I figured I should compile all the things in the house that need to be fixed instead of doing my usual Instagram Stories (twotwentyone) since a lot of the people who follow me on Facebook aren’t actively on IG. So that’s what we’re doing today.
The Porch Saga Continues
The porch, stairs, and private walkway are all being jack hammered out TODAY by Company B. (If you’re new here, this will be the second time the porch has been removed– the third porch on our three month old house. You can read more here.) Then the mason will have to come back and fix the brick. After that, they’ll re-pour the porch, steps, and walkway. And then finally, CROSSYOURFINGERSFINALLY, the porch, stairs, and walkway will finally be finished. I’ll probably do a Porch Saga Part Two post to wrap up all of that.
UPDATE: The porch demo has been postponed to October 26th due to the rain we’ve been experiencing.
Not necessarily porch related, but I always get questions on the front porch rugs. I need to get a bigger rug for on top because the size looks wonky.
The Master Bathroom Shower
I’ve never cried so many ugly tears over a damn shower in my life. The master shower really deserves its own series like the front porch.
The tile in our master shower has been addressed a total of 3 times, post-initial install. Before we took possession of the house, all the tile surrounding the three windows was removed and replaced. And even though some of the tiles were clearly jacked up, they grouted over them anyway. So we had a guy came out to “fix” the tiles. I grew leery when I saw that he drove a paint company van. Like was he moonlighting as a shower tiler? Or did he moonlight as a painter? Anyway, he did a bad job of “fixing” the tile. So then a different guy came out at the end of August to “fix” the painter/tiler guy’s work. That didn’t go well either. Because why would it?
We finally told our builder, CalAtlantic Homes, that Company A had had three attempts to fix it and make it right, and we operate by a three strikes, you’re out rule. So the other day the builder sent out a representative from Company B. I took the rep into the bathroom and said, “I’m going to let you take it all in. Tell me what you notice, and then I’ll tell you our concerns.”
He immediately noticed the bottom of our shower. The floor of the shower is bowing when you step on it near the drain. There are cracks in the grout around the drain. There’s a chipped floor tile. I’m assuming it occurred during one of the “fixes” when someone dropped a tool. And then there’s the tile, grout, and caulking issues on the walls and around the windows. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Note: This is the current state of the shower. I figured it’s kind of pointless to show past photos. Also, keep in mind we’ve used this shower for a total of 3 months, and we’re not aggressive showerers.
They cut the shower head hole too large and attempted to patch it. You can still see the patch job when the shower head cover is against the tile.
In conclusion, Company B is gutting the entire shower and doing a full replacement later this month. I’m assuming it will take at least 3 days (one day for each: demo, tile, grout). I’ve already spent 2.5 days stuck here while fix #2 and #3 were executed. While annoying, I guess I’m thankful I work from home so I don’t have to take time off of work to be here.
The Upstairs Bathroom Vanity Countertops
When I selected our bathroom vanity countertops, I went with Arctic White quartz because I wanted something simple. I remember when I made my selection that the design consultant said they’d been having issues with customers using harsh cleaners on these specific tops, resulting in damage. She suggested we only clean with soap and water. I said that’d be fine.
Fast forward to our final walk through and I noticed scratches on every bathroom vanity top. My guess is one of the trades scratched them up while working on the house. It happened with our kitchen countertop, which had to be replaced pre-move-in because it appeared that someone smoked the edge of the top with a tool, causing it to chip. So the entire 11 foot top had to be replaced.
Tip: During your final walk-through, make sure you touch EVERYTHING. You’ll look slightly deranged, but that’s how I noticed the chip.
The project manager said they’d get the countertop people out to buff out the bathroom top scratches before we moved in. Well, it didn’t work. The scratches were still visible, especially this lovely lightning bolt-shaped scratch on my bathroom vanity.
On August 23rd, the countertop guy came back out and attempted to buff out the scratches again. And as you can guess, it didn’t work. (The photo above was taken after the second buffing.) When I inspected the tops and told the project manager and countertop guy that the scratches were still visible, they said it’s normal to have scratches on the tops before move in. Excuse me? And that we’re most likely going to scratch them up anyway, so basically we should just live with it. Par-pardon me?
Now I like to compare this situation to a brand new car. If I buy a brand new car and the dealer rolls up to hand me the keys and the car has a bunch of scratches on it, I’m surely not going to hop in my new car and drive off into the sunset. Hell to no. I’m going to say, “I want a different new car, sans scratches. Kthanks.”
I was clearly upset, some would use the terminology ‘hot’, after that exchange with the old project manager and countertop guy. So I decided to email the design consultant because I feel like she and I are friendly and she listens to me. I won’t share my entire email, which was polite, but, I included this line: “If I knew these white quartz countertops were delicate flowers and would be scratched from the get-go, I never would’ve chosen them.”
Fast forward a week or so and I get a call from the design consultant, who did some digging. She was calling to inform me that:
Our bathroom countertops are not quartz, they’re Tuscan MARBLE.
Something I never in a million years would’ve agreed to put in our house. Because marble is a delicate flower.
Everyone at the builder was under the impression that the arctic white tops were quartz, from everyone in the design center to everyone in purchasing. And I believe the design consultant when she says that.
So, now all 4 countertops in the 3 upstairs bathrooms (master, Owen’s, guest) are being torn out and replaced with quartz. But I’m sure some damage will be done to the drywall in the process so we’ll also have to have drywall and paint back out as well.
The millwork needs to be addressed in multiple places throughout the house, mostly in regards to the window casings.
The edges of many of the windowsills weren’t sanded. Instead, they just painted over the rough spots. Because why take the time to run a sander over it?
There’s also a lot of paint chips that were also painted over.
During our final walk through, I asked our old project manager if what you see below, which is what multiple casings look like in the house, could be addressed. And I was told this was the best it was going to get.
The Staircase Newel Posts & Balusters
One day I was looking over at our staircase newel post and noticed the that sheen of the stain looked off. The top of the newel post appears to be coated in glossy stain, while the rest is done in a matte finish. Well, besides the random section of glossy stain. Furthermore, the railing is done in the glossy stain, while the balusters are stained with a matte finish.
So our new project manager said that they’ll need to be sanded and replaced.
The Stairway Wall
One morning I was walking through the house and was caught off guard by the sight of this wall. You can really only see how badly it looks at a certain time of day when the light hits it just right, which is why it took me a while to notice it. So this wall will need to be redone. And in case you didn’t know, drywall dust is a SOB, so I’m really looking forward to this fix.
FYI, the wall isn’t supposed to be appear to be textured. All our walls are supposed to be flat.
We’re having a new toilet installed in the downstairs half bathroom because the current toilet always seems to get clogged. Our project manager looked at it and said the toilet was most likely over-glazed during production. I was so afraid people were going to overflow the toilet at Owen’s birthday party that I put a framed sign next to the toilet that read, “This toilet is delicate. Please don’t overwhelm it.”
The project manger is stopping by today to check out a dip I noticed in the flooring between the kitchen and Owen’s playroom.
And in case you’re wondering, no, we most definitely are not paying, monetarily, for the all of fixes on the house.
I’d by lying if I said all of this didn’t bother me. Trust me, I’ve sworn like a trucker-pirate hybrid. I’ve cried. A lot. Because I automatically cry when I start to feel upset or really pissed off. I’ve felt overwhelmed. Depressed. To top it off, I’ve been dealing with it all while pregnant. Meaning I haven’t felt the best, and most unfortunately, I haven’t been able to drink.
There have been times that I’ve wanted to give up and just live with things, but then I remind myself that it’s not acceptable. I wouldn’t accept a scratched and dinged new car, why would I accept a scratched and dinged new house?
I think the worst part of all is that we were so excited to build this house. We worked our butts off to get out of $125,000 of debt, save, and fix up our old house so we could sell it for a decent profit in order for us to be able to afford this house. I drove to the house and checked on the progress of it almost every evening during construction. I spent hours upon hours going over the layout, lighting placement, and design choices. And all this, pardon my French, sh*t has sucked all the joy out us when it comes to the house. I should be looking forward to designing rooms. But I just don’t feel like it. Because the house feels unfinished, unsettled. And it really sucks.
And I was really looking forward to creating and sharing my home building series, but I’ve been so disenchanted that I just want to say “DON’T BUILD A HOUSE! IT’S NOT WORTH IT!” I’m hoping I come around though. Because I really want to share the things I learned. I’m just not in the mood right now, and hopefully you can understand that.
In conclusion, we’re very hopeful, come November all of this is will be behind us because the trades will come in and get things done right so we can all move on. And we have a lot of faith that our new project manager will be able to effectively coordinate and manage everything.
I also wanted to say thank you again to everyone who’s been supportive and written comments and sent messages and emails. While I know I haven’t had time to reply to all of them, please know that I’ve read them, and I really appreciate it.