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Old 08-11-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
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Jumping in cold feet


Hey guys.

I admire all you seasoned vets... : )

...so much that I decided to start living my dream of being a general contractor.

I purchased a small cottage property for $35,000 on a lake as my first project.

I plan on putting in 100,000 - 140,000 and selling for roughly 240,000 - $280,000.

But...I have to be honest! I have not worked one day on a construction site. My field of expertise is in the automotive stamping industry as a highly skilled tool & die maker.

Unfortunately that field is dried up and I don't expect it to come back as I already waited 5 years suffering bouts of staggered employment...

...but fortunate in the sense I've built equity to fund my burning passion I've had since I was a kid...BUILDING HOMES.

I know. I know!

There is ALOT involved to be great like so many here are, and I don't expect this overnight. I also would hate for those so skilled in this field to be insulted that I'm jumping in feet first but I REALLY believe I can do this!

I know it would be ideal to spend 10 years working in construction first but I wonder what the benefits to that would be anyways.

I've seen many people in my field get walked on when just trying to learn what they needed to know.

I've also worked on projects with guys who've been in the construction field for YEARSSSS who really surprised me to how little they knew when it came to anything not entirely simple.

My plan is to contract what I can't do...co ordinate with structural engineers what I have no clue...and rely on my inspectors to learn when something is NOT acceptable.

But...I also am looking to become a sponge.

Anybody have any great suggestions on what books ( other than all my local building codes ) to thumb through?

I really love reading and learning new things!

If anyone feels the need to tell me I shouldn't go about things this way, it's cool!

I've heard it all before. Infact, I fully expect my brothers ( brick layers ) to show up at my cottage and tell me to give it up you'll never do it right.

A quick note on what I would like to do specifically.

The cottage will be two storey ( still in design; it was a whim ). I would like to do a concrete foundation with 10 ft. ceilings on both levels and do spray foam insulation.

I am familiar with standard framing and am fully capable of framing a house top to bottom...but I'd like the HUGE windows that are arched that you see in cottages to get a good view of the lake. This framing I am not aware of yet.

Perhaps it will be somewhat easy when I get the plans drawn up from an engineer.

At worst, I hire a carpenter to work with me.

Bla, bla , bla. Just brainstorming! Would love to get an informed discussion going : )

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:00 PM   #2
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Jumping in cold feet


Books??? We don' need no steenking BOOKS! LOL
All you need to do is read every thread on this forum, and you'll know way more than most contractors out there!
I've built my entire home from the ground up (plumbing, electrical, framing, EVERYTHING) with (tons of) help from this forum, so you're in a good place. Po)

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Old 08-11-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
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Jumping in cold feet


I've done odds & ends my whole life
Started out as a kid helping my dad
Then building sheds from scratch
My last house I did a lot of carpentry work...added an unfinished 2nd floor
If you are handy & research 1st you should be OK
Its a lot of work to renovate
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Jumping in cold feet


Find a good architect/draftsman--Hire a framing carpenter to help---Keep your eyes open and learn.

Most tool and die men that I have known are quick to figure out the plans and methods--

However your training in making every thing absolutely perfect will have to be overcome--

You will be working with concrete--wood and other vegetables that we choose to build houses with--

Learn to accept the shortcomings and accepted tolerances--and you will be fine!--Mike--
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:33 PM   #5
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Jumping in cold feet


Quote:
Originally Posted by dangermouse View Post
books??? We don' need no steenking books! Lol
all you need to do is read every thread on this forum, and you'll know way more than most contractors out there!
I've built my entire home from the ground up (plumbing, electrical, framing, everything) with (tons of) help from this forum, so you're in a good place. Po)

dm
my boy!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:36 PM   #6
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Jumping in cold feet


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I've done odds & ends my whole life
Started out as a kid helping my das
Then building sheds from scratch
My last house I did a lot of carpentry work...added an unfinished 2nd floor
If you are handy & research 1st you should be OK
Its a lot of work to renovate
You are on the of the few who came to mind when I posted this.
I have done so many odds and ends too but no real day to day construction.
I just assumed you spent your life in construction.
I wish I had, but to be honest I feel I have built a stable base for absorbing information.

I love this forum!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:45 PM   #7
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Jumping in cold feet


Nope, I'm a computer geek - IT
Years ago a construction worker made fun of me because I didn't have any callouses on my hands
I replied I have a GF
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:54 PM   #8
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Jumping in cold feet


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Find a good architect/draftsman--Hire a framing carpenter to help---Keep your eyes open and learn.

Most tool and die men that I have known are quick to figure out the plans and methods--

However your training in making every thing absolutely perfect will have to be overcome--

You will be working with concrete--wood and other vegetables that we choose to build houses with--

Learn to accept the shortcomings and accepted tolerances--and you will be fine!--Mike--
Ha. LMFAO! It's like you know me : )

I am very picky to a fault but I am hoping to learn from that.

Maybe it is better to have high expectations and learn to come down from that than to have low expectations that are easily accomplished?

FWIW, I love framing walls in place as opposed to framing them on the floor than erecting them into place even though it takes a hair longer...and I also hate drywalling the opposite side of a crown stud wall. I do It! But, I've contemplated building a double studded wall to accomadate

I think the tolerance thing is an obstacle! I hate seeing wavy roof lines and studded walls. I also hate gaps in any kind of moulding which is so easily overlooked by so many but the "proud".

This venture I am undertaking feels huge and I hope to pull each and everyone of you along with me.

Maybe if any of you are here in Canada we can have a BBQ and beer weekend before the cottage goes up for sale?
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:28 AM   #9
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Jumping in cold feet


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Originally Posted by 295yards View Post
my boy!
Not boy.... tired old man.... LOL

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