construction chroniclesWe are now at 11 weeks in the Construction Chronicles countdown! The big change this week is that the kitchen cabinets have arrived and the wood floors are being laid. The trim is finishing up as well. With the exception of one bathroom, all the tiles are down too.

Last week, I spent most of my time finalizing the closets. We took advantage of the ELFA yearly sale at The Container Store. We got all the closets organized with closet systems. I’m pretty excited about it. More to come on that when they get installed.

The biggest challenge of the week is the battles we have been having with our contractor. While we were warned by many people (including a town official who oversees building permits) that building a home can be a nightmare, what we have endured has been beyond our wildest comprehension. So here are two pieces of construction advice.



Get Receipts

One piece of advice I could give is that make sure you get receipts for any purchases on your home by the builder. For example, get receipts for the purchase of your kitchen cabinets, wood floors, gutters, tile, etc. Often, the builder’s contract will have allowances. If you go over the allowance, you are responsible for the difference. However, how do you really know if you have gone over the allowance? Getting receipts is the step you need.

When possible, get the actual store receipt. Not just numbers written down on a piece of paper. Then take time every week to go through all the building paper work to make sure the numbers add up. Start asking for receipts from day one (and even put language to that effect in your contract if you can.) That way, it becomes standard business practice  – and no contractors get their tool belts in a twist if you start asking for receipts half way through the project.



Write It Down

The second piece of advice is to carry a notebook or journal with you. Use it for measurements, reminders, numbers, and other house project related information. Having one central place for the information is key to keeping you organized and having all the information in one central location for reference.

Bring it with you to appointments, site meetings, design sessions, etc. I have found it key when the builder asks a design related question (or vice versa). I am able to quickly reference my journal and provide a prompt and accurate answer to their question. It keeps the project moving and on track. I also have fun with it. My journal is pink and sparkly with a matching pen, but ‘you do you’ when it comes to your journal guide!

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