On my birthday, April 30th, my mom, sister and I signed a contract with our builder to have our home constructed from one of their floorplan designs to be built upon the cul-de-sac we selected. With the coming of each event, our spirits would rise like a balloon, higher and higher on to the next event one. When we were scheduled for an initial appointment to meet with the project manager responsible for overseeing the buildout, overjoyed was an understatement. We saw our dream taking shape and had visions of what it would be like to walk in them. During our meeting, we discussed the framing process as it related to the modifications we wanted included in the floorplan, processes that would follow just after the framework, and timelines. We were truly grateful for these meetings, because we were quickly discovering that communication gaps were occurring between meetings. For example, there was an instance where after having met with the design center representative to give our selections for the inside and outside of the home, we were told that our information would be passed on to the project team to incorporate into the plans. However, after having met with the project team, we would find that information was not shared, and we would have to repeat our requests.
There is a plethora of websites out there with loads of information on how to properly build a home, and I wish I had read some of them in order to be better informed about the build process – always a good thing. One interesting article by Susan Bady-Holmes entitled “A Step-by-Step Guide to the Home Building Process,” talks about the 10 steps to building a new home and includes information about the framing step, terming it, “rough framing.” A common step, as mentioned during one of our build meetings, she notes that this phase is about putting in the floors, walls, and roof systems, followed by the protective wrap placed on the external shell. Another interesting article I ran across was by Lee Wallender entitled, “Understanding Floor Joist Spans.” Within this article are descriptions of the various wood types, their strengths, and what’s commonly used by builders for what purpose. One thing I didn’t know was about the common wood species that are used to build homes due to their bending strengths, like Southern yellow pine and Douglas Fir, which are on the high end, and Western red cedar, Eastern white pine, and Ponderosa pine which are on the lower end of strengths. This information is read-worthy to me now because, post build, I have noticed the sounds of creaky second floors that could be heard from the first floor. Had I taken the time to up my wood knowledge, I could have asked better questions during those past construction meetings and also be better positioned to make specific requests. My brother often says that you pay for what it is you don’t know. Well, don’t I know it – now!
Once our frames went up, we drove to the homesite and brought with us our printed Bible scriptures to insert in between the wood beams. We would stroll the site speaking positive prayers of thanks; we would stand in place and imagine where a piece of furniture would go; and we would just talk and visualize what our first Christmas would be like in the house. With the building process of this home, the pros outweighed the cons, and we’re still very grateful to have it. Every experience encountered has allowed us to grow and become sharper for our next experience.