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February 2021 Building a Home Thread

doc5md
3 years ago
last modified: 3 years ago

Its February! Snowing here.. so I thought I'd post a nice sunny picture. A panorama from the home build site long before any construction began.

Here's to hoping everyone's building during February goes smoothly!



Comments (529)

  • Buzz Solo in northeast MI
    3 years ago

    All the dogs are so adorable! I love labs but shedding season has started with Kaylee, the brown one. Hair is getting everywhere and of course, the brushes are no where to be found since we moved. So now I have to buy a new one! In my photo I had a package of dog treats in my lap, so of course they payed attention! lol

  • Emily
    3 years ago

    Oh goodness, everyone's pups are so cute! @nhb22, Yes, all the "bullie" breeds are prone to health problems. Both our Bostons have had a list of health issues (interestingly, almost no overlap between their conditions). I would probably rescue a mixed breed if we ever get another dog, as it is sad and expensive dealing with all the health issues. But I do love the smushie-faced ones!


    @M R, your puppy is beyond adorable. Those wrinkles! Bestill my heart.

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  • Emily
    3 years ago

    @M R, your wallpaper looks great! I'm kind of sad that wallpaper is coming back in in such a big way, as I swore I'd never do it again. We are having all 9-10' ceilings in our house, and I just can't see putting up any wallpaper, though I love some of the designs. I know we can hire someone to do it, but DH hates hiring anyone to do anything we can possibly do ourselves. So I will probably live with paint and just enjoy wallpaper in other people's houses.

  • K H
    3 years ago

    Love the floral wall paper! Our Aussie/heeler mix.


  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I don’t know how this thread took a turn to doggies

    They are all so cute!

    Emily - I feel the same way about wallpaper, yet I plan to do a small area once we get settled. :-)

    M R - I do like that wallpapered nook idea to use in my grandchildren's secret area. And now you have me thinking about the laundry room, as well. hehehe I was only planning on doing the back of our bar.

    New photos:






    What a mess this spray foam is!!!





  • snowcountry
    3 years ago

    Impressive wall paper job! I can't even put a piece of packing tape without some wrinkle.


    I am still stressing over the small bathroom looking so uninviting. I think it may be the wall paint. It is BM white dove. I knew it will be too white for a small dingy room. It is a gorgeous color everywhere else. The house is mostly sunny. I am looking at BM pale oak, revere pewter, grant beige. Have you used any of them? Any feedback?

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Speaking of dogs - and wallpaper - this is what I’m doing in our powder room - wainscot and this wallpaper! Then I’m putting a framed photo of each of our dogs we’ve had over the many years with their names.

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Question on window treatments: I’m only doing the ones I have to right now (master and guest bedrooms) and then will see which other ones need them. I’m doing woven wood blinds with blackout liners. I was thinking a white liner on the front of the house, but when I look at the photo, I see black inside. It seems like white would make it not match the other uncovered windows, and wouldn’t I then have to cover all of them? What if I did a black or dark brown liner? It seems it would also make the mullions stand out. What do you think? Here was the house just after the Texas snow storm, “snowpocalypse” or “Snovid 2021”. You can see the uncovered windows look black.

  • snowcountry
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    @Sherryl I am really bad at this kind of thing.. So take what I say with many grains of salt. In my current house, I have window coverings on the bedrooms and bathrooms only. It doesn't look odd me. It just seems to tell a story to me that the other windows don't need privacy. .

  • Buzz Solo in northeast MI
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl Love the wallpaper. Unless you're trying to sell your house, I wouldn't worry about the color of your blinds outside unless it's really going to bug you. If you're not doing them all at once, get what you want now and worry about matching the exterior later.

  • haylo33
    3 years ago

    I’m new to this thread but would love some insight from people further in the process. how long are you anticipating it will take from foundation to finish? We had 6 weeks of nothing after our “dig day” due to a few factors but then had some quick progress with the foundation and waterproofing. Now its back to nothing again- was supposed to backfill last week but didn’t happen. I’m assuming maybe something came up with the foundation inspection as it seems my project manager goes silent when he doesn’t have a good update (just a hunch I have from our past delays) which would explain why nothing happened last week. I’m struggling to know what is normal “construction delays” especially in the covid era and when it just becomes poor Communication/ management. He did text me back after A day and said “sorry, I’ll get you a response”. That was Thursday and no response. Am I expecting too much?

  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    NO!!! You should be having better communication with your builder. Ours always answers back with-in minutes most of the time. Our build is suppose to take between 1 year and 18 months to complete.

  • snowcountry
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    What?! @nhb22, your builder answers back within minutes? Mine doesn't even read. I told him last week that I had plaster finish subs to come out on Thursday. On Thursday morning, without me knowing, he did the plaster job himself. Subs had to travel over an hour to get to my site and they didn't have much to do.

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Snowcountry - isn’t it spelled out exactly who is doing what in your Supplemental?

    Haylo33: Our builder gives a weekly report every Friday what happened the week before and what is supposed to happen the next week. I text and email all the time. I’m a “high maintenance” client in their view, I’m sure. Our Construction Manager we have had is not a good fit with us. He is finally moving on to other projects (and he lives closer to them too), and we have the Construction Manager we were hoping to have all along. He is must more of a reassurer-hand-holder, and I’m thrilled. I would ask for a weekly report and say you would have to bug them less if you knew what to expect. We poured our foundation September 18th and just finished the trim stage; painters have started prepping.

  • Keepthefaith MIGirl
    3 years ago

    haylo33 it's great wrenching to be on that Rollercoaster. I am convinced it depends on the builder, where you live, size of company. We were moving along until an excavator kept putting us off and windows were delayed. Now we run into delays when inspectors are late and resulting schedule conflicts. It's difficult to manage expectations when promises are made and not fulfilled. Much easier to handle the truth. Part of our issue was the GC being given the run around.

    We set up a weekly call with our GC to get updates and share our concerns and questions. We usually have to remind him. He's just busy on other jobs - he's a good person. I know others have gone faster than us and I think it's due to size and experience. I hope it improves for you.

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    I think things are more unpredictable now with Covid-related delays that happened in production a few months ago, too. But communication is key, in my view. Builders should just let us know!

  • a1eventing
    3 years ago

    I guess it all depends (like Keepthefaith said). Type of home being built, location, company. My contract stated a completion date. We are 30 days behind so that will put us at 12mo of construction. We've had some delays with window delivery, availability of subs etc. I think most of our delays were due to lack of good planning. For example - waiting on supplies to start next phase of work. But I feel like someone should have forecasted what supplies would be needed. Instead - orders were placed late and we had to wait a week for delivery. IMO lack of coordination = lots of lost time.

    We're working with a small construction company and deal directly with the owner/ GC who is readily available. However, many times we have been told 'next week we will be starting 'x' and then the week comes and goes and nothing was done. We live about 15min from our build site and go there at least 5 days a week. I keep a diary of what's being done, meetings etc. and can count at least 9-10 weeks of time when no work was done. Frustrating.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    a1eventing - We have learned that "next week" means the following week or so. :-) It does depend on the subs, and materials.

    snowcountry - Yes, and if I don't get an answer to a text right away, I know that he is driving. We email and talk on the phone, as well. We see either he or his brother at least 3 times a week.

    I think that Sherryl has had the best experience. Her house is really moving along. She and I have both had to keep on top of our builds and make sure things are done correctly and nothing missing.

    Sherryl - Thinking about your window covering issue. We had the same dilemma in our last house. Our exterior window trims were a grayish color. Inside trim was white. On the outside, white blinds did not look good. Gray did not look good on the inside. We went with real wood blinds. Different, but worked out. However, made the house look slightly dark. I was determined to have white trimmed windows this time so that I could have white blinds.

    If I were you, I would take a white sheet, and some dark material over and hang in the windows. See which looks the best in your front windows. Personally, I would go with white. The lighting and the window coloring is going to change from what that photo in the snow shows. What tint do you have on the windows? They do look dark, but it's probably just the snow making that look that way.

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Nhb22 = that’s a BRILLIANT idea! I will definitely go do that! I don’t know why I never thought of it! Thank you! I’m worried also about white liner obscuring the mullions. Selectblinds, which I’m probably going to go with, has brown and khaki liner, so maybe brown is a compromise. The weave of the blind I’ve chosen is pretty close, so I don’t think you will see much of it on the inside, and they will be raise during the day or when no one is in there, I imagine.

  • K H
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I talked to my builder every morning during our build. He always responded when I called and he still does. Our build started March 2019 and finished up May 2020. But he still has no answers for me on our three spots of squeaky sub floors and our range hood exhaust that keeps condensing and freezing up. I just don’t know what to do with that stuff but someone needs to fix them!

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    K H - what are the warranty claim provisions in your contract?

  • haylo33
    3 years ago

    Thanks for the replies. It makes me feel so much better knowing this is (unfortunately) a normal thing when building. I understand delays- i just want to know about them. I’m big on communication and when he doesn’t respond or says he will that day and doesn’t, it makes me feel like he can’t manage simple tasks. I’m building with a smaller ”semi custom” home builder and when we had that 6 weeks of nothing, I had to call his boss. He started responding at that point but I dont Want to be the person who tells on him to his boss constantly. I asked for a new construction manager before and was ignored. We met with another one at the beginning and he was so nice and responsive. I wish I had him!

  • K H
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl warranty on structural components for a year I believe. I think he may be dragging his feet so he can say “oh well, your year is up” we are so rural it is hard to get anyone out here to do anything. I can’t get anyone to dig in our rain gutters. Seems like once your build is good enough to move in no one is willing to come out for a thousand dollars and less! Wish we would have known that then I would have pushed to get this stuff done before we were moved in.

  • peacehope68
    3 years ago

    Haven’t posted in awhile as the time is just flying by here. Our builder told us 7 to 8 months and we seem to be right on schedule. We’re building our 2100 sq ft retirement home in Florida, so size and weather is definitely a factor. We’re looking at close to 90 degrees here today. Im sorry to hear so many are dealing with nasty weather and snow delays.

    Exterior was painted last week. Drywall almost finished inside too.

  • peacehope68
    3 years ago

    Here’s our kiddos. They’re loving living with Grandma during the build process.

  • Keepthefaith MIGirl
    3 years ago

    aaaawe! Bulldogs!!! 😍😍

    Sherryl - select blinds? what type did you check out? I need help with it. I ordered samples and seem to like the close stitched ones like bamboo but feel sturdy? I don't know anything about them

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Sherryl - If the shades will be up most of the time in the front of the house, I would not worry about the mullions.

    peacehope68 - Sweeties! Welcome back! House looks great!

  • Emily
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl, Love the wallpaper you plan to use. Would you please post a link to the blinds you are planning on? We used Select Blinds to replace all the awful blinds in our motorhome, and we were very pleased with the blinds we ordered. I'd be interested to check out the wood blinds with blackout lining. Sounds like something I'd consider for our bedroom and guest room too. Thanks so much!


    @peacehope68, Love your furkids!


    As for builders and time to completion, our builder is a very small operation who builds only 1-2 custom houses a year. He's the GC and supervisor for the build and even pitches in and does some of the work himself. He's nearing the end of his career at age 69; in fact, we may be his last build, other than his own retirement home! He told us he always says 12 months to completion from groundbreaking in the contract but normally the house will be finished in 9 months. Ours will definitely be an exception due to our months-long rain/mud delay. 😣 The good news is that our long-term forecast looks like drier, warmer weather starting this coming Thursday. If that were to hold for a couple of weeks, they might just get back to our job. All depends on how many other jobs the excavator has going, but I'd think by this time, we should be at the front of his queue!

  • shead
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl, I was planning to use Select Blinds, too, and ordered samples. However, their Instagram page was filled with horrible customer service reviews so I got skiddish.


    I fretted about the exterior look of window coverings matching for far too long and then had indecision paralysis. Then it finally dawned on me that no one can see the front of my house straight on so it didn’t matter that they matched on the outside. I used navy blackout curtains in our sons’ rooms and from the outside, they look like uncovered windows. Our his/her closets and bathroom also face the front and so I needed to cover them for privacy yet wanted to maintain natural light. I ended up ordering cheap plastic blinds from

    Amazon as a make do for the closets and 2” white wood composite blinds for my bathroom double window. I like that a quick twist of a wand lets me see outside or close for privacy and I’m not having to pull something up and down, especially since my windows are 6 ft tall set at an 8 ft header height :)

  • Emily
    3 years ago

    @shead, We had to have one SelectBlind remade, as there was some sort of problem with it, and they did a great job and were super quick on the no-charge replacement. We bought many blinds for them and have zero complaints. Guess we got lucky, but I wouldn't hesitate to use them again.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago

    Very good point about the height of our windows and doors. I better make sure that I will be able to reach the woven shades on our doors. The windows get either the blinds with a twist, of the shutters where I can grab a blind and they all open up at one time.


    Sherryl - I meant to make a comment about your powder room wallpaper. Love it, and the idea of the doggy photos. I would be too sad to look at our past babies pictures.

  • Buzz Solo in northeast MI
    3 years ago

    @peacehope68 Hi! Love the color of your home and love the doggies!

  • Rebecca Delo
    3 years ago

    It has been a long 4 days, but we finally have all our belongings under our new roof. We closed on Thursday and have been moving things from our temp apartment and storage ever since. Today, to add insult to injury, it rained, and we got soaked. But it’s done, dropped off the UHaul this morning. The unpacking will take forever - everything is packed into the garage. But maybe by April or May I’ll be able to park a car in there.


    Everything is gorgeous, and I’ve had “pinch me, I’m dreaming” moments several times today. For all of you waiting for the finish line - it will be worth it :).


    @haylo33, as others said, there are so many variables to the “how long” answer, but I thought you might appreciate this picture I took today. I unearthed some kitchen boxes to unpack this afternoon and came across this one:




    So.....we were about 8 months from the time we signed our contract in early June. Dig day was at the end of August ‘20, so about 180 days total build time. But our manager said they’ve increased the expected build time to 3 months from contract to dig and 9 months of building, for a total of 12 months. That increased timeline is both because of material availability and high demand (they’re waaaaay backed up with buyers). I’ve said it 100 times, but it seems we really threaded the needle and got in just in time.


    And I see there was a doggie break while I was busy moving! Here’s our Junior. He’s a terribly nervous mutt-of-a-mutt, and these sorts of life changes are hard on him. But look at him - he’s handling it like a champ, even though his usual furniture is missing. Here he’s making do on a temporary chair, poor thing :).




  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Rebecca - that’s so exciting, and I know you feel like you have a mountain to climb to get everything unpacked and organized. It will happen, though! Your puppy is SO SWEET!

  • haylo33
    3 years ago

    @Rebecca Delo congrats! I’m very jealous! We were told 11 months total when we signed our contract. But that would put us at May (we also signed in June) and we haven’t even started framing. I’m hoping for July but covid seems like the perfect excuse for slow progress.

  • nhb22
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    Hurray, Rebecca! Junior... What a cutie!!!


    Ordered THESE ceiling fans for 2 bedrooms and my husbands office. Daughter approved!

    I was wrong about getting anything glam. Thought that my daughter would like them, but she said they were hideous!!! LOL

    Also ordered the dining fixture that I had shown earlier. Found it on Amazon Prime for $150 less. If it does not work, I can send it back free.



  • Emily
    3 years ago

    @Sherryl, Thanks! I really like those blinds (Premium Farmhouse Rustic) and will probably use them in my master bedroom! I am thinking black for the blackout liner as our windows will have white mullions, and our master BR faces the front of the house, so I think black will look better when they are down. Just my opinion.

  • Michael
    3 years ago

    That's awesome @Rebecca Delo, congrats!

  • Sherryl
    3 years ago

    Emily - I think so too, or dark brown. I think I will take a black table cloth and hang it up after painting is finished and see what it looks like in different times of day. Someone suggested that, and I think it’s a great idea.

  • mags_and
    2 years ago

    Hi all - It's been quiet in the thread, so thought I'd pop in with a quick update. HVAC and electrical contractors are making headway on my build. Also had a call with the electrician. Never knew there were SO many details about lighting! What is everyone's preferred Kelvin number?



  • Emily
    2 years ago

    @mags_and, The thread has been quiet because we're all over on the March thread now! Please join us there and ask your question. I am very interested to see the responses as well. :-)


    https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6082371/march-2021-building-a-home-discussion

  • Karen
    2 years ago

    Sheila Akins - you have a beautiful home. Do you mind me asking you for the company name/type of your windows? They are beautiful.

  • Karen
    2 years ago

    Emily- As someone who replaced my (leaking) shingle roof with a metal roof a few years ago, I would recommend you don’t give up your metal roof unless you absolutely have to. My husband and I are also in our early 60s and will never again have to repair or replace a roof. That would not be the case if it were a shingle roof.

  • Brandie May
    2 years ago

    @Karen Don't be so quick to believe the maintenance free selling point of metal roofs. We had a metal roof that was 12 years old and every screw needed to be replaced because they were coming out. The rubber gaskets get dried out by the sun and the roofs start to have the issue. It is common and they even sell a screw specific for the application, its called a rescue screw. Just FYI

  • Emily
    2 years ago

    @Karen, It wouldn't be such a big deal if we were financing the house, but we are paying out of pocket, so the $25K upcharge is a doozy. One of the few really big ticket items we could cut if lumber is far over budget based on the recent runup in the price. But we are hoping to stick with the metal roof if we can, even with the potential problem with the screws @Brandie May mentions. There are no perfect materials, and we will discuss the screw issue with the metal roof company. Perhaps some improvements have been made over the past decade.

  • Karen
    2 years ago

    I understand, Emily. Lots of hard decisions to make, especially when you’re already retired.

    17 yrs ago, we were in the same boat. We both were at risk of losing our jobs and decided against spending the extra $30k to prep for future bonus room and extra bath upstairs. We didn’t do it and I’ve always regretted it. Now, our roof tresses etc would need to be totally redone, so it’s off the table. 17 years later, we are building a detached granny flat that will cost us way more than that.

    I’ll have to go back and read Brandies comments re screws. I missed that one.

    Best wishes on your build. I will be glad when this is all over and I don’t wake up multiple times per night worrying about the mistakes i might be making, LOL.

  • Emily
    2 years ago

    @Karen, That is too bad. We are trying to hold costs down by cutting out things that can easily be added later instead of things that would be very difficult to add/change. So, we're hoping to keep the metal roof, as we like the functionality and the look of it with the type of house we're building (country cottage look). By the way, Brandie May's comment about the screws pulling out is just a few above yours, if you scroll back up a bit.

  • Karen
    2 years ago

    Emily and Brandie May- Thank you. I hadn’t heard that before. Perhaps I need to add reminders to my online calendar for every 5 years or so to have the roof (and screws) inspected.