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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:58 am 
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Here are two pics from yesterday. I'll be heading to the site shortly to seal up the wall connection points when they're stood.

This is my sister in law using the cordless impact drill to screw in the second 3/4" layer on the double car garage front. You can see the air nailer we used for the 3/8" layers.
Attachment:
Cheyanne Screwing.jpeg


Here is a picture of my dad and the garage. You can see the large beam across the garage where the vaulted ceiling will join. The man door near my dad's right shoulder is the access to the garage where the sound lock will be.
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Dad and Vaulted Beam.jpeg


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Well, today was another 12-13 hour day. It's almost 2am here and I just got home.

My dad helped me (for half of the day) to add 3/4" OSB to the rim board in the basement. I just used PL400 and Green Glue Sealant. I sealed both layers and everywhere I could see that needed it. I used just small scraps to screw on the side to keep the 3/4" OSB pushed up against the rim board while the glue dried. Being up on a ladder with crappy rubber boots all day/night/morning was horrific. Working looking up with my arms reaching out and up was taxing. Anyway, it's done and I'm very happy about it. The saving grace is that the long wall in the basement is built out of some crazy engineered ~1 3/8" REALLY heavy wood. I will also have access to it with the frost wall up so I can just go seal it once we move into the house.

Here are more pictures. PS if you'r wondering, yes my arms are raw. The entire time (as my arm rubbed on the foundation) it felt like someone was ripping bandaids off of my hairy arm!! :?
Attachment:
Glue Arm.jpeg

Attachment:
Rim Board Beef Far Away.jpeg

Attachment:
Rim Board Beef Close Up.jpeg

I forgot to take more pics of the garage with the walls up. I have to go do some work on them soonish so I'll take some pics. Sorry.

Greg


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:05 am 
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Bad news update!

So even though months ago, before the foundation was even poured, I drew up my plan with a CAD drawing of the floor joists and my HVAC design, things are just now starting to go to crap. I showed in meetings and emailed my detailed drawings to the house builder/designer, electrical guys, HVAC guys and plumbers. It had dimensions for everything. I told them to communicate with one another and let me know if any issues come up so that we can address things early on.

While being in the basement digging in the conduit runs, I noticed that the plumbers rouged in a clean out/check valve and a floor drain stack where my hallway wall is supposed to go. I then physically explained it to him while pointing to where things are and where they should be. He then admitted to me verbally that he forgot to even look at my SketchUp renders. He then went to his van and reviewed the pictures on his iPad. He extended the pipe instead of moving it over, so it's STILL underneath the wall. I have since told the builder about him screwing up TWICE so far and it's still in the ground work stage!

So I contacted the builder and insisted that everyone get together on site to make sure everyone is on the same page and realizes what the heck I'm trying to do here. She told me they were going to have a meeting without me and asked me to email her with a list of things I wanted addressed. I did this in a short point form email. Today, after their meeting she asked me to come in to their business and discuss things.

Here is the bad part:

She indicated a fair point that the main priority for them as a home builder is to ensure that the HVAC and plumbing works for the entire house. Of course. Then she basically said that they're going to just go ahead and install all of their HVAC and plumbing without even consulting my drawings. "Our stuff is priority and you can then work around that." I asked if I could get some drawings of what they're going to do so that I can maybe work as a team with the contractors. example: can you move that pipe over 3 inches so that I can fit my blah blah blah there? Her answer was that they are just going to go in and do their thing with no plans. She said drawing up detailed plans like that is not standard and they just "go do it". It will all be roughed in within 3 weeks time and at that time I can go in and see what's up. :evil:

SOOOOOOOOO I've went to this builder explaining what I'm doing. Before they started building, I got every plan I could from every designer involved and stayed up for days on end making sure I have everything planned out (and everyone on this site knows how hard it is to make things fit.. specifically silencer boxes and duct work). I had meetings and emailed detailed pictures to make sure THIS crap wasn't going to happen. :horse: And NOW, I'm told I have to sit back and have all of my work and money go down the toilet. I can't just scrap this house and try again with a different one. The house itself is costing just shy of $800,000.00 Canadian. Then my studio build out costs on top of that. For it to be so close to being awesome and then it potentially be hindered is making me want to lose my mind.

Anyway, thank goodness I've done the ground work and as much as I have thus far. I suppose, in the end, I might just have to have crappier not-ideal sized silencer boxes and a super low crappy hallway ceiling where I'll probably have to run my HVAC lines... with my luck through crappy flex duct. I don't know. I'm at a loss and needed to vent here. I'll keep you all posted with any updates. Time for me to go cry and try to finish some records that have been shunted due to the time I've put into this project so far. :cry: :cen:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:55 am 
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Oh man, this sounds awful.

Surely you’re the one holding the purse strings here?
Can’t you march in and say “this is what I paid for, this is what I’m getting, or you’re not getting paid”

I can’t believe they’re looking at all your careful plans and ignoring them - particularly HVAC which is so crucial for the final use of the space.
Are they building the studio too? Can you trust them to get the isolation right?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:55 am 
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Quote:
She indicated a fair point that the main priority for them as a home builder is to ensure that the HVAC and plumbing works for the entire house. ... "Our stuff is priority and you can then work around that." ... Her answer was that they are just going to go in and do their thing with no plans. She said drawing up detailed plans like that is not standard and they just "go do it".
Wow. That's serious. VERY serious! Major attitude problem. I would not accept that from a contractor that I hired. If I were in your shoes, I would can the contractor on the spot, and go find another one who DOES know how to follow the plans.

You hired them: they did not hire you! You are the owner, you are paying the bills. If the contractor can't follow simple instructions, then it would seem to me that it's time to get rid of that contractor and find another one who can.

If you can't fire them outright, then at the very least put a halt on the build and stop all payments to them while the situation is unresolved, then get your lawyers involved in carefully going over every part of the build so far with a fine-toothed comb, along with the inspectors, to make sure that what has been done so far exactly matches the contract and meets code to a "T", then hit them with every minor code violation and penalties for every tiny deviation from contract, to get their attention show them you mean business. Check all dimensions with a micrometer if necessary! Tell them you will only continue to pay once they fix everything they did wrong, and agree to follow YOUR plans from now on, not THEIR plans. Hopefully you have all your communications and instructions in writing?

It's absolute garbage that they "refuse" to provide the drawings of what they intend to do! Probably not even legal. EVERYTHING needs to be documented! How did you even get a building permit, if all the paperwork was not in order? The contractor cannot arbitrarily modify the plans or deviate from them, without the architect's signature, the structural engineer's signature, and a modification to the building permit to allow for the deviance. (Maybe that's not how it works where you live, but where I live, you cannot deviate from the approved plans.)

I do hope there's a good penalty clause in your favor, in your contract with them.

I can't tell you what to do, of course, Greg, so please don't follow my suggestions outright! Don't follow them at all until you check what your legal recourses are, and what consequences your actions might have! I'm just giving you food for thought, on avenues you might not have considered. I'm assuming there would be legal repercussions for you if you just canning them in the middle of the build, so you might not be able to do that: So I'm just offering my opinion on what I'd probably do, in that situation. Is there some type of trade organization that they are members of? A "Better Business Bureau"? Some type of licensing they need to operate as contractors in your area, that you could bring to the attention of the authorities?

They can't be the only contractors in town, surely!

This is bad. So many red flags! If that were me, I would seriously look to replace them with another company, and let the new guys know WHY the old ones were kicked out.

If you let them walk all over you like this right now, they WILL continue to walk all over you throughout the entire build. That's a fact. It's time to get hard-nosed with them, and get them in line, or get them out of the project.

IMHO.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:56 pm 
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I think at this point, my hands are tied.
I am building out all of the studio parts of the house myself. The "Custom House Builder" basically hires out contractors. The contractors themselves have all been good to work with (minus the plumber guy who maybe just didn't understand things clearly). We are in a legal binding build/purchase agreement that states that they will build the house up to code, and that's about it. I asked for detailed plans several times and of course, it took time to get things like the floor joist layouts. We had signed off on the agreement in order to make that stuff even happen (they weren't going to pay any engineer to make detailed plans until we signed off on the general layout and design of the house). So, when it came down to actually figuring out which joists I'd be running my sleeves through, it was too late to add a clause into the agreement saying "you must build the house in such a way that greg's studio design works out 100%".
Attachment:
Joists Used copy.jpg

This builder has the best reputation out of all of them around here. But like all of them, once they have your signature and know they've got your money, they have all of the power and can screw you over in any way possible. I'm not too worried about the rest of the house. I'm prepared for drywall screw heads to be poking out and crap like that. I'm prepared for them to not fix that stuff. I'm okay with that, strangely. I just don't know what I'll do if I can't get air into/out of my rooms. I suppose the worst case scenario means my hallway ends up having a 6'8" ceiling which will be horrific for a "custom built home".
I think my parents are more mad than I am at this point, probably because they know how particular I've been and how diligent I've been in doing everything in my power to make sure this problem wouldn't arise. I just hope I can get my spirits back up and get excited about the project again. Right now I feel like giving up. I don't even have inspiration to work or play with my kids.
The only positive thing that happened today was I went and picked up my Dynaudio BM15 passive speakers. I tried them out and they have a way different sound than the BM6Amkii's I've been using for years. I think there is more midrange overall which is a good thing as my old speakers seemed scooped sounding.

Greg


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:16 am 
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Greg, I would still seriously consider getting a lawyer involved, even if only as a bluff. Insist on a meeting with the general manager of the company, take along your lawyer, and threaten to make things really difficult unless they start following YOUR instructions, which you clearly gave them. Any half-decent lawyer will always be able to find something in the contract to hang an accusation on.

9 times out of 10 the mere sight of a lawyer will get them in line, even if you don't really intend to do anything legal. Bluffing is often all you need.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 7:50 am 
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So, last night at 2am, I couldn't sleep so I wrote and emailed this to the builder and the plumbers/HVAC contractors:

Hi everyone,
I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize for making your jobs more complicated and for any stress that I have caused.
I have been informed that the current decision is to install the plumbing and duct work according to ********'s plans, prioritizing the top two floors of the home. Then, leaving me to work with what you've left me in the basement.
********, we ultimately came to ******** because it is a "custom home builder". I know this is still a home, however, we communicated from day one that this house would be designed AROUND my home business (the basement). If the basement design (which I've had approved by the City of St. Albert) is NOT prioritized, my home business will not function as intended and in the end, I will not be able to pay for this home and my family will suffer. I am not okay with that outcome.
Having said that, it is imperative that my HVAC needs in the basement be prioritized. Just like how the toilet in the half bath must come through that floor joist space, my duct work must come through the spaces I've indicated.
My family and I are spending close to a million dollars on this "custom" home, and therefore I would hope that you respect my design and the situation.
As a side note, I am able to situate the boxes on the hallway ceiling differently as long as I maintain their cubic area in some fashion.
Sorry for the long email, or if I have offended anybody as that is not my intention.


She responded with this today:

Hello Greg, thank you for the email. As discussed in our meeting yesterday our end goal is to work together to have the best result for your home,. For the plumbing and HVAC components we will follow the contracted plans, get these items roughed in and then review the space that is remaining to accommodate the future basement development. Our team of professionals are committed to following the contracted custom home plans and delivering a finished product. We will meet onsite at an agreeable time to review the floor before it gets poured and then once rough ins are complete we will meet again to review the completed product.

Please give me a call if you have any questions


So, basically, other than trying to cover up the big picture with smoke and mirrors in the second sentence, she goes on to say that they're ignoring my plans and "review the space that is remaining to accommodate the future basement development." Ultimately just ignoring my entire email.

Today, I called my lawyer and emailed him a bunch of documents. I'll keep you posted. I'm still furious but keeping my mouth shut until advised by my lawyer.

Greg

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:01 pm 
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Wow. So it just gets worse. So much for "custom" home builders!
Quote:
Today, I called my lawyer and emailed him a bunch of documents. I'll keep you posted. I'm still furious but keeping my mouth shut until advised by my lawyer.
I think that's a really smart move: getting the lawyer involved. Hopefully he can be very obviously present for that meeting "onsite at an agreeable time". Have him take photos of anything and everything during the meeting. It doesn't matter what he takes photos of: anything he thinks looks interesting ... It's the simple fact of a lawyer with a camera that makes the statement. Especially if he has a notepad where he is scribbling down copious notes as he takes photos... It sounds a bit childish, I know, but nobody likes to have hostile lawyers poking around.

Good luck with all this! I sure hope it works out well!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:40 pm 
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Hey Gregwor just letting you know I'm closely following your thread.

Many of us (myself included) are working with existing structures. You have the amazing opportunity to build everything from scratch.

Spending that much money, it should come out EXACTLY how you want it.

I've been a project manager at a construction company for years, so I am WAY TOO FAMILIAR with any and everything that almost all contractors screw up. It's sad to say but this job has MADE me occasionally turn on the "a$$hole" switch in order to get contractors to listen. Being nice does not work.

I think your your email is waay too nice. :wink: They need to feel pressure. :twisted: If firing them is not an option, as Stuart said, definitely get a lawyer involved. They will do anything to avoid lawsuit. Even the company I work for has been stiffed for over $10,000 by other contractors, they refuse to pay, and my bosses are like "just let it go, it's not worth it to pursue them in court" :shock:

I had similar problems with the plumber for my studio. I needed pipes routed a certain way, and shut-off valves located in certain spots. Explained everything a million times, texted photos, met all of his workers explained it to them. The one day I left them alone and went to work, they installed pipes and valves in the wrong spot :shock: Murphy's Law. The plumber was so bad, I didn't want him anywhere near my house anymore, so I eventually hired a different guy, told him why the last guy got fired, and basically paid twice to get the pipes and valves in the right spot. ON TOP OF THAT - the new (good?) plumber installed one of the valves in the wrong spot - thank god I caught it before he left so he was able to correct it.

Question: did they have your plans when they priced the job? If so your drawings could technically part of the contract


I don't leave contractors alone anymore, I have to babysit them unfortunately. Even the trusted ones.

Really hoping everything works out for you - best of luck!!!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 6:37 am 
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Quote:
did they have your plans when they priced the job?

Just the basement room dimensions and the instructions that I did not want anything hanging down and taking height away from those rooms. In order to get the mortgage (the rate went up an insane amount on Jan 1 of this year), we had to sign the purchase agreement. In order to get the blue prints (floor joist layout), we had to sign the purchase agreement. A week or two after we signed off on everything, I finally got the joist layout. Within days of that happening, I designed the HVAC system and figured out the exact joists I'd need to run my sleeves through. Some emails I have show that I was trying to get the plans in order to figure out the joist spaces I'd need. I then met up with the plumber and HVAC contractors one on one and emailed them everything. They verbally assured me that "with communication" everything could be done. Then, after letting the girl at the home builder know that the meetings went well with the contractors, she email responded saying "“Hi Greg thanks for the update this is good news and I am sure our team including yourself will be able to work things out.” So, I thought I had everything locked down and it would all go great. Here I am.

I've been advised by my lawyer to do some things, so I'm following his advice. I'll keep you posted and have some news early next week for all of you!

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement and all of your advice. richroyc, my lawyer said the same thing about being nice to them. He said I need to be firm and "insist" and "request" from now on.

Lastly, I cannot stress enough how amazing the framer guys have been. Seriously, like, want to invite them over for Christmas dinner hahaha

Greg

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:03 pm 
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Here's a pic of the roof truss in my live room going up. It's looking cool so far!
Attachment:
Garage Roof Going Up.jpeg


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:54 am 
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How you going Greg?
Any news on your builder situation?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 10:41 am 
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Any updates?


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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Hey guys. So basically I've been locked out of my house and told that once all the rough ins are done (HVAC, plumbing and electrical), then we can do the walk through. At that time I'll also be allowed to put insulation in the walls of my kids bathroom and our laundry room (which is beside our master bedroom). Having said that, I will use OC R24 (as it's the cheapest solution to absorb the resonant frequencies of those walls) but it's 5 1/2" thick going in 2x4" walls. So I guess it will get a bit messy as I strip them thinner :-S
At that time, I will also be allowed to put my 20', 18' and 16' LVL stud into the basement for storage as I don't have windows in the basement to get them down there in the future. Talking with my lawyer, I may gain unlimited access at some point here though. We'll see. I'm honestly not too worried as I've found peace within myself with the project. Sadly, I'm starting to just realize that I'm getting screwed and I'll deal with it as it comes. I'm sick of losing sleep over it.

Other updates:
The builder and I had a verbal argument (which I recorded) on the phone regarding the garage in floor heating. I told them I wanted to put it in myself and then either have them pour the concrete on top or else just not have them pour it at all, and I would hire a company to do it. They basically said no, that they were contracted to do it and they are sick of me doing things myself. So, I got screwed. I can't afford the extra $10,000 they quoted me to rough in the lines (yes, just roughing in the lines. Not even hooking it up to a boiler or anything) and add a garage floor drain (which I thought they were doing already, but apparently they aren't). So, I guess I will have chilly garage/live room floors. Hopefully with proper heat in there, a bit of underlay, some laminate flooring, and a few throw rugs it will be decent enough. Fingers crossed. Here is a pic of the garage slab poured.
Attachment:
Garage Slab Poured.jpeg

They also did some crazy crap with the front of our house roof line that is weird and the builder played it off by saying the architectural guideline people made them change it. Later on, I will request to see the email demanding the change and if they can't provide it, I will get my lawyer involved to cause some hell. I'm hoping to throw this builder to the wolves at the end of the build.

Regarding the HVAC worry, I've come up with 2 possible solutions in my head.

1. I requested that the HVAC supply be run on the studio room side of the hallway. Yes, still in the hallway, but have the supply on that side of the hallway. That way, I could maybe run the silencer sleeve right through the wall directly into the supply trunk.

2. Depending on if they used up my return floor joists and/or option 1 doesn't work for my supplies, I will hope and pray that there are enough free joist spaces (that have I-beams and not glued studs near them) above my rooms to run my duct work through and then cut holes through the I-beams and split my silencer boxes Y style to get the necessary cross sectional area. Then, from those, I can run other duct work through the joists to get to my registers. WAY harder job, but maybe a solution if need be. At least for whichever silencers I'm screwed on. The biggest thing that bums me out about this solution is the smaller spring gap between my inner and outer leaves that will exist. I mean, I'm already going to have to box in any duct work or plumbing that is run through the joists as it is. I am lucky that the joists are 14" deep, so I have quite a bit of room compared to friends houses that only have 9 or 11" I-beams!

As a side note, if anyone cares, I got a house gig at a casino venue. It's a beautiful room based off of a 1970's Los Angeles venue. 5.2 million dollar build for the room. The main bar is directly in front of the stage. The stage is actually really solid. I thought it was a solid concrete stage. It it around 7ft tall. I found out though that the stage is hollow underneath, but I think it's a concert slab. Probably could put about 8 grand worth of insulation under the stage, but it actually doesn't seem to be a problem thus far. I filled the drum riser with OC R24 and threw 2 bags worth of insulation in dropped ceilings in the corners furthest from the stage. I've never heard corners of a venue sound that good before. Like almost no bass build up. The PA is rented and twice too small. It was all hung before I got there. Hung at the 1/4 wavelength of the room. Flown subs with mid highs below the subs. They really need a cardiod mono sub cluster in the middle of the mid highs and to raise the mid highs up and add more boxes to get the throw better up in the balcony instead of using smaller delay fill versions of the mains. But hey, I'm just happy to have the job.
Anyway, the reason I wanted to share this is because there is a restaurant right behind the stage. There is a ton of bleed. I couldn't believe it. The wall separating the two spaces is a crappy steel stud 2x4" wall with ultralight 1/2" drywall and NO INSULATION in it! The stage is about 50 feet long and I can see about a 1/2" gap along the ceiling with light coming through from next door. I banged on the wall and figure the resonant frequency of the wall is around 400Hz. It's insane. The HVAC is huge (it's a large venue) and I can see it going right through the walls with no silencers on it. Classic -- a dumb architect making a room look beautiful but neglecting to take acoustic isolation into consideration. I've given all of the higher up people my advice and luckily, they realize they have to fix the problem. So, I was told tonight that the builders have a relationship with an "acoustical engineer" who they worked with in the past. He's coming to the venue tomorrow night during the show to check it out. I requested to meet the guy. I'm going to quiz him to see if he knows much. I hope he does. But I've studied up pretty hard so I will be sure to grind his gears a bit in front of the decision makers. I'll start throwing all of the terms and figures at him ;-) I'll keep you posted on this as it should be somewhat entertaining!

Thanks for following. Once I get in the house and see what they've done with my joists, I'm sure I'll be going hard for a week on SketchUp re-designing my HVAC. So I'll update you with some pictures and plans of attack at that time. Let's just hope I can make it work, otherwise I've talked with my lawyer and I have grounds to either halt the build until I resolve the mechanical routing or else fire the builder and go from there. I really don't want it to come to that as the house will be amazing if it works out.

Greg


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