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It's May 2024. How is your build going?

25 days ago

No May Day celebrations here. Just one foot in front of the other.

Comments (72)

  • 20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Haha worthy I also wish I could operate the heavy equipment, but it’s probably for the best that I can’t… I think we spent just under $40k to build our gravel driveway last year, it’s approx 800 ft long and winding uphill through forest. The cost of septic was pretty shocking, with clay subsoil we needed to bring in something like 20 loads of sand if memory serves… yikes.

    I am looking forward to soon continuing our ‘terraforming mars’ project because we need to finish all the grading around the house which is built into the hill.

    Question for you Kelly M - what is the best way to haul big rocks and boulders over to the house to position for landscaping? We have many big rocks around our property but the distance to retrieve them is far, and they are heavy. We were thinking to ask our earth guy to ‘grab’ them and bring them over so we can build a couple retaining walls/rock gardens against the house. We don’t want the huge machinery driving all over the land compacting it and tearing it up, plus they are very slow so for instance driving to the bottom of our hill to get those rocks might be a slow endeavour.

    I must say, the earth work has been one of the most confusing parts of our build because it’s so hard to wrap your mind around unless you are there in person. I have a 3D model of the house so it’s pretty easy to see and understand exactly how everything will be for construction, but when it comes to the complex topography it is almost impossible to accurately do the landscape design remotely from home. The first challenge is hauling rocks closer to the house, the second is carefully positioning them. We also want to build another retaining wall (only ~ 1ft tall) with small dry stacked rocks for the garden area, I thought we might as well get the guy to haul some over and pile nearby for us so we don’t have to manually fetch them which sounds quite tedious.






    worthy thanked izzieo
  • 20 days ago

    @izzieo you need to accept a certain amount of tearing up and compacting. The key is the order of operations.

    1) move in rocks.

    2) set decorative rocks and build walls

    3) Make sure you are happy with it.

    4) check that thought one more time.

    5) restore the grades and begin the planting processes.


    This way you do not waste time smoothing it all out repeatedly, only to tear things up.

    If the rocks are far enough away I load them in a truck.

    You may want to rent a small excavator with thumb for you to operate. Even middling rocks will wear you down, and you get nothing done if you are injured.


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    Saturday, May 28th! The guest bedroom has been painted! (First coat only). I love it, and it works well with the ceiling paint I chose! This photo is the most color-accurate of the lot. Wall color: Sherwin Williams Whole Wheat. Ceiling: Sherwin Williams Canvas Tan, a warm white to be used throughout the house. View is out through the hallway (also Canvas Tan) into the master. And here you see the wall color - a little less accurately -- with the future floorboard sample: In other news, I brought up the lights for the kitchen (a set over the prep area, and another set over the main sink). I'll have them hang down from the cathedral ceiling to a level of 7.5 feet above floor. I still need to pick out ceiling fans with lights. Arrgghh, decisions!! Going through the brochure, most are pretty pug-ugly, and I also wonder how I'll be changing bulbs from the ground. Most are encased in glass enclosures, so the ole stick the elongaged lightbulb changer up there isn't going to help. I planted the garden. Well, I put in my cannas tubers and calla lily bulbs, behind the garage next to the dining area. The GC has to finish grading the area, but he's got space to work with without disturbing the plants. I also left plenty of room -- even more than he said he needed -- so he can finish off the outside of the house. The bamboo (and other) stakes are marking off parameters. I amended the soil with organic topsoil and compost - did you know a lot of purchased topsoil comes from disturbed regions of the country, disturbed by events such as hurricanes, which indiscriminately mix up who knows what? As the very front of the plot will eventually be given to cooking herbs, I care about this! Here, the topsoil/compost mixture has been added. Here, the plants have been placed, and more defining stakes have been added. And the ground watered -- I have running water, if only from a hose! The outer edges define this eventual relatively-flat garden space. Those two little stakes are the line for the calla lilies, and the cannas tubers are behind. I went home that evening, and missed out on some friends who'd driven up from New York to surprise me -- I guess that surprised them! Anyhow, Sunday: I started staining some units for my closets. After checking out the closet planner on Easy Closets and getting some great ideas, I decided I could save a ton of money by doing my own useful shelving. Two tall narrow shelves I'd just purchased, and a pre-existing dresser my father left with me back about twelve years ago got called into service, and stained. Unfortunately, even outside, the oil based stain I used on the tall shelves got to me -- hot day, the air not moving -- so I went back and bought a water based one for the dresser. I'll be putting them in different closets, so the color change doesn't matter. There are two of these, and they will go to the edges of a four-foot deep closet. The dresser drawers -- the body was hard to move so I stained that inside my garage -- will go into a similar closet. Unfortunately, before I took the drawers inside yesterday evening, a rude bird had decided to drop a little doot on one of the drawers. I'll see how I can fix that today, when it stops raining.
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  • 19 days ago

    Hopefully propane is going in Friday, painters will be there to fix punch list next week, final walk through 5/20, which is also our anniversary! Day 111 since foundation pour.

    They will have to come back and do the landscaping, the 12 included loads of dirt and 12 included pallets of grass, to get us started. They'll do that when it dries more so they can actually acquire them.

  • 18 days ago

    We have our hole dug! Tomorrow we get footers! It feels so real. We had a big tree that unfortunately had to go (we’ll plant more trees when done), and it was crazy to see them removed so fast. A big pine tree was just plucked from the ground! Next Friday we meet with the kitchen and bath designer. I have most materials picked out, so I’m mainly excited to get specifics worked out!

  • 18 days ago

    I haven’t updated in a while. We’ve been busy at the house building ourselves, but no tradesmen have been there recently until last week. We finally had a new trim carpenter come. He’s going to finish the exterior cornice that the last crew quit us on (in November). He’s also building the exterior window trim, putting up siding, fixing up the dormers.. inside he will put up the tongue and groove walls and the trim. It was raining last week, and this week :/ , so he started on the window trim. He could build those inside. We have them all prime and ready for him to hang up. The wood is Red Grandis. The pictures below show it first built and then primed one coat. The main house has a “fancier” casing than the garage does. On the side by side photos, the garage casings are on the left and the main house on the right. The main house also has a bigger sill because it will be on full bed depth stone. The garage sill is smaller because it’s going on wood siding. I’ll upload more pictures in another comment.

  • 18 days ago

    Drywall is ordered and we are expecting them any day now. So exciting!! We are not drywalling the kitchen, pantry or mudroom. It will be tongue and groove walls. The garage we are still searching for an alternative to drywall. Our doors are being made currently in Alabama. I’m hoping to get the call by the end of the month that they’re done and ready to pick up. Once we get the doors on then I can call my stone guy to start the exterior stone. We got our sixth load of Tennessee limestone this week. We are getting it at wholesale price and saving so much. We have the dump truck, weighing equipment, everything we need to buy it this week. The mason was fine with it not being on pallets too. We will use our equipment to move it closer to the house for him when the time comes. I’ve been busy trying to figure out which tongue and groove to order and selecting exterior hardware.

  • 17 days ago

    Why are you looking for an alternative to drywall for your garage? I am designing a large detached garage and I thought it would be best to do plywood, apparently it’s more expensive than drywall. Even for ugly plywood. I was envisioning beautiful birch ply but the cost would truly be astronomical in a large space. There are products like Trusscore which are interesting because you can get the slat wall which attaches storage accessories. But it’s PVC and I prefer natural materials, it’s an option you could consider. I think I’ll probably do drywall but maybe some sections of plywood where we can build a French cleat wall with wood for storage.

  • 16 days ago

    Shower glass is in, mirrors are installed, the well is hooked up to the house, my heated floor thermostat is installed, the cedar is there and they're working on the shutters (I think they forgot so I casually asked Tuesday when they would be put on), the propane tank is there and connected, they'll come fill it Monday.

  • 15 days ago

    @izzieo, I will try to take some close-ups of the cherry cabs with the flooring next time I'm there! We originally were doing white oak cabs and floors, but I switched to cherry cabs b/c we like them a lot and thought that all vertical grain white oak was going to be a little to stark for us. The floor is still white oak, as are the ceiling beams, the FP mantel, and a lintel at the entrance to the great room. The floors haven't been finished yet, but they'll be finished clear, most likely, with Bona Traffic. The interior doors are also cherry with vertical grain, but they came in damaged so now we have to wait until next month for those.


    Random annoyances: the dishwasher front panel did not arrive. It was supposed to come directly from Miele weeks ago, so now I'm waiting for the salesman to check on it. And, the builder seems to have misplaced one of the bathroom faucets I gave him almost a year ago. And, I'm still struggling with choosing cabinet handles. I thought I was getting black, but now that we're doing white quartzite in the kitchen, the black looks too stark, and a lighter color finish would look better. I'm looking at brushed nickel, but a lot of them have a brown cast that doesn't work in the room. Final annoyance for now, I've been trying to find someone to build a fence for my dog, and that turns out to be not as easy as I'd expected. Surprisingly for a rural area, there seems to be a shortage of fence installers.


    On the plus side, I chose the rest of the countertops. What a relief to have that set of decisions made! I'm using Carrara in the guest bath, a honed black granite called black mist for the hearth, and another light quartzite called Calacatta Giotto in the primary bathrooms. I thought I'd use Carrara in all the bathrooms, but it was too gray for the primary baths. Here's the calacatta giotto:




  • 15 days ago

    Wowza 2rickies I can’t wait to see how your project turns out, everything seems to be coming together now! Definitely the right call choosing cherry for your kitchen. I have been hemming and hawing forever about our cabinets. Floor is also wide oak along with the stairs nearby and a big wood column and slat wall thing. Same tone cabinets might be pretty monotonous, so I thought of something darker. It’s hard to get the right stain for oak and I prefer natural wood anyway so finally circling back to walnut 🙃 I love the smooth grain and it’s nice that we just need clear coat so no worries about choosing a stain. I love what I’ve seen of your selections. I am not a fan of brushed nickel… I think you said you’re doing simple modern pulls? https://www.emtek.com/all-products/cabinet-hardware/cabinet-pulls/bar/ Do you like polished nickel or is it too much? I’m doing PN faucet but probably something not polished for hardware as I imagine it getting gross looking pretty quickly and life is too short to be cleaning kitchen cabinet handles. The tumbled white bronze from Emtek is super pretty, but the styles for the sandcast bronze hardware are rustic looking so not sure if you’d like them as I think you wanted simple modern pulls.

  • 15 days ago

    @izzieo, thank you for the emtek suggestion! I actually the 'modern rustic' style more than the stark modern bar pulls. My plan is to totally avoid what I call "pocket rippers." I've focused instead on the ones that looks square-ish. I prefer finishes that are not shiny (all of the counters will be honed or leathered), especially b/c there are so many big windows and so much light, I don't want more reflective surfaces. Even in the bathrooms I might get brushed finish handles. I wonder if the bronze ones will be too brown with the other materials in the room; gray tones are better. I was looking at pewter, but most of the pewters I found have been very dark or too traditional. I finally found a local place that sells handles that keeps a large variety in the store, so maybe I'll have luck there!

  • 11 days ago

    I’ve been quiet and deep in home building hell. We got our CO today. I should be doing backflips but we are still arguing with the builder about final numbers. We asked to review a few invoices and our builder and his admin (his daughter) are not as organized and meticulous as they led us to believe. We’re at the finish line and we still can’t enjoy our new home.

  • 11 days ago

    More pics. We have a lovely dirt garden in our backyard. Our builder couldn’t get rid of it but I’m sure we will use it when the real gardening and landscaping begin.

    worthy thanked Chandllerin
  • 11 days ago
    last modified: 11 days ago

    Chandllerin it looks amazing!!!

    I am at the point of wanting to give up, sell this stupid half-built house because it is not turning out at all how I wanted.

    I have repeated many times that I need to see ALL material samples together at once before making any decisions for wood. Of course, I had to choose the flooring a long time ago so I did… assuming the stair maker/finishers could colour match to the flooring and the same for window sills. Kitchen cabinetry was to be a similar tone but just darker. Only a couple days ago did I get samples of the wood sills with clear coat finish we want along with the horrendously matched stair finish. So, of course, it is abundantly clear now we chose the wrong flooring but it is too late to change.


    Anyway I posted another thread here that will probably go nowhere but I’m just so shocked at how poorly this has been executed when we’re paying so much for full time project management AND have spent a lot of money talking with a designer who works for the GC… it’s like these people have never done this before, maybe most clients usually just choose natural woods with clear coat only but if that is the case it would have been good to see samples BEFORE choosing the flooring. This is probably going to create a several months long delay and it was completely avoidable.


  • 11 days ago

    Chandllerin- sorry for your frustrations but beautiful home!! Love the green!! So beautiful! Hope you’re able to get through the last frustrations and just enjoy.

  • 11 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    Nicely thought-out country properties! (The complexities of wood matching are beyond me!)

    ***

    Choosing cabinetry now. But six figure quotes without counters throwing me for a loop. So economizing with some stock vanities and foregoing wood for MDF.

    I had chosen the highest quality laminate for the basement flooring--commercial rated AC 6 with water resistant coating underneath. None of the homes I've built have leaked except the one for which I had to hire a project manager in order to qualify for financing. But there's always a first time! So it's slate...again.

  • 10 days ago

    Chanderlin - beautiful! Well done!!

  • 10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    @Chandllerin Everything looks great! I hope you can resolve the issues smoothly and enjoy your house!

    @izzieo Sorry to hear that you were rushed to make decisions without samples. Matching finishes is hard enough with them.

    We're getting close! I have some frustrations with our kitchen cabinets, which have been messed up multiple times, but am excited about how everything is coming together.





  • 10 days ago

    wow, @chandllerin, everything is looking great!


    @pgjs, gorgeous rooms!


    @chanllerin and @izzieo, I hope you can work things out soon and that in the end it all gets overshadowed by the lovely time you'll have in that house on that lovely piece of land. If it's anything like the renos I've done in the past, I can say that the things I thought would bother me were soon forgotten when I was actually using the space.


    I have to choose cabinet pulls for everywhere, and after looking at a bunch of different brands, I finally ordered a bunch of samples from Top Knobs. Then I went to a store that had a big selection, and they advised against using Top Knobs for the kitchen because they're made of zinc and they wouldn't be durable. Really?? Convenient that all the other brands they carried were double the price (and up!). If I only needed a few, maybe I'd splurge on bronze, but I need way more than a few.


    I'm trying to zero in on a chandelier for over the dinner table, which is in the middle-ish of the great room. I also need two pendants for over the island. I'm thinking of doing an attention-getting chandelier, and something low-key for the pendants, like textured clear glass. I figure I need a chandelier that's about 4ft long and 2ft tall (13ft ceiling). I'm thinking of this one, below. They can make it with a matte silver finish instead of gold, which will go better with the room. Should I do it? I can't decide.



    It would go in this room, approx where I'm standing to take this photo:



    Here's the room in the other direction:





  • 10 days ago

    Basement walls poured! Can’t wait to see our floor plan come to life!

  • 10 days ago

    I wasn’t sure that my comment would go through so I kept it short! The final floor plan that we don’t have digital yet has had a few tweaks such as a wider basement hallway to allow for a slider and also a pass through between the pantry and laundry room. The builder has all of our walls framed up in their shop ready to be hauled over and put up, so we just need a few more good days of weather to pour the basement floor! We’re especially excited to see the positioning of our house now that we have walls to help visualize. The only neighbor we have faces the covered patio, but the angle of the house prevents them from seeing anything but the side of our garage. The bedroom corners of our home are surrounded by our own timber, so no chance of trees being cut down and taking away our privacy. Excited to show more as the build progresses! We take a walk around the site after each workday since it’s literally next door. The best view of the house is looking out the window above our changing table, so I see the crew working as I’m changing newborn diapers!

  • 10 days ago

    2Rickies - I love the idea of a statement chandelier, particularly if you keep the pendants low key. I love that impact! On another note, I think we may be located in the same general area. I’m in the NC mountains. At what store did you look at those expensive knobs? I’d love to avoid them if possible! LOL

  • 10 days ago

    pgjs - Thank you for posting photos : ) Love seeing your kitchen countertops. How was your experience with Crocodile Rocks stone supplier and the installation? What countertop did you use in the bathroom? Your kitchen windows are amazing.

    -Laurie


  • 10 days ago

    2rickies - the chandelier would make a big impact. I’m not sure what else I would suggest. I’ve looked at a lot of lighting, and it is so overwhelming. Good luck choosing! Your space looks beautiful so far.

  • 10 days ago
    last modified: 10 days ago

    @TDinNC, I'm in VA, but that store was in MD, so probably not where you'd end up! (oops forgot to add the name: Push Pull Hardware)

    @janet, yes a big impact, possibly too much!!

    I think I'm very tired of looking at lights. I've seen so many, and the ones I like either I can't afford or they don't seem right for the house, and the others DH doesn't like. I'm revisiting this one now, which I forgot about but was looking at months ago. It's a similar size but less dense, with "leaves" instead of globes:



  • 10 days ago

    2rickies this one is beautiful!!!! I loooove it! The leaves are so gorgeous. Get it! I love how delicate it is. I sort of regret getting a giant Nelson saucer bubble light for the dining table, maybe I’ll replace it with something prettier some day. Your space looks incredible. I forget, are your floors unfinished? I love them as they are, just wondering if you still have to coat them with something? Be very very careful, haha.

  • 10 days ago

    @izzieo, thanks, I like that one better, too! The floors are not finished yet. We're using clear Bona Traffic, no stain.

  • 9 days ago

    Lighting - like a lot of these choices - is so hard. So many options and things to consider.

  • 9 days ago

    @Chandllerin I love your home, all of your choices, and your view. Everything is gorgeous. I'm sorry you are not able to get right in there and start enjoying it all, but you've made it this far!! Congratulations. You will be in before the new school year!


    @2rickies I love both chandeliers, especially the bubbly one. Glass, to me, tends to melt into setting more than metal/wood. It says, ooo look at me, but then forget I'm there. I learned that when updating our current home's foyer light. The wooden lantern-style replacement is great, but it really commands the room, and underscores an uneveness in placement I had never noticed when the chandelier was glass. Luckily, we are only updating to sell this house-I may change it back to the former one.


    Your leafy choice is beautiful too, but I must tell you, my Dh and I fell in love with a different leafy one 2 years ago and finally installed it in the new build this year. He still likes it, and it gets compliments, but I think it is all wrong for our design; sooner than later I will replace it. It just stands right out, and annoys me. See if you can photoshop your choices into pictures from all angles of your space (unless you can buy each, "pretend hang" and take back easily.) My issue with mine, it does not play well with my furniture or my other lights, etc. On design boards, it did.


    If I had a picture of mine right now, I'd share. But you know, I'm 6 hours away from build...I will try to get someone to do it, if you need.

  • 9 days ago

    We finally broke ground on Monday! Foundation is dug. The footers are being done Monday (it's supposed to be rainy this weekend, so they decided to hold off).


  • 9 days ago

    Day 17 of our build and we have foundation walls! They’re working on tiling and waterproofing today. Not sure when we’ll get our foundation floor poured, but I assume soon based on how fast they’re going!

  • 9 days ago

    Good progress D Michael. (But foregoing the artistic angles would be easier on my old neck!)


    One thing I don't understand: if this is a foundation why and how is it above-grade?

  • 9 days ago

    Worthy I’m not sure why I never committed to taking these pictures in landscape mode, but they do look squirrely don’t they? Lol. It’s hard to get a good picture, but we have a pretty drastic slope to our lot so the concrete here is just our garage or basement walls. The entire back wall of the basement will be stick framed since it’s a walkout.

    worthy thanked D Michael
  • 9 days ago

    Nice D Michael! I love that you can watch from your window, so lucky! We have to drive an hour and a half to our build site so it’s hard getting out there even weekly.

  • 8 days ago

    @2rickies I like both chandeliers! Probably just a matter of deciding which goes best in your space.


    @D Michael Nice progress! Very cool that you're so close to the build.


    @Laurie Thank you! Everything went smoothly with installation. Crocodile rocks was great at answering my questions beforehand. My GC did all the coordination with my fabricator after purchasing. The bathroom countertop is Taj Mahal. I hope your project is going well.

  • 8 days ago

    @izzieo: I’m in a similar situation. It feels like everything I ask for is this monumental thing that has never been done before. And I’m not asking for anything wild and crazy at all. The mental image I had for this house isn’t the way it is turning out so far. I hope I feel better when flooring and lights go in. My main paint color is darker than I would have liked, and I waffled over wall colors for MONTHS, laid awake at night, researched, studied, bought a huge stack of peel and stick samples…. Still, I think it’s too dark. I made mock-ups of all the rooms just to help me envision things, but that has proven unhelpful as well.

    We’re having a built-in desk put in one of the smaller bedrooms (as called for in the floorplan). When we get there to take a look, this thing is up at bar height. I would need a bar stool to sit at this thing. Since the painting is mostly done, they’ll have to rip out this high desk top and re-install, repaint, redo the trim around it, etc etc… How could they NOT realize this was way too high for a desk? I’m amazed and frustrated at the ineptitude sometimes. Like you said, when you’re paying a ridiculous amount of money for something, you have certain expectations. And mine aren’t being met. I attribute this to where we’re building, though. It’s quite rural and the trades are few and far between. So we’re just muddling through as best we can.

  • 8 days ago

    pgjs - glad the countertops purchase and installation went smoothly. I will visit Crocodile Rocks at the end of next month to learn more about soapstone. My project is going to be a year long starting this June. Please continue to post updates and photos!

    -Laurie

  • 8 days ago
    last modified: 8 days ago

    AC that sounds frustrating! For what it’s worth I think the paint looks nice, even if not what you envisioned at least it is not like a colossal failure if that makes you feel any better? It is one thing to be disappointed and another for the paint to be actually hideous… plus you could always see how you feel after a while and repaint if necessary. Did you have an interior elevation drawing for the built in desk? It seems like the only way to minimize these issues is to detail every single thing even what you might think is common sense like the height of a desk.

    We specified flush drywall vents for our HVAC since there are quite a lot scattered around the ceilings for the heat/AC and an ERV for fresh air… It was always in the plans, so since like a year ago, and of course now the drywall has gone up but guess who didn’t have finishing the vents in their price? Wonder how much extra it’ll be since there are probably like 50+ registers and returns throughout the house and each one needs to be screwed in, taped, mudded, sanded. It would have been good for the carpenters to put some blocking before drywall but nobody even told them about the vents so I can’t blame them! HVAC company is supplying and installing them, forgot to order so still not on site... Pretty sure the drywall cutouts for each vent will all need to be increased to be about 1” bigger all around. Guy says he has never had a problem with vents before, people just put in the metal ones. Anywho I sure hope our builder pays for this since it was pretty clear and the PM simply forgot about it, if we thought it’d be more expensive than previously understood we would have chosen something cheaper. I think there is a valuable lesson — in a custom build, the more out of the ordinary anything is… the more you will pay, and this goes beyond upfront sticker prices. So, sure we can look at the cost of the actual vents costing way more than the standard ones, we can estimate the cost of labour to install etc… but since none of these people have ever dealt with this kind of detail apparently, as simple as it seems, it will cost more because mistakes are likely. I get the sense they will try to make it seem like it was a picky client problem. Yes, we changed the brand of vents back in January during framing. However, the type of vents and the installation method is exactly the same as what we always had in our engineer’s HVAC design in the schedule of grilles and registers… so it is pretty clear this was a human error because people just assumed we would figure out the details later when it is normally figured out, whereas it required reading the installation details at the outset and knowing ok we need these on site to get carpenters to put blocking, then we need the drywaller to include it in their price and we also need them to have the details so they know how big to cut the whole since it differs from a standard metal vent. Back in the winter, I actually emailed my PM about the vents and included a link to the installation PDF page as well as a 10 min youtube video of installation. It seems totally human to forget as he was managing a lot of moving parts so it might have seemed less important, it still seems like something that is not really our problem as I did what I could. So if you’re wanting special custom details, do your part to read all related details and try to highlight this for your GC and trades that it is different than what they might be used to so they need to pay attention.

    Which brings me to… does anyone have anything to share about how you stayed organized on site? Do you have a binder? A whiteboard? I have also seen some sites use QR codes so workers can simply scan and access relevant information.

  • 8 days ago

    No new photos, but we have our final walk-through Monday, appraiser will be the Monday, we're waiting to see if they have or need a new survey. Now we're just waiting for the bank to send things to underwriting, hoping it won't be 30-45 days till closing.

  • 7 days ago

    @izzieo I bought a bright yellow binder and added tabs for each room in the house. I kept all of my selections, spec sheets, and a contact list in the binder. I even provided stuff in both English and Spanish. Nobody ever looked at it but me and that just added to my long list of frustrations when things went wrong on site.

    @Renee M final walkthrough! Congrats! You beat all of us to the finish line!!

    The appraiser came back today and she still complained about the basement “not looking finished” because we chose sealed concrete instead of another flooring type for the 1 room that we finished. We had our own inspector come out today and he said everything looks good other than 8 minor items (3 were light fixtures missing bulbs). We are still in a heated debate with our builder about final numbers. This is holding up the mortgage process. My husband wants a lawyer involved but I’d just like to see final numbers on paper first. Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask. I’d think that he would want to be rid of us by now.

  • 7 days ago

    Hahah Chandllerin you have got to be kidding me? People didn’t use the binder?! I would lose it so glad I didn’t make one… it just seems so simple yet apparently not.

    What happened with final numbers? We have cost plus hourly management and % markup, have been getting invoices and receipts every month. One thing that is sort of grey area is when they make a mistake, it seems they gladly cover it so in the case of our vents I imagine if the drywaller needs to come back to install them all and fix it somehow so I’m sure we won’t have to pay ourselves however the project management time is like $100/hour and I bet we will have to pay for many hours of figuring this out despite it essentially just being a simple mistake by the project manager who clearly forgot to get into these details early on when he should have in order to make everything happen when it needed to. Hope you can work your issue out soon!

  • 7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    @Chandllerin and @izzieo You know, we are building (I guess we can say we built it already since we have our CO, but we still aren't in the house, and still have loads of little things to finish, but...)

    Even with being our own bosses along with our builder/employee/friend who was onsite all the time, the three of us couldn't keep info clearly digested and applied "by all." Yes, we had a notebook, yes, we have emails, and texts, and diagrams...proving discussions...and then we have the mistakes that illustrate how all that info went in one ear and out the other. I cannot even imagine trying to get a builder and all his subs to pay close attention, if we three couldn't.

    A few examples? Move livingroom floor plugs and diningroom chandelier over by 8 inches. Very, very clearly spoken, written, diagrammed. Nope! (That was my DH just forgetting and doing it based on original plans on his computer.) The placement and then the tiling around our niches and mosaic in primary shower were clearly drawn out. Not done right. (In our defense, we built so slowly, I can grasp why Dh forgot.)

    If I ever built another house with builders (and not ourselves) I would make them sign any changes or directions that are in these binders or plans, give them a copy, keep copies of these signed ones everywhere online and in person, so when they do them wrong, you can force them to change for free. I'd make sure every sub had their own set and signed them, too.

    But with, DH, I obviously couldn't say, well, you signed this here, honey. You owe me free labour, haha. All our labor cost time (and money).

    Then about inspections...we built ours, another friend built the one next to us, he is now in the process of building the exact same house kitty-corner behind us. Each house had a different engineer and different inspectors, same workers/same talent. The experiences and demands have been completely different. Some are just picky sticklers.

  • 7 days ago
    last modified: 7 days ago

    I kept all of my selections, spec sheets, and a contact list in the binder. I even provided stuff in both English and Spanish. Nobody ever looked at it but me and that just added to my long list of frustrations when things went wrong on site.

    You're lucky if they followed the building plans!

    My original carpentry crew mixed up all the Trus Joists and 6 of the 7 steel beams. The P. eng. of record inspected and missed all that. On his word, I paid the carpentry contractor in full.

    The building inspector caught it immediately.

    So now add-in C$25-$30K for repair carpenters, additional lumber, welding and steel. And, oh, another P.eng to design and inspect the repairs.

    Language is not the problem! The best trades on site speak Farsi, Ukrainian, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese as their first languages. My best polyglot is fluent in French, English and Arabic while working on his Turkish.

    ***

    I was definitely out of practice when I started this build. And virtually every trade I worked with before had retired or expired. Up to speed now!

  • 7 days ago

    @2rickies my high end cabinet maker recommends that I use Top Knobs. I have several samples too and they seem very solid and well made.

  • 5 days ago

    Hi @A C, noticed you have Sierra Pacific windows. Are you in the PNW? Could you share why you chose them? Our builder is recommending them for our new build here in the Midwest and they are really trying to break into the market here. I have read some negative reviews so trying to decide between their HC3 line and Andersen 400. Any feedback appreciated.

  • 5 days ago
    last modified: 5 days ago

    Walk-through done ✔️ ◇ they only need to add a couple of bulbs, replace a chipped light globe, add wood under the front of the kitchen sink cabinet, add double sided tape on window alarm sensors, add a small hanging rod in my closet

    They've had state inspectors check every step of the build and sign off on each step, would y'all still do an independent inspection if the bank doesn't need it? We have a 10 year warranty on the build, the foreman lives around the corner and we can call him or the office if we have any issues.





  • 5 days ago

    @Laura: I’m embarrassed to say I have no idea how the decision was made. Hubby and our builder hashed all of that out and I didn’t really pay a lot of attention. We’re in the southern US. I can tell you that our builder has used this brand in many builds and he says his clients have been pleased. I do know they’re double hung and we had them painted at the factory instead of having our builder contract it out after they were installed. Wish I knew more details!

  • 5 days ago

    @ Laura - we are using Sierra Pacific. We live in a mountainous area of NW NC and for us, Sierra Pacific was a no-brainer. We have them currently and are very happy with them.

  • 2 days ago

    Anyone else experience their builder popping up with surprise invoices after the final payoff number was submitted to the bank? We asked for more documentation on Tuesday and now our builder is ignoring our calls and emails. Strange. Anywho…Closing on Tuesday. Moving truck booked. It’s been a long road to make it to the finish line! House plans sent to county 1/2023, Broke ground 5/2/23, move in 5/31/24. I’ll share pics this weekend.

  • 2 days ago

    @Chandllerin, not a surprise invoice, but they did forget to send me a couple from the appliance vendor and the plumbing supplier for our overages. They just contacted me Tuesday about the appliance bill, it was only $387, they just sent me a change order to pay for it.

    I never mentioned it because I thought they would just bill it to us at closing, they might still do that with the plumbing. It was $1,801 over when we made our selections, I'm not sure if that changed, I'll find out at closing.

    We don't have a closing date yet, I've sent the bank everything that they needed, hopefully we hear something back next week. 🤞🏽

    And I still haven't really started packing, I need a solid closing date to light a fire under me. I did some, very little.

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