My husband Mike and I were on the hunt — which I dubbed “Operation ReloSouth” — for the perfect location to build our retirement home. We found it — a no-snow, lower cost, more relaxed area of the country near water — in Hampton Lake SC. And this is our story.
We signed on the dotted line and David Weekley is building my husband Mike and I a new home in Hampton Lake, SC. This build is different from our previous two (Yes, we love us a fresh-built home.). This time we are building on a slab and the 2-by-4 framing is 24″ on center. Building is different in South Carolina.
With our brand-y new beautiful dock in place, John, our competent Weekley builder on site, and his team of professional electricians, plumbers, framers and more rolled in and set up shop. Raising a house starts with a foundation & framing. What does it take to make that happen?
I come from a long line of people who love heavy duty equipment and power tools: My people are loggers, miners, farmers, welders, long-haul truckers…Me and my people love powerful tools of the trades, the bigger the better. And if it runs on diesel fuel? Oh baby…that’s one of the many reasons I wish I could be watching our South Carolina home build: It started with moving dirt. And what better piece of equipment to level and smooth dirt than this baby:
After the site was graded and smoothed, the foundation framing was set. Do you see the white “posts” in the photo below? I can explain those!
Before any concrete can be poured into the frames the plumber “stubs out” piping for drains and stuff that will be “buried” under the concrete. He has to know exactly where to install the pipes (that’s one of the many reasons the actual house plans are so important — location, location, location — and the builder and his crews need to consult them). We (and the plumber and his crew) don’t want to ask the plumber to come back and jack hammer the crap out of our freshly poured concrete slab to move something that’s inches “off” from plan*.
Once safety inspections were completed, the concrete slab was poured. And if you’re Darlene and Mike, that’s when the heavens opened and it poured for days. Such is our curse. We warned our builder ahead of time that we are “water disaster people.” <sigh>
After things dried out, the process moved right along. The framers got to framing and the weather cooperated.
We quickly went from framing,
to plywood outside shell,
to inner framing.
At this point I would like to say God bless our neighbors for their patience during this process. Having lived next door to construction at various times in our married life, Mike and I know it isn’t easy listening to hammering and such all day long, six days a week. We appreciate our neighbors grace and patience (and photographs.).
*Side Note: Put in the time and study your drawings, refine them until you’re satisfied they are they best they can be. The plans are critical during the actual build. Your builder and his trades should all be consulting those plans daily, maybe hourly, as they build your dream home. If it’s on the plan, then that’s what they should deliver to you.
Mike and I reviewed, studied and refined our house plans over a many-week period in late 2015 to make sure they reflect correct dimensions, locations and our personal preferences. So when we arrive at the pre-drywall meeting (that’s the step in the Weekley process where you meet with the builder and his trades and walk through the framed-but-not-sheetrocked house to make sure what’s done already is correct and get a last-chance opportunity to discuss stuff like electrical switch placement before the insulation and sheetrock are installed.) you better believe that we will be snapping tapes and measuring everything. Why? If a sewer or drain pipe is “off” by even a few inches, then a cabinet (which was already ordered in a particular size) might not fit or the “correct” spacing between appliances may be less. This could cause delays in your build, among other issues. As with many things in life, if you work diligently and get each step correct along the way, then the end product is “perfect.” And if it isn’t? Insist it be made right.
Up Next: Pre-drywall Meeting: On Site in Hampton Lake, SC