Re: How to hire a contractor
when we enitially look at a job we will walk through take pictures of the existing.. figure out every little thing we can about the house before opening things up, reason being in some situations in far cheaper to simply knock the house down and start new than it is to alter the house so much to make it look like a drawing.. we end up tearing so much of the existing apart the that the labour costs go through the roof.. we've done several of these where modifying the existing would cost over 100k more than starting fresh. we consult the architect several times.. bring in an engineer to spec whats needs to be done to ensure everything will be structurally sound.. we typically come in much higher than the average contractors however 80% of our crew is made up of guys that are all masters of different aspects of carpentry, 2 general contractors , 1 master framer, 1 siding and door master, a master cabinet builder and myself a master trim carpenter who is also a journeyman.. this kinda of crew has a high price tag compared to a bunch of illegal immagrants
when we start a job the first thing we do on the inside of the existing is protect all floors that arent being touched, we cover them with osb or foam. then at the finish stage of the job all new hardwood gets covered with the empty cardboard boxes that he flooring came in.
as someone else mentioned about going in after another contractor disappeared. we just did this recently. a contractor did a large addition to a house and at the finish stage the homeowner had to fire the guy. we went in and did all the trim work. i led the install on the stain grade trim package.. we didnt really need the work however the homeowner wanted to have his house done 2 years late
pertaining to having people on the house all the time, we cant do that with the types of jobs we do. we do large scale reno's mostly.. which requires every trade. we get to a certain point where were held up by subtrades and theres nothing we can do until their done. whenever possible we try to work around them, when the framing is complete we move outside and build the decks and hang siding.. if we get to a point where were still waiting we shift over to another site and work there its all about keeping the site running smooth
for payments, we require a downpayment on materials, then the homeowner makes further payments at benchmarks in the project.. such as "rooftight" meaning framing is complete and windows are in. "siding complete"- payment for siding and the installation labour, same for "rough in".. when electrical, plumbing, hrv. etc is complete thats another payment.. dryall... flooring... trim... etc.. etc. our price is fixed.. any additional charges that the homeowner must pay are due to change orders, meaning the homeowner wants something changed or wants something added then its considered "cost plus " cost of material plus labour by the hour
another thing is, we warrenty our work. if a specific item in teh house is defective within the first year of installation it gets replaced at our cost provided it wasnt destroyed by recklessness, plus we have a 5 year structural warrenty. anything goes wrong with the structure thats also warrenty'd. last year we build a custom house where we got a call that a interior door was falling off the hinges.. i went in to look at it.. they had a basketball net mounted to the the back of the door. the kids were hanging off the rim.. which the weight of the child was pulling the door away (90% of the doors we install are solid interior doors btw.)
fire up the saw and make some dust