Got our CO today - exhausted & frustrated

Flint2013July 8, 2014

In the beginning of our process I was on here a lot. Then I got way too busy. Just looking at the subjects of some of the postings makes me wince.

A friend who built a custom home gave me the advice of trying to just enjoy the home and not look at every detail with memories of the frustration involved. I wonder how long it will take til I'm at that point.

We put so much of ourselves into this house. There have been so many challenges. We have gotten so tired of the contractor's promises about fixing/completing some details that we've finally had a locksmith come to rekey everything & changed the garage code. Enough is enough.

And before somebody gives me a lecture, have a little sensitivity to the absolute energy drain this entails. I just read a post about someone upset about some unexpected costs and it troubled me. That person doesn't need a lecture on all the mistakes they've made. Building a house is a learning process.

The one big piece of advice I have for others is to keep a journal. I did because it was a new experience for us. It became invaluable at the end when we were piecing together discrepancies with the contractor. I only wish I had written in it more.

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I am feeling your pain, Flint. I was over at our house today and told my contractor I wanted the premises cleaned up. It's been filthy inside and out for months and I can't see the mistakes because everything's under a layer of grime. So I got some cleaning supplies today and started wiping down my cabs... it's not like it has to be immaculate, but I am tired of bugs coming after people's lunch garbage and fishing crud out of my plumbing fixtures. We will have an enormous amount of things left to do too when we get our CO, on a house that was promised back in the Spring.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 4:54PM
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I agree about the journal. There is always a point in a project where everyone remembers the history of it differently. I keep careful detailed notes for my clients and that often settles disputes before they become painful.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:54PM
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I'd like to hear more about journals y'all have kept. What do you record? Do you include photographs, receipts?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:59PM
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Musicgal - oh, those promises. We actually got suckered in over & over into believing them because the guys are so nice. After months, we've finally learned they just know how to say what we want to hear.

Today I took a wheelbarrow and carted all the debris into a pile. That includes everything from rebar to soda cans to machinery parts and an old battery. The debris has to be cleaned up for the insurance to bind. I've told them this. Yesterday I think I caught them using an excavator to bury some leftover building materials.

MrsPete - I have kept journals throughout my life. I started the one on house building just because I thought it might be interesting for our children and grandchildren someday. I kept a separate notebook of notes from meetings and prices on things we were sourcing. The journal has been more about our reactions, frustrations, even excitement as some things took shape. I even included some family things going on which has helped us piece together what happened when.

We also took a lot of pictures during the process. We did that more for the future so if we wanted to cut into a wall for example, we would know what was in there. That became very valuable for the builder in the end when they were going to have to potentially tear into a wall to remedy an error. Our pictures simplified their problem solving.

Maybe the journal is good in another way in that I can go back and remember some of the exciting times. Right now I'm struggling to do so.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 10:10PM
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Nothing gets me more fired up than this apparent practice of burying construction debris in the customer's yard. Happened to us on two home builds. On the last one, some of the stuff was barely an inch under the surface!

I am honestly going to write something into our next contract to put some teeth behind it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:32AM
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It has been illegal for years in many states for contractors to bury construction debris.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:48AM
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I blogged the whole time we built, including pictures along the way. It was restricted to just our family and friends (privacy issues for those helping us), but I love being able to go back through the process. And our friends loved either learning about the process (and thinking about doing it themselves), or remembering the things we did together.

Likewise, I use it now when I need to see how we did plumbing in a certain room, or where lines run and such. Something I just go through it to be amazed that we made it through the process...yes, it was stressful and frustrating and many days I didn't want to do it anymore...but my FH was my wonderful support and we got there.

In regards to the clean construction site, I remember any time we had contractors out, they'd comment on how clean the place was. One even complained because he need some window shim material, because he didn't bring any along expecting to find scrap lumber all over the place. Nope, not at our construction site! Poor guy had to go to town. I do love how easy it was to find everything and keep things from going missing or getting damaged. That being said, living there now, trying to finish everything off and having a real life, has led to it become a disaster site all over again :P

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 3:33PM
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