Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Multi-Phase Construction

Progress update: high voltage electrical is in, and low voltage is being installed this week. There's no rush with the electrical since the siding still hasn't arrived and that's on the critical path. Not much further progress can be made to the interior of the house until the siding is installed.

I've been mentioning that this project has been going over-budget. Unfortunately, I just don't have the cash to be able to finish the house out the way I want it. Normally, I think what people (especially spec home builders) do in this situation is look for ways to cut corners or eliminate components altogether. If I were flipping a house or planning to sell ASAP, I'd probably do the same thing. However, I'm planning on living here for quite a while, so I'm taking a different approach to my problem.

I am keeping standards high, but am going through the list of features in the house, and eliminating anything that can be easily added at a future date. If there is a non-essential major feature that needs prep work, I'll pay for the prep work so it's ready to be installed at any time.

The following things are being eliminated from phase 1:
  • Rooftop deck - I'll install mounting brackets for stairs and railings
  • green roof - this doesn't need any prep work other than framing that can support the weight
  • solar electric generation - A rigid metal conduit between the roof and garage is all that's needed for this
  • solar heat - a set of insulated pipes will be run from the roof to the mechanical room
  • Automated lighting - this was a tough choice since light switch consolidation can only be done now. Any future automated lighting system will involve replacing existing light switches with controllable ones. It won't be as clean and minimalist, but it's no worse than any other existing house that I've lived in. 
  • Security cameras - ethernet cable will be run to strategic locations
  • home theater - conduit, outlets, and speaker wire will be installed for a projector and sound system
  • generator - gas lines and transfer switch installed for now
  • outdoor grill - gas hookup and power is on the deck
  • overhead fans - the electrician has pre-wired for these
  • MIL unit - all the electrical and plumbing hookups are there, but it will remain unfinished.
With the preparations I have in place, I can complete any of those bullet items on my own time as budget allows with minimal disturbance to the existing structure. They are upgrades I will get to look forward to over the coming years.

By cutting the above from the budget, I don't have to cut corners on siding, doors, lighting, roofing, insulation, flooring, and other things that would be prohibitively expensive to modify after construction is complete.

No comments:

Post a Comment