Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Week 2: Footers and Foundation, What Fun!

Week 2 - May 23-29, 2016

Footers and Foundation

5/23 - day 8 - no visit
5/24 - day 9 - forms removed, basement wrapped, confirmed all windows & custom porch were poured to plan.
5/25 - day 10 - no visit
5/26 - day 11 - lot backfilled, basement plumbing work
5/27 - day 12 - Basement and garage floors poured, egress well installed
5/28 - day 13 - no visit
5/29 - day 14 - no visit
5/30 - day 15 - confirmed no progress, no wood delivery.
First contact with our PM finally happened on 5/24 after bounced email, no response from SR, and then a direct call. He explained progress to date, and that he hoped to be framing by Friday (spoiler alert - not to be.)

PM was proactive in following up with a ballpark timing for our final walkthrough - current target is August 22. Closing expected 2-7 days after. Hubs' birthday is August 24. Closing would certainly be the biggest birthday present he'll ever receive!

I guess we were hoping for even more progress over the weekend, but I assume the concrete needed time to cure; it rained Saturday night, and it was a holiday weekend. I can't be greedy!
We drove by on Monday, 5/30 (Memorial Day) as well, on the off chance that our wood had been delivered, but no dice. Hopefully it arrives early today so framing can begin!

In NVR news, or lack thereof, Hubs has been awaiting a call/email/smoke signal back for maybe 2 weeks now, to check on progress and still-needed info. Crickets.

Day 9 - Basement wrap egress view

Day 9 - Basement wrap and So.Much.Shale.

Day 9 - Front corner view with city water/gas line entry points

Day 9 - Basement wrap and "hopper" window cutout 

Day 9 - Basement wrap - morning room bumpout + egress window
Day 11 - 3-peice rough in

Day 11 - sump pump/ view from back corner
Day 12 - 3 piece rough-in, mystery hole & garage floor
Day 12 - poured floor, view from morning room to street
Day 12 - Poured floor, sump pump & mystery hole


Monday, May 23, 2016

Week 1: The Big Hole

Week 1: May 16-22, 2016

Well, it's finally happened. We broke ground on Monday, May 16!
I was away for work most of the week, and then we had wedding events straight through the weekend, so there was limited time for stalking.

5/16 - day 1 - Excavation begins in earnest (AKA - Big Hole)
5/17 - day 2  - "Big Hole" looks deep enough, workers appear and are visible only by the tips of their hardhats going back and forth in the hole. Lots of mysterious goings-on in the big hole.
5/18 - day 3 - " "
5/19 - day 4 - forms are installed
5/20- day 5 - "  "
5/21 - day 6 - foundation and basement poured
5/22 - day 7 - ? more pouring? curing?

Interestingly, I've not yet heard a peep from our PM - no texts, emails, calls, etc. to tell us that we were getting started, or what the plan is. I emailed him this morning to ask about progress, and plans for this week, but his email bounced. That can't be a good sign. Forwarded it to our SR, and hoping for a response by tomorrow.

Sadly, most of my pics are uploading sideways, so you'll have to make due with these couple while I try to figure that out.

I stopped by to take a good look on Saturday morning, 5/21. I greeted a couple of workers who cheerfully asked if it was my house. "Yup!"

Best part of that visit was meeting our new next door neighbor, the owner of the Avalon immediately to our right. Oksana and her husband moved in almost a year ago, and she had good things to say about their house and experience with Ryan.

The rainy weekend brought some additional good news, our first neighborhood BBQ was cancelled (yes, I'm evil and consider that GOOD news). It will instead be held on its rain date in early June. YAY! We weren't going to be able to make it on Saturday, and we're so excited to meet everyone!

Day 5: There was a hole...in the middle of the ground...

Day 5:  And the green grass grew all around and around...

Day 6:  Forms in place!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I'll Take my Stake with a Side of Creamed Spinach

Not sure when they were placed because I've been traveling again (therefore, limited stalking time). But swung by the lot last night - 5.10.16, and found stakes!
I had a grumpy kiddo in the car with me, and the lot is muddy from 2 weeks + of rain, so I didn't attempt to walk it. But here we go!

We have stakes! 5.10.16

5.12.16 Update: We have fancy "imported" rocks and the corrugated metal egress well piece!
What a strange delivery.
Looks like this, but non-shiny and lighter grey:

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Baseboards and Basement Egresses

This waiting for groundbreaking is painful. PAINFUL I tell you!

Mortgage Status
Haven't heard anything in a while from NVR. We continue to trickle them copies of documents they have requested as they become available. Still no formal mortgage approval in hand, so I'm taking the one-off "approval" email with yet another document list as our formal approval. Ha.
The Homeside website shows our status as still in underwriting. I'm really hoping they have their acts together enough so that NVR/Homeside has to give Ryan some sort-of "go ahead" for us to break ground in 12+/- days as scheduled.

All of this silence and waiting, however, given us time to ruminate on the two outstanding issues with the house. Both were discovered at the pre-construction meeting.

If you're following this blog, you may remember the first "baseboard incident". If not - catch up here.
This time, we were talking about the quarter-round issue with our PM and SR and realized that the gorgeous tall baseboards shown in the model were NOT included as part of the max-upgraded trim package we are paying extra for. Surprise!
We could theoretically purchase these tall baseboards for $1200-ish. But we were way past the change date, and were therefore out of luck. We found this obnoxious for several reasons:

1. The model showing the trim package we selected has the tall baseboards, it's not a crazy assumption to make that they would be included in that upgrade.
2. The tall baseboards are not listed in the selections sheet as a stand-alone upgrade option.
3. Doing it later ourselves would be an issue - since we're already paying for the top-level trim package, we get boxing detail in the dining room. The boxes are centered on the wall using the short, standard baseboards. Swapping them for tall later = re-do of boxing trim work to re-center.
4. Is it REALLY a huge deal to switch standard for the taller baseboards at this late a date? We still have months to go before that step.

Current status - SR provided regional SR contact info. Hubs had a conversation with him stating our concerns. We offered alternative solutions such as:
1. Buying our own tall baseboards and leaving in the house for the trim guys.
2. Cancelling the trim package, reverting to standard
3. Having the trim guys measure for the tall boards when installing the boxing.
4. Discounting the trim package we paid for
5. Ryan exception to allow late change order for tall baseboards (we pay)
6. Paying cash for the baseboard difference now, or at closing so as not to mess up mortgage paperwork.

None of these were accepted during the call. Regional SR promised to get back to Hubs. Stated that
"they did not mis-represent anything". Not sure how this comment was helpful to anyone. That was 3 weeks ago, and crickets. Hubs was unhappy, but is rapidly moving towards pissed as we get no follow-up and no resolution to an easy-to-solve issue. See long list of potential solutions above.

In our pre-construction meeting, our PM explained that our basement egress would be on the back wall of the house. We express strong concern - as we plan to add a deck/ patio, and the egress would land smack-dab in the middle of it. We didn't choose that wall for the fireplace to avoid having that bump-out in that space. We ask (strongly beg) to have it moved to the morning room bump out wall.
PM talks us off the ledge and promises he'll do his best to move it. This is more than a little scary - since we just met him, and we've built up no trust yet...eek.

5.12.16 update - Hubs contacted our PM to discuss both issues, since he hadn't heard back from the Regional Sales Manager. PM confirmed that the egress will be moved to the morning room (Yay!)
On the baseboard situation; PM will either be asking the trim guys to move up the boxing detail to center based on the tall baseboard measurement and/or just installing tall baseboard that we deliver to the house ourselves. He's really earning that 10 on the survey here!

Later 5.12.16 update - Regional manager is not my favorite person. Confirmed that Ryan is not budging on the baseboards. Insists again this was not a "bait and switch". I guess we'll see what magic our PM can make happen, if anything. We're annoyed. Well, I'm annoyed. Hubs is PISSED.