This week we met with the builder on the lot to discuss the final grading, water control, and the last remaining steps. The supervisor was hoping to get it turned over to us by the end of next week but some additional rain next week might delay that. Workers have been busy getting us closer to that goal though.
On the exterior, we have seamless gutters and downspouts installed. The lot also had its last rough grade. The stone veneer has been put on and we love how it finishes off the look of the house. Around the side of the house, we have a small deck/walkway that wraps around to the back screen room. At the back of the house, not much has changed other than the chimney cap getting put on. At this point, they will need to power wash the house, repair any damaged siding and give the house its final coat of paint.
Moving inside, the stone veneer has been placed around the raised hearth and fireplace surround up to the mantle. The oak tread staircase, railings, and front door are getting stained a rich walnut color to match the dark wood floors through the rest of the house.
Here are some pictures of the progress from this past week:
Here are the items still left to complete:
Interior paint and trim touch up – WIP
Stain hardwood landing, stairs, mantle – WIP
Appliance installation – This weekend?
Fine grading, landscaping, extend drainage pipes around basement of house – Monday, March 25th
Sun room screens – Next week?
Power wash exterior, second coat of paint – Next week?
Irrigation installation – TBD
Punch list items:
Replace spray foam over sprayed roof shingles (shingles delivered Wednesday, March 20th)
After a week and a half, of what felt like non-stop rain, the weather has cleared up enough for the builder to have our driveway poured. The builder had to deliver 3-4 truck loads of dirt to grade up to our garage. Also, we requested they put the driveway as close to the property line as possible and to make it 16′ wide the entire length. It cost us a little extra money but it will definitely be worth it once we have 3 or 4 cars in the driveway.
Moving around back of the house, the plumber had installed the septic tank and was digging trenches for the drain lines. Interior plumbing work should start in the next day or two as well. They are holding off until the bathroom vanity tops are replaced.
Finally, we noticed that they installed our mailbox. Seeing our mailbox with the house number really hit home that we should be moving in shortly. Might be time to get back and start packing things up!
There has been a good amount of progress inside the house this week. All lighting fixtures have been installed, switches are wired, wall outlets are in place, thermostats have been wired up, and the air conditioning condensers are hooked up outside.
We received some really good news this week as well. Our new home consultant called to let us know that they heard back from the cabinet company about our concerns regarding the bathroom countertops. Apparently the manufacturer had trouble keeping up with the high volume of orders and experienced a shortage from their original supplier. In order to continue filling orders, and unbeknownst to the builder, they started to fill orders with a different supplier to help fill demand. Since what we recently had installed looks nothing like the builder’s sample piece, the cabinet provider is going to switch the countertops out for the ones that match what we selected. We are hoping to have that work scheduled as soon as next week, and were told the plumber (who was scheduled to come out this past Monday) is on hold until that work is complete.
Unfortunately, much of the work we’ve been waiting to be finished outside (concrete driveway, patio, parking pad, additional fill dirt and topsoil etc.) has been on hold due to the large amount of rain we’ve received. We are hoping for a dry spell so the builder can continue to progress in those areas.
Last March, when we originally signed our contract, we provided an address for a house in one of the builder’s tracts that we liked the external color of (Sherwin Williams’ Grizzle Grey). Unfortunately, when we took one of our daily trips to the construction site, we noticed that the color being painted looked a lot darker than we expected. We decided to drive by the house we based our color decision off of and that’s when we knew that the builder had made a mistake.
We called our new home consultant and had her check the contract and compare the color that was being painted with the color at the address we had asked them to base our color scheme off of. She confirmed that it was definitely two different colors.
In the end, the darker color (James Hardie’s Iron Grey) really grew on us and we ended up liking it better. The blue/grey tone really pops with the bright white trim and black accents, especially in the back of the house which gets full sun.
Here are some photos of the external paint progress to date:
Now that the first coat of paint is complete, here is a walk through video of both the inside and outside of the house:
Painters have been on-site and busy getting the interior walls and trim painted. We went back and forth on the color a bit as the builder only had a selection of about 5 or 6 different interior colors that they normally paint. Originally, after telling us we had to pick from their selection, we settled on a color called “Amazing Gray”. We proceeded to purchase a couple gallons of the color and paint the master bedroom in our current home to see how well we liked it. We didn’t. So, we went back to the builder and firmly requested a color we love, “Smoke Embers”. The new home consultant got back to us after speaking with the painter and agreed to paint our requested color. We are so glad we didn’t settle and love how the interior is coming along.
We’ve had record amounts of rain in 2018 here in the upstate and it has caused some delays with getting contractors in to complete work. Coupled with the holiday season, it has been about a month since our last update.
Now we’ve been warned that the building process can be stressful and we are starting to feel it at this point. We’ve had to apply for a 90-day extension to our 9-month construction loan and we’re concerned that it may not be enough. We spoke with our new home consultant and laid out our concerns. She has been keeping us updated with their current timelines and assures us that the build process will be completed on-time (I.e.: according to the contract the builder has until March 15th with a 30-day window to allow for delays with obtaining a certificate of occupancy). Given the scope of work that still needs to be completed, and with 7 weeks remaining, we are skeptical. We suspect that since we are a “build on your own lot” customer that we rank lower than the builders “tract” homes.
As an example: We drive past one of their new developments on a daily basis when we visit our construction site. This particular neighborhood started off with roads and utility infrastructure only around the time we broke ground. Since then, and well after the framing stage of our house, we’ve watched several new homes in this development break ground. They now have over a dozen of these homes in progress or completed. Our home just got tile installed, meanwhile; people are starting to move in to the homes in this new development.
Getting back to the progress of our build, we have taken some pictures through the tile and grout install process and are very pleased with the look of the shower in the master bathroom. Wood was also delivered for the back deck (which we were told was scheduled to be installed months ago, pending dry weather), so hopefully that gets completed soon. As per the most recent timeline we were provided, the builder is projecting trim and paint to be completed by end of this month.
Earlier this week we saw delivery trucks unloading loads of drywall into the house. We were excited to come back the next day to find the workers had already begun to hang it. In two day’s time, all the drywall is up and all thats left is to do is tape and mud. We were able to get in and take quite a few pictures of the progress.
Our new home consultant also reached out to us and confirmed the design of the hardboard siding on the house. Hopefully that will be delivered and put up soon.
There hasn’t been a lot of picture worthy progress with the house since our last post, but we’ve still been busy behind the scenes. We did a pre-drywall inspection with a certified home inspector last week. Then, a couple days, later we had the pre-drywall walk through with our new home consultant and construction supervisor.
After doing some extensive research on the new home construction process, we decided (and highly recommend others) to get an inspection right before the walk through. Having a professional that is not associated with the builder will give you a non-biased look at how the construction process is going and can help catch any code related things the county inspector may have missed. Some inspection companies might even have a special, lower cost rate for pre-drywall.
Once the pre-drywall inspection and walk through was complete, we signed off with the builder, acknowledging we agreed that no rough in changes were needed (after they corrected a light that was wired in the wrong location).
Prior to the inspection and pre-drywall walk through, the builder accidentally started installing batten insulation. We reminded them about the fact that we were doing spray foam and they apologized. They have started removing it and will schedule the spray foam insulators to come out next week. The two sliding glass doors and windows surrounding the front door have been installed in preparation for this next step.
Slow, but steady progress. The low voltage conduit contractors installed the in-home vacuum piping, recepticles, and wiring this week. I also coordinated with them on the side to run conduit (the orange tubing) for future CAT6 connectivity. I’m really excited to get the CAT6 run and punched down to the patch panel in the basement.
We have been playing guessing games as to what is coming next. Hoping we get the hardboard siding and exterior stone accents delivered soon. At some point in the near future, we know there will also be a pre-drywall inspection (most likely before they do the spray foam insulation). After doing some research, we decided it would be wise to have a home inspector assist us in this step, just to make sure we have a neutral and experienced third party look things over on our behalf.
Finally, one of the big moments we’ve been waiting for… the great room wall of windows has been installed! We couldn’t have been happier with how this room is turning out. Now that all of the windows are in, we are waiting on the two sliding glass doors to be delivered and put in place. Bonus, the wood burning zero-clearance fireplace insert is in and it looks great.