Tuesday, February 1, 2011

How We Do It.

While we sit and wait for the much anticipated and much dreaded demolition day of our main level, I thought I'd share with you ultimately how we are structuring this remodel. And because you may find this information extremely boring, I'll mix in a few pictures to keep your attention.

After interviewing and gathering bids from 3 different general contractors, Jeff and I quickly realized that having someone else take care of every single detail of our remodel and ending the project 'turn-key' for us to walk in and start living was not an option. The expense of that service these contractors provide is not a luxury within our means and ultimately would mean not doing the project at all. So we had two options, hold off on the project all together or take on some of the responsibility ourselves in an effort to retain funds. And that is exactly what we are doing.

[PHOTO BREAK: Here's Miss Gloria all ready for her lunch!]

I've been talking for weeks now about all the contractors we've had in and out of the house giving us estimates. By 'contractors,' I'm referring to the electrical, plumbing and HVAC sub-contractors that will ultimately be working with Ian (read more about Ian below). Typically, general contractors will mark up their sub-contractors 15-20% as a fee to the homeowner for the service they provide by coordinating with them, gathering bids, scheduling them, etc. Well, no fee here as guess who's gathering all those bids and making sure we are working with licensed, reputable and price competitive peeps, that's ME!

[PHOTO BREAK: Here's what happens if you let an 8 month old feed herself a bottle.]

The other direction we decided to take with the remodel was separating out the two projects we have going on: the interior main floor remodel and the exterior remodel. Essentially, we will now have two separate general contractors handling their respective projects at the same time. Our friend Mitch works for a company that sells exterior building materials...so by us purchasing all of the materials directly from Mitch as homeowners, and working with one of Mitch's customers that he sells to, we end up saving a bundle. What would we do without you Mitch?

We finally made a commitment with an exterior general yesterday - Jon Jorud of JYJ Construction. He had some very innovative ideas for resolving our ice dam issues (actually building another roof on top of our roof to allow an air space between the two to cool the air before it can melt the snow!) and had the most number of years under his belt. All of the bids we gathered on the exterior were in the same ballpark, so it came down to the best man for the job.

[PHOTO BREAK: Don't be alarmed by this deer in the headlights. Gloria's eyes are still large and in charge.]

This week's agenda? Our pre-construction meeting on Thursday with all involved parties, disbursement of final structural drawings and permit sets to take to the city, ordering windows and exterior doors and packing up the majority of our main floor this weekend. Jeff's parents are leaving on a trip the day demolition starts on our house...so we'll be relocating back to the Schaffer house during the early phases of construction. We're just TWO WEEKS away from our start date!

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