It’s been a couple of months since posted on our house repair projects so I thought I’d bring you up to date. Like all good home projects, it’s taking longer than expected. In fact it will be spring before it gets done, maybe, hopefully. I’d like to blame the contractors for that, but it’s really my fault – if I’d wanted it done this year, I should have started the project two years ago.
You quickly learn about the number of decisions that have to be made in a project like this . It’s not the big ones that hang you up – “Should we do this at all?” “How much money should we spend?” etc. Rather it is the little things, “Do you want an outlet here?” “What color do you want this painted?” “Do you want a recessed, surface mount or a track light system?” and so on.
There are about a million little tiny details that have to be covered, thought about, answered and written in the contract. So far I’ve had my electrician out twice and he’s up to revision three of the quote. Not because he’s made any serious mistakes but because of two reasons: He forgot to note an outlet I wanted or after he left we remembered something we should have told him. Frankly, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t know who forgot what but am confident that we’ll have it right by contract revision five at the latest. Maybe, six.
The other really big problem is coordinating between the various trades that have to work on the job. There’s a roofing company, an electrician, plumber, concrete company and at some point a general carpenter – don’t forget the tile man or the sheet rocker. Each has a specific job to do in a specific order. The electrician has to open the roof and walls to run wires, then the roofing company fixes the roof but you need to check first in case the plumber needs to run a new vent up to the roof. Then you have to wait for city inspections that seem to be unschedulable (I think that’s a word).
It’s all of these complexities that forced our project out till spring. The electrical work needs about a month with all the decision-making, contract writing, rewriting, permit applications, and then actually doing the work. When that’s all done, we get to have fun with the roofing contractor and by the way, the concrete folks are working on the drive way so no one can work while that is going on. And the roofing guy told me that the foam roof we need to do, can’t be done after October 31 because it won’t be warm enough for the foam to cure and there is the danger of rain on a mostly torn apart roof. So that whole bit has to wait till spring, which means the only a small part of the electrical can be done now.
I am afraid to talk to the plumber.
Did I mention that the electrician asked if we were going to be living in the house while this was being done? Or that he said that most of the furniture will have to be moved away from the walls while this is being done. He thought getting a storage ‘pod’ to put in the driveway might be best. I am sure my wife wouldn’t mind living in a hotel for three months.
So far the thing that has gone the easiest is choosing the contractors. Of all the contractors we’ve talked to, only one roofing company and one electrician bothered to send a quote. Good news is that both checked out and we’ve been able to work with them.
There is one company that came out that I wonder about. They are a big outfit and have ads all over the region. They came out three times to view the project – a roof inspection, a general contractor and an electrician. I am still waiting for the quote. Makes me wonder how they got so big. But I am not worried much about not getting that quote. I checked the company out and based on what I saw on some review sites, the BBB, and the state contractor’s license site, there were enough red flags on that company to turn down any quote they would have sent.
I’d write more but I owe the electrician an email that will be the basis of contract revision four.
Till next week,