Scott and Larna R.
We are quickly approaching the end of our building process. It is very rewarding to see this project looking more and more like a home. We finished installing the lights and completed the electrical work this week and had lights on throughout the house. This was a big deal for me. It was exciting to see the house looked from the outside with lights on. I could see us living here and imagined what it would be like coming home at night and seeing the family in the house. The lights were lighting up the inside and outside of the house where just a few months before there was nothing here.
Building a house is not a small task, it takes a lot of involvement and participation but it really pays off. The contractors we worked with all wanted us to be happy with their work and are eager to please. They just needed to know what we wanted. Even though we tried to be as specific as possible when we got quotes, we tried to spend as much time on the job site as we could afford. This way when there were questions (and there are always going to be questions) we were here to answer them and prevent or minimize rework.
I have found that success has come through planning. The building calendar and building steps guide in the OBN notebook were essential. The OBN staff has also been very responsive to all of the questions we had along the way. Scheduling and following up are keys to a smooth process. One of my favorite sayings is "Trust but Verify". I tried never to assume that someone would remember to bring a missing item or come the day they said. I always followed up or double checked the day before with a text, email or call depending on the contractor. This may not be necessary all of the time but I'd rather be safe than sorry. Seeing things lined up and managing the schedule are definitely keys to finishing on time. If things continue to go as planned, we will have finished in a little over 4 months from foundation completion to project completion...six months from construction loan closing to completion.
We realized long ago that there is no perfect house, even if we built it. We tried as hard as possible to achieve what we thought was best and put a lot of effort into planning and managing the process, but in the end you can never think of everything and you will undoubtedly miss something. We have chosen to not sweat the small stuff. We are very happy with the house that we built and it has been a rewarding process that I would recommend to others.