Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Homebuilding 101

Back in 1999 my house burned down.  Since I owned my house out right, I decided to rebuild on the
lot. I went to  one of the oldest builders in the area.  Right off the bat, I asked them if they
employed their own people or if they hired subcontractors. I was told they had their own crew so I signed
the contract.  According to this builder, since I was having a "small" 3 bedroom, 2 bath house built, they estimated once the permit was pulled, it should only take them 4 or 5 months to complete. In the intrim period my home-owners insurance was putting me up in another house, fully furnished and would do this for up to one year so I felt safe that there was plenty of time.

Within two weeks, I was called back in to this company to sign a paper by the same salesman that had written up the contract in the first place. According to him, he wasn't suppose to say that it would be 4-5 months even though he was sure it would be and wanted me to sign a waiver that let him off the hook 'just in case.' Of course, being naive, I laughed and signed. After all, they had a year. Even if it took six months, I'd be good.

What they didn't tell me was that the waiver encompassed EVERYTHING the salesman had said to me which turned out to be that they DID subcontract. So, my little house wound up taking literally the entire year to build. Not only could they not get a crew together timely, they apparently couldn't, according to the notes from the city inspector, follow directions. So when you added all the delays and lack of workers, etc., it really did take an entire year.

Before you move in, you have to literally sign off on the house with a walk thru. So here I am with my insurance rental expiring in two days and having to sign off on the house just so my family wouldn't wind up on the street homeless.  To say there were things that were not right, is an understatement and certainly material for a much longer blog. And of course I made them write it down with a promise to come back and fix, etc., but, I still had to sign off to get in the house.

However, the purpose of this particular post is to vent about what has over the years become a joke. When we moved into this new home, it came with a yard full of sod. That lasted all of one year before it literally died. I fertilized, I watered, I weeded, I did everything you are suppose to do to your yard but, nothing worked. I finally gave up and let it be whatever it was to become...a mix of grass and weed. Then we decided to put in a flower bed and as we started to dig, we hit something. Turned out to be a bucket full of beer cans. Yep, a giant paint bucket filled with empty crushed beer cans. And so the jokes began. You cannot dig anywhere on my property that you don't find something....left over cement, roofing tacks, a bucket of screws, etc., Not surprising when you look back at it to know why the grass died. Apparently they dumped dirt over the entire job site and thru the sod on top of that. But after 12 years, I would like to think I have found everything there is to find. T'was not to be. I went out today to plant a small shrub my mother gave me. I used my trusty spade and before I could scoop out the second scooper full, the dirt turned orange and I hit something. But this time, I went in and got a camera. This is what I dug out of one hole...

 The point of this rant is this...if you hire this company that has been in business since 1955 to build a house for you, or if you buy one that they have built on one of their lots, have an inspector to go over everything including the yard with a metal detector. It will save you in the long run. I can only imagine what they will find someday when I put that inground pool in.  Maybe the body of that salesman...I noticed he turned up missing not long after I signed that waiver......

5 comments:

Katerina said...

Wow! Sorry that happened to you....I'm scared to hear if they DO find that guy when they dig up the yard for a pool....LOL

dandelionpicker said...

Wow. What IS that?!?! Contractors and car salesmen are SO SHADY! But it will be interesting to see what you find when that pool goes in!

Katerina said...

I call dibs if they find a big bag of money!!

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