HEADING TO HEATH: HEADACHES AND HEART ATTACKS WHILE BUILDING IN HEATH
Though building the house in Heath is mostly a joyful experience, there have been hiccups. Ya gotta take the good with the bad. So here’s some of the bad.
I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but it really was bad news. The drought is effecting the moisture of the ground, deep below houses. There’s a chance that without the water induction treatment, somewhere down the road there might have been a problem with the foundation – but it was a slim chance that might occur long after we live there and the procedure is very expensive. It also adds zero to the actual value of the house. Every penny we spend down in the dirt where no one can see it, is money we can’t spend on making the house pretty.
Sometimes after the cables are tightened on a post tension foundation, a few of the cables will pop out of the concrete. It’s really no big deal. It means more work, but once it’s fixed it doesn’t compromise the foundation. Problem is, there was no one to tell us that after 5 PM on a Friday afternoon when we discovered them – and we got the pleasure of worrying about them all weekend long.
True to the contractor’s word, the trouble spots were jack-hammered out, the cables were re-engineered and then they set the forms for concrete to be poured. Second problem – the weather changed and waiting for the foundation to be fixed slowed down the process – by weeks!
THE FIREPLACE POSTION
The day the framer’s started, Bill met with the foreman and walked him through the entire house pointing out details like where in the laundry room the doggie door would be and how he wanted the fireplace to be positioned. So, of course, the doggie door went in at the wrong place and the fireplace wasn’t positioned correctly. The doogie door was a minuscule problem.
The fireplace was a bigger challenge. See, even though we’d told the general contractor about the problem, the subs were coming in installing the gas, the fire box and the pipe that went up the chimney. Eventually everything had to be pulled out, pulled down and re-installed. It didn’t cost anything except time, but when you’re building, time is money.
THE DUST CATCHER
I don’t know that they actually have a name, but that’s what I call that place inside that’s directly over the front porch. Most folks put fake ferns or antique trunks up there. Well, I don’t like them, so I told the architect we didn’t want one. What I didn’t realize was that by not having the dust catcher the beautiful window with the princess balcony on it would not only be a faux balcony, it would also be a faux window.
As soon as the sheathing went up we realized that the great view of the fourth fairway which we’d been enjoying during the framing would go away. It’s the sort of thing that you really can’t “see” on an architectural drawing, but we couldn’t live with it.
THE NOOK WINDOWS
So when you enter the house, one of the first things you see is a view of the pond through the breakfast nook windows – or not. Maybe you’ll just fixate on rails in the middle of the windows and not see anything else. That’s what Bill saw the day the windows were installed. Like the dust catcher, it was one of those things you don’t anticipate as you pore over your plans, but the view is what sold us on the lot. So – the pocketbook takes another hit.
So that’s a few of the headaches and heart attacks we’ve suferred since we’ve been building. Now you know why we go everyday to check on things. Come back next week and see some of the things we’ve picked out for the house.