Seven months, and we’re done

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On April 17 of this year the forms were in place for the foundation pour.  It was a 4,000 sq ft pour, which included the garage and attached workshop, the porches at entry that wraps around to back of garage, and the laundry porch, and then the whole house space.  It is a daunting prospect to have a house turn out the way you expect and envision.  My husband works everyday for other people on their houses so he is not as overwhelmed.  However, when it is your own and you have to make the decisions along the way, then it is more daunting and also time consuming.  I am retired and had the opportunity to answer questions or relay info as needed.

Some weeks we didn’t hear from the builder, but we went to the house every day, because whatever was newly installed could be a potential problem that needed to be fixed.  That is always in the back of your mind.  Know your plans well and be able to follow along with the build because a mistake caught early will be at the builder’s expense or the sub’s expense if they made the error, and it is more easily fixed.   Later on down the road a mistake may alter a feature in the house you didn’t expect.  We caught some mistakes in the framing, where ceiling heights were not framed correctly.  Had they progressed to sheetrock then it would have been a timely delay to go back and reframe.  On a couple of the spaces we decided it didn’t matter to us enough to change it and it would not alter any other feature of the space (the guest bath tub ceiling was framed lower than the plans showed; the ceiling at the kitchen island was not framed per plans, but we discussed and let that one go and it worked out better for us). A few other missteps that were caught early were corrected and we are glad we saw them.

Any changes made or alterations required are our little secrets.  Anyone else walking through won’t pick up on those little issues.  It turned out fine and is exactly what we wanted.  We’ve been in enough houses we know there will always be the potential for “I wish we had done that differently”, but we sweated over the plans enough to begin with so we hopefully won’t have that issue.  We tried to catch any potential regret for each decision made, so we feel pretty certain we have the house we can enjoy.

So here we are now, ready to move.  Landscaping is next to consider.  A bit of sod around the house to avoid mud pits, and a few well placed flower beds as accents, is all we need to add. Oh, and rocking chairs on the  porch facing towards the pond.  Watching the cows in the pasture next to us, and the horses across the road, the ducks on the pond, and hearing the coyotes at night will all be part of our enjoyment of our space inside and out.

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3 thoughts on “Seven months, and we’re done

  1. Good tips, thanks for sharing.

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  2. You must be really happy its all over – what were the three biggest challenges?

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  3. Since we have been through this before, we knew what we needed to be vigilant about. First, the budget. Knowing it well allowed us to know when we could invest more in a recommended product (i.e., tankless water heaters, for instance). I had a spreadsheet set up that showed all the categories the builder budgeted for, and I kept track of all monies spent by us and as the draws from the builder came through for approval. Secondly, know the plan well, so that daily trips to the site (necessary) will catch mistakes early before it creates issues later in ripping something out and redoing it, creating delays. As much as we liked our builder, he was not as vigilant in catching some errors the sub’s made, who also were not very good at looking at drawings in minute detail (i.e., the entire guest bath wall tile had to be ripped out and re-done at the installer’s expense because they did not look at the drawings showing vertical placement and not typical horizontal). We knew all the minute details and watched closely and brought to his attention anything that looked like a possible error or omission. Lastly, be involved every second and keep good, positive communication going with the builder. We are happy it is over and happy with the quality of workmanship and attention to the details we wanted. We ended up under budget, so some new furniture is now in the budget.

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