Morningside Renovation

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

Footings Poured

The footings which will eventually be part of the foundation wall system to connect the existing house with the expansion were poured today.  Yes!!!!  Our Structural Engineer says they look great, however you would think that after all of the other previous bad pours and mistakes our GC would have been there to at least supervise.  Nope, once again he left it to his subs.  It is no wonder why we have had so many issues. 

At least Max enjoyed seeing the cement truck, he was even able to press a button to extend the boom – what simple things that can make a 3 year olds day.  At least he’s loving all of this and thankfully he’s too unaware of the sh!t storm his mom and I’ve been through with our GC throughout this whole process. 

Being positive, while I’m still highly frustrated, at least we’re finally taking a step forward.  Next up, foundation walls and then the slabs!!


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.

At Least Now the House Won’t Collapse

The temporary and proper temporary supports for the existing structure were constructed today, not as our Structural Engineer drew them but they are sufficient.  Seriously? Can’t even simple drawings be followed?  This is almost a joke, it’s as if our GC and/or his subs just don’t care.

A New Start

While I was instructed (told by Julie) that I couldn’t attend because of my anger towards our GC, Julie and our Structural Engineer actually met with him this morning and initially it seems as if progress was made – Wonderful!!!  Our Structural Engineer had a slew of questions for him regarding his plans for the joist system, support of the existing structure since he removed the majority of the original support columns, various load bearing wall questions as well as a few about the carport foundation wall.  Unfortunately but not surprising, both of them told me that it seemed as if it was all Greek to him and he actually kept making the statement that his plan was to “figure it out as we go along” – same line I’ve heard from him so many times and look where it got us. 

As for the progress, he agreed to remove all of the framing this Tuesday as well as clean out the existing basement and then the Structural Engineer will meet with him and the foundation guy to discuss the next steps.  Our Structural Engineer will design the framing as well as the roofing plan versus the one supplied by our GC which he admitted was created by a computer at a building supply store and not an engineer as he had previously stated…and billed.  Our GC also said he was unaware that there were 2 entrances from the new to the existing basement – clearly marked on the plans and JUST discussed in our meeting on May 17th.  I’m wondering if when he is faced with something confusing or for which he doesn’t have an answer if his solution is to act as if he forgot about it and hope that it doesn’t come back up? 

Bottom-line, progress was made.  We’re moving past what was previous done or not done.  We’re making sure that everything is structurally sound and we’re going to get this house built!!!   At least that’s the plan.


We went back to Bottega to look at the slabs Julie picked out for the kitchen.  Damby Mountain White Marble, I know it has to be a little over what we were budgeting but she’s done an amazing job staying at or below budget for everything else so hopefully we’ll have enough cushion to absorb the extra expense.  YOLO, right?

Due to all of the delays we did end up losing 1 of our 3 slabs that we had put on hold but we’re hopeful that 2 will be enough.  Plus, we would love to have a wood top for the island in the kitchen but that is super expensive!!!  I wish that we could find some reclaimed wood somewhere but I’m sure that it would still be $$$$.  Last comment for the day, I was totally blown away by Bottega’s selection, not the quantity but the actual pieces.  The slabs are  like God’s paintings, absolutely amazing and simply beautiful.

Hopeful Step in the Right Direction

We hired a Structural Engineer today to hopefully identify some of the structural issues created by our GC but more importantly provide us with a remedy.  Part of me just views this as an added unnecessary expense however it is now obvious that we are going to need these services.  She (yes, she) is very impressive and amazingly knowledgable, she feels certain that she’ll be able to get everything back on track however she did say that the recent construction (poured slab and framing) was beyond concerning and questioned if our GC had ever built a house before.  Not Comforting at ALL!!!

Julie and our GC did schedule a meeting with our GC for June 1st, unfortunately they won’t allow me to attend.