Journal of our Home Construction - May   Back to Journal Index    Home

05/02/2002 - I haven't forgotten to update the journal.  Its just that there has been no progress on the house.  We seem to be in a lull for some reason.  I haven't talked to the builder.  If they still have not done anything tomorrow, I may drop him an email asking what's going on, though I am sure it is normal for there to be periods where nothing is going on.

05/10/2002 - Finally some more work done!!  It has rained all week so they could not work.  But yesterday afternoon and today was nice so they finally got going again.  The plumber and HVAC contractor worked today putting the plumbing and ducts in that are under the basement slab.  The small wall for the step down in the theater is also done--it is concrete block--and they leveled off everything with pea fill.  Next should be pouring the basement floor and then framing can begin in earnest (if the weather cooperates of course).  Pictures are here.  I talked to the HVAC contractor today about the zoned HVAC.  Just wanted to make sure how he was doing it so I can tie it into the home automation later.  The house will have a 6 ton, closed-loop, geothermal heat pump with an electric furnace backup.  There will be four zones: basement, master suite, rest of the first floor, and second floor.  They will be controlled by four thermostats connected to a zone controller controlling dampers in the ducts.  Eventually the home automation system will control the thermostats.  That's what I wanted to verify: that the zone controller he was using would use regular thermostats so that later I can replace them with RS485 thermostats. 

05/14/2002 - The basement and garage floors are now poured.  There are pictures here.  Some of the pictures are from yesterday, some from today.  Hopefully they will start framing tomorrow.  Should be clear weather for it.  Sent a change request to the builder to have a wall of the master bath shower be only a 7' high partition instead of going all the way to the ceiling.  That way light from the windows--which are both on the other side of the wall--will get in and the shower won't seem like a cave.

05/18/2002 - Still moving slowly.  Wednesday, all they did was cut expansion joints in the garage floor.  Thursday morning they got the backfill and initial grading done.  It looks good.  Thursday afternoon and Friday, more ran!  Good news is that, so far at least, the forecast is for clear weather all next week.  Hopefully the framing crew will get started.

05/21/2002 - They have started installing the sill plates.  Framing crew has moved in a trailer so looks like they're here for the long haul now.  I only have four pictures because my camera's batteries ran down this afternoon.  Their on the charger now so they will be ready for tomorrow.  Bank has sent us the check for the first construction loan draw to pay for the foundation.  We go see the builder tomorrow to sign it over to him.  For some reason they have dug a trench along the west side of the house right next to the foundation.  And after they just back filled it last week.  Have to ask the builder tomorrow what its for.

05/22/2002 - We have walls!  They have started the basement framing and made very good progress.  They also finished the sill plates.  Went to see our builder and signed over the first draw check and he told us why they trenched the west foundation wall back out.  They made a bit of a boo boo.  The west wall of the basement is not in square.  It is off by three inches in the back.  Luckily, it is only one wall and not the entire house.  The rest of the house is square to within half an inch.  To be fair to the foundation crew, it is not entirely their fault.  The plan has two different dimensions on it when you look at the front verses the back of that el of the house.  The difference is because on the architect's plan, the brick ledge does not go all the way to the back of the house on the west wall.  There was not originally brick on that entire wall.  So the front dimension accounts for the brick ledge the back dimension does not.  Which is completely accurate.  Of course, we changed our minds and decided to make the brick go all the way to the back on that wall but we didn't have the architect update the plans.  Well, long story short, the foundation crew added the brick ledge all the way to the back, but didn't pull the corner out to account for it.  Of course when they measured it and looked at the plan, it was the right length!  So was the front when they measured it.  But...  Oh, well.  So, they are going to add 3" to that side of the foundation so they can square the sill plates and first story wall.  In the basement, they will adjust the stud widths to account for it and make the theater square.

I have decided to see if I can take over 1000 pictures during the house construction.  Since I have already taken 240 and we have at least five months to go, I think I can easily make it.  Hey, you have to have goals in life!

05/24/2002 - I have pictures from two days, though only a few from each day.  The framing in the basement is pretty much done and they have installed the steel beams.  They have marked all the sill plates showing where each joist goes.  They should be able to get started installing the joists Tuesday (Monday is Memorial Day).  Rained a little this evening but its supposed to be nice at least the first part of next week so things should keep moving.  Tomorrow we go to the kitchen center to get the detailed design of the kitchen started.  We pretty much know exactly what we want, just have to have the details spec'ed out.

05/28/2002 - They have started on the first floor joists now and made good progress today.  They may get far enough along tomorrow to actually start decking the first floor.  Supposed to be scattered storms today through Thursday, but we got lucky today and only had rain early this morning.  Hopefully our luck will hold the next two days and they will not fall any further behind.  The builder says they are now a month behind all because of the weather.  We went to the kitchen center Saturday and spec'ed out our cabinets so we can get a real plan done.  The guy we worked with was great.  We spent two hours working through things.  Hopefully he will actually follow through and get the plan back to us in a reasonable time.  We never heard from the first place we tried to work with.  We eventually called them and said, "never mind!"

05/29/2002 - Got lucky again today, no rain!  So, they made good progress.  They have all the first floor joists and rim joists done.  They have started working on the decking.  They are also working on building the stairs from the first floor to the basement.    Only have a few pictures though.  Didn't realize my memory card was almost full on the camera.

05/30/2002 - All the first floor decking is now done and they have snapped chalk lines for all the first floor walls.  They should start on those tomorrow.  No rain today and no rain forecasted for tomorrow so they should get a good start on it.  The foundation crew is finally back and poured the front porch footings.  They are also working on fixing the west wall that is out of square.  They were working still when I was there taking pictures this evening.  They were not happy because the cement truck driver poured too much concrete and they were having to dig it back out by hand.  They are pouring a full two-foot wide footing to support the extra piece of foundation they are adding to make the wall square.  They were telling me the truck drive was a Purdue foot ball player, a defensive lineman, but they didn't know his name.  Pictures are here.  Scott and I are off tomorrow (Friday).  We will be going out an buying the last of the stuff needed for pulling the wiring since that is getting close.

05/31/2002 - Okay, today was very exciting!  They have started on the framing and for the first time you can really get a sense of what the rooms in the house will actually look like and how big they will be.  Scott said the laundry room and master bedroom is smaller than he thought it would be.  The master bedroom was about what I expected but the laundry is smaller than I thought.  Pictures are here.  We did see two places where they messed up.  We think the corner windows in the master bedroom are too small.  They are supposed to be 3'x6'.  Looks like they framed them at 3'x5'.  We didn't have a measuring tape to check, but I am pretty sure they are wrong.  Several people warned us to check window sizes carefully because that is a common place mistakes happen.  They also have made one of the walls 9' that is supposed to only be a 7' tall partition.  Its a side wall of the shower.  This one is a little understandable since it was a last minute change and is not on the plans.  I have sent the builder an email message about these.  Like everything else, I am sure they will be fixed ASAP.  Can't wait 'til Monday to see more of the framing.  Assuming of course that the weather continues to cooperate.  Oh, we also have a critter living in our new basement.  The sump pit is still full of water from the rain.  Every time you walk downstairs you can hear a little splash as something jumps into the water.  I think a frog has moved it though we haven't seen it yet.

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