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When your house was being built did you go to the site everyday?

Posted by needinfo001 (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 8:59

Did you check on the progress and watch the builders and ask them questions?
Did they get nervouse when you came around?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

we don't go every single day but we do go several times a week, we don't generally question the workers, but we do greet them

we see the builder almost every time we visit sometimes we have a conversation other times we just wave....
any questions we have go to/through the builder..

we have 4 acres and a large shop there so we have to be there for extended visits at least once a week


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I went more at the beginning. We are starting drywall now and visiting daily makes me irritated, can't see enough progress :)


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I've tapered down to a couple times a week. A watched pot never boils...
However, I remember in the early 80's when my parents were building their house, my dad would go down every night after work during framing and add another box of nails to whatever the crew had done- lol. You could use that house as a fallout shelter. :-)


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

We live too far away to be there every day- but try to be there as much as possible. It has saved us some money.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

You are really asking two different questions: 1) how often to visit the site; and 2) discussions with workers.

The following comments really pertain to a situation where the owner has purchased property and is building a custom home. These comments are likely not applicable to a situation where the owner has purchased a tract house in a development owned by a tract builder, since in many such cases the tract builder "owns" the property and house until such time as it is completed and turned over to the owner.

That said, as far as visiting the site, there are "more critical" periods in building and "less critical" periods, which every homeowner should understand. The "more critical" periods are when new work is about to begin or is completed that will greatly influence subsequent work.

The goal for effective site observation and construction management is to know when these "critical" times occur for being on site, and when it's less important to visit the site. Knowing this allows scheduling of visitation times which will be the most critical and effective.

For example, excavation and forming of the foundation is a "critical" period because the dimensions have to be absolutely correct, or else all subsequent construction will be negatively effected.

Wall framing is critical to verify because all of the subsequent interior dimensions, finishes and equipment will be effected. Wall framing is also critical to verify important connections, shear walls, uplift devices, etc., are properly placed and constructed.

Before framing is enclosed is a critical time to verify correct systems installation--electrical, plumbing, signal, HVAC, etc.

And on it goes. Critical times don't happen every day, or sometimes even every week. Thus, one doesn't need to visit the construction site daily, but one should know when these and other critical times will occur and ensure a visit at the critical times.

If owners lack sufficient construction experience to know what these critical times are, and when they occur, a reputable and ethical builder will certainly share them when an owner asks, unless and until an owner takes advantage of them and becomes a pest and disruptive to the orderly building process.

Another option is to retain your architect to be your representative during construction and to have her/him provide on-site construction observation services and make recommendations on progress payments. This approach gives owners a second set of eyes together with the expertise that an architect's practical experience brings.

As far as discussions with workers, unless you have hired and pay the workers directly, it's best to leave them alone and confine your discussions to the general contractor (or the general contractor's job site supervisor if there is one) who is the only person on the job site who is directly responsible to the owner. It's fine to say hello to workers, but stay out of their way and let them be productive and efficient in their work.

With the builder's permission, some owners like to bring a Friday lunch or afternoon snack and refreshments to the job site. It's a way to show respect and appreciation for the workers and their work, but only if the builders agrees.

Good luck with your project.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

We live about an hour away so that keeps us from visiting too often. Our builder is great about sending pictures whenever there is progress.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

almost every day, at points multiple times per day. Typically I would interact with the workers if only to introduce myself or say hi, be friendly. I didn't usually ask them questions but they often needed something from ME as far as how i wanted something done. I reserved most of my questions or concerns to the project manager.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I visit most days. I'm the GC, so I need to be there.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I go to the site every morning, and sometimes again in the afternoon (if they need me). Like Carson, I'm the GC, so the subs are usually looking for me to get clarification or ask me what I want here or there. Luckily, I'm only 2 miles away. If you can go every day, I think morning is the optimal time. Construction folks usually start early, so its a good time to catch them and get them focused on the day.

That said, I still had some fixes that needed to be made where I didn't mention something one day, and they got to that task faster than I expected. When in doubt, leave sharpie marks, send texts, or pick up the phone!

I'm very friendly, and ask a lot of questions. All the guys I've worked with have been very nice and VERY patient. They know that I'm the GC and don't have as much experience as a pro. I know that I am not their first priority. Its an even playing field- no lies on either side.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I lived close enough to go every day - but I often timed my visits to when the work was done for the day so I could look things over without being a bother. I was polite when workers were on site but I was careful not to disturb them or ask questions - however, they would sometimes ask me questions. I would answer but then ALWAYS inform the contractor, in writing, of any conversations I had with subs so we could all stay on the same page.

I liked visiting every day, but to be honest it was less about checking up on work and more about brainstorming ideas at each stage to improve on design. That said, I did catch things from time to time that were not done to my specifications and I caught them early enough because I was there every day that it didn't result in problems/concerns later on.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

My husband went every day after work. Several times he found something done wrong. Lots of headaches, but it got corrected. Wrong bathtub color, wrong front window and a major mistake with the screened in porch. Make sure you are happy before you issue the final check to the builder. We were naive and paid in full. He never came back to correct a few small things that were wrong.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

When building a true custom on the homeowner's site and they're paying every bill, there's no keeping them away unfortunately. The worst hover over and pester every worker on site. Taking up their time, disturbing the work routine. Most though are sensible and direct their questions to me or my project manager, when I can afford one.

If it's a built-to-order on my land and my buck till closing, I strictly limit inspections to specified times in the company of a manager, myself or the real estate broker. (If they trespass after hours that's their business; and why I have NO TRESPASS signs, fences, lighting and liability insurance.)

My favourite are spec homes. Until they end up unsold sitting for a year eating up capital while I tear out my remaining hair sobbing, "Nevermore. Nevermore."


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

DH went every day. I went several times a week. We had good friends who lived several doors down. If they noticed something that looked out of place, they would call and we would go check it out.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I was there every day. Brought workers food and drinks almost every day. Made nice. Asked many questions, complemented them whenever possible (in a sincere way) and appreciated their hard work in heat and bad conditions.

Caught some mistakes, learned many things, changed some things, spent some more money.

Ended up with a home that was better than it would have been if I was less involved.

Recommended, but you have to be careful how you do it. They are there to work, don't be a pest.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

pprioroh- perfect answer.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

As evidenced by my other threads, I'm at the site almost every day, as I only live two miles away and pass it going to/from shopping etc. It's a spec town home being built in the builder's development, and they have a great policy of letting you visit as often as you wish, as long as you suit up in a hard hat. Now I also have to pick up a key since it's done enough to be locked down when workers aren't there.

I've taken full advantage of this policy and have videotape and photos of everything behind the walls and even of the shared wall with the next door unit, as well as detailed photos from every stage of the build. I've also caught a couple of incorrect things early, like an incorrectly placed hose bib, so they were able to be corrected before it became a lot of time and trouble later.

Because I don't own the home yet, I can't really tell the workers what to do. I say "hello" and chat with them about their work if they bring it up themselves, but mostly I try to stay out of their way. Still, it's handy to be there sometimes, like when the electrician was putting in the hot tub box, as he had a question that it was easiest to ask us (we paid for that added work, so I felt comfortable talking to him about the specs).

Even though I have some minor bones of contention with the builder at the moment, overall the policy of letting me have unlimited access to the construction site has given me a lot more confidence. I marvel at people who don't get a good look before the final walk-through, as that's much too rushed and stressful of a time to get a good look at everything. I plan to go through by myself a few days before that so I can test and scrutinize things at my leisure. That way, I'll know exactly where to focus on that final day.


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RE: When your house was being built did you go to the site everyd

I was the owner/builder last year and was at the home every day that work was being done. I got along great with all of my contractors and our project went well.


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