Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wood, Frame, Windows…. Action!

So it’s been way too long since we last made a post, but a lot has indeed been going on. While we still have not received an approval from NVR—another topic another day, or maybe later in this post—we have secured a loan with SunTrust so I will not harp… (Maybe I will at the end, let’s see how this post goes.)
To the good news: Progress is being made. The house is coming along quite well and I have to say I’m more than pleased with the progress.
The Wood: On our journey back from a wedding, we came back to see that our lumber had been delivered. This was a welcome sight. One of our neighbors to be (NTB) informed us that the wood had been there since Friday. We returned home on Sunday. In my head I was thinking, “Why waste a perfectly good Saturday, framing could have started :-)?” In reality I knew this would not have been the case. What I wasn’t prepared for was the fact the wood would sit for the entire week, and weekend, and halfway through the next week. I guess it’s hard to find good framers when there are multiple houses being built in the same community, at the same time. Our PM did explain that they do only work with a few trusted companies so at times the framing could be delayed. But nonetheless, I drove over there almost every day to see the same pile of wood still sitting. But I did see something a tad bit more alarming…
Our floor outlets were not in the right place! I could tell this from the car looking at the poured foundation. Finally I decided to walk onto the foundation and sure enough, it was incorrect. It was off by four feet. That’s not good. I called the PM. Wait, let me digress!
I called the Ryan office, which then would place a call to the PM whom I didn’t hear from for three days… A tad bit disappointed in this routing system as it is very inefficient. Finally after I went in and spoke with the Sales Rep, I did hear from the PM the next day. He assured us that this could be fixed during framing, primarily because I don’t think he believed it was off, and once I saw it framed I would think it was okay. But no, the outlets where they are would be sitting in the middle of the living room, useless to our plans. So I reassured him that they still needed to be moved. We will be showing him the correct location in our pre-drywall meeting tomorrow.
The Framing: I have to say I was utterly amazed at how fast the framing happened. And after stalking my lot and wood for a week and a half, I decided I would stalk a portion of the building process. Not because I think they would do something wrong, and trust me, if you have not seen framers in action before and you are overly concerned that they would do something wrong,  DO NOT go watch them frame your house!!!! You may have a heart attack!
The reason I went is because I was curious as I have never seen a house framed before. It was amazing to say the least. What I didn’t understand, even though they told us beforehand, is that most of the wood is put together at the facility prior to shipping to the lot. The crane took pre-put-together (I know it’s not a word, I just made it one), wood towards the foundation, and the framers guided the structure into place, hammered a few nails and it stood erect; I couldn’t believe it! In one day they had our entire first floor done and started laying the floor for the second floor. It was a treat to see. My job started getting in the way so I could not stay and watch them frame the entire house. But if I could have, I would have.
The Windows: On Wednesday of last week, we had our meeting with Guardian to walk through the house for the low voltage wiring. The details may end up being a separate post. At the time of the walkthrough, the house was completely standing and the majority of the roof had been added. My sister came into town so we went back over to the house on Saturday evening show her the house and to check on the progress. To our surprise, and happiness, the shingles had been added to the roof, the house had been wrapped and the windows were put in, too. This was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. Having the windows in the house just gave this sense of a home that wasn’t completely there when they were missing. It’s coming together nicely.
Words of Wisdom:
1.     Keep in mind that anything constructed is not perfect, but at the same time, expect high quality. There were a few things that we noticed that simply needed to be fixed. I’m happy to see that it was taken care of prior to us needing to bring them up with the PM, but don’t hesitate if it’s something that could cause issues after the house is built (The floor outlets in the wrong place for example.)
2.     For your pre-drywall meeting, be sure to take your camera and a tape measure. You should take pictures of every wall in your house prior to the drywall going up. I have heard from people I trust that this has saved them many times after their homes were built by knowing what’s behind the walls and where.
3.     Be sure to clearly indicate where things go if it’s not part of original floor plan. There has been one issue that was put in place (floor outlets) and one adverted (eye ball lights in the bonus room).  Help the PM, because had we not caught the former and had another conversation about the latter, we would not have been happy with the decisions that were made. Communication is key!
4.     Continue to be flexible. I know this is hard to say and harder to do. But building a house is a process. This is a job that a ton of people are behind and for the most part, I’m sure they want to do a good job. Stay level-headed because in the end, you are the one who will be living in the home for the next <insert number> years :-).