Thursday, April 4, 2013


.....or something like that.  :)  I'm terrible at similes.

Hello, It's been about 2 weeks since last blog.  The only progress on our house is .... not much.  The permit application has finally been submitted and waiting for approval.  Our SR didn't let us know, we had to check the county's website to find out.  We also noticed our "lot" number was wrong but was fixed a week later (after we notified our SR).  The lack of communication is a concern with our SR.  She didn't even reply back to acknowledge the error and didn't let us know it's been fixed.  Maybe she doesn't like us but still, one should always be professional and do what one is paid to do.

Continuing from our last blog, lets talk about  the KITCHEN - The most important room in the house.
One of the main reasons we picked the Shakespeare model is because of the kitchen.  It has a large kitchen and we like the layout.

Shakespeare Kitchen
Shakespeare Kitchen

Shakespeare morning room- not very big but makes a perfect breakfast room.

This is the part of the house you don't want to skimp on.  The kitchen is more than just for cooking.  It's a room for all kinds of gatherings, parties, dinners, etc...  It will also bring value to your home if you decide to sell later.  So why not spend some extra money here today?  You'll get back a lot of the cost in the future and get to enjoy it yourself as well. At least that's how we see it.

With the said, we upgraded as much as possible structurally and wisely upgraded on materials that are reasonably priced vs buying or upgrade later.  If you are on a budget, I would put priority in the Morning room (also will give you extra sq footage in the basement and 2nd floor depending on your model and elevation), windows, double oven layout and recessed lighting.  Any left overs can use for upgrading the materials.  These are structural so can not be done later (at least not at the same quality or price).

We were able to remove the refrigerator to save a little.  We would rather buy our own because Ryan's selection was limited.

We didn't know changing sink selections were this expensive.
A standard 50/50 split sink is included but changing to 40/60 is a $450 upgrade fee.   huh???  I'm flabbergasted. We went with a single large sink upgrade instead.  (update: SR forgot to add this in the options so we but PM allowed us to work with vendor to do the upgrade.  The vendor actual cost $100 more to upgrade vs Ryan's listed price).

We selected:
-Morning room (included in promotion) - funny thing about the morning room is that you have to  pay   for the side windows. Morning room is suppose to be bright.
-Side windows in morning room (+990)
-Hutch(+3595)- over-priced

-Gourmet Island
-Gourmet Island Granite
-Gas hook-up
-Appliance layout (+1990) - this is expensive for a layout (appliance not included)
-Premier VI Built-in cooktop/oven/hood vent/no microwave (+3998)
-Single large sink upgrade - (+250) We found this more useful for washing large items (pots, wok).
Anything other than the 50/50 split sink will cost you.  40/60 sink was ridiculous $450 upgrade fee. What!!!
-Wyoming square cherry Bordeaux Timberlake cabinets
-Kitchen recessed lighting
-Hardwood floor (+2295)
-Pendant light rough-in above island (+175) -- don't forget this one!!!  We only added 1 rough-in to save money and can split that into 3 later or buy a light with 3 bulbs.
-Pendant light rough-in in morning room (+175) - Again don't forget to add this!!! I know someone who regretted not getting this because their SR didn't tell them about it (happens to be same SR as ours).
-Extra outlet in pantry (+75) - useful if you have electronics that needs charging or plugged in.
-Extra outlet on island (+75) more convenient having 1 on each side.
-Extra TV outlet in morning room (+150) - since the morning room is next to the kitchen, it's a good place to put a TV here instead of wasting precious space in the kitchen.

As you can see, we pretty much max out on the structural upgrades for the kitchen.  We skipped on upgrading the granite to level 2 since we liked the Santa Cecilia anyway.  If we upgrade the granite we would have to pay for the upgrades to the hutch and island counter-top as well.  They are asking way too much for those upgrades.  We don't like how RH separate everything and make you pay for each individual pieces and upgrades. Who is going to upgrade the counter-top and leave the other counter-tops with different material?  It would look whacked and out of place.  Counter-top is counter-top and should be a set.

On the side note:  We've heard great things about the PM (Craig?) from one of our neighbors .  We can't wait to meet him and get started on building our new home.

until next time.....


  1. The whole thing about upgrades is interesting. I imagine it all costs Ryan about the same no matter where the house is, but sometimes all the bells and whistles are included in the "base" price, and in other developments, you pick and choose a little more. We paid about $60K more for our Avalon than we would in another development just down the road, but ours came "standard" with granite countertops, the higher cabinets, hardwood floors in the kitchen and foyer, side-entry garage, stainless appliances, etc. I know we are paying for all those and as such the base price reflects that, but there's something about the psychology of it that was thrilling, as if we'd really scored some sort of deal. Here's to Ryan Marketing-- they've figured that one out!

    BTW, love the kitchen layout. Great placement for the dishwasher! I'd love to see what the hutch will look like.

    1. You are correct that it's all psychological. Their sales strategy definitely make you think you are getting a big discount but their prices are already jacked up to compensate for the discount and still make big profit.

      Ryan is a big builder and I'm sure they buy their materials in bulk at a deep discount (especially building materials like wood, brick, stone, etc..)

  2. What an amazing kitchen!!! They do not offer that model in our community but if they did...I would want it! We also decided to spend our money in the kitchen, we did the premier VI appliances but the double oven wasn't available for our floorplan (Florence). I think having a nice kitchen really makes for such a cozy home! Looks beautiful!