I have the new home about to close (in about a week or two). Today I did
measurements of the house. To my surprise the overall depth on the side with
the garage is one foot short. It turns out the builder made the garage depth
one foot less than the plan/spec (23' depth x 22' width but now it is
22x22). I have the furnace, water heater and a chest freezer along the
inside. My extended size vehicle will still fit but very tightly. During the
planning/contracting I specifically told him I want 23x22 because of my
extended car and it is marked on the floor plan drawing. WTF he wanted make
it 1' less!!! How much he would save on the cost by cutting that 1'!!! But I
guess I don't have much to do with it, house is nearly completed. I kept
watching the jobsite from time to time but it still screwed me over.
You have to watch them every step of the way. I made specific
arrangements on my house for them to leave 11 feet on one side. After
they dug the foundation I went over and measured and it was only 9
feet. No reason for it other then their stupidity. Got them to swap
the AC (ground mounted) location to the other side of the house to
unclutter the area so I'd still have decent drive thru clearance.
They also put one of the hose bibs on the wrong side of the house so I
get a free hose bib out of the deal when they made that right. They
skim on concrete strength and thickness on the driveway - at least 25%
of the homes have significant driveway cracks as a result. They had
to replace one of my slabs before we even moved in it was so bad.
It's all just blow and go.
Elbridge Gerry, of Massachusetts:
"What, sir, is the use of militia? It is to prevent the
establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty. . .
Whenever Government means to invade the rights and liberties of
the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order
to raise a standing army upon its ruins." -- Debate, U.S. House
of Representatives, August 17, 1789
This is Turtle.
Most all contractor bid jobs by the amount of square feet of the house. You take
the 1 foot wide area by the 22 feet long and you get the house being shorted by
22 sq. ft. . If the contractor bid the house at say $60.00 a square foot. Deduct
22 X $60.00 = $1,320.00 . You can get the valve of the shortage by deviding the
price of the bid by the sq. ft. of the house and get the square feet verses the
cost of the square feet. Like 2000 sq. ft. house and cost $100K will give you
$50.00 a Square foot. $50.00 X 22 feet = $1,100.00 .
Your house is 22 sq. ft. smaller than it should have been.
This is Turtle.
No i don't know exactly and don't have housing contractor wrote on my shirt, but
i was give him a yard stick to estimate a cost of the short fall and just giving
him a '' ideal '' to where to start estimating the short fall.
Now I'm a HVAC contractor and if i put a 2.5 ton cooling system in your house
and the contract called for a 3 ton cooling system. Would you tell me to forget
about it because you was a nice guy and did not want to upset me?
That is a poor way to buy a house. The kitchen may work out to $250 a
square foot, the garage that is little more than a shell can be $15. I
don't want the builder to decide where the money should be apportioned.
This is Turtle.
I was giving him a starting point as to a high value and then discuss it with
the contractor to decide on a more real price . The contractor know what a sq.
ft. cost on any part of that house and ask for the moon and let him work it back
to reality on the earth price.
This is Cover in Horse Trading 101 tought in Killage.
Thanks for all the replies.
I know the sizes include the walls. On the drawing, the overall outside
sizes of the foundation walls, as well as individual sections sizes, are
marked. The overall width of the foundation is 54'. The depth on the side
with two small bedrooms is 32'. The side with garage is 43'. The 54' and 32'
are right on. But the garage side is only 42' so I went in and measured
inside. It turned out all the heated spaces are all right, just as shown on
the plan. But the garage is 1' short. The spec size 23x22 includes walls I
know it. 22 is right (measurement includes walls). The inside depth should
be a bit less than 22', taking 2x6 studs walls and 5/8 sheetrock (garage is
fully sheetrocked by 5/8 and insulated - but not heated). But the actual
inside depth is a bit less than 21'. So I know it is the garage that is
short of 1'.
At this point I don't think any change to the house is practical. Probably
the only thing I can do is to ask for some credit for that mistake (I still
don't think the builder did this intentionally as I know this won't save him
a lot - only needs one more 2x6 stud on each side, and overall I think he
did a decent job on other stuff). I don't plan to take advantage of this and
demand $$$ or ask him to do outragous things - I would be mad if my current
car does not fit at all. But I don't feel comfortable just swallowing it.
I am trying find what to ask when I bring this up to the builder. This
builder quoted just the total so I don't know his cost for the garage. I had
bid from another builder for the same plan (back in summer) that quoted
separately with $12,000 for the 23x22. If I take this figure the garage
turns out $23.70 per sqft. 22 sf would be $520 (maybe a little more because
the other bidder's quote is for the spec with sheetrock only on the walls
adjoining living space, no insulation). Do you guys think this is the right
amount to ask for compenstation?
I do like the house and want it. I don't want to bust the deal. The local
house price has gone up a bit during the course of construction. If the
builder sells the house to someone else he may be able to get a few
thousands more out of it. We do have the pre-sold new construction contract
(this is legally binding) but I am not sure when I demand the compensation
and he is unwilling what will happen. Can he refuse to sell it to me?
Thanks again. Bob
I'd start out with a polite question of "how did the garage come up a foot
He should then take out his tape measure and verify the error. Assuming he
agrees, point out the original plans, acknowledge that it is a difficult
(and very expensive) problem to fix and offer to work with him for some
compensation. At that point you can ask for some upgrade in another area.
Additional walkway? Landscaping? Finishing in the basement? Rather than a
cash settlement it would probably work to the benefit of both of you to
agree on and alternative method.
That's the bare-bones minimum, assuming the legalese of the contract
allows any consideration.
At the maximum, you may be able to demand "specific performance" of
tearing down the wall and rebuilding to meet the contract.
It all depends on what the contract actually says.
Take some of the responsibility yourself!
You use the typical I-am-a-total-helpless-victim terms such as "hate such
builders" and "screwed me over" , "to my surprise", and "I specifically
told him" . You further assume, likely incorrectly, that he "meant to"
screw you over.
The lesson is this. First, he has responsibility to follow plans, and this
sounds like a verbal side agreement, which rarely stands up in claims court,
if it not on paper. Secondly, there was possibly no swindle intent, likely
just tape measure dyslexia, or absent minded error, both of which are
common. Further, when we contract a home, I consider it my duty and
responsibility as owner and de facto uber-supervisor to take the few minutes
per room to actually measure, the day the foundation forms are up, or later,
when the interior room 2x4 plates are nailed down, to check the measurements
against any written agreement or plans. "Catching him" at the very end of
the process is unfair to him and you as well. Such mistakes are easily
rectified if you measure as you go, at the appropriate time of construction.
Was the foundation already there when you made this agreement? If so, there
may have been no option to move the wall further back.
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