Morningside Renovation

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


The rest of the basement slab was poured however for whatever reason our GC decided not to pour the carport slab.  Almost funny that even the guys laying the concrete, laborers, were telling us that it wasn’t smart not pouring it all at one time and that it was going to cost us more money.  Maybe they should manage the financials for our GC.  Speaking of, he still won’t return calls or email from us or our Structural Engineer.  It would be great if he was a little more responsive but this has always been the case.

It rained a fair amount this week and we have discovered that the ceiling is collapsing in the kitchen and the ceiling and floor in one of our boy’s bedroom has been damaged beyond repair due to him continuing not to properly install a tarp even though we have told him about this issue numerous times.  GC still hasn’t been in our house, ridiculous. 

Also, our Structural Engineer informed us that as a result of the new foundation slab having to be cut to dig and pour footers (since the grade beams which were on the plans weren’t properly installed) she noticed that the slab is actually 2 1/2″ – 3 1/2″ thick in places instead of 4″ as the plans required.  She also discovered that the guys pouring the concrete didn’t lift the wire mesh resulting in it being on the bottom of the slab. Thankfully she insisted on the footings to carry the weight of the structure or we would have one hell of a mess in a few years since basically the main floor would collapse into the basement area. 

Last she also noticed that another grade beam, which was noted on the plans, was also not poured.  This means another area will need to be sawn out, excavated and poured properly.  I guess we won’t be able to go with a finished concrete floor since our slab is going to look like a checker board – a look we were leaning towards.

Good news is that our GC said that the framing material will be arriving on Monday and framing will begin on Tuesday. Yes!!!  Let’s go forward  – finally!!!

My constant question to myself – should we keep it or not?  This is driving Julie and I crazy and we’re questioning what we could have done differently. We thought we did our due diligence on the GC but he has continued to not only drop the ball but create further issues.  A lot is his lack of supervision and I believe knowledge of general construction along with not wanting to properly right a wrong, but I guess the question we keep asking is “are we just snakebit”? We’re going to talk to a few experts to see if we’re able to financially afford to keep going and honestly if it makes sense – I’m already scared about their answer.  Julie’s “forever home” has turned into a nightmare and I just don’t know if now we’ll ever be able to make it right as well as remove the tarnish.I feel crushed and basically beaten down.


Why Oh Why am I Not Surprised? Seriously Though?

Well, they drilled the foundation slab today to check for grade beams and guess what?  Yep, no grade beams!!  It mustn’t matter that they were in the construction plans and highly important, they just didn’t pour them.  Okay, now we’re getting past serious, he’s basically building a structure that could put my family and/or our friends in danger.  Forget for a moment the fact that 5-10 years down the road we would have all sorts of issues with a foundation that’s crumbling and walls collapsing, this mistake could seriously put my family at risk of injury or worse.  These were designed to support the family room above the kids play room, family room with a FIREPLACE.  Apologies for ranting but how do you miss these?  And you want more?  He wants to charge us for it – said that for him to change anything it would be considered a “change order“.  All of this is because he wouldn’t remove his original mistake. QUESTION, is there a word for someone who is beyond incompetent?

It only gets worse, the carport foundation (supposed to be retaining) wall which has already been poured twice isn’t deep enough, meaning that we will need to adjust the slab in the carport as well as the framing plan for the deck and outdoor room.  We asked the GC if he would remove it and pour a new one at the correct depth and as a retaining wall and of course he said no. 

And, we also found out on our own today that we will need a new water-line as well as sewer line due to roots. 

Our Structural Engineer is still trying to reach our GC to discuss the framing options but once again he said that he would have time to meet with her and every time she brings it up when they’re meeting about other items he always says that he has to go.  She’s basically doing this by herself, I guess he meant it the other day when responding to one of his subs he said ” I don’t know, she’s the one in charge”, referring to our Structural Engineer. 

And of course our GC and architect didn’t respond to my email asking for them to work with our Structural Engineer to design a framing plan to utilize all of the mis-ordered lumber that is sitting on our property  and basically going to waste.  I would just hate for all of this to be taken to a landfill.  As for our architect, I was a huge fan but that is starting to fade, I’m not sure what’s going on but from what I’ve been gathering there is absolutely no coordination or communication between him and our GC. 

Absolute last statement, it has always bugged me why our GC would work 2-3 days on our project and then move to another.  After talking with a few people in the industry it was their opinion that he is basically banking one job on another.  Working on a job and collecting a check once a certain phase is completed and then using that money to pay for the next job – similar to kiting a check.  Not sure if this is the case but it sure would make sense.

Enough for today, I’m done, worn out mentally and emotionally.

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.

Shingles aren’t all the Same Color?

Our GC emailed to let us know the framing material will be delivered today so they can begin tomorrow – we can’t wait!!!

He also needs to know the color of the shingles that we want for the house.  I’ve never really thought about it, I guess I’ve always just assumed that they were all the same charcoal color.  Of course Julie already knew exactly what color she wanted for the roof.  Thank you Julie!!!

We Shall See

I met with our GC today at my office.  I’m hopeful that something was accomplished and that we’re on the same page however he didn’t take any notes and said a few times that “we’ll figure it out when we get to it” and that he’ll “give us plenty of time” with regards to advance notice in making decisions/selections. He didn’t stay very long, he said that he had another commitment.  He also couldn’t give me any sort of schedule or timeline, however I did give him a copy of the plans which Julie and I had marked up.  We shall see but I’m not feeling too good about it, just skeptical and disappointed – really wish that I could have discussed everything in more detail and not felt like I was under a time constraint or that we were such a bother.  Confused is probably also an accurate feeling, maybe I’m overreacting and this is how it’s handled with residential construction – but I sort of feel like we’re being held hostage. 

As for my concerns with the depth of the grading, he said that it was fine, still doesn’t make sense to me but then again I’ve never built a house before.  Guess that I’ll be doing some research on Renovator’s Place and Fine Homebuilding.  And thankfully I have a lot of wood to split, great way to take out my frustrations.