Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Big Sigh of Relief

Well, I have not updated this blog or even thought about it over the past month. We have been all over the place. Graham has been working 50-70 hour work weeks, I have been interviewing for different jobs (more about this later), and Carter's been at home for summer break. I am currently at home this week with Sadie while Carter is in Idaho with Graham's family. I get to play "stay at home mom" this week with the baby. It's Tuesday, and while I like waking up whatever time the baby gets up and working out whenever I want to, I'm kind of bored. In fact, even writing this blog is boring me. Anyways, we finally have had some forward movement on our house.

First, we had to work with our engineering company to re-orient the house with retaining walls around the areas of the home with large slopes. That took an additional $900 and 2 weeks to get it re-engineered. Fortunately, it was re-submitted and re-approved through the county quickly.

Then, we finally closed on our construction loan.. THREE months after putting in our application. Geez. That was a huge relief, as we were worried that things might fall through and then we'd be stuck with the bill. So, we finally put a big chunk of change down on our loan, and we gulped when we saw the monthly payments for our loan. Turns out, we're going to be house poor without a house.

We finally got word from the building review division at the county that our second-draft version of the playroom and storage wouldn't be approved. They apparently removed the door from the playroom to the storage room, but the county still considered it a "closet", so they wouldn't approve it. The building review guy literally quoted the dictionary for the definition of a closet. So, luckily, Lexar expedited the plans to remove the wall entirely from the playroom. I wanted the storage entrance to come from the utility/laundry room, but that particular change in walls would need more time in drafting to be completed.. so we just removed the walls to get it approved by the county. I plan to work with Lexar to get the walls back up, and hopefully have the entrance from the laundry room instead.

So, we met with our builder and excavator today to informally mark out the foundation limits. It took a bit longer than previously thought, as our house was now at an angle. One issue was that we didn't clear as much of the land as we needed to. So, our excavator had a little more work to do prior to digging out the foundation. Hopefully, he plans to dig out the foundation this week. Then, it's on to the water, power, and then the foundation!!

One bugger that is holding back our building permit is the freaking fire hydrant. We need to have a receipt of payment for it prior to our building permit is issued. So when we contacted our water company, we were told it may take a while to get it through engineering. So after two weeks, when we contacted them again about putting a down payment on the hydrant, a customer service rep told us that our water company may pay for the $8K hydrant themselves. What the what? was our response. So now, we have no idea what's going on, and the customer service manager has been on vacation for over two weeks. As soon as we get this taken care of, we can get our building permit and get things done!

So, talking with our construction manager today, we were given a finish date of 6-7 months from when the foundation is poured, which is what we were expecting/hoping. Apparently, there is a major labor shortage going on in the Seattle area right now with all the crazy growth and construction... which is spilling out into residential projects like ours. So, delays will be expected for sure. All we hope for is a home that's done right around February of next year, which is when our current lease is done. Oh, and I found out that Lexar Homes (at least the Tacoma office) knows about my blog. **Hi Lexar!!** Don't worry, I'll be as objective and honest as I can, realizing that delays and mistakes are made with every builder. It's inevitable.

Well, we will see what will happen over the next month. Like I said, I've been interviewing at different places (nothing bad happening at work--just different opportunities have opened up locally), so I may have good (or sad) news soon!

Update: Curious about our progress? Click on this link to see all of our home building updates, or check out my Instagram account.


Rose-Marie said...

I am enjoying reading your house-building adventure and look forward to following your progress. I hope that doesn't feel like stalking!!! Thanks for posting as things go along...wishing you all the very best!

Our offer on acreage in Lewis County (south of Thurston and north of Cowlitz) was just accepted and we are going to be launching a similar adventure of our own. Exciting!

Shewi128 said...

You are more than welcome to follow along Rose-Marie! Good luck with your project as well. My in-laws live down in Kelso closer to you, so we pass through Lewis county all the time. :)

House Update #1,000,000

Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating a bit with the title.. but that's how it feels. And, my the title for my last update was a little mi...