I thought this was going to get easier...

Beth ParsonsNovember 26, 2012

We're in the final stretch of our build and I think I'm more frustrated now than when we started. The framing and foundation 'challenges' we experienced, while irritating, simply didn't get under my skin the way current issues are. It's possible that because we can see the light at the end of the tunnel I'm less tolerant of delays but I am so ready to take some heads off. Did I mention that we've been living with my Mom and disabled brother for the last 6 months? I have to get this house finished stat!

Our last French door unit was installed an inch off center from the flanking windows on Saturday and even though I texted AND called my builder, it wasn't corrected so on Sunday, the masons bricked around the exterior and the trim crew finished the interior. The trim guys also centered the coffered ceiling incorrectly which had to be ripped out and corrected today and the ceiling patched and resanded as we have smooth ceilings. The master closet built-in's were constructed in a way that we couldn't open the closet door completely even though we specified that nothing was to be built on that wall. To top off my day, the supply house ordered and delivered the wrong crown molding even though I gave them a sample piece of the profile I wanted. The trim crew already had the dining room completed before I saw it and told them to stop installing it & go home. My builder said the suppliers said that *I* was wrong and that they delivered the exact crown that I had given them a sample of a week ago which really has me hot under the collar. We're meeting at the house in the morning - is 8:20am too early for Sangria?

Anyone else having issues with the detail work? I'm not a nitpicky, high maintenance person but I do expect doors to be centered between windows and not 2" closer to one than the other!

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Who is supervising and directing the work? It sounds like it's everyone for themselves. Perhaps it's time for more timely and focused supervision by someone...is that what you are paying the GC for?

Best approach in such situations is often to fall back, regroup, and advance again with everyone in step.

Good luck on your project!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:29PM
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It's never too early for sangria when you are building. See thread below that I posted when I was in the same stage of building.

Here is a link that might be useful: crawl under rock

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Beth Parsons

My GC is normally on top of things and double checks door sets, etc. He's fixed even very minor issues that we were willing to let slide without us speaking a word about it. The error lies in that the trim crew & masons worked on Sunday when he thought they'd be taking the day off in addition to it being a holiday weekend. I see it as a day's labor wasted not to mention materials! My builder is dealing with some very pressing personal issues and I can cut him some slack for that but the crown mix up is the last straw, especially since the supplier is swearing they delivered exactly what I provided a sample of. The crown was delivered late in the afternoon so my GC didn't personally see it. I fully expect he'll have my back tomorrow morning when he does compare the two. Just wish more people paid attention to detail!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:34PM
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Beth Parsons

I'm already buying wine by the box; afraid imbibing that early will surely tip me over the edge to alcoholism... Maybe I need to take up smoking again!

I'm laughing AND crying reading that thread 'cause I am so there! So many little things we've let slide but a house full of the wrong crown profile? Not happening! We have yet to get cabinets, appliances and granite in - yikes!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 10:45PM
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The best way to handle trim selection is for the drawings/specs to require that the supplier/installer submit to the GC samples of all trim for the Owner's approval before delivering or installing any of it. This is what an architect would normally include in a finish carpentry specification but often a builder will simply stipulate that the Owner will select the trim from the supplier's samples leaving him out of the process which is lazy and dangerous. Then if the Owner provides a sample to the supplier instead of the GC any mistake will result in a complete muddle.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:50AM
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I would take a picture with your cell phone whenever you make a choice from here on out.

Our patio doors are not centered in our dining room. We never noticed until we moved our table in. Too late at that point.

There were so many errors like this that I worry about the nuts and bolts part of the construction being done incorrectly. I mean I know nothing about pouring a foundation or grading or electrical. I assumed that these are professionals and they know what they are doing. But after seeing the sloppiness of the finish work, I wonder. Also, my GC never corrected an error on his own. He always waited for me to point it out. For example, the soffit for the range hood was not centered on the range. Really? Sounds like your GC is better. There was lack of organization and supervision for our build.

I understand renovator's point about having an architect over seeing the project, but then what exactly am I paying the GC a six digit sum for exactly? I paid an architect for the design of the home and plans but shouldn't the GC be able to take it from there?

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 10:58AM
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I am taking pics of all selections and sending them to the builder and his foreman. Hopefully that will be enough of a record of my choice in case the showroom "mixes up" my paperwork and blames me.

Parsonse at least you are almost there. Just keep plowing away...soon enough all these people and issues will be far behind you. I am about 3 weeks behind you :)

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:11AM
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"what exactly am I paying the GC a six digit sum for exactly? "

The most difficult thing to hold a GC to in a construction contract is to protect the Owner's interests when they conflict with the GC's interests. Therefore it is often wise to pay for some kind of independent quality control and assurance.

That is the norm for larger projects; relying on the GC to protect the Owner's interests seems only to occur in single-family house construction.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:29PM
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Beth Parsons

Forutnately I didn't have to murder anyone this morning or spike my coffee with vodka. My builder took one look at the crown molding that was delivered and agreed wholeheartedly that the supplier screwed up. The supplier showed up about 15 minutes later and took the blame like a big boy and owned up to not matching the sample of the crown I provided with what was delivered to their warehouse - they just brought it out ASSumming it was the same profile. Minor blip but frustrating when the trim crew was supposed to be finishing up today!

My builder really is pretty awesome - when the framer charged us a higher per sq. foot rate than we were led to believe he was charging, my GC stepped up and ate the difference of about $3,000. We didn't even get a chance to ask or complain - Mo just said that the framer charged us more per sq/ft than we had budgeted and he thought it was only fair that he cover that difference since I had been asking for clarification on the costs from the start. He ate the cost of our roof repair where the masons put holes all around the chimney to the tune of about $1000 without us asking, too.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:13PM
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