Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Frameless Shower Anyone?

Our frameless shower
I wanted take a few minutes tonight to talk frameless showers (since we recently experienced an issue that is apparently common with these showers)!

Not to take anything away from our shower, we absolutely love it.  But let's be honest, everything can't always be peaches and cream right?  Our frameless shower is located in our master suite.  We have a little rug that we place on the floor when using the shower, and for weeks, I thought we just didn't know how to take a shower without getting water all over the floor.  One day, I stood and witnessed the water coming from the shower and that's when it hit me!  Our shower was not functioning properly and would require a service call.

I called NVHomes, who are always quick to respond to service calls, to have the guys come out.  Upon inspection, they noticed that it was not shower door (which was my thought) but instead it was the grout located on the lip of the shower.  For the sake of this post, I will try to explain as simplistic as possible.  The next time you look at your grout lines, you will notice that there is a "dip" or "curve".  This is normal...however, when it comes to water, it will follow the "dip" or "curve".  To keep water from escaping the shower lip, the NVHomes service guys said the grout should not have the "dip" or "curve", but instead it should be even (flat)
Top: "curved" grout
Bottom: "flat" caulk (temp. fix)
across the lines.  They were able to do a temporary fix by adding some caulk, but the shower guys will need to come out to re-grout.

According the the service guys, this is a common issue with the frameless showers.  I believe going forward, they may adjust how they install them to keep this from happening to future buyers.  If you are experiencing this issue, just give the service team a call (Ryan or NVHomes) and they will know what to do.  It's not the worst, but if you can catch it while you're still in the one-year time-frame, that would be best!  Other than this issue, early on there was a
n issue with the water pressure in the shower  jets.  The service team came out and cleaned the small filters behind the shower and it has been perfect since then!

The main thing is not to be afraid to call the service team to fix anything you think is wrong.  Now is the time.  You don't want to wait until your one-year is up because you may risk covering the costs yourself.  There will be things that "break" or malfunction in this time-frame and they are aware so use them.  They are there as a service to your investment!  Make it count!!!


Lighting Update (Savant System) + Pics

Hey there!

I spoke about our lighting in this previous post, and as I mentioned, there were still some things to be installed.  All of the light switches on the wall have been installed and everything is looking great!  

Now as far as the technology goes...well let's chat.  You know that we have the Savant System, which we use to control audio, gaming, entertainment, and lighting, and also requires a technician to come out to our home and program each room initially.  When he comes out (which has been about 2-3 times), he is typically there all day.  On his last visit, he was able to fix some things and program most lighting.  Some of the fixes included things like changing the "On Demand" button to say "TiVo" since that is what we use.  We are still not 100% complete because the wrong part was ordered for our stairway lighting.  They are scheduled to come back in July to fully complete the programming and we should be good to go.  

What I hate about the lighting features is it allows us to be lazy!  Seriously...if you want to dim the lights...just slide a button.  If you want to cut a light on/off...just slide a button.  LOL  I guess it will come in hand when you're too sick to move or perhaps having one of those lazy Sunday's!  If you are in an Andrew Carnegie, running up and down the stairs is a real workout.  You learn quickly to get what you need from the lower level before going up to bed.  And for us, we tend to forget to turn off a light a two.  This is when the Savant System is handy!   

I do love the fact that you can set schedules for your lights to come on/off at specified times.  If we are late coming home, Diesel will not have to be in the dark all those hours, instead, the lights will come on at our normal time of arrival.  Or perhaps when you are traveling and you don't want your home to be dark everyday you're not home, just set your vacation schedule.  You can also create scenes for various activities.  For instance, if you are watching a blu-ray in living room (2nd floor), the rest of the lights on the floor will automatically adjust.  You could set scenes for daytime movie watching and/or nighttime movie watching.  There are many many options.    

Once the stairs are complete, which is the addition of path lights, this will allow the lights to come on when the presence of someone is detected.  This is really great for when our moms and grandmother come to visit.  I would hate for someone to fall down all those stairs.  Trust me, my husband and I BOTH have become acquainted with the process of falling down the stairs and laughing about it.  Although we laughed at ourselves, we would hate for someone to get injured.  The path lights were always in our plan of "nice-to-haves", but after falling a few times, it quickly became a "must-haves".   

Here are a few screen shots (iPhone app) of the Savant System set up for our house.  Once this project is 100% complete, I will provide more pictures on an updated post.     

Screen shot: Savant System for Theater/Man Cave

Screen shot: Savant System for Master Bedroom but controlling kitchen lighting 

Screen shot: Savant System for Living Room but controlling kitchen lighting

If you are interested in more home automation, I would suggest you go out and play with different systems to determine which one fits your needs.  Control4 is another popular system that can give you automation controls.  It's free to play and learn about what's out there on the market.  Take advantage of hands-on demos before putting your time and money into a system.  


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Window Treatment

Happy Saturday!!!

Questions have come in about our decision on window treatment, so I thought I would share details!

Our blind selection
Before we moved in, we knew we had tons of windows to cover.  Our broker emphasized how important it was to have a plan for window treatment before moving in.  And boy was he right!  We looked at various stores including Home Depot and Lowes, but we had no luck.  The look of wood blinds was our preference, but the up-keep was not so friendly.  Since we have a window in the master suite bath, we knew having wood blinds around moisture was not the best idea.  To counter this, we opted for faux wood instead.  It gave us the look we wanted, but for a fraction of the price.  The best thing was we would not have to worry about moisture damage in the bathroom.  My husband and I found a blind center and took a Saturday trip to see what they offered as well as pricing.  There were so many color options and textures for the blind selections.  It was exhausting!  If you have been through your selection process, you know what I mean right...just when you think you are done you have one more choice to make!!!  The thought of making more decisions was daunting.  The store allowed us to take the samples home with us so we could match up our color and texture preference.  We ultimately decided on a faux wood, cordless, white-ish blind with a subtle texture.  There are ~20 windows and doors to cover in our home so although it was a cost friendly going with faux wood blinds, it added up very quickly.  Also, it is good to note that you should be prepared for time delays if they have to manufacture your blinds.  There was a 3-week wait period from start to finish with our blinds, then we had to schedule the install around our work schedules, which pushed it about one more week.  Plan ahead for this!  I will be honest and tell you crawling on the floor after a shower is NOT cool!  HAHAHA

I would suggest you have a plan for what exactly you are looking for in terms of type of blinds or window treatment.  Find out the turn-around-time from start to finish and book installs early.  Do you want cords, cordless, or automatic?  Do you want to add color, or do you want to coordinate with your trim (which is what we did)?  Also ask if you can take the samples with you.  These are a huge help when deciding on color or textures.  Don't feel like you have to do blinds...there are so many options out there!  And remember...this is still part of your building process so HAVE FUN and enjoy the moment!  After all, once you have paid once for window treatment, it may be a long while before you replace them all!!!


Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm A Gardener AND I Have Rocks!

One more day to go before we are greeting the weekend!  

I have a new found skill: gardening!  Hahaha!  No really, am I allowed to say that when in reality I only planted four new plants and re-planted some of the builder-provided greenery?  I hope so, because I'm feeling real good about myself!  LOL

The landscaping provided by the builder wasn't that bad, and in the process of planting my new babies, I think I discovered why our plants were fading away...ROCKS!  There were so many rocks, large and small in the ground.  

Since I knew I wanted to plant something new, I went to three nurseries nearby and asked for help because I had no idea how to plant anything...and I mean anything!  One nursery in particular was really helpful so I decided to purchase from them.  

I should mention that our small front yard is only mulch.  Although it's easy maintenance, the rainfall is not our friend.  The rain causes the mulch to displace and for some neighbors, run down the street.  That will be another post on how our HOA and current homeowners are trying to resolve this issue.  Bottom line is they are trying to decide if sod is a better option.  More to come...  

So in addition to new plants, with the recent rainfall, we needed more mulch.  Our community allows black (and maybe brown) mulch so we ended up with 10 bags, two lavender plants (oh my gosh they smell so good) and two pink perennials.  Sorry...I forgot the name but will get it on a future trip.  The reason we purchased so much mulch is because we decided to remove most of the builder mulch and replace with a different brand.  We did not want to mix the two so we had to remove ALOT of what was already down to have a consistent look.  P.S. I loved the knockout rose trees and hydrangeas, so I have that on a plan for the backyard.     

You will soon learn that I don't do well with bugs and creatures...but to my surprise, there were hardly any out there.  A few little things here and there, but I managed well.  I went to Home Depot and Lowes and purchased some garden tools, gloves and a garden hat.  I wanted to 'dress' the role, so these were necessities!  HAHAHA  I really make myself laugh sometimes and my poor husband just supports my craziness!  

Moral of the story is be sure to clear most of the large rocks from your land before planting your new babies.  I would also suggest you take a quick look at what the builder planted.  The greenery may just be sitting on top instead of correctly planted.  This would be a great time to re-plant these.  They may have a better life without the rocks underneath them.  

Here is a picture of some of the rocks from our yard: 


Rocks and more rocks

We ended up with three full buckets of rocks.  WOW!  No wonder our plants were fading!  Here is small picture of the lavender and the pink perennials.  I will get a better picture soon, as I have since then removed the half-dead tree and put another layer of mulch down. 

Our little Diesel in front of the lavender

Good luck to everyone getting those yards together.  I now have a huge appreciation for the women and men out in the yards every weekend.  You all are rockstars in my book!  


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Watering after the honeymoon!

Happy Hump Day!!!  I hope that all is going well and I have really missed updating everyone so let's get to it! 

We recently returned from celebrating our honeymoon (we kind of purchased a house doing the "normal" honeymoon phase so we delayed it for a little moment)!  It was everything I could have imagined and more, but now it's all about making our house our home again!  

With the summer heat just around the corner, we have been trying to care for out teeny tiny yard.  Had we thought more about it up front, we probably would have purchased an in-ground watering system.  Our yard is not that big, so it's not a big deal, but it would have been a nice-to-have.  Instead, my husband takes care of the backyard and I do the front.  LOL  This is hilarious because our front is only mulch with a few plants and a tree.  HAHAHA.  #winning

Ok, so the issue with our backyard is that it takes a direct hit from the mighty sun.  To help us fight the dry grass, we purchased and installed a water timer to the outside faucet to give us an auto effect of watering the grass.  This has worked great for us and we love it.  If you are like us with a small yard, and a store-bought sprinkler will do the job, think about adding an Orbit Digital Timer.  It provides just the right about of water we need at our specified time of day.  There is a sigh of relief when I hear it come on as I am rolling out the bed.  You simply set your schedule and the water timer will allow the water to flow.  Your sprinkler will have to be adjusted to the desired location for your yard beforehand, and boom, you have yourself an automatic watering system.    

Orbit Timer


With the advice of our neighbor, we also purchased Scotts Starter Lawn Food and the Scotts Spreader to help us bring some of the grass back to its green state.  This is surely working but as you know, being consistent is the key.  With the combination of these two (the lawn food and the water timer), we are starting to see some progress and on our way to full green lawn.
Scotts Lawn Food and Spreader

I have replaced some of the builder-grade landscaping from the front and now that I think I am a gardener, I can not wait to plant some beauties in the back.  

I will be sure to update you all on our newly finished garage and other projects soon.  Our weekends have been filled with events, so we have had to squeeze in projects as time permits.  

Our next DIY is the garage flooring which will give us the completed look we are going for in the garage space.  I can't wait to share that experience with you!