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Frame and Rough Inspection: Passed

I’m rockin’ and rollin’ baby! Monday I passed the huge, monumental Frame and Rough inspection. The inspector looks at how the whole house was framed, Simpson hardware installations, shear panel nailing and then electrical, plumbing, hvac duct work, ventilation and fire sprinklers. There are so many little things that he looks for, that its easy to fail but I’ve been through this so many times we’ve got it dialed now. He was very impressed with the quality of my work and how fast we built the house, we just passed the 2-month mark from when we got our permit stamps and poured the foundation. I had the insulation company ready to come in Tuesday morning so we didn’t lose any time.

I use Tracy at OJ Insulation out of Escondido, I would pay the same money just buying the insulation at Home Depot for what it costs to have them do it. Since I went 2×6 on my exterior walls I was able to upgrade the standard R 13 wall insulation to twice-as-thick R 19, this is going to be a huge energy saver. The guys hung all exterior walls, between floors, attic, HVAC closet and bathrooms for noise reduction, in a day so I could call in the insulation inspection. The insulation job ran about $1500 bucks for materials and labor. Here in San Diego the inspector wants to verify the insulation before you can hang drywall, we passed this second inspection on Wednesday this week and I had the drywall hangers ready to come in on Thursday.

I’m using the same drywall crew that did my big historic project last summer The Painted Lady. There are less expensive guys I know that were chomping at the bit to do it, but this crew specializes in smooth hand troweled texture and I want the best for this house. They do all the custom spec houses and million-dollar Coronado remodels. I didn’t want the skip trowel or birdseye finish that most guys do, it costs more to go smooth because you are basically doing 2 coats of mud on the whole house and using lights at night to make sure everything is flat. The drywall hangers are old guys, one guy is 62 and another is 71 years old. I didn’t have to ask how long they’ve been hanging drywall but the texture guys wont use anybody else because the better its hung, the easier it is to get perfect smooth walls. The extra time we spent “straight edging” the walls is paying off. We took an 8-foot level and went around the whole house planing down high wall studs and shimming low ones to prep for the drywall.

The next inspection I have next week is for drywall screw spacing before we can tape and float. At the same time the inspector will sign off on the exterior moisture barrier so we can start installing the Hardi Siding on the house. I used the best product out there, Tyvek Home Wrap. My siding delivery comes on Monday so we’ll be off to the races on the exterior siding while the drywall guys continue inside. This project is running like a machine, its all production work and as long as you have the materials ordered and ready, pass inspections in a timely manner and have sub-contractors lined up, its like running a factory, I should know from my old days from the snowboard factory. Thanks for following!

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  1. 11 Comment(s)

  2. By Bilgefisher on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply


    Exciting news. You will be the go to builder before long. High quality seems rare these days, yet more and more of us crave it.


  3. By Tom on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    Good to see you over here Bilge! I don’t aspire to build for anyone else honestly, but we never know what the future may hold. The exciting part for me as you can probably tell is opening up options for development when I get my GC license. We’ll judge the quality when its all done I guess but so far, so good.

  4. By Kareem O Fleming on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    She’s looking good Tom, almost to the finish line.

  5. By Jakob on Oct 1, 2012 | Reply

    The ceiling height is crazy impressive. Wouldn’t have thought it was just 24 inches higher. Looks just huge.

  6. By tj & the bear on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Tom, you’ll build for someone if the price is right, and given the quality of your work there’ll be a long line of people willing to pay that price. 😉

  7. By tj & the bear on Oct 2, 2012 | Reply

    Upon reflection, my last comment didn’t come out quite right.

    My point was NOT that you can be bought, and I very much admire your independent creative process. It’s just that I can easily see more than a few people wanting you to pay you handsomely to help realize their vision. [Okay, okay… you got me. I’m looking forward to the day you build MY dream house!]

  8. By Tom on Oct 3, 2012 | Reply

    I guess that’s why they say never say never but as you said, I do enjoy my independence that’s for sure. Thanks for the comments TJ

  9. By Hotel Del Lover on Oct 4, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome so far Tom. I’ve been following you since the Painted Lady through Jim the Realtor’s site. I have learned so much from you. Thank you for sharing your process. I agree with TJ and the bear. More and more people are going to line up for your quality product.

  10. By Tom on Oct 4, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks to both of you guys, That’s what keeps me posting is knowing that its valuable info and everyone is grateful to learn a little. I’m just getting started and learning so much every day myself, cant wait to do the next one and take it up another notch!

  11. By Sunshine on Oct 6, 2012 | Reply

    Hi, I came across your website today and I am very impressed with the transformations that you make on the homes that you purchase.
    I found a home on a lot that I love and we need more space in it to be able to live there. The problem is that the way the house is situated on the lot we have no idea how to add on. Also the exterior of the home is pretty ugly and we have no vision for how to fix it up.
    Do you do any consulting on these types of issues and if so what is your fee?



  12. By Tom on Oct 6, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Sunshine,

    Thanks for the comments. I might be able to give you some direction and design advice. I can structure a reasonable consulting fee for priceless advice. Where is your home located?

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