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Thread: Sanity/ Contractors/ Additions

  1. #1

    Sanity/ Contractors/ Additions

    Does anyone have any good ideas on how to maintain your sanity when putting on an addition onto your house? :-) I am just starting to build a 28 x 40 foot addition onto my home and so far its driving me crazy. The same amount of work can mean completely different prices. One earth work quote was 2900 dollars while another was 950.

    To make matters worse, I live in a small town where feelings get hurt easily. I got two carpenters bidding for the job, and each slams the others work ethics/ quality something fierce. On just about everything they have different ideas, different prices.

    So far I think I have made two friends mad at me for not using them, and a father-in-law that insists he knows a carpenter crew that can do it better. My gosh I am going nuts and we have not even turned over a shovel full of dirt yet!!
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Travis

    Good luck! Are you acting as the General Contractor? I presume you have a full set of plans. Are they bidding differently? Fixed cost vs time and materials?

    The only thing I would suggest is to ask them what they would do, don't say "x" said he was going to do such and such, what do you think?

    Can you look at work that they have done?

    Don't automatically think that low bid is best, we did that many years ago and the guy walked off the job after he realized that he couldn't complete it for the price he quoted -- and left us with an open hot water heating system in early November in Pennsylvania!

    Jay

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ozarks
    Posts
    4,992
    travis,
    in order to have a fair bid from any contractor you`ll need to invest the time to spell out exactly what you expect, from the soil prep work to the type of concrete mix and amount and type of steel placed in the forms...same for framing, plumbing, wiring, roofing, drywall, trim, tile/carpet/hardwood, hvac............then.....you`ll need to specify exactly what working hours will be tollerated, how the jobsite will be kept up,(cleaned daily?, in full osha compliance or just common sence safety)........plan on spending a couple of months just putting together a purposal to recieve bids!
    that or hire an architect/builder who has a good reputation and insist on approving all aspects prior to work commencing....expect to pay a premium for this service even if you decide against the architect/builders ideas..their time and knowledge ain`t free.
    by just hiring "joe" to build an addition for "x" dollars there`s generally major differences in what you think you`ll be getting and what "joe" feels he`s providing.....if everything is spelled out then neither party should have any supprises..........good luck! tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    2,434
    Travis, welcome to my world.

    I made it a point when I first started in this business to never bad mouth another licensed and insured full time building contractor. There has been a few that are doing it on the "side" that are not up to par and there work reflects it, but I still hold my tongue in front of customers. There are all kinds of skill levels as evidenced by Rob's thread on trim work. What one would call acceptable others would not.

    Around these parts anyone can pay $160.00 and be guaranteed to pass the State builders licensce, that State policy started a few years ago. When I got licensed ( 1989 ) we needed to prove working for another builder for 3 years prior as any other trades apprenticeship works. The result of this new "guaranteed to pass in a weekend program"?.....many weekend warrior upstarts that don't know how to bid and what they are bidding on.....resulting in the extremes in bid quotes on seemingly the same work.

    Tod's advice nailed it, and that would also be my advice to you.

    Good Luck.
    Last edited by Steve Ash; 04-27-2007 at 01:02 PM. Reason: punctuation
    A very wise man once said.......
    "I'll take my chances with Misseurs Smith and Wesson. "

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,697
    Just two bids for the earthwork aren't enough. What you have may be one honest bid and one bid from someone who doesn't need the work. He bids real high and if he gets it celebrates. As for the two guys slamming each other, I tend to not want to do business with folks who criticize others work. I prefer those who are proud of what they do and will stand behind it. Don't worry about hurting feelings. They sure aren't worried about yours. In my case, if I were doing that job, I'm fortunate in that I have a good friend who would do it well and charge reasonable rates. He is honest and can be trusted. When I take bids, I get several and talk with the contractors for a while. I call that 'comparing lies'. Then I make a decision.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

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