Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update, a little bit of venting...

Haven't updated in a while because things have been crazy hectic with hitting my eight month of pregnancy, trying to finish the house, and a huge work project all colliding.

This is undoubtedly the most hectic and stressful part of house building - the last month where everything comes together (or doesn't come together). Steven still thinks we can get in by the end of the first week in November, but we'll see. Some things will still be unfinished, but if we can get to the point we can actually move in before I have the baby, I'll be thrilled.

I won't get into too much because I'll start getting pissed off again, but some of the headaches:

  • Island was built such that I only had 15" of leg room on one side of the eat-in table. It's fixed now, but getting someone to commit to fixing it was a process I should NOT have gone through.
  • Wrong size decorator doors were applied to the island on the sink wall - still debating with Kiva (the cabinet vendor) on who will pay for the replacement doors. It's obvious to me that I should not have to pay.
  • The backsplash tile that was supposedly "in stock" and available immediately was actually back ordered. It's custom-made to order and the manufacturer was not able to get the materials. We placed the order at the end of August, and now we're looking at the first week of November for delivery. My builder says he can work around this. He'll paint over the backsplash and return to tile when the material is available. Since it's glass tile, it's less of a messy installation and that works in our favor.
  • We're running a week+ behind the post-Ike schedule. A week doesn't seem like a long time, except when you're scared you're going to deliver early.
  • The upper balustrade arrived yesterday. It doesn't look like the rails we designed; it looks like the previously design we discussed. We still need to discuss this with the builder. I vacillate between being supremely angry on principle (um, what's the point of a custom order if it's not going to be what you want?) and just taking it in stride. I actually like what they delivered (it's very similar to the final design and obviously one of the designs we considered), so I'm trying to let go a lot of the anger I have because of "principle". If we had more time to move in, I'd probably demand they redo the rails on principle, but this one isn't worth pushing (at least today).
  • They delivered the wrong stonework for the house and had installed 80%+ of it before I caught it - it's been removed, but the replacement stone is still not on.
  • The standing seam roof is still not installed (it covers the roof line over the dining room). Because it wasn't installed, we had water damage during Ike. Until they install it, they can't re-sheetrock, so they can't paint that room, blah, blah, blah...

This last point alludes to what keeps me up at night. Some issues may seem minor, but there's such a domino effect when you're building. I've also been pretty busy running around meeting vendors - working with the landscaper on the design, finalizing the light order, selecting/ordering the remaining pulls/hardware for the house, tracking down the right slabs of marble for the kids' bath, and meeting the shutter folks to choose style and have measurements done.

I know it'll be worth it in the end, but it's such a headache right now. I'm mostly a bundle of negativity, but I do see how things are going to come together. I love the kitchen cabinets despite my overwhelming non-love for the vendor. My frustrations with Steven are tempered with acknowledging why we chose to use him again - we couldn't afford to build a custom house of this quality with another builder, and he's a great overall designer. I guess there's also something to be said for him taking my abuse (although he shouldn't put me in a position to want to abuse him!). I've had friends where their builders refused to talk to them after a while and completely ignored their requests.

Even with all the headaches, I already know we'll go through this again. It's hard for me to move into a house where I didn't choose everything. Even with the spec house we built (where I did select the finish out but kept it more neutral to for mass appeal), I would have changed out half the things we did had I actually had to live there. Maybe I'll get less picky as I get older… or having two kids destroy this house will reduce my need to have everything "exactly like I want it", LOL.

A few teaser pics. Hopefully I'll be able to post pictures of the final product in the not-too-distant future.

1 comment:

Maria said...

"Did you know shutters are 5X the cost of wood blinds?" Hee hee, yes I did. Hence, this house will have wooden blinds just like our last two!

The house looks great, I can't wait to see more photos! Hope the baby is right on time and things come together. I totally understand the domino effect, we've had a bit of that ourselves, but ours is due to our "wonderful" neighbor and some power issues.