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Grumpy 01-21-2004 05:06 PM

hire a builder/GC or manage yourself?
As some of you know I am in the planning (hoping to break ground spring 05) stages for building a summer/retreat/vacation home at a local lake near my house. This is going to be a family home, since my Dad donated the land and I will donate the house.

I found a GC firm a year back that we did some bids for. They never hired us because our price was too high for them BUT they have an interesting strategy. Theya re not realy GC's and more of construction managers acting as advisors but making no decisions themselves, on who to hire and what material to use. Their fee is 10k per project no matter what size.

My question is since I have planned to manage this project myself and sub out all the work, but act as the GC... Do you think it's worth the 10k to prevent silly first-timer type mistakes and basically buy an education?

P.S. If it works out I can see myself building a few houses here and there throughout my life time.

4powells 02-08-2005 10:02 PM

Construction Manager
I've been reading a book by Robert Irwin - Link to Amazon where he highly recommends this exact thing, especially if your financing source will allow it. It's what I plan to do, IF my financing source will allow it :)

vix92008 02-15-2005 07:37 AM

I am a perfectionist so know if i hored anyone else I would come up against problems. A good builder doing the majority of the work should be able to assist in local contacts so you know you are not hiring cowboys. Also the council have a list of reputable builers/contractors available in dept where you go for building regs. Personnally i would take it on as a job. It might take you a bit longer but you know the work will be completed as you want it to be and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you did it yourself. You can always shout 'help' and fetch someone in if it all falls about your ears, which I doubt it will as you seem to have thought it through well. I took on removing a corrugated plastic roof over the summer and replacing with a proper flat roof (joists, wood, felt etc), it took me ages to fit in cround the children and work but it is now finished and I am satisfied its better quality than the stuff I have seen done by people who quoted me in excess of 2K to do (cost me 500 including hire of equipment to melt bitumen). Good luck.

Tomm 02-15-2005 10:43 PM

I'd say research all the legal ins and outs, taxes, insurances, warantees, lack of warantees, then make the best educated choice for the time investment as well as the monitary investment.

Glasshousebltr 02-16-2005 10:37 PM

I am, have been, and maybe always will be a GC and I don't want to do it, I can't figure why a homeowner would.


Teetorbilt 02-17-2005 01:50 AM

Tough night Bob? I'm a CRC and dad was a CGC. I'd tackle my own home in a heartbeat.
Grumpy specializes in roofing and may not understand many things that we take for granted. I think that an overseer would be the wise thing for him to do. There is an excellent article in the new issue of TOH that addresses this very subject.

Glasshousebltr 02-17-2005 11:11 AM

yea, maybe I'm just blowing hot air, I love this work.

It's just not always so rewarding.


jonneybbob 03-10-2005 09:40 AM

done two self builds myself. most important get your floor level wright for your drains
fowl and surface water .ones brickwork up and first-fix stright forward from then on.
use good subcontrators 100% profit there and you can get your vat back.
all the best .jonneybbob

sandy kiemele 03-10-2005 11:59 PM

I think in you research the subtrades and hopefully have some general knowledge of thier reputation knowing they do quality work, the work will stand for what it is and your job is to keep everyone happy schedualing the trades in time having your inspections stamped and passed before other trades continue on and making sure that everyone has materials neccessary know what trades include in their price . go for it

rabadger 04-04-2005 03:33 PM

I think the most important thing is to get all the subs bidding on a level playing field.

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