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Friday, May 31, 2013

Day 43, 44: Pre-Drywall Meeting and Framing Inspection Attemp #2

Day 43: Thursday, May 30th, 2013:
Absolutely nothing going on our house.

Day 44: Friday, May 31st, 2013:
Very little happened in the house from a construction stand point.  The plumbers came by and did a few punch list items and inserted a few new problems. 

Gas Line Inspection:
The gas line inspection was conducted earlier in the afternoon and passed...Yeah!

Pre-Drywall Meeting:
We did our Pre-Drywall meeting (technically the Pre-Pre-Drywall meeting. I explain later.) after the gas line inspection (but before the framing inspection).  Overall it went well.  We've been so involved in the process there wasn't much to really talk about that we hadn't already identified. 
There were some items I pointed out a few weeks ago that hadn't been taken care of yet and the plumbers put in some new problems that have to be addressed.  All in all it went well.

Silver lining #1. We are getting a set of attic stairs in one of our bedrooms leading to our attic furnace.  We were not expecting this but it looks like they have had a lot of issues with homeowners not changing filters and it has been costing them a lot more than the stairs cost.  A preventative measure for them and a win for me.

Silver lining #2. One thing I was really happy about was that the PM and Asst PM went in and really cleaned the house top to bottom.  It looked really good and I'm happy about not having

Framing Inspection Attempt #2:
As we were finishing up our pre-drywall meeting the county inspector showed up.  I was able to be a fly on the wall to see how the inspection went.  Overall went well, expect for it failing.  It was a fair inspection and the items he identified were legitimate.  There were some nailing patterns and bracing required in the roofing system that were not done.  We have to get re-inspected and because this inspection was so late in the day, the earliest they could come back out is next Tuesday.  This is exactly what I was ranting about earlier and what I knew was going to happen.

The silver lining #3.  Because it is in the truss system (where no insulation goes), it isn't going to delay insulation but will delay sheet rock 2 days.  Actually if we would have passed this inspection 2 days ago, we would be drywalling this weekend... that's another rant for another time.

Soft Closing date...
Normally they don't do the pre-drywall meeting until after the framing inspection is done and the house is insulated.  My spouse is going to be out of town next week so we did a preliminary inspection today and I'm going to do the final next week.  The PM wouldn't give us a hard date because the framing inspection hadn't passed and the insulation wasn't done.  He did say he is confident he can do our Pre-settlement walk-thru on Wednesday, July 24th and our closing would be Friday, July 26th.  This is 1 day later than we were told during our pre-construction meeting which from a Programmatic standpoint is pretty good.  From our perspective, asking for a few days to the good and actually losing a day, we aren't jumping up and down.  I'm going to be optimistic and grateful it didn't slide more to the right.

A look ahead:
- Saturday/Sunday, June 1/2, 2013: Insulation
- Monday, June 3, 2013: Punch list from Framing Inspection and Pre-drywall
- Monday, June 3, 2013: Drywall should be delivered
- Tuesday, June 4, 2013: Framing Inspection Attempt #3
- Tuesday, June 4, 2013: Masons are supposed to start Monday or Tuesday
- Wednesday, June 5, 2013: Hopefully sheet rock begins

Misc Work:
The dirt mound in front of our house was taken away.  Still have the dirt in the back but there is still a bit of grading that will have to happen back there.

The shower seat in the Owner's suite, was built too wide and it pushed the shower pan out passed the side wall.  The pan had to be pulled out, the seat rebuilt and the pan reset in concrete.

All the holes where the plumbing went from one floor to another, had to be filled with expanding foam.

Dirt Mound Gone.

Another shot. That is Masons Sand for the Siding.

Expanding foam. This is to prevent a fire from spreading between floors
(It would still spread, just not as fast)

I had posted where I had a strange sideways outlet in my dining room (see below)

So the cryptic note on the studs in my dining room and the fact that the electricians had mounted a random outlet at eye level sideways in the wall...had me puzzled???  What had happened was that the PM automatically has the electricians drop the outlets down and turns them sideways where you have paneling installed.  This prevents having to come back and move outlets later.  A Veteran move but not understood by the electricians (or me apparently).

The plumbers fixed one problem here but created another one for the electricians

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Day 42: Failed Inspections but Scheduled Pre-Drywall

BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): Our Gas Line Inspection failed so therefore, so did the framing.

The Gas Line failed due to a technicality (not related to safety or even the concern that there was a leak or possibility of a leak or fire).  This was required before the framing inspection could be completed.  I had watched the gauge hold the pressure and not lose a single PSI for over a week.  The test the plumbers performed actually exceeded the counties standards but was not the proper one for this county so they failed it.  We are at the junction of three counties, so it is confusing for some of the trades.  Some RH developments here span two counties. 

So the domino effect...although the plumbers fixed it on the site...the inspector wouldn't stay and sign it off.  The framing inspector showed up and even though the discrepancy had been fixed, he wouldn't even step foot in the house.  Of course the inspectors are booked tomorrow and so we have to wait until Friday.  My largest concern is that the framing will fail too and we will have to wait until next Monday losing 5 working days.  We are already behind by "MY schedule", this would not be good for the project.

The County Inspector Conspiracy:

Before we broke ground I had went through county inspection results for other homes in the area and noted that most inspections in our county did not pass the first time around.  I had anticipated this and built this into my own version of the construction schedule.  I was of course hoping for the best but am not surprised. 

I feel as if it's the counties way of increasing revenue at our expense.  At this point I would personally cut them a check so they would stop delaying my project.  Each failed inspection has cost me 3 or more days each.  On a 98 day build 12 to 15 of these days or more seem to just be due to county inspections.  RH factors this in and passes the cost to us.  I don't even want to know what RH's the fully burdened rate is and the fact that 1/8 of the schedule (at least for my home) has been inspection delays.  The sad truth is the county makes an extra $60.60 for a re-inspect x 10 inspections or about $600 over and above the nearly $2,000 they charge anyway.  If they want $2,600 to build a house in our county, then they should just charge that.  The issue I have is they are already costing me thousands in pass along costs from RH plus the heartache of possibly not closing on time (or at the time we really need, not the time RH estimated).  I would gladly pay the $600 and call it fact make it an even $1,000 and call it gratuity (or extortion which ever way you look at it).

A look ahead:

If we pass both inspections Friday (June 1st), we will begin insulation over the weekend.

We are going to do our Pre-Drywall meeting Friday (June 1st) no matter what.  I'm not going to be the long pole in the tent.

Sheetrock should be arriving Monday (June 3rd), hopefully followed by a robust workforce to hang it.

I should get status on the masons and when they are going to brick our house tomorrow (Thursday, May 30th).

Final Waterproofing:

This Blue Vapor Barrier runs from the Foundation up over the sill plates, rim
joists and the bottom of the wall sheathing (OSB on the walls).

It raps all the way around and is sealed with tar

Lots of pipes and other Misc eye soars on the side
of my house.  All weather tight though...

Basement bathroom vent...sealed

 Some pics of the outside electrical rough-ins:

Porch lights, outside outlet and door bell wire (would probably like to just
disable this)...


This is a random outside outlet...not even sure what this goes to.
It's nowhere near the AC units or the porch/patio


Grounding wire for the house...

 Sump Pump Drainage:

Our sump pump was off for a few days because the foundation crew
sealed up the extension cord in the foundation and had to cut it.
So we just got another one out there and plugged it back in.
Our own little Lake Erie, I guess.
There is a large drain at the back of our neighbors property and the water is headed directly there.  This gives me some relief that our grading is approximately correct and we aren't going to get water intrusion.  Now it's up to me to mess that up with improperly planned landscaping.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 41: Electrical, Framing and Waterproofing

I'm going to apologize in advance for not being able to take any pictures today.  I'll get some tomorrow and come back and post them.


We had our Electrical inspection and passed with flying colors.  Not sure who managed that project but they did a great job. ;-)

The electricians had a few things to do this morning that they couldn't do yesterday because the framers had to do a few things but the knocked it out before the inspector showed up.  I was there during the inspection and it went very smooth.

There were a couple things that they won't be able to do until final (i.e. under cabinet lighting, island outlets, etc.)but for the most part they are done.


The framers finished their final punch list (inside and outside) and really did a great job.


The waterproofing crew was out and finalized their job.  They basically put a vapor barrier that ran from the bottom of the sheathing, over the rim joists and sill plates and down onto the foundation.  It was like a rubber mat with tar and adhesive.  The sealed sealed every hole the plumbers,  electricians and HVAC crew made.


The roofers finally came out and finished installing the sleeves over the vent lines in the roof.  Our house is officially water/weather tight.

What's next:

Gas Pipe Inspection  tomorrow (Wednesday, May 29, 2013)
Framing and Heating Inspection tomorrow (Wednesday, May 29, 2013)

If the above inspections pass we could have insulation installed as early as Thursday, maybe Friday.  We will have our Pre-Drywall inspection after they install insulation.  This will depend on all of the above.  I'm hoping next week is Dry Wall week and they are done by the end of the week.  We'll see.

I'm not sure when drywall will be delivered yet.  I will ask my PM.  I spoke to him twice today but it was in regards to the electrical and framing above.  I didn't want to get too far ahead.  It was also Production Meeting Tuesday.

We should get a final completion date at our Pre-Dry wall, so I'm really hoping the early finishes and later starts even each other out and it doesn't push us too far off target.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 39, 40: Electrical Day 2 - Almost Done

Day 39: Sunday, May 26, 2013:

No work on this day.

Day 40: Monday, May 27, 2013:

I'm going to apologize in advance for the following rant.  Feel free to skip ahead to the pictures but if you haven't had your electrical installed yet, you might pick up some tips here.

With the exception of NVR Mortgage, this is the first thing that has really P@#$$ me off.  It's in regards to the electricians.  The workers were great but not properly supervised.  That's what I'm most upset about and frankly why I wanted to be on-site for the installation.

The Problem:

The electricians were back out at the house to finish up today.  The foreman told me they would be there at 8am this morning and that the sub-contractor (I'm assuming owner or at least someone in charge...and the one that was supposed to call me) would be there to work out all the additions we had added.  Anyone want to guess whether or not he showed up....  Well he didn't!!!  I took time off work to meet with the Electricians and Guardian.  Well the electricians were supposed to be there Wednesday and didn't show, then Thursday and didn't show, then Friday and didn't Saturday...yes I went out in the morning and they didn't show.  They got there some time in the evening because I caught them around 5pm.  At no point was this supervisor there.  Even Monday when he told his foreman he was going to show up.  So basically NO CALL and NO SHOW!!!

What really upsets me is that this guy went off and enjoyed his weekend with this family while I had to go in and supervise his crew because I wasn't going to allow a delay.  For the most part, the quality of their work was good (I did find a few items that need to be fixed) but with all the stuff they missed from the prints and change orders, we would have either not gotten what we were supposed to or had to delay the entire project.  Hope he had fun with his family, because I didn't...and I burned annual vacation time to boot.  What I would like to know at this point is where to send the invoice for my time?

So this morning the foreman was trying to put off the list of posted additions because they had another house to get to today (part of the problem was that they were not even looking at the printed Change Orders taped to the windows...or my schematic showing where they were supposed to go.  He said, "Those changes are not on the RH prints."  Not to say I was lying but to give the reason they hadn't put them in, in the first place).  He was going to put them off until tomorrow.  The problem is, our electrical inspection is scheduled for tomorrow...and if that slides, everything slides...including our drywall.  That is not going to happen!!!

Another note is that they were not reading the full RH prints (that the PM went out of his way to put a fresh set in the house for them and I heard him tell the Sub they were there).  There's an overview and then a series of more detailed prints.  There were at least 4 or 5 things they missed that I caught.  My assessment is that this sub was supposed to be on-site to read the prints and direct traffic.  It looks like he came in, wrote a few notes on the overview and disappeared for the holiday weekend.  I'm not even sure he came to the house to look at it.

My Solution to the Problem:

It just so happens that we live a few miles away from the best donut shop in the state.  A 10 minute trip and a few dozen donuts later and the foreman and I had a nice chat while his crew enjoyed some donuts.  We walked the house and marked all the discrepancies I noted and the missing Change Order items.  A hung out while they worked and as they finished a room, I grabbed a broom and helped them clean up so they could get out to their next job.  He wanted to by out by 12pm and he walked about at 12:04pm.  There were a few items they couldn't do but the electrical is 98% done.  The problem is that this guy that never called me is supposed to be the one to come in and finish the job tomorrow before the inspector gets there.  I'm guessing he is the licensed electrician and has to get the house ready for the electrical inspection.  I can't really take another day off work but I'm going out there at lunch.

At any rate, here are some pictures:

Tray Ceiling Switched Outlet
They started to install these vertical and at the top of the framing instead
of horizontal and with a piece of blocking...

They put a 2x4 nailer in here and took the light off the vent where it
was previously screwed in.

Tray ceiling switched outlet in Master Bedroom

Door Bell above Dining Room

They fixed the 2x4 that was too short and split but what would be
supporting a ceiling fan.  They also moved the can lights back a little bit.
The can lights were parallel to the ceiling fan.  Which had 2 problems
1.) As the fan blades would spin, the can light would appear to flicker.
2.) The lighting would not have been evenly distributed in the space and
the can lights are now above where we are going to put a desk.

Light for Kitchen Niche.
The upstairs hallway one couldn't be put in
because the framers built the niche wrong.

The rats nest before (service panel)...

The caulking in the outlets will definitely help keep the cold air out

More caulking.

Patio light and outside outlet location in dinette

Outlets for island. This was one of the things they missed and didn't know
where to locate the holes. It was on the prints they weren't reading.

We had this 2.5" pipe run from where the cable box is in the basement,
all the way to the attic.  For future low voltage wiring.

The two loose white wires will be for our garbage disposal and switch

Under cabinet lighting wire (hanging white wire)
and microwave oven wire (hanging yellow)

Porch light, outside receptacle and door bell rough-in

Another under cabinet light rough-in. In corner near double oven.

Service panel after clean up

Another pic of the 2.5" pipe and under cabinet
light rough-in for butler pantry.

Close up of wire going outside for electrical outlet

Ok, these are out of order... this is the pipe
they used for the run from the basement to
the attic (for later wiring needs)

Electrical for AC

Random sideways outlet in our dining room????

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Day 38: Electrical Started, Cable Finished and Framing Continues

More Framing:

The framers nearly finished the interior framing yesterday (Friday, May 24th).  They still have to finish the exterior punch list before we can start bricking.  We may also need to pass our framing inspection too.  It wouldn't make sense to start bricking if we had to make framing changes.

Here are some pictures.

Framed out worst placed column ever... :(
Right in the middle of our finished basement.
Structural support isn't that important...right?

I had not seen pictures of the basements stairs in a
Highgrove.  For those that are they are.

Looking down the basement stairs. There was
some question on how to finish the ceiling here.
Either sloped or squared off. The clearance
would be the same either way.

This is how the sofit in the basement ended up.
It's wider and not as tight I as I would have liked
but it works.

Another shot of the basement sofit

Basement windows finally installed

Other basement window (not counting the egress)

This is the space below the fireplace. They
normally sheet rock over this but we wanted
to put a pantry there for our basement kitchenette.

That cut out up there is to change the furnace filters

Egress window installed

Electric Company:

The electric company was out and filled the trench for the power lines.

This seems like a waste of time. The Cable, Telco and Gas Company
will still have to dig a trench here to run their utilities.

Cable Rough-ins:

I also got a few pictures of the final cable installation.  Not sure when the service panel in the basement will be installed.  It's on the unfinished side of the wall, so I guess it doesn't really matter.  They can do it when they come back to install the jacks after sheet rock.

Cable and Telco come into my house in the kitchen behind one of my cabinets

Close up shot. Then it goes straight down to the basement and over to
the future site of an service panel. Then everything goes out from there.

This is where the cable comes down from the kitechen

Here is where I had them put the service panel.

Electrical Rough-ins:

The electricians started today.  They only worked on our house for 3-4 hours but nearly finished the rough-ins.  The foreman said they would only have a few hours of work to do on Monday (May 27, 2103) and will be ready for inspection.  We didn't get the call from the sub like we were supposed to.  Luckily I was able to catch a few things before they started them but unfortunately there were a few they had already put in.  The foreman asked if I could meet him Monday to go over them and he would fix them.  I wrote down all the things I noted and will follow up with him Monday after he has finished the job.  Probably 3/4 or more of the things I noted will probably be taken care of as he does his walk around and QA check.  The foreman was working too, so couldn't supervise while he worked.

What I saw when I walked in. Wires everywhere.
Here you can see some the Garage Outlets I had put in at about 42" high.

More wires everywhere...

May I have another Can Light please?

The Can Light on the left is attached to that vent. I'm afraid it will make
a humming sound when air is coming out that vent. Would like to fix this.

Vanity light rough-in above Powder Sink. Some of these are plastic while
others are metal.  Not sure why.

They still need to strip off the wire coating and tuck the wires in the box
until after sheet rock.

2 of the 4 extra Can Lights in Master Bedroom

Included Can Lights above Soaking Tub...
Notice Vanity on the Left has a Metal Fixture while the Vanity on the right
has a plastic fixture.  It might have to do with whether or not the fixture is
acting as a junction box to feed other receptacles.

This is where Power comes in the house and where our Service Panel will be.
Once again, another impediment to my Media Room. I just can't catch a break.

Guess it's a good thing we have such a large
sofit here.

Garage Coach Light (Right Side)

Power Meter

Garage Coach Light (Left Side)

There will not be anyone working on the house Sunday, May 26, 2103 but the Electricians are coming in Monday although it is Memorial Day.