Monday, April 11, 2016

Hurry Up and Wait

When it comes to the A-Z Blog Challenge, better late than never works for me...

I is for Impatience

Here's a tip-if you're in a hurry, building a home from the ground up may not be for you. Buying a 'used' home comes with it's own set of stresses and pressures, but typically with an already constructed home, you have a timeline and everyone involved in the process works toward the anticipated settlement date. And normally you're handed the keys somewhere in the ballpark of the date originally set.

Sure there can sometimes be delays because no real estate transaction is without a hiccup or two, but  those delays are usually measured in days, not weeks. A from scratch build is a bit different. When we discussed our timeline with the builders we interviewed each one felt construction would take between 8-10 months. Then we talked to several people who've been through the process and they all laughed and said, 'Add another month or two and you might be somewhere close.' 

So a year. You need to figure one whole complete entire year. 

There are so many things you can't control in a home build, and if you're control freaks (hello, have you met us??) then construction can become a test of sorts. Impatience bubbles up now and then (11 straight days of rain in October coinciding with the foundation dig springs to mind), but mostly we're both rolling with this new way of living. 

Rule number one in a home build-you cannot control the weather. 

Rule number two-don't let rule number one make you crazy. 

Then there's the crew, the various construction people essential to making that giant hole in the ground your new house. Here's how that sometimes unfolds...the foundation pour is scheduled and the rough plumbing is scheduled and the framers are scheduled, followed by more plumbing, electricians, HVAC guys, roofers, dancing monkeys, etc. Everybody's on the calendar and everybody's happy. 

Everybody's also counting on the crew before them accomplishing their part of the project as scheduled. Insert foul weather. The foundation guy can't dig and the concrete guy can't pour because it's monsooning which means the rough plumbing needs to be pushed back which means the framers will have to wait and on and on they fall. Like dominoes. 

Rule number three-When your contractors fall like dominoes stack 'em back up and carry on. 

I haven't even mentioned the paper pushers. Stuff has to be inspected before more stuff can happen (y'all know I don't care about 'stuff' unless it's good stuff like cabinets and paint chips right?) Before the lot is cleared someone official has to come say yes those trees can fall. The septic system requires an inspection before the foundation is poured. Rough plumbing needs to be signed off and more. Everyone has calendars that need adjusting and re-scheduling when timing doesn't go as planned. 

Rule number four-Use a pencil when filling out your calendar.  

Finally there's the unexpected. If I knew what to tell you here it wouldn't be unexpected, but just know every build has something. In our case we needed to add a small but unplanned retaining wall on one side of the driveway which meant the stone guy had to come take a look, give us a price, and do the actual work. 

Rule number five- Enjoy the process, but take a break from it now and then.

It's easy to be all house all the time, but remember it's a year and lots of life is lived in a year. Enjoy that too. 

"Patience is also a form of action."-Auguste Rodin


  1. That view!!! All I see is that view! It will all be worth it!

  2. You might get impatient but you have strength as well so you will get through this and yes, the view!

  3. My house was built on a very wet lot. We didn't know it at the time 40+ years ago and they wouldn't allow it today, but we stared at a big hole in the ground full of water for what seemed like forever before they pumped it out. We continue to battle water issues till this day. Next time I'm living on a hill.

    1. We're on a hill...just so much rain this fall and winter! Thankfully they didn't dig the foundation right before the rains came or we would have had a swimming pool : )

  4. I can be patient, but in your place I would be a mess, I think! I'm very impressed with how you are doing.