Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Now This Is Fun!

     One of the coolest things I have seen in a long time are these Crayola Crystal Effects Window Markers! I'm such a non-artist, I swear. I am the person who caused the "She can't draw a straight line with a ruler" cliche. But these are so much fun I do not even care about my lack of artistic ability.

Everything is way cooler/prettier in person, but you'll have to see for yourself when you go buy some.

 No skill required, see?  
Haley did a self portrait.

Jessica created a rainbow.

This was just too much fun! I can imagine so many possibilities, and I  am not even  a good imaginer! (creative  license)
The white marker is really cool, but somehow I didn't get a picture of it or the cocoa colored one. I was practicing pumpkins at the top.

Crayola Crystal Effects Widow Markers. What fun!

You have to go buy some. I got mine on clearance at the local Giant Eagle for a buck and some change. What else can you buy for less than $1.50 that is this much fun? I challenge you! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Things They Asked For And Got!

     We talk about non-standard requests all the time. For me, hardwood stairs were a non-standard request. For many of you, those are on the list. Here are a few notable non-standard items people were able to get in their homes:

                                                        BD got an awesome spa shower

      They also got a pot filler, got custom cabinet changes, a warming light over the stove top, special kitchen faucet with soap dispenser, wet bar in the basement, custom basement window trim with electric for backlighting, an insulated garage door,  etc. 

Guess what? It's a lot more difficult to find the blogs/posts showcasing all the great non-standard stuff people got. If you have some to add to this list share them and I'll add them to this post.

Make sure to read the comments to see what others have to add!

  *To read more about our Ryan Homes Ravenna click the "Our House" button at the top of the page.    

Monday, September 3, 2012

Dear Ryan Homes

Dear Ryan Homes,


     We recently bought a Ravenna model home in Northeast Ohio. We were very happy with most of the items you offer. There are a few options we think you could offer to make people even happier:

  • Oil rubbed bronze kitchen faucet. There are ORB offerings for lighting, hardware and plumbing, excluding only this very important faucet. 
  •  Different finish on the sink as an upgrade, too.
  • A large island which is square or rectangular as an upgrade.  
  • Upgraded shower heads
  • Trim packages around the windows. 
  • Upgraded mantle option:   Beefier mantle - without the twists in it.
  • Steps from the back door. 
  • Patio/Deck 
  • Front porch options with each elevation. 
  • Bathroom cabinet options. One sink and big counter or tall cabinet option.Double cabinets with one sink in the middle.
  • Basement bath available in a bigger size to allow for a double sink. Luxury bath option.
  • Extended garages for longer vehicles.
  • Upgraded window options.
  • Upgraded interior and exterior door options. 
  • Pocket door options on first floor for dining & living room.
  • vestibule options
  • pot filler at the stove
  • Ability to change out lower cabinet for a drawer stack.
     These things would be great options, and there are others, too. During our sales meetings our reps told us the more requests buyers make for things, the more likely they are to add them. What other things are easy to substitute and need to be added as options?

  *To read more about our Ryan Homes Ravenna click the "Our House" button at the top of the page.    

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Make A List Like It's Christmas

     If you want it, write it down. Ask for it. Ask your sales rep. Don't wait until someone offers, because maybe they never will. I know I am being vague, but that's because it could be anything.

     Do you want a backsplash in your kitchen? A shelf in your shower? A seat in your shower? Reinforced walls in the laundry room so you can hang cabinets later? There are lots of things you may want. Make a list of those things and make sure to ask for them. Google spreadsheets are your friend. They're free and you can access them from any computer. 

     We don't have a backsplash in the kitchen, because at no point in the buying process did anyone offer any options for it. I think we should have asked at Rite Rug. Actually, I think they should have asked us at our Rite Rug appointment. But they did not, and we did not, so we have no backsplash. Ditto shelving in the shower. We wanted a seat, but were talked out of it, but we couldn't even get any shelves. I even asked the tile guys when they were here, but they weren't allowed to go off plan. Your mileage may vary (and it will) - I know some people who dealt directly with the guys in the house doing their tile. 

     I know they give you a list of options which is about 90 miles long. By the time you have decided on all of that stuff your brain is turned to mush and all you want to do is eat, sleep, and cry. But think about it... what's not on the list? Some people get patios and/or decks, lay their tile at different angles, have extra driveway added, they get blinds for the windows, etc. Think beyond the overwhelming list. Your list will be different than mine, since it seems to be regional. 

     Also, things vary depending on which model you choose. I wanted transom windows - big fat no. They don't do them. But? My cousin has them. She lives across the street. They were standard on her house. We got the door with the built in fake transom window. I wanted a single back door. My house had a slider. I upgraded to french doors, but to 'upgrade' to a single door would have been even more costly. Strange, but true. Same cousin? Has a single door - standard issue. In our development they don't do decks or patios. They even say "Ryan Homes doesn't do decks or patios because they can't warranty them." There were quite a few houses built in a row after ours - all of them got decks. I'm not sure if it was Ryan Homes or if they all just happened to build decks immediately? But I know this: Ryan Homes does decks and patios. Some of you already know it, too. Because you bought a Ryan Home with a deck or patio - or both. 

     I think a lot of what you can get will depend on your PM. My hardwood stairs? I would not have them without my PM. Sales rep said they don't do them, but put in a non-standard request. We got a no back on it. We pushed some more, offered up other blogs as a guide, and our sales rep took it to our PM, who dealt with the factory on it. Our PM could have just offhandedly turned down the request, but he put in the time and effort to help us get what we wanted. The more I read the blogs the more I realize how much the PM has to do with what you, as a homeowner, will be able to get. He's the one who can do the research, talk to the mystery people at Ryan, and get things done.

     I've seen people get double-decker decks with intricate staircases- the idea of their PM. Access to the jetted tub put in closets to pretty up the bathroom, because the PM thought of it. My cousin got a much better driveway than expected because their PM thought it would look better this way. We got a usable space in our basement for food storage because our PM made sure the utility room in the basement was done in a way which made sense - everything in one area, instead of spread out across the span of the room.  

     So, take nothing for granted. Ask questions, and ask for what you want. Maybe you can get it!