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.

The Build: Week 21

Wednesday, December 26th – Tuesday, January 1st

This week we saw some decent progress as they started hanging drywall, finishing up the HVAC, and tying up some of the exterior odds and ends. The drywall has made a huge difference in how the interior of the house looks and feels. Having the heat set to 90 doesn’t hurt either.

With the holidays over we hope the crew makes quick work of everything that’s left to be done. We had been told it typically takes 60 days from when the drywall is finished to complete the house so it’s safe to say we won’t be in by the end of January. At this point we’ll reset our expectations and hope to be in by the end of February.

  • Gutters installed
  • HVAC finished
  • Blown in insulation
  • Drywall hung

21 weeks down, 4 8 to go.

The Build: Week 20

Wednesday, December 19th – Tuesday, December 25th

The one lesson I wish we hadn’t learned throughout this process is that you can’t trust your builder or the contractors. You know the plans and your vision better than they do and they’ll likely miss changes you made. All the changes you made. You really do need to follow up and double check everything.

I won’t get into the full details of the situation, but this week they missed the height of the microwave vent. Because we raised the upper cabinets 2″ the vent also should have been raised 2″. When we first mentioned our concern to our expediter we were told “it’s perfect”. We then received an email a few days later that said:

– thank you to john and kari we will raise the micro wave  vent 3 inches higher.

Gee thanks, Rick.

We were really excited to see the furnace and air conditioner go in and even more excited when the drywall work began. Props to the drywall crew for showing up on Christmas Eve. It’s now starting to feel a bit more like a house on the inside as well.

  • Drywall supplies delivered
  • Drywall started
  • Furnace and air conditioner installed
  • Electrical box installed in garage
  • Christmas cheer

20 weeks down, 5 to go.

The Build: Week 19

Wednesday, December 12th – Tuesday, December 18th

Surprise, surprise, it’s a Christmas miracle!
We returned home from Tennessee to find a fully sided house and a garage floor.

I got a better look at what was happening inside on day 128 while I was out for a walk. The insulation was blown along the seams and more of that pink, fluffy, cotton candy-like stuff was delivered. The furnace has yet to be installed but I’m really hoping we’ll start to see drywall soon, as long as it can be done safely 🤞

The mason also paid us a visit and I did feel bad for the fella. The temporary garage doors were still up so he wasted a few hours tearing all of that down. He was able to apply his first coat on Friday and finished the job today, Tuesday.

With the holidays just around the corner I don’t imagine we’ll see much progress next week, but a girl can dream!

  • Entire house sided
  • Garage floor poured
  • Insulation
  • Masonry on front of house
  • Framing of basement staircases started

19 weeks down, 6 to go.

The Build: Week 18

Wednesday, December 5th – Tuesday, December 11th

We’re traveling this week and don’t have any fun, exciting, or utterly depressing updates to share with you. But be sure to check back next week, December 18th, when we’ll hopefully have something, anything really, to share. 

18 weeks down, 7 to go.

The Build: Week 17

Wednesday, November 28th – Tuesday, December 4th


Quiet week, lack of progress week!
All is cold, all is bleak.
Round yon porch, basement and stoop.
Unholy concrete, please don’t droop,
Firm inside of this place,
Firm inside of this place.

  • Basement, front porch, back step concrete poured
  • Siding dropped off
  • Kaerek ‘Design Team’ there doing who knows what

17 weeks down, 8 to go.

The Build: Week 16

Wednesday, November 21st – Tuesday, November 27th

As anticipated, our adventures in PEX tubing continued into this week. We could’t find a plumber or hvac company to do the work in time so John went all in and decided to order the necessary components to do it ourselves himself. He was lucky enough to get a helping hand from his friend, Justin, and they made quick work of the install. 

The weather hasn’t cooperated this past week and we’ve seen an unseasonable amount of snow. We’re currently waiting for the concrete to be poured and we can’t progress with any interior work until that’s complete. You can’t pour concrete over snow or in extremely cold temperatures so we’re on hold until the builder and concrete contractor figure out a solution. It’s going to get colder before it gets warmer so for now, we wait. insert big sigh here

At this point I highly doubt we’ll hit our move in goal of January 31st. I’d estimate we’re at least two weeks behind schedule, probably more.

  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • PEX tubing installed in garage.
  • Electrical connected.
  • Gas connected.
  • Snow, snow, and a lot more snow!

16 weeks down, 9 to go.

The Build: Week 15

Wednesday, November 14th – Tuesday, November 20th

We kicked this week off, day 99, with a meeting at the house with our expeditor, Rick. We had our list of questions ready and, if I’m completely honest, we were ready to go to battle.

We of course softened up a bit when Rick arrived and we started walking around the house. You catch more bees with honey, am I right? The plumber was still there working on some odds and ends which was helpful when plumbing questions were raised. In the end, our questions were finally answered and we drove away… satisfied.

Bill and Jennifer got a late night tour of the house on day 99 after we met for dinner. As you can see from the photos, we didn’t have the best lighting to capture the new bathtubs.

Day 104 began with a crew prepping the basement, garage, and front porch for concrete. Our goal is to have a local plumber install PEX in the garage for radiant heating but things aren’t coming together as well as we would have liked. Timing with the concrete crew has been up in the air for weeks and now that they’re ready, it’ll likely be a challenge to get a plumber in time. Stay tuned for more exciting news on that front.

  • First round of rough plumbing done.
  • HEY, look at that! That window was finally installed!
  • Concrete work began in the basement, porch, and garage.
  • Temporary mailbox in place.

15 weeks down, 10 to go.

The Build: Week 14

Wednesday, November 7th – Tuesday, November 13th

As you can see from the pictures below we are still missing a window. While this actually doesn’t surprise us anymore, it’s really irritating.

At this point our expeditor isn’t responding to any of our questions or concerns. I spent a few minutes today writing out an email to our expeditor and I’m not sure if I should send it. We really have no idea what’s up next on the agenda other than more plumbing. If we’re still on track to close at the end of January I’d be amazed.

So let’s talk about what was done this week:

  • Well was drilled. While that sounds like a great win, it was something we were responsible for so no props to the builder there.
  • The dirt pile on the southwest corner of the lot was moved towards the back of the lot so WE Energies can run electricity to the house. While that also sounds like progress, I should note that this was the second time the dirt was moved. We’re really not sure what they did the first time, but it definitely wasn’t what we asked.
  • Gas fireplace insert was dropped off along with the family bathroom tub and surround.
  • Low voltage wiring was done but this is another item that wasn’t done as we requested.
  • Plumbing was done in the basement and the garage. Still waiting for the plumbing in the walls to be done so insulation and drywall can begin. But with us still missing a window on the front of the house, it’s not like that can be started anyway ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This should be a fun and exciting process, but the more I write the more my frustration grows so let’s call it a night and see what next week brings. Bye!

14 weeks down, 11 to go.

The Build: Week 13

Wednesday, October 31th – Tuesday, November 6th

There hasn’t been much change on the exterior of the house, but a lot has happened on the inside. The electricians, HVAC crew, and plumbers have been inside working their magic.

We had a small win with the electrician this past week when we marked the location of the floor outlets on the second floor. They had us penciled in for three locations when we only wanted two. This allowed us to plug a few wall outlets in that we had thought of after we signed our plans:

  • An outlet behind the toilet in the family bathroom for a bidet toilet seat. Our guests should also have the luxury of a warm, clean bottom.
  • An outlet in the master bathroom closet. The countertop gets cluttered quickly when you’re charging toothbrushes and razors.
  • And an outlet in the master bedroom closet. Just because.

We’ll be gone part of this next week to experience the newly opened taproom at Sandhills Brewing in Kansas. Hopefully they have a generous employee discount. And hopefully the crew installs those last two windows before we return.

13 weeks down, 12 to go.