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House update: Almost there... [Mar. 16th, 2004|05:43 am]
Yesterday afternoon I got a very brief phone call from our build mangler. She said the Prewire folks were there to set things up and that Dan (their Quality Control Supervisor) (whatever) had a question for me.

Basically he wanted to know if I wanted him to run the cables according to the structured wiring and network package that we paid rather a lot of money for. What this means is that instead of the various services coming in at various places, everything goes to a junction box in the master closet. Alarm, phone, coax for cable TV, cat6 for networking... all in one place.

I refrained from saying what I thought, which was "Ever since I signed the contract back in November I've been under the impression that that's what I was getting. I've been really displeased with Prewire's 'yeah, whatever' attitude toward this project and the general incompetence you have shown in executing it so far. Yes. I want the structured wiring box in the closet. You should have understood this long ago."

Instead, I said "Yes, that's exactly what I want."

Then he went into this hemming-and-hawing bit about how he probably wouldn't be able to put it where I wanted, which was on the far wall, and would instead have to put it right next to the door, and was that going to be okay with me...? I think he was more concerned about that than the bigger problem.

Anyway. By the time I got there at 16:45 they had torn out most of the cat6 cable (sob) and run new wires. Except... a few of them were left hanging loose instead of tied down in outlets, and one of the network cables wasn't run at all. This is in addition to various electrical wires with stripped ends hanging loose from the ceiling in the utility room, upstairs bathroom, radiant heat center point, and a couple of other places.

Pam said yesterday afternoon that she had completed the frame inspection (meaning her List of Issues had been addressed to her satisfaction) and that they'd start insulation this morning. When I got in this morning, I had voice mail from her saying "Thanks for telling me about that wire, and yes, I'm aware of the other electrical stuff, but I don't think there will be a problem getting that taken care of. I won't start insulation until the wiring is all finished - if I have to keep an area open while they work on that I will..."

Perhaps this is nothing more than a difference of expectations, but when I hear her say "Inspection is complete, I've signed off on it, and insulation will be done tomorrow", what I expect is that she means "Inspection is complete and everything passed. There is nothing more to be done at this stage. Insulation will be complete by close-of-business tomorrow." It appears that what she really means is "Problems remain, but I'm told they will be taken care of. Insulation will start whenever they're finished." I suppose it all depends on how you define 'complete'. Funny, I didn't think it was that difficult...

Anyway. I have plenty of phone calls to make today to find out what's going on with various people involved in the house. Hopefully some of them will have better answers for me by now.

[User Picture]From: clubjuggler
2004-03-16 06:39 am (UTC)


So, does this mean they're basically trashing all the cat6 they had previously run? If so, then that really sucks and they should pay you for that cable.

On the bright side, it's much better to find out and fix all this stuff now than before the sheetrock goes up!

Good luck!
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[User Picture]From: willowisp
2004-03-16 10:13 am (UTC)

Re: Cat6

Yup, all gone. And we had already mentioned, I believe, asking to be reimbursed for the wire to Susan, our salesperson and by far more the more responsive person. If we haven't mentioned it to her we will do so to Pam or her or maybe even Rick, if Susan brings him in on it.

What really gets me is the question about structured wiring: not only did we pay $1115 for the structured wiring package, but it was listed as a requirement for network wiring. So basically not only was he asking us not to make them do the package we paid for, but was also tacitly saying that structured doesn't really need to happen for network wiring.

Although we were one of a handful (or maybe even the first) to do network wiring, structured was also a prerequisite for entertainment wiring. I wonder how many people paid for that and ended up not getting what they were paying for. Moreover, whether the people even realize they were cheated if the wires ended up just anywhere. Pre-wire didn't exactly explain, in either of their brochures, what structured wiring is exactly.

When I asked Susan whether the inspections would have caught it (to her credit she did outright say that it shouldn't be Andy catching these egregious errors) she said no; the Centex inspection would just make sure they were complete but didn't know which plan(s) we had opted for, and the city inspector would only notice whether they were up to code. The cranky part of me wants to go to our neighbors, find out if they opted for structured wiring, find out if they got it, and if they didn't advise them to ask for their money back. Andy, if you're reading this, don't worry; this is just the cranky part of me talking, not the ambitious one.

When we fill out the Centex customer satisfaction survey Susan is going to get very high marks. I'm not so sure about Pam. But if they allow us to rate wiring, it's going to get the lowest we can give it, and we'll be recommending that they find a new wiring vendor.
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[User Picture]From: echoweaver
2004-03-16 02:08 pm (UTC)

Re: Cat6

You might've been the first to order network wiring? You're kidding! Of course that's what we'd demand first if we had a house built.

Yeah, I realise we're in pretty much the same demographic, but still.
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[User Picture]From: willowisp
2004-03-16 09:17 pm (UTC)

Re: Cat6

I'm just shy of certain that Susan said we were the first in Symphony to get network wiring (I can remember her saying it, but my memory may be playing tricks on me), which is why it was somewhat of a learning curve for Susan in the beginning. She also got network wiring, but only in order to boost the resale value of her house. Incidentally, resale value is the reason she was keen on buying our leftover cat6 before Prewire decided not to return her calls and wired her with cat5 before she could contact them.
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[User Picture]From: turnberryknkn
2004-03-17 04:38 pm (UTC)
Buggering heck.
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