Building Timeline

Mel0569November 30, 2011

Hi,

Looking for advice about if this sound right to others in our situtation. As of today our builder has been paid for 75% of our build. We have the following left to complete,

Install hardwood floors

Tile baths

cabinets (bath and kitchen)

painting

carpets (being installed by vendor not builder)

Trim work around windows and doors

building cabinets on either side of the fireplace

Install fitures

finish deck

Our builder is claiming it will take to Mid-March to complete. Contractually he needs to be done in early Feb. and he told us he would be done by late December/Jan.

We asked him to give us a rough timeline of how long it would take to complete the remaining items. But he is stalling saying it really depends on a lot of factors. I will say weather in our area has not been one of them.

We asked for this because for the last 4 weeks the only thing completed on the house was painting the ceilings and two bedrooms. We are frustrated that we paid a huge interest payment to get so little work done this month. My husband has been going out everyday and it seems that he is spending maybe (if we are lucky) 2 hours there a day but not for the whole week.

He does the finish work himself and insist that he can't be rushed if we want quality work. We get the sense that his kids sporting events (he coaches in the afternoons and has games) and a sudden new part-time morning job at Fedex is taking away time from our build. He currently does not have another house under construction. I don't want him to give up time with his family. But I want to feel that he is doing the work we are paying him for on the house in a reasonable timeframe.

Sorry for the lenght of this...but am I right to expect him to put more time into our build then maybe a few hours a week?

Thanks,

Mel

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greendesigns_gw

You've got a carpenter trying out the role of GC--and failing at it if he has to take a second job. Your best bet is to get your bank involved and make them the heavy. If he isn't making enough money on your job and has to have a second job, then no matter what leverage you apply you may still see him walk. Start approaching the problem from the idea of replacing him as GC, most likely yourself, since any other GC will not want to inherit these problems without a significant financial bump. See if your bank would allow you to finish up the build yourself. Some won't. Start interviewing NOW. See what other finish carpenters in the area are charging for their labor. Talk to flooring contractors, cabinets makers, decking contractors. Get an idea if what's left of the budget will really accomplish what's left. My guess is that it won't, and that's another reason your home is on his backburner. Get ready for some out of pocket expenses for some overages.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 2:36PM
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david_cary

So, I'll just give a comparable timeline.

We had drywall finished Nov 11th. Today the lights are getting put in. Yesterday was HVAC final install and plumbing final delivery. Today/tomorrow is plumbing fixture install. Deck rails going on today/tomorrow. Septic inspection tomorrow. Final trade inspection monday. We are planning on moving in the first week in January.

The house is painted, trim work is all in, floors are all tiled, door handles in, cabinets/granite in.

I'm thinking along the line of GreenDesigns. FWIW - we basically framed in September, roughed-in in October, drywall first week of Nov., then trim 2nd week November (which my builder did himself although that is not his usual practice - his usual trim carpenter was tied up and I think he just felt like doing it).

Sorry you are in this situation.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 5:32AM
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jamiecrok

I agree that this is NOT acceptable. We are basically at the same stage as you but we have all of our flooring in (execpt carpet in the beds) The trim is getting put in this week as are all of our base cabinets so the granite can be templeted next week. Our electrician already installed most of our light fixtures. We still have the deck to finish as well as the final grading and driveway and our septic tank has to be reset but we are on schedule to move in before Christmas.

I would sit down with your GC and tell him that if you don't see progress daily that you will fire him and take over the project. You may also want to discuss it with your bank since your construction loan probably has a time limit. They may also have a suggestion to get him going but it sounds like he isn't in a big hurry to finish. It is possible that he has structured his draws to have earned his profit already and doesn't really care about the rest.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 10:04AM
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booksandpages

Mel, IMO now is a good time to refer back to your contract with the builder. Hopefully it gives you the right to hire outside labor if the work is not getting done properly and promptly. Depending on how its written up, you may need to notify him of this in writing, so read through it carefully.

If your cabinets are already on order, I don't see anything on your list that should reasonably prevent you from finishing in January, except maybe the deck (depending on your local climate and weather conditions).

Sorry to hear this is happening to you. At least you are in the home stretch!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 10:50AM
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Mel0569

I think seeing everyone's progress that started around our timeframe and our home being so far behind push me over the edge this week.

I talked to the builder yesterday and we have a sit down meeting schedule for Monday. I created a detailed spreadsheet last night of remaining work and told him that I wanted timing and completion dates for the remaining work. I told him that we are holding him accountable to the dates, unless he can provide a reasonable explaination for the delay. I talked with 2 vendors (Cabinets and floor) and confirm delivery dates and payment, so I guess I will just have to project manage the rest of this build.

At first he was not happy and stated it would be hard to determine. When I told him that my husband (he does commerical construction) would be visiting daily and would start working on weekends on the list, he change is tone quick enough.

Our call must have fired him up, because he completed more work in one day then the last three weeks. We will see how long it last before I have to go "project manager" on him again. It's not that he doesnt do quality work, it just takes way to long...there has to be balance.

Good news two of the sub-contracts were at the site and we did confirm that they have been paid timely. I control what he gets paid from the draws and if we had to fire him, we have more then enough money to complete the job ourselves. But I am taking some advice and asking for lien releases at our meeting as well, to ensure we do not get any nasty surprises.

Thanks,

Mel

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 11:02AM
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