Thursday, January 23, 2014

Wednesday Update - Construction Stalled

Every Wednesday the PM and the Sales Rep (SR) are scheduled to call us to give us updates on the house.  The weather has been so cold here that nothing has been done since the footers were poured.  No real surprise there. We actually are relieved they aren't pressing to move forward with the concrete right now.  Pouring concrete under the wrong temperature can create spalling and can reduce the strength of the concrete.  The SR asked if we've heard anything more from NVR mortgage.  We haven't yet, but we know that they will be asking for additional information through the process.  This was one of the things that I've read from other blogs - most people were surprised by the level of detail that NVR may require.  We've experienced some of this already.  She advised us that we would likely hear more from them when the framing begins as that would put us closer to our 60 day from the end of construction.  That's it for now... hopefully the weather will warm up soon and we'll have some more action on the home!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Home building has begun!

On Wednesday the 15th, construction began on the house.  They began to dig the hole for the basement.   I went with my 4 year old after preschool.  On Friday he asked "Can we go back to our new home to see how big the hole is now?"  So, we went back and were surprised to see they were already pouring the footers.  This next week they should be pouring the cement for the floor and walls of the basement.  

Here is the true 'before' picture of the site.

Action shot! Pile of dirt!

One of the footers before it is completely covered with straw.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at in this picture but it's part of my house so it's cool!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Dig date moved

Our dig date has officially been moved to Wednesday January 15th.  At our meeting with the PM, he mentioned that we were scheduled for completion on April 4th.  I would guess that this could push our completion date back another week.  We are still under a decent amount of snow that hasn't melted yet.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Project Manager Meeting & Winter Madness

The crazy weather we've had in the Midwest nearly postponed the meeting with had with our PM.  Starting on Sunday, we got 11.5" of wet, heavy snow.(On top of the 3-5" we had from a few days before.)  Around 40k people throughout the city have been without power.  To make matters worse, a "polar vortex" has settled over the city.  Our average temp today was 13 BELOW zero.  Our wind chills were about 46 BELOW zero. Frickin' Freezing. The county we currently live in and the county we are moving too were under a travel warning, meaning we weren't supposed to be on the road.  At noon today they reduced the restriction, so we were able to meet with the PM to discuss everything.  The model home wasn't properly shoveled, so we decided to meet at McDonald's....mostly because everything else was closed.  

We had a list of questions/things to confirm and we were able to get through everything.  First, here's the main floor again.  

So, between the Study and the first floor bath, you'll see a pink square.  On the original plans this is just a corner in the study.  I was really hoping to make this a linen closet for that bathroom. The PM was able to do this because I am removing the closet in the laundry upstairs, so we will still have the same number of doors.  (More on the laundry room to come.)  As we were again discussing the placement of outlets, specifically in the garage, it was brought to our attention that there is a third window in the garage.  Because we have the side loading three car garage, there are two windows in the front. The third window is basically where that big pink arrow is pointing.  I suppose it looks nice when you are standing on the porch, but then again, it allows you to see all the crap in the garage from the front porch.  The bigger issue is, having those three windows severely limits the options for placing a work bench in the garage.  So, our solution is to simply remove the window in the garage.   

On the second floor, I've been noodling around with making some changes to the laundry room.  I've had several ideas in mind, and knew I had to ultimately talk through with the PM what options made the most sense. Basically, I wanted to remove the closet in the laundry room.  The house has so much storage, we don't really need it.  Long term, I really would like to put a countertop and possibly some shelves and/or cabinets in.  

So, in addition to removing that closet, we will be reducing the size of the closet in bedroom four to about 4 feet.  The counter will eventually go on the wall that is shared with that closet.  It will give me about 4 feet of counter space.  I will likely out the cat's litter boxes either in front of the window or along the same wall with the washer and dryer.  After serious thought, I've also decided to remove the outlet in the master powder room.   My dad is an electrician.  I'm going to have him put the light in the powder room on a dimmer.  Then, I'll move the outlet on the wall between the master closet and the shower.  This way, I can install a towel warmer next to the shower.  I'm pretty excited about that.  Have you ever used a towel that just come out of the dryer?  Man, that's nice.  I'm going to feel so fancy.  

Anyway, the rest of the meeting was basically confirming our previous choices. We know where all of our half hot outlets are going to be (the ones that will be on a switch.)  We discussed placement of outside receptacles, hose bibs, setbacks from the road and neighboring properties, etc.   We voiced our concerns about pouring the slab for the garage in the cold weather and the PM said he's never had a slab have spalling from cold weather.  He would make sure the crew knew of our concern to keep the concrete warm after they pour it.  

The incredibly cold weather will delay our ground breaking on Wednesday, but we understand that and would rather have things done under the correct circumstances.  It sounds like they may start to dig by the end of the week, when it warms up and weather permitting, the slab may be poured by the end of next or so.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The lot is cleared!

The lot that we are building on was the lot that has been owned by Ryan homes.  As such, there was a concrete washout and a couple of trailers on it.  

I have no idea how old this photo is.  Pretty old, I'd guess.  There are a lot of empty lots in this picture (courtesy of Google Maps).  From this view currently, ours is the only empty lot.... and covered in about 5 inches of snow.  

When we drove by earlier this week, every thing is gone, except some new black tarpy stuff (the tarp keeps the dirt from washing into the street and into the back of the lot.  We are moving along!   

We meet with the PM on Monday and they are supposed to break ground on Wednesday.  I don't know if the above mentioned snow will stop any of this. My husband is a structural engineer, so he has quite a bit of experience with construction.  He isn't too worried about the cold weather for pouring the basement - since it's warmer below ground, freezing isn't as much of an issue. However, he has some concerns about pouring the garage slab this time of year.  One of the questions he'll be asking the PM is what their guidelines are for pouring this time of year, since this is arguably the worst couple of months to do it.  I imagine we'll have another update Monday or Wednesday.   Wish us luck!