Don’t Try This at Home!!


This blog entry is an attempt to make a VERY long story short and to also give hope to those who are in the midst of a construction crisis.

As a result of a bad choice of architect, who should not be allowed to practice in the state of New York, a “stop work” order was issued by the village we are building in.  Above is a photo of our project as it sat all winter.The purpose of the tarps was to protect our custom hand hewn trusses from warping. Obviously, the tarps did not work too well.

After 6 months of board meetings and approvals, hiring a new architect to draw completely new plans, and having to rip out the entire second floor of the already constructed house, we have finally resumed work to complete the framing and move on to finish what has now become a real life version of “The Money Pit”.


So now that I have had my breakdown, lost tons of sleep and have freed myself of the anger, I feel entitled to bragging rights and would like to share the process so far with you.


With respect to our new architect, who very bravely took on our project, the original architect shall hereby be referred to as “Dick”.

Our first clue as to something being not quite right was the glimpse into the basement entrance.

DSC00716It looked like a gymnastic balance beam was blocking us from installing a staircase.

Why didn’t Dick notice that?

 The turret, which was located at the front of the house,  was meant for the staircase to the second floor. It was impossible to build because, according to the framers, it would not structurally stand. Didn’t Dick realize that?


The new framers were even so competent as to build a temporary stairway to get to the second floor.

Why didn’t Dick think of that?

Because the stairs he designed were so steep they wouldn’t fit. Oh, and the beam he had going through the top of the turret would have knocked out anyone who attempted to go upstairs.


The new framers even know enough to construct templates to make sure the turret is ROUND!!

Dick wouldn’t have thought to do that.


The master bath originally had a third window above the existing two which was encased in a dormer. It had to be removed. The entire side of the house was incorrectly built to scale and had to be redrawn and rebuilt. I now own a $1000.00 custom Marvin window that has no purpose.

Thanks, Dick.

DSC00711The master bedroom needed two new windows because the original ones did not provide enough room for egress, which is the amount of space required by law necessary if exit through a window is needed.

Why didn’t Dick think of that?

DSC00710The upstairs bathroom called for a double vanity, a tub and shower. Dick’s dimensions were so off, that the bathroom that was framed could only fit a single sink, a toilet and maybe a 30″ shower pan.

The new plan has the bath moved to the other side of the house, which added a dormer and another $1000.00 Marvin window.

Thanks, Dick.

DSC00724My husband’s office framed out 3 feet shorter than the drawings. No wonder why the windows looked so low!


Why didn’t Dick see that?

The kitchen windows had to be expanded from 4 to 5 ( $2000.00 each) to make up for the space added to the room above it.

The only good thing is I have a beautiful western view of sunsets.


And speaking of views, coincidentally, right outside these windows grows a tree that Dick would probably have used if we had let him design the landscaping…

DSC00729My husband and I are convinced this is what Dick used to draft his plans-


The trusses in the great room are safely covered and work is beginning to have plywood to cover the entire house.


I am so glad we have a super new crew and will now proudly be writing about the progress that takes place. If anything I hope I can at least save someone from the nightmare we have endured and make the rest of the project a success.

And just remember- NEVER HIRE A “DICK”!


4 thoughts on “Don’t Try This at Home!!

  1. Hi Sue, I can’t believe what you have gone through with the building of your new home. What a nighmare!!! Hopefully it will all be worth it the first night you and Kevin get to watch your first beautiful sunset out the ‘larger’ window. Gale


  2. I have just finished building a house with my own “Dick”. It was a nightmare of incompetence and sloth. A new crew was the answer. The house is finished and so is “Dick”. I wish I was there to commiserate with you, the cost of these kinds of workmen is mind boggling. Even now with it being finished the anger hangs on. I estimate “Dick” cost me about 30% more than a competent builder would have cost and double the time to completion, two years instead of one. Bless you my dear for your courage to keep on going. Ann


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s