Friday, October 28, 2011

Piles of wood

All the backfilling was completed today. After the slaughter and hacking to pieces of what looks like an entire forest, two huge piles of lumber were delivered:

I'm guessing the pouring for the basement and the garage won't happen until next week because of the weather. We are expecting 2-4 inches of snow tomorrow, but judging by the empty shelves from the panic shopping at the grocery store, I think we are about to enter the next ice age.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


The waterproofing has been completed, and preparations are being made for the basement and garage to be poured. There's a tiny pile of lumber next to the lot which almost certainly belongs to our house, but it's barely enough for a dog kennel. It's been raining most of the day, so everything's muddy and gross. It's possible they will do some backfilling tomorrow, but with rain expected on Saturday it's hard to be sure.

I spoke to the NVR mortgage guy today. He says the appraisal was ordered a few days ago and we can expect the results in about three weeks. Of all the things associated with this project, it is the appraisal that has us most concerned. Our house is being built in a fairly rural area, it's the first in the development (apart from the model home), it has quite a few options and there are very few comparables to help the appraiser arrive at a number. So we are at the appraiser's mercy, basically.

Anyway, what's with all this effing rain?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Model home

Work started on framing the model home, a Savoy, this morning. That's eighteen days after its footings went in, and ten days since its lumber was delivered. Assuming they follow the same schedule with our house, we can expect framing to begin on or just after Halloween; however, if there's only one framing crew available we'll have to wait until the framing on the model home is finished. Our lumber hasn't been delivered yet, but I'm told that should happen in the next few days.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Well, that was quick! The formwork has been removed. I had expected it to remain for a couple of days, but apparently not. I took a lot of pictures today. This one shows the detached garage:

The right front corner of the house:

The front porch:

The front of the house:

The left side. I like to call it the “long back” because of the design of the house:

The morning room from the long back:

The morning room from the short back. This is the rear of the property, and the closest part of the house to the farmhouse:

The side porch from the garage:

The side porch from the street:

This picture shows where the fireplace will go:

Presumably, the water-resistant wrapping will be happening soon. After that, I expect things to go quiet for a couple of weeks while things settle. I'm pretty sure they will start work on framing the model home shortly, so I'll be keeping an eye on how things are going there. You can see the lumber for the model home in the background of this picture:

One more picture for you. This is the restored farmhouse that is at the rear of our lot:

I wonder who our neighbors will be?


The crew finished quite late yesterday, so it was getting dark before I could take a couple of pictures. They've put the formwork up, and for the first time we have a proper sense of scale for the house:

My smartphone (a Nexus One) does not take very good pictures in low light, but it's better than nothing:

My wife and I were quite surprised at how high it looked. The morning room is going to be quite elevated, giving us a better-than-expected view. Because of the shape of our house and the corner lot, it's like we have two front yards; a short front yard for the front door, and a long front yard for the side door. The long front yard is going to end up being much larger than we thought, which is very cool. It will give us plenty of space to put a patio in sometime in the future.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Foundation enlarged

It's raining pretty steadily, so there isn't a soul working at the development today. I drove by there on my way back from somewhere else and snapped a couple of (very similar) pictures:

It definitely looks a little less like a scaled-down model of our house with that filler material in there. A couple of trenches for cable and drainage (under what will end up being our driveway) have been filled as well, but I didn't get a picture of that because the rain made me flee to my car. Anyway, we are supposed to be getting better weather for the next few days, so perhaps the foundation work will get completed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Foundation redux

I snapped a couple of better pictures of the foundation work yesterday. It was a very windy day, so it was hard to hold the camera steady (my smartphone), but at least there was no rain this time. It still looks like an 80% scale model:

In the background of the next picture, you can see a row of small conifers. Ultimately, they will partially obscure the wet pond that is next to our lot:

I expect the foundation to be poured in the next couple of days, judging by how things are going at the model home (which is roughly two weeks ahead of us on the construction schedule). Once it's done, I should be able to put up some better pictures of what our basement will look like.

Friday, October 14, 2011


The hole was given some footings yesterday. We were quite surprised because the rain gave only a relatively small window in which to do the work. I took a couple of pictures in the late afternoon, but the weather was so awful this was the best picture I could get:

The weather isn't so great for today or tomorrow, but things should be a little better next week. The placement of the footings seems to give a somewhat misleading impression of the size of the basement, as if they are building an 80% scale model of the house. The section underneath what will be the morning room (farthest from the camera in the next shot) looks very small compared to the expected dimensions, for example.

It looks like the lumber has been delivered for the model home. Once they start putting it up I'll snap a few shots for this blog for the prospective Savoy buyers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The first day

Around sixty-five million years ago, a meteorite at least six miles in diameter struck the Yucat√°n Peninsula near the town of Chicxulub. The impact caused a global catastrophe that many scientists have theorized may have been responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. It resulted in a crater more than 110 miles in diameter.

While not as big as the Chicxulub crater, the hole left by the diggers in our Sadsbury Park lot today certainly has a significant impact on our lives. At last, after waiting well over four months, we have broken ground on our new home. My wife and I are absolutely delighted to see work finally begin.

We expect the digging to be completed tomorrow, with footers going in on Wednesday or Thursday (weather permitting).

This is definitely the most exciting day since we decided to sign the contract that started this process.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Still no digging

More than a month has passed by since our original date for breaking ground and we are still waiting. The “sold” sign has been pulled up and there is a digger parked on our lot, but it's been there a couple of days without moving. I must admit, my wife and I are starting to get more than a little peeved. It's our understanding that the delay is largely down to the township not releasing a permit for our house yet, but I'm not convinced that's the whole story. For example, our sales representative (who has actually moved to another development) called yesterday to say the township was being awkward by insisting that we have windows on the street-facing side of our family room. I pointed out that we already had those windows, so everything should be fine. This sort of thing doesn't instill me with confidence, quite frankly.

The site continues to be a hive of activity. Over the last couple of days, dozens of trees have arrived and many have been planted along the streets, particularly near to where the model home is being constructed. And speaking of the model home, they poured the foundation for it yesterday. I'm not sure, but I think it is supposed to end up being a Bainbridge Hall, which is one of the models we considered early on. Ultimately, we rejected it because it didn't have the kitchen/family room layout we wanted and we didn't like the idea of having to walk through the bathroom to get to one of the closets. Actually, it turns out to be a Savoy.


There are now two diggers parked on the lot, and the outline of the house has been spray-painted on the ground in fluorescent pink. Some of the stakes in the ground seem to be in weird places (the corner of our detached garage is currently located in the morning room, for example) but at least it looks like they are ready to pull the trigger.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

New date for breaking ground

Apparently, the township is expected to release our construction permit next week. Our PM called yesterday to tell us we should be breaking ground on Wednesday, October 5 (although it may slip a day or two). That is roughly a month after our first scheduled start date and 130 days after we signed our contract, as documented in our timeline. Nobody would ever accuse us of being impatient! The township just released the construction permit for the model home and work began on that yesterday. We will be monitoring progress on the model home so that we know what to expect with our own place.