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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 8/16/2008 4:25:44 PM

Audra has been waiting for this day for a while now. She can finally start to see the walls of the house. I don't have pictures yet of the framing but know that it has begun. Yes!

I spent a long time trying to get the best price on lumber. I got bids and decided to go with Home Depot. They took a bid off of another bid and then took delivery of the lumber long before I even had permits. I still shopped for lumber though, because some of the wood I had from Home Depot was just stock lumber. I found a lumberyard going out of business. I drove an hour to the yard and got prices and they were lower than my Home Depot package. While they couldn't give me all the lumber I needed, they did have enough of it to make it worth my while (about $4,000 worth - saving me about $1,000). I asked the guys at Home Depot what could be returned before I bought from the other yard. After I bought the lumber Home Depot tells me that while they carried the sizes of the lumber I wanted to return it was green wood, not kiln dried. I was upset. Now it would cost to restock the special order wood. Then I went through their lumber list telling them what I needed from my lumber package because I already had some lumber onsite. Home Depot sends all the wood! I was furious and sent them this fax:

I was extremely frustrated with The Home Depot Pro Desk Team this afternoon. It seems to have been building up over the past few months, and this afternoon I just got pushed over the top.

 

I initially went in to get bids on windows and doors because of a promotion that Home Depot was having. While working with Jim on the windows, Leslie did a comparison of a bid I had from R & K lumber. Home Depot had better numbers, but I had to “lock in prices” because prices were going up. Trusting that R&K had it right and not having time to get the lumber list from my framer we locked the price in. While I understood that Home Depot could simply hold prices for me I was actually charged the full amount for the full lumber package on our commercial account. This was all prior to even having a building permit and against my wishes.

 

The next time I was in the store, Tait informed me that they had received my lumber. I was shocked and upset that Home Depot had accepted my lumber prior to my framer reviewing the lumber package and well in advance of when I would need it. The Pro Desk team knew that it would be months before I would use the lumber but accepted it anyway. The biggest problem was that the bulk of the lumber was special order and would have to be returned with a restocking fee if not used. This was not explained to me at the time.

 

About a month ago I found a good deal on lumber, while the lumberyard didn’t have all the lumber I wanted at prices better than Home Depot’s, they had some and the savings were significant enough to entice me to buy. I faxed the quote to Leslie and got a call back from either James or Jim. They said that they wouldn’t match the lumber prices despite the sign at the entrance and had given me the best deal they could. I then brought in the lumber list from Home Depot in and reviewed it with Jim, James and a guy from lumber. I was told that a lot of the lumber could be inventoried and I wouldn’t be charged for not taking it. Based on that I ordered some lumber from the other yard and had it delivered. When I tried to reduce the quantity of lumber delivered from Home Depot James told me that they don’t carry the kiln-dried lumber that was on my list. Apparently they only looked at the sizes and not the type of lumber when they told me they could inventory the lumber I didn’t need.

 

When James called about the kiln dried lumber he had the pick list that I had revised. I had changed the quantities on several of the items. Because of the changes James called to say that the items were special ordered. When the lumber was delivered today I was at the end of my rope because all of the lumber had been shipped. I had spent hours going over the lumber lists to get the quantities right and now I have at least 50% more lumber than I need sitting at the site.

 

Why would you send the lumber when you know I didn’t need it? Now the special order lumber that will have to be returned and a restocking fee charged to me is sitting in the weather (it’s raining as I write this) and susceptible to vandalism and theft. This is unacceptable!"

 

The next morning I received a call with their apologies. They say they will take care of it or do whatever I want. My problem is I don't want them to take the wood back in case I may need it, but I don't want wood that I don't need onsite where it will get wet or stolen (possibly). We have been having a wet monsoon season. I think when they send out the OSB, the framer will know better what he needs and we can send the unneeded lumber back on the delivery truck when the OSB comes out.

 

I have a long list of things do do this week: select stucco molding material under eaves, get HVAC friend out to help with runs, get PEX materials together, get the inspector's supervisor to find the inspector who told the guys we could backfill the water service but didn't sign the permit card so I don't have to dig it up, have the truss guys come out and field measure the floor and roof trusses, double check plumbing walls that they are 2x6, and on and on.

 

I tried to do planning, but it seems like a lot of things still pop up. I guess that is the way it is.

Photos

Rains seem to be a constant worry
Our site - the dead cottonwood tree will be cut down - sometime.
Snapping garage wall lines



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 8/12/2008 11:29:55 AM

I went by this morning and the house looks awesome. We have floors! I haven't measured anything yet to see how close we are, but nonetheless it definitely one of those big steps. Framers will be out tomorrow to lay out and get cracking.

Last night I worked the list that I need to go over with the framer. The list includes changes, rough openings etc. Trying to get the rough opening for the front door, I asked Audra what kind of threshold she wanted. She responded, "I haven't even thought of that". Yet another reminder that we are building this house and have to make these small decisions.

Photos

Garage floor - I want to put epoxy on it now! I will wait though.
Back Patio
Front entrance
Master bath and bedroom #2
Exterior stairs



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 8/10/2008 3:00:24 PM

We finally pour the slab tomorrow!

This week was a busy one. I put the water main in, then found a few leaks, called a  plumber out, and he fixed the leaks and put in a part that I needed to connect to the meter. Supposedly the line was inspected on Friday but the substitute inspector didn't sign my inspection card. Nonetheless I had to backfill the trench because of the pour tomorrow. The water main rain right next to the slab and the concrete trucks wouldn't have been able to deliver the mud if I didn't fill it back in. The concrete guys said that it passed but I have no proof. I'll call the inspector and tomorrow and ask him about it. Hopefully I won't  have to dig it up! I came off the meter with 1-inch copper then transitioned to 1.5-inch PVC to the house. I was going to do it in PEX, but since I was in a pinch, PVC was less expensive and more readily available.

While filling the trench, I hit a sewer cleanout and broke it. I didn't have my tools, but I found the parts (left over - thankfully) and set out to repair the damage I made. I recently learned that vinyl construction string will work nicely in a pinch to cut PVC so I tied a farrell loop to each end of the string and cut through the 2-inch pipe in two places. I used two 22 1/2 degree angles to replace a 45 degree and used a coupling. It was done rather quickly and since it is a cleanout, I am not too worried about it leaking.

I still have my electrical trench exposed and need to get the conduit in and set up my temporary power. I had the power company (SRP) design it so I could use the conduit for both the temporary power (set on a pole) and the permanent power (attached to the house and about 20 feet from the temporary power.)

I still have to sort out the lumber issue. I found some inexpensive lumber from a yard going out of business. I asked HD which sizes they carried in stock from my lumber list so they could take my lumber back into inventory. Then I bought the other wood. Now they are telling me that they carry green wood buy not kiln-dried wood (my wood is KD wood). Since our framers are starting on Tuesday I need to resolve this tomorrow. To make matters worse HD is doing an inventory and we may not be able to get their lumber until Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning.

I am as excited for this weed as I was for groundbreaking. Finally the slab will be poured, the wood will be nailed down, the floor will be covered and protected from the rain, and our house will finally start to look like a house.

Photos

These will be nicer next year enjoyed from air conditioned space.
Sunset
Exterior stairs formed for pour
Tying farrell loops together for the floor truss ledgers
Entry patio
Grading garage
Water line
Copper line coming from main. I sweated the lines together and my plumber tweaked it a bit. It was good to watch a professional and to learn a few tricks. his torch definitely heats things up faster than mine!



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 8/5/2008 12:14:57 PM

Yesterday was my first dusk till dawn day at the lot. I wasn't there all day as I had other work to do but I was there working at dawn and back in the afternoon working until dusk with no trips home in between. Rest assured I made a few trips to Home Depot during my long day!

I got the underground plumbing in yesterday. I had some help from a guy with experience - thankfully. He made it go much faster than I would have gone doing it alone. I had a three-hour minimum on the backhoe that dug the plumbing trenches, so I had him dig the water main and part of the electrical trench. Now I need to hurry to get the water main in and the electrical conduit in so I can backfill those areas before I (or someone else, i.e. concrete trucks) drive into the trenches which run right along our driveway into the site.

Our stem walls were poured last Thrusday. Today they are forming the exterior basement stairs and tomorrow grading the main slab area. Tonight I'll backfill around the pipes and try to get the water main in the ground from the meter to the house.

Photos

Master bath, stem wall and plumbing layout. I thought I would dig it by hand, but luckily I listened to the plumber and had a backhoe do it. Besides I spent the weekend working on my in-laws' kitchen remodel.
Digging plumbing line trenches
Unfortunately, I dug half of this by hand before the backhoe guy tried to use the teeth of the bucket to push the dirt out from under the footing. I was soaked with sweat but glad I didn't have to dig anymore of that compacted dirt. I feel comfortable with my compaction though!
Master Shower
Master bathroom: I think this is going to be my sink
Her 90-gallon tub drain and her sink. I am pretty sure she will share though!
Some of my sweat went into that tunnel - needlessly. One of the many hidden areas of effort that will go into this home where no one will say, "Wow, I like this . . " but regardless, I saved a few bucks.
The master throne



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/30/2008 9:50:54 AM

I finally got my compaction reports on the backfill and the pad certifications Monday afternoon. I had it onsite for yesterday's re-inspection of the footings. They also poured the footings during the mid-day, which isn't a good time to be outside in the summer. It looks like they were just a tad shy on the quantities because on of the pier footings in the back didn't get short. Another half yard should have sufficed. They will get that poured today when they set the rebar for the stem wall.

I think I'll ask my designer to do a monolithic slab next time (if I have the desire and survive this one first). Instead of three inspections (footing, stem and slab) and three times for the concrete contractor to come out, we'll just do it once and save a week or so.

The Wall Company took care of  the missing ledger bolts in the basement. They went above and beyond to help me out on that one and I will recommend them to others just as they were recommended to me by others.

We are going with a spray-foam insulated unvented attic. Originally, we had the air handlers in the basement, but after speaking with my HVAC contractor and a HVAC rigid sheet metal guy they recommend putting the air handlers in the attic rather than trying to push cold air up from the basement. After checking with my inspector he said he wouldn't have a problem with it as long as the trusses were engineered for it. I then met with my truss supplier and had him locate all of the air handlers in the attic. This will save ductwork and should provide for a better system having the cold air come down from the insulated attic vs. pushing it up from the basement.

I'll have a busy weekend installing the underground plumbing. Hopefully we'll be ready for inspection on Monday and pour the slab on Tuesday or Wednesday. Then Audra will be happy that the framing has finally started!

We are also remodeling Audra's parents' kitchen this weekend. Old cabinets are coming out (which I will be doing with her brothers) and thankfully her mom wants "professionals" to do the install which will free me up to dig underground plumbing lines! 

Photos

NW corner
Master bath tub pop out.
Garage reinforcements



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/25/2008 7:24:13 PM

Many of the contractors that I have worked with in development and on the house in the past several months have seen a downturn in the amount of work they are doing. So one might think that it is easier to get them scheduled or to get reports out of them, but sometimes the opposite is true. As work ramps down, they cut back staff to keep a smaller number of people just as busy as before.

It has been over a week and I am still waiting for the compaction report on the basement backfill and the pad certification. We would have poured concrete today had we had those. All of the rebar is in and ready.

Photos

Arizona Monsoon Season Sunset
Master bath pop-out
Reinforced footing for garage door - this one actually needs to be 6 inches longer. The inspector caught it and the contractor will change it before they pour.
The two squares are the where the header will be borne for the single-bay garage.
I don't know if it was a worker or a neighborhood kid, but someone was using a 3/16 socket as a pipe to smoke marijuana. I found it in this 36" HDPE pipe where I am storing landscaping stakes (latillas, I think). I am on the lookout!



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/23/2008 9:22:08 AM

I wasn't watching the schedule like I should have been and was so focused on last Friday that I forgot to call the concrete guys to come out on Monday. I had to coordinate some extra time from the loader and a local 10-wheeler to haul 7 loads of concrete (old footings) to the concrete recycler nearby and bring back 10 tons of asphalt for my temporary entry way as a dust control measure.

On Saturday I got to thinking: I wonder if the compaction people have passed off on the backfill and have certified the pad? I called the Wall Company contact but no answer on Saturday. I wasn't able to get a hold of the soils folks until Monday. So the project sat for a day and a half while I determined if the dirt work was good before continuing.

Yesterday the footings were laid out and today there are being dug. I called a plumber to help me with the underground lines this weekend if they can get the footings poured on Friday.

I also checked how many ledger bolts we are missing in the basement due to being laid out wrong by the Wall Company (13), conflicting layouts on the plans (5), and the depressed wall (6) where the slab ties in. We are missing 24 total.

Yesterday I was moving some dirt and clearing weeds with my father-in-law's tractor and it got stuck in neutral. I can't shift it into high or low now. It turns on fine and the loader and backhoe parts work but it won't move any where -- great! Try to save a buck by not renting and it'll cost triple or more to have this repaired. Oh well.

Photos

I put a blue dot where we need more ledger bolts.
Footings laid out.
Footings laid out.
Footings laid out.
Footings laid out.
Digging footings.
Broke-down tractor.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/19/2008 1:24:50 PM

The backfill and grading are complete. As I mentioned in a previous post, our house is set pretty high. Well, we are now accepting fill dirt to bring up the yard and create berms for the irrigation. I am amazed how we dug this huge hole for the basement and used all the dirt to build the pad and grade around the house. Granted, our finished floor is about three feet higher than the existing grade, but still -- all the dirt is gone.

The lot looks good. It hasn't been this weed-free since we bought it. Not because I am lazy (I tell myself) but because I didn't see a need to weed and keep the lot (an acre) clean when we aren't there and don't use it at all. Hopefully we'll get the concrete footings in on Tuesday.

Photos

A spray of water and the morning sun.
Side Yard.
My baby girl.
It's hard to see the elevation of it from the photo.
It's supposed to rain again.
They even cleaned back there?



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/17/2008 11:52:39 AM

Building a basement on an irrigated lot I have been worried about flooding. I guess I have stayed the night at my in-laws too many times when the basement floods and we are trying to clean things up at 3:00 AM.

Add to this the fact that 2/3 of our lot is a foot higher than the remaining 1/3 because only 1/3 was irrigated in the past. Instead of exporting a thousand yards, I thought we could just raise the front 1/3 with the spoils from the basement. I borrowed a laser level and took shots every 25 feet on our lot. I thought it through and spoke with Trent my Civil Engineer brother and the irrigation will still flow even if our lot is a foot higher.

If the front 1/3 is a foot higher I wanted to add a good amount for the finished floor so that our house won't flood. I initially told the Wall Company two feet from the lot elevation would be the elevation of the finished floor. I figured if the water gets up to a foot deep I'll add a foot.

Luckily the Wall Company poured the walls only 22 inches higher, which I was OK with realizing how high our house will look.

Today at the site I realized that our house is built on a hill of my creation. Looking at the neighbors houses our finished floor is at least two feet maybe three feet higher than theirs. I already planned on our new home sticking out in an older neighborhood. We will also have the only two story on the street. We'll start two to three feet higher for our main floor finished floor. I don't think it's quite the wow factor I was shooting for.

Nonetheless, our basement won't flood from the irrigation and it will be the last house to flood in the neighborhood. It will be a monstrosity. Hopefully some creative landscaping can help tone it down some.

Photos

Backfilling the basement stairs.
Where did all the dirt go?
I thought we would have more dirt left over.
Front entry -- a courtyard some day. See how high the floor is compared to our 5'6" fence.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/15/2008 8:38:46 AM

Today the ground was still damp but dry enough to start backfilling again. Maybe the rain will save me a few bucks on my water bill.

The deck looks like it is drying nicely without too many warped spots.

Time to get the machine back into gear. Hopefully the backfill will be complete as well as the pad by weekend because another storm system is in the forecast.

Found a door for the back patio and whirlpool tub on Craigslist. I emailed the owners and hopefully I can pick them up soon.

Photos

Back to work on the backfill.
The deck looks like it has dried up.
Still some wet spots.
A small pile of the footings I need to haul off.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/14/2008 7:21:56 AM

Yesterday it rained even more and today the ground is too wet for the backfilling to continue. We'll see what today and tomorrow hold in store.

I covered the deck with plastic but any little hole in the plastic allowed water to get under the plastic. Then the water was trapped under the plastic and wouldn't have a chance to dry out. Yesterday while it was still raining some I pulled all the plastic off. Only about 30% of the deck was still dry but I worried that the water standing on the other parts would do further damage. Hopefully it will warm up and dry everything out soon.

Photos

Only one picture turned out from yesterday



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/13/2008 4:03:59 PM

There is a story told in the "good book" of framers who put the roof on before framing the second story while the owner was out of town.

We went camping this weekend, and fortunately we didn't have anything as bad as that happen to us. But it did rain the first night we were gone. Luckily we had plastic on our wood deck to protect it but the partially backfilled area around the basement was turned into a moat with the deluge of rain. It rose at least a foot, sufficient to flood onto the basement floor taking mud right along with it. We will need to get a pressure washer to clean it all out prior to any more work down there. Thankfully it isn't a foot of mud but it is a good coating across the floor.

Work was also called off on Friday because it was too muddy for the backfill/compaction to continue. Hopefully Monday will find the site dry enough to continue. Weather delays aren't as common in Arizona, but it does happen. This time of year we have a lot of rain and windstorms. Hopefully the next storms will be kinder (or find us better prepared).

Photos

Pea gravel over the drain tile.
Compacting with a Jumping Jack.
The big equipment came back.
Our ramp became a waterfall.
Standing water in the basement - 2 days later. Not a flood like in New Orleans but a good layer of silt nonetheless.
More silt.
Water came down the wall, too - I need to get a pressure washer for the walls and floor to clean it all up. Now to find someone that I can borrow a pressure washer from...



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/10/2008 1:12:36 PM

Our framers finished up the deck and we added protective plastic to prevent it from any rain damage (hoping it will rain).

There are a few issues - one sleeve for the sewage and sump pump is blocked by a truss - the truss layout was different from mine. We need the concrete guy to embed bolts to fasten the ledger to, and backfill starts today.

I also am working on our plumbing list for PEX supplies, trying to find a good deal on three pendant lights for the kitchen, and Audra is working her magic on cabinets.

Progress is progress. It seems like so many projects in Arizona are sitting for days or weeks at a time or are just abandoned altogether. While the economic outlook looks bleak, we are betting the farm (which is what Brighton calls it) and pressing forward because we need our own space and out of the in-laws' basement.

Photos

I had to put this in. The camera I am using is about 10 years old and still works pretty good except for the lens doesn't always open and close. If I don't check it I get pictures like this!
That's our main floor!
It looks a lot bigger than it did on our plans.
In the basement - only bearing walls are framed.
Oops - need to come up with something to get the water off the basement. One of the sleeves is blocked.
This is where we need more embedded bolts for the ledger. They braced it with 2x4s



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/8/2008 11:34:21 AM

This is the time of year where the humidity picks up making hot even more unbearable. On July 3 I tried out my new stilts. I convinced Audra that I had to buy them and they would make things go a lot easier. I raised them up as high as they would go, and held on to the wall as I pulled out 187 plastic protectors from the bolt holes and screwed in 187 bolts for the ledger. I still have a blister to prove it.

We escaped the heat to the mountains for the Fourth of July weekend. While there we watched the local parade and since Audra's family is from up there we wanted to get in the parade next year. So when the house is finished my next project is to make a barrel train for our kids and their cousins.

Yesterday the framers started, lumber was dropped and work progresses.

By the end of the week we should have our deck in place and start the basement backfill on Monday.

Photos

Basement floor curing.
It's the stilts. They make me look too skinny! I am a real muscular and handsome fellow...
I put those there!
Those too.
The first day of framing with three guys. Laid out the basement and hung some of the ledgers.
The plans called out 12" and 16" OC for the bolts. The Wall Company just made it all 12". It will be a pain for the framers to hang the floor trusses around 12" spaced bolts at 16" centers.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 7/2/2008 3:36:00 PM

Well one more big event: The basement floor was poured today!

I had to wrap the plumbing pipes a little higher because the plumber didn't get it all the way above the slab. I also had to wrap the line that went through the bearing wall footing.

Got the termite pre-treat yesterday evening.

Met the framer today and went over some things. We are leaving the floor deck 3/8 inch low to allow for a backer board to give more rigidity when tile is installed. I stressed a lot of glue and screws on the deck so the floor doesn't squeak. I think I will put construction plastic on top of it to keep it dry if the monsoon storms come in.

Have wood ready to drop on Monday. Next week the basement will be framed and start backfill the following Monday.

I am getting the first draw of our loan. It is an 8 draw loan with two extra draws for septic and the basement. It should give us some cash to find good deals with.

This weekend we found a steal on a front door. We were going to get a 42" by 8 foot fiberglass door that looks like wood (same style as the one we got). It would have cost about $1,300 or so. We found a solid wood door 4'x8' and it came with the frame. He asked $1,000 and we offered $850 which he accepted. It is a nice and heavy door. They guy seemed to not want to let it go because he paid $1,000 for the stain alone. It will look nice in our home and give Audra the "Wow" factor she wants. It may be the only "Wow" item unless we find more deals, which we probably will.

Photos

Reinforcement at king studs on either side of French door for this load bearing wall
Rebar every 48" - steel isn't cheap now!
It was a little hot for us - 113 degrees
Sunrise on pour day!
Working it
Half done
Our front door picked up fro $850 off of Craigslist.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/27/2008

We got the basement waterproofed, drain tile installed, and trying to save a few minutes unloading, I drove over large piles of dirt in my 2x4 truck. I got stuck and a five-minute saver turned into a 45-minute ordeal.

Basement slab to be poured Thursday.

Need to get framer awarded by Monday.

Photos

Exterior Stairway.
Lots of tar, hopefully that won't leak.
Basement Wall
Stair drain
Sump pump and sewage ejector.
Oops!
Using some rubber mats I got myself away from the hole and made a path up the hill. I was saved. Luckily, my smart thinking was able to get me out of my dumb thinking that got me into the mess to begin with.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/25/2008

I had a bid from a licensed plumber for $7,900 to do my DWV (drain/waste lines soil and top-out). I received that number Monday night and had previously told him that Wednesday I needed him to do the basement.

After receiving his bid I looked some more. Yesterday I found a plumber at another construction site (a great find, since there is much less construction going on). He met me at my site and estimated $700 to run my basement lines with me helping, digging for the lines and providing materials. That night I called another plumber to verify that $700 was fair. This second plumber would have charged $1,200 to $1,500. I decided to let the $700 guy do it on Saturday with my help. I would have lost a few days but saved a bit (I thought).

I realize that the basement soil work is less than a third of the soil work and doesn't include top-out, so comparing the $7,900 to $700 isn't apples to apples and may not even be a good deal.

This morning the $7,900 sub called from the job site (it's Wednesday) asking about the furring out of the basement walls. I forgot to tell him I was going to have someone else do it. I made my first communication error.

I am working on my confrontation skills and opted to not do it on the phone. After getting some constructive criticism from Audra I went to the job site. The $7,900 had the parts, most of the lines dug and would be completed by the end of the day.

I decided it would be unfair to call him off, since I had failed to let him know of my change of plans. I told him what I done yesterday and wasn't sure I was going to use him for the whole project. I asked him to give me a number for the portion of work he will do today and I'll pay him and may go with another plumber for the rest.

Then I get a call from the office guy who offered to knock off $500 from the bid. Sure that helps, but I will still try to hone in on what it would take in money and time to get it done with the $700 plumber in a side work situation.

I allow myself to make mistakes as long as I learn from them...

Photos

A happy employee... Because they worked a 12-hour day in the heat on Monday to get the walls poured, I got doughnuts yesterday for the guys.
Cleaning the walls
Next summer it won't be so hot down there!
Our exterior staircase (stairs not included, yet!) I love the lines in this shot.
Home Depot took delivery of our lumber a month early, they are air conditioning it for us.
Formed double window well.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/22/2008 9:53:00 AM

Thursday the wall company needed sleeves for the sewage waste line that they could place in the wall. Ron gave me an example that consisted of four inch couplings and a short piece of four inch pipe. He had to have it by the next morning.

I was getting up at 3:30 AM to go out of town, so I had to do it on Thursday. I stopped by Ace Hardware and the couplings weren't labeled with a price. The other fittings in the four inch size were about $5.00 to $10.00 a piece. The four inch line was only sold in a 10-foot length and was about $20. I was thinking these two fittings are going to cost me about $50!

Not wanting to pay high-end retail for a part I really needed I called my father and asked him if there was a plumbing supply store nearby. There was and I went and picked up all four couplings for $12 but they only had 10-foot lengths of pipe.

I went to a Lowe's in Scottsdale and they had shorter lengths, five and two feet, but were sold out. I found a couple of teenagers looking at a four inch pipe and we discussed splitting a 10 foot length but I only needed one foot and they only needed two. Then we couldn't find an associate to help us or anything to cut it with. Then they changed their design based on parts they had in stock.

Finally, I went to the trusty Home Depot by the lot and picked up a two-foot section of pipe for about $6. So my sleeves only ended up costing $20 or so and some headache and time.

I understand the time value of money but I have a hard time applying it because I don't like paying too much. Ace hardware and even Home Depot and Lowes have goods that may be convenient but sometimes they are just ridiculously overpriced. Especially for plastic irrigation parts.

I know I will end up paying the top $ for some parts when people are waiting but as long as I have some time I probably will shop around for a better deal.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/20/2008 11:51:02 PM

I worked on my schedule today. I have everything set for about two weeks now. I'll continue to refine the schedule and getting contracts signed.

This weekend I have to write the contract for the concrete.

I found a plumber to run my waste lines and vents allowing me to run the supply in PEX. I am doing a recirculation loop with manifolds at each bathroom or group. I am also trying to get a gray water drain line if the inspector will allow it.

In the crazy hot heat Audra and I put up an irrigation line on the fence to water our trees. I bought a timer to allow a deeper water than we have been giving them. The grape vines looked withered -- hopefully they'll come back around with good watering.

The wall company will be getting the inspection for the walls and pouring on Monday.  

Photos

Dropping off forms
Wall Forms
They put the rebar up then put the forms around it.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/17/2008 11:07:37 AM

I like concrete and the rebar inside. It looks cool when they have it all tied together. I'll have to go back when they tie up the rebar for the exterior staircase because that will have a lot of rebar.

If all goes well they should have the inspection and pour this afternoon in the 113-degree heat.

I spoke with SRP (the power company) and am working on getting a temporary meter set (100 amps) for construction. The neighbors tell me that the transformer blew out a while back. I think they upgraded the transformer since then - hopefully they'll have capacity for our transformer.

I also found a nearby concrete recycling company to take the old footings we pulled out of the ground from a barn in the back and a never completed home in the front. I'll have the loader who backfills the basement fill a local 10 wheeler to drive less than three miles to the drop of location.

I have found a pretty good deal on electrical can lights. They are 4" and I planned on using 6", but they are dirt cheap. The housings are white/black and Audra wants white/white so talked the guy down another $100 and he still will sell it all to me. I'll just have to find white/white 4" trim kits.

That's it for now.

Photos

45-degree turn
South wall
Corner



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/16/2008 8:13:45 AM

Today the Wall Company will set the basement footing forms, compact the soil, get a geotech inspection to make sure everything is sound, have it inspected and possibly pour concrete this afternoon in the 112-degree heat. I hope they put ice in the concrete mix!

I drove by just after the sun came up about 5:20 this morning and no one was there yet. These guys like starting later - maybe they like the heat.

Life will resume to it's normal chaos as my dear wife is back in town. This week I need to see why framing and concrete bids are going up and lock someone in.

Photos

Not only did he find a way onto the excavator - he found lots of grease on the way!
That's quite the bucket! My four-year-old Brighton is dwarfed by it.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/11/2008 9:11:32 PM

Yesterday the excavation started and tomorrow it will finish.

If breaking ground isn't enough my dear wife, Audra, is out of town this week leaving me with our two wonderful children, a job to do and house to get started. It's a busy week but a good one.

We have found old water lines, old footings, roots, and a rocky (small rocks) layer about 8 feet down. The kids and I were playing in the hole today and after my son doused himself in dirt I decided it was time to go home.

While the Wall Company has their excavator onsite I will also have them tear out the old barn foundation in the backyard.

Photos

Water meter box
View out of the family room - I know I have some landscaping to do . . .
First scoop!
That thing digs pretty fast.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/9/2008 10:53:52 AM

We had the water tap put in last week. I dug down and located the pipe myself so I wouldn't have to pay for someone else to locate it. It took about three hours. Once the contractor got there they enlarged the hole, tapped the line and put in the one-inch service.

The City was supposed to take a look at it Friday morning. I didn't hear from them and didn't want to leave it exposed all week for some copper thief to get any ideas so I buried it back up and set the meter box. I'll call today for the meter.

The box sits real high now, but once we grade the site and raise the old pasture, soon to be front yard and berm, it will look fine.

Photos

1" service saddle tap on a 12" main line.
1" water service.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 6/1/2008

I don't like how cities keep increasing the fees they charge to homeowners. I would think to make your city/town attractive you would not want to penalize people for moving to it. I understand the idea behind "impact" and paying for services, but look through what I had to pay on Friday just to get my permit:

1" Meter Complete: $184

Arterial Street Fee: $2,896

Building Permit: $2,395

Community Parks Fee: $4,175

Fire Fee: $564

General Government Fee: $573

Microfilm Fee: $63

Neighborhood Park Impact: $2,483

Police Fee: $241

Solid Waste Development Fee: $102

Solid Waste System Development/Operator: $46

Water Meter City Tax: $12

Water Meter Installation: $240

Water Meter State Tax: $27

Water Resource Fee: $754

Water System Development Fee: $3,959

Water Buy-in Fee: $2,244

Plan Review: $1,557

Variance Application: $100

Grand Total: $22,605!

How absurd! We are building on a lot in a 20-year old subdivision. No extra development will be needed to provide utilities to my lot. I don't have sewer or gray water lines (my fees would have been at least another $4,000 for those). Our street isn't even paved so the City doesn't maintain that.

It is pretty frustrating they way they are now. If we ever do this again, I will definitely shop permit/impact fees prior to buying property. Unfortunately, this is our town where we grew up, where we went to school, where we wanted to send our kids to school. Oh, well...


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 5/29/2008 12:51:21 PM

Sugar and spice seems to do better than calls, anger and meanness in this case. I am told that my permits are approved and ready for pick up.

I also received an email about the recipe. We had zucchini from the garden and I am not a big vegetable fan, though I will eat it because it is good for me. This bread is more like a muffin than bread but it does have a vegetable in it. The recipe is attached. I had to convert the PDF to a JPEG because it isn't accepting the PDF. Mark help!

 

Photos

Yummy recipe. Good for speeding up plans, rescuing babies from burning buildings, and pleasing family and friends.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 5/27/2008 12:58:39 PM

Getting desperate and out of options, I tried to warm up the civil reviewer up by baking her a loaf of zucchini bread. Everyone else has signed off and she just needs to look at one page of the plans.

Maybe it's shameless, but I am out of ideas to speed the process up. It is good bread, too. I made it for the first time last week and was surprised to not taste any of the healthy stuff. It still has a lot of sugar and cinnamon in it.

With any luck it will help us get permits sooner.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 5/21/2008 9:56:03 PM

We were able to work with the building reviewer on our second submittal to switch out plans so they wouldn't get denied. But unfortunately for us, civil denied our plans. I had to pay $2,244 for my water "buy-in" fee which isn't part of the permit fees, review fees or impact fees. The reviewer said that she can get it through faster next time. I will try to get it back in tomorrow. All of the redlines were things that my designer should have had on the site plan (a few of the things were comments from the first round).

We thought we were finally done because the building reviewer said he was the last one to review, but apparently civil hadn't reviewed it yet. We keep hoping and praying...


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 5/14/2008 4:28:19 PM

I am pretty much compulsive about Craigslist by now. I missed some stone floor medallions by a few minutes (the guy just sold them), and now I am checking it all the time.

I picked up a mantel for our master fireplace for $200. It's precast stone looking but much lighter (thankfully), it will look great around our 50% off fireplace I picked up last month. If only I had more cash on hand to buy good deals. Unfortunately, the bank wants to make sure I spend the money on my house... wait this is all for my house!

On the brighter side, apparently there is one small change needed for our plans but Brian our designer spoke with the city and he'll make the changes, I'll run the plans over to the city and he can approve it. To say we are that close to permits totally freaks me out, but as my wife reminds me, "It's already been 9 months in (her parents) basement." This is true -- ok, time to get going on the house.

 


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 5/7/2008 8:56:27 PM

Home Depot had a 20% off windows and doors sale that ended today. It was a scramble but I think we got everything. They also had free upgrades to solid core doors which we took gladly.

One thing I found out is that adding 16 inches to interior doors nearly triples the price. I don't know why that is. Maybe they figure people who want 8' doors have a lot of money. Well that's what Audra wants and that's what she'll get. Plus they do look much better than 6'8" doors with a 10' plate.

We ended setting up a commercial account at HD. That will allow them to hold our prices for 6 months without paying for or ordering the items. I also have time to review all of the details on each window and door to make sure it is all correct. It was a rush to get it all ordered by tonight but even if we make changes or have to delete a thing or two they said it will be fine because we won't be ordering them for a while.

I also found a pre-cast fireplace mantel for the master for $200. I'll get that tomorrow.

SRP, the power company, told me that the deal I got on our electrical panel wasn't so good because I have to buy a bypass kit for the panel or purchase another one. After all the headache (I posted on the forums), I still need to get a price for the kit.

There is one door that we haven't purchased yet because it was too expensive at HD. It is a sliding or French door from the living room to the patio. I'll check out the building materials outlet stores for something that will work. I just need it to be 8' tall and white.

I can't imagine how it will be when we get permits.

Oh, while I was at HD ordering windows and doors, I found a few details on our plans that didn't match up. Small things that in no way effect the building, but nonetheless I worry that our city officials will have nothing better to do that to redline them and make me resubmit for another 20-working-day period. Two weeks and counting for comments on round two...

Hopefully Mr. Toad's Wild Ride will begin soon (or whatever his name was).


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 4/25/2008 1:23:14 PM

I resubmitted the plans yesterday. After getting the structural and design redlines changed, a septic permit, a variance, mechanical drawings, and a few iterations with the designer to make sure it was all right - it is done.

I asked the city if the second round goes any faster - nope, 20 working days! I asked if they had slowed down at all - nope, despite news articles that they are way down on permit fee contributions to the city funds. I asked if they have let anyone go - nope.

Gotta love the government!

I also picked up 100 gallons of primer paint for $4 a gallon, and two propane fireplaces for about half off retail. Both of these deals came from reputable companies who had overstocked inventory and advertised on Craigslist.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 4/10/2008 2:45:48 PM

I know the road ahead is so long and there is still so much to do. Today, though, we celebrate justice and savor the fact that the Board of Adjustment voted four to two to approve our variance which allows us to build our home without taking any of the existing structures down.

One vote away from hours and hours of work and thousands of dollars to comply -- we are so happy. My budget didn't need a big hit like that before we even get permits.

We closed on our loan on the 31 of March and now need to get our plans back into the city so we can get our permits and break ground.

Since building our home is a long journey, I think it best to celebrate the little steps. Hopefully we'll have many more little celebrations along the way.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 4/9/2008 1:03:28 PM

Well, it has finally come. Tonight we have our hearing with the Board of Adjustment. Audra and her father have gone down to the city to discuss the matter with a friend of her father's who works for Planning and Zoning. I have corresponded via email with a former principal of my high school (Chandler -- go Wolves) who is now on the city council. We have signatures from every neighbor we could contact (over 50% of the neighborhood).

We will see how they respond tonight. We'll keep our fingers crossed and say a few prayers.

Photos

This is a "structure" according to the City.
Audra asked the guy she met with, and if we took the roofs off of these stalls, they wouldn't be structures anymore. The animals are the ones who really suffer from this law because in the Arizona summer they need to be in the shade.
Hopefully, we won't have to tear down these structures.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 3/10/2008 1:02:53 PM

After the full allotment of 20 working days the city of Chandler called to let me know the plans were ready.

The two main items needed are a permit from the county for the septic system (I was told that the City doesn't require this -- but apparently this was an error), and full mechanical drawings.

Not to mention, a variance for structures built on the lot by the previous owner that weren't permitted and in the setback. They also told me that I needed to do a minor land division because I subdivided the land. I laughed at this one because they were the ones who approved the minor land division before it was recorded with the county. Silly civil servants.

Anyway, I anticipate several weeks working on these items before I am ready to resubmit. Hopefully, by April we will have everything back in and after the 20 working days we'll have permits in May.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 2/19/2008 9:37:12 AM

This weekend I piled up the concrete slab that I had broken out. I loaded it up into the loader by hand and then dumped it in a pile. It felt good to get it moved, but I knew at some point I would have to move these pieces again. It would have been easier to take them to the dump, but in an effort to reduce waste and cost I'll be making an extended patio out of the old barn slab. I was definitely sore on Sunday.

I still have the footings to take care of and concrete debris to finish cleaning, but I am hoping I can work out a deal with the excavator once he is on site.

Our fruit trees have also budded and are blooming. This may not be too exciting for some, but for an Arizona boy raised in the desert -- planting bare-root apple and peach trees and seeing them bloom is awesome. I can't believe they are growing!

I also loaded up the old Palo Verde tree into the dump trailer. I truly believe that Hell is landscaped with Palo Verde trees and their thorny cousins. I had two pairs of gloves on and still got poked three times and scratches on my arm. While I had my chainsaw I cut down another tree and stump. I only have one large Palo Verde tree left and I will likely leave it for awhile. Those things grow like weeds -- sprouting up between concrete slabs and when I cut a stump about 50 shoots spring up. Those trees are of the Devil!

Photos

Slab broken up.
Deep post footings.
Oh goodie! I get to move that pile again later... I hope the tractor is available.



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 2/9/2008

I was out at the lot yesterday. The Bobcat took care of the slab under the old barn that we sold, but the footings are like 16"-18"+ with rebar in them. I didn't have time to break it all up with the breaker when I rented it. I focused on the slab and front post footings.

I was digging along the side yesterday and with it as deep as it is, there is no way a sledge will make much of a dent with the rebar in it.

I thought about a chain and a tractor but the tractor we have (father-in-law's) isn't strong enough to pull it out.

I tried to dig alongside it with the box gannon, but that didn't work too well.

If I had a strong backhoe, I could dig it out and then break it up, but I don't and am trying to not spend any more money.

I may wait until the excavator comes out for the basement. He should be able to make short work of it with the large track hoe that they'll have. Or else try someone on Craigslist or something. If I could get it done for less than $200, I'd try it.

That's my dilemma for now. Any suggestions? There are about 18 sections of 15-feet-long footing.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 2/8/2008 2:09:18 PM

$1,556 dollars later the city accepted our plans for review. They grant themselves 20 working days (or four weeks) to process them. We are only the fourth custom home to submit plans this year! It seems to be a little slow at Chandler. Hopefully they can turn our plans around much sooner, but I am not holding my breath.

In the meantime, I am finishing up my dust control permit with the county (no fees for owner-builders!), septic tests, permits, and other lot prep. items.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 2/3/2008

Our lot came with storage sheds, 14 horse stalls, a barn, hay storage, washing stalls and other horse accoutrements. The barn had to go, because when we split the lot, we put the lot line too close to it and it fell within the setback. No big deal for us, because we wanted that area open. We sold the barn last year and it was taken down by the buyer. We were left with the concrete slab and footing it sat on.

I rented a Bobcat with a breaker on it to handle the concrete. It worked great on the slab, but the footings were another story. They must have poured the concrete back when it was cheap! The front posts had about 2.5' x 2.5' concrete around them and they took a good 20 minutes each to break up. I didn't get all of the other footings broken up during the 8 hours, but I got a lot of it broken up. I haven't yet decided the best and cheapest way to get the rest out.

I found a lot of cool things to do with the broken up concrete and I plan to re-use the "urbanite" for raised gardens, walkways and extended patios. See: terranovalandscaping.com and depave.org.

Plans should have gone in on Friday, but Chandler wants a soils investigation (report) with the submittal (though it wasn't on their residential submittal checklist!). Another good $1,200 out of my pocket because of city requirements. It's frustrating. Tomorrow I hope to select a geotech company to get it done for me.

Photos

My bro helping out with the loader.
The front patio -- gone!
Stopping for lunch.
Got my hands full!



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 1/24/2008

I couldn't help myself from planting more trees on our lot. We won't break ground for another month or so, and I wanted to get them growing.

Since buying the lot, I have cut down four Palo Verdes (one more to go) and one cottonwood. (one more to go). I have planted three Chinese Pistaches, three Evergreen Elms, and now three peach trees, two apple trees and three grapevines. I bought them through a knowledgeable man who grows them in his yard. The peach and apple varieties I planted have low chill requirements and should do well in our moderate winters. I had to plant them in the back, away from the construction zone.

I am not putting any more in until after the lot is graded because I don't want any additional obstacles (10 new trees plus three grapevines plus the existing structures) than I already have. It is tempting to get the citrus trees in this spring when it warms up a little, but I have to resist. :-)

Pics to come.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 1/13/2008

After running my plans around town and getting copies made, I decided to post them to our website. When I call people for a bid, most are quite willing to print them off themselves and it saves me a lot of money and time. I usually send them an email with the link to the site and they print off the plans that they need.

A cool idea that worked for me -- thought I would share.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 12/27/2007 10:59:43 AM

I used a laser level to get elevations from my lot and from my initial estimations I have an excess of 700 yards of dirt before we even excavate the basement. The reason being that the previous owners probably brought in extra dirt for parking on a majority of the lot and now we want to lower the lot for flood irrigation.

With the cost of trucking all the dirt out or the hassle of pawning off a pickup truckload at a time I may have a sizable hill in my back yard until I can come up with a feasible solution to rid myself of a lot of dirt. I am sure my kids won't mind too much.

Anyone need free dirt in Chandler, AZ?


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 12/27/2007 10:59:27 AM

I used a laser level to get elevations from my lot, and from my initial estimations, I have an excess of 700 yards of dirt before we even excavate the basement. The reason being that the previous owners probably brought in extra dirt for parking on a majority of the lot and now we want to lower the lot for flood irrigation.

With the cost of trucking all the dirt out, or the hassle of pawning off a pickup truckload at a time, I may have a sizable hill in my back yard until I can come up with a feasible solution to rid myself of a lot of dirt. I am sure my kids won't mind too much.

Anyone need free dirt in Chandler, AZ?


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 12/26/2007 12:59:18 PM

I have heard how much bids vary, but it amazes me to get my own bids and see the differences. I guess some are still holding out for the lucrative contracts that were had during the building boom. Others, it seems, are more aware of either their true costs or the market conditions and are willing to do the same or more work for less money than the other subs.

I have about half of the major bids that I need for my budget. It is tedious and tiresome but fun to see it taking shape.

BTW, Christmas in the in-laws basement was fun but I am sure looking forward to our own Christmas in our new home next year.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 12/13/2007 11:31:42 AM

I have been working hard to get bids from all the subs. I am getting two to three bids for the budget right now. With that I'll secure the loan, make final changes and submit to the city.

During the permitting process with final stamped prints, I'll get more bids. I have a hard time asking people to come get prints and I end up delivering most sets. I know times are slow, part of that comes from not having a stack of prints to pick up somewhere. I find out what sheets the subs need then get the prints run off. I use 11x17 sheets whenever possible as I can run copies on our office copier. Then our print shop only charges $.06 per foot or $.36 per 2'x3' sheet. It's a good rate.

When I get final plans I'll just have a bunch of sets made up with my spec sheets. I'll seperate it by trade and then the subs can get the specs and their respective set of plans, and I won't have to get transmittals for each trade. I need to make this simpler on me.

I hope to have a good idea of where we are with our budget by Christmas. I have this fear that we want way too much house, but we have to wait and see.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 12/8/2007 10:59:00 PM

We got our first full set of plans. There are still things that weren't put into the plans that we communicated to our designer, but oh well. We'll get that put into the next and final set.

We started getting the plans out for bid and soon should have actual numbers for our budget.

I also spent a half hour tonight talking with the neighbor who has his house all finished and is just waiting for the power company to get their act together.

It's all pretty exciting, he also told us that it only took 30 days to get permit but I was thinking 2-3 months. Hopefully ours will be the same.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 12/2/2007

It is not uncommon to have friends and family who promise to "help" with construction not turn up. Unfortunately for me, despite enthusiastic promises to help with my latest project, my three-year old son only managed to do about 1/20th of the work that I did. I also caught him stealing and concealing building materials during the process.

Normally I would have cut him some slack, but this blatant defiance of his duties to our construction project could not be overlooked so I fired him.

Despite many labor, material and scheduling problems the house was completed and enjoyed by all, especially my son! :-)

Photos

Somehow I couldn't help letting him take part in the demolition even after his lack of help in the construction.
Next year I will expect more help!



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 11/27/2007 10:49:04 AM

We should have construction documents by Friday or next Monday. With these documents we will meet with the subs, get tips and bids, put together our budget and make a list of final changes based on the input from the subs.

By the end of the year we should be submitted to the city, and by March we should be breaking ground.

Baby steps...

 


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 11/20/2007

Here are our plans thus far. Everything is getting close to solidified but any input is gladly welcome.

We have gone round and round on several items, but here are the plans. We will be finishing off the main floor and saving the basement and second story until later (when we have the need for the space). So we are basically building a house that will work for us for the whole life cycle of our family. We won't have any structural additions later, just framing rooms in the basement and second story.

I converted the PDF to JPG, which allows me to upload them. If you click on them they are legible.

Photos

Front & rear elevation
Side elevations
Main Floor



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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 11/18/2007

The designer said he will wrap his end up and have construction documents in two weeks!

We also closed (sold) on one of our other lots to give us some working capital to start our project.

It has been a great week in getting closer to groundbreaking. I am hoping for sometime in February.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 11/15/2007

He has been working on it for months now. Reading from other O-Bs, I should be getting bids from hungry subs, but I am stuck waiting while our designer finishes up.

He is a good designer and some of the hangups have been our fault. Also, because we didn't know exactly what we wanted, there have been some changes. We thought we were prepared enough as we have spent over a year designing our floorplan with Punch Platinum, but still some things changed and he offered some good feedback.

Hopefully we'll be submitting soon.

I have planted five shade trees (three Evergreen Elms and two Chinese Pistaches) because I got a great deal on them. I also ordered five fruit trees and three grape vines to plant in January.

Work continues on mending the fences, cutting down existing trees, and other odd projects. Life is good though and we are happy.


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Posted to OwensNewHome by Justin in Chandler, AZ on 8/19/2007

This past Thursday we met at the good old McDonalds with our designer while the kids played on the germ infested playground.

After working on the plans (mostly my better half) for over a year, it is great to have a real professional working on them and seeing them on paper. He brought up some good solutions to the problems that we could not solve on our plans. After having the lot since May of 2006, finally some progress.

Yesterday I worked on the fence (cementing steel pipe posts in the ground) and cut down two trees and trimmed on up.

I also checked with our loan officer and even with all the shakeup in the mortgage industry, we are still more that qualified for our loan.

Some progress and peace of mind . . .


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