Building a House Part 12: Bricks, Stone, and Trim in Progress

The exterior is starting to come together to give a preview of what the house will look like. It’s obviously in progress but looking awesome.

A majority of the bricks and stone have been installed with remaining work to be finished in the back of the house. The dark brown trim was better than what we expected but still needs touch up work.

Check out the progress below!

Before Brick and Stone Installation

Building a House Part 10: The Storm Protection and Roof are Up!

Beazer House - Fenway Side

The roof frame and shingles are up along with the storm protection. 

Next up, the a/c rough will be installed.

The sidings (top half of the house) is not finished. It’s pending to be painted. To be honest, Sarah freaked out after seeing the siding color so we reached out to the Construction Manager and confirmed it was pending to be painted. If you’re wondering about the areas without siding, those areas will be covered in our selected stone, brick, and some side shingle styles.

At first glance inside of the garage, we were surprised of how deep it was which is important for storing our two cars, bikes, and random garden gear. Good surprises are always nice.

The pictures don’t do it justice of how wonderful it was to see our future house becoming more real by each milestone. It will be the biggest house we have ever lived in. It has been a long time coming for our family.

Now we just hope the progress continues at the same pace with hurricane season rolling in. It won’t be easy, but we’re hoping for good weather.

More to come on building our Beazer Home!

Beazer House - Fenway Front

Building a House Part 9: More Framing!

Great news! More framing progress! 

In the last visit, we saw the framing in progress for the first floor and now the second floor is being built within just a few days in between! It’s amazing how quickly Beazer Homes is building the frame of the house.

I just love this picture. I knew we were getting our dream house but I’m even more amazed of how big it is. If you didn’t know, we have a big family so room is crucial. I just want my wife, kids, and fur babies to have a nice house to live in. That’s why I work smart and put in the work! We didn’t grow up with much so we’re blessed in this journey.

For next steps, we shall wait for the framing to be completed. More to come!

Building a House Part 8: Framing is in progress!

Beazer Home Fenway Framing
Framing in progress for my Beazer house!

First of all, sorry for the potato quality photo!

Today, we went for a routine check in at the property to see the progress on our house since the last visit was disappointing. We were surprised to see the progress from Wednesday (start of the framing) to today on Saturday (framing in progress). It’s amazing to see the speed of the framing process and the current results. I am impressed!

Regarding the potato quality pictures, my wife and I were driving by and didn’t expect to see a three man crew. To avoid any awkwardness, my wife just drove by while I took pictures in motion from within the minivan.

I would like to thank this hard working crew for the progress and visible results. 

On our next visit, I would like to bring some ice cold drinks in a cooler and energy fuel snacks for this crew! They’re much appreciated!
 

Building a House Part 7: Framing is Delayed

Disappointment Face
Our Emotion: Disappointment

We were told it was supposed to take a little over a week to complete the framing. Unfortunately when my wife and I swung by the house on our routine weekend check-ins on the property, we were rather disappointed to see a bunch of building materials on the property with no progress after an entire week. We were hoping to show my mother-in-law something besides the foundation.

With the disappointment, I immediately reached out to our Construction Project Manager and Sales Rep for an update. They were apologetic and mentioned the following:

“We are experiencing some labor shortages in the framing department due to the time of year it is.  We  want to make sure that every home gets the level of attention that it deserves and therefore have been waiting on a crew to become available to start the framing process.  I was given confirmation that a crew is supposed to start working on your house tomorrow.”

I can understand factors that are outside of human control (ex: weather) but the information above appeared to be a known repeating pattern. If someone was planning a project and there were predicted delays (ex: summer vacation) then they need to factor into the actual milestones and completion date. Every milestone counts and each delay will affect the house completion timeline. It’s not about just delaying getting the keys to the house but the planning my wife and I have to consider such as ending our rental lease for our current home, transferring schools for the kids, and coordinating moving labor. There are many tasks in play.

I understand it wasn’t the fault of the Construction Project Manager or the Sales Rep but I did provide feedback and challenged their leaders to do better. 

For now, I look forward to seeing progress and a mitigation plan to catch up on timing.

All we can do is to keep moving forward.

Building a House Part 6: The Foundation and Driveway is Complete!

Beazer Driveway

The foundation and driveway is complete for our Beazer home! We didn’t expect the driveway to be this long. It was a delight to see the size of the parking space even though we will park our cars in the garage. There should be plenty of parking space to host our friends and families for parties and entertainment gatherings.

Beazer House Property SizeIn this second picture, we were able to picture the size of our backyard from left (the house) and to the right. There will be an easement between our fence and the fence in the background on the right. We selected this lot for this reason to avoid sharing a fence with a back to back neighbor. For a Texas yard in the suburbs, it’s a good size yard.

In addition to the excitement of this milestone, we will have another one coming soon. We just received an email of starting the framing soon. The construction manager is estimating framing to complete in just over a week which is impressive considering the amount of work and detail required.

Kudos to our construction manager, Jacob!

Building a House Part 5: Preparing Foundation

Beazer Homes Plumbing Installed

Before the foundation can be poured in, the plumbing was installed. It may be baby steps just from looking at this picture but we are excited at every step of seeing our house being built. In addition to the plumbing, our Construction Manager (Jacob) also mentioned all the work for preparing the foundation was completed and passed inspection.

Our next step as of right now is to wait for the foundation to be poured. After the foundation is poured, it will take about a week to cure before the driveway can be prepared structurally for an inspection.

 

Building a House Part 4: Meeting the Construction Manager

Construction Hardhat

We finally met with our construction manager! This is a late post as a fyi. We were waiting for Beazer to receive their building permits.  In our area, building permits are reviewed and approved every 30 days. The City of Katy is extremely strict on home building quality which is great for consumers like us.  This is deeply appreciated!

Once the building permits were approved, our Beazer Home Consultant contacted us right away to schedule a quick 30-40 minute face to face meeting with our Construction Manager.

It was a personal experience to be able to meet the person who will be in charge of project managing our future home.  He was friendly and extremely transparent on validating our needs and laying out expectations. He walked us through the blueprint of our future property and where our house and yard were located. In terms of expectations, the target date to finish building the home is November but he let us know right away there might be a possibility the actual move in date could be sometime in December. For us, we love the transparency since we can attempt to plan for the expectation.

For communication, our construction manager mentioned he will be giving us updates every two weeks. As for the next step, him and his team will be breaking ground to start installing the plumbing to prepare for laying down the foundation!

Building a House Part 3: Checking Out the Land

Beazer Home SiteThis was one of the most exciting parts of building our new house and the journey itself. The first big visit to our future land and property for our new Beazer home.

It was an adventure traveling to a location where your house and road is not even on Google Maps. Once we found the location, my wife and I were overwhelmed with many happy thoughts running through our heads. Just pure adrenaline and excitement!

First, the famous Beazer Sold sign sitting on the new location of our home was a beautiful beacon. It felt like an accomplishment and there was definitely a sense of happy pride.

Second, we looked for the property markers to get a feel of the size of the property.

Third, the carefully laid out planks of wood to mark the size of the house. This gave us an awesome preview to size the house and the potential yard size.

At last, we were able to finally see how big the front lawn and backyard is going to be. You can imagine all the ideas popping up in our heads of decorating and hosting get togethers at our new house.

Next up, we’re meeting with our Construction Manager!

Building a House Part 2: Home Design Studio Session

Beazer Homes Design Studio in Houston, TXAfter signing an exciting agreement on our house, our next step was to schedule a 5-6 hour session at the local Beazer Design Studio. It’s by appointment only and is scheduled through your Beazer new homes consultant. The design studio is where you would choose your selections and/or upgrades for your house. The selections can include internal paint colors, carpet, tiles, lighting, kitchen cabinets, kitchen backsplashes, faucet finishes, media wiring, and etc.

Based on my experience and working directly with our awesome home consultant, the following are tips and what you should expect to do before attending the design studio to wrapping up your session.

Before Attending Your Beazer Design Studio Session

Visit the Beazer Design Studio by yourself or with a spouse or a friend. This is where you can have all the time in the world to see all the selections available to figure out what would match well in terms of color scheme and potential upgrades you may be interested in. My wife and her friend went out to the design studio and had a chance to conduct homework with the sample pieces to see which colors and materials worked and did not worked. They took pictures of the samples they put together and my wife created a list of options she liked.  For me, I had to stay home to watch my kids so facetime through my phone made it possible to be part of the research experience. This home design homework made us more prepared for the actual scheduled appointment.

The main reason for doing homework in advance is to make sure you can make the most effective design decisions for your new house in less than 5-6 hours. You’re only given about 24-48 hours after the session to change your home design decisions. After the 48 hours, you have to pay a fee for each change request. The fee is not cheap and could be better spent on upgrades for your house.

Attending your Beazer Home Design Studio Session

  1. Make sure to arrive 15 minutes ahead of time. You will not get time back for being late. You will lose it.
  2. Bring your prepared list of house options you liked and pictures.
  3. You will first meet your home design studio consultant who will take you through each part of the studio to complete your home.
  4. The first part of the home design studio session is focused on the technology of the house. This is where you will meet the technology consultant to discuss your options and upgrades for installing surround sound speakers, home media entertainment systems built into the house, security systems, wiring (ex: CAT5  versus CAT6 cables), and other in-home technology (ex: cameras). For us, we went for the CAT6 wiring and avoided integrating the cost of media technology into our mortgage. If you’re interested in Beazer’s installation services, you can still get them to install for you after the house is built which is nice.
  5. The next parts include choosing your lights, carpet, tiles, cabinets (kitchen, bathroom, etc), paint (internal/external), railings, kitchen appliances, faucet finishes, sinks, shower, bathtub, and more. Some of your options include micro elements such as choosing the color of your grout.
  6. Once you have finished selecting your options, the home design studio consultant will document, review, and ask you to initial and finalize your options. Again, you will get a 24-48 hour period to make changes without a penalty (check with your local Beazer Home Design Studio consultant for the actual period as it may change). Typically, you will receive an X amount of free upgrade dollars which you can use for upgrades in the studio or a discount on more premium land. This depends on the Beazer special promotions in your local area. For your upgrades, you will be asked to contribute 1% of your upgrades as an upgrade downpayment. This money all contributes into your overall down payment at the end.

What Should You Consider Upgrading?

For us with our little ones running around, we felt it was important to upgrade from carpets to tiles for the living room and the dining room. These two areas receive an extensive amount of walking traffic within the house. This means more risk for ruining the carpet with vulnerable wear and tear in addition to stains.

Lighting in the house was quite important to us. The right lighting and design can create an enjoyable and happy atmosphere so we upgraded our lights.

We upgraded to iron rods for the stairs as it will be difficult to install later on plus it is more durable and stable than wood.

If you can afford to, I would recommend expanding the covered patio so you can enjoy time outside without burning in the sun.

What You Should Not Get in the Design Studio

Remember, everything you add in the design studio will somewhat contribute to your overall monthly payment.

We decided to not add fans in the design studio and will do it ourselves. The cost of adding a fan to the project was not worth it.

The installation of surround sound speakers and projectors was out for us. Technology is changing rapidly and I would much prefer just getting the wiring and purchasing speakers or projectors on my own. You can seriously buy a sound speaker or project at Amazon and do it yourself.

I hope this was helpful! Feel free to reach out with any questions.

The next step in this house building journey is to finally see our land!