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November 2020 Building a Home

shead
3 years ago

Happy November! May we all have a ton to be thankful for this month on the "build a home" front!




Photo Source: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/travel/g28185739/new-england-fall-foliage-places/

Comments (375)

  • Tanya Shelly
    3 years ago

    @nhb22 fortunately it’s just placement of wiring at this stage. I think they are easy changes at this stage. I am a little worried that we will have to absorb the cost. I told the builder by phone about the changes which didn’t get relayed to the electrician. I’m putting everything in writing from now on which I really should have been doing all along.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Alicia - I'd love to see other photos of the SW Alder.

    Kat

    @nhb22 $18,000 was this with no warning for lumber you'd already received and paid for? I can't imagine getting that bill after the fact.

    We pay all bills as they come in. After the last bill for lumber, DH asked the contractor if everything had been purchased for the framing. He said it was. It was DH's fault for assuming that meant we had already received the final bill. We had not.


    We should have some lumber that will be returned because it is not needed. Not $8000 worth, I am afraid. :)


    I am worried about what the trim bill might be when we start that phase of the build.

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  • Kat
    3 years ago

    @nhb22 Hopefully the trim bill will be a bit better. Lumber has definitely dropped in price the last month.

  • Trish Walter
    3 years ago

    lumber prices have increased dramatically. I would expect framing to come in different than quoted if it's been a bit.

  • Alicia
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I don’t have many good lighting photos since we always seem to visit in the evening. But here’s another one where you can see more of the Eider white @nhb22


  • Kat
    3 years ago

    @Trish Walter lumber is actually falling again after the very steep rise and is nearing precovid prices In many places.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    It's gone down some here, but was still up when we purchased the majority. Availability is still hard to get in some sizes.


    Alicia - Is that a grayish color?


    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! We are celebrating with part of our family tonight, and just 4 of us tomorrow. I have been cooking for 2 days. :) So wish I were in my new kitchen. Maybe next year.

  • Alicia
    3 years ago

    @nhb stolen from the internet but this is the color strip. It’s a pretty light greige

  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    So glad that you showed me the paint strip. We are having Repose Gray cabinets in our bathroom. The Elder white may be a perfect color for the bathroom walls.


    I am not a big gray fan. I like Repose Gray because it looks more neutral, as does Elder White. What color will your wood trim be?

  • Lynn Heins
    3 years ago


    Floors done! And a few light fixtures. Now for trim, carpet in the bedrooms, electrical and plumbing trim outs, and gas hookup. The list is getting shorter!

  • Trish Walter
    3 years ago

    @Lynn Heins looks great. getting to all the fun stuff...woo hoo.


    been really enjoying cooking in my new kitchen.


    Happy Thanksgiving.

  • K H
    3 years ago

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Happy Thanksgiving! I am grateful to have this group, which makes this sometimes stressful process more fun. How blessed we are to be building, and next year we should all be in our new homes.

  • Rebecca Delo
    3 years ago

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    Cooking here in the apartment is a challenge, and since we’re not gathering with family, we supported a local caterer instead. Heat and eat is the meal plan for the day. I don’t know what our first holiday gathering at the new house might be.....maybe we’ll be vaccinated and visiting by Easter? Or Memorial Day? Hopefully not next Thanksgiving!


    We did our pre-drywall walkthrough this week. Siding started, too, but the short week and the rain hampered that progress. They said the drywall will take about 10 days, so we’re thinking that stage will complete around mid-December.

  • cobalty2004
    3 years ago

    Happy Thanksgiving!


    They started excavating this week!


    Just in time for rain to turn this hole into a swimming pool LOL


  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

    We are mostly doing heat n serve leftovers from last night. Since my youngest daughter, who hosted last night and made the turkey, I am cooking a turkey breast today. Had a great time with our small group of 8 adults and 4 children. Hope no one passed COVID around as we were all standing around picking on a fried turkey carcass! YIKES!!!

  • bytheriverbank
    3 years ago

    Happy Thanksgiving! We celebrated our family Thanksgiving last week since three of my boys are firefighters and work today. We’ll be having a small dinner of tenderloin since it’s just me, dh, and my daughter. I’ll be so glad when I can move out of our rental and into the new house with decent appliances. The oven here gives me fits. I made creme brûlée last night and I’m a little worried it’s over cooked.


    Hope everyone enjoys the day :)

  • Keepthefaith MIGirl
    3 years ago

    Happy Thanksgiving!! I'm thankful this is the last time trying to cook in this small apt kitchen with all my good stuff packed away. On the list today is to dig some more in the garage to find my roaster. Tomorrow is 🦃 dinner with the kids! 5 in their 20s x2 plus 4 blended grands, and we will have steamed up windows but I love it!! SO, I can finally write that we are STILL waiting on windows so it must be one of those God-great-story-making endings because this sure doesn't make sense in the middle! New date week of Dec7. Our walls guy is busting out the hill and will be done before windows! So far he has a switchback. Wish I could upload a video. It was softly falling big fat snow flakes ❄️

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Love the virtual tree...and the scene.

    Re the rental oven. I just stuck my turkey back in for a few more minutes of browning! Can't wait to get back to gas everything!

  • Alicia
    3 years ago

    Happy thanksgiving all!

    @nhb our trim and doors are all painted pure white from SW

  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    You probably told me that already. Yay again! That's what we will most likely be using.

  • Brandie May
    3 years ago

    Nothing was done on the house all week so I was surprised when the GC called and said windows were going in today (Saturday) Our first window is set!!!! Woo hoo! 🥳

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Almost nothing happened on our house this week, either.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Although our guys did take Thursday off, they worked all week, and today, but quit an hour early each day. They have been trying to get the house under roof.. Seems very slow. We are suppose to get snow on Monday night. Maybe they will work tomorrow and get it all done by Monday afternoon.

    Windows are suppose to start going in mid week.

    Our contractor wants to go ahead and have our brick skirt put around the house, and then pour the garage, and porches. I'm not wild about the idea because the concrete gets so dirty.

  • cobalty2004
    3 years ago

    nhb22 you must be in the midwest area?

  • TXLab
    3 years ago

    Everybody's progress looks great. To be honest, I've stayed out of these threads because we've slowed down so much it's depressing to watch others fly by! Our neighbors both poured several weeks after us and have already zoomed past us. To be fair, this is a bigger and more complicated house but still...when we aren't even in the dry yet and they are about to insulate!


    Despite the GC's best effort, framing materials are looking to be $20k over (thanks Covid) and now framing labor is going over. That caused a pretty big rift between the GC and framing crew. I really like our GC though. Even though this wasn't a fixed bid contract, he was going to eat the entire overage on the framing labor (probably 10-15k), which cuts into his already fairly meager and reasonable fee. We convinced him to let us go in half on it.


    Here we are, patiently waiting on a windows/roof.



    An earlier picture, looking from great room through the invisible future fireplace into the foyer. A floating staircase will be in front of those windows.





  • bytheriverbank
    3 years ago

    @TXLab Gorgeous house. I can see why framing is taking awhile. It will all be worth it when you’re living on that beautiful property. Work on all your electrical, plumbing, and siding right now so everything is ready to go for the next step. I needed all our cabinet elevations, appliances, and fixtures for the plumber so you should probably have those handy. You’ll get there!

  • TXLab
    3 years ago

    Thanks @bytheriverbank! I'm literally working on my electrical layout as we speak! Good tip on the cabinets, we haven't even started on that!

  • jkent9024
    3 years ago

    I'm with you @TXLab; we closed on our land back in January, and haven't even broken ground yet. Granted, we're doing a fixed price contract, so are taking the time to pick out EVERYTHING before we start, but it can be a little frustrating at times. We've finally staked where the home will be on the plot, but haven't cleared the numerous trees yet (it's a heavily wooded 4 acre lot). My fingers are crossed that we'll finally break ground by the end of December, and the builder says it'll take less than 12 months, but I'm slowly coming around to the idea that we might not be spending Christmas 2021 in our new home. On the bright side, the lumber package is back down to $12,000 over the original budget; at one point, it was $17,000 over.

  • Alicia
    3 years ago

    DH drove by yesterday and they were outside working on the siding so we were optimistic it would be finished.

    Turns out they only completed the bump out above the garage. Longest siding job ever, they’ve now been working on little by little for the last month and a half.

    Carpet is going in tomorrow and then it’s just finish work from there. I’m hoping he can put in for occupancy by Friday or Monday. We’ve got movers booked for the 12th so here’s hoping that can happen!

  • shead
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    We’ve slept in our new house for a week now and boxes are still everywhere and I can find nothing! I am still wondering how we have so.much.stuff considering we lost a good bit of it in the storm last January.


    We are at an impasse with our builder. We’ve met with both the ”head“ (the patriarch of the company) and the finish crew foreman (one of the sons). We’ve walked them through the house and showed them things that the painting crew have missed, half-a$$ed, or just butchered to no avail. I have blue tape everywhere. The biggest bone of contention right now is the exterior. Siding crew didn’t fill in the nail holes when they applied the Hardie board and batten, which is against the manufacturer’s installation instructions. It needs to be done on the whole house and the house needs another coat of paint. Builder thinks we’re absurd to demand that be done. We’ve said ad nauseum “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”





    Bare/thin spots like this are everywhere inside the house:



    So frustrating!

  • ghatta
    3 years ago

    Grrr. We’ve been so lucky with our builder. 2 years in and down to paint over the nail pops that were JUST fixed a month or so ago. Also had porch columns redone this summer because they did a crappy job and didn’t finish them. We’ve been patient and he has come through for our issues. YOUR issues should be fixed IMMEDIATELY.😡

  • cobalty2004
    3 years ago

    I agree with ghatta, those issues are so obvious the builder has no right not fixing it.


    Especially with fiber cement board that the paint just absorbs! My new home will have fiber cement and my builder recommends repainting it within 3 years due to how easily it absorbs paint.


  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    shead - Not acceptable!

    cobalty2004 - No, we live in NE Tennessee.

    TXLab - Your house is further along than ours. We still need OSB on part of the roof. Plus, we are missing both porch roofs/ceilings.

    We got another bill for OSB.. This time it's right at $5000. Making the overage $23,000. 40% over the original guesstament.

    Our framer's are also falling behind. They admitted they under estimated the time it would take to do the work. However, we have a written contract with them. Thankfully, no overages.

    "Especially with fiber cement board that the paint just absorbs! My new home will have fiber cement and my builder recommends repainting it within 3 years due to how easily it absorbs paint."

    DH and I returned from a day trip to the Southern Living Idea House today. It's in Asheville, NC. The contractor there recommended the HB siding be repainted every 5 years. I have no idea. The last time we used it on a house, we were there only 4 years. It still looked brand new when we sold.


    The SL Idea home used all Caesarstone quartz on the counter tops. They had a light gray stone that looked and felt just like soap stone...to me. I was impressed! Is anyone thinking about using Caesarstone?

  • Brandie May
    3 years ago

    Surprised again today to see the team worked a half day and got some of the doors installed. The windows and doors really change how the house looks.

    Like so many we have been playing the waiting game. We were told the window production time would be 6 - 8 weeks, we finally got them after 11 weeks with the exception of 8 windows that won't be here until 15 or 16 weeks after we ordered 🙄 I ordered one door in the wrong size, I hope it gets here before they start bricking.

  • shead
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    We’ve talked about our issues with 2 professional painters and 3 contractors in the Nashville area which is 2.5 hours away. All are friends. The painters say the Hardie should have been primed with tinted primer to stop the absorption of the paint (it came primed but apparently good painters know to prime anyway). All 5 say the nail holes should have been puttied and sanded prior to painting. The painters failed to back roll the paint after they sprayed on the exterior which is why the spray lines are so visible in the sunlight. It’s sickening. We’re holding back about $7k right now until the paint issues are resolved.

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Shead, I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with that. I agree 100% that the job they did on the siding is unacceptable. I’m surprised they let you close and move in without paying them the rest. That’s good that you still owe them, so you have leverage! I hope you have a blessed Christmas season, in spite of this!

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    What is the difference between “fiber cement board” and “Hardie board”? I think the pre-primed Hardie just gets painted and that’s that with no problems. We have it currently on some portions of our house, and 50% of our exterior in the new house.

  • TXLab
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl They are interchangeable. Hardie board is just a brand of James Hardie siding, which is fiber cement. An alternative to hardie siding/fiber cement is LP Smartsiding that is also used and looks similar. It is a wood based product, instead of a cement based product like hardie.

  • bytheriverbank
    3 years ago

    My husband is going to have a heart attack before this is over with. I've been dealing with the house stuff but the stress got to be too much for me on top of being a small business owner. I handed everything off to my husband so I could breathe for a bit. Poor guy is dealing with the siders. They have used white caulking around everything, including our cedar tongue and groove covered porch and soffits. They also used white caulking around our black windows. How do they not know to use black caulking? Their proposed fix is to paint the caulking, which would look so very strange on a stained cedar porch. My builder is absolutely worthless when it comes to problems and getting them fixed. The siders are trying to blame our GC because they say that's what he supplied them with.


    About a month ago, I called the bank and asked about firing my GC. Unfortunately, it would really cause issues and more delays. We're trying so hard to work with him and get this house finished. He didn't show up for today's meeting with the siders. It's so very frustrating.

  • SBDRH
    3 years ago

    I took a look back at my first post in this November thread. The interior of our house was complete and we were waiting for final grading and paving. Today is the end of the month, and we're still waiting for the last of the grading work to be complete. We are super happy with how the house has turned out and I know we should just focus on that. I know things take time, but can't help to be disappointed that we're still a week or more away from a CO........


    @Brandie May your house is coming together, I'll be really interested to see your take on another Max house plan.



  • shead
    Original Author
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl, our house is on our land (farm). There is no “closing“ so there’s no way to prevent us from moving in. Our county doesn’t have a codes dept so no C.O. is needed. We have our electrical and HVAC final inspections.


    Our builder much prefers LP Smartside. We told him from the beginning we wanted a smooth board and batten but when it came time to order, smooth LP had a long lead time and was significantly more expensive than the woodgrain that the builder included in his bid. The builder had to order minimum quantities of it, too, as it came in bundles of 90 boards. We needed like 110 so he’d been stuck with 70 extras. Hardie was much less expensive than the price he’d bid so it saved him about $2k to do the Hardie. He never offered to give us a credit back for it, either, which DH reminded them of the other day when he was complaining that Hardie was a lot more work.

  • K H
    3 years ago

    @shead I wanted smooth siding and Marvin windows but we ended up going with what the builder was most familiar with. I wish at the beginning I would have known that you should go with what the builder is most familiar with. I felt like I was giving in/compromising when we went with the materials he was most used to but in the end it probably turned out for the better. Sorry you are dealing with this. Good thing you held out on some money. DO NOT pay them a cent till it gets resolved. We had multiple screw pops etc... our contractor said they would be out to fix them after his ACL surgery recovery so I went ahead and paid. That was in May he still hasn't been back ugh

  • cobalty2004
    3 years ago

    Spoke with my builder today, he hopes to have my basement walls, footers, drain tiles done by end of next week!

  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    Lynn - Be sure to post your question on the building forum and plumbing forum!

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Shead, I just don’t understand why your siding didn’t take the paint. But, in any event, it didn’t, and of course it’s their job to make sure it does. So sorry you’re having to deal with this, when you should just be enjoying your new home! At least you are in and can get settled for Christmas!

  • TXLab
    3 years ago

    @shead As an insurance professional, you may be glad you wound up using hardie. Most of my companies consider cement fiber type siding as the same rating as brick veneer. Since LP is a wood based product, it would most likely get a wood frame rating = much more expensive to insure than hardie.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Brrrrr...We got a little snow last night in our patio home community. The worse is that we had a gas leak yesterday morning and have been without heat or hot water ever since. Gas company would not turn the gas back on until leaks are fixed. An HVAC guy came yesterday afternoon, but unable to do the work until today. He was suppose to be here at 9:30 this morning. So far he is a no show. It's the coldest it's been this season with temperatures outside in high 20's. Temperature in our rental home is 50. :( We are all bundled up!



    The good news is that our framers worked on the front portion of the roof yesterday in the freezing rain. Bless them!!! With very complicated rooflines, it has taken them 15 days to go from this


    to this.


  • Alicia
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @nhb22 brr!! We had quite a wind storm here last night, much of our town is without power but we are still up and running.

    We got the dreaded call from the GC today that our appliances won't be here in time. They have a loaner fridge for us, but we either need to find a cheap gas stove somewhere to get us by or take one they have in stock (which I don't love...). I also found a Bosch stove in stock at a different appliance place but its about $1500 more than the Kitchenaid we purchased. so not sure if we should go that route. It is pretty nice looking. https://www.bosch-home.com/us/productslist/cooking-baking/slide-in-ranges/gas-slide-in-ranges/HGS8045UC

    I just want to move in :)

  • shead thanked Lynn Heins