Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Call from Ty

Well, received a follow up call from Ty, it appears that LH paid him what he was due and all is well in the universe...

After the previous experiences he had with Steve, he was quite surprised by the apparent change in demeanor. Ty said that he gave Steve some invoices he asked for, and then asked for his payment. Steve asked Mel if they could write him a check, Mel said yes, and they wrote him a check.

So I guess the moral of the story is be sure to catch Steve when he has money... So I hope he has money when we go to closing.

Call from Ty (1/28)

Received a call from Ty today, he wanted to tell me that he was going to talk to Steve about the money owed him. He also said that he had been invited to a meeting with LH and there subcontractors to discuss there future. Actually, it sounds like LH is going to be sticking around from what I have heard. Or course we will see how long it takes for them to pay Ty and Joanne.

It is actually quite ironic, because when we first met up with LH they were very insistent that we pay them up front, because they had a policy of paying their subs ASAP. Now they have this 2 week delay.

Ty also mentioned that he thinks the rails on the porch don't meet code (they are too far apart). Also that the ceiling over the staircase is too low to meet code... I don't know, the building inspector didn't say anything, so I am not going to worry about it. I think he wanted me to use it as leverage to get LH to pay him so...

Bills from Joanne (cont.)

Well, I called and talked with Joanne this morning. She said that LH had paid her for some of her work, but then instructed her to bill us directly. I replied that we had already paid that in the last draw request. She indicated that that is was news to her, so I asked if she wanted to call them and straighten it out. She thought it would be better for me to call...

So I then called Mel, got his voice mail, but received a call from him about 20 minutes later. I told him the situation and he referenced the overage agreement and realized his mistake. Apologized and said that he would pay her, but he did not recall getting a check from the title company for it, so he was going to check on that first.

I think the title company made the check out to LH, which was then deposited and forgotten about... But in any event it was actually a positive outcome I think. I asked if they were still planing on using it in the parade and he said yes, nothing has changed yet. Maybe it will all turn out as planned.

Bills from Joanne

We received a bill in the main from Joanne, stating that we owe her $260 for bath supplies and materials. And that she was instructed by Lighthouse to bill us directly...

This is very interesting since at the meeting this was one of the items that we specifically paid for, and a check was written by the bank to pay this. Now we could assume that LH is confused and this was actually done in good faith, but at this point I am starting to think that it is going to get messy going forward.

I just looked at the draw 7 request and it looks like the check for the bath materials was actually made out to LH, so that is unfortunate. It is really quite sad, when you hear from people about the problems that they have had with builders and all the legal safe guards that are put into documents, ect. I thought that is ridiculous how could a business person act that way, but I guess this is the experience that causes all the safeguards to be put in place...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Meet with Ty (part 2)

Ty was telling us that he met with Lighthouse and presented them with an invoice for additional work that he had performed at Steve's direction. The first time that he presented them with that, Steve got mad and yelled and cursed at Ty. Can't say exactly about what or how that went down. Ty said is wasn't pleasant. Ty agreed to adjust the figures (as he put it, screwing himself), and presented them with an adjusted invoice (going from 1 thousand something to around 800). Apparently Lighthouse is going to try to recoup the cost from Sterling (some of it, some of the work was fixing problems with the windows). Lighthouse agreed to pay Ty, so he asked when he could get a check and they new policy at LH is to pay the contractors 2 weeks after the work is performed... So needless to say Ty is nervous about getting paid and just wanted to keep us in the loop. He also mentioned that we could pay him, then deduct that from what we pay LH. Unfortunately, we don't owe them anymore money, and they owe us One other interesting bit of new from Ty is that LH moved their office. Apparently, they are now shacked up with Rob at the Keller Williams office... That is very concerning. And disappointing, they had such nice plans for setting up a showroom, ect at their old offices.

Meet with Ty

Ty gave us a call and asked us to meet with him so he could check out the house and discuss some other issues. We all concur that the painters aren't doing such a good job, they didn't sand enough, so there are rough patches on the trim where the saw at the mill scoured it.

We found a cigarette butt on the floor, that was classy. Ty is such an interesting guy, he was telling us about the time he spent working on Hollywood sets and he would travel all over for that. He told us some other stuff as well, that is probably going to be affecting us in the coming weeks. I am planning on writing drafts of posts and then posting them after this is all over, so stay tuned...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cleaning at work

I was cleaning out my desk at work today and wanted to recycle the old alliance statements, but I thought I would post the amounts for posterity:

9/18/08 - 114,859.25 -- 659.89
10/18/08 - 272,077.99 -- 1372.85
11/18/08 - 368,605.73 -- 2023.68
12/18/08 - 400,743.33 -- 2283.89
1/18/09 - 464,970.06 -- 2711.19

So again I will grumble about the delay...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Washer and Dryer

Jen and I purchased a washer and dryer yesterday, HD was having one of their 10% off sales so we thought we had better jump on it. They are the Maytag EpicZ 600 series. Here is the deal we got (pretty good I think).

Normally 797 - 10% = $717.30.
Maytag is doing a rebate of $100
Maytag is doing a promotion with Tide so we get a years ($80) worth of Tide.
Purchased through Discover Shopping for a 5% rebate.
Dakota Electric will rebate $50 for buying an Energy Star Washer.

$65 Delivery charge (w/ installation)
$102 in taxes (ouch)

So total with all the promotions, ect will be 1311. Not too shabby. Could have used the HD card and had it interest free for a year. So that was a tough call. Also, Discover called to confirm the purchase which was a nice peice of mind :)

Update from the Home Front

Well it has been awhile since I posted, but that is because not too much has been happening. Ty was working on trim and the staircase for a long time, and they couldn't do much of the staining/painting till he was done because of dust.

We had to make an interest payment last week, it is up to 2700 a month now (ouch). So the month and a half delay from Lighthouse is going to cost us at least 4000, so it makes me really happy when they ask for an extra 1000 for something that was discussed at the meeting.

This week they are actually getting to the staining, hopefully this is the beginning of the end.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Meeting (part 6)

So we go back into the room with the agreement in hand. Of course what do you suppose Lighthouse proposes... We feel you should pay the 1500 because we put in the heated floors in the bathrooms. That is a surprise... We stare at them dumbfounded for a minute, look at each other, and just wait. Rob asks if we want to talk about it in the hall.

We exit stage left and go to the hall. Jen is very sure that we should not pay the 1500. She agrees to do the negotiating and we return. She explains in plain terms all that we have been thorough and how the agreement will stay as it is. Steve asks his partners what they think and they demur, so he agrees. And that is that.

Then we discuss the model agreement. They brought there a model agreement and we agree to it with the penciled in changes. And that is the last time we talked with Steve.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Meeting (part 5)

Now where was I...

At this point Jen and I agree to pay 8200 over the original contract price. At this point Mel and Light house want to have a discussion w/o us, so we leave the room and hang out by the fireplace (which is very nice btw).

We are waiting for probably a half hour, Rob stops out at one point for some conversation, saying that everyone in there is pretty blindsided by these developments... We chat with Stacee for awhile, then she goes back to meet with Mel for a couple minutes.

After that brief meeting she comes over and says that Lighthouse is will to settle for 8580.79. Which we are fine with, it is only 300 more then we had already agreed to. So we have Stacee write up the following:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Counter tops are in

Counter tops are in, as well as a first coat of stain in some places. We are a bit concerned that it doesn't appear that the trim has been sanded prior to being stained... We will probably have to ask Steve about that.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Meeting (part 4)

So the resolution of these items:

3k for the appliances, was understandable to Lighthouse and they agreed. Of course Mel had thought that there was 5k in the original bid for appliances, which we had taken out to save money...

The 605 was discussed for a bit, with Steve claiming not to remember the 50 feet included. So we basically passed that over. The 794.20 for the gutters was accepted and agreed to.

We discussed the credit for waterproofing and Steve showed us were we incurred other increases with the foundation and electric to offset the credit I had given us, so we agreed to remove that credit. Also, we agreed to an overage of 263.59 for bath materials that Joanne had purchased. With these changes Jen and I were agreeing to pay 8253.40.

The charges for the hookup of the electric and gas, was discussed and we were told that the hookup payment was over a month late and we would have to paid any fines incurred. We said that was ridiculous because when we received the bills in the mail, they were stamped accepted and paid... We were told that is the process they use when bills come in and we would have to pay any fines.

Stacee entered the conversation at that point on our behalf and said that how would we know to pay the bills when we haven't paid any other to date and the bill was stamped paid. So they are going to pay the bill fines (if there are any).

We went back and forth about the retaining wall, with Steve repeatedly telling us that he was not going to pay for any of that wall, and us saying that we weren't going to pay for all of it. It was a pretty heated discussion...

The Meeting (part 3)

Yeah, this is the 100th post on this blog...

The overage agreement that I had written up and sent to Lighthouse was what Jen and I felt were fair overages and we feel obligated to pay (well I felt obligated, Jen humored me...).

The 3k for the appliances was what we had discussed with Lighthouse, when they decided to upgrade our appliances and pay the difference. We had discussed 5k, but had also obtained a letter from them granting us 2k as a credit for appliances. That was obtained when we went to sign the sworn construction statement and expected to save some money, but were faced with another increase. That was another interesting meeting...

The 605.51 was for trenching the electric to the house. This was an area of contention, because Jen and I remember Lighthouse agreeing to pay for 50 feet of the trenching, which of course Steve didn't remember.

The 794.20 was for putting up gutters. This was something that Lighthouse asked us to add, and we agreed that it would probably be necessary. So Steve told me that they wouldn't charge O/P, and presented me with an estimate for $625. Of course they ended up charging us almost $800. That was an interesting conversation with Steve as well...

The 3128.50 was the main issue of contention and constitutes the concrete retaining that was "necessary" to add while pouring the foundation. We felt that it was an added cost w/o our consent or discussion with us, so were only willing to pay for half of the addition. We were told after the fact that it was done and we would have to incur the increased cost. Of course at the time I was told that it wouldn't cost that much and would probably be offset with savings on other items.

The 872.10 and 200 was the charge from Excel (natural gas) and Dakota Electric for the hookup charges.

The 610.50 was a credit to us, because we had installed the low voltage electric in the house, instead of using their contractor (550 was included for that (plus 11%)). The 1338 was the savings that we realized, because the foundation crew had done some of the waterproofing that the waterproofing company was planning on performing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Meeting (part 2)

Jen and I were the first to arrive at the meeting, we got there about 8:20. At 8:30 we went into the bank and waited by the fireplace in the lobby. Stacee and the Lighthouse crew got there about the the same time and everyone filed into the conference room. Rob stopped us and told us about how they all came down in the same pickup truck and that he was freezing in the back, because something was wrong with the heat or something. It was very cold that day.

We got into the room and Stacee opened the meeting by suggesting that we go over the numbers. Mel, Stacee and I had all brought "number" sheets so we started going over them. My numbers were a bit off because I hadn't updated them from the most recent draw request, but we all had similar numbers... However, Mel still had 17,000 in profit, but the draws added up to 349k. He didn't realize that we were only going to pay 349k, or didn't connect the fact that we had paid all we were going to pay for the house.

When the facts started to sink in, Mel and Stacee went off to a cubicle to discuss the situation. In the mean time Jen and I were left with Steve, Rob and Rick in the conference room. We decided to discuss the overage agreement that I had written up.