Morningside Renovation

Our Journey Through The Renovation Process Of Our Future "Forever Home" In Morningside (Atlanta,GA)

Mad, Resentful, Angry, Guilty

As I sit here tonight typing out my thoughts I’m basically pissed and feeling very dejected.  This house/project/our future home feels as if it has basically been taken from us.  I do feel robbed, not saying 100% of this lies with the GC, however a vast majority of it does and I feel as if he has basically ruined what could have and should have been our home. Whether through his inaccurate estimate/budget, lack of knowledge and expertise, pure incompetence, lack of supervision and oversight, costly mistakes, etc…at this point it really doesn’t matter.  I feel as if we’re at a point where we need to decide if it even makes sense to continue trying to move forward.  Just the thought of abandoning our dream kills me,  but I almost see no alternative.  I just wonder which would be worse; the frustrations and disappointments that now seem to be created almost daily or throwing it away and just giving up?   

Nothing further to add, maybe this site will end up becoming my pseudo therapist.


A Little Quality Time Picking up Bricks

It was 90+ degrees but that didn’t stop Max from wanting to spend the morning with me picking up bricks that we’re hoping to salvage and reuse in our renovation.  We’ve asked our GC to try to save any bricks that weren’t broken however we soon discovered that didn’t happen so the two of us spent a few hours collecting wheelbarrow loads of bricks which had been scattered around the property as well as buried in the dirt which was excavated for the new foundation walls.

Not sure if it will last being that Max isn’t quite 4 yet, however currently he’s quite the worker – no slowing down, wants to stay busy and you have to make him take a break.  Half expected that the majority of the time I would be telling him “don’t do that”, “get back over here”,  “put that down”, “get off of that” – never once, just a father and son picking up bricks while talking about all that goes through a 3 1/2 year old’s mind.  Three hours of work and sweat that I wouldn’t give back for anything. I love being a dad!

There He Is

He responds, our GC let us know that the footings will be poured on Monday, foundation walls on Tuesday, plumber will be there on Wednesday and the slab will be poured on Thursday. He has no idea on when they will drill to make sure that they poured the necessary grade beams.  Isn’t this pretty close to the same schedule as last week?  I just looked, it is – seriously?  What kind of Mickey Mouse crap is this?  Aaauugh, I hate this feeling of being trapped and under the mercy of someone who we feel doesn’t even care, but we basically have no choice as he has our money and he’s told us that he doesn’t have the money to refund the difference.  Also, I’m really getting a very strong feeling that our GC and his concrete sub are doing everything they can to delay drilling for the grade beams, maybe they know that they didn’t include them when they poured the slab.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Our nation’s birthday, one of my favorite days; fireworks, family, kids laughing and playing, flags flying, great food and in the company of good friends.  Not this year though.  Our plans to host a July 4th party at our new house were of course canceled being that we’re no further along than shortly after we bought it 7+ months ago.  It certainly seemed possible when we were told in January that we would be in our new house in May but here we are putting on our happy faces and trying to make the best of it for our boys while basically feeling as if we’re being held hostage by our GC that rarely calls us back or returns emails.  Outside of today and this past weekend (although other contractors work on the weekend), we’ve gone 3 days without anyone working on our house and there are absolutely no holdups on our end. 

On top of that, my heart is breaking for Julie.  Forget the 4th, this house was something that she was so looking forward to eventually turning into our home, however every day seems to bring another disappointment.  What do I do?  How can I properly correct everything?  I can’t afford to replace our GC as the cost of removing all of his “improvements” and beginning again isn’t financially feasible?  Pray, think, research.  It seems as if that’s all that I ever do. I swear I feel as if I’m going crazy and I’m growing resentful for the time and energy that I’m expending on it which should be spent with my family.

Let’s Keep It Going

Our Structural Engineer has been trying to reach our GC for 5 days to find out when they will pour the remainder of the form walls, core the drainage holes, drill (check) the slab for grade beams – still hasn’t been done, and pour the remainder of the slab.  A simple returned call, email or text would be appreciated.

(I did receive my Realtime Landscaping Plus 2012 software today and can’t wait to install it!!  Ok, a little premature in the process but I’m looking forward to trying to design the play area in the back for the boys as well as exploring the possibilities for the front yard.)

Backed Up

GC informed us that it will be Friday, at the earliest, when the concrete company will be able to pour.  He says that the concrete sub is a little backed up.  Really?  I hate, absolutely hate that I now doubt almost everything that he says and feel as if I can’t depend on him.

That Explains Things

Our GC told us that they are supposed to finish the excavating for the footings as well as the grading today and they will pour either tomorrow or Thursday.  We’re still trying to get them to drill for the grade beams, however their reluctance is puzzling.  Our luck they didn’t do it but again, I don’t understand how they could make this mistake since they’re on the plan, but that hasn’t prevented screwups so far.  I did have an interesting conversation with one of the subs today.  I stopped by this morning and asked them about some of the previous mistakes and he told me that the majority of the time our GC leaves the decisions up to the subs and that they very rarely see him at any of their jobs; before, during or after.  Yep, confirms my suspicions of there being a lack of supervision.  15% for sitting on his rump and quarterbacking from his desk – just answers so many questions as to why a lot of the issues/mistakes/screw ups weren’t caught.

Another Sacrifice

We found out today that we will now only have 1 entrance connecting both basements, I would rather not expand on it but I’m sure you have an idea as to the root of it.

Our Structural Engineer is still concerned that we don’t have the appropriate grade beams laid within the foundation however the concrete sub “thinks” they did it but did admit that he was unsure.  Our GC?  As expected he remained quiet.  He has no idea being that he didn’t visit the site from grading until the day framing was to begin.

Tip to All:  Make sure you have a good Construction Manager as well as GC.  One who will visit the project, takes an interest in it and values his clients.