Building With Bay West Homes

The journey of building a new house...

Friday, June 21, 2002

Today is a great day! Why? Because our driveway is starting to be built! After the vague responses we were getting from Bay West on when it would happen, we were getting a little frustrated at not knowing when it would happen. This is great timing for us, because our driveway was rapidly eroding with all the rain we've been having - it was getting difficult to even get into our garage. And being one of the few people on our block that doesn't yet have the topsoil back, we're happy that we're the first to get our driveway "framed". I don't know if they'll be here to pour it today (I would assume so), but here's what it's looking like so far:

Pictured above is our front walkway leading up to the door. It will be nice to have a real walkway instead of our guests walking over dirt and rocks!

The driveway in it's "framed" state. It will be great to see that filled in with concrete!

Like with everything else, there are some learning experiences here. First up, the crew just showed up today and started working. Because I work from my home, my car was still in the garage. I was really surprised that they didn't even knock on the front door to tell me they were here and to make sure there were no cars in the garage! If I hadn't looked out my window on my way upstairs, I wouldn't even have noticed there were there. It ended up not being that big of a deal, because I was able to drive over the grid shown above, but what it they poured the concrete while my car was still inside the garage? I wouldn't be able to use my car for weeks!

The other thing that was a little frustrating was the type of concrete being used. My parents have this really cool concrete (it has a special name), and when Ashley called the company doing the concrete pouring they gave us some prices per square meter. It seemed pretty expensive, so I would have preferred to have included this cost in house mortgage. We also have no clue how many square feet of concrete we have, so we couldn't come up with an accurate price. I thought that at some point we'd hear from Bay West on what our options were, but that never happened. Since it would seem this is a "buyer takes charged" part of the process, I'd urge you to think ahead and be aware of what your options are. Get some options from your salespeople and bundle the cost in with the price of the house.

Monday, June 17, 2002

Well, nothing more of any real consequence has happened lately. I called Jean again last week to find out if there was any sort of a timeline for the concrete and topsoil, and got the same old cop out of an answer - "We're waiting for the lots to dry out". How much drier do you want then? This is getting ridiculous. Nearly ever other house on our street has their topsoil already. Yet every time we ask where ours is, we get some sort of excuse. The lots are too wet. The pit full of soil is too wet. We need more settling on the lots before we put soil down. It goes on and on and on. It's getting a little tiresome for us. I was finally able to pull my car into the garage after a week of not being able to get in, only because the 2x4 that was framing the concrete pad inside the garage dislodged and is now laying flat, creating a bit of a ramp.

When I expressed my frustration at not being able to get into the garage, Jean simply said, "This is the way it's been for 30 years. You'll just have to park on the street," I felt like saying something to the effect of, "Yeah, well that's not a very good solution to the problem. Why do I even have a garage if I can't get in it? Why aren't you doing anything to help us out here...?" Jason and I also keep wondering why exactly it is that we paid more for "superior supplies, customer service & quality" when we really aren't seeing any of those things. We were trying to decide between two floor plans when we first started building. One from Cedarglen, and the one we chose, from Baywest. Even though we're happy with our house now, we both wish we'd decided to go with Cedarglen.

Anyway, I think everyone's probably getting a little tired of hearing us complain about our frustrations. I just think it's really important for all you new home builders out there to be aware of all the little details you need to be aware of. True, the builder should take responsibility for most of them, but you can never really count on others as much as you can count on yourself.

Hopefully within the next few weeks we'll be getting some concrete and topsoil, but we'll be sure to keep you posted either way!

Friday, June 07, 2002

Just a quick update here. We've been wondering why all our neighbours have their topsoil back, but none of the Baywest homes on our street, including ours, do. I called Jean last week and asked her what was happening with it, and she said something about the soil being too wet in their pit for them to deliver. Strange, I thought...maybe every other builder in Tuscany keeps their pit covered...? (yeah, I'm being sarcastic). Anyway, not satisfied with that response, I called back today and finally, after waiting for days to hear back from him, got ahold of Jeff.

We had a few issues that we needed to talk to him about, one of which was our topsoil and concrete situation. So, when I asked him about the topsoil, he said that they're starting to do some of it now, but they like to wait until the concrete is poured first, so they have something to use as a level for the soil. While he didn't give me any indication of how long it might take them to get around to our house, I suppose his explanation was a bit better than Jean's. He also said they like as much rain as possible to fall before they do the topsoil so the ground has more of a chance to settle. Fair enough.

I find it quite strange and rather frustrating that we're having to take the initiative on this stuff. I would've thought that as soon as spring arrived, they'd be calling to give us an update on the situation and a timeframe for our exterior work to be finished. No such luck, I guess. I can't say I'm really surprised by this stuff anymore.

All in all, at least we have some answers. I guess we'll have to wait for them to come pour our concrete and return our topsoil so we can get some sod down. We really want to get a dog this summer, but we're waiting for our yard to have grass, rather than dirt and nails...

We'll keep you posted on the dog situation, as well as any other tidbits of interesting info.