Tag Archives: Builder

Raising a roof

Yesterday, as expected, the crew began raising the roof of our house.  Early in the morning, there was a crain on site to begin placing the trusses on the walls.  By 10am (the first picture below), the main section of the house looked to be in place.  By the time that I made it to the site (shortly after noon), the crew was already gone and all the trusses were lifted in place.

There is still a bit of work to do with the roof before it can be sheeted and ready for felt and shingles.  Most of this work will probably be done by hand with the crew, rather than requiring the crain.

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Standing the walls

The crew began standing the walls today for the house. After lunch, when I arrived at the site, I was surprised to find them working on the third side of the house. They are still working on the front of the house, but I suspect that they will move on to interior walls tomorrow. What a difference a day makes!

Update! We went back to the house this evening and found that they had completed several of the interior walls.  I expect (unless weather slows them down) that all interior walls may be in tomorrow!!

Preparing for the slab

This week, everything is heading towards the goal of pouring the concrete slab for our house on Wednesday morning.  Yesterday, the crew was on site laying down plastic vapor barrier between the fill sand and where the concrete will lay.  The plumbing that we had seen over the weekend was complete and all additional plumbing within the rooms will be done in the wall.  The crew was also digging out under the load bearing walls and adding rebar to those areas where a deeper section of concrete would be poured.

Today, we expect an electrician to be by to put in a couple of floor outlets in the living room.  I assume that it’ll only be conduit of some kind installed.  After that, we should have an inspection and once that is complete, the pour should happen tomorrow morning.

I can’t say that this is an exciting week, but I know that once the concrete is poured, we can proceed with walls and that is extremely exciting.  More to come…

Foundation, fill and plumbing

It has been a very busy week out on our property.  At the end of last week, our foundation was nearly complete and over the weekend, Harry (the builder) began putting fill into the block foundation.  On Monday, several more loads of sandy fill were loaded into the foundation and everything was brought up to a level and compacted.

After the fill was mostly complete, the plumbers began digging the fill back out and running the wastewater pipes and supply lines for water in the slab.  As of today, it looks like almost all the plumbing in the foundation is complete.  I see a few supply lines missing, but the plumbers may just not be finished, yet.

The next step is getting the electricians to run the conduit that they will use to bring power to the breaker box, a couple of floor outlets in the living room.  After that, one side of the foundation needs to be blocked (this is the side they are using to load in fill dirt) and then I think we are close to being ready for the slab to be poured.  So things are coming along.  Below are a few photos from this week’s progress.

The bank called and we are approved

The bank called yesterday, and we received our second appraisal.  This time, the appraisal was in line with our costs to build and so the project is back on track.  We are excited to report that Conway National Bank has worked out great for us with our building project.  Given the appraisal results, we are in good shape to handle the cost of the build and anything that may come up, as well as pay off the small amount we owe on the land.  Right now, the feeling of relief is just settling in and we are just now realizing that the project is going to finally happen.  Jen and I had both mostly given up after a bad appraisal, a second bank turning us away and a third bank deciding that they didn’t like the amount of cash reserves we had (and giving no credit for having zero consumer debt!).

A few things that I have learned along this process:

  1. Banks don’t care that you are debt free.  When figuring your credit worthiness for a construction loan or mortgage, they want to see that you are less than x% gross incoming to debt with the loan.  Having no additional debt did not help us…  Because banks allow another 10% of your gross income towards the additional consumer debts.  I found, at least in our case, you are better off saving your money than accelerating your payoffs on consumer debt.
  2. Freddy Mac and Fannie May loans for construction are extremely difficult to get unless you have large cash reserves today.  While I think construction is the best way to put people back to work, banks or the government seem not to agree because they have made it nearly impossible for the average American to get one of these loans – unless you can put down 30% of the cost of the home.
  3. I had to work with local banks on in-house loans.  Although this means a two-time close, and probably higher closing costs, I was able to find terms that were much more workable to our situation.
  4. Appraisals are screwy right now.  This has little to do with who is doing the appraisal, and more to do with the market.   There is no delineation between a foreclosure, short sale and conventional transaction for appraisers.  Its all one big pool and so the foreclosure and short sales have brought everyone down (yes, I know — no duh! — read or watch the news).  But, I have also heard that appraisers are also doing their part and being intentionally conservative with the comps that they use on the appraisal.  I don’t know how true this is, but based on what I have been told and the results of our first appraisal – I find it to be true…
  5. There is no replacement for relationships.  Throughout the financing process, the places that have worked best for us were the places where the people knew me, knew my extended family (or friends), and knew my reputation.
  6. My credit score didn’t really matter…  Yes, I know this sounds really odd, but CNB didn’t care about my credit score.  They cared about my credit file and looked at each account and how it was managed and handled.  Jen and I both had excellent credit scores, and my past experiences led me to believe that these were good enough.
  7. Its a tough time for everyone.  Although Jen and I have been largely insulated from the financial meltdown for the last few years, we were greatly affected by it while shopping for financing.

We are extremely excited to be moving forward.

Hurdles cleared, now we begin making new plans

Over the past few weeks, we have been busily making plans since accepting our offer.  We have been looking at rentals and trying to make plans about where we go next and what we do next.  All of those plans have been tentative, at best, since we were waiting for the home inspection, the appraisal and other reports to come in on our current house.

We have finished the home inspection, which as we expected, turned up only a few minor items.  Many of those items are repaired already and all of those should be addressed by end of next week.

The appraiser has been onsite, and we have not heard anything from the buyer’s side, so we assume that all is well with the appraisal.

So, that brings us to new plans.  We have located a rental thanks to a co-worker at HTC and  we are looking to taking possession of it around first of next month and begin the moving process.

Now, all that we see left is just setting the closing date, which we hope will be sooner than later.  Jen and I are ready to begin plans on our new chapter in life and get things rolling with a builder and bank.  We are shopping for a financing package, and those are seemingly difficult in today’s economy.  So, with each hurdle we clear, new ones form on the horizon.  This is going to be a long process, I’m sure, but I think we are up to the challenge.