Sunday, July 29, 2012

Never Trust a Skinny Cook !


I decided to take a break from writing about our highly affordable, well-constructed homes at Weirs Beach Village. It is clear that I am delivering that message to the people since in the past week we had one closing, wrote three purchase and sales agreements and took one non-binding reservation...and there are many people in the wings who are sitting there, waiting to sign. Of course, I do wonder what they are waiting for...interest rates are SO low. How low will they go ? I am not sure but I don't think I'd be waiting around. Weirs Beach Village is currently one quarter sold out ! Woot-woot !

On a recent stay at Weirs Beach Village I needed a cup of coffee...ASAP!
I actually also needed breakfast since we all know that breakfast is the meal of champions. On my way to Weirs Beach Village I have passed a small diner a zillion times and had never stopped...huge mistake on my part. The diner is Donna Jean's Diner, located at 1208 Weirs Boulevard and is only .68 of a mile from the homes at Weirs Beach Village. The diner is open Monday - Sunday for breakfast and lunch from 6am - 2pm.

We were able to be seated right away...timing is everything!  I didn't count the number of tables but I bet the diner can hold 80 - 100 people...please do not quote me on that. There are tables that look out over the channel and if one were fortunate to sit at one of those window seats, you would be able to watch the boats going by. I am hoping to sit at one of those tables on my next visit. The diner is quaint, comfortable and relaxed. I loved a couple of the signs that were hanging on the walls...'Never trust a skinny cook' and my favorite...'This is a drama-free zone!"

Our waitress, Tori, greeted us with a smile and a cup of coffee...brewed to perfection. The veggies in my vegetable scramble were cooked just right...not too mushy and not to crisp. My husband chose the ham and cheese omelet and he truly enjoyed each bite. We are both picky about our hash browns. Would Donna Jean's hash browns pass the test ? I am happy to report that they were cooked to perfection.

I love the fact that I can just wake up at Weirs Beach Village and walk right out my door to Donna Jean's. Nothing like a delicious filling breakfast to start my day !

Donna Jean's Diner is on Facebook @!/pages/Donna-Jeans-Diner/111551848866742

Stop in and tell them that Weirs Beach Village sent you !

Thursday, July 19, 2012

We'll see YOU at the Expo !

The car is packed to the roof. We have the banner. The creative, useful 'giveaways'. The highlighters which bear our company's name. The big glass fish bowl so people can enter the raffle. The over-sized computer monitor is wrapped in bubbles to protect it on its journey. The PowerPoint presentation is complete. The brochures are back from the printer. The bonus coupons look awesome...who wouldn't want that deal ??  My toenails are polished. We are ready for the Lakeside Living Expo which is being held July 20, July 21 and July 22nd at Gunstock Mountain. We are excited. We are prepared. We have all of our gear packed in the Subaru.

But here is the reality. Our single family, affordable, well constructed homes can stand on their own. They don't need lots of bells and whistles. They don't need reams of glossy paper to showcase their features. They don't need raffles and bonuses to convince people that these year round homes, which are minutes away from Lake Winnipesaukee, are constructed of the finest materials by highly qualified contractors.

But here is the issue.  People need to come and see these homes with their very own eyes, up close and personal. We, the builder and his family, are all well aware of the commitment, the integrity, the heart which goes into building each home and we want others to see for themselves that we are not just building houses...we are building a community of homes. Remember that not all builders are created equal...our builder can wake up every morning, look in the mirror and know that he has built a unique development which meets the needs of today's home buyer.

Our homes need you to come and visit them so you can see that high quality construction. You can touch the Hardie Plank siding which has a 30 year warranty. You can look out our windows which have a Lifetime warranty. You can touch the fixtures, check out the flooring and decide for yourself which of our four models you'd like to call home.

So that is why we are going to the Lakeside Living Expo so we can speak for our houses. So we can tell people, in person, about how they can live at Lake Winnipesaukee, year round, in a home that was built on a strong foundation and which will truly feel like home. 

The weather forecast looks spectacular so come on over to Gunstock. I'll give you one of our creative 'giveaways', show you how to enter our raffle, and hand you a coupon which will make your wallet happy but most importantly, I'll give a voice to our single family homes at Weirs Beach Village.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Building a house is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

Life would be so much easier on so many levels if, in fact, we could build a house in three easy steps. The reality is that there are many steps, with multiple levels, when building a house. The idea for this blog post came about after a conversation with our project manager. He stated that he thought the majority of people have no clue as to what goes into building a house. Why would they ?  I have no idea what goes into manufacturing my car. Some people aren't  aware of the source for most of their food. Think of the products that you use on a daily basis and I imagine that you have no idea how they were built or created, nor do you give it a second thought. Of course, when we are building a house for a customer, they are anxious for it to be done quickly and efficiently. We do our best to meet all time lines and to help our customers understand the process. This post is an attempt to put the process into words and that is not an easy task. Please note that it is written in layman terms, and I am not the builder so please realize that some steps may have been left out unintentionally.

We are going to start with the building lot. For the purposes of this post, we will pretend that the lot has already been surveyed, plot plans are stamped by the appropriate officials, and the land has been cleared and stumps have been removed. We will also assume that the blueprints have been drawn and stamped by an engineer.

We must now go to the Building Dept. and apply for a building permit. Once the various officials have approved the plans, and you've paid the appropriate fees, the permit is issued. Now the real work begins.

The machines roll in and the excavation work begins. This would be my grandsons' favorite part as the dump trucks and bulldozers move the dirt around excavating a cellar hole and creating a level playing field as boulders are relocated. Occasionally, blasting is necessary. Soon after, the cement trucks arrive on the scene to pour the footings which are the first part of the foundation. The foundation forms are put in place next and the cement trucks return to pour more cement. The cement must set for about one week so that the foundation walls can cure adequately to withstand backfilling. Before backfilling, the foundation which is below grade must be coated with a sticky tarlike substance to prevent water from getting through the concrete. Perimeter drains are installed and then the foundation is ready to be backfilled.  Oh. Stop that excavator ! The building inspector has to come and do a foundation inspection before it can be backfilled.

Now the framer has to make a lumber list. He needs to determine how much and what types of lumber must be ordered based on the building plans. The order is placed and the lumber company delivers the order to the site. The framing crew first builds any kneewalls which are required and then they frame the first floor, then the first floor exterior walls. If this is a one story house the ceiling is framed next or if it is a two story house, the second floor 'floor' is built.

Once the roof is framed and sheathed, the fascia and soffit are installed. Then the roofing crew arrives. I personally have much respect for roofers as I watch them nimbly climb all over the roof, attached with a safety rope. Rope or no rope, you will never catch me up on any roof. It is not a job for the faint of heart. Felt is installed just before the shingles are nailed down.

Before any interior walls are built, remember to place the bathtubs into the house or you might have an issue! Build the interior walls, install the bathtubs, windows, exterior doors and garage doors.  Call the building inspector so the frame can be inspected. Install rough plumbing. Call the building inspector so the plumbing can be inspected. Install the electrical wiring. Call the building inspector so the wiring can be inspected. Insulate the exterior walls. Call the building inspector so the insulation can be inspected. Hurry up and wait.

While all that work is being done on the interior, the exterior is being graded, landscaped and grass seed is put down. The siding goes on and the decks and exterior stairs are built.
Back to the interior. The drywall crew arrives to hang all of the drywall. Once hung, each sheet must be taped and coated with drywall mud...three coats. The drywall must then be sanded...and take it from one who knows, the sanding of drywall creates a bloody mess !

There are now many crews working simultaneously inside the house...and hopefully they are staying out of each others' way, being polite and even-tempered. The painter primes the drywall. The interior doors, window trim and baseboard is installed by the finish carpenter. The kitchen cabinets and counter tops are installed, the painter returns to paint the interior walls and the finish trim.  The electrician installs switches, receptacles and lighting fixtures. All of the hardware such as door knobs, and closet shelving are installed. This is really starting to look like a house !

The floor coverings which have been selected by the customer are installed. This could be tile, carpeting, hardwood or laminate flooring. Toilets, sinks, and appliances are all installed.

The entire house is cleaned from top to bottom and yes, we do wash windows. The address numbers must be installed on the outside of the house. The building inspector comes back to do the final plumbing inspection and the final electrical inspection. The local fire department arrives to inspect the heating systems and fuel tanks. The building inspector does the final Certificate of Occupancy inspection and we are then given the final Certificate of Occupancy once all of the different city officials have signed all of the required paperwork.

The best part of the whole building process is when we sit down at the closing, across from our customers, and hand them the keys so they can begin the process of making their house a home!