A Personal New Constructions Story: Part Four - The Framing Walk Through
To re-cap, my husband and I are building a house in Saratoga Springs, and I've been documenting the process so that not only can people follow along and live vicariously through us during this exciting process, but also so that people can learn what it looks like to build a new construction home. In my last blog we covered the pre-construction meeting; we had just gotten permits, the foundation was poured, and we went through all of our options we had selected to make sure they were accurately represented on the building plans. That meeting took place on May 21, and framing was about 80% done by June 10.
I was in the neighborhood with a client who was also looking to build in Saratoga Springs, and lo and behold - she's going to live on my same street! I couldn't be more excited for her, and I'm glad I'll have at least one awesome neighbor.
Our house had most of it's roof done, but the basement still wasn't fully framed. Turns out the lumber yard our builder uses was short exactly the amount of lumber needed for our basement's exterior walls, so they did the rest of the house while they were waiting on that. At this point we still don't have any utilities roughed in, but the plan is do to those within a week. I did sit with my legs hanging out the hole where our sliding glass door will go, and enjoyed some lunch and the view while I was there.
We took my family down to check out our house. My mom had seen a different house of the same floor plan, and the neighborhood, but no one had been to see our place since it started being built. We also met our neighbors, and I think my nephew and the neighbor girls will be great friends!
All the utilities are mostly roughed in (water, HVAC, electrical - the only part that wasn't done was the basement electrical because the framing still wasn't 100% done), our furnaces are installed, we have bathtubs and shower inserts, and the sliding glass door was in. One kinda big problem though - the back door is the WRONG SIZE. One of the things that sold us on this floor plan with Richmond was how much light there was in the living areas, and that was largely due to the fact that you can opt to have a variety of over-sized sliding glass doors; so ours was supposed to be 8'x8'...and it was 8 feet tall, but only 6 feet wide.
I let the builder's agent know, and when she reached out to the superintendent he questioned whether or not that was accurate - her response to him, "Well Heather is the queen of details and is super on top of everything, so I would trust her on this." Hahaha, which made my day. Of course, they checked the paperwork, and I was right, so they're ordering the correct door, and then the framing team will have to go in and widen the opening for the bigger door. This could potentially delay closing, since they can't finish drywall or do exterior siding until the new door is in, which can take up to 2 weeks to order, but having the over-sized door is totally worth it, if that's what it takes. Since we caught it when we did, they could at least have the electrician move the outlets over while he was already there, so delays should be minimal.
The framing walk through - first things first, we went through our list of options and double checked everything for the fourth time, checking off what has already been done, and making sure what still needs to be done is accurate. We did catch another error (because I was hovering over the superintendent's shoulder like the worst helicopter parent that ever existed). Two of the bathroom faucets were listed as being the single handle faucets, when we had opted for the widespread:
Again, they went back through the paperwork and found that in fact the last version of options that we had approved of did have the widespread faucets. Which is why they double check these things over and over again throughout the process, and also is why having someone in your corner with an eye for details is super important. I've caught several things like this for other new construction clients too, because it's A LOT of information, especially as the buyer, so sometimes little things slip through the cracks. But that's ok, because that's my job to make sure the details are accounted for.
We then walked through the house together, checking off all the items that have been completed, and making note of anything that wasn't quite right so it could be fixed. For example, we had a pendant light over our kitchen island pre-wired, but it was too close to the nearby canned light so whatever pendant or track lighting we put up would potentially overlap the canned light, which is no bueno. So we had them scoot that over by a few inches to give ourselves enough space. Also, the linen closet wasn't exactly square, so we had the framing guys straighten that out too. And the microwave hadn't been vented to the outside yet, so the super called the duct-work guys to get them back out to finish that.
At this point we have a completed roof with shingles, the basement was in the process of being finished with framing while we were there, and the only utility work left is for the electrician to come and install outlets and light switches in the basement. Our superintendent let us know that the city inspection was scheduled for later this same day, and once they passed inspection they would put up the insulation, and the goal is to start on drywall early next week. It usually takes about 7 days for their drywall team to get everything installed and finish all texturing on walls and ceilings to get it ready for paint. They will also be putting in the areaway stairs in the backyard to go down to the basement entrance this next week. We're still on schedule to close late August.
Since there were crews working on the house during our framing walk through, I hadn't gotten a video tour of the house like I had wanted to, so we went back to do that before drywall starts, and to see how things were looking. We now have most of our windows installed, we have a fireplace, all of the insulation is done, and each of the items on our list to fix has been fixed (minus the back door, since we're still waiting on the new one to arrive). There are stacks of drywall throughout the house, and a GIANT stack of joint compound in the office - enough to put the drywall up, and also texture all the walls and ceilings in the house. Looks like things are right on schedule!
Here's the video - excuse my lack of skills in this department. I'll just stick to selling real estate instead of videography, haha.
And here's an updated view of our timeline:
All of the finish work will be done in the next two months, so there will be a TON of progress happening very quickly, but we won't meet with the superintendent again until it's almost completed. This doesn't mean there isn't work to do on my end though - I'll be keeping an eye on the details, and bringing anything that doesn't seem right to the builder's attention so that's it's perfect at the end.