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It's January 2015- How is your build progressing?

9 years ago

Happy New Year! Welcome to all of the new 'faces' that have been popping up lately. For the newbies- I'm the old man here, building my own house one brick at a time, so-to-speak. I've been at it for 2-1/2 years, and still have a ways to go.

Carsonheim- Wow! Beautiful wood work!

Latest progress is the new hardscaping. We finally poured our concrete slabs, one in front of the garage, and one in front of the barn. I threw down a few stones for a path, so we can finally get into the house without muddy feet. Yay!

I also finished the master shower, which turned out to be quite a project. Next up will be the kitchen-finally. Our focus right now is to get a CO, which I can get without doing all of the final finishes.

Also- A picture of the old mantel which we are going to use to create a faux fireplace. After a lot of stripping and sanding, we like the patina, and will probably use it as it now looks.







Comments (150)

  • 9 years ago

    Goosie, that sounds like a simple change to me. And if the builder has done it that way before, I don't see any reason it wouldn't work.

  • 9 years ago

    Trees cleared last week

    Concrete is pouring since 3PM today

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    you all are the best! Thanks for your feedback, it really helps. I just wish my GC, who hired this guy, would fight for quality workmanship. He is being sorta flaky and trying to side with the hardwood guys. I randomly called three reputable hardwood floor installers in my area and they all agreed that our hardwood guy did a poor job. alley2007 - how did you convince your hardwood floor guy to redo (resand, stain & varnish)? Our hardwood guy is blaming the painters for not covering the floors and tries to take no responsibilities. kiwigem - we really like the color and the sheen. While I was apprehensive about dark floor, my DH loves it and I have to give in on this one. Michelle - I heard great things about Kolbe and your casement windows are awesome! We passed electrical, hvac, plumbing and fire inspection today. We have few misc. items from the building inspection to complete but once we do, we can move in! If only we can resolve the floor situation quickly . :(
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  • 9 years ago


    Tried to reply your email but could not because you have not provided one.

    Much appreciated for your responding!

  • 9 years ago

    this is a safe place to vent frustrations, right?

    MY BANK SUCKS! I put in my last draw request 13 days ago. I keep following up with them on when it will be ready. My construction loan is the black hole of money.

    I'm waiting on over 90K, and the bills need to be paid. sigh....

    I hate building a house. I LOVE my house, but I friggin' hate building it.

    Okay. Thank you. I feel (slightly) better now :-/

  • 9 years ago

    Who hoo!

    Went to the building sight today and there was a flatbed full of lumber for our build. I am so excited. We had the basement poured the beginning of November, but had to wait until our builder finished framing in a huge house. I think it took him longer than expected and also we have had several weeks of bad weather. It has been very frustrating to go out week after week and nothing done. We have lumber! Hopefully now it might actually get built!!!!

  • 9 years ago

    Went to build site today, had a wow moment! They are almost done framing, they said they might be done next week. Things will start going faster I think. Will have to have walk through electrical and HVAC meeting soon.

    Here's a picture from today.

  • 9 years ago


    Can you please share your brick and shingle brands/colors? I think they look great together!! thanks :)

  • 9 years ago

    Ourdreamhome: Looks so good! Love your driveway and siding color choice. Your in Florida right? What color is the color of siding. Oh.. and your home would be my dreamhome also!

    Rene: Wow, You broke ground the same week we did. We do not have trusses yet.

    Bink: We have a similar layout on our first floor. It is great to see how ours could look

    Amber: Love the multi bulb light fixture. I want something unique like that also for our dining room

    Mushcreek: Shower is great. Lots of nice touches

    Snooker: What type of wall insulation do you have installed? We are still investigating what to pick.

    Aimless: Good catch on your tile, I love it either way!

    Almostempty: Nice house, great roof line. Wish we could have swung the Zip board. Not in the budget.

    Zoe: Your home is lovely and well built.

    Mattiepies: I would love to see your Iron Gray pictures. I have seen it with the cobble stone and a warmer white, both look good.

    Goosie: we are still moving interior walls around

    Michelle: Next year this time you will be inside looking out. :)

    We built on a sloped lot and spent a lot more on gravel prior to foundation pour than we thought. Well over $10,000.

    This post was edited by kZim on Sat, Jan 24, 15 at 22:43

  • 9 years ago

    kZim - Things go quick on framing for sure. But I am sure that it will slow down after this part due to different subs. I feel your pain on the overage for gravel - we had a 5 ft gentle slope from the back end of the masterr bath to the far front of the garage and our gravel was $3100 vs the $1450 they put in the budget. Not as bad as yours though.

  • 9 years ago

    My turn to vent.

    So over Christmas, the siding guys took their final payment off my visa and disappeared with their work half done. We got the payment reversed by visa yesterday. Yay. Now we just need to find new siding guys. :/

    Now the roofing guy has done a half assed job on the roof and wants to be paid in full. We have an asymmetric roof line. The east side has a 4:12 pitch roof, the west side is 10:12. The drawings say the whole roof needs underlayment. The contract says they'll do underlayment. The shingle manufacturer says they need underlayment. After the 4:12 side was done, and a few rows of shingles were on the 10:12 side, DH noticed they weren't using underlayment. We notified the roofing guy. He didn't respond until the whole thing was done. Now he's saying that the "manufacturer" says underlayment isn't needed because our pitch is so high. When we asked which manufacturer he's referring to, he changes the story to it's code, code says we don't need it. It doesn't matter if it's "required", the drawings and the contract both say it's supposed to be used. I don't care if it's overkill, he quoted on it, and he should do it. We're even taking his word that he put it on the 4:12 side. DH found a roll of underlayment, unopened, in our garbage bin. Roofer sent a photo of a roof in progress with underlayment, but there's nothing in the background, so it could be any house with similar coloured shingles.

    And he's threatening to call his lawyer if we don't pay him by the end of the week. I think it's a bluff. The lawyer is going to tell him it's in the contract, so he needs to do it. If he wants to pay a lawyer to tell him that..

  • 9 years ago

    For Dolphin:

    Our brick is Triangle Chesapeake Gray
    The grout is Santee Straw - Can't remember the company though I will look for it later if you need this.
    And our roof tile is GAF Timberland-Barkwood
    The paint trim on the home is SW Sable

    Sorry I didnt get back to you until now. Between work and picking out final selections for our home I am getting pulled in many different directions!

  • 9 years ago


    We are building and will be keeping an eye on everything as it is built. If it were our house and the contract specified underlayment my husband would make them reroof using underlayment. Our build is just 5 minutes away and we will be there daily inspecting that everything is as it should be. I imagine my husband will be taking his long level out to make sure the walls are straight ( not kidding). Our builder is local in a small town and has an impeccable reputation and even so, we will be watching closely. Sorry to hear about your issues, hope you get them resolved without too much stress. Building is stressful enough without that c**p.

  • 9 years ago

    amberm145: the driveway/patio is travertine. Im loving it :)

    kZim: yes we are in florida. the siding is palladian blue (bm). I have it in a bedroom and it shows blue, outside it shows green. i love it in both places though.

    AC is almost all done. Light fixtures are 65% up. We will be attempting a T&G diy for front and back porch ceiling ...wish us luck lol Ordered all the material today. We start on sunday.

    Will post pics ;)

  • 9 years ago

    I love the convenience of a TV mounted over the fireplace, but don't care for the look.

    So here's what I had my trim carpenter do!



  • 9 years ago

    Carson: You have an amazing trim carpenter. You have 2 fireplaces, one in the great room and one in a den? The one with the hidden TV is really interesting to me because I can see doing something like that in our great room. Are you staining or painting the wood?

  • 9 years ago

    We met with our builder yesterday to start the design process! We are planning on emailing changes back and forth over the next few weeks then having something firm by February 13th. I'm nervous because wee initially planned on breaking ground no earlier than December.. We decided to wait on the barn and a few other things in order to save money that would have been spent on rent. I had been bugging my hubby to sit down with me and come up with a floorplan the last few months but he wasn't ready too discuss building. Fortunately I'm a stay at home mom so I should have plenty of time to devote to it... But still!!! Scary!!

  • 9 years ago

    "Building a house is like a box of chocolate. You never know what you're gonna get."

    Just a totally random thought that came into my mind today that I thought I would share with all of you. :)

  • 9 years ago

    At long last our siding is finally going up!

    Amberm- so sorry to hear about your roofing woes. All the contractor babysitting is exhausting, isn't it?

  • 9 years ago

    kZim -- all trim will be painted Navajo White from BM

  • 9 years ago

    I am excited, they started framing our house today. I took pictures but have to save them to my computer to attach them. Kiwigem. Yes, we will begin the contractor babysitting now. With seeing the walls go up makes it more real that we are really building a house! It was always our dream, but didn't think we would really get there.

  • 9 years ago

    Went over to the house yesterday to confirm paint colors on walls in home.

    Our interior doors are being hung and they are starting to put up the trim. Still have a couple exterior doors yet to be installed. Our laundry door hasn't arrived yet and we are waiting for our Mahogany Entry door to be stained and finished so it can be hung.

    The hardwood flooring is now down but it was being covered up with paper prior to painters coming. My builder said the fireplace stonework will be done soon. In a couple of weeks we will be getting our driveway in. Had a guy come to give us a quote on the fill we need to keep our lawn from being waterlogged which it is now. The back and north side have not dried out the entire build. Our builder said we may want to build a wall to keep the pond from overflowing into our yard and home should we have a bad hurricane. We were here once when they had a lot of flooding from a storm system that stalled over the state. In spite of a lot of flooding in the neighborhood we did not see the water rise high enough to impact our lot. But we will have to deal with that when we finish our exterior kitchen area sometime after we move in.

    Just signed off on our floor tiles and marble for our master bath and only need one more granite choice sample to come in to finalize that.

    Signed off on electrical lighting from a local company (mostly our fans). We ordered most of our ceiling lights online and have one outstanding ceiling fixture that we ordered over Christmas. Hopefully, it will be here the end of next week.

    We are currently picking out door handles and colors.

    Our cabinets are being made but I still need to pick out handles and pulls for them.

    The last three weeks I have agonized and suffered from choice fatigue but I can see an end to it......

    Just can't wait to see it all come together now!

    Again no formal word from my builder as to when we can get into the house... not even a ballpark date. Grrrrr

  • 9 years ago

    So, I stopped by my house today to see what had been accomplished the last couple days (knowing my framing crew doesn't work on Saturdays) We are building custom in a subdivision that the initial builder went belly up and so DR Horton bought the foreclosed lots...One of those lots is across the cul de sac from our house...when I arrived at our house today what do I see??? an orange electrical cord stretched across and plugged into OUR electric! I'm sure my builder thinks I'm crazy b/c I immediately called him and said "did you say it was okay for DR Horton to use our electric??" I knew he didn't but you know...had to ask. :) I unplugged it, tossed it in their lot and went to the DR Horton office to tell them. Their answer was "we don't have much control over what they do"...My answer was "maybe you personally don't but DR Horton hired them and so they ARE responsible...please let whomever know that if I see it again I will be contacting my attorney! I was so ticked.
    Okay...thanks...I feel better now! Thanks for letting me vent.

  • 9 years ago

    Zorroslw, 6 months ago, I probably said the same thing. We're GCing it ourselves specifically because we want to keep a close eye and control on the subs. But it's not so simple as we thought. You call them on it, and they walk. Even this guy, who talked a good talk before I hired him about doing things well, not cutting corners, being proud of quality work. And now, "meh, it's not required by code, it's good enough." DH is the one who would most often be all "get in here, and do it over." But he just wants this over with, too. I'm kind of envying the people who buy homes from production builders. At least they don't know the crap that has gone on.

    I don't know who Dr Horton is. But if you're doing construction, you need to get power to the site. You don't just let your trades run a cord to a neighbours' house without their permission. That's theft. And them saying they have no control is BS. You know how to control it? Provide another power source for your trades. I've never had one of my trades using my neighbour's power.

  • 9 years ago

    Our home is really starting to look like a home. We're getting excited! But on the other hand, I'm having a hard time believing this will actually happen.

    Mechanical and plumbing is moving along nicely. We're getting electrical requoted due to ridiculously high quote from last guy. Porch in the back is coming along and the views are breathtaking. Shingles are about half done.

    We are going to order our cabinets this week before Shilohs 10% price increase goes into effect. Question on designer wants half down to order....I'm guessing that's going to half to come out of our pocket as bank won't give $$$ until materials are on site? How does that work? Do builders usually cover it? It's about $23k, so now small chunk of change. We can cover it, but wondered how folks who can't manage that?

    Zoe, very frustrating that your builder won't give you an estimate for completion. That's does he expect you to plan? I'd say your a good two months ahead of us, and our estimate is maybe April? Photo from the back of the house....see the porch way over on the left?

  • 9 years ago

    And from the front corner. That's a lot of angles!

  • 9 years ago

    Michelle - Shiloh price increase?!? We were just with our kitchen designer this morning and he didn't mention and we were talking like we'd be a month or so out before we ordered. I need to ask him asap! What are you getting? We're doing inset doors in Arctic white but can't decide on recessed or raised panel and bead or no bead on inset. Leaning towards recessed panel with bead.

  • 9 years ago


    According to our designer, Shilohs price increase goes into affect on 1/30. Maybe that's why he didn't mention?

    We're getting perimeters in polar white, inset, shaker style (sorry, can't remember door style name). Island is newer grey finish on maple, did beaded inset on island, not on perimeters.

  • 9 years ago

    Michelle1973... I think that sounds amazing. Can't wait to see pics of those cabinets.

  • 9 years ago

    Michelle, the kitchen deposit depends on your contract with the builder. But when we were looking into different financing models, pretty much every method required us to have a chunk of money of our own that would could pay out and then get reimbursed. The only way we could build a house without having our own funds would be if the builder owned the land and house until possession.

  • 9 years ago

    zoe52 - We are definitely moving along at about the same pace as you. Mudding will be done next week and the painting will start in a week and a half. Our hardwood flooring is going in after we paint though, so you've got a step up on us as far as that goes. I finalized all of my electrical decisions a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say out of everything I have had to make deicisions on, the electrical fixtures were the worse. So glad that's over. Our cabinets our almost all completely stained and painted and once the flooring is down in those areas, are cabinets will be installed. I hope they turn out like they did in my head! Anyways, I know how frustrating it is to not know exactly when you will be moving in. We are the GCs on our home, but even then, the date we thought we would be moving in by has been pushed back so many times, I've stopped counting. Hopefully, we will be moving in by the end of February, but we won't be closing on our house until March because there will be a few things we will be finishing after we move in. I hope things continue to go well for you and that you will be in soon.

    Pwanna1 - That's the number one thing I'm sick of hearing during our build, "It's not our problem, it's someone else's." So Frustrating!

    amberm145 - We have had at least 3 subs who told us about how much pride they take in the work and that nothing but the best was good enough for them. Ummmm..... What happened to that guy we hired? Apparently he was abducted by aliens.

  • 9 years ago


    Can you tell me what your used for the top of your Better Bench in your beautiful shower?

    All: I hear you on subs who claim to be perfectionists, and they are just as sloppy as all the guys they complain about before they are hired. Our mason complained so much about how other masons in our area were sloppy with mortar drips. When he was done he had made more mortar drips than any other brick worker we had seen. He blamed his messes on the brand of brick we chose, claiming he had not worked with that brick before and promised to come back with a pressure washer to clean up his messes. Over 12 months has passed and we can't get him back to clean up his work!


  • 9 years ago

    OntarioMom- The top is 3 large tiles (18 X18) that I had to cut down to fit. They are a floor tile, so have a little texture so they're not slippery. I can look up the brand and color if you want. I used the same tile for the top of the shower threshold.They came from Lowe's IIRC. I rounded the front edge with a grinder, as it was rather sharp. We LOVE having a bench in the shower!

  • 9 years ago

    Pwanna, that would have made me furious!! Is Dr. Horton like a regional deal? We have a neighborhood in my town where he is building a bunch of homes suddenly. Was curious if it's the same area or he's widespread.

    We are GCing our own build as well and our biggest problem so far is getting people to show when they say they will, which we expected. It's still very frustrating. We have s big week ahead: fireplaces, plumbing top out, start of electrical (had walkthrough yesterday and feel good about it), front door finally going in, Hardie fascia going up, and hopefully shingles started by Friday. Great weather forecasted all week so let's see how many of these people show up when they said they would. :)


  • 9 years ago

    Aleleux - I love your yard

  • 9 years ago

    Thanks Mushcreek for the answer. It looks great! Tile will be so much more affordable than other options we were considering ( I don't need the exact tile looked up.) I am glad you like your built in bench. Many on this board always recommend the removable teak benches stating the built in ones (typically granite topped ones) are cold and hold water (described by other posters as unpleasant to sit on). I like the look of the built in benches more than the removable teak ones, so I'm glad to hear your bench is warmer with a tile top and you are enjoying it.

    Are you living in your house now as it is being finished up?


  • 9 years ago

    Aleleux...Yes, DR Horton is a national builder...they bought the developer owned/foreclosed lots in our neighborhood. They are very well regarded around here...people seem to like their homes and they hold their value, so we were okay with them building in our neighborhood...We are NOT building with them...we owned our lot and are building custom...I'm very disappointed with the way their subs behave and the fact that the company didn't seem to upset by the behavior.

  • 9 years ago


    First post in the "Monthly Build Progress Threads" but now that I just figured out PhotoBucket I might as well contribute.

    My wife and I live in an urban "inner-suburb" in which all new construction is in-fill (scrape & build) and we're excited as this is our first project of this scope and our 'dream home' to start our family in.

    The first pic is of the old home (1200 sq. ft brick bungalo) taken 10/15/14.

    3 Months later we have the demo complete, new home framed, roof on (that about killed us with the lack of crews during the holiday season and uncharacteristically cold winter), windows in and currently have rough plumbing and HVAC working now.

    This next week starts electrical. I have a GC/Project Manager on this job but I manage all decisions with each sub and write each check myself (I have experience in the industry with SFH & MFH investing, etc.).

    Even with that background I've learned a ton and we're having a ball. Feel free to ask any questions and we're just happy to be here as this is an amazing site, resource, and community.



    Pre-Demo: 10/15/14
    Current: 01/25/15


  • 9 years ago

    oh gosh I can't help myself. I am still stalking you all that were in process when we finished up. :)

    Looking good everyone!

    Michelle and faulstr-can't help myself. It was like deja vu for me reading your post because last year we were placing our order before the price increase. Love our cabinets.

    Michelle-curious how you were coming along since we've been hit with the snow. Looks fantastic!

    kiwigem-siding looks great with your windows!

    bink-nice pool.

    Keep the pics coming. I don't miss it but I miss it.

    Carsonheim hit it - I hate building a house but I love the house built. Ahahahaha. Yeah.

  • 9 years ago

    Hi Autumn! So glad you still stop on by from time to time. :). Things are going well for our build. Slow, but not too bad. I'm still having a hard time believing that I actually get to live in this amazing home that we are building. :). So how are you? Are you feeling settled? Anything you would change? What do you love?

    Andrew, welcome! Your home is beautiful! I love that dormer on the front, gives so much curb appeal. What area are you building in? Also, I'm impressed that you're at the same stage as we are, but started a month later and had to do demo first!

    Update on our electrical quote....we had our GC get a quote from the guy he usually uses and trusts (remember the guy we had chosen was a friend). New quote was for $9,000 LESS for more stuff! Nuts! So we're breathing a sigh of relief and moving forward with the new guy.

  • 9 years ago

    Oh, D.R. Horton, how I loathe thee!!

    Our former house/neighborhood was a D. R. Horton development. We were so incredibly unhappy. They ended up building about 40-50 homes in our subdivision and built more in another subdivision and then pulled out of our town all together. We were not happy with the quality of our house either. They promised us a lot for our neighborhood. That we would have a park, that they would build a wall to separate our neighborhood from the main road. Then they up and pulled out of our town and left us with a sub-division that was hardly developed at all. So, yeah. Not a big fan!!

    Now I am off my D.R. Horton tangent. The painters came today and started working on the exterior of the house. We are still trying to get interior paint colors lined up. (I just posted a thread about that.) I find myself a little frustrated because I sent my builder a list of potential paint colors weeks ago. I asked about painting some samples of paint on boards and he said the painters would do that. Well now we are days away from them starting to paint the interior of the house and I haven't even picked out our final choices. *grumble, grumble*

  • 9 years ago

    Michelle - I'm building in Royal Oak, MI which is an inner ring suburb of Metro Detroit. Thanks - this thread is great to see so many different people on the same journey. cheers!

  • 9 years ago

    andrew-love dormers, that is an amazing transformation. Are you living IN it mid demo? I am a fellow Michigander as well.

    Michelle-ummm, well yes there are a *few* things I would change, lol. Overall it's fine but I really really really wish we would have buffered the master area a little better due to the opposite shift thing. I love that I can get into the bathroom/closet without disturbing dh (and turn the lights on and see my clothes and all that fun stuff) but wish we would have had the closet between the bedroom and the bath instead of the other way around. I do wake up when he comes home at 3 a.m. and that is a bummer because I never used to. But for normal schedules the layout we have would have been just fine. The other thing is I think I would have put a door in by our locker area that faces front - a friend/family type entrance. Not a big deal but I think we would have used it. The locker area is functioning well and I like that it's not in the walk way if all the gear doesn't get put away every time. According to dh I still have boxes in the barn that belong in the kitchen - say what? My kitchen is already functioning so what could they be??? Lol. After it warms a bit I will have to check it out. We are mostly settled though and I know where most everything is now, hehehe. My current hearts desire is grass. The dirt of course is covered by snow right now but I know it's there! I love my closet organizer system, that I have room to dress in my closet. I love my cabinets and my blum glides and my woodhollow inserts in my kitchen. I love my property and that our living areas face the back and that we get to enjoy that view every single day. I was also going to comment on your back yard discovery, did you snow shoe or cross country? I can't remember now but I remember that pic - awesome. We found a whole trail system behind our house and I feel like we hit the jackpot. It is amazing. It is an equestrian trail but this time of year no horses on it - there are snowmobile trails too. DH and I have been doing some hiking. I love the fresh air and it is so beautiful to look at. I will be checking in time to time. I still covet your office off your kitchen. :D

    aimless-I keep reading my head Horton Hears a Who and was looking for a Dr. Seuss sign or something!

  • 9 years ago

    Autumn.4 - I'm with ya on the grass!!! Can't wait to see some green.

  • 9 years ago

    Andrew....awesome! I'm a Michigander too....up in the north country. :)

    Autumn....One of the reasons we bought our lot was because of the beautiful trail system. The sub is 35 lots in 166 acres....with six miles of trails. It's gorgeous. And yes...we snowshoe a lot. There's actually only about ten houses in the development so far, and we are the first to build on our street. It's so so peaceful. I pinch myself every time we go to the lot....I can't believe how lucky we are.

  • 9 years ago

    I was so upset with DR Horton stealing power from our builder, I totally forgot to add my most recent picture. I'm hoping today they've gotten the apt. above the garage framed and some trusses!

  • 9 years ago

    My hat goes off to those of you acting as GC on your builds. I think I would have pulled my hair out having to deal with some of the issues that come up.

    Our build is in the home stretch, the kitchen is going in and I am totally in love with it! Can't wait until the crown, lights, and countertops are in.
    I know it's not as incredible as some of the kitchens posted here but it's totally my budget friendly dream kitchen :)

  • 9 years ago


  • 9 years ago

    Last one, the "drunk desk" ;)

  • 9 years ago

    MrsB your kitchen looks stunning! What color paint is on the wall please? And what is your trim color?

    I am about a month behind you in my build and can't wait to have my cabinets in. It looks like maybe our choices are similar.

  • 9 years ago

    Thank you Matty! The walls are Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray. Not sure about the trim color, our builder picked it. You just reminded me I need to find out in case I ever have to do touch ups.
    Getting the cabinets in is really so exciting, it's really the first "furniture" to go in and it immediately starts feeling more like a home. You'll be there before you know it!

    This post was edited by MrsB1227 on Tue, Jan 27, 15 at 21:44