It’s a Cover-up!
We are now entering into an important transition phase that is known in the industry as “close-in”. The first major phase of the construction was the land development and installing the basement to prepare for the carpenters and the other trades.
Now that the framing and mechanical work are essentially done, we go from the bricks and sticks stage to the beginning of the finishing stage. There is such a change in spirit and over-all job progress at this phase in every project, that many companies actually have to have a “front end” superintendent that takes the homes up through drywall and then another “finishing” superintendent that takes the home from there to occupancy.
Up to this date, you have seen a lot of physical changes happen to your home in a short period of time. At the bricks and sticks stages, we are moving a lot of bulky material such as roofing, framing, concrete, drywall, stones, bricks, etc. into the site and adding it to your home. After drywall, the changes become more sophisticated and you will less change on a daily basis. We may have 8-10 framing carpenters on a project, but when it comes to trimming that house we may have as little as 2 or 3. Where we might have half a dozen brick masons, we may have only 2 tile installers. The reason for this is that there is just so much space in the home to do the delicate work necessary in the finishing end, and we do not feel comfortable having a gang of people in the house trying to put the finishing touches on. We are very picky about all of our subcontractors and their workmen, but we are especially tuned to the men and women that are in charge of the shiny stuff. We can build you the straightest, strongest house in Northern Virginia, but if the tile and/or trim is put in crooked, then you will be unhappy and our reputation will be injured.
This is not to say that the home is not going to stay on schedule or move forward, but you will not see the type of obvious progress that you have seen before. We are also coming into a stage where we cannot double up on many of the tradesmen. While we were finishing up the framing of the house, we also had people installing windows and people working on the exterior to install the exterior finishing. We probably also had the crews working on the outside installing the septic field, sidewalks, and so fourth. Once we get past drywall, many of the trades build on one another and have to work consecutively and not concurrently. We cannot set the cabinets in areas until the tile or hardwood has been placed in those rooms. We cannot paint until the trim and doors are finished in a specific area. We cannot set plumbing fixtures until the tile work, paint, and trim are done etc., etc. This is a stage in the home where the choreography is especially important because we have a tremendous number of small trades that come into the house to do specific specialty things. Our field people and our office people will be working hand-in-hand to start installing the shiny stuff that you have worked so hard to select. We will deal with the rest of the shiny stuff installation in our next update.