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So, we are putting a second-floor addition and a 10x15 hexagon bumpout on the front of our 1,100 sq. ft. ranch. It'll be great recording it all here and getting advice and support!
Kerry in Northvale, NJ



Posted by Angela in Luray, VA on 10/4/2007

 . . . wins the race (but it sure takes a lot of patience.) I have made 17 copies of our plans and they are all out to subs waiting for bids except for one set. I made four more copies today, since I need to give two sets to the county with my building permit application. Good thing they're only about $8 per set. I am getting most of my sub names from the Virginia License look-up web page for contractors and tradesmen.

We know two or three people who just finished building in our area. Initially, they made a point to go out of their way to say how they could give us names for good and bad subs for every trade but when the rubber met the road and I got out my pen and paper, they suddenly forgot most of their subs. One person whom I see almost every day in my job kept promising to get his "notebook", but after gently "reminding" him over the course of a couple weeks, I just gave up.

I've found that contacts from the VA License site are better than going through the phone book. There are more listings and the people are more interested to bid on your project and work with you. You have to do a little web-work to find their phone numbers because the license site only lists their address, but it's worth it.  The best thing is that you can also see if their license is still current or expired and you can see if they have any formal complaints against them.

I am a little concerned that the little time that I do have to dedicate to the house (between being the business manager for our business, two kids and managing the current house) is being spent completely on finding, meeting with, and following up with subs so that I don't have any time to spend on my "spec sheet" or "features list". I am worried that many of the things that I know I want in the house will not be incorporated, because I just don't have the time to dedicated to writing them down and brainstorming about them. I am not even able to read any more of the books that I ordered that I didn't get to before this part of the project started.

The other concern that I have is the size of the house. We were originally shooting for 2,400-2,800 sq ft and we ended up with about 3,200 after trying to fit everything in that we wanted. That is one of the reasons that I am trying desperately to get bids now because we need to know if our budget will be enough to build the house. If not we will have to "drop back and punt".

Enyhoo, back to work...


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