Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 52 -- Finally I can breathe a bit.

Huge day all around on the house front.

First off -- Pre-daywall inspection was today.   Pretty uneventful.    45 minute walk through with PM.   Most of it was stuff I had seen before in my "self inspections", but it was good to have a chance to ask the PM questions.    I had noticed the PM had the gasoline moved in the unfinished part of the basement, and I thanked him for that.  He knows I plan to finish that room, and it makes the ceiling a lot easier without a big pipe running down the center.

Closing date is now set for June 8th, and PM says this is a firm date.   So that was good news.

Second, the offer came in on our current house, which is a huge load off my shoulders now.   We convinced them to close by the end of May (they are paying cash!!! WTF?) since there is no bank evolvement on their end, and give us until June 15th to move out.   They came back and accepted our counter offer.   Very glad to have this wrapping up.   Hopefully there won't be any inspection issues.

Lastly is the 60/30 day NVRM lock.    I talked to the loan officer today, and after tracking rates for the last 2 weeks I think I am going to wait until 30 days out to lock (May 9th).   There difference between 60 and 30 days @4% is about $1000 more cash from NVR towards closing, and even if that goes down in the next 10 days I doubt it will go down THAT much.   even 3 weeks ago when rates sucked it was still $200 better than the 60 day is now.   It is a gamble, but low risk in my book.

Drywall has arrived

This is why they put weep holes in brick walls.  If water gets behind it flows to the bottom (Note, silver will be covered with brick eventually also, they ran out the other day)
I shuck a pull string from the guardian box through the King Stud and above the FP.   This will help me pull my HDMI with all that insulation in there.
A ranch popped up across the street over the last 3 days,  Not sure why Roto Rooter was there.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Day 49 - 2nd Day of Bricks, Insulation, and Inspections Passed

Finally some big progress.
  • Electrical inspection passed today
  • Frame and heat inspection passed
  • Today was the 2nd day of bricking, and the front is done, windowless side is almost done, and garage remains (as of 5pm, but these guys work late)
Once the inspections were over the insulation guys came in a did  all of the upstairs, most of the first floor, and probably will finish the basement too.   Fast workers.

Pre-drywall inspection is Monday.

In other news we supposedly have an offer on our current house, but it hasn't actually materialized yet.   Their realtor said it was coming as any time now.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Day 47 - Almost to Pre-drywall

This has been a slow week with all the mechanicals finishing up.   I stopped by last night and the house was all locked up, so no more peaking when I shouldn't.    The framing and rough-heat inspection was scheduled for today but got bumped to tomorrow.   Judging by the neighbors permit records Final Occupancy comes 30 to 40 days after Framing inspection passes.   So that puts us on track for that early June closing they have been promising.   My running guess is June 8th, but I could see as early as the 1st. If their 84 day estimate ends up being true then they still have 36 days from today.  

The PM had our pre-drywall meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning, but pushed it to Friday.   Apparently the electricians are taking longer than expected still.   He should get the crew that framed the house to do electric.   Their 12 hour day work ethic was impressive.  

Since we are within the 60 day window I have started checking with NRV mortgage every day on the updated rates.  Interesting how much they fluctuate each day.   Seems like we can get either a 4% or 4.128% ($19/month difference in payment) with some cash towards closing costs pretty easy, but that cash amount jumps around a lot.   Anywhere from 300 to $2700 over the last week or so.   No matter what rates seem to be a lot better than during that 3 week spike in late March/ beginning of April.    My goal rate is a 60-day lock @ 4% with > $1800 cash towards closing.  If I see that I will jump.    30-day rates haven't been much better than 60 day (no clue why), but I am still probably 2 weeks out from a 30 day lock ability.     However, NVRM did say that once the PM give me a closing date we can lock 30 days from that, and if RH slips on closing then NVR will extend the lock a few days.   Not sure if that is unofficial or official, but I will get it in writing if that happens.

Hopefully Friday I will have some dramatic new photos.    I know the brick should be up this week.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Day 44 - Almost to pre-drywall, Had first inspection

Few new things, but not much dramatic.   The electric/plumbing/HVAC all appear to still be in progress, but wrapping up.  I could tell the sump pump is now running from outside, which makes me very happy (basement water phobia) and also confirmed for me I need a battery backup and spare pump.  There hasn't been much rain lately and it was churning away.   Granted, we have no gutters and the sump dump is putting the water 2' away from the house for now, but I still think we will have the pump run more than I expected.

The bricks came on Friday, which is exciting.  Hopefully we will have some brick progress this week to show off.   It's the right color (Seneca Blend) which is about all I can tell.

PM had the studs above the fireplace fixed and even added some cross studs when I told him we plan to mount a TV over there.  Very nice of him.

I also got my first report from MY inspector this weekend.  I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I have a contractor doing inspections for me during construction.  He also used to be a RH PM, and happened to train my PM about 8 years ago.   He is inspecting at foundation (weeks ago), initial framing, pre-drywall (now), and pre-closing (walking through with me pre official walkthrough).  He isn't a certified inspector or anything, but I trust him a heck of a lot more than those horrible inspections realtors set you up with.   Watch Holmes Inspection on TLC once if you want to question the value of a certified home inspector.  Having professional eyes look at the process on my behalf is an investment in my own sanity.

There were no issues at foundation of framing, but he found a few minor things at pre-drywall that would have eventually been a pain in the butt.  Biggest was that the electrical for our basement bath rough-in was run right through the middle of where the eventual door will go.   So we would have been paying for the electric rough-in (and all the plumbing work), but would have to yank it all out.   I passed all the info along to the PM and I don't expect it to be an issue.  He has been super responsive to everything so far.   I don't expect him to catch every little thing -- but I do expect him to fix it when I catch them, and I have no complaints.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Day 41 - Lot done but not much to see

Quick run down of the last 2 days.

I emailed the PM with a few items I noticed and a day later they were all fixed.  He really is on top of it whenever I bring something to his attention.   On the negative, I did get a "reminder" that I'm not supposed to be in the house w/o an employee for safety reasons.   I am going to try my best...

  • Plumbing seems to be mainly done.   Maybe a few items left.  Hot water heater isn't in place yet.
  • Guardian did their wiring install today.  I met them there this morning and marked all the drop locations and they were supposed to be done today.  The come back later to install plugs, plates and their panel.  
  • Electricians were there this morning when I met with Guardian.   They were great.   Confirmed locations of a few extra outlets, switches, etc.   The original panel location now has a water pipe above it (Sump Pump drain) which is a horrible idea.   Backup plan was garage wall, which works a lot better for me.  I was going to have to frame around the old location when I finish under the morning room as an office.  Now there is nothing to worry about.   Plus it will be a lot easier to install a generator transfer switch with the panel closer to the outside.   
  • The electricians also helped me out by drilling a hole through a stud above the fireplace.  This will allow me to fish my HDMI cables down to the guardian drop with everything hidden.   Sometime next week I am going to try to do a post on my AV/security/wiring/etc plans.   I basically got the minimum from guardian and I am either going wireless or self install on a lot of it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 38 - Shingles and Pipes

After being away for 48 hours I stopped by after work.   The plumbers were there tearing the place up (in a good way) so I didn't look around too much.  Last thing I want to do is hold them up.

  • Shingles in
  • Bathtub is almost there.
  • Guest shower in place
  • Water and Drains are in progress.  
The only things unusual are the water in the basement and my 2" PVC.   Basement water is from a still unknown source (possibly the missing basement window) and people say totally normal, but still not something I wanted to see.   I will be checking with the PM to make sure he knows where it came from.

The 2nd thing is the plumbers installed the 2" PVC from the furnace room to attic that I requested.  This $275 pipe will save $2750 in guardian expenses for future drops.   Plan is to have the master bedroom and family room guardian wired (living room and parts of the basement too) with the included drops and do the rest of the bedrooms myself (cost about $10/drop and 30 minutes) using this PVC as my path from the basement to the attic.   Basically anything that is accessible after drywall I will do myself.   I am sure guardian does good work, but at $125 per drop it is anything but a good deal.   Plus they won't do anything custom.   Want 2 HDMI's?  That will be $1200 because we only do HDMI included with the HDTV package and 1 max, no substitutions.   It was a quick meeting.  Nice guy, plenty of better ways to spend my money.   On that note, I am meeting with them on Thursday to mark the drops they are going to install.

Shingles ON.
Tub almost there
Guest Shower
My 2" Basement to Attic PVC 
Grrrrr.......  Deep Breathe...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 34 - Seal'er Up!

House was pretty much sealed up today.  Great news in case it rains.  I have been paranoid about this  Any day now I am going to have to start asking for the keys to get in (boo...).   
  •  Front door and surround windows installed.   
  • Both Garage doors installed
  • Garage firedoor (interior) installed
  • deck exit blocked off until deck installed.
I'm guessing there was an issue with some of the house wrap.  Yesterday the whole 2nd floor was wrapped, but today they took off the bottom half over the whole rear.  

Shingles tomorrow and the PM is supposed to call with a schedule update.  We're less than 60 days out, but won't get our closing date for another week or so (pre-drywall meeting).

Tar paper on the roof. Shingles Tomorrow
Fireplace in, centered (!) and looking good finally
Got Garage Doors today

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Day 33 - Ready to Roof

More big progress.   In 2 days they seem to have finished the upstairs (internal walls and all), got all of the decking on the roof, pre-staged the roofing materials (for tomorrow???) and weather wrapped the entire house.   And finally poured the garage slab.  Hard to believe all this is in 1 week since framing started.

All the windows are in.  Only 1 cracked, so not too bad of an average.  No garage doors, garage entrance door, or front door yet, so I can still sneak in after they workers finally leave (8:30pm tonight, seriously dedicated)

So far we have not had ANY rain since the wood was delivered -- and I am very relieved.  I know it will all dry out eventually, but I would rather not run a dehumidifier 24/7 for the first 5 years....   Assuming the roof and door go on before the weekend then I will be a very happy camper.   We're creeping up on 60 days out so I will probably give our PM a call sometime next week to see how he's feeling about calling out a closing date. 

This is 1 week into framing.  Impressive work guys. 
Eventual front door and window are currently in the living room 
Still a bit unsure on this fireplace fix.   Those studs above are anything but straight.  Not sure if they built for a 48" and shrunk for a 36"...  
Another great sunset here.  
Yeah for the engineered garage slab...

Master Bedroom

Tray ceiling in the master bedroom  looking towards bathroom

Tub deck built

House directly across the street is poured.  Not sure which model
Foyer into the attic

Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 31 - 2nd Floor Rises

Big progress today!    Basically the entire 2nd floor is up (or will be by the time they eventually quit for the day).   I stopped by around 3pm and they had all of the walls up and were just finishing the roof trusses and "end cap" trusses.

It looked like they started to wrap the first floor but it was super windy so I think they finally stopped...  

I ran a few errands and picked up our daughter, who wanted to come back and see the house -- so I had to oblige, of course.    Two hours later (no photos) it appeared they were working on the interior walls of the 2nd floor.  

Very exciting progress all around.

Front.  Obviously

Side Entry Garage view with bedroom above.

Garage straight view.   Nice that driveway will be straight in but tapered a bit.

The back.   The overhang from the bedroom is screaming for an awning and a patio :-)

This is the crazy sh*t these guys do... They can not possibly pay them enough. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day 29 - Basement Interior Walls

We stopped by today hoping to see the front 2nd floor walls up, but no luck, and no workers (not that I blame them...).    However, the basement steps were in (tempting me to peak) and when I finally gave in I was surprised to see that most of the basement interior framing was done.    As a guy, this was really exciting.  The (My) basement was starting to take shape.  My wife was a lot less excited about this development, but was relieved to see the family room w/o the 4' extension didn't feel too small. 

Lots of basement photos below.

Also -- it appears a future across-the-street neighbor found this blog :-)   Definitely introduce yourself, whoever you are.
When I stopped in to see the Sales Rep today she mentioned that he had recognized the trees in some of my early photos and mentioned it to her.   I have been purposely vague about the community location (who wants TOO much info on the internet?) but a few of the pics actually showed his lot, so it was probably pretty easy to ID for the mystery person.  Too funny...   That also means our Sales Rep (Hi Elizabeth...) and probably PM are following along now.   Thankfully they have been amazing (so far ;-) so I haven't had any real complaints.    I will feel slightly guilty sneaking around and taking photos now though.   My cover has been blown.

Anyway, basement photos.
Open part -- Furnace room in middle 
Furnace in middl again, Media room behind that to the left

Unfinished room 1 (eventual home office) looking into Media Room

Unfinished 1 again - Water shutoff near back wall, just above where power panel will go

Unfinished area 2 (rough bath room to left).  No clue what that black PVC thing is for...

Better shot of the bath rough-in.  Shower drain is there too, but probably won't install.

This was the only WTF in the basement.  Not sure if that even counts a a framing job. 

I need to call Guardian and tell them to install there box here.  There isn't going to be enough room in the furnace room.