Tony McCullers Double-Entry Draft January 8, 2009 Source: Chapters 6 through 9...I finished reading the book! Heldmann, C. (2001). Be your own house contractor: Save 25% without lifting a hammer. 4th Edition. Storey Books: North Adams, MA. Content Response Paying the subcontractors: “Never pay a Good quote to force myself to be stern sub for work not done, for work that is when it comes to paying subs. Money incomplete, or for an unsatisfactory job. should be well monitored...that is my main Never pay in advanced.” page 62 purpose in contracting myself...to be The sub that will require the most amount efficient with the money! of time on the jobsite is the carpenter. Talking ahead of time is a good tip. Out of Paying the carpenter will be different from all of the subs, the carpenter seems to be paying the other subcontractors because the the one the contractor must be “on the same carpenter will be working throughout the page” with. Keeping the carpenter happy is construction process. Workout a schedule a must. But I have to remember that it is a to pay the carpenter. The carpenter and give-and-take relationship between the other subs might require draws or partial contractor and carpenter. payments. Work out these details before the subcontractor begins work. “It is alright to pay a draw, but never pay more than for work done.” page 63 Brick masons and painter are about the Money motivates people...I can use it to only other subcontractors that will require help those slower subs or those subs who draws on partial work done. are not doing a satisfactory job. “I seem to be saying the only way you’ll This is an idea I did not think about...if the get your sub to complete the job is if you sub is already paid and the work he did owe him money.” page 63 does not pass inspection, then it might be Make sure inspections by the county or city really hard to get him back out to fix the are complete before payments are made. problem. Once you find all of your subcontractors by researching their work and built a trusting Basically this is telling me to give the subs relationship with them, it is now time to let their space. I don’t have to be there for them work. You don’t have to monitor every hammer swing. They are the experts. their every move on the job site. I’m just the quarterback designing the plan Remember they are the expert in their field. of attack. The subs are the foot soldiers. “They know more about trades than you do, and probably, if they came to you well recommended, they take pride in their work. Let them do it!” page 64 Build a relationship with the building supply companies (lumber, brick, paint, I have already contacted several supply insulation, etc.). companies for the cost estimates. During Ask for the builder’s cost (usually a this time I have been able to talk with percentage cut off of the normal cost). If several representatives and build a reliable you don’t ask you probably won’t get it. relationship with them. Those contracting themselves are I’m never afraid to ask for a discount! contractors and deserve the builder’s price on the materials. When suppliers send bills for supplies, they usually give at least a 30-day term to pay Good tips with the 2% discount and wait the bill without penalty. Some suppliers on ordering until the beginning of months. offer a 2% discount if your bill is paid by This ultimately will save me in the long the tenth of the month following the run. What little I can save now, I will reap purchase. the benefits during the mortgage years by Try not to order supplies near the end of not having to pay interest on that money the month so that you will get an extra 30 for 30 years! days to pay for them. Bookkeeping Tips: Open a separate checking account to pay for subcontractors I could also create a cost estimate budget and suppliers and create a cost estimate on a computer spreadsheet to show the budget on a computer spreadsheet to show budgeted amounts for each phase of the budgeted amounts for each phase of construction. By coding the checks, I can construction, code each check so that you easily input the information into the can deduct the amount from the budgeted spreadsheet. amount Steps in the Building Process (page 69-87) 1) Staking the lot and house: 1-3 hours This section of the book is the most 2) Clearing and excavation: 1-3 days helpful. It simply lays out the process. I 3) Ordering utilities, temporary electric know that building a home is not as easy as service, and a portable toilet: 1 hour following these steps in this particular 4) Footings and First Inspection (made order, but it is nice to see the general before pouring footings): 1 week process. As the quarterback, it is important 5) Slabs, basement, and garage: 1-2 days for me to be aware of the whole process. 6) Framing and drying-in: 1-3 weeks With this skeleton, I can take a calendar 7) Exterior siding, trim, veneers: 1-3 and estimate when to tell subcontractors I weeks will be ready for them on the job site. I can 8) Chimneys and roofing: 2 days-1 week also keep up with inspection dates. Again, 9) Rough-ins (electrical, plumbing, organization is the key to success! heating and air, etc.), can be done Note: The book takes each step and while steps 7 and 8 are happening: 1-2 explains the step with a little more detail. weeks So within the skeleton, I do get a little bit 10) Insulation: 3 days of substance that tells me what will 11) Hardwood flooring and underlayment: basically happen during that step. 3 days-1 week 12) Drywall: 2 weeks 13) Priming walls and “pointing up”: 2 days 14) Interior trim and cabinets: 1-2 weeks 15) Painting: 2-3 weeks 16) Other trims, such as ceramic tile and vinyl floors: 1 day-1 week 17) Trimming out and finishing plumbing, mechanical, and electrical and hooking up the utilities: 1-2 weeks 18) Cleanup: 2-3 days 19) Carpet and/or hardwood floor finish: 3 days-1 week 20) Driveway (can be poured anytime after step 12): 1-3 days 21) Landscaping: 1-3 days I LOVE THIS BOOK! Without this book, 22) Final inspections, surveys, and closing I would be lost. It is very comprehensive, of construction loan and interior trim: supportive, informative, and easy to read. I 1-3 days recommend this book to anyone thinking of 23) Enjoy: a lifetime! contracting their own home construction!
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