As September draws to a close, we now face the reality of moving into an unfinished house next month. With numerous issues remaining unresolved with our builder, we are taking more and more things into our own hands. Problem is, what is left to do is now dependent on workers’ schedules, with many busy into November.
Drywall: done! the guys worked long, long days and through the weekends, and it still took 5 days more than planned (cancelling our kitchen install again)
Painting: in progress. We hired a company to prime & paint the ceilings, but we are now in the process of painting the walls ourselves, with the help of Frank (ask S about how he found him…).
Garage Door: installed! but we have to wait for electrical hook-up to operate it
the City dug up the old sidewalk to move the electrical service underground. They’re just waiting for our guys to connect the electrical from the lot line to the house before giving us a shiny new sidewalk. This involves someone digging a trench. Not yet sure who that someone will be…
Siding: delayed start. At the beginning of September, we were guaranteed that the siding would start the day after Labour Day. Well it did, sort of, but all that got done while we were away was blocking of the ground floor and flashings. Then, they went away. Now, they’ve just started again but are still saying up to 4 weeks to finish because now, their work is weather dependent (you can’t work with Hardie board in the rain). So we’re now feverishly praying for continued dry weather, but who knows? We’re particularly annoyed about this because it was supposed to be done mid-summer, when the weather was consistently dry.
Things that are “supposed to be done” before we move in include:
- kitchen installed: this is scheduled for Thursday this week which means that we have 2 days to finish painting and smoothing the concrete floor (where it had been trenched for plumbing & electrical corrections).
- electricity: required for lights, outlets, switches, hot water tank, and appliances. Just waiting on the aforementioned trench from lot line to house.
- a means to cook food: we’ll likely have to rely on a microwave until the appliances can be installed. Our cooktop goes into the countertop which will take a few weeks.
- heating & ventilation: this all gets hooked up after we’ve painted and electricity comes in
- “at least one functioning bathroom:” fixtures are on their way, we’re having one shower stall completed tomorrow, and of course, we’ll need the city to hook up water
- sewer connection: some bright spark placed the main sewer clean-out access under the foundation, so another trench needs to be dug in order to move this item to the edge of the property. Still waiting for our builder to do this (they’ve known about it since the foundation was laid…smh).
- stair rails: our builder really dropped the ball on this item (even though we’ve been talking about it for months) so we’ll likely need to do a temporary rail while we get to ordering this
- front door: this will need to be re-installed as it was removed to protect it from construction and for some new cladding. Our builder has this somewhere.
- walkway/patio: this is a real dilemma as we need to get backfill, levelling, and concrete poured asap (also weather-dependent) but the siding needs to be done so the scaffolding can be removed. And the delay in siding makes this problematic.
Needless to say, we won’t be able to finish many things until after we occupy. The tiler is booked until November and the installation of the wood/cork floors can only be done after tiling. We’re still waiting for the builder to correct some things in the suite so we can move to finishing that space. The interior doors have been ordered but we’re waiting for the builder to frame for the doors. We’re unsure of the status of the steel canopy frame but is a major piece of the exterior construction.
One of the most challenging aspects of this stage is that everyone wants to do their part in their ideal circumstances. When someone doesn’t want to do their thing until someone else has done theirs, who doesn’t want to do theirs until something else happens first, and that something is delayed because something else didn’t happen in time, then our brains want to explode! Another challenge is being given contradictory information by various trades or services. Do we or don’t we need something between the concrete and the wood floors? Can we or can’t we have a barrier-free shower?
A hundred (or a thousand) other items have to come together, but in the meantime, we are managing as much as possible including site cleanup and runs to the dump. And amidst the frustrations, angry “what now?” discoveries, and occasionally tears, we are finding moments to smile as we envision it all coming together, even if not as promised at the outset.