6. Construction of Your Home
The construction of a new home differs from other manufacturing processes in several ways. By keeping these differences in mind, you can enjoy participating in the construction process and assist us in building your new home.
- As consumers, we rarely have the opportunity to watch as the products we purchase are created. Your new home is created in front of you and will go through several "ugly" stages before its final completion. Lichty Brothers Homes invests many resources into verifying the completeness and quality of your home during each construction phase. Our QA processes are designed to verify each phase as each item is installed and before each phase is closed. We welcome your concerns/questions/feedback at any point before, during and after these QA steps.
- You have more opportunity for input into the design and finish details of a new home than most other products. Our success in personalizing your home depends on effective, written communication.
- Because of the time required for construction, you have many opportunities to view your home as it is built, ask questions and discuss details.
You have the opportunity to meet with us at several points in this process. The first of these is a Pre-construction Meeting where we review your home plans, selections, and the changes you have requested. At that time, we provide an overview of the construction process and answer your questions. This meeting will either be with your Project Manager and our Sales Agent. Usually both are present during this meeting.
We also invite you to schedule routine construction reviews. At these meetings, you will have our undivided attention. We discuss questions you have, review the target delivery date, and confirm that your selections or change orders are correctly installed.
We understand that you will want to visit your new home between these construction reviews. Whether you are on site for a routine meeting or a casual visit, we ask that you keep several points in mind.
A new home construction site is exciting, but it can also be dangerous. Your safety is of prime importance to us. Therefore, we must require that you contact the builder or project manager prior to visiting. We reserve the right to require that you wear a hard hat and be accompanied by a member of our staff. Please observe common safety procedures at all times when visiting.
- Keep older children within view and younger children within reach.
- Do not walk backwards, even one step--look in the direction you are moving.
- Watch for boards, cords, tools, nails, or construction materials that might cause tripping, puncture wounds or other injury.
- Do not attempt to enter any level of a home that is not equipped with stairs and rails.
- Stay a minimum of six feet from all excavations.
- Give large, noisy grading equipment or delivery vehicles plenty of room; assume that the driver cannot see or hear you.
The plans and specifications for your home must be reviewed and approved by the building department of the city or county where the home is located. We construct each home to comply with plans and specifications approved by the applicable building department. Your specifications become part of our agreements with trade contractors and suppliers. These contracts can only be changed by written instructions from Lichty Brothers Homes.
From time to time, city or county agencies adopt new codes or regulations which can affect your home. Such changes are usually adopted in the interest of safety and are legal requirements with which Lichty Brothers must comply. The codes and requirements that are in effect for each area can somewhat vary. Therefore, the same floor plan may be constructed slightly differently in each of two different jurisdictions, or at two different times within the same jurisdiction.
Individual Foundation Designs
Another area where variations between homes can appear is in the foundation system. The foundation design is specific to each lot. Based on the results of a soil test, an engineer determines which foundation system should be used. Because of variations in soil conditions between lots, your foundation type may be different from your neighbor or that of the same home in another neighborhood.
Changes in Materials, Products, and Methods
The new home industry, building trades, and product manufacturers are continually working to improve methods and create better products. In addition, manufacturers sometimes make model changes that can impact our final product. As a result, we may use methods or materials in your home that differ from those in our other homes.
In all instances, any substitution of method or product will be of equal or better quality than that shown in our other homes. Since such substitutions or changes may become necessary due to matters outside our control, we reserve the right to make them without notification.
Your home is assembled by dozens of trade contractors. It seldom occurs that exactly the same individuals work on every home, and even if they did, each one would still be unique. The exact placement of switches, outlets, registers, and so on will vary slightly from the model and other homes of the same floor plan.
Your new home will be built to the quality standards demonstrated in our other homes. Each new home is a handcrafted product--part art, part science, part raw labor. The efforts of many people with varying degrees of knowledge, experience, and skill come together. We coordinate and supervise these contributions to produce your new home.
During a process that takes several months and involves hundreds of people, from time to time an error occurs. We have systems and procedures for inspecting our homes to assure the level of quality meets our requirements. We inspect every step of construction and are responsible for quality control. In addition, a number of inspections are conducted at different stages by the municipality or by an engineer. Your home must pass each inspection before construction continues.
We also respect your interest and appreciate your attachment to the new home. Therefore, your input into our system is welcome. However, to avoid duplication of efforts, confusion, misunderstandings, or compounding errors, we ask that you do one of two things.
1) Mention your concern at one of the scheduled construction reviews, or
2) Send our sales agent an email expressing your concerns.
During the construction process every home built experiences some days when it is not at its best. Homes under construction endure wind, rain, snow, foot traffic, and activities that generate noise, dust, and trash. Material scraps are a by-product of the process. Although your new home is cleaned by each trade upon completion of their portion of the work, during your visits you will encounter some messy moments. Keep in mind that the homes you toured once endured these ugly duckling stages.
Your home is built through the combined efforts of specialists in many trades, from the excavation and foundation stage, through framing, mechanicals, insulation, drywall, trim and finish work. In order to ensure you the highest possible standard of construction, only authorized suppliers, trade contractors, and Lichty Brothers Homes’ employees are permitted to perform work in your home.
Suppliers and trade contractors have no authority to enter into agreements for Lichty Brothers Homes. For your protection and theirs, the terms of our trade contractor agreements prohibit alterations without written authorization from Lichty Brothers Homes. Their failure to comply with this procedure can result in termination of their contract. Do not ask sub-contractors or suppliers to make changes to your home. Your project manager is the primary coordinator for you home.
The delivery date for your new home begins as a very strong estimate based on our delivery experience. Until the roof is on and the structure is enclosed, weather can dramatically affect the delivery date in either direction. Even after the home is past the potential for weather related effects, installation of utility services, final grading, and concrete flatwork--to mention a few examples--can be impacted by weather. Lichty Brothers Homes is very experienced at managing through this situation and will make every possible attempt to avoid delaying your closing. Our policy is to never miss a closing date! But in a very few situation, there is nothing we can do to avoid a delivery delay.
Delivery Date Updates
Our operational policy is to never miss delivery dates. We have a very long track record of on time delivery and feel confident that this level of performance will continue. Our most common type of delivery update is to request from you an earlier delivery date. In this case we will contact you four to six weeks before your scheduled date to give you the option of the earlier delivery date.
In the case that your delivery date is at risk, we will notify you immediately. We are committed to delivering on time, but we commonly find weather and other items putting our policy at risk. We are committed to full and open communication and will default to sharing risks with our customers rather than taking a "Let’s see if we can make it" approach, which would leave us with a last minute communication of the imminent delay. Please understand that we are only making you aware of the risk, but will persistently continue driving towards our delivery goals.
We suggest that you confirm your delivery date no less than 30 days prior to finalizing arrangements for your move. We want you to enjoy this process and avoid unnecessary stress caused by uncertainty. Review the "Loan Lock" heading in Chapter 2, Applying for Your Loan, for additional suggestions on this topic.
Expect several days during construction of your home when it appears as though nothing’s happening. This can occur for a number of reasons. Each trade is scheduled days or weeks in advance of the actual work. This is referred to as lead time. Time is allotted for completion of their contribution to your home. Sometimes one trade completes its work a bit ahead of schedule. The next trade already has an assigned time slot that usually cannot be changed on short notice. Progress also pauses while the home awaits building department inspections. These events make up the normal sequence of the construction schedule and occur at several points in every home. If you have questions about the pace of work, please contact your project manager.