November 22, 2022 will go down in the books as one of the most memorable days of my life; it’s the day our Quality Homes manufactured home was delivered to our lot! Honestly, it ranks right up there with our wedding day and the day we met our grandson.
Preparing for Delivery
In order for delivery to take place, a number of milestones and conditions had to be achieved:
- The Foundation had to be prepared and inspected.
- We had to backfill around the foundation – well enough to make the work area safe.
- We had to prove that we had Builder’s Risk Insurance in place. The insurance company provides a certificate of insurance upon request.
- We also had to prove that we had payment ready for delivery day. Two cheques are required, one for the bulk of the payment, made out to Quality Homes and one for the hold-back made out to their lawyer in trust until the completion of the home. The house won’t be lifted from the truck without payment being made – and rightly so. If we were going to be financing the build, we would have had the bank send proof that financing was in place. We aren’t financing this project so we had to sign a document attesting to having funds available.
4 Days Before Delivery
Our home was scheduled to be delivered on a Tuesday, and just our luck, the first big snowstorm of winter came through on the Saturday before that.
Luckily, and quite accidently, we found out just days earlier that we would be responsible for keeping the snow cleared for the duration of the on-site construction. In retrospect this makes sense considering Quality Homes is responsible for the construction of the home, not for on-site elements. Anyway, Brian quickly arranged snow removal by someone close-by. We arranged for them to do the clearing every time the accumulation reached a certain amount or if the end of the driveway had been blocked in by the snowplow. Since they clear other properties in the area too, they’ll know what conditions are like before we do so it made sense to set up parameters for clearing rather than having to call them every time we thought it might be needed.
1 Day Before Delivery
We definitely didn’t expect to put our Snow Removal Company to work quite so soon but the day before delivery, the long driveway, plus the parking area and crane pad had to be cleared and ready. Whew! It was all complete and ready. Thankfully we didn’t need to clear out the half-full-of-snow crawlspace!
By the time we arrived on the morning of the delivery, the place was a flurry of activity! The crew was digging out the foundation, setting up the crane, offloading wood, roof trusses and shingles for the site-built elements. The small crew of maybe 8 men set to work with little discussion. Everyone seemed to know their part and executed their tasks efficiently. I know it was only a crew of about 8 but there was so much activity it seemed like there were 20 people working!
It was all we could do to stay out of the way, so we went and hung out on the road with the few neighbours, and friends who were able to join us.
The House is On It’s Way!
Soon enough I started to receive texts from friends who had seen our home in transit.
It was an amazing feeling to have so many people sharing our excitement, to know that the joy wasn’t just our own.
The Modules Have Arrived!
Once the modules had arrived, the Site Manager called us aside to go over some formalities:
- He had a package of manuals and warranties for the components being installed.
- He provided us with the forms for the HST rebate for our taxes.
- We received the keys for the house – for when the locks are changed from construction locks to the proper door hardware.
- He went over some ground rules for us visiting the home while it’s still under construction. We can come and go as we please but when there are workers on site, we will require safety boots and hard hats.
Then we gladly handed over our two cheques and signed off the acknowledgement that we’d completed all of the above.
Placing the House on The Foundation
The setup, lift and placing the home on the foundation was like watching poetry in motion. Rather than boring you with a static “play-by-play” account of the magic that happens when the home is placed, here’s Brian’s video summarizing our day …
Our Home Has Landed!
Once the house was in place and the area made safe, our Quality Homes Project Manager led us inside to take a look around. Then he gave us our construction key, described the process from here and reiterated the ground rules for visiting (hard hats and safety shoes if crew is on site). He reminded us that there may not be activity on site every day as they wait for trades or have other homes to work on. He gave us his card with his phone number and email address and let us know that he may not answer on weekends or holidays. I kind of like that they’re careful to protect their personal time like that.
All in all we were on site for about 7 hours that day. It was exhausting, and cold, and altogether amazing. It was an odd sensation to go from having a vacant lot to suddenly have a home on it. At the end of the day we were asked how it felt. I don’t recall exactly what my response was, something like the above I imagine, but as I was falling asleep that night it came to me in one word: grateful. I’m grateful to Brian for building this home with me, and to Quality Homes for making this a reality. I’m grateful it landed safely and for the crew that made that happen. I still tear up with gratitude just thinking of it all.
Done But Not Finished
A lot of people seem to think that as soon as the house lands on site (or at least shortly after) you’re able to move in. I wish that were the case but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
To finish the house we still need:
- The roof and remainder of the two modules need to be “stitched” together
- Attached garage, front porch and back decks to be built on site
- Siding to install
- Shingling of the roof
- Completion of the flooring and finishes inside
- Installation of the heating system and completion of plumbing and electrical work.
And that’s just the Quality Homes work!
We also have responsibilities to be taken care of now:
- Coordination of the hydro hook-up and connection to the house
- Completion of the well hookup to the house and installation of any water systems we might need
- Hooking up the plumbing to the septic system
- Final grading for the house and driveway.
That’s still a lot of elements to coordinate! I can’t imagine what it would be like trying to take care of all the stuff that had to happen before this stage. Having the staff at Quality Homes guiding us along the way, we’re confident we can do our part to keep the project on track for our late February completion date.