It all started this past May. We Started looking for our last house. There was a road that we traveled quite a lot that was kind of scenic no matter what time of year it was. There was a piece of ground that was farmed, approximately 35 acres, that I would say…if I was younger and had the means I would buy that land and build a house on it. Well, this past May I found it had been sold and a developer was building homes on it. The lots would be about a half-acre and if one wanted they could get a lot that backed up to a wooded reserve. Almost perfect to me, some seclusion with very easy access to whatever you wanted or needed.
We visited the model home and looked at plans online, a decision was made to go for the model home with some modifications. We talked to a realtor, someone we had used before on a couple of occasions but in this case she came with a bonus. She was married and her husband was a home construction consultant being an electrician by trade. Cathy was to represent us in the buy and sell our current home when appropriate and Mike was to help watch the home during construction and help with negotiation of prices, ie the lot price. The lot was priced as a premium lot because of the woods and they. Told. Us it was firm. We sent Mike in to the den and mission was accomplished.
Approximately thirty days after making decisions on colors, types of floors, bath accessories, lighting fixtures etc, they started digging the whole and pouring the foundation.
A few days later the package for the floors, walls and roof showed up and work proceeded on the installation of these materials. After about two weeks or so this phase should have been complete but there was some weather issues and for some reason there was a disagreement on the job and everybody left, not to show for several days later.
The time frame was to be six months but this wasn’t going to hold true because it seemed that they were having a rough time scheduling their contractors between this location and two to the south.
We finally got to the place where the drywall was installed and the bathrooms were ready for tile. The master had a tile floor and both the hall and master baths were to be tiled above the tub and shower. This didn’t go to well as seen here. Gaps in tile joints, straight and level lines were hard to find, accent tile was never pressed flat with a float and the list goes on. I called the builder in and refused to accept the work. Both baths were gutted and redone.
There were other issues, all of which have been corrected. As we moved towards the walk through date several things happened that may helped in the house being ready for the look over. About a week and a half before Mike and I spent 2-1/2 hours going through the mechanicals where we found some issues; GFI receptacles that wouldn’t reset, lights that came on dimly and in this case, it was an inside light and the back patio lights at the same time. It gets better, the inside light could be turned on by itself with another switch on full brightness. After Mike and I got done I went home and ate lunch than Cindy (wife) and I went over for the blue tape special. We were there another 4-1/2 hours marking bad drywall finishing, bad paint, damaged trim work and cabinets that hasp issues. I then made a list, single spaced, 4 pages long and sent it to the sales lady. She then gave it to the superintendent. She told him that there has been a blue tape explosion, to not be surprised. He read the list and said great, we had done a lot of work that they would have to do, saving time. At this point there weren’t that many days before the walk through.
This past Monday I get a call from the sale rep, she had pulled the cardboard up protecting the floor in the master bath and found tiles not level. When they pulled more up they found a whole lot more and decided to tear the floor out. Tuesday they put new backer board down and new tile. Wednesday morning nothing more was done in that room unless later in the day. We purposely did not go over today. At 1PM tomorrow, Friday, December 22 we are to meet and do a walk through. Our closing date is 12/28/2017 at 1PM. That’s only 4 days taking the 24th & 25th out. This could be interesting as there were so many small things to get done. Way too many in my book. I forgot to mention that the utility room flooring, linoleum, that had a faux tile look also had to be replaced because it’s fake grout line was under the baseboard on one end of the room and out a good 1-1/2” at the other end. Representative from that company tried to say the walls were out of square. This same outfit did the bath rooms tile on the walls and the flooring. The hall bath, quest in our case, as well as the master bath had to be completely gutted for poor craftsmanship. I took one look and just about….well you know. Here’s some samples but they don’t do it justice. As you can see the first two photos show how the accent tile went through the shelf niche at the wrong elevation. Harder to see is that the corner line is not straight, not the same width all the way up and what you can’t see is that the accent tiles weren’t pressed into the mastic with the float as they should have been. On top of that the niche had a big 1/4″ plus in the top where the back wall met the upper part of the niche and no gap at all on the bottom for grout to fit in. Bottom line, not acceptable in shape or form. When the replacement materials showed up we were right on its heals. I recognized the truck so we went in. The superintendents guy was there so I told him that was the same gut that messed it up the first time. He called the super who came and sent the guy packing then got in touch with that company’s owner. Everything was good after that until they found the floor messed up but that has been put to bed as well.
So, we’ve done the non required pre walk-through which was a huge timesaver. We’ve now done the actual walk-through with Christie and John. We now have one more meeting with John this Wednesday and then are set to close on Thursday. There are still some issues like sod, gutters, painting of cedar trim and a few things inside that are to be fixed between now and next Thursday.
If it wasn’t for Christie (leader of the pack), John (the guy to get it done and won’t lie), Andy and Nick (the doers and watchdogs for both sides), this builder would have found himself wanting to get rid of me as fast as he could. I’m sure I have been pickier that most and have pointed out issues from the beginning since I have a background in construction. That and the fact that I built my first house, subing some of it out but was fully hands on, the fact that I used another professional to put a second set of eyes on the project especially for the new code items and lastly….I’m retired and have all the time in the world to be there to bother you if you make a mistake and there were plenty. How much would have been slipped under the carpet will never be known.
I still have plenty to do after we close. I’m installing the shelving for the pantry and the master closet. I believe their pantry price was $750 and I’m doing both rooms for about $300. They’ll look like this when I’m done or very similar.First picture above is pantry then the next two are left side of master closet. Last three are of the right side of master closet.
It’s been an experience that has taken the better part of this year as I pointed out in the beginning. Needless to say we will have plenty to do starting the evening of the 28th as we start getting things ready and the way we want them in the new home. We then have to get our current home ready to sell, this part will be easy because we’ve always kept the house up to snuff, fixing things as they broke or became in need of updating, painting, caulking, and anything mechanical.
Here’s to a Project That is Coming to an End.