The Road To Buying My First Home: Part 4
After all of the planning, designing, spending, and signing, we finally got to the point where it was time to start building. Overall, especially in hindsight, I would say that the building process was relatively smooth. We didn’t come across a whole lot of bumps in the road. By the time we made it to the pre-construction meeting, we found that there were a few misunderstandings about the placement of lights and the possibility of us being able to build a patio outside. Some of our issues such as the lights placement and other interior discrepancies were able to be figured out. The information we were given about the patio wound up conflicting with our town’s building policies. This proved to be one of the biggest annoyances of the whole process. Thankfully, after a few phone calls with the town and discussions with Dan Ryan, we were able to get an ok to build a small patio in the back in the future. Otherwise, we may not have continued with the process as this was promised to us during the design stage.
The importance of weather
Once you get all of the serious business figured out, the weather becomes one of your next potential obstacles. This is especially true during the early stages of the build. Although a 4-5 month window to build a house may not seem like a long time, it actually can go by pretty quickly as long as the weather doesn’t come into play. Due to our busy schedules, my wife and I visited the house together once a week throughout the entire building process. For the first few weeks, I felt like all we came up here for was to look at a big hole in the ground. Since we started building during the middle of the summer, finding a time period of ideal weather and no rain was tough to come by. These two factors needed to come together in order for the concrete/basement construction to begin. In our case, although they were able to start digging soon after the pre-construction meeting, it took two weeks before they could put any concrete down. It took a few more to finish this process and build the basement for us before they could really get in there and start building the next couple floors of the house.
By the time we reached the middle of October, it was time for the pre-drywall inspection. This part of the process was our opportunity to take a good look at the “guts” of the house and make sure everything looked ok. We did an inspection with an outside inspector as well as the on site construction manager from Dan Ryan. One thing that must be said about Dan Ryan, especially in hindsight is that they didn’t give us a lot to complain about throughout the process. It was hard to find anything to flag during the pre-drywall process. making sure that all outlets were installed, nails were hammered in properly, wood blocks are added were some of the issues we needed to address during our inspection. The pictures posted below were all taken during the pre drywall inspection. Some of the details being marked off during this inspection were meant to point out areas that either needed attention or needed a fix/alteration prior to the start of the installation of drywall.
After the pre-drywall inspections are complete, the house really starts to look like a house. This is the part of the build where everything starts to truly become real. Although you can imagine how important a pre-drywall inspection is, it truly takes on new meaning once the drywall goes up. For many issues, there is no going back once you give your approval to move forward. Thankfully for us, much like the rest of the process, we didn’t have any major setbacks and were able to continue on as planned. The only thing they didn’t fix prior to the installation of drywall was the installation of an outlet we were supposed to have installed in our first floor office/future game room. Luckily for us, this is one of those issues that can be fixed later on in the process. Coincidentally, this is also the part of the process where you start to see the exterior take on more of the shape of a home as well. The siding, windows, and garage all start to come together. They even did some minor lawn/shrubbery work in order to give it more of a home feel. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the build, they could only provide preliminary work to the driveway and grass. These aspects of the house will be touched up this spring.
Much like the start of the build, the interior really comes together fast after the drywall is installed. It only took a few weeks for the carpet, cabinets, doors, mirrors, bathtubs, toilets, moldings, and the rest of the fixtures we requested to be installed in the house. To be honest, most of the last month of the build was spent inspecting all of the fine details of the installations mentioned and cleaning the place up. it probably sounds way too easy and too good to be true, but it really was that easy for us. The biggest hurdle during the build is overcoming any weather that could delay the start of the concrete and other foundational aspects of the house. From my perspective, as long as you do your homework and thoroughly inspect the house (we used an outside inspector addition to the one provided by Dan Ryan) you should experience a pretty smooth build.
In the fifth and final part of this series, I will talk about closing/settlement, moving in, and my feelings on going through the journey of building a house.