Content Deletion Explanation

What is missing from this blog?
We removed our contractor/Builder’s logo from this site at his request (NOT the architect, we have no issue with the architect).
We will continue posting about the interior and furnishings. We just installed some solar screens so we will post about that later.
Happy Halloween!

Modern Hollywood Drive Way

We wanted a concrete driveway going up to the back yard. This is for convenience such as unloading goods or groceries.
It’s also for “Age in Place”, so that when we get too old to walk up the stairs, we can drive right up to the main level of the house.
We also added a shower in the main level bathroom for this same purpose.

Hollywood strips or Hollywood driveway is not very common. We were required to “soften” up the concrete drive way, so our landscape designer Anri of ANR Design came up with it. It looks pretty cool, but it does require some maintenance. It’s also easy to drive over the grass, so we have to be careful.

hollywood strip drive way

hollywood strip drive way

The Unfinished Modern Kitchen Vent Hood

I chose the Zephyr Roma hood for our kitchen. I like the styling and the powerful hood. Zephyr is known for making hoods and I’m glad I chose it over Bosch or others. We got ours from Metropolitan Appliance Seattle. Too BAD the vent cover was never installed by our builder! sigh.. They lost the installation brackets and came up with this elegant 2 x 6 fix which apparently didn’t work that well since the vent cover is still laying around somewhere else in the house. At least the backsplash finally got done. If anyone has any tips on installing the vent cover, please let us know.

how not to install a hood

Finishing details & customer service at the end of the project can make or break a custom home project

First of all, an update is long overdue! We have been busy moving and still unpacking….
Settling in, buying new furniture and unpacking is taking a lot longer and will continue for a while I think.

I want to say thank you to all of my new Twitter followers! I became a “Featured User” on a social media site recently, so we got lots of traffic to this blog. I will do a better job updating it. Also, I’ve been getting many emails about modern home building, I even got an email all the way from Chicago who was interesting in building a modern home in Issaquah. Thanks everyone.

Building and living in a modern dwell home has been a long time dream of ours. This project has been super stressful. The ending has been a nightmare due to lack of customer service (borderline purposely bad service), poor communication, and unfulfillment of ridiculously low expectations. It’s sad because it could have easily gone the other way with little effort.

Now we are living with random things not finished or wrong with the house.
We hired a house inspector (another detailed post later), who was surprised and blown away by certain things missing or left undone in the house. For instance, he said he has never seen a house without any door stops.

The design of the house and green features are great, if the finishes were done and done correctly, it could have been a spectacular house.

Here are some things not done:

Missing door hinges:

No door stops.

No weather sealing on exterior doors & garage doors so cold air blows into the kitchen from under the door (this is ironic since ours is a high level energy efficient home!).

Roof drainage system was improperly installed where the water cascades off the roof about 2 feet away from where the downspout is located. Think Bridal Mist falls on a rainy day.

Windows don’t lock or don’t open, not to mention handles that don’t match (brown handles on white windows).

Huge bubbles on the flooring. Kids like the trampoline effect but I would still like to get this fixed.

Cracked cement floor edges.

Vent hood left exposed, but the back splash is finally finished!!

Yellow foam left on the exterior walls.

Ceiling access areas were left open and exposed.

Lobby closet not done.

Lobby lights not installed.

On and on, too many to list here.

We expected some things to be left on the punch list, but this was overwhelming (over 70 items) with lack of communication on when these will be finished. After three trips by the tile installer to finally complete the backsplash job and two trips by the closet door installer (aka ex Project Manager) for a still incomplete closet, we have finally run out of patience with the builder. We are at the point where we will bring in our own independent contractor (1-800-HUSBAND) to finish the work.

A little effort on requested fixes would have brought this to a nice close, but sounds like this might become a long drawn-out process. Sigh…
Brings to mind the saying – “Everything will be ok in the end, if its not ok, then it isn’t the end yet.”

Builders, take pride in your work, because if you can’t, how do you expect anyone else to?

Finally Moved In! That’s where the good news ends…..

So many of you have been asking if we moved in yet. We were hoping to move in around end of June, then mid-July, then early August, then end of August for sure. If not, surely by Labor Day Weekend. We actually didn’t move in until Sunday. Yup, after school had started! Just because you have the occupancy permit, that does not mean the house is move in ready. The day you dream of putting stuff away, getting furniture delivered, etc. kind of turned into a nightmare for us. The interior wasn’t finished painting, random stuff were missing or did not work. For instance the closet door was not installed all the way and handles missing. Thermometer to the master bedroom missing. Concrete floor remains unfinished and cracked around the edges. So on and so on. The house was a big dusty mess and we hired new construction cleaners which was very helpful. Little things matter in customer service and this seems to be overlooked with our project. The stress level was fever pitch and continues as we look at all the unfinished mess in the house. We will keep updated on what gets fixed next. So far no one has come back yet….. We will keep the punch list going.

Painted with Zero 0 VOC Paint

Most of the painting is finished, but we are anxiously waiting for the final interior coat on the main floor and other remaining touch ups.
This is one of the items on the punch list that is holding us up from moving in completely.
We are happy with the colors that we chose so far.
We knew that we wanted low VOC paint, but ended up with zero VOC paint from Sherwin Williams and Benjamin Moore.
You can really tell the difference with your nose and with your health later. With one kid with asthma, this is even more important to us.
Check out ProMar 200 Zero VOC paint from Sherwin Williams.

low voc zero voc paint

zero voc paint

Final Stretch

We are almost at the finish line, yet it seems so far away. It’s almost like watching paint dry.
We were hoping to move in late June, but looks like it will be some time in August. Stairs are still being worked on and there’s more work to do all around the house. My husband is getting understandably impatient & frustrated.

Landscaping has started so that is exciting. The house is looking good, but not without issues. I heard this is very common with custom builds, you get so tired of making decisions towards the end, you just want the project over with. In the end, I think it will be worth the stress & efforts.

Here’s a latest picture of the exterior. Looking good!

Modern Retaining Wall

Here are two pictures of our modern retaining wall. It is simple, smooth, and clean looking. A lot of concrete work is going into the outside of the house. Our concrete cost is fairly high. Who knew concrete and labor was so expensive? I prefer this clean look over retaining stones or similar walls. It will look great once our landscaping and the rest of the concrete work is finished. We plan to have a small half court basketball area in the back yard. Our kids will finally have a real backyard to play in.

Modern Retaining Wall

Modern Retaining Wall

Modern Retaining Wall 2

Completed Modern Homes for Sale in Issaquah Highlands

Issaquah has never been more modern than now.
There are a few exciting new (& completed) modern (contemporary) homes for sale in Issaquah Highlands. The housing inventory is very low in the highlands due to the housing market recovery. Everything is moving fast and at a premium price. Take a look at what’s available for purchase now and please leave a comment if you need a buyer’s agent. These 2 homes are very close together so you can view them one right after the other.

1. Modern home with a big, flat back yard by Paul Development:

http://www.estately.com/listings/info/3168-ne-harrison-drive-dr

2. The Rogue House: Edgy & Cool, one of a kind Modern Home by NobleRidge/Elemental Design:

http://www.estately.com/listings/info/1788-harrison-wy-ne

3. Exciting new era of modern: Evoke Modern Homes (outside of Issaquah Highlands)

http://evokemodern.com/

For custom modern home from scratch in Issaquah Highlands, Lineach Residence by YS Built.

http://www.redfin.com/WA/Issaquah/3482-NE-Harrison-Dr-98029/home/45410242