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Constructing the House of Your Dreams

Constructing the House of Your Dreams

The cottage is being demolished.

Now that the new home designs and building permits were in hand, the subcontractors had been engaged, and a septic design was in the works, it was time to demolish the previous cottage. Initially, I pondered calling the local fire department to burn it down, but ultimately decided to go the demolition route. Despite the fact that I did not call the fire department, I was confident that taking this route would have resulted in several delays and traps due to the fact that I would have been at the mercy of various local personnel as well as the weather. The demolition path required the use of an excavator subcontractor and had fewer risks in terms of weather-related timetable delays. In addition, the demolition costs and labor were relatively inexpensive in comparison to the competition. After just two days, it seemed as if the cottage had never been on the property. Despite this, it's vital to note that the cottage was on the tiny side. It measured 22' by 30'. However, if the cottage had been much bigger, it is possible that using the fire department path might have made more sense financially.

The actual demolition work itself was divided into three distinct phases. To begin with, all of the furniture and appliances had to be removed from the room. The majority of these products were rusted and musty, and they were not worth repurchasing. In the next step, the excavator utilized a big backhoe to tear apart and smash the structure into little bits. The excavator then piled the material into numerous 20-cubic-yard dumpsters, which were subsequently picked up and carted away by a trash company. Finding the right dumpster provider was a little difficult since there are tight restrictions regarding the disposal of certain types of home building waste. Furthermore, the cost of a dumpster might climb significantly depending on how far away their facilities are from the building or demolition site.

Getting Things Started

It was time to break ground on the new house after the cottage had been demolished and the stakes had been driven into the ground to mark the perimeter of the property. This was a really exciting moment for me since my dream was about to start taking form. I was thinking about building a huge modern house with a wall of windows overlooking the lakefront. Although it was merely a hole in the ground, this hole served as a rough representation of the approximate footprint of my future home. Upon seeing the hole, I was able to begin to more readily imagine my future home.

One of the most important components of constructing a new house is digging a hole and preparing the ground for a foundation to be built on top of it. As a consequence, I met with both the excavator and foundation subcontractors a number of times to evaluate the house designs and the site prior to and throughout the excavation. It was critical that everyone on the team was on the same page in order to guarantee that the foundation walls, with all of their jogs and step ups and downs, would be identified and built according to the blueprints. During these discussions, a few modifications to the foundation plans were identified as essential; nevertheless, since all team members were present, the modifications were small and absolutely necessary. The modifications assisted in the prevention of more major issues in the future and guaranteed that the home's outside appearance was preserved.


As previously said, the foundation is critical to the construction of any high-quality house. It is fairly uncommon for foundation walls to break within a short period of time if they are not built on a strong foundation or are not made of concrete with sufficient strength. It is possible that these flaws may result in flooding in the basement, settling in the frame, and ultimately cracks in the completed walls and ceilings. The excavation site must therefore be properly dug out and backfilled with crushed stone and sand in order to create a sturdy foundation for the building and allow for good drainage below the residence and surrounding areas. In my particular situation, I had the digger dig out enough to allow for the backfilling of 18" of crushed stone into the pit while still meeting the specifications of my foundation design, which I had specified.

The foundation team began work once the site had been prepped for concrete by pouring concrete footings that were 18" wide and 12" deep. In addition, they constructed many cement footings for lally columns in the midst of the house footprint. The footings serve as the basis of the house, supporting the concrete foundation walls as well as the structure of the house itself. In order to expedite the curing period of the concrete, calcium chloride was utilized as an accelerator due to the fact that it was winter. In addition, water had accumulated in a part of the hole, necessitating the need for regular pumping during the healing period.

After a few days, the foundation team began erecting the forms for the concrete walls on the foundation. The foundation walls were completed the next day. Following only three days of work, the forms were removed and the foundation walls were constructed. After that, I had my excavator subcontractor come back. After tarring the exterior walls up to the level of where the completed grade would be, he erected a perimeter drain around the foundation and then backfilled the foundation with clean sand and fill to complete the project. It is critical that boulders and clay not be utilized as backfill materials in construction projects. In the process of being forced into position, boulders may cause cracks in the foundation walls and clay can cause improper drainage around the structure.

After putting in the foundation and backfilling it, I was ready to hire framers.

The preparation stage (also known as the framing stage)

The framing stage of house construction is perhaps the most exciting portion of the process. A home starts to take shape in a relatively short amount of time, often as little as a few days. Knee walls were built in less than a week, floor joists were installed, and a plywood sub-floor was laid down in less than two weeks. Several weeks later, the first floor walls were up and the ceiling joists were being put in place. I was so taken aback that I persuaded myself that my new house was a month ahead of schedule. I was completely mistaken.

Before I go into detail about my misunderstanding, I should take a step back and reflect. Along with working with the excavation subcontractor, I was also collaborating with the framing subcontractor. The framing subcontractor was responsible for ordering frame materials such as timber, doors and windows, shingles, and siding for the project. Despite our best efforts, there were certain challenges with the availability of materials and delivery schedules, and as a consequence, we had to spend a significant amount of time fixing them. The good news is that, as a result of regular communication and problem resolution, we were able to have the first supply of timber arrive on the site within a day of the foundation being backfilled.

It is crucial to notice that substantial sums of money are being spent on the project at this point, which indicates that the project is nearing completion. Home building involves a significant amount of wood, and final payments are owed to the excavators and foundation contractors, among other people. Excavation and sitework, as well as foundation installation, account for a major portion of the cost of constructing a house. As an additional requirement, the framing subcontractor requests that a part of his work be paid in advance.

Additionally, it is critical that homeowner building insurance be secured prior to the start of the construction process. Construction liability insurance protects the homeowner/builder against material theft and work-related accidents. While you should ensure that all of your subcontractors and their personnel are covered, don't bank on it. In the course of any construction project, subcontractors are compelled to engage additional workers for brief periods of time, and I would be astonished if these temporary workers were covered by the subcontractor's insurance coverage. When compared to the possibility of theft or the potential for harm from litigation, the cost of homeowner or builder insurance coverage is insignificant.

As previously said, I was in for a pleasant surprise during the framing phase of my house construction. As previously stated, the first frame was completed in a short period of time. However, it was still winter, and numerous snow storms as well as severely cold temperatures started to hammer the country. This has a significant impact on progress. Furthermore, with the abundance of snow on the ground, it soon became evident that my frame team had a strong liking for snowmobiling. As a result, even on bright days, my frame team was AWOL on a regular basis. I was unable to regulate the work ethic of my frame subcontractor, no matter how much I complained or prodded him to do better.

Because of this, I had to call my plumbing, electric, and fireplace subcontractors to let them know that I was running behind schedule. This was exceedingly difficult for me to do since I had no idea when I would really want their services and each of them had a very busy schedule of events. As a consequence, it was very unlikely that I would be able to contact them at the last minute and expect them to quit what they were doing in order to come to work on my project. As previously stated, I was able to mitigate some of this difficulty by maintaining constant contact with these other subcontractors; however, my project did experience significant schedule slippage as a result of my frame workers' antics.

In hindsight, I'm not sure what I could have done to avoid this situation from occurring in the first place. Reference checks on the framing subcontractor had turned up nothing but favorable results. I suppose I should have inquired as to his interests and made certain that they did not coincide with the season in which I wanted the task to be completed. The reality is that unexpected things do happen on every project, and one should be prepared for them and plan for them appropriately. For example, you may budget and plan some contingency funds and time into your project to account for incidents like mine. Additionally, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of developing a connection with and maintaining a regular communication line with all of your subcontractors. When working on a project of this magnitude, make no assumptions.

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