Morningside Renovation

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


Framing Work

Since so much framing progress has been made over the last several days I thought it might be best just to share some of the pictures.

Also & fortunately during framing our GC discovered that the vast majority of the rafters and joists in the original house are still in good condition so it was great to learn that we won’t have to replace those.  Also, because of all the water damage to the original hardwood floors due to our former GC not tarping the roof correctly  we thought we would have to replace all of the ORIGINAL hardwood floors – fortunately it looks as if we will be able to salvage the ones in the foyer, dining room and one of the bedrooms.  My hope is that the transition from the original to the new won’t be too noticeable…

Trey Ceiling in the Foyer

Trey Ceiling in the Foyer

Trey Ceiling in the Foyer

Trey Ceiling in the Foyer

Trey Ceiling in the Master Bedroom

Trey Ceiling in the Master Bedroom

Future Family Room

Future Family Room

framing 074

framing 064


Structural Repairs

Well even though it may not look like it, a lot of work has been done on our house since my last update.  The vast majority of them are structural repairs as it seems that age and carpenter ants had compromised the structural integrity in some places. 

As age and gravity can tend to make things sag over time, houses built in the 1920’s aren’t immune to it either.  And while some have said that the waves in our hardwood floors add character, I would rather let that come from elsewhere.  So they have been supporting  the floors by adding new beams below the main floor as well as re-supporting the ones that were already in place.

 

 

 

 

 

They’ve also discovered a few places where carpenter ants and Mother Nature had spent some time.  Because of this they’ve removed and replaced all of the rotted and eaten wood and re-support the house in those areas as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Last, they’ve supported the back of the house, I’m really shocked that the temporary supports held it up for such a long period of time.


A Little Common Courtesy Please

It’s Wednesday, our framing package was supposed to be delivered on Monday and framing was to start on Tuesday.  Nothing, still no framing package which means no framing – nothing has been done.  Julie and I, as well as our Structural Engineer, have been trying to reach our GC by phone, email and text but for whatever reason he won’t respond.  What is going on?  This is crazy.  I don’t even know what to think and why won’t he at least have the decency to call us back?


Snakebit

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.


We Need You to Speed it up a Little GC

Due to both slabs being poured incorrectly we have had to get our Structural Engineer to design a new framing as well as roofing plan, versus “figuring it out in the field (extra cost to us).  It looks good but it’s going to require the GC to cut, excavate and pour new footings.  We have asked and are trying to get our GC to have this accomplished before the end of the week since our Structural Engineer is going out-of-town for several days.


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.


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.)