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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????


  1. That sucks, I would bring it up with your pm and point out that you are paying for this to be done correctly not getting paid to do it. We live 30miles from our site so I am praying I won't have to be on them. We added about 18 extra outlets and pre wire and such.

    1. I agree. That is another point I was upset about. We were very clear upfront, that we were not happy with the starting date nor the estimated closing date. We've had lots of opportunities to accelerate this build and they've all been lost. The problem is, they start with a bloated schedule and are evaluated on finishing within that schedule. There is no incentive to finish early. I think I would run a much tighter project.

      We live 20+ minutes away and make daily (sometimes 2) trips per day. You could be completely hands off but honestly after everything I've caught I would have been sorely disappointed with the end result. This is the last home we are going to buy and we are spending entirely too much not to get it right. I've tried to be a spectator but after this weekend, I'm not sure I will be able to do that moving forward.

  2. I hope you were able to reach your PM by phone to let him know about the supervisor not being there. All in all its good that the crew showed up on a holiday hopefully everything will pass inspection and you can keep moving forward to drywall.

    1. Our fingers are crossed. I didn't call the PM because he was out of town with his family. I will see him tomorrow and I'll bring him up to speed. I think I'm going to be more involved this week to ensure we are ready for sheet rock first thing next week.

  3. Looks like a lot of electrical work! We got lucky on our house and did not have any issues in that department. Of course we did not add too make extras as far as electrical is concerned. I know I've said it before, but you really have to stay on top of them every step of the way. There's too much at stake not to. What I've noticed on our build is the mechanical trades seem to be large, reputable companies, and the sheetrock, trim, etc., seem to be fly-by-nights. Good luck, triple check everything before the rock goes up.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I've been watching everything closely but trying to allow the trades and PM to correct as much as possible. I feel really good about where we are right now. They have corrected/fixed nearly all my concerns to date. The plumbers ran the pipes for my basement bath on the outside of the framing instead of taking the time to drill holes and run it through the studs (mostly because the HVAC guys cut the wall to run vents and it took a few days for the framers to come back in...after the plumbing inspection). I'm going to have a heck of a time finishing the basement.

  4. OMG!! Readingyour post I was thinking the same thing, you should send your invoice to someone! WOW did not expect this, I'm sure we'll be extra careful now on....

    Sorry you had to go through all this, but I guess it was better that you found out in time. Hope you give an earful to your PM.

    The way you handled everything is so great!

    1. Luckily I calmed down before talking to either one of them. I toned down my anger with the PM because I didn't want to jeopardize our relationship (and it wasn't his fault). I spoke to the guy who was MIA before and after the electrical inspection and he is going to do some work for me after I move in to "make it right".

  5. Wow that is crazy that you had to become a PM for this to be done. We lucked out with our Electricians they were great and in fact anytime I was at the house would double check with me if they had any questions. Hope they stay on track with your timeframe.

    1. I'm sure like any business it's hit or miss. It turned out to be a communication break down. With the holiday weekend all the adult supervision "ass-u-me-d" that someone else had it and in reality... nobody did.