The month of October was very busy as we were supposedly working towards getting an occupancy permit by October 31st. While mindful that the builder is 3 months delayed, we learned it is now possible to get a “partial occupancy permit” that means that the building is safe enough to occupy while one completes the finishing tasks. Unfortunately, our builder failed to file the necessary paperwork with the City or to ensure that all “life & safety” requirements were in place. We are now in a standoff with the builder and are pushing through on getting everything in place for the permit by ourselves.
More troubling yet is that by communicating directly with the subcontractors and providers on our project, we have learned of financial shenanigans on the part of the builder which we can now connect back to the cause of all these delays and outright stoppages of work.
So, in the context of a month full of pennies dropping, we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish during October:
Drywall & painting completed, sort of. There are some drywall deficiencies to be addressed. And painting of interior doors & trim will be done when these items are installed.
Siding continues even with further delays and work-arounds due to specific things not being readied by the builder. Our siding guy is excellent, very thorough and loves to talk!
From the last post, items needed for occupancy permit:
Electrical connections have been completed. This involved first having a trench dug for underground wiring, then getting the meter installed and blessed by the City, after which the electricians spent a couple of weeks “fixturing” (installing outlets, switches, lights, & smoke alarms) as well as “electrifying” the house with circuit breakers.
Means to cook food. Does a microwave count?
Kitchen is in progress. Cabinets were all installed in first week of October. Appliances will be mostly installed this first week of November as we had to book to installer a month back. Countertop has been delayed as was supposed to be installed by November 1 but being out of stock, is still in transit. Now we expect it to arrive mid-month. We have a gas cooktop in the camper van and will have our oven & microwave installed this week. Cooktop must wait for countertop.
Heating & Ventilation yes & no & sort of…The ventilation system is installed, connected, and operating. We just learned that the heat pump cannot be installed until the site is backfilled and restored to grade. So it’s plug-in heaters for now.
At least one functioning bathroom, check. We had all the plumbing fixtures arrive at once so we actually have 3 functioning toilets, but delays in ordering vanities and tiling floors & showers means we wait for the rest (our tiler is on vacation).
Sewer connected. As noted in previous post, someone decided to place the sewer clean-out access under the foundation (we’ve since learned that it was the builder’s erroneous directions to original plumber). This also involved a deep trench to move the connection. The new plumber also installed the hot water tank, adjusted the shower drains, and installed the fixtures.
Stair rails. This has been a serious bone of contention with our builder. They neglected to get quotes for this, then built a pony wall that was not in the specifications and which we had to remove, then said they would put up a temporary stair rail guard for occupancy permit, then claimed they had no man-power to do it. So we hired our own carpenter and now a temporary system is done while we wait for quotes on the final product.
Front door partially re-installed. You might ask how a door can be partially installed…well, way back in August, our representative from the door manufacturer came to Penticton to install a custom-made lockset (this is a passive-house door). We had mentioned that we wanted to have the colour of the metal cladding re-done as it wasn’t the colour we thought it would be (never mind 50 shades of grey….there’s hundreds). Since the steel canopy frame fabricator was going to get the frame powder-coated, we were advised the door cladding could be done at the same time. Rather than installing the lockset, our door rep demonstrated to our builder how to remove the cladding. Afterwards, the builder removed the door, cladding, and lockset to a more “secure” off-site storage area and installed a construction door. When we learned that steel fabricator had not even started manufacture, and with appliances & fixtures arriving to the house, we were no longer confident in the construction door being secure enough. So we requested the builder to re-install the front door and lockset, with the cladding to be added later. So this very heavy (& expensive) door is now re-installed but the builder has lost the lockset so the door is not yet operational. Our front doors represents two of several unresolved deficiencies with our builder.
Walkway/patio will have to wait until the foundation is damp-proofed, backfilled, and levelled back to grade. This is probably our most major dispute with the builder as we are heading for winter conditions and their delays with the siding and underground connections continue. Pouring concrete in winter will very much depend on the conditions at that time, and might have to wait until March. Right now, we are much more concerned with getting the foundation weather-proofed and the site graded.
New sidewalk. After the underground connections were completed and the trenches back-filled, the City promptly completed the sidewalk. Our neighbour is also happy again.
Having to vacate our temporary rental apartment, we find ourselves partial “squatters” in our own home. Our things are here but we are jointly living out of the house, the camper van, and with family & friends. Definitely not the move-in we anticipated when we started! However, we are look forward to getting the permit shortly and are excited set up house properly.