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October 2022: Building a Home

Keen B
last year

Welcome to the community of folks in the process of building a new home. Whether you are in the planning, building or just plain dreaming-about-it stages, this is the place for you. We are a kindly group who share our successes, concerns, woes and joys with one another to offer support and advice as we can. All Welcome--Glad you are here!


Comments (396)

  • Joy M
    last year

    Electrical material lead times are mind boggling in the non residential sector. We (my employer) were quoted 100+ weeks for transformers on a project. As soon as we receive a contract we begin the submittal approval process in order to begin the material procurement. There are times when we have to present to the owner that the schedule won’t be met or alternate power sources are needed.

  • Joy M
    last year

    @jkent9024 seems like I’ve seen toile wallpaper that has Disney characters when you look closely.

  • Related Discussions

    October 2020 Building a Home

    Q

    Comments (501)
    @a - I can't tell what the dimensions in your kitchen are but if you can swing the changes toward your idea I like it. You could see if you could get narrower cabinets on that wall to help, I know some you can get only 21 inches deep. Otherwise you could do a wall of shelves or something, but you'd lose counter space, of course. My kitchen is smaller but I'm having a minimum of 3'8" between, the minimum recommended distance for wheelchairs. I saw how my dad struggled for 13 years in a wheelchair in an older house not built for it and I decided I'd rather not take chances because you never know. I'm still getting a decent side island. @Rebecca Delo, aren't windows wonderful? We were lucky in that the way our house is built the windows were in last year. Now it's a matter of DH and I putting the garage doors in so we can really close the place off this winter and use one of those bullet style heaters so we can finally continue working all winter. (or at least part of it, we could use a break sometime!) @Keepthefaith MIGirl, I love you're going to paint your chandelier. DH had this idea a couple of months ago that I was handy and creative enough to find some old fixture somewhere and make a brilliant (and cheap I suspect is his real thinking!) looking chandelier for our dining room. I'm willing to give it a try but I made NO promises! lol
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    March 2022 Building a Home

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    Comments (597)
    Just wanted to comment on paint finishes in general since there seems to be a fair amount of confusion. For Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams, you can always go to the TDS sheet for any paint and it will give you the amount of sheen as a % at a certain angle. This is much more accurate than the store sample display. The amount of sheen varies between brands and different lines within each brand. For example, Benjamin Moore "eggshell" in their contractor grade of "Ultra Spec 500", is lower than in their designer grade of Regal or Aura. Also, less scrubbable and harder to "touch up". To make it more confusing, their newer paint - Scuff X - (which I really like) is part of their Ultra Spec line! I believe SW paint has their TDS sheets posted on line as well. I have never used SW paint, but read many comments that SW sheens are lower compared to Benjamin Moore and others. This is most likely due to "lower solids". % of solids is also listed on the TDS, so easy to compare. If your builder lets you pick the exact paint, always go for the best quality paint. The labor is the most expensive part, and should be the same regardless. Cheap paint isn't cheap when it doesn't last.
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    May 2022 Building a Home

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    2rickies - It's Rheem HVAC. Runs on gas in winter and electric in summer. Naomi - It's the air handler below in the utility room that makes the most noise when on. We have asked that the fan be turned down and told it is not advisable for the system. That's what we did in our previous home. The air vents in the house are noisy because there is so much air force being blown through them. On the outside, it's mainly the smaller upstairs unit that is loud. Told nothing can be done. Makes a whoop, whoop noise. We cannot hear it from inside the house, but I feel it is too loud when near it outside. Thankfully, we cannot hear it from either porch. It's interesting that the upstairs air handler is above the hallway to our bedroom and it is quiet as a mouse. Backs up to a guest bedroom and again quiet.
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    July 2022, Building a Home

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    Thanks Keen! My builder will custom size mirrors, but I really want black metal and then champagne bronze and with rounded edges. So I think buying is my only option :/ K H - thank you for sharing that! @gerard - This is off topic, but if you need larger font there are options on your phone/iPad/computer to be able to enlarge (my husband has to do this!). @t_wag - Fair point! I think my lights are around 10”, so I’d end up with a bit of overlap, but not horrible I suppose.
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  • Joy M
    last year

    So far this week I don’t think much has happened at the house (I’ve been business traveling). Was really hoping counters would be installed this week before concrete next week but that’s not happening. So next week we have driveway, sidewalk, and hopefully counters.

  • theotherjaye
    last year

    100 weeks? that’s nuts!

  • 2rickies
    last year

    Love seeing everyone's progress! I have to say, all the finish work is especially inspiring to see when I am just barely getting started. Like, it really can happen!


    My update is we're making good progress on the driveway. It's so much better than it was before. Here's a pic of one section, below. At the top left corner, you can see where they're working on another part of the road, closer to the house site. The other news is, our building permit application has been submitted. So I'm not nervous about that at all! ugh... By the time we get the permit, the driveway should be ready, and the builder will be ready to start. (The driveway was done on a separate permit.)


    And, apparently we need to order windows very soon, but we're still waiting to hear back on a bid from a different manufacturer. It kinda feels like we've started even though we haven't exactly started?




  • Naomi
    last year

    Working through our punch list as well. Garage door fixed today.

    Landscaping company is a nightmare. 2 weeks and I still don’t have my check for the fence repair. They also aren’t returning requests for dealing with why half my sod is dead. Sprinklers are running. And now we’re heading into dormant season. So who knows what happens in spring and how they will handle warranty. Very frustrating given how much we spent.

  • Naomi
    last year

    Oh and killed a big scorpion in the garage today.

    Had some ants the first night going after dog food. Sprayed with raid and they disappeared. Now tonight saw 2 in the bathroom. Sprayed ‘em again. I think they may be in the walls as they are coming out along inner walls. Sigh.

    May need to get pest control out :/

  • theotherjaye
    last year

    Ay, yi, @Naomi. When we lived in BCS we had to shake our shoes out before putting them on in the morning. I’ve dumped more than one scorpion out of a shoe onto the floor. They were often rather indignant about the whole thing.

  • K H
    last year

    @chispa I know what you mean! Its been two years and I still don't have the inside plate and weather stripping for our basement double door. The rep came out and looked at it last summer and I still don't have parts. This is holding up our basement flooring project because as of now we get rain that blows in through the middle section of that door if it blows just right. And it has blown just right 65% of our rain storms we get. So I just put towels down behind the door. That is all fine and dandy on the raw concrete but I'm ready to put down some flooring and I don't want any water getting under that! Might just have to buy a whole new door.

  • MSO_JEO MJ
    last year
    last modified: last year

    To add information about the backlog of electrical equipment- we wanted to have our power lines underground. However, there was a year-long wait for the pad transformers our electric cooperative would need in order to bury the lines for our property and the neighboring properties. Also, the cost for burying the lines up to our house was in the neighborhood of $20,000, and I said "absolutely not" haha. I'll put up with seeing a utility pole. The line from the closest pole to the house will be underground, however.

  • MSO_JEO MJ
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @2rickies good luck with your windows. Our builder ordered them the day we signed the construction contract so that he would have them when he was ready for them. We didn't have any major delays with them (beyond the lead-time he was expecting). One of my nieces and her husband waited around 6 months for theirs- but they ordered black-framed windows (I don't know the brand or supplier). We decided on white to minimize any delays.

    I'm expecting the cost estimate for our insulation today. He's going to include a cost for "flash & batt" insulation. Have any of you had any experience with that? Is it worth the additional expense? We are in the mid-south so our winters are relatively mild compared to most. Our summers are hot, of course, but not quite as hot as south Texas.


    Following that, our next big uncertainty is the cost of sheetrock. Our builder says that it is changing weekly.


    My husband is meeting the flooring guy on Saturday morning to get some measurements and a final cost on that for us. He's married to one of my husband's coworkers/friends and is giving us as many discounts as he can :)

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year

    @Naomi If ants are coming in they are looking for water or sugar. Get some terro. Find a few spots the dogs cannot get to and leave drops of this down. End of ants in a week. They take it home to queen.

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @2rickies Yes, @MSO_JEO MJ is right. Getting windows with varied colors takes longer right now. We waited over a year to get a full set. The order trickled in from 8 months on... And I think single-toned white is still slow, too.

    But I don't think drywall/sheetrock was the price killer. Anything concrete and wood was the volatile cost for us; we literally waited out some of those items.

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    So my first choice wallpaper for primary bath has been out of stock everywhere for so long, I figure it might be discontinued. And then I found this one and love it even more. Sample arrived today. The blues coordinate much better than photo suggests. (My running theme is not color in the house but shape-birds and hex in all bathrooms.)



  • MSO_JEO MJ
    last year

    Concrete was/is volatile for us also. We have a slab foundation so we had to take whatever the going rate was at the time, but we've got a couple of more months before we have to pour the driveway. Maybe it will come down some by then :)

  • Blair
    last year

    We passed and got our CO today!!!! Still a long punch list- but we PASSED!!!

  • PRO
    FrameMyMirror
    last year

    Love this!

  • Joy M
    last year

    @Blair that is wonderful news, congratulations!

  • Joy M
    last year

    @Keen B LOVE that wallpaper!


  • Joy M
    last year

    @MSO_JEO MJ we have "flash and batt" insulation and are pleased so far. We're not living in the house yet though. Our house sits in the middle of a field essentially with no trees. Our master bedroom is on the west side of the home so additional insulation was important to us. Our climate is mild located in East TN.

  • MSO_JEO MJ
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Thanks, Joy. We are on the opposite side of the state, just east of Memphis and pretty close to the TN/MS state line.

  • nhb22
    last year

    Had ants in our bathroom in previous house. For about 3 years in a row the same time every year. We found that by putting a pile of cedar mulch around the perimeter of our house (not this new one) took care of that! We put the mulch underneath our standard mulch because the cedar is a lighter color.

  • Naomi
    last year

    nhb- interesting and here we opted for pebbles because scorpions and snakes like mulch 😂 Ants are annoying, but not as bad as a scorpion or a rattlesnake!

    Congrats Blair!!!!

  • chispa
    last year

    Here in FL you expect bugs and rodents. We didn't get our first ants until a few weeks ago. Tiny wee ones around the main sink. DH tends to leave dirty cooking knives next to sink until he gets around to washing them and they seemed to be attracted to that food source. Put down a bait trap, DH stopped leaving the knives there and they disappeared pretty quickly! Signed up with a regular pest service last week too. I just don't want to see any cockroaches in the house 😱, hate those!

  • 2rickies
    last year

    @Naomi, We've had odorous house ants. (if you squish them, they smell like blue cheese!) If that's what they are, they're not looking for food or water--they don't touch the food on my kitchen counter even as they march across it! They might be looking for dry ground, if you've had a lot of rain or watered a lot, their nest might have been impacted. Anyway, there are a gazillion types of ants, so may not be that kind.

    Most ants will leave a scent trail for others to follow, so I recommend cleaning with Dawn or 409 (vinegar might work too) along any paths where you've seen the ants.

    I have put that terra gel in cracks and crevices where my dog can't get to them. It works, you don't need much. Also, if you know where they're coming in from outside, you can treat a couple inconspicuous spots there. They bring it back to their nest and within a few days, you won't see them. Ants are good for the environment, but yeah, who wants them inside their house...?


    @Keen B that wallpaper is beautiful!


    @MSO_JEO MJ and @Keen B We haven't signed the builder contract yet, but the moment we do, we'll be ordering those windows for sure! Should be any day now. Our window frames are either bronze or black, depending which mfr we go with. One has a slightly longer timeline, but it'll be 4-6 months either way. (We can't go with white because it doesn't work with our design.) Builder submitted the permit app, even though we don't have a contract. He's also hired the excavators. (His lawyer just took a long time responding to our lawyer's revisions. Nearly done with that part!)

  • Rachel
    last year

    We built our first home in 1994 on a lot that was virgin forest. We cleared as few trees as possible but of course we were building a home, so quite a few needed to come down. For the first two years, we had A LOT of ants and they were HUGE . . . like over an inch long. I'm in the Pittsburgh area, so we don't have big bugs like you do in Florida and Texas. For us, these ants were big. Anyway, somebody (I don't remember who) told me that this is common when you clear land, essentially ruining their habitat. We had those ants for two years and eventually they were gone. They are definitely what you want to see in your brand new, clean new home!

  • cwcf185
    last year

    Congrats Blair!

  • 2rickies
    last year

    I'm curious, when you all did your contracts with your builder, what kind of default clause did you include for if the builder essentially abandons the project and stops doing the work? Did you specify a percentage penalty in the contract, or a dollar amount, or something else?

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @2rickies A number of us are owner builders, so can't really answer your question. But a few people here have had to get pushy and get legal advice because that very thing seemed to be happening. Talk to a realtor or real estate lawyer not associated with your build, if no one here can advise you...

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year
    last modified: last year

    Okay Gang. It's (FINALLY!!) time for me to ask for design advice...Here is my antique mantel that I found over a year ago. Dh brought it down to house, so he and buddy (in pic) can install and finish out wall. You cannot tell from picture, but the mantel and fireplace jut about 8 inches from the wall, so we have to build that out and finish to ceiling.

    1. How would you finish to ceiling? (it will be wired out, too)

    2. Ideas for the black part--leave it or tile it? And if tile, what?

    3. Hearth Ideas? The floors are white oak with a light fumed look. The opposite side of that room will have chestnut-look lower cabs and navy+glass upper cabinets. (Undecided on counters, but will have white or bluish tones.)

    4. Keep Mantel this color or paint it white? Walls will be either white or very pale blue. (Mantle matches the washed doors I've posted, I think, and does not look pink in person.)




    Oops. I thought I posted a pic of my doors earlier last week, but maybe I didn't. Some of you know I've been working on stripping and finishing antique doors, too. Something old for the new house!


  • tendrac
    last year
    last modified: last year

    @Keen B Beautiful fireplace! I cannot be too certain about the details. It appears that the black part, which is your surround or slips, is behind the legs of the fireplace. In my area and for my firebox (FireRock), this wouldn't meet code or the clearance requirements for combustibles. So, I can't confidently give you advice.

    But, style-wise, I would go for an off-black surround with black slate or black marble slips (and hearth extension). Your fireplace has a Victorian-feel to it, and the black would play that up, in my opinion. Though, after looking at your image, it may not work since it appears (I can't clearly see) that you may already have your material for hearth extension installed.

    Keen B thanked tendrac
  • tendrac
    last year

    @Keen B Forgot to ask: for ceiling detail, do you have a side view of your fireplace? Do you mean that you have create a bump out in order to accommodate the fireplace? What do you mean by "wired-out?" Once I know more, I can share with you what I did in my current build and what I have seen done in others.

  • Janet
    last year

    Keen B Is the fireplace in the living room? I can’t remember if this is open to your kitchen or not. Is the fireplace the focal point?

  • Janet
    last year

    Keen B - In one of these photos they used white rock, which seems more your vibe. Maybe this will help you in seeing options for what to do with the surrounding area.

  • niccidhg
    last year

    I would love to see the fireplace surround kept natural. Lovely, not as “expected” and just beautiful. It’s very special. I like the idea of the firebox opening remaining dark, but I would want to cover it with dark tile. It is hard to say without knowing colors you like and the rest of your decor throughout the house. Is there a common color thread ? If wanting a more organic, neutral look, a charcoal slate would be nice.

  • T_Wag
    last year

    @Keen B i think the fireplace looks beautuful as is I would not paint it. I also think the black looks great. Can you just finish the built out portion in drywall and paint to match walls?

  • 2rickies
    last year

    @Keen B I agree, that mantel is striking as it is. It's hard for me to see what the black part is made of right now, but if you need to cover it, a dark soapstone might look nice.

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year

    Everyone, about mantel...thank you.


    @tendrac You are right. I have to adjust the opening so that metal box is not covered in combustible material, and the hearth still needs to be extended another six inches. We will cut back opening and reframe it to meet codes.


    @Janet I like the white rock look you shared. Your third picture where the drywall juts out is how ours will look. I like how the mantle is wider than the wall in that one. (DH wants them equal like in your fourth picture.)


    @2rickies The black part is the metal firebox. I can cover it with noncombustible material.


    My original plan was to paint it all white and use a tile similar to this in a bluish color to cover metal and (maybe even cover wood right under mantel ledge.)





    But I love the natural look, too, just not sure it will go with kitchen at other end. The room is an 18X38 rectangle which includes kitchen and island, dining table and great room. I've posted this before but this is what I am going for in kitchen, with upper cabinets a little lighter navy and lowers a little lighter brown.


    Kitchen Sink · More Info



  • 2rickies
    last year

    @Keen B that kitchen will look lovely! Good point, the unfinished mantle might look more rustic in comparison. What about maybe staining the mantle to go with the lower wood cabinets?

  • Janet
    last year

    Keen B beautiful kitchen inspiration! I also think staining to match cabinets would look great. You might consider using something that coordinates with your backsplash or countertops for the non-combustible material. Or something that will match those top cabinets. Are you going to have beams or anything on your ceiling in this room?

  • Rachel
    last year

    Yes, staining the mantel to match your cabinetry will look wonderful!

  • Joy M
    last year

    @2rickies you can request a bond from the builder. If the builder defaults you use the bond to finish the project. The bond value is the same value as the contract value.

  • Joy M
    last year

    @2rickies google payment & performance bond.

  • 2rickies
    last year

    @Joy M thank you, I was not aware of that option! I do have a lawyer looking over the contract so I will ask about that.

  • jkent9024
    last year
    last modified: last year

    We're not going to the house this weekend as the floors were just finished and are still drying. But the builder sent us drone footage so we could see the work done outside. Fence installed, septic lines being run, and final driveway grading getting started.


  • Sofia
    last year

    Exterior painting was wrapped up just as we saw our last warm, sunny days. What a nice way to turn the corner into fall.

  • di0spyr0s
    last year

    I’ve been AWOL this month - but here’s a thread for next month: https://www.houzz.com/discussions/6319502/november-2022-building-a-home

  • Jane Heacock
    last year
    last modified: last year

    New home build. Need help with wall color selection primarily for the open area.


    We are building a home that is open concept in the main living area and I am trying to decide on interior paint color. The lake side of the house faces south west and we have lots of large windows. The great room with a vaulted wood ceiling and dining room (with 9ft white ceiling) are open to each other (facing the lake side of the home) with a two-sided fireplace between them in the center. We still have to select the veneer stone that will be on the face of the fireplace area and I know that is a consideration for what color we select for the walls. I am open to selecting the stone that would be easiest to work with for this space. There are lots of color option so I am not concerned about the fireplace stone but I do need to make that selection in this whole color process.


    The flooring is a luxury vinyl light maple color throughout most of the house, minus the bathrooms. We will have white trim throughout the home.


    The cabinetry in the kitchen will be white and I kept the bathrooms either white or cream color cabinetry so I could bring color in with the granite countertops which I have already selected. Floor tile and shower units are basic with a touch of color in the niche storage areas. I am planning on bringing in other color to all the spaces in the house through furnishings.


    I have been looking at BM paint colors for the open area of the house but do not want it so light it looks white. I do not like green undertones in a paint color. The kitchen (white cabinets) and foyer are open to these areas but are on the other side of the house. I think the foyer will get lots of light from the great room area with those big windows but I can't decide what color go with. Not living in the space is hard for me as I need to tell the build coordinator what colors I want in the house at some point. So far I have been considering BM Classic Gray, Winds Breath, Silver Satin and Gray Cashmere.


    I have started the process of looking at furniture for the great room and dining room but have no idea at this point what colors I will choose for upholstery for the great room. I am very classic when it comes to selections in general and never go with the trends. I want the house to feel cozy but not dark on cloudy days. I have considered hiring a interior decorator for this. Any of your suggestions will be appreciated. I know there is a lot of considerations with my project. Thanks

  • Keen B
    Original Author
    last year

    @Jane Heacock Please repost your question on the latest Month's thread. You'll get more answers.


    Feb Home Building

  • Jane Heacock
    last year

    Thank you Keen.