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Old 10-11-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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Contractor Problems. HELP PLEASE.


Almost daily there are post on this site from good folks asking questions about how to deal with a contractor. Am I getting ripped off? A lot of, “my contractor did this, is this correct or not?” I can go on and on.

Lots of different replies from the regulars ranging from helpful answers to this is a DIY site and not a appropriate question for here.

Even in “off topic” I’ve seen questions be shunned by some.

Good people that have a project and plan on doing the flooring and tile counters themselves but are lost on everything else and need to know how to deal with hiring the rest out.

If you can be a DIY Electrician, Plumber, HVAC, Framer and more, why not DIY GC?

I’d like to see a area on this site devoted to this.

A place where people can get answers to guide them through their project from idea to planning to permits to key, whether they pound the nails or not.

A place where asking question about their experiences with contractors can be answered.

Where else can they go to on the web for this?

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Old 10-11-2010, 08:42 PM   #2
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Well said,I second the motion.----Mike----

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Old 10-11-2010, 08:49 PM   #3
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I guess a person could be their own GC but there are many many things that a GC does and has worked out so many bugs and weeded out the bad subs when a DIY GC would be almost like starting from scratch. Remember how that was and how frustrating it was to depend on a sub to show at a certain time and he didn't.

Remember when we started how we didn't know where to get the best prices or the best materials. Remember how we had to jump through hoops to get a good price on materials. Being a GC is not a walk in the park and it can be a nightmare when trying to be one with no experience.

Knowing how to build a house turnkey is the easy part of being a GC, making all the decisions and dealing with people is the hard part, not to mention the bank and the construction loan running when things aren't getting done.

I am not trying to be a wet blanket but I have seen many folks who thought it was going to be "fun" only for some of them to have a nervous breakdown. I had one customer who wanted to be involved in the build all the way through. This lady had over 300 changes and the cost of the house almost doubled. Believe it or not she hired the interior decorator and had her on payroll before the footings were even dug. Anyway to make a long story even longer we should by all means make a person aware of all the pitfalls of being a DIY GC. If a person does all of their homework it can work and smoothly, if not it can be a nightmare. JMHO
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
I guess a person could be their own GC but there are many many things that a GC does and has worked out so many bugs and weeded out the bad subs when a DIY GC would be almost like starting from scratch. Remember how that was and how frustrating it was to depend on a sub to show at a certain time and he didn't.

Remember when we started how we didn't know where to get the best prices or the best materials. Remember how we had to jump through hoops to get a good price on materials. Being a GC is not a walk in the park and it can be a nightmare when trying to be one with no experience.

Knowing how to build a house turnkey is the easy part of being a GC, making all the decisions and dealing with people is the hard part, not to mention the bank and the construction loan running when things aren't getting done.

I am not trying to be a wet blanket but I have seen many folks who thought it was going to be "fun" only for some of them to have a nervous breakdown. I had one customer who wanted to be involved in the build all the way through. This lady had over 300 changes and the cost of the house almost doubled. Believe it or not she hired the interior decorator and had her on payroll before the footings were even dug. Anyway to make a long story even longer we should by all means make a person aware of all the pitfalls of being a DIY GC. If a person does all of their homework it can work and smoothly, if not it can be a nightmare. JMHO
DIY GC happens every day whether itís a smart move or not. I think there is enough qualified ďfreeĒ knowledge on this site to make it a first stop for their ďhome workĒ.
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Old 10-11-2010, 09:51 PM   #5
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DIY GC happens every day whether it’s a smart move or not. I think there is enough qualified “free” knowledge on this site to make it a first stop for their “home work”.
I do agree with you, this would be a good place to start if a person was going to be their own GC. I do know many people do their own GC every day, what I am saying it would be nice if someone told them all the pitfalls before they are elbow deep and over their heads in a situation that will cost them more in the long run. I am not against anyone being their own GC, I will be more than happy to help any way I can. The main thing I am saying is there is way more to it than some people think.

Let me give you an example, as it has and is happening everyday. Many people who aren't experienced will think they are really doing good, money wise, just after getting the house framed and dried in. They think since we have all of this work done and we haven't even spent much of the original cost, we can spend more on this and more on that, only to find out close to the end they ran out of money.

The reason I joined this forum is to help anyone I can and I will be more than happy to help but a person really does need to know up front what is going to happen.
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Old 10-11-2010, 10:12 PM   #6
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I do think we can help a few folks avoid some of the pitfalls in GCing a job.

Sure there are a lot of naive dreamers that will drown while trying--However there are a large number of clear thinking, serious people who can and will GC a project successfully--after doing proper homework and planning--it's those people we could help--Mike--
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:34 AM   #7
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I am very surprised that this topic did not get more attention.

Every week someone writes a post asking how to find/deal with or how to ensure that contracted work will be completed.

As a remodeling GC I need to find and hire various trades---get plans drawn--deal with the building department---I have friends that are also contractors,so when I have questions,I can get advice from other pros.

I do think that a forum for contractor and DIY General contracting would be a good addition to the mix here.

Maybe I am wrong---comments from some homeowners would be welcome---Mike--
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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I agree that advise on dealing with contractors should be allowed on a proactive basis. As all three of you stated there are many pitfalls into becoming your own GC and dealing with contractors. Maybe a sticky could outline the majority of them and then specific questions could be answered in individual threads?

The potential issues with this type of forum that I see are while a vast majority of the current pros always give solid advice you will get the fly-by-night, know-it-alls, who could turn the forum into a pi**ing contest. Another problem I see is that we currently have too many threads on how much should this cost and after the fact issues. A new forum may be inviting more of them.

My vote, we should try it.
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Old 10-15-2010, 11:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
I agree that advise on dealing with contractors should be allowed on a proactive basis. As all three of you stated there are many pitfalls into becoming your own GC and dealing with contractors. Maybe a sticky could outline the majority of them and then specific questions could be answered in individual threads?

The potential issues with this type of forum that I see are while a vast majority of the current pros always give solid advice you will get the fly-by-night, know-it-alls, who could turn the forum into a pi**ing contest. Another problem I see is that we currently have too many threads on how much should this cost and after the fact issues. A new forum may be inviting more of them.

My vote, we should try it.
I agree, please don't think I was trying to discourage anyone who would like to GC their project. I wanted to point out that it is no picnic and that all wouldn't be smooth sailing. But as Mike said, with homework, research and good planning most should have good results and yes we can be here to warn them about the pitfalls and point them in the right direction and which sub to call in next. I really do think it is a great idea and like Mike I am surprised this thread hasn't seen more action.

Maybe if the title of this thread was something like "Want to be your own GC" it would attract more attention. Just a suggestion.
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Old 10-15-2010, 12:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
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I agree, please don't think I was trying to discourage anyone who would like to GC their project. I wanted to point out that it is no picnic and that all wouldn't be smooth sailing. But as Mike said, with homework, research and good planning most should have good results and yes we can be here to warn them about the pitfalls and point them in the right direction and which sub to call in next. I really do think it is a great idea and like Mike I am surprised this thread hasn't seen more action.
Jim, quite the contrary, you, Mike and Ron are offering the forum sound advice from your experience. It would be the pros who would make the new forum work. I also understand you are not trying to discourage anyone from GC'ing their own project and your intent.

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I really do think it is a great idea and like Mike I am surprised this thread hasn't seen more action.
Me too

Quote:
Originally Posted by jiju1943 View Post
Maybe if the title of this thread was something like "Want to be your own GC" it would attract more attention. Just a suggestion.
I agree
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:24 PM   #11
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I named the thread what I did because I thought it would attract attention.

Usually when people are posting about contractor problems it’s those threads that seem to get a lot of attention. Is seems like just about everyone has to weigh in.
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Old 10-15-2010, 01:44 PM   #12
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I named the thread what I did because I thought it would attract attention.

Usually when people are posting about contractor problems itís those threads that seem to get a lot of attention. Is seems like just about everyone has to weigh in.
I hope I didn't offend you Kwik, I didn't intend to, it was just an old man's thought.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:39 PM   #13
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None taken Ole Jim.

Like Mike I canít believe there hasnít been more comment on this, good or bad.

Not even SCUBA.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #14
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Here is an example from today.
http://www.diychatroom.com/f2/sub-co...ew-home-84007/

Although the question is tough to answer because it depends on the posters ability but it’s a start of a conversation, maybe a year long one that can guide him to save $$$ or keeping him from making a big mistake. Will never know OP's automatically getting blown off.
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:34 PM   #15
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i was in a conversation of this sort that was almost shut down by Dave
seem like they like to keep the dialogue more towards the diy aspect
which i respect

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