By John in Fountain hills, AZ on 4/18/2010
Here are some additional photos... the house started out as a foreclosure that some unethical builder who was apparently engaging in mortgage fraud abandoned construction on. I purchased the property in Sept. and have been out there participating in the demolition and construction every day for the last 6 months.
The house was a disaster when I first got it... the former builder got a permit to demo an old house that was on the lot and build a two-story Tuscan-style home that are very popular out here... Well, instead he apparently had the underslab plumbing installed for the two-story home then changed his mind and framed an 8,500 sq. ft. ranch-looking disaster of a structure and didn't bother to change the plumbing once the slab was poured to conform to the new floor plan.
I had to deal with an aircraft-hanger-sized great room with ABS plumbing pipes just randomly sticking out of the slab.
The first thing I did was tear down the old roof (I contracted with a crane operator to bring down the huge roof trusses that resembled aircraft wings on the 30' tall roof) and then started the concrete demo. I removed 2,000 sq. ft. of concrete to create a courtyard, and then dug up the 4" main ABS waste line, which with luck was directly under the courtyard that I had just cut out of the middle of the house.
Weeks and weeks of concrete trenching to install toilet lines in the 7 bathrooms the house is going to have.
I then formed and poured the footings for the house's two new rotunda turrets... the house is going to have a Tuscan/Spanish theme... I then hired a crew of four framers (i have no problems finding help ..the economy is very bad here and I have people coming to the job site daily asking for work and willing to do very hard manual labor for 10 dollars an hour)... Well, it took the framers approx. 2-1/2 months to complete the exterior framing, and now we have moved them inside where they are putting up ceiling soffits, arched door openings, and other important details.
I'm updating 6 months of work right now... so I apologize if I have left out important details or have gotten out of sequence... I have a little bit of a breather right now as we can't move on to the next building phase until the windows I ordered are delivered... I went with Heritage Windows and doors for the house with low-E glass and dark bronze frames.