Raise the Roof!

When the lead builder promised me that once construction began, it would move swiftly, and we’d have a weather tight structure in 10 weeks I didn’t believe him.

It’s not that I thought he was lying, it’s just that I couldn’t imagine how two workers alone could actually build a house.

When we realized there was a confluence of disparate events that rendered the main garage unable to fit the car lift it was designed for, I was certain we’d lost our window for the house to be finished by winter.

But, here we are in early August and the builders are raising the roof. Literally.

And mad props to George Abetti and Geobarns for their communication and swift action when we realized there had been what might have turned into a fatal error in executing the design.

One of the key elements of this project was to allow for storage of 6 cars, including a car lift to allow Neil to do his own automobile maintenance. As such, one section of the garage needed to have 12 foot ceilings to accommodate the lift and the posts and to allow him clearance to work beneath the cars.

Well, when the foundation contractors went to pour the concrete, they realized that because of the way the land broke, and they way the clearing had been done, they could actually pour lower walls. They figured the rest of the height could be made up for with the wood. In their calculation, this was an excellent turn of events because it would be cheaper for us.

Unfortunately, they hadn’t effectively communicated this to the build team or the designer and it had serious ramifications.

The beams had been ordered to fit the specs BEFORE the concrete pour and the resultant section of the garage ended up a foot too short for the lift.

Cue panic and distress (Neil) and concern (me).

In a burst of emails between us, George, and the onsite build staff, the Geobarns people apologized, took complete responsibility and promised to fix the problem. And they did it in a way that wouldn’t cause a major delay or require tearing down of what had already been built.

Do you know how unbelievably rare that is in today’s world? I am so impressed with the Geobarns folks. To find a designer and builder who have an aesthetic that jives with yours is hard enough, but to find a team that operates with the highest of ethics, humility, and honesty? That’s priceless.