Building a New Home

Role Dialog
Narrator A couple, Nathan and Sheila, have hired an architect, Allan, to build them a new home according to a blueprint that they provided him.  The new home is under construction and the couple have just arrived at the work site to see how things are going.  Allan sees them and comes to greet them.
Allan Hi, folks.  This is a construction site so by OSHA rules, I have to ask you to put on these hardhats and safety glasses.
Narrator Nathan and Sheila don the proffered hardhats and safety glasses.  Allan escorts them around to inspect the work.  The wooden framework is up, the drywall is up, and the light fixtures are in place.  When they get to the master bedroom, Nathan notices that the master bathroom has a small rectangular bathtub.
Nathan Allan, if you go back and check your notes, you should see that we specifically requested you to make a change to the blueprint.  We asked you to replace the small rectangular tub with a large Roman Jacuzzi tub.
Allan Huh?  I don’t remember that.  Are you sure?
Sheila Absolutely.  I remember our conversation that day.  We agreed to add $10,000 extra to the estimate to cover the additional cost.  I have a copy of our planning notes, I think.
Narrator Sheila digs around in her purse and, sure enough, she pulls out a notebook with meeting notes dated a month back.  She points out one of her notes to him.
Allan Huh.  I’ll be darned.  I guess you’re right.  Somehow that requested change fell between the cracks and completely slipped my mind.  Wow, I’m very sorry about that.  We’ll get that discrepancy fixed this week.  I promise.
Nathan Okay, no problem.  Just make sure it happens.
Narrator They continue inspecting the laborers’ handiwork around the home.  They get to the kitchen.
Sheila Allan, you’ve put in a wooden countertop in the kitchen.  We specified a gray granite countertop in the blueprint.
 Allan Yeah, I know, but I substituted this countertop because you said you were worried about going overbudget, and this countertop is $6,000 cheaper than the granite one.
Sheila Allan, I appreciate your trying to save us money, but this change is not acceptable.  You should have gotten our permission first before deviating from the plans.  What were you thinking?  This is a woman’s kitchen, for Christ’s sake!  We don’t compromise what we want for our kitchens.  You should have known better!
 Nathan I have to agree with Sheila, Allan.  There are other places we can perhaps cut corners to save money but her kitchen is not up for grabs.  Go with the granite, please.
Allan Oh, okay.  But I was just trying to help you save some money…
Narrator Finally they get to the backyard.  The freshly sodded grass looks like a smooth sea of green, and there is an  attractive white plastic fence enclosing the backyard for privacy.  There is a nice swimming pool in the backyard, but it is empty at this point.
 Nathan Allan, we requested six palm trees to be planted along both sides of the fence…there, there, and there.  We also requested a small flower garden over here.  Did those items slip through the cracks too?
Allan No, of course not.  Um, I was waiting for my cousin Donald to return from vacation.  He’s a landscaper and gardener, and I figured I’d let him do that part of the backyard.
Sheila Is your  “cousin” a licensed landscaper?  We specified that all work would be done by licensed professionals.  We want to be sure everyone is properly qualified to do their jobs.  We don’t want any legal problems to pop up later over using non-licensed contractors.
Allan Well, he’s been doing this kind of work for five years.  He’s very good at it.  And he works cheap!
Nathan That’s well and good, but is he licensed?
Allan Well, er, no, not really.  He didn’t see the need to get a license with all his experience.
Sheila Yes, well, when the home inspector comes later to make sure all the construction codes are met, I want to feel confident that any problems will be owned up to by the licensed contractors involved and that they will take steps to fix the problems at no additional cost to me.  That’s why they are licensed — to show that they can do it right the first time and meet all applicable codes.
Allan Okay, okay.  I’ll have to make some phone calls to find an available licensed landscaper who can do the landscaping within the budget we’ve set.
Sheila Good.  Let’s continue looking around.
Narrator As they walk through the living room, the wooden floor seems to have one spot that squeaks and bows in slightly when stepped upon.
Nathan Hm, there seems to be a weak spot in the floor here.  It shouldn’t sink down when stepped on, should it?
Allan Hm?  Oh, no, that’s perfectly okay.  As the wooden floor dries a little more in the summer heat, that problem should go away.
Sheila Should go away?  Or will go away?
Allan Well,… it should go away.  Nothing is the construction is 100% for certain.
Nathan Wrong.  Our blueprint and our contract say exactly what we should see as an end product, and this wooden floor sinking down in one spot is NOT normal in my opinion.
Sheila Yes, Allan.  Discuss this problem with your workers and see if they agree that this is not a problem that warrants a remedy.  Let us know what they say, please.
Allan Uh, okay, I’ll do that and let you know.
Narrator Nathan and Sheila exit the site, doff their hardhats and safety glasses, and get into their car, start it, and turn on the A/C.
Sheila Nate, I don’t feel comfortable that Allan has our best interest at heart.  He seems to be trying to cut corners to put a little extra profit in his pocket at our expense.
Nathan I agree, Sheila.  We’ll have to keep a closer eye on things from this point forward.
Wooden Framework Breaker Panel Routing Scheme
Putting up drywall Filling/Sealing Drywall Joints (seams)
Electrical Cabling Inside Drywall Space Floor Foundation
Insulation Material Between Studs Ventilation Ducting in Attic Area


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