Oh, where do I even begin…
If I had to give any advice to anyone considering building a home, I would say try to stock up on patience because you’ll need it for this process! It’s been a crazy, crazy few weeks, and it’s been hard to even have the energy to write about it. We went through a very frustrating few weeks because essentially nothing was happening. Frustrated doesn’t begin to describe it. Let me try to sum it up for you since my last update on the home front which you can read here.
- We sold our current house. Yay! We had multiple offers, so we are very thankful for that. The clock started ticking once we went under contract in Feb. We did not tell our builder we had the option for a lease back and instead told him that we had to be out by the third week in March to light a fire under him. It’s April, and we’re not in our house so that didn’t really work…
- We found out our builder was basically misappropriating funds. What does this mean? We would give him money, and then he would not pay subcontractors. The whole time we’ve been building, we have to sign over funds from our construction loan for the work that will be done in the next phase. We found out there were multiple companies who were owed money from Nov. – Jan. for work that had already been done or mostly completed. Because they weren’t getting paid, they weren’t coming back to finish the job or delivering materials for other parts of the job. For example, the company who supplies all the trim, molding and doors for the house wouldn’t start making our custom front door because they weren’t paid for all the materials from months ago. Our builder said, “I’ve been working with them for 20 years, that’s BS.” It’s BS that a company wants to get paid for a service they provided? How ludicrous, right? *Insert sarcasm times 10 here*
- We let the bank in on how terrible the situation was and they were pretty much livid. By this time, we had already extended our construction loan twice. To have it renewed a third time is pretty rare, and they were pretty much fed up with the builder like us. We made a plan to bypass our builder and start working with the subcontractors directly and issuing them checks vs. having funds given to the builder.
- To fire our builder could cause more issues, putting our house into a holding period, so we were basically being held hostage by his poor planning and mistakes. He pretty much ruined all relationships with subcontractors by being so late on payments. We consulted with multiple attorneys. We threatened legal action. We actually got in contact with another couple who is also building a house with our builder and they were having a similar, frustrating experience with him. We ended up meeting them in person, and walking them through our house which is much farther along than their house is. It was nice to meet very nice people to commiserate with. Half of this couple is an attorney who specializes in construction law. It was shocking to us that our builder would be this daft.
- In an effort to get out house done, we started dealing with the subcontractors and started paying them directly. Ben basically took over as the builder, lining up workers, paying people what they were owed even though that money was already dispersed to the builder. The hope was we would just get that money back after suing the builder.
- Ben had a little come-to-Jesus talk with the builder, who gave us a mediocre apology and promised to “finish our house.” Once everyone was paid and work was being lined up, we allowed the builder to get involved again, but we still would not issue any funds directly to him. All trust was lost here, so I wasn’t about to sign over any money to him.
- Work started happening pretty regularly again. There was still so much poor planning on the builder’s part with the coordination of getting people in at certain times, etc. But, things were at least moving along.
- The countertops were put in the house. We did marble throughout and everything looks great! We went back and found some different marble a couple of weeks ago because the place we got it from, 3KA Stone, had some new options come in from Turkey. I love the clean look of white marble.
- Painting happened recently and that was A LOT of work to get done. A ton of prep work goes into painting. We chose colors months ago, which was such a hard process. We kept things pretty neutral and added some color on cabinets, Braden’s room and the bathrooms. I will probably add more color in the dining room and other areas once we figure out furniture and how I want to decorate everything. I will probably do a whole other post on paint at some point.
- Floors were stained a few days ago, as you can see from the pictures. It was hard to decide the color. Part of me wanted to do a lighter stain, which you see so much of now in modern farmhouse style homes or coastal homes. But, I’m pretty traditional and wanted a traditional stain would stand the test of time. We ended up doing a color called coffee brown. Fitting since I love me some coffee. 😉 The pictures were taken before the flooring people put down a coat of polyurethane, which seals the floors and makes them look so much better. They look a bit dull in these pictures but look great now that they’re sealed. They’ll get another coat of this later this week and be 100% done by the weekend. Will post more pics soon.
So, that’s pretty much the abbreviated version of what’s gone on as of late. We closed on our house last week so we’re renters at this point. Our house looks like it’s been hit by a tornado right now with boxes in corners everywhere. I can’t wait to be out of this transitional period. It’s driving me a little batty, and I’m pretty much run down. I have been sick for the past week and finally went to the ENT and got on antibiotics for a sinus and ear infection after not being able to swallow all weekend. Fun times, ya’ll.
The end is in sight. More to come soon!