Friday, July 12, 2013

How to Build a House

From time to time I have mentioned on the blog that we are moving…into a brand-spankin-new house! We are EXCITED! So I wanted to talk about the building process and how things work when you are building a house from the ground up. (Also my How to Sell a House post is my most popular post so I wanted to follow up and with the rest of our old house/new house adventure).

Timeline:
March 23rd - Signed contract for approved plan and lot - yippy!
April 10th - Meeting with designer (4hrs) - we got to meet with a designer for 4 hours to help us pick out our carpet, cabinets, tile, countertops, backsplash, and even grout colors. We had a pretty good idea of what we wanted and we just used her to bounce ideas off and make sure everything meshed well together. And a FYI an hour of that was just paperwork so come prepared!
April 19th - We met with our construction manager. This took about an hour and we pretty much just went over where outlets were going to go, where we wanted the internet outlets to be, etc. We also had him move a wall and add a cubby hole under the stairs (sweet hiding place!). They also started bringing dirt in to level the lot this day.
April 27th - Pipe and framing for the foundation
May 13th - Pour foundation
May 22nd - Begin framing - it's starting to look like a real house!
May 29th - Still framing
June 6th - Roof and siding done! The 2nd story of our house is hardy plank and not brick.
June 14th - Finial inspection before sheetrock - here walked around with our construction manager and made sure all the outlets were correct and we went over all the change orders (cant double and triple check enough!). They also had the wall and some attic insulation installed at this point.
June 20th - Sheetrock! Hallelujah! Sheetrock is up but not taped or mudded.
June 29th - By now the sheetrock had been taped, mudded and textured.
July 4th - Cabinets installed
July 5th - Exterior brick has begun! Millwork also started today!
July 9th - They continue to work on the brick and they completed the fireplace today. They also started painting.

And that brings us to today! To date we haven’t had any major delays, just a few days here and few days there. We are having them redo the fireplace since we thought we were getting one type of stone and we got another. We have been told our closing will be the middle of next month.

Helpful Tips -
1 - Be nice to your construction manager and sales rep. We haven’t had a problem with ours, they are great. But I have heard some pretty bad stories out there.
2 - Make sure you are getting what you want/paying for. Don’t be afraid to ask where something is if you don’t see it. Or remind them about things a few times. While in the framing stage I would always remind them about things we had discussed previously because it hadn’t been done yet and I just wanted to keep reminding them until it was complete.
3 - Go out to your site numerous times a week. We go at least once on the weekends and twice during the week (we are lucky enough to be able to make it over our lunch break). And now that we are at the hotel and much closer to the new homeplace so we will be stopping my more often.
4 - It helps to pick up trash around your site. I have been out there twice to pick trash up. The framers and crew leave empty water bottles and soda cans all over your house and one might get stuck the wall somewhere and sugar water = bugs!

I feel that certain things the builder offers are about equal to what you can hire a contractor for and some things they really gouge you on. But in the end it's up to you - can you DIY to save money? If so go for it! We are not very good DIY-ers so we opt to hire people. We even have to have someone come paint for us we're that bad. But in our defense our walls have orange peel texture on them and that makes it harder to get a straight line. A lot of the walls I see in HGTV don’t seem to have texture - what do your walls look like? Also it depends on what you want when you move in - do you want projects to DIY or complete at a later date or do you want it 100% done and to not have to worry about anything else? We opt for the latter. 

Do you have any interesting stories about when you built a house?

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