bibs (not an issue if they are watering the sod/seed)
  • test the sump pump (this should be done at the demo)
  • run gas fireplace ** 
  • test all appliances
    • microwave, oven, range, fridge (even water lines), dish washer, washer, dryer...
  • test each light switch
  • trip all GFI outlets 
    • note:  all of our bathrooms are connected to a single GFI in the master
    • note:  your exterior outlets may be connected to the GFI in the garage
  • check stair railings are secure
  • check ceiling and floor registers for air flow
  • check stability of the bar/overhang area to make sure it's secure (by morning room if an option)
  • check thresholds (doorways and flooring changes)
  • test fans (ceiling and bathroom vents)
  • check grading (essentially, away from the house)
  • check that all downspouts have been installed on gutter system
**  I've seen a few bloggers post about running the gas fireplace before moving in or shortly after getting your keys.  Our PM ran ours prior to the walkthrough but it does take quite a while to burn off all of the chemicals.  We let it run throughout the demonstration and the home inspection and our PM would come back to turn it off and close up the windows since he has the key.  I would recommend that you get this demonstration first so it can get some extra burn-off time so you won't be chased out of the house from the smoke and stench.  Please, please don't forget to open the windows!  Also, don't forget to run your heat as well!  If you can let them run for an extended period of time (without occupying the house), even better.  (Tip:  Test the heat and gas fireplace prior to settlement/switching over the utilities so you don't have a high bill.)

What was found:
  • Driveway - first layer has a gully.  Asking that when the second layer is laid in the spring that it be crowned so the water doesn't pool.
  • Basement window - vinyl casing is cracked on both sides and doesn't open.
  • Basement slider - water leakage under the door.  wall frame also wicking moisture.  (this is due to the water bib and a not-so-great hose constantly spraying water all over the foundation. 
  • Sump pump is on a GFI (aka GFCI-protected) outlet.  Mechanized/Motorized items should use a regular outlet. (note:  your fridge should use a regular outlet too)
  • Missing insulation - while most of the attic was very well insulated, there was a <2-ft wide section in the knee wall and over the removed scuttle access

Settlement Statement
NVRM provided our HUD-1 this evening and we were quite surprised at the amount which came in approximately $4K less than the good faith estimate.  There'll not be any objections from this household!  Of course, all amounts are subject to change until time of settlement so that darn checkbook will have to come with us and hopefully will not be required.  Settlement is scheduled for this coming Friday!!!! (28 September).

Given the delays throughout the summer (mostly rain), we're not that far off from the original settlement projection of 17 September.  We could have pushed it up a bit but wanted the extra time for last minute fixes and cleanup.  Judging by what we saw today, the cleaning crew (and finishers) need a few extra days.

I picked up a picture of a lovely Arabian for Miss M's bedroom.  It was 75% off so I can't complain.  The 2-in (or so) edge is less than desirable in color so I'm debating whether I should paint the side or glue some pretty ribbon (pink, of course to match the accent wall).

Speaking of painting, I have a few pieces of furniture (writing desk and dresser) that are in need of priming and painting.  Hopefully, it won't take me forever and a day to get those projects done in the new house.  I feel bad that I will be painting the dresser that my mom so painstakingly stripped many years prior but the veneer is chipped and the drawers don't quite match the base any more.  It has lovely hand-carved details so now the only problem is figuring out which color (weathered) -- cream, pale green, slate blue ...?


  1. I love all 3 colors!! There is always more I learn about walkthroughs, had thought of dishwasher but not the fireplace!!!
    Can't wait to see everyones decor pics!

  2. These colors looks so good together! AND the horse portrait is beautiful! I really enjoyed this post, lots of detail! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Great post... good luck on Friday and hopefully they get everything fixed for you!

  4. Great info here! I'll add that it's good to let the water actually run for a bit -- we discovered a few minor plumbing problems that way. Mostly that our garden tub made a weird noise after a minute or two of hot water running. Luckily, was on our settlement list and it was fixed before we closed.

    Good luck!