Venting builder frustrations

degcdsApril 10, 2013

I just wanted to vent a little, things are moving so slowly. We have been framing for 2 months. We still don't have shingles, exterior trim has been left half finished for 3 weeks now. The owner of the company is a friend of ours, and have actually built a home through him before. It is coming down to the superintendent of our job site, he has been building homes for 30 years but doesn't seem to know how to schedule things, or has just taken on more projects than he can handle.

There is one of his other clients feeling our pain and we are on the same page. Our builder says we will have a new super the beginning of next week, and I sure have my fingers crossed.

I just am having a hard time understanding why a home he is building was started on the 23rd of March, (from foundation up) already has exterior trim complete, shingles, plumbing, electric and HVAC and starting the exterior stone and stucco. While we started the 28th of January, and struggling just to get them to come out and work.

Sorry I don't want to be that person who is just cranky but here recently I realize the majority of our friends have not built a home, and don't understand the frustrations. And just wanted to vent to people who might have more of a understanding or recommendations.

The builder really builds a beautiful, detailed, well built home and our previous experience was never close to this frustrating. Right now we are 3 months behind, and about a month and a half I can understand due to weather and changes we made but there is a month and a half unaccounted for.

thanks for listening to my rant, just wanted to get it off my chest.


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You have posted beautiful pictures of your home. In 20 years the extra months will be forgotten and you will love your home. Hang in there! It all works out in the end!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 3:55PM
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Builders have exactly the same frustrations!

Contractors never want to turn down jobs. So they often take on more work than they can handle. I've had eight carpenters show up in a morning for one home. "Wow! This will be done soon," I think. An hour in, I leave to get some coffees to bring an abandoned site.

If you think it's always better when business is slow, think again. To keep their skeleton crews busy, they'll spread them around thinly. How about eight weeks to frame one 2,400 sf. house?

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 4:21PM
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What did you write in your contract about timing? Did you agree in advance on a build schedule and milestones (tied to payments)? What kind of penalties has the builder agreed to for delays? We found that spelling all of that out in advance was a tremendous advantage, the one time that things seemed to slow unacceptably all it took was a casual comment "well, it's up to you, but remember that after Jan 20 it will start costing you $100/day". For us, time was as important as money in the contract and we managed both on a week-by-week basis, with enough granularity in the task and payment schedule to allow that. Ultimately it made for a happy contractor and a happy homeowner.

If it's not in the contract all you have is the power of persuasion-- I find that freshly made brownies can work wonders.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 10:47AM
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Clayton: Sorry you are having frustrations, I would be too! I hate when I drive by the house and no one is working. I cannot imagine 3 weeks! I hope you get it straightened out soon.

rweigand: How does that work with say, weather delays? I live in PacNW and the rain can make things unpredictable.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:23PM
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We included the following language: "If adverse weather conditions are the basis for a claim for additional time, such claim shall be documented by data substantiating that weather conditions were abnormal for the period of time and could not have been reasonably anticipated, and that weather conditions had an adverse effect on the scheduled construction."

So the schedule was designed to include delays for typical bad weather, but provide an out for when the hurricane blew through. Even with New England weather there were only a few days that were so bad the crew didn't show up, they usually had plenty of inside work for rainy days. (Ours was a remodel plus large addition, so there was always an "inside".)

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 12:43PM
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