Monday, December 10, 2012

Locked out and unhappy.

This weekend was a busy one - helping friends move, having an early "Christmas" with one set of parents, visiting other friends at their new house (not an RH build).

On Saturday, after helping move some friends into their new place, we stopped by the house.  Our door was locked.  The basement was still open, but of course there are no stairs yet (since we have no basement floor yet).  So, we drove back to the model to see what was up, and if our SR could lend us the keys to get in.  She texted our PM (since it was a Saturday, and outside of the normal contact hours we used with him), and then said she would get back to us as soon as he answered her.

We then drove back to the lot to snap some outside photos, because we had not been out in daylight since the roof was finished.  Well, it had been raining a lot in our area, but I wanted to see the basement and find our outdoor water spigots, so we trekked through the ridiculous mud and got disgusting and disgusted and left well before our SR ever called/texted/emailed us back.  Neither of us were feeling that well anyway, so we went home and relaxed.

Around 6 pm we got an email from the SR stating that her manager says she (or any sales rep) is not allowed to lend out keys for the jobsite to the prospective owners.  The PM is the only person with whom we are able to walk through the house.  There are safety reasons (the PM is the only one who knows the state of the house, and whether or not there's a giant hole in the floor or what-have-you) and related monetary reasons (RH is financially responsible if we get hurt/die on site).  Okay, fine, we get that.  But we were specifically told to only contact our PM between the hours of 7:30 am and 4:00 pm.  Well, I usually work from about 7:30-8 am until 5-5:30 pm, and the husband has rather erratic hours with customer calls and IT emergencies and so on. 

So when are we supposed to see our house?  On the weekend. 
Do we have weekend contact hours for our PM?  No.

How does this get resolved?  Hopefully by an email sent to the SR, forwarded to her manager, and so on up the food chain.  I doubt it will get resolved soon.  I feel like I'm trying to move a mountain by throwing small, angry pebbles at it. 

We are supposed to have our Guardian walkthrough on Wednesday afternoon.  The husband was hoping to have his friend, who is very familiar and knowledgeable about home audio and home theatre set-up, go through the house with us on Tuesday evening so he could tell us where to have Guardian install the home theatre and other audio speakers.  Not going to happen now.  Thanks, RH.

We shall see how this all shakes down.  I know some of you were able to get into your houses via keys from your SR, but just like everything in this process, nothing is standard across RH communities.  Our friends, whom we visited on Sunday and did not build with RH but a different "custom" builder in our area, had constant access to their house, including a key lockbox on the garage man-door.  Of course, they were building with someone else on a lot they already owned, so I understand the difference.   I just don't have to like it.

Until we have more info, this is all I can leave you with: a picture from outside our house.  Yay.

Nice looking, but I wish I could visit the inside too. *sigh*

And, our window sold sign.  Nice again, but it still won't get me inside.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Framing, yay! (PGBD #14-21, aka Week 3)

It has been a while since I blogged.  We've been busy (same as everyone else) with the Thanksgiving holiday and work, so I barely have time to even make it to the lot, let alone sit down in the evenings and write blog posts.  But, I wanted to update you all, Dear Readers, about the progress on the homefront.

Since Thanksgiving, we have had the first floor framing started and finished, and the second floor framing started and finished.  By this evening, Wednesday, we have a roof that is about half-shingled and the beginnings of (or most of, I can't tell in the dark) our plumbing.  AND someone awesomely posted our pre-construction worksheets on the morning room door with checks and X's by things that were done. (Thanks, PM.  This totally appeals to my slight OCD nature and love of lists.)  Also, there are sweet blue lines to delineate the cabinets in our kitchen.  Sweet!  We have doors installed, with ORB doorknobs, as well.  Super sweet!  I'm getting excited, but I need to rein it in, finish this post, and get to bed.  Early mornings for the rest of the week (and weekend) and long evenings are ahead.

Here we go.  I'm significantly cutting the number of photos that I'm posting, as I see some of us bloggers have run into some trouble with maxing out our limits (so glad someone figured out ways to fix it - I was beginning to worry when I wasn't seeing pics/posts from some of you!)

The first floor

Back of the house - our new favorite part

The back again, but with windows!

Inside the morning room

Family room - view from kitchen

Front of the house with second floor

Back of the house with second floor

Love it.

Family room

Morning room and corner of kitchen

Random shot of master bedroom (sitting area to the left, off-screen)

Tray ceiling in dining room!

Sweet bay window in dining room

Fireplace in family room

Sitting area in master bedroom
(actual bedroom part from above photo to right, off-screen)

Super sweet jetted tub (which I'll probably only use twice)!

One of my favorite pics - my feet were an accident that I didn't catch until looking at the pic later (but I love them)

Off to bed for now.  I have a lot of blog-reading to catch up on later!  We're hoping to drop by this weekend, while it's still light out, to take some additional pics and maybe show some friends the house.  I'll try to remember to post some new photos with the roof and so on.  We keep visiting after work, but it's so dark that we're running down our phone batteries with flashlight apps.  Ridiculous, but we can't seem to stay away.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lots of stuff happening! (PGBD #7-13)

Well, it's been a while since I've posted, and quite a bit has happened.  As of my last post, the workers were removing the forms from the basement/foundation walls.  Since then we have had waterproofing installed, drainage installed, and our framing began Wednesday!  Woohoo!!

In our region, they routinely do not pour the basement/garage floors before framing.  I know some places it's different, and I honestly don't know why.  Weather?  Some guy's executive decision?  Who knows?  Regardless, our lumber was delivered Wednesday (11/21) as scheduled and the framing crew promptly got to work!  We now have the I-beams installed in the basement, as well as the basement walk-out back wall framed in.  They started on the first floor (like, the actual floor), but didn't get it finished before the end of the day on Wednesday.  As per our PM, they will continue framing today (Friday?  Really?  I was surprised!) and Saturday, but they are off Monday and Tuesday.  Apparently, it's open gun season on Monday, and our Amish framers are gonna be way too busy with the deer (??  I'm assuming it's deer season?  No clue, not a hunter).

So, prepare for a deluge of photos (making up for lost time).

Where the patio doors will eventually be (basement under morning room)

Looking into the basement through the morning room area
Back of walkout basement with waterproofing and our shadows!

Drainage pipe - not yet installed

Waterproofing at the back of basement, drainage pipes, and the husband's shadow

Waterproofing and drainage - side of basement behind third bay of garage

The standard shot of our wood with our lot number on it!

The framers!  Yay!  We have house parts coming together!

View of framers in the basement from the first floor (near front door)

Window for Morning room and French doors for walkout

Walkout basement with opening for French doors on right and windows on left

Basement under the morning room - soon to be our bar.

Doors and Windows!
Here's the awesome view from our basement windows (area under the morning room). 
My favorite little tree is hidden by the center post.

Awesome view from our basement windows (area under the dining room)

The creek that runs through our backyard - can you see it?  Lots of thorn bushes everywhere!
(this is waaaaay in the back of the lot)
 I'm hoping to be able to stop by on Saturday while the workers are still there to see some stuff actually happening, instead of always catching these static photos after-the-fact.  Can't wait to see the first floor!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Bunker is Born (PGBD #4/5)

Things seem to be moving along quite nicely so far (I'm sure that will change eventually).  On Tuesday 11/13, the workers set up our basement/foundation wall forms and the proceeded to fill them with concrete.  Tons of concrete from 4 different concrete trucks.  My husband was able to watch them - for like 2 hours! - in the afternoon/early evening.  I'm so jealous of him.

The forms kinda look like bunker walls.  I only have a few rare photos since I left work after dark and didn't stop by, and there was so much movement going on that the husband could only take a couple pics.  I'm sure there's not much to see yet anyway.  I'm excited for this weekend, when we hope to stop by and see our uncovered basement/foundation walls.  I keep calling them "basement/foundation" walls since some are below grade and others are part of the basement.  Hey, I never claimed to know all the technical terms for home parts.  Not my area of expertise.

Back right corner of the bunker (under the dining room, with the morning room on the right)

Living room and dining room side

I drove by yesterday morning after a meeting I had at one hospital, while on my way to the other hospital.  I literally "drove by" because there were so many trucks and machines in the cul-de-sac that there was no way I was even getting close to our lot!  Oh well.  The husband was able to stop by later on, and found the workers taking off the forms.  Really?  Already?  Yes, apparently it only takes one day/24 hours for the concrete to set, but it won't cure fully for 28 days. 

"What?  Does that mean I have to wait 28 days for framing?" 
"No, of course not, Silly Wife.  You can drive on it in 5-7 days, so we're still set to have lumber delivered on the 21st." 

Did I mention that I don't know much about this home-building stuff?

Anyway, here are a few rare photos from that. 

Left side of the house with the garage (we're mostly looking into the garage here)

This is the left side, back of the garage.

Again, I can't wait for the weekend.  I haven't stepped foot on the lot since Monday, and it's sorta killing me.

In fact, I have been changing my work computer desktop background to up-to-date pictures of the lot.  I recently changed it to one of the bare concrete wall photos.  Yep, I'm totally pathetic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yay Footers! (PGBD #3)

Well, we're moving right along!  We got footers on Monday (post-ground-breaking-day #3 - counting the weekend).  Also delivered were the forms for the foundation walls.  We saw a few over the weekend, but there were a lot more yesterday, most of which were sitting inside the hole.

Question for those who have walkout basements: Did you get full poured foundation walls in the back, or was it just a partial wall with studs/framing above grade?  We had a few short-looking frames in the hole yesterday, and I thought we were getting full concrete walls in the back, but I wasn't sure.  I'm sure things may be different based on what state and region the build is in (since each region seems to be its own governing body at RH - it's like a bunch of state governments).

And let me just take this moment to say that I am totally jealous of all of you who were building in the warmer months and/or pre-daylight savings.  It was raining, cold, and dark yesterday evening when we drove out to the lot after work.  Most of the pics below were an attempt to take photos with my phone in the dark.  Yeah, it worked well.  At least the husband has flexible work hours most days, and he can run out there during the daylight to see what's happening.

Here's a pic from the daytime - thanks to the husband.

Spooky hole at night with foundation forms.

See how some are tall, some are medium height, and some are short? 
Did anyone else have this variation in size?

We are supposed to have the foundation poured sometime later this week.  The lumber is still scheduled for Wednesday next week, but the PM had forgotten that it was Thanksgiving next week (I'm sure he has a lot going on right now).  So we're still assuming that it'll sit over the long weekend, which is fine with us.  I don't get the Friday after Thanksgiving off - in fact, neither of us have gotten it off since we were in school (at least, not without using a vacation day), so we totally understand giving time off for the workers.  It's what we would want as well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We have a hole!

Well, we have a hole.

We were told last Tuesday that we should be breaking ground on Thursday, but then that was pushed back by an "executive decision" by our PM.  He decided to break ground on the house across the street from us (a Venice, I believe), since he thought their house would go faster and ultimately be finished before ours.  The husband raised hell, but I was rather okay with this, since I indirectly know of these folks and I know they're currently living in one of their parents' houses while awaiting all this building to happen.

But, nevertheless, we broke ground on Friday, November 9th.  Yay!!

Here's some pic of our hole from various angles.  I didn't get out there to take pics until Saturday, since Friday was a long, rough work day and we had a party that evening as well.

Stuck in there somewhere is the husband's photo from his car while they were digging on Friday. (Random Blogger order!)  He couldn't safely get any closer at the time, but that's okay.  Since then, we have been back twice this weekend, even though no additional work happened (so, perhaps our crews don't work weekends?).  We took a lot of pictures yesterday, then wandered around a lot today.  It had rained on Friday, but by Sunday it was more dry and less mud, so we were able to actually venture into the hole itself.  Too cool!

As of right now, we are supposed to get our footers tomorrow (Monday), and lumber is to be delivered on the 21st (the day before Thanksgiving!  No work being done then for sure).  So I'm hoping we'll get some framing up around Monday or Tuesday after Thanksgiving.

We had a plan to pack a picnic Thanksgiving dinner and eat it in our "hole," if we had one by then.  I wonder if we still will...  :-)

All I know is, I'm happy that we've had some rather unseasonably warm days this week, so they were able to get some work done.  I just hope the basement walls are poured before it gets too cold outside.