The Build: Week 31

Wednesday, March 6th – Tuesday, March 12th

It seems as though the closer we get to being done, the less time anyone is spending there working. I would think they’d be powering through the last few tasks to get us in and get rid us. Instead, it looks more like this:

  • Monday, March 4th – No one at the house.
  • Tuesday, March 5th – Just the plumber there to fix the forgotten drain.
  • Wednesday, March 6th – The carpenter finally came back to finish his work from a few weeks ago. Finally some progress!
  • Thursday, March 7th – Just the tile guy to fix one tile in the master bathroom.
  • Friday, March 8th – It’s now been 7 months since we broke ground. Just the plumber to install the faucet on the bathtub.
  • Monday, March 11th – Painter came back to finish the trim. Water softener installed. Glass kleaner came through. (This person was not a window cleaner. The windows themselves are still filthy.)
  • Tuesday, March 12th – Last of the painting. Grading.

It’s really incredibly frustrating to drive past and see that nothing, or very little, is happening. At this point all that’s left to do inside the house is patch some drywall holes, fix some texture issues, put the carpet down, and then hang the shelving and mirrors. You would think these tasks could easily be completed within a few days but instead, we wait.

I was also a little pissed when we stopped at the house on Monday, March 11th. We walked in to the painter cleaning a huge plastic bucket out in the kitchen sink. When he saw us he did get that deer-in-headlights look. Dude, come on. Once he left I did a lap around the house and noticed there was a roll of toilet paper in the master bathroom and the plastic wrap had been taken off of the toilet seat. DUDE, COME ON! No one should be crapping in that toilet by us. Joke is going to be on him if he tries to use it again. I took the toilet paper out and put it back in the port-a-potty. Because COME ON!

  • Front door installed and frame painted
  • Finished carpentry completed
  • Water softener installed
  • Windows glass kleaned

31 weeks down, 2 overdue

The Build: Week 30

Wednesday, February 27th – Tuesday, March 5th

Would someone please come work on our house. I’m begging you to just get it done.
As you can see from the pictures we had good progress with the flooring on the first floor and we thought we were down to the last week or two. Really, we actually thought that. How silly. Aside from some minor plumbing work, and one major plumbing issue, we didn’t see anyone else at the house completing tasks. What was this major plumbing issue? I’m so glad you asked!

Scroll down and checkout the day 208 picture. One evening this past week we went poking around the house and saw water had run down the basement wall below this very tube. How odd, we thought, and so we looked at the sinks and toilets around the house more closely. We turned a few sinks on and off and then went back into the basement to have a peek. Yes indeed, there was now more water in the basement. We decided to keep our cool, after all, Ricky keeps telling us the house isn’t done yet.
Fast forward to Sunday when we get an email from our pal, Rick, telling us the plumbing should be done. Huh, should be done, eh? So we went back over to the house to see if this little pipe situation had been rectified. It hadn’t. I calmly emailed Rick, cc’d the plumber and Mike Kaerek, and waited for a reply. The only reply came from the plumber on Monday morning telling us they’d have someone look into it.
A few hours pass and who do we get a call from but our pal Rick. Rick tells us not to worry, he talked to the plumber, and that pipe is a vent and what we saw was condensation.

I’m sorry, what??

We very politely told Mr. Rick that we had in fact turned a faucet on in the guest bathroom and no, that’s not a vent, it is a drain that actual waste water comes out of. Rick then informed us that he’d be meeting the plumber at the house Tuesday morning and they’d look at it together. Oh good, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum on the case. Side note: I don’t recommend Karlsen plumbing. Not only did we have this issue with their craftsmanship, they also installed the wrong valve on the master bathroom tub, after they installed the wrong bathtub altogether, which means we aren’t getting the Kohler faucet we had originally picked out. We’ll supposedly get a very comparable Moen faucet, after they reorder it in the correct finish.

Another little issue that is 100% my fault is with the appliance delivery. I won’t get into the messy details, but we had appliances scheduled to be delivered on Tuesday, March 5th. We headed over to the house around 11:30 to await their arrival and wouldn’t you know, we ran into our pal Rick who was on his way out. I told him about the appliances, he wasn’t happy and I didn’t care, and we checked out the plumbing and chatted about other issues/items/concerns/nonsense.

Soooo, end of February move-in date turned into early March which has now turned into… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ We still have no estimated completion date. We’re still living in a basement. We’re still cold. We’re still crabby.

  • Flooring on first floor done
  • Everything else is 90% complete
  • No one showing up to work

30 weeks down, 1 overdue

The Build: Week 29

Wednesday, February 20th – Tuesday, February 26th

Between the frigid weather we’re experiencing in Wisconsin and our current living situation, it’s safe to say I’ve got a severe case of the blues this week. I’ll keep this weeks update short and let the pictures tell you what I’m not feeling motivated to.

  • Painting and staining done (but needs to be touched up)
  • Most of the plumbing done
  • Internet prep work continues
  • Ceiling fans installed
  • Flooring started

29 weeks down, 0 to go

At this point I don’t think anyone is surprised that we aren’t
going to make a closing date of February 28th 😭

The Build: Week 28

Wednesday, February 13th – Tuesday, February 19th

After the snow storm we had on day 189, we didn’t see any progress for three days, aside from the caulking that was done. Was this because the driveway didn’t get plowed? Whatever the reason, we had reached our breaking point, again, and sent Rick an email.
I’ll spare you the details, but he replied twice telling us we were responsible for plowing the driveway, and then a third email telling us we didn’t have to plow the driveway. In the end we ended up having the driveway plowed in the hopes that someone, anyone, would come over and work on the house.
Later that day we also emailed the owner, Mike, to express our concerns and ask if we could meet/speak with him. Wouldn’t you know, on our way to a very early Valentines Day dinner we received a call from Rick. Rick and John spent about an hour on the phone while I spent a half hour alone with our chatty waitress and a delicious red blend. Overall, I suppose it was a decent conversation (with Rick, not the waitress) and it seems that things will slowly start to turn around.

On Friday, day 192, the carpenter was in doing his thing and he should only need a few more days to finish up. Rick and crew also showed up on day 192 to work on the powder room wall and fix the ceiling in the master bedroom shower. As you can see from the picture below, Rick had a tiny incident with the attic access point.

One of the things John discussed with Rick on Thursday was marking the items throughout the house that would need to be fixed, so that’s exactly what we did on Saturday, day 193. We ran into the electrician, (I know, on a Saturday!), and got to talk to him and see some of the light fixtures go up. He also told us the pendant lights over the island are in the wrong spot which means more holes in the ceiling that will need to be patched.

Everyone is magically in a hurry to get things done now and the painters showed up on Sunday to start the trim. There was a full crew in the house on Monday, day 195, painting, finishing up the electrical work, and putting the countertops in. It’s nice to see a lot happening but we know there’s still more work to be done.

We received a call from the electrician on Monday regarding our light fixture for the foyer. It was broken. The weld or screw that mounts the actual lights to the outside orb broke. This meant that the lights hanging in the middle were left to dangle by their wire. I called BBC Lighting right away and a replacement is on the way. I’m crossing my fingers it won’t take longer than the 2 week timeframe we were given.
The electrician also mounted a light fixture in the wrong direction. While this isn’t a huge deal, it is mildly annoying because I had put a note on the box stating which direction it should be mounted. I pointed this out while we were there looking at the broken light fixture but my request seems to have fallen on deaf ears because it’s still upside down.

And we’ll end this week on day 196. The electricians finished wiring everything and we now have light. It also looks as though they had to move the electrical box over because it would have ended up in the future basement bathroom. The painters continue painting trim and cleaning up edges. This week didn’t start out strong I’m happy with the progress we’ve seen the past few days.

  • Electrical work finished
  • Painting continues
  • Finished carpentry work continues
  • Most of the countertops installed

28 weeks down, 1 to go.

The Build: Week 27

Wednesday, February 6th – Tuesday, February 12th

On Friday, February 8th, we officially reached the 6 month mark. Considering we were told the entire process would take 6-7 months at most, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll finish closer to 7 months, if not longer.

The carpenter continued cutting and hanging pieces of trim and it looks as though the main stairway and railings are all he has left to finish. Once completed it’ll be time for the painters to come in and do their thing.

The electrician also came in and started installing our light fixtures. It was exciting to see what we had picked out several months ago finally on display.

On the downside, we are still waiting for the wall that came down in the powder room to be fixed. Because the door was moved 6″-8″ over we asked that they move the light switch over as well. As you can see from the picture below, it’s still in its original spot.
We also started seeing some fairly large cracks in the drywall. We’re assuming this happened because they had the heat set to 90 when they were hanging and mudding it, and then back down to 50-60 a few weeks later. It could also be that they did a shitty job. Who knows. Our hope is that they fix it when they come to redo the powder room wall but that might be asking a lot at this point.

I’d also like to give a special shout-out to my second reader/picture viewer, Konstantin! Welcome 👋 And I apologize in advance.

  • Garage doors finally installed
  • More finished carpentry work
  • Final electrical work started
  • Caulking and prepping for final paint

27 weeks down, 2 to go.

2 weeks to go! LOL Now we all know that ☝️ain’t gonna happen.

The Build: Week 26

Wednesday, January 30th – Tuesday, February 5th

I woke up on Wednesday, January 30th to temperatures in the -20’s. Yes, negative twenty’s. Apparently it was too cold for indoor work so no progress that day. It was slightly warmer on day 177 and the carpenter was at the house measuring and cutting trim and stair pieces. Not exactly the bind-blowing progress we were hoping for, but at least something was done.

On Friday, day 178, tile work was started in the mud room and master bathroom. The lighting wasn’t the best when we were there but it occurred to us later that evening that the tile in the master bathroom wasn’t what we had selected.

What you see above on the left is what we chose back in May when we made our selections. The picture on the right is the tile that was installed. Lighting, dirty tiles, and the surroundings play a big role in the overall appearance, I get that. And don’t get me wrong, the tile on the right does look nice, but I honestly can’t wrap my head around how these two tiles are the same.

Seeing a completed fireplace was pretty exciting, but they removed one of our temporary garage doors in the process so the garage is once again wide open. No ETA on the permanent garage doors. They’ve been “rescheduled”.

At this point, aside from seeing the house completed, I don’t know that there will ever be enough progress completed in a week to truly satisfy me. It’s a painfully slow process and I’m beyond sick of living in a basement.

  • Stairs installed
  • Finished carpentry continues
  • Tile work finished
  • Fireplace completed

26 weeks down, 3 to go.

The Build: Week 25

Wednesday, January 23rd – Tuesday, January 29th

We started this week off with a few more inches of snow. In an attempt to kick the winter blues I did more landscape planning and ordered trees for the yard.

Meet the Aristocrat Flowering Pear tree.

We’ll be planting four of these along the east edge of the property. We have a corner lot so this should create some privacy along the street and make for an eye-catching view.

I’m looking forward to eventually having a large backyard that’s more than a giant mud pit. I also have a Solo Stove on order for chilly evenings when s’mores are in demand.

As for progress inside the house, we continued making trips to the house to drop off the rest of the light fixtures and faucets. We also did a bit planning to idiot-proof the installation process by removing the extra pieces for the light fixtures that could be mounted at variable heights.

We received a Friday morning wakeup call from our pal, Ricky. Apparently the plumber installed the wrong bathtub in the master bathroom. We were supposed to receive one with a fiberglass front but instead received one that requires the finishing carpenter to build a frame that can be tiled. Ricky calls this an upgrade.

The other bit of fun we had was when we stopped over at the house Friday morning to meet the carpenter and discuss our bathtub options. To keep a long, painful story short, one of the walls for the powder room on the first floor will have to be torn down and replaced. Yes, an entire wall. That’s because the opening for the pocket door is roughly 8″ off and there isn’t room for the vanity. The depth is currently around 17″ and the vanity is 22″. Well, shit.

Where it should be vs where it actually is

There’s currently ductwork in the wall where the pocket door should be, which would explain how the door ended up in the wrong spot to begin with. That means they can’t put the door where it actually belongs without rerouting the ductwork that heads up to the master bathroom. We’re not quite sure what their plan is at this point and we haven’t actually heard this from Rick, only the carpenter.

So all-in-all, not a stellar week. Of the five available weekdays, workers only showed up at the house on two of those days. As it turns out, there always seems to be some sort of reason to not work on our house.

  • Light fixtures, bulbs, and faucets dropped off
  • Cabinet installation began
  • Kitchen countertop selected
  • More snow
  • Powder room wall torn down
  • Tiling started

25 weeks down, 4 to go.

The Build: Week 24

Wednesday, January 16th – Tuesday, January 22nd

On Monday, January 21st, good ‘ole Ricky told us “2 months to go” which would put us at March 21st, 2019. I know people will say “I told you so” but I never would have expected this to go into March. And certainly not towards the end of March.

No one has been working on the house the past few days so we’ve had our moments of frustration this week. Yes, the cabinets were delivered on Monday, but why wasn’t someone there installing them? I know I’m growing impatient but I feel like a lot of good days have passed with no one working at the house. I simply don’t understand.

Rick also asked us to drop the light fixtures and faucets off at the house, in the basement. The basement that doesn’t have any stairs 🙄
For now they’re being stored in the garage. Let’s hope they survive.

  • Wavy siding fixed
  • Well hooked up
  • Walls primed
  • Painting started
  • Snow
  • Cabinets delivered
  • More snow

I also looked at paint colors that coordinate with Mindful Gray, which we chose for the entire house, and found Homburg Gray. What do you think, Jennifer? For your bathroom?

I also received an email this week for the annual David Austin Roses sale. I had been waiting for this email 😍
I placed my order for 4 rose bushes and 1 rose tree. I can’t wait for the day when I’m finally able to start landscaping and gardening at the new house. If you’re in the market for rose bushes David Austin can’t be beat. And if you order by March 29th you can get 15% off with discount code UCF.

24 weeks down, 5 to go.

The Build: Week 23

Wednesday, January 9th – Tuesday, January 15th

The drywall work continued this week but I don’t have anything remarkable or shocking to share. We did receive an email from everyones favorite expediter, Rick, earlier this past week which hints at what we’ll be seeing in the coming week:

next week we will fix the wavy siding on the west side. we will order all new siding and take care of that problem. 
Monday tuesday we will spray and knock down the finish on dry wall. 
next paint your  entire home with primer.

The knockdown texture was applied to the walls on day 159, a Sunday if you can believe that, and the pictures we took on day 160 do show that the bad siding has been removed. No word yet on when the replacement siding will be delivered and installed.

23 weeks down, 6 to go.

The Build: Week 22

Wednesday, January 2nd – Tuesday, January 8th

Just when we think we’re gaining momentum and the end is in sight, we’re reminded that nothing really ever goes smoothly. This was definitely another low week.

The drywall crew continued their work by mudding seams and adding those neat little pieces of corner trim. We were honestly hoping to see more progress than we did but they weren’t onsite Friday or Monday. The heat is cranked so there’s really no reasonable excuse for them to not be moving forward.

Speaking of the heat, let me tell you a fun story, complete with pictures. As my one reader knows, when you live in Wisconsin you have a furnace that runs all winter long. When the furnace runs, condensation is released through a hose which is routed to a drain. The drain then takes the water away to the sewer or septic system.
When you’re building a new house and the plumbers haven’t yet finished making all the connections, you have a drain that doesn’t actually drain. What happens then? The water backs up and you have flooding. This is what happened to us.
We noticed earlier this past week that the basement floor was wet. We didn’t climb down the ladder to investigate and assumed someone spilled something and it was a non issue. WRONG. The water we saw was actually from the drain. The drain that had filled with water from the furnace was now backing up into the basement.
Seeing that the water had reached the framed walls and drywall we spent Sunday doing some cleanup. Cleanup we should not have been responsible for but as I’ve learned, no one is going to care as much about your house as you do. We got a squeegee and tried to get as much water as we could away from the walls. We also got a bucket to collet the water from the furnace instead of having it go down a drain that wasn’t functioning. We then emptied the worlds tiniest dehumidifier bucket so that it could continue chugging away. Luckily the pump for the sump pump works so we were able to dump water in that crock to have it removed up and out of the basement.
The pictures below were taken after a lot of the cleanup was started so it doesn’t look nearly as dire as it had when we arrived. I think the funniest thing, which is also not visible in the pictures, is the fact that someone ran a garden hose from the drain to the sump pump crock as though through some miracle of physics the water was going to flow up and over without the aid of a pump.
We of course emailed our expediter and were told:

its conman to get water in the basement when the sewer is not yet hooked up. the concrete is solid and no we don’t have to rebuild the walls, their is a dehumidifier that will be set up an dry out the basement. please dont worry, their is no problem . but yes it may look like a mess

Conman. I’ll tell you who the conman is…

We were moderately pleased with our squeegee work and rig job but were now left to maintain our bucket system until the plumber arrives. I did stop at the house first thing Monday morning and was greeted by a full water bucket and dehumidifier. I was however pleasantly surprised that most of the water, except for what is closest to the drain, had dried up. Fingers crossed the walls that got wet also dry up nicely.

Another item we noticed while we were rigging up our bucket system was on the exterior of the house. While we were checking out the tubing we installed for the sump pump we looked and noticed a considerable section of siding that was wavy. And in the word of Rick:

he sider was contacted forward the pitchures. 
we will get that handle but not right away.
i have to talk to him about it. then he will fix the siding.

Bless your heart, Rick.

So all-in-all, not a great week. We were also expecting the well connection to be made on Monday which also didn’t happen. sigh

  • Drywall continues
  • Plumbing continues

22 weeks down, 7 to go.