1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Anyone with good advice on building a house?

Discussion in 'Questions and Answers' started by Unlucky 13, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. Stitches

    Stitches ThePhin's Biggest Killjoy Luxury Box

    48,927
    24,336
    113
    Nov 23, 2007
    Katy, TX
    Yowza, seriously incredible.

    I'm just looking to pay off my current house by the end of the year, then I can start dreaming about the next place, haha. (Loan origination date Jan 2014, so I am waaaaay ahead of schedule)
     
    Unlucky 13 likes this.
  2. danmarino

    danmarino Justice for Jacob Blake Club Member

    10,525
    11,589
    113
    Sep 4, 2014
    Thanks Key...We really do love it. We should be all moved in the week of Dec. 10th. That' the week that new furniture will be delivered. We've been paying two property taxes, two utility bills, and two everything else involved in having two homes. If we knew it was going to take over 2 years we would have rented a house and put our current house on the market.

    Some of the delays weren't the builders fault, but from the very beginning he mismanaged and set us up to be way over the timeline. For example, 2...TWO...guys framed the entire house. At the time I thought it was weird, and I even asked about it, but I was assured it was OK. I've never built a house before so I didn't know that was way wrong.

    But, polar vortex (temps at -50F), higher rain fall, Covid, and then the derecho that destroyed the city, have all been setbacks out of the builders control.

    As for the cost, there were decisions that he made without asking us that ended up costing way more. For example, he had an allowance for cabinets. He then told us to go and choose what we wanted, but told us not to tell the cabinet company our budget. He claimed that they would ensure to max that budget if they knew it. Made sense at the time, but it backfired for us. We picked out cabinets and finishes thinking that if we were way over (or under) that our builder would tell us. He didn't tell us until everything was picked out and ordered that we were over by 150%....Yes....150%. By that time we had things measured and picked out appliances that went together, etc...etc. My wife and I discussed and decided we would stay with the cabinets. But, we told him that from now on, if something was over by even $50 he needed to talk to us. Then we received an updated budget and there were many things on there WAAAYY over the budget that he never asked us about.

    At one point I asked him how he came up with the bid in the beginning. He said, "Well, I took a similar sized house I just built (Which is actually owned by friends of ours), looked at your inspiration pictures, and added a certain % due to your tastes and wants." To me that seems absurd. And it is because we are over 30% over his bid.
     
    Unlucky 13 and KeyFin like this.
  3. danmarino

    danmarino Justice for Jacob Blake Club Member

    10,525
    11,589
    113
    Sep 4, 2014
    Thanks man.

    That's awesome to have no house payment. Once we sell our current house and put it towards the new house we will also have no mortgage. It's very liberating.
     
  4. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    7,267
    9,472
    113
    Nov 1, 2009
    That really stinks- we had a similar situation when we built my dad's cabin in our backyard. The builder was a friend of a friend, and by the time we finished there were no friendships left. The builder was a great guy but his crew was lazy with no attention to detail....so a lot had to be done 2 and 3 times. The contractor tried to bill us for all that extra labor though and we refused, so there's a lot of hard feelings even years later.

    It was really our fault though for listening to our neighbor who said, "Hey, I know a guy...." LOL, that's not how you hire a contractor.
     
  5. Unlucky 13

    Unlucky 13 Team Rosen Club Member

    32,224
    33,418
    113
    Apr 24, 2012
    Troy, Virginia
    Did you take out a construction loan based on the bid and then need to come up with more money out of pocket after that??? That would have absolutely NOT flown with my wife and I. We got a number and it was concrete. Itemized piece by piece, and we picked absolutely everything out ourselves, other than the very basics like the framing lumber and drywall.

    After we moved in, the builder had one of his guys come by now and then to complete things that were a little off or that we had an issue with, and I developed a friendly relationship with him. The last time he was at the house, he confessed that our builder ended up being way off on the estimate (tens of thousands of dollars) and he ended up eating it. I don't know that he lost money building the house, but he certainly didn't make as much on the job as he thought that he would.
     
  6. danmarino

    danmarino Justice for Jacob Blake Club Member

    10,525
    11,589
    113
    Sep 4, 2014
    We interviewed two very good builders in my area. We didn't know either at the time. We liked the one we are with and even had him come into our current house and do some small remodeling as a test run. He passed with flying colors.

    The first year of building he was at the house nearly everyday. Now he visits maybe once every other week or so. I think he got in over his head (even though he builds large houses) and he mismanaged. He actually took the business over from his dad and there is some issue there, but I think his dad needed to be involved and he refused thinking that he could handle it on his own. I'm happy with the work...I mean, the carpenters and painters have done phenomenal work, but we've been employing people for 2 years now. I sat down with him in July (4 months past the expected finish date) and told him that this house has to get done. I told him to bring in every pair of hands he has and because we were so over the time frame that I would not be paying for overtime or the additional manpower. We hashed it out and he was able to get some guys in there, but I ended up paying half of their rate but no overtime. Which I considered a win. However, we got an updated budget this past week and once again there are overages that I didn't approve and actually have no idea what they were for. For example, there is a new charge fr $32k for "ongoing plumbing changes". I was like, WTF? What plumping changes? There have been no plumbing changes and we purchased all the fixtures over a year ago. So I said screw it and contacted a lawyer. We still have 2 draws left to pay that total a very nice chunk of change. I'm not paying it until the lawyer looks at everything. I'm fairly certain I can recoup a lot of the extra money in regards to his overages of over 30%.
     
    KeyFin likes this.
  7. danmarino

    danmarino Justice for Jacob Blake Club Member

    10,525
    11,589
    113
    Sep 4, 2014
    No loans. We currently have a small mortgage on our current house so once we sell it we will have enough equity to replenish a lot of the money we have paid out for the new house. Not to sound like an ***, but we have enough in the bank to pay cash. But being over by 30%+ has really put a dent into that account.

    Before we started building I asked him what's the limit on going over the bid? He assured me that the bid was +-10%. I was fine with that. And for the most part we were within that number (sans the cabinets, but again, we made a conscious decision to pay that). However, in the past 10-12 months there have been overages out the azz that we never approved! I've never signed anything nor was I ever told about some of them. Like the "ongoing plumbing changes" I mentioned in my last thread. It's baffling and that's why we got a lawyer.
     
    KeyFin and Unlucky 13 like this.
  8. KeyFin

    KeyFin Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    7,267
    9,472
    113
    Nov 1, 2009
    Yeah, strictly from a legal standpoint, if his quote says +/-10% then he's obligated to that unless you've approved additional expense in writing. In some states a verbal agreement is a binding contract, but the burden would be on him to prove that. It stinks but you probably won't be able to walk away as friends.
     
    danmarino likes this.

Share This Page