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Philip's Forum Posts: 13
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By Philip in Rockwall, TX on 1/28/2011


I think I got lucky. A buddy of mine is having a custom home built a few miles from my lot. My goal is to go by every day to watch the progress and steps they go through.

I discovered very quickly but not quickly enough that I'll need to be there every day or I'll miss something. Went out there weekend before last, and the framing was in for the foundation. Barrier was down, post-tension cables laying there across it, PEX, drain and vent pipes sticking up. Went by Wednesday of this week, Nine workdays later, and the house framing is nearly done... all two stories. WOW, it moves fast. I've been back Thursday and today, Friday, and if you blink, you'll miss a stage.

I think I'm really going to find this helpful just being an observer to the process and seeing how one of the local custom builders does it. 

With all the reading I've been doing, I am picking up on some things I'd do differently or call them on if I were the owner. In one spot, we noticed the studs came up to the first floor top plate, second-level subfloor, second-floor bottom plate, and continued on up with the second-floor studs. It is right where the stairs go up, so you can't help but look at it as you climb the stairs. Your shoulder passes right by it. The bottom plate for the second floor isn't even with the edge of the subfloor. It is recessed back in about 3/8 of an inch in one area and one piece of subfloor extends out a bit more than the next piece. I want to be there when the sheetrocker starts taking the framer's name in vain and see how he will fix that. I had a buddy with me and neither one of us can figure out how they are going to get the sheetrock to look right.

Also got the names and numbers for the framing crew and figure if I am out there daily, I should be able to get a lot more subs' contact info.


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By Kenneth in Lees Summit, MO on 1/29/2011


Great idea. You learn a lot by watching a house come together. I agree you can't miss a day. A common O-B question is about how much time do you spend at the house, and can you do it more efficiently (or even remotely). I have done this, I don't see any way you cannot be out there daily. Even with good subcontractors, there are issues that require daily attention. And some days it is like adult daycare. And don't forget to take note of the subcontractor crews working out there; if the quality is good, you might want to call them yourself.

Even better than a snapshot once/day is to participate in someone else's build. Before I built, I volunteered for Habitat for Humanity on a complete build. Watching or snapshots in time are very useful, but there is no substitute for being present and helping as the house comes together. There are literally thousands of small details that you miss just by looking at someone else's work.

I also learned that sheetrockers can cover a lot of flaws.


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By Philip in Rockwall, TX on 1/29/2011


You know, with all the shows on DIY and HGTV, you would think they could put together a series on an O-B project step-by-step. Not one of those train-wreck shows where the family doesn't want to move out while the house is being demo'd or rebuilt around them, or one where you are only getting the highlights of the projects but a real HOW TO, step-by-step, Here is how it is done, Here is what to watch out for in every stage, etc. 

Granted, in some ways it could be dry, but I still think people would flock to it. Cover both with or without basement, slab and pier & beam. PEX vs. copper, various types of roofs, etc.  If they did it right, they could put it out on DVD as well.


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By Daniel in Price, UT on 5/5/2015


Building Alaska and Dream Cabin are both usually ob, very entertaining.
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By Corestone in Tomball, TX on 5/6/2019


As in any project, watching the construction process will teach you a ton. The same is true with asphalt paving. Many wonder how the process works. It is not super complicated, but it can be tedious. Extra stress is added when asphalt paving a an existing parking lot or road way where the construction has to work around existing traffic. 
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