Follow by Email

Saturday, March 16, 2013


I got a Nest thermostat for Christmas. I'm all about saving money and this thermostat has lived up to it's claims. Very easy to install and setup. It connects wirelessly to your internet and you can control it from your laptop or smartphone.

Once up and running I programed it to fit my habits and after a while it learned my pattern and started to operate on it's own. I leave my heat set at 67f during the day while I'm home and down to 63f at night. That might be too cold for some but for me it's comfortable. I also travel a lot for work and while I'm out of town it drops down to 58f on the "away" option.

If I leave the house during the day while it's currently set to 67f and the Nest detects no one is home (how it does this I don't know) it will switch itself to the "away" option and take the heat down to 58f. Before coming back I get on my IPhone and turn off the away option and by the time I get back home it's back to the temperature I want.

I installed it in January and on my February bill the gas company did an "estimate" reading and my bill was $96. I just got my March bill which was an "actual" reading of the meter and my gas bill for March was $6 and some change. This was the result of what they estimated I would use and what I actually used in January and February.

Now I travel a lot so my bill will be lower than most but even so that's pretty darn good. My last home (a Ryan) built in 2004 never saw a gas bill under $100 at this same time of year. That just goes to show just how energy efficient Ryan Homes are now and along with the Nest thermostat helps you improve on that efficiency. I recommend this product to everyone.

You can buy this online or at Lowes or Homedepot. We have the 2nd generation Nest and paid $198.

One Year Down

Today makes a year we've been in our Ravenna. I can honestly say that I'm happy with everything about our home. We haven't been issue free in this year but most problems were man made issues.

We had water intrusion from hurricane Sandy from the transition window in the half bath on the first floor. Glad that we were home to catch it, however not before it was under our wood floors and they started cupping. Instead of putting wood floors down again and go thru that hassle we switched to tile and brought it out to the foyer and stopped at the kitchen doorway.

When we scheduled our 10 month review in January we had only 3 minor things that needed fixed. I was very impressed with the fact that not only did they resolve our 3 issues, they came in the house and walked every room and checked all the walls, window seals, baseboards and anything else they could see that needed attention and took care of it. So when you schedule your 10 month review be prepared to have them in your house for half the day.

Would I do it again with Ryan Homes? Yes

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hidden Trashcan

Finally installed the hardware to hide the trashcan into the cabinet. You do loose cabinet space however with this kitchen for us there's still plenty left. Bought the kit at Lowes and to attach the cabinet door like we did requires another kit sold separate. 

The granite company came out to fix the countertop and the rep also came to try and talk us into keeping our island countertop. When I told her we weren't budging based on her own technician's comments she then started to put down Ryan Homes and the construction of our cabinets and what we could and could not do with granite countertops. It really solidified my decision to have it replaced because I wasn't going to deal with her crazy ass down the road. I was really shocked how she behaved in a customers home in front of her client (RH). Needless to say that will be the last time I deal with them. Now we can start on our back splash!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Window Treatments

We got the window treatments done in the family room. At first I didn't like them as they came out of the box but once we got them up I really like them. I wanted to do some type of drapes in the living room however on elevation C they separate the windows in the living room and there is a dividing wall between the living room and foyer and it would be hard to hang drapes so I'm going to do more cornices instead and hang drapes in the dinning room.

Still waiting on 4 more chairs for our dinning room table and sideboard and trying to decide what kind of window treatments for the morning room. Also want to find a rug to go under the table in the morning room as well.

Update on the granite counter top. They came a week ago Monday to replace our counter top by the cooktop. They called before coming to say that the piece they were replacing was cracked and they had another piece but was unsure if it would match in color. Before I would let them take the counter off I wanted to see what they brought. Of course the one they said was cracked was a no off the bat and the second one was not only cracked but had gold flecks all over and didn't match at all. We refused the piece's and they're coming tomorrow to try again. Tomorrow is their last chance and then the game has to change and I will demand that a new company come in.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Making Little Changes

This a such a low cost conversion for the kitchen and it keeps all your sponges out of the way. I also found that it works great in the master bath and provides a quick and easy hideaway for my toothbrush. We've also got the conversion kit to hide the trash can in one of the cabinets.

You can purchase these kits at Lowes for about $17.00. They have them at HomeDepot also but they're sold as individual plastic trays and Lowes comes 2 to a pack. 1 plastic try will fit in the faux drawer front in the master bath and if you got dual vanities you'll have one for each side and each packet comes with enough hardware to do two doors.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hanging Out At The Island

This has been a very busy week. It's so hard to work out of state every week and and try and make appointments with the contractors to get things fixed. That being said I scheduled the flooring guys (tile and wood), Guardian, furniture delivery, granite company and GE for the dishwasher all to come Friday.

The furniture company called to confirm on Thursday that our window was between 7am and 9am. Of course If I needed to go somewhere the time would've been between 10 and 2 with them showing up at 3. Nope they called at 6:30am and said they were 20 minutes away so no sleeping in for me. The got everything in set up and gone by 7:30.

Next to arrive was the granite company. Not to install the new piece but to have a meeting with us and try to convince us that they could fix the chip and make us happy. When our PM called me in Chicago and said that Ryan homes was committed to replacing the granite and that we didn't have to take the meeting I thought what the hell if they want to send their people in to the lions den then so be it. I agreed to "a meeting" but what showed up was a 3rd party repairman who took a look at the area and said he could buff out the seam and finish the job. Had we not complained that's how our counter top would've stayed with a rough uneven seam. He laughed when we told him that was what they left us with that they considered that to be finished. He however said he couldn't fix the chip and if that's what we were expecting he was sorry to waist our time. Of course we sent him on his way and our PM said it was being replaced.  I'm very frustrated with this company as I used them before when I remodeled the kitchen in our last home and they did a wonderful job. I can't install our backsplash until this is fixed.

Flooring company came in and fixed the damaged boards in the kitchen floor and tile in both the master and hall baths which took up most of the day. I must say these guys are very good at what they do!

GE came to inspect our dishwasher. We got the upgraded appliance package and our dishwasher is supposed to be quiet. However every time we used it during certain cycles it would vibrate really loud for a long period of time. The repairmen was here maybe 45 minutes and replaced the water pump and now I have a super quiet dishwasher.

Now on to Guardian. I received an e-mail from them about controlling our system from our computers and our cell phones. When I called them about that service instead of quoting me a price they set up an appointment for a sales rep to come out. Since I had nothing going on on Friday I thought what the hell. We also needed them to come install the center speakers both in the family room and basement since we hung our tv's and they agreed to do that at that time as well. They called to confirm a 1pm appointment on Thursday afternoon and called at 11:30 Friday to tell me the rep was going to be a little late. Then called back right before 1 and said that the rep wouldn't be coming and we would get a call from our original sales rep when we signed the papers with Ryan. He called had no idea what was going on said he would call back and we never heard from him. Sat here until 5 and sent him a few texts that went unanswered. Needless to say I don't need a sales rep anymore and he'll get an earful when I do talk to him on Monday. I want my speakers installed!

Here are the new lights above the island. I didn't like them at first but now that they've been up I love them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

1st Week Down

We've been in the house for an entire week and still so much unpacking to do. I've been sick so I really didn't get very far this week.

We did go shopping at Levin's for a dining room set and one for the morning room. I've went back and forth over the last month on once particular set and finally decided to go in and buy it. Luck was on my side because they marked it down by another $500. They're delivering all the furniture on Friday so I'll have more pics then.

Thought I would throw in a few pics of what we've done so far in the family room and in the hallway. We also added a new tv and console.