Building With Bay West Homes

The journey of building a new house...

Thursday, March 21, 2002

We received an email from a woman named Siān the other day, and it shows you how small the world really can be. She's also building with Bay West, and she's building somewhere in Tuscany! We're hoping that the experiences we've had so far with Bay West and building a new home will help her in the building process. Our site seems to be pretty easy to find - for the terms "Bay West Homes" we're #1 in Google (the real Bay West site is #2), and for the term "Bay West" we're #10 in Google (the real Bay West site isn't in the top 10).

My wife has already apologized, so I won't belabour the point, but a Blog that doesn't get updated isn't much of a Blog. So here we go! :-)

I'll step back in time later this weekend to talk about the move, and finally show you some REAL photos of the house (it's still top secret!), but in the meantime here are two photos from some rather odd events that have happened in the life of our house thus far.

The image you see above is what paint looks like when water is bubbling up underneath it. How did we manage to get water under the paint in our basement you might ask? Good question. After waiting nearly two months for Prestique to come fix our island counter top, we finally had someone come do it. Of course, this is after he cancelled the week before because he "couldn't find his drill bit", and the day he finally showed up he was nearly three hours late. Normally I wouldn't care, but the night before I just flew back from Germany and was really jet lagged. All I wanted to do was sleep, yet with Prestique coming at 9 AM I couldn't do that...and then he's three hours late. And every time we've had an appointment with Prestique, someone from their office calls five minutes before the scheduled appointment and says "That appointment is cancelled" or "He's going to be a little late." I've never encountered a company with such blatant disregard for their customers before.

When the guy from Prestique did finally show up, he did an excellent job of fixing what his fellow workers screwed up so badly. We now have a beautiful arc, just the way it's supposed to be. I wish someone of his skill worked on it in the first place! In order to put on a new counter top, he had to take the old one off, which involved removing our sink. After he was done, he put it all back on, and everything was great - or so we thought. It wasn't until the next day when my mother-in-law went downstairs to look at the partially finished basement did we figure out something was wrong - and that's what you're seeing in the photo. Somehow the plumbing below the sink started to slowly leak, and water dripped down the plastic tubing and made its way to our new drywall in the basement. It looks like it was a faulty part from Canyon Plumbing, one that failed when Prestique was putting it back together. Bay West has said they'll bring in a drywaller to repair the damage, but the fact that it happened at all is very frustrating. The joys of being a homeowner! :-)

And now on to the light bulbs...

See anything odd about that picture? Two light sockets, one light bulb. If you can believe it, we had FOUR light fixtures in our house like that - for nearly two months we've been living in a house with 50% of the light it was supposed to have. Since we didn't install the light fixtures ourselves, we didn't noticed that there were light bulbs missing. An installer from Signature Lighting came out to look at a problem light fixture, and he pointed out one that he saw. We then went around the whole house, and once you know what to look for, the missing bulbs are easy to spot. The installer said that the electricians sometimes steal the light bulbs, or the builder will take the provided bulbs and spread them out among the houses they're building to save some money. Hard to believe, and I don't know why it really happened, but it's not like we could have four light fixtures, each with a missing light, and have it be totally random.

As you'll see in upcoming pictures, the light in our entry way is high...very high. I didn't really think it through until the installer pointed it out to me, but we'll need a $600, 12 foot ladder just to replace the light bulb in our fan light. A little crazy? Yes. And apparently the light in our stairwell going up is also mounted too high - we'll need ANOTHER special ladder to put a light bulb in there. Poor planning you might say - that's something I'm realizing the more I look at how things are laid out in our house. You'll see this in the pictures, but in the master bathroom, there's ZERO wall space for a garbage can or even a scale. On the blueprint it looks good, but when you see it in real life you think "This just wasn't designed for people". There's a lot we LOVE about the floor plan of this house - it's very open - but there are subtleties that make me wonder if they refined this blueprint at all after first creating it.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Well, it's been nearly a month, and we haven't posted a thing! We don't really have any excuses, so we do apologize.

I'll keep this one brief, cause I know Jason wants to do a more detailed post, but he's in Germany right now.

The house is awesome. We love it! There are still a few kinks to be worked out, but all in all, it's coming along beautifully. The walls have all been painted so everything looks uniform now. The basement is nearly done. We get the carpets in stalled on the 18th, and then all we have left is putting the baseboards on and moving Jason down. We're hoping by Friday the 22nd we'll have everything down there for him to start working from his new office. The only things we're waiting on are a new island countertop and a new countertop for our main floor bathroom. Prestique cut a hole in the bathroom countertop based on the round sinks we purchased for every other bathroom, not knowing that we had actually purchased a different size sink for that bathroom due to the problem with the size of the room. Anyway, they need to come and replace that so Canyon Plumbing can come and install the sink and taps. Also, with the island countertop, if you recall, it was really poorly cut when they initially installed it, and then after they made an attempt to fix it, it still isn't up to par. They were originally booked to come and install a new one this past Friday, but the installed couldn't find one of his drill bits, and so they cancelled on us and we have to wait another week. Nice excuse....

We're really not fond of Prestique at all. We've been in for over 5 weeks now, and they're just getting around to finishing our house. It's absolutely ridiculous the amount of time they take to get stuff done. All the other trades are done, and have been for a good week to three weeks. Baywest is no longer using Prestique as their cabinet and countertop supplier. They've gone with another company from Saskatchewan that appears to be much more reliable.

We finally started hanging stuff on the walls this week too! We were waiting for the painting to be finished, and once it was we went crazy with the wall hangings! Not really....we just figured out where we wanted stuff and started putting some of it up. We still have a few things left to put away, but all in all, it looks like we truly live here now! :-)

As for the flood that Jason mentioned a while back, it was a tube that wasn't tightened properly on our water filtration system. So Canyon came back, tightened it and now all is well! We did, however, discover that our basement doesn't have the slope towards the drain that the industry standard suggests it should. With about an inch of water on the floor, our drain was bone dry...we're still trying to figure out how we can get that fixed.

I know that we have photos of the basement in progress, as well as a few other little adventures, but unfortunately I don't know how to get at them just yet! We'll have to wait for Jason, my wonderfully intelligent and digitally talented husband, to return! He gets back from Europe on Thursday evening, but I wouldn't count on anything until next weekend, as he'll be adjusting to the time zone shifts and all that good stuff!

Everything is truly a dream come true for a young, newly wed couple like ourselves. Despite all the frustrations and "learning experiences," building this house is something we wanted to do, and have now done it. We have been so blessed by God, and our families. We couldn't have done the move and the unpacking without the help of family and friends. Thanks everyone!

The best part is yet to come though...for me, anyway. My sister, Chelsea, has been in Australia since the beginning of January, and hasn't seen the house in its completed state yet. She saw it when the floors were half down and there was sawdust everywhere! She gets back on the 16th of March, which is less than a week from today! She's super excited to see everything, but I'm even more excited to be able to show it to her! The only thing that won't be 100% finished for her return is the basement, but within a few days of the Saturday, it'll be finished too!