Thursday, March 30, 2017

Builder Update

Oh My Goodness did he come through!

He answered all my questions plus some.  We have completed and true estimate, finalized plans, and a contract I have not signed just yet.  The red is my response, but I did not send them to him - this is for you all.

1.  I want to make sure you got that we want a brick mailbox.  I just don't want to be short bricks because we forgot about this.  Also, when can I start receiving mail at that address?  (trying to get the we moved cards out)  
Stone/ Brick mailbox included in my price.  You could put up a temporary one now and start getting mail as soon as you want.  Beats having to forward mail twice.  WOOHOO!!  I am so excited about this!

2. Vetting process - I know this is a touchy subject.  But, do you periodically vet your contractors to make sure they are continuing to to give you (and me) a fair price for the work? Not looking for the cheapest, but I don't want the most expensive either.
Absolutely.  I actually always know the current market price for labor in the different trades, and usually end up telling them what we are going to pay.    Good to know - huh? 

3.On the pad prep - different uses of terminology - you said we would need more bags of sand, but the estimate used the term select fill.  Is this one in the same?
Yes, did not mean to say bags of sand.  We use select fill on the pad and it is purchased in 12yard truck loads.  The slope of the lot is the main determining factor in the amount of select fill needed. I had a feeling he said the wrong thing, but I hate to assume.  The whole ass u me thing.

4.  Also on pad prep - when they prep the barn area, is it prepped to clay pad?  Do you need a plan from Hawthorne?
The barn pad will be prepped using select fill just like the house pad.  Select fill has a low Plasticity index, which basically means it does not expand and contract as much with varied amounts of moistures.  Again, it is so nice to learn!  I will have to get with Hawthorne and ask them if this is acceptable and get on their waiting list for a build!

5. Hot Water Heater - Darrell REALLY wants to talk about this one.  He is confused about the whole tank vs tankless.
 Have Darrell call me to discuss at his convenience.  In a separate text, he also told us this could be decided during the plumbing step, so not a rush, but it will need to be decided close to when the concrete pad is poured.  I have turned this over to them since Darrell is more interested in this part.

6. When can I expect to see the updated plans?  I try to get them back in a timely manner, but I am feeling some pressure now that our home has sold.  I am really ready to get this part done.  I know if we add the moutdoor  kitchen, it will change things a bit and I am truly sorry about that.  We are just trying to see what all we can or cannot get and still be within the financial possibility.
I should have the updated plans tomorrow.  I got them this morning and approved them.  We are moving on along now - a hurry up and stop kind of things.  We will be on hold until until we close on this loan.

7.  How many plans do we have to decide on - so far, house in general, electrical, outside of the house, - any more?  Plumbing for instance?
We have what we need for the bank after Terry sends me the plans tomorrow.  THe only other plans we will need are the foundation plans which will be completed once I have soils report.  I ordered a soils samples late last week.  It usually takes about 2weeks to get the results. Something he did not tell me previously, but is good to know.  I like knowing that he is doing some work on our home and we are not being pushed to the side.

8. Estimate.  You do not have to do the estimate if you do not feel like it is time.  You just mentioned last Tuesday that you were going to revise it and send it to me, so we got kind of anxious about it.  If we need to wait until the plans are finished - fine.  Just let me know.
Emailed today for your review.  Yep, received it last night and Darrell and I reviewed and approved.

9.  What all has to actually be turned in for the construction loan?  Rick is contacting me periodically asking where we stand.  I think because we are good to go on this side - especially since the house in pending.  We are past the option phase and are through the inspection.
We will need to submit the final plans which we should have tomorrow, an official contract, and description of materials.  Everything else will be on your personal financial side which I am sure you have sent him already.  We have all of these.  He is just waiting on us to sign the contract.  I need him to answer those 3 questions first - about precommences items, changes during the build, and communication.

This is what I needed for sure.  I did get the estimate.  I am not going to post the cost because talk about getting land blasted.  It is ours and we are going to pay for it with 20% down and 15 year mortgage, so that is good enough for now.

However, we are thrilled at the price for getting basically everything we want including:
  • 10' ceilings throughout
  • Tray Ceilings in the living room and master bedroom
  • Wood beams in the living room tray
  • Stone fireplace to ceiling
  • Built in shelves for with wiring for tv from fireplace through wall
  • Walk in shower in master - no door, 2 shower heads and a seat
  • Laundry Room with room for a freezer
  • 821 sq ft of patio space - covered and screened
  • Patio is Hot Tub ready
  • Outdoor Kitchen with stone and stained concrete countertop with grill, storage area, mini fridge, and sink
  • Kitchen cabinets with lots of drawers
  • Walk up stairs to get to attic space, fully floored with plywood and lights.
  • Driveway is completely concrete
  • Saltillo Tile and Engineered Hardwood throughout the house
  • Stained cabinets in bathroom - not the paint grade ones that expand with water.
  •  More outlets than I count and more recessed lights than I can count
  • Spray foam insulation in the roof so our wireless connection is better
  • 2 x 6's in roof to help with hurricane winds
  •  Stone in Full Front of House with brick covering the rest of the hou
 I am thrilled.  Truly thrilled.  Now he just has a few clarification questions on the contract, but it looks good to me.  We will more than likely sign tonight and be able to get the loan process started immediately!

One of the things I am verifying with him is the communication.  I am asking for a weekly quick check (during times of work) just so I know what is going on.  I will be checking the site daily after the work is done and report any issues, check mail, clean up, etc.  Workers are disgusting and they will toss trash in your walls if you are not careful.  I have seen them do it before.


  1. So happy you got all your questions answered! I'm also happy that you are putting 20% down and only doing a 15 year mortgage! :) You'll have it paid off in no time!

    1. The goal is 10 years to pay it off, but we will have 3 kids in college, so it may take a little longer. I am just excited that so much fit within that kind of budget!

  2. Awesome! house sounds really nice. I'll bet you can't wait to get it done.

    1. Oh, I can't. It is going to be a long year waiting for it! Luckily we are living close to it so I can be there every day.