Building/moving to a new home – day 3

I have moved many times before, but this move has more activity to choreograph than I expected. We kicked this into high gear when we signed papers on the new modular home two days ago on Sept 20.

Since then, excavating has been complete for the house and workshop and work has begun on the workshop. Forms are in place for the workshop foundation, and a panel has been put up for temporary power service.

I has somehow failed to get a permit for a temporary power connection, but was able to handle this over the internet in less than an hour because the Floyd County Administrative Office is internet enabled and uses email and jpeg images.

It is a real pleasure to deal with people who are pleasant to deal with and are customer-oriented as well. Jimmy Whitten is the new Floyd Building Official and Dawn Underwood is the person who explains and issues building permits. Between the two of them, they answered all of my questions and guided me through the necessary actions to allow me to be the general contractor on this series of projects.

By the way, I found the book called, "Learn to be a General Contractor", at Lowes a few weeks ago and it is full of helpful information for the person who wants to build their own dream house. The point this book makes is that the role of a general contractor is an organizer, a manager, not a tradesperson. Your role as a general contractor is to get the job done – by other people. I found my years of program manager experience are a big help in this new house-building game.

We have already started the listing process for our current house. I have rented one large storage unit and have begun moving excess furniture into it. Everything that will not contribute to the sale of the house will go into one or more 10′ x 10′ storage units two miles down the road. When our first open house occurs in a few days, we want the house to look like a model home.

While Gretchen is out of town visiting her daughter, I have pulled up all of the plants that were less than stellar and have replaced them with mums which are plentiful and are just coming into bloom. Liberal application of weedkiller has turned the scruffy green fringes of the yard into mulch-colored invisibility.

I have someone coming to repaint the deck and front porch this week and have hired the neighbor’s kids to do extensive weed-whacking in the back yard. With all of the activity going on, it feels like an extreme makeover home show.

To add to the fun, I have several large pieces to finish for my woodworking customers and more orders coming in as people learn that we are moving away.

This is when my lack of tidyness begins to bite me. I have papers 5 inches deep on all three desks in my downstairs office. If a document gets shoved in the wrong folder, I will have a disaster on my hands.

I still would like a pod moving company, but I may get some needed help from a small local mover. I am planning to use local storage units as a buffer and make the move as a series of smaller moves over a few weeks time. I really want to avoid the issues of coordinating a huge van and crowds of workmen in a week-long orgy of intensive packing and unpacking. I think the smaller moves will be cheaper, cause less damage, and will let us integrate each delivery into the new home without turning the place into a freight depot.

If anyone has experience with smaller staged moves, please give me the benefit of your experience.

Stay tuned.

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0 Responses to Building/moving to a new home – day 3

  1. David, I agree that avoiding the large-scale move is preferable. We had nothing but problems when we hired a moving company to move all of our belongings out of two storage units in Arlington to our new home in Floyd.

    Like you, we did move belongings from our home to storage units but the pressures of time and weather forced us to contract with MoversUSA to pick up our belongings and transport them to our house. The move itself lasted from 9:30 in the morning until 5:30 the next morning and left us with a destroyed driveway and a garage full of boxes because all we wanted to do was get rid of the movers from hell. Thanfully, nothing was broken and the movers insurance company paid us for the driveway damage (after several exchanges of letters and threats) but the entire experience left us with a bad taste.

    Don’t know of any pod movers in the Virginia area but will ask around.

  2. Georgia says:

    I recently used SmartBox for a move from Columbia in Fluvanna Co. to Richmond and was very satisfied with their product and service. According to their internet site, PODs are also available in C’ville and I suspect they would come to the Lake. They’re somewhat larger than SmartBoxes. I had a little more time than you do and had the SmartBox delivered about two months before I moved. It was delivered to my new home a day or so after the movers left and over the next couple of days I emptied it and on my call to the company they promptly picked it up. As I said, it was much easier than putting things in a storage unit that would then have to be moved again — just put boxes, furniture, etc. in the big box and have it delivered for unloading. You may want to check them out. Both companies have websites. Good luck on the building and on your move!

  3. Georgia says:

    Looked at POD website again and they do have a C’ville office – you would have to call and discuss whether they would then deliver and pick up in Floyd since they do not appear to have a Roanoke franchise. Also found a company in Roanoke called The Mobile Storage Group that has a number of different sized containers and appears to go anywhere. There costs are probably higher, but might be worth checking. They also had a website. Hope this helps – again, best wishes.

  4. Carl says:

    My neighbor in Northern VA moved out to his newly purchased Indiana estate in a series of moves… and as I helped him move some goods into his storage unit he shared some tips….

    > early on, get to know the locals. He hired them to do the unloading and heavy lifting, thereby pumping his money into the community and with folks he was getting to know…

    > Plan on several weekend trips with a UHaul (your pod idea sounds better, actually). He was checking out the property, spending the extended weekends there, all while slowly moving.

    > He used local folks on the NOVA side to get the heavy things into his Uhaul. Drove to IL. Used the local guys there to unload. Don’t recall the mover service he used for the lifting unfortunately, but the concept may be of value.

    > He mentioned half a dozen other things which if you had been moving last year when he was I would have recorded all his tips here for posterity and my future use… most things in life are about timing… including this!

    Good luck!

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