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You might have heard this term before from a construction professional. It stands for Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, Structural. This is big people. This is the inside function of your home, and the integrity of all your systems. This is where we are right now. And this is where we will be for a few weeks. By a few weeks I mean at the very least 1 month, and hopefully no more than 2 months. This process is very painstaking. Its obviously the most stressful for many reasons.

One problem that can arise in many homes going through large renovations is workers on top of one another. You can understand that in a smaller home, having electricians, plumbers, HVAC contractors, and builders together can get a bit tight. It’s important to not have them be mad at each other or you’ll get plumbers yelling at electricians etc. When you tell your general contractor that your cousin twice removed is a plumber and you’d like to use them, I’m telling you now, this is when you’ll regret that. A good contractor uses the same few sub-contractors because they are a little tight nit family. They tell each other when they can be there, they know the other guys who will be in their space, and how they work. When there are people working around your office you don’t know, think about how odd it is and how on edge you feel. It’s not a fun work environment for anyone when people are down each others throats. Trust me on this, let your contractor pic his sub-contractors. Its not only a good reason for morale, but because they insure their work. If you use your cousin as the plumber and then there’s a leak, guess what, not covered by your general contractor.

So space is an issue, another thing that is an issue, indecision. Many times you get to this decision making process out of the blue. You think I made the plans I’m done right? Wrong! Now you get to decide what kind of plumbing your going to have in the master bathroom. Do you want wall mounted faucets or not, do you want sconces on the sides of the mirrors or a fixture above the mirror. Speaking of mirrors will they be large? How large?

Laundry room hook ups, Upstairs laundry will be a game changer.


This doorway is the entry to the master suite.

Wait I have to know what mirror is going in? I HAVE NO WALLS YET!

Yes, you do. All of the things you know ahead of time will save you time and money going forward. If you get all the way to drywall and then decide to change the faucet style, then there’s a plumbing move and a drywall patch and new paint. If you can decide ahead of time what vanity you’re purchasing, you know where the center of that vanity will be on the wall and in turn can put plumbing in EXACTLY where it’s supposed to go. Those touch ups later are change-orders and will cost you money and you’re precious move-in date.

Another issue can be money. This is when you start bleeding money. Be prepared for this stage because it can catch up to you quickly. You only had framers asking for money but now you have all of the other sub-contractors ready for payment too. Not only that but you need to order appliances and put deposits down for cabinets.

It’s a constant juggle between building and design. If you can stick to the stages, you can make it through. Make sure you’re talking to your general contractor and asking him when you need to order things. Don’t flake because if you don’t choose, you’ll have contractors not able to work based on your indecision.

So, I’m at MEPS now. I’m putting in electrical. My son (5 year old) got to pull some wire the other day with one of the electricians and it made is day. He whispered “I’m never going to forget this” to himself when he was done. It made mommas heart proud. I’m a little in the crisis mode currently because of all of the above reasons. I made plans I wanted to stick with most of them but we came across many issues with some of our current plans. The first that comes to mind is the fireplace that we “were keeping”. We couldn’t keep it. It totally sucks. It was our only way of having a wood-burning fire. In California if you don’t have an existing fireplace that burns wood, you cannot put one in. The flu on our chimney was completely broken. So we had to take it down, and all of the brick is now in the dumpster. So now it’s decision making time. This space was going to have a fireplace in it and now I’m deciding whether to put a gas only in or none at all. I’m leaning towards none at all because we already are going to have a gas burning one in the back room. Walking into a home without seeing the fireplace is unusual in my opinion but it gives us the option to put a TV in there and make it a more comfy room. I’m not sure yet, still on the fence.

This is the back living room all framed up!

Another issue we have come across is not so much an issue but a how are we going to do this? Haha So we purchased our master tub. It’s insane. So beautiful. We decided on a concrete tub from Native Trails. This egg shape 72” tub is over 1300 lbs. It has to go up to the top floor. Luckily the windows aren’t in yet because we decided the only way to get it into the bathroom is through the window! So we have to take some framing apart and lift the tub (which is in a crate) up with either a drywall lift or a crane. We have a crane coming this week for a few steel beams that are coming for the back patio but Josh wants to put it in with the drywall lift. He keeps saying he thinks it would be better, but I’m not sold, how can a drywall lift take the weight? This is when I have to trust him, and blame him if he ends up dropping the bathtub.

So as I’m thinking about these things, I’m also having to decide on a vanity for my kids bathroom and trying to decide where the electrical is going. You need to know where all the TVs are going, where each can light goes, also which can lights you’re going to have etc. It’s a LOT of decisions right now. If someone asks me what’s for dinner tonight I might explode.

All in all, I’m still having fun. Which is insane and probably isn’t normal, but this is a dream come true and I’m so thankful to get this experience. Praying I don’t screw up royally with a finish! Seriously! Haha

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! After MEPS comes insulation and DRYWALL people!


Ande Siler

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