Instead of 7am, the backhoe and gravel arrived at 9:30. Then it took over 2 hours to set up the crane
and widen the driveway to allow the 18-wheeler to back in far enough for the crane to reach the walls on the
front of the trailer. Sadly, two more trees had to be sacrificed to get these heavy walls to the site. Finally, at "high noon", we watched the first wall lifted off and into place.
Progress was slow, so by day's end we had only the 4-footers in place across the back of the foundation.
Today we moved into our neighbors' house across the road (Ken & Kathy Beckwith),
where we'll be house/dog/cat-sitting for 10 days. My commute will be short for a while and I can keep a close
eye on progress, "helping" where necessary. The big 10-footers are now in place, though the last one
was tough to connect to the very first 4 foot wall, and needed prolonged and painstaking movement with a set of
"jaws". What a difference 2 days make: we now have the beginnings of a house instead of a potential
swimming pool. What a relief!
Tomorrow is July 4th - Happy Independence Day, America! On Thursday the
plumber should arrive to start work. The rest of the Superior wall-setting should take place on Friday.
"What a difference 2 days make" indeed! On Tuesday the Superior guys joked about taking a
5-day weekend - but they weren't joking! At 4pm on Thursday three guys turned up and removed the crane. This
did not bode well, so I called everyone, but could find no-one in at Superior or my builder. Today, Friday, the
site was dead, and again no-one would return my calls.
To cap it all this morning our 16-year old dog, Sacha -
wonderful family pet and friend - wandered off and hasn't been seen since; we spent most of the day searching
by foot, bike, car and phone. Suddenly our house building frustrations seem remarkably unimportant!
First the good news ... Sacha found her way to a house about 3/4 mile away (as the crow flies, but she
probably walked much further) and in through their dog door. She couldn't get out, so when the owners returned
about 11:30pm (!!!) on Friday, they had an extra dog. I fetched her at midnight - and we were all mightily
Today, Monday, there was again no sign of Superior, but after much discussion
our plumbers (John and Tony) did lay PVC pipe in the gravel sub-floor - about 3-4 hours' work. Now we await
word from Superior. Once again we are at a stand-still.
It seems Superior "ran into a design problem" last Tuesday with the 4' step down from the
Laundry to the Mud Room - their foundation drawings were wrong?! It's taken them a week to come up with a
solution ... they start pouring some new walls today. The walls will be ready by Thursday, but does that mean
they will be installed on Thursday?! And why did no-one communicate the problem to our builder or me?!
July 11, 12, 13 ...
Waiting, waiting!! Thursday came and went (2 weeks since they appeared on site, 2 weeks late, to do a
2-day job), so did Friday! Would I ever choose "Superior" walls again?!!!!!
Superior were back on site today ... but not for long. They left when they saw that the extra gravel,
which they say they requested 2 weeks ago, was not in place ... the builder says he knew nothing of this! Hey,
ho ...... "C-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-i-o-n" seems to be lacking again. It's now two months since we
broke ground ....!
Our excavator came back with a small earth-mover to add more gravel between house and garage.
Good news: Superior were back ... Bad news: they left again. Problems with the gravel (wrong again?!),
the crane setting-up, and more confusion over how to set the garage walls. Tomorrow the excavator will be back
and MAYBE we'll see Superior back on Friday?!?
Which Friday?!? Another week of delays and almost zero progress. It took forever to backfill the
walk-out basement walls, then to re-prepare the gravel base for the remaining Superior walls, with one rain
delay and more mistakes to be corrected. It's now 22 days since the last Superior walls were installed.
Superior are now "expected" on Monday, to finish the job they started on June 29th.
In addition, it came to light that a late change to the height of the Superior
walls (from 8' to 10') was not matched by a deep enough excavation. So, because we cannot go any higher with
the roof, the first floor now has to be "hung" instead of built on top of the Superior walls!
Well, Superior are back, still scratching heads but making progress, slowly! July 31st is our 30th
Wedding Anniversary, so we headed to Edwards for a celebration dinner with Kevin, Ben and Jennifer, test
driving a Land Rover (English!) at the same time!
Come back soon to check on our progress (and if you're so inclined, say a little prayer on our behalf!)