ELmO's Bachelor Pad Construction - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 411 Old 10-11-2007, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello friends,

I will utilize this thread as my new home construction. I have HD video of the process, day by day, beginning with the "SOLD" sign on the land where the foundation hadn't been dug up yet.

House Closing: November 30th, 2007.

It is a 3 bedroom house, with a 2 story great room (19x17). It has a sun room running the back wall, that has a view of a man-made pond. It will also have a finished basement. I will attach pictures of these various items in this thread. Floor Plan URL.

Now who cares about that really, what we're here for is AV Electronics.

Here is what I have planned thus far. Italicized are not purchased yet.

Basement:
  • Onix Reference 2s (Porsche Silver)
  • Onix Reference 100
  • Epik Conquest Subwoofer
  • SVS 25-31 PCi Subwoofer
  • Emotiva UL (LMC1, LPA1) amplifier
  • Projector: Sim2 HT380
  • Screen: 140" Carada 1.78:1 Brilliant White (1.4 gain)
  • Toshiba XA2 HD-DVD Player HDMI
  • XBOX 360 HDMI
  • Playstation 3 HDMI
Great Room:
  • Onix Strata Minis speakers
  • Onix H34 Tube amp
  • Jolida JD100 Tube CD Player
  • Squeezebox 3
  • Perpetual Technology P3A DAC
Sun room:
  • Samsung 5271f LCD HDTV
  • Toshiba HD-DVD A2
  • Nintendo Wii
  • XBOX 360
Garage:
  • Onix Reference 0.5 Speakers (hung up inside the garage) - volume control into basement.
Deck/Patio:
  • Onix OD100 Outdoor speakers - volume control into basement.
Almost all rooms are ethernet wired also.

Thanks for reading friends,
ELmO

Items to purchase.

Updated: Sunday, November 11, 2007





Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #2 of 411 Old 10-11-2007, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some secrets I'm thinking about doing:
  • Pool table, Foosball table, Ping Pong Table, Air Hockey, or Poker Table
  • 4-6 PC LAN with identical mid-range equipment - can be done for $3000
  • Board Game room (with lots of oldschool board games, like Life, Monopoly, etc.)
  • iSky Panels on the basement ceiling (fiber optic lights that look like sparkling stars) - quite expensive, about $3000-4000 for 8x8 if I recall.
  • Popcorn/Cotton Candy machines in the basement
  • Movie posters decor, lifesize storm trooper (!) - If you're interested in this, I know someone who can make life size character models for you for pretty cheap - I'm paying only $1100 or so for a manequin with storm trooper outfit/gun..I'll post pictures of this when it's done. I think all will be impressed. He will be guarding the basement stairwell. I thought it might be funny to put a light saber in his hand instead though (people will think he's Luke then!).
  • RaceDeck tiles in the garage (about $1300 covers it)
  • Backyard putting green (RhinoCourts.com) - about $3000-4000, 15x20 ft. with fringe/bunker (artificial grass)

If anyone else has anything interesting to help a bachelor out, let me know. I'm not much of a drinker so I won't have a wet bar...

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #3 of 411 Old 10-12-2007, 08:31 PM
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Are they siding over OSB without a vapor barrier?
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post #4 of 411 Old 10-12-2007, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thats' what I thought too, not sure! They put it up within one day so I didn't get to really see. It's a model home so I'm guessing they know to put in a vapor barrier...lol.

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #5 of 411 Old 10-12-2007, 11:40 PM
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So that's not your house in the picture?

And, how do they build a house in 2.5 months?
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post #6 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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It's my house and it's a model home so they throw houses up really quickly. you've probably heard of pulte or ryan homes?

Ryan is being in Ohio, pulte is big in the nation.

Honestly every day there was something major done, it's impressive.

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #7 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 06:46 AM
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Congratulations on the new purchase.

Question: How do you move in to a model home right after it's built/furnished. I thought a model home is open to the potential buyers to see. Normally builder sells their model homes at the end of the entire project. Maybe they are doing things differently now.

Good luck.
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post #8 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 07:20 AM
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Maybe he means spec home?

You have a lot of toys, looks like a fun time!
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post #9 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 07:26 AM
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Have you thouht of getting a D-BOX MOTION chair or couch and will you have media system for dvd storage. I have seen them and they are pretty neat. I have an Escient with a 400 dvd changer it works great and I have set up to watch movies anywhere in my house. Greg
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post #10 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

It's my house and it's a model home so they throw houses up really quickly. you've probably heard of pulte or ryan homes?

Ryan is being in Ohio, pulte is big in the nation.

Honestly every day there was something major done, it's impressive.

Oh... Yeah, I've heard of Pulte and Ryan.

I've tracked the progress on my new house (built by a smaller, less known builder), and they're certainly not sitting around on it (doing something most every day), and assuming they hit the closing date of 11-15 it will have taken ~4 months from when they dug the foundation until I get the keys. People I know who have done the whole new construction thing tell me that 4 months is pretty fast. Hence my comment about 2.5 months seeming really fast.

How much did you have to pay per ethernet drop?
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post #11 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

If anyone else has anything interesting to help a bachelor out, let me know.

It sounds like you're building quite the bachelor pad that the future Mrs. ELmO will make you sell as soon as you get married.
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post #12 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 09:03 AM
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I have one word of advice in buying a new home. NEVER GIVE UP YOUR LEVERAGE.

By that I mean never have a fixed move in date where you have to get out of one place by a certain date which forces you to accept a list of things to be corrected after you move in.

Leave some time between the final walk through inspection and when you have to move in so that you can POSTPONE the closing if there are too many things that need to be corrected.

During the final walk through be prepared to be an A$$ hole and if there are some serious issues that need addressing tell them you want them fixed before closing.

The alternative is to accept them as a punch list of things to be done and you will have to suffer through the scheduling of work after you are living in the house which can be very time consuming unless you work at home.
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post #13 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fore2002 View Post

Congratulations on the new purchase.

Question: How do you move in to a model home right after it's built/furnished. I thought a model home is open to the potential buyers to see. Normally builder sells their model homes at the end of the entire project. Maybe they are doing things differently now.

Good luck.

Fore2002,

Thanks. Well they have a set of 50 or so different homes, each with different floor plans/looks that you choose from. You also choose colors, carpeting/flooring/etc. I know even though my house is almost done, pepole are still walking around in it by Ryan homes - allowing them to peruse different models. They broke into a simliar house like mine to show me around... basically they only build to own, not to sell (so there are no free standing homes for "sale").

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Young View Post

Have you thouht of getting a D-BOX MOTION chair or couch and will you have media system for dvd storage. I have seen them and they are pretty neat. I have an Escient with a 400 dvd changer it works great and I have set up to watch movies anywhere in my house. Greg

Greg,

Haven't thought of it yet. That would be interesting, maybe you can PM me some more information of how it works - I wouldn't want to lose any video quality (looking to use a Toshiba HD-DVD player). I have a squeezebox ready to use for transmitting lossless music throughout the house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StereoDude View Post

Oh... Yeah, I've heard of Pulte and Ryan.

I've tracked the progress on my new house (built by a smaller, less known builder), and they're certainly not sitting around on it (doing something most every day), and assuming they hit the closing date of 11-15 it will have taken ~4 months from when they dug the foundation until I get the keys. People I know who have done the whole new construction thing tell me that 4 months is pretty fast. Hence my comment about 2.5 months seeming really fast.

1) How much did you have to pay per ethernet drop?

2) It sounds like you're building quite the bachelor pad that the future Mrs. ELmO will make you sell as soon as you get married.

StereoDude,

Ryan Homes normally states if "all goes well" the house is completed before being dug, to completion - in about 80 days. When I started my new job in Cleveland, people told me it'd bea year before I was in a house. I guess I proved them wrong. Seeing the advancement every day motivated me at work, although they are definitely a group of 5-10 people working - they seemed to accomplish way more than I could when *I* was at work - lol.

1) IIRC, each ethernet drop was $55 (cabling/crimped/wall plated).
2) LOL! For the longest time I didn't want to buy a house/move into a house without being married first. I thought it should be the first thing newly weds do, is buy/build a house together. Well I'm getting older (27) and I'm having to go solo...nothing goes by the plan anyway right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Leave some time between the final walk through inspection and when you have to move in so that you can POSTPONE the closing if there are too many things that need to be corrected.

During the final walk through be prepared to be an A$$ hole and if there are some serious issues that need addressing tell them you want them fixed before closing.

BigmouthinDC,

Good advice. My current living situation is flexible. I guess they only have 3-4 days in between the final walk through and closing. Yes, I did hear about them having almost a whole year to fix anything else needing to be addressed...I'm a stickler so I won't appreciate that. Could you please PM me things I should check for?

Thanks all,
ELmO

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #14 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

1) IIRC, each ethernet drop was $55 (cabling/crimped/wall plated).

My builder uses Brinks for low voltage wiring and Brinks wanted $90 a drop for extra cable, phone, or ethernet drops. I got 8 drops for free. I told them to pound sand and had the builder put in a 1.5" ID conduit from the basement to the attic so I can run ethernet myself to all the rooms later.

Sounds like you got a much better deal...
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post #15 of 411 Old 10-13-2007, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

Leave some time between the final walk through inspection and when you have to move in so that you can POSTPONE the closing if there are too many things that need to be corrected.

My builder finishes the house about 2 weeks before closing and does their own walk through two weeks prior to closing, and then I do a walk through 1 week prior to closing and once they're done we close (hopefully 1 week later).
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post #16 of 411 Old 10-14-2007, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Stereodude,

When is yours done? What do you plan for your HT? Can I help?

ELmO

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #17 of 411 Old 10-14-2007, 08:43 PM
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Quote:


So that's not your house in the picture?

And, how do they build a house in 2.5 months?

Havent you heard of "Extreme: Home Makeover?"

8)

Sounds like a great house plan, Elmo.
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post #18 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 03:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

Stereodude,

When is yours done? What do you plan for your HT? Can I help?

Closing is supposed to be Mid November. I have a plan that involves letting the house settle for about a year before building my HT in the basement. Until then i'll be using my RP CRT in the family room with my speakers and all that good stuff.
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post #19 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Uh oh, should I be waiting for my house to settle too?

-ELmO

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #20 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 04:17 AM
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ELmO,

BIGmouthinDC is right regarding the walk-thru. My wife and I are closing on a new home in 2 1/2 weeks (Oct 31st). Fortunately I have been to the house everyday during construction and pointed out issues to the Super who has been very good at fixing these things quickly.

I have a formal walk-thru on Oct 25th which is only 6 days prior to closing so to help avoid any delays in closing and getting things fixed quickly I did a walk-thru on my own yesterday and compiled a nice letter listing the items that need repairing or replacing and will provide it this morning to the Super.

The builder we used is great and have a great reputation and have worked with us since day one. But, they like other builders are slow to get things fixed once you have closed on the house hence the need to stay on top of them and provide frequent lists like I have done.

Good luck on you new upcoming home purchase....

Bob
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post #21 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

Uh oh, should I be waiting for my house to settle too?

-ELmO

That depends. The house I am closing on is my second home that I have had built. My 1st home took almost 3 years to completely settle and most of the issues were apparent on the second floor on the exterior walls in the corners.

The basement developed cracks in the floor which showed up very quickly and I later found out that that builder cheated on the concrete floor .

So IMO I wouldn't wait that long and I would go ahead with your HT especially if it's in the basement. I am starting mine right away and mine will be on the 3rd floor...

Bob
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post #22 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 07:32 AM
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Many of the experts in this forum will tell you to wait for at least after a downpour in your area. I think that's definitely a good idea. My next door neighbour had water in their basement right after we moved in to our brand new community. Fortunately the water was in the unfinished area but no one can see behind the drywall in the finished area ...
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post #23 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

Uh oh, should I be waiting for my house to settle too?

-ELmO

Well... In additional to the house settling... Part of my theory is that the house has a 1 year home warranty. With my builder they will fix their work, not mine. So, if the basement develops cracks they'll fix 'em but only if they can see them (so if I finish the basement and cover the walls, that's out). Also, if the basement gets a leak within the first year they'll fix the leak and repair all the damage to their work (not my work). So, if the basement floods due to a leak and did a lot of work down there that gets ruined, they won't fix the work I do, and I'll get to deal with my insurance company. I'd rather wait a year than have some possible headaches. Besides, I'm sure I'll have plenty of other projects to do during the first year.
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post #24 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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hmm I guess I didn't mention that the basement is coming finished by the builders?

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #25 of 411 Old 10-15-2007, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

hmm I guess I didn't mention that the basement is coming finished by the builders?

Are they doing something to the walls to waterproof them?
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post #26 of 411 Old 10-19-2007, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't know, I'll have to ask - I assumed so as they're a big builder around here and if they make a few small mistakes everyone would know (and they do make mistakes, though)...

They put the driveway down yesterday.

Current Projects:
IN PROGRESS (80%) - Building 3D Theater room.
IN PROGRESS (30%) - Building Lounge/Hallway Area.
IN PROGRESS (15%) - Building Home LAN (4 PCs).
ON HOLD - Building Home Gym.
ON HOLD - Building Simulation Room (Eyefinity).
ON HOLD - Building Theater room (Sim2 HT380, 2.35 14ft wide).
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post #27 of 411 Old 10-21-2007, 06:37 PM
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Dont assume! Put it all in writing. When you get down to your final walk through they are ready for you to close. Like you are being told do NOT take an unfinished list with you to closing if you are already aware of issues let them fix them first. Its inevitable you will find more stuff after you close, and those you have to deal with, but dont let them convince you to take a list with you to closing. If they really need to close you, they will throw a bunch of concessions and extras your way.

Something that works for me is to buy your super some nice lunches and it doesnt hurt to buy some $1 burgers and drinks to bring in to the laborers while you are there to visit/inspect.

I have found that the little grease goes a long way towards getting even the guy laying down your tile or carpet to care.

My super took care of a lot of extras for me when I had my last house built. I had about 2500 sq ft of wood ordered for my first floor, which pretty much covered everything but my utility room, master bedroom, and master bath. I ended up getting the wood laid down in my master bedroom, too, without even asking for it.

I had a lot of canned lights and other nickel and dime things added that didnt cost me a dime.

To a certain extent they have some discretion and you always want to make sure that every little thing that can, does go your way. I even had some of the rooms painted, blinds put in, and even my appliances brought in before I closed. (They arent supposed to let you do that. 8))

Speaking some spanish, I eventually also used a few of the contractors to do some aftermarket work for me which included painting several rooms, yard word and limestonig both porches and both fireplaces.

I still use some of those guys til this day.
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post #28 of 411 Old 10-22-2007, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
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Dont assume! Put it all in writing. When you get down to your final walk through they are ready for you to close. Like you are being told do NOT take an unfinished list with you to closing if you are already aware of issues let them fix them first. Its inevitable you will find more stuff after you close, and those you have to deal with, but dont let them convince you to take a list with you to closing. If they really need to close you, they will throw a bunch of concessions and extras your way.

Something that works for me is to buy your super some nice lunches and it doesnt hurt to buy some $1 burgers and drinks to bring in to the laborers while you are there to visit/inspect.

I have found that the little grease goes a long way towards getting even the guy laying down your tile or carpet to care.

My super took care of a lot of extras for me when I had my last house built. I had about 2500 sq ft of wood ordered for my first floor, which pretty much covered everything but my utility room, master bedroom, and master bath. I ended up getting the wood laid down in my master bedroom, too, without even asking for it.

I had a lot of canned lights and other nickel and dime things added that didnt cost me a dime.

To a certain extent they have some discretion and you always want to make sure that every little thing that can, does go your way. I even had some of the rooms painted, blinds put in, and even my appliances brought in before I closed. (They arent supposed to let you do that. 8))

Speaking some spanish, I eventually also used a few of the contractors to do some aftermarket work for me which included painting several rooms, yard word and limestonig both porches and both fireplaces.

I still use some of those guys til this day.


I am in complete agreement. My wife and I are going through this a second time and this time I did it right. Not only have I been keeping the Super updated with issues but we have been bringing things like doughnuts etc... to the workers and things are great.

My punch list should be very small when I go through the walk-thru this thursday, plus they have a Warranty guy who does anything that isn't completed when you close and my wife and I have been working with him closely as we get closer plus I asked him to do some side work for us and that I would pay him after our closing and that too helps us with the fix-ups.

Our first house I had a punch list I brought with us to closing that had 62 huge items on it and our attorney made them sign stating that it would all be fixed in 30 days and guess what...nothing got done! They figured I have already closed and they got my money so why bother...just keep this in mind.

Bob
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post #29 of 411 Old 11-02-2007, 08:32 AM
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Hey Elmo,
Just a li'l piece of advice that might help you in the future, if you're still at the framing stage, take lots of pictures. And I mean lots of it room by room. It will come in handy.
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post #30 of 411 Old 11-02-2007, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmalloc View Post

Ryan is being in Ohio, pulte is big in the nation.


Good luck with them...hopefully you don't get a lemon.

Quote:


I'm guessing they know

This is a bad idea for any contractor, but really bad for a contractor like Pulte. I'd be on them like a hawk with a level and tape measure.
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