Building A New Garage With Gilley’s Custom Homes

The house I bought a few months ago only has a one car garage, my lawnmower takes up most of that space. But the house came with the empty lot next door with lots of room to build a detached garage and workshop, so this is something I had factored in before I decided to buy the house. Taking into consideration the sizes and layouts of the shops and garages I’ve had previously, I got out the graph paper and started drawing.

I had just had a fence put in a few weeks ago so I used that survey to guesstimate where I would want to build the shop and came up with a 30×60 building with three overhead doors. If lined up with the existing garage that’s part of the house, the fence I had put in will separate the first bay from the second and third bays, eliminating the need to constantly open and close a fence gate to be able to use the garage. There’s also a huge area in the back of the shop that will have windows and a great view of the canal and back yard, I will probably use that for an office and wood/workshop.

Timeline for building the garage

10/22/2020 – Spoke to Brandon for the first time and sent him a rough drawing of the garage/shop that I wanted to have built, along with the survey I had done for the fence showing roughly where I wanted the building located.

10/??/2020 – Billy (Brandon’s dad) came by to talk about what I wanted to have built. He hadn’t seen what I wanted so I gave him the same copy of my drawings for the building and the survey I had done.  The survey didn’t include many details for the empty lot (not even the driveway) so I told him we could get another done if needed, but he’s going to work with the survey company to get the additional details added.

11/7/2020 – Billy came by to do all the paperwork, get signatures, and pick up the deposit.

11/24/2020 – Brandon sent drawings of the building for me to look over before sending to the engineer. The professional drawings almost matched my hand drawn sketch perfectly, the only changes I requested were to change the florescent lights from 4ft to 8ft, center the lights in front of the overhead doors, and run power for the door openers.

11/26/2020 – Received from the survey company an updated version of the original survey I had done with the second driveway now being shown, but no additional measurements and no topographical information was added. Forwarded the updated survey to Brandon anyways.

12/21/2020 – Hadn’t heard anything in a while so I sent an email to Brandon asking for an update and estimated schedule. Brandon called back that morning to explain where we were and said permits should be back by the end of January to get started beginning of February to finish late March or early April.

1/14/2021 – Brandon called to check in and was asking if I could get something added to the survey (since I was the one who originally ordered and paid for it), and to request the .dwg files since I guess we need topological information added to submit for permits? Not sure why this wasn’t dealt with months ago when so much attention was given to the survey we started with. He also talked about getting things to (or from?) the engineer, which felt like deja vu from our conversation two months ago. Whatever, let’s just get another survey ordered and get things moving!  Either way, he says this doesn’t affect starting in February with March/April completion.

1/25/2021 – The elevation survey was done.

2/8/2021 – Survey guy came back to do more surveying and mark a spot in the road with some bright pink paint. I didn’t bother asking why whatever he was doing today wasn’t done when he was here a few weeks ago, just trying to trust that we’re still moving forward.

3/7/2021 – Trying to be patient and hoping Brandon would call with an update since February came and went without anything getting started, but no luck.  So I finally sent an email this morning asking for another updated schedule, I also asked for a copy of the survey/site plan that was submitted for permits so that I can make sure everything matches up with my original drawings and ideas. The reply I got was “I’ll send you over them as soon as I get out of building department…which I’m expecting out any day.”  So, I looked it up and got my answers from the county website – still waiting for a few approvals. At least I can kind of check on things now without feeling like I’m being a pain in the ass.

4/1/2021 – Checked on the permit and all departments signed off on it, but now they are requesting a materials list. I guess the garage and house have to match and since I painted the house since this started in November, Brandon didn’t know the garage was going to be gray instead of white, which is what he put on the permit. Or maybe the materials to be used should have been included on the original permit, I don’t know.  Doesn’t matter, things are still moving along. Very slowly.

4/16/2021 – Brandon sent a message that we have a signed permit and work will be starting next week. We haven’t had much rain months, apparently that is supposed to start next week too.

4/17/2021 – Brandon let me know that they would be here Monday to stake everything out, start removing some trees, and prepping the lot.

4/19/2021 – Ian, Brandon’s foreman stopped by to introduce himself and put up the permit box.

4/22/2021 – A porta-potty was delivered and work begins. Four trees were removed, the lot was leveled, and framing for the foundation is almost complete.

4/23/2021 – Framing and steel/rebar for the foundation was completed, just waiting for an inspection before concrete is poured.

4/24/20201 – Silk fencing was put up around the property today, but while doing that, they ran into the framing for the foundation with the skid steer. Wtf!

4/27/2021 – Foundation passed inspection, time to get the framing fixed and get some concrete poured.

4/28/2021 – Four cement trucks showed up this morning and concrete has been poured, smoothed, and grooved.

5/12/2021 – Bunch of cement blocks were delivered for the walls.

5/19/2021 – Trusses were dropped off.

5/20/2021 – Walls went up, started and finished in a day.  This is how things should go!

5/25/2021 – Told (showed) Ian that the office (future finished room) is the low spot where water drains, but he showed no concern.

6/1/2021 – Concrete header poured around the top of the walls, along with filling some columns that tie the rebar into the ground.

6/2/2021 – Trusses started going up

6/4/2021 – Trusses finished, started plywood sheathing.  Walk through doors installation started.

6/7/2021 – More work on the plywood and and finished the walk through doors.  Overhead doors backordered until the 3rd week of July.

6/10/2021 – Finished the plywood sheathing.

6/11/2021 – Put tar paper on the roof, but the roofing company didn’t bring a ladder and needed to borrow mine. Wtf!

6/14/2021 – The roofers added some white edging along the roof, put up “L” track for soffit, and shingles were delivered.

6/16/2021 – Started laying shingles. Electricians started rough wiring. Brought up the office flooding again, but Ian still not showing any concern.

6/17/2021 – Put down a few more shingles. Electricians finished the wiring rough in and panel installation.

6/18/2021 – Finished the shingles, then a roofer pissed in the garage before they left. Asshole.

6/28/2021 – Windows were delivered.

6/29/2021 – Framers showed up to install the windows, screwed around and did nothing for an hour, then left when it started raining. Zero progress.

7/2/2021 – Billy stopped by this morning wanting more work/money to replace the driveway/apron, even though all other work has stalled the last few weeks. I flipped my shit. No, get some workers here to finish the job that had already been started. Another wtf moment. Framers weren’t happy, but they were here within an hour and got the windows installed.

7/5/2021 – Stucco is done, but it’s the wrong texture so it will have to be redone.

7/6/25021 – A weak tropical storm passed by, windows and at least one door leaked like a sieve.

7/7/2021 – Framers came back to re-caulk around the doors and windows. It’s suspected the original caulking was sliced when they did the stucco work.

7/7/2021 – Received a quote for paint. Minimum of $2,500 to paint the 4 outside walls. Add on more for the white trim. Another possible $1200 if it needs a second coat. Would likely end up being over $4000 to paint 4 walls. I’ll be doing it myself. Paint has been ordered.

7/8/2021 – A couple guys came and cleaned up all the concrete around the building so that it doesn’t get buried later.

7/12/2021 – Dirt place has been flooded due to the tropical storm last week, 2 loads were finally delivered.

7/14/2021 – New culvert installed for driveway.

7/15/2021 – Stone for driveway was delivered, and dirt and stone were spread out. Stucco was scheduled to be redone today but they didn’t show up.

7/17/2021 – I started painting and the stucco guys finally showed up. After realizing they were a few days late, they left without saying or doing anything.

7/19/2021 – Fence changes and additions were completed. FPL scheduled again to be here in the next 3-5 business days.

7/20/2021 – Concrete poured for new driveway apron

7/21/2021 – Apron was finished. Final grading done before sod comes, but sod didn’t show up and rain washed a lot away. Grading will need to be redone. Stucco guys never came back to pick up the materials they dropped off to redo the building so I moved a ton (2400 lbs) of their shit into the garage to get it out of the way so it’s not in the way of grading/sod.

7/22/2021 – Soffit was started, only a few small sections to finish after an inspection. Told Brandon to go ahead and get the gutters ordered. I tried shoveling/raking the dirt back into place but need bigger equipment to do it.

7/23/2021 – Stucco guys finally came to pick up all their stuff I had to move last week. Thanks guys.

7/25/2021 – I got 3 walls primed and 2 of them painted before the rain started.

7/26/2021 – Final grading done for the third time, sod scheduled for tomorrow (again). I got the 3rd wall painted, only the back wall to finish. More primer and paint has been ordered.

7/27/2021 – I spent a few more hours shoveling and raking again to fix dirt that washed away with the overnight rain – really hoping sod shows up today! Asked Brandon to check with FPL again to make sure we’re still on the schedule. Overhead doors are ready, just waiting to get on the schedule for installation.
Update 1: Brandon let me know that the sod fields are still flooded, showing they had no intention of showing up today. Another sod company scheduled for tomorrow.
Update 2: Soffit guys came back to finish. The idiots propped their ladders against freshly painted walls, zero common sense. Luckily, I have some paint left that will match for touch ups.

7/28/2021 – Final grading done, again. New sod company showed up and laid about 10-15 pallets in an afternoon.

7/29/2021 – Doors were supposed to be installed today, but they were a no show. Now, they’re re-scheduled for Monday. Gutter installation also scheduled for Monday. FPL scheduled again for next week, wtf?

8/2/2021 – No doors. No gutters. Just more excuses. No surprise. But I did get the white trim painted, and the door locks and deadbolts installed. Ian stopped by to check things out, called back later to let me know about things being scheduled and rescheduled.

8/3/2021 – Doors were finally installed, but they have to come back to finish wiring the openers after the electricians are done

8/6/2021 – Electricians came back to put in a few plugs and lights, will finish next week.

8/9/2021 – Electricians finished all the plugs and lights. Wires for the door openers are ready now too

8/12/2021 – Decision was made to get overhead power instead of underground. New wiring done outside the building and FPL to be here within 2 days to hook it up.

8/14/2021 – Electrician installed metal panel to cover wires over the breaker box.

How I chose Gilley’s Custom Homes

The first builder I contacted was somebody I had been closely watching on Facebook for several months, he showed up within a few hours to check everything out and gave me a really rough estimate. His estimate was about $20k more than I was expecting, but I already knew that because the market it really hot right now, and COVID complications, prices for everything had already started increasing, so the sticker shock wasn’t too bad.  Still, I wanted a few more estimates before making any decisions.

I called a few other builders over the next few weeks but nobody showed up. I liked the first builder that showed up and was ready to go with them until Brandon from Gilley Custom Homes was referred by another member of the CDBIA (Charlotte-DeSoto Building Industry Association), somebody I used for painting my previous house. Wanting another estimate before starting, I talked to Brandon. He came in higher on the estimate but he was the one that called back and showed interest, so that’s who I decided to go with.