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Patricia's Forum Posts: 7
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By Patricia in Cheshire, CT on 3/12/2011


Hi,  I'm looking for ANYONE in Western Connecticut who has built within the past 6 years. Some of the contractors we have spoken with are giving us pricing that is waaaaay out of whack. We know it's a more "expensive" area of the state, however no one is able to justify their pricing after we tell them that we are purchasing the materials. With no new houses being built in the area everyone is fibbing about being "so busy".

One bright note thus far has been a phone call to a 40-year-old commercial concrete company. The owner called me back and since the company doesn't handle residential, filled me in on the concrete industry and who in the residential business to stay away from. He also went so far as to do our concrete takeoff for us. It cost me a four-course dinner for him and his family (I'm a private chef), easy trade. Makes me think I should go to other commercial subs and try the same.
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By Peter in Burlington, WA on 3/14/2011


Don't lose heart. You just need to keep interviewing contractors. I had to talk to a minimum of 5 or 6 to get one reasonable bid in every area.

Why are you telling the contractors that you are purchasing the materials?

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By Frank in Elkridge, MD on 3/15/2011


I went to HS in Stamford, so I know your area is very expensive. My brother-in-law lives in New Fairfield, north of Danbury and he is a contractor, specializing in framing, decks and bathrooms. If you send me a PM I'll send you his info.

Good luck.

Frank

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By Patricia in Cheshire, CT on 3/16/2011


Hi Peter,

We're telling them that we are purchasing SOME of the materials. We have a connection with EcoBlu Products in California, who is going to basically use our home for their portfolio, so we are purchasing the BluWood product directly from them; great win-win for each of us (same cost as Doug Fir).

As for the windows, we are still deciding on the brand, Marvin, JELD-WEN, or Lepage. We already spoke with Marvin (yep, the actual Marvin) and the regional wholesalers for Lepage and JELD-WEN. We know we need to go through a distributor for the windows, but so far, these regional guys have told us whom to contact in the entire region.

We are finding that there is a huge difference in window pricing throughout the state and throughout New England. So, since the windows come direct from the manufacturer and are delivered direct to our jobsite, it makes sense for us to purchase them ourselves and get the best pricing from whomever will give us the best pricing. They are going to deliver them to the site anyway, and a distributor who is 100 miles from here isn't going to care if they are delivered next door or into the next state.

Same with roofing. We are looking at the DaVinci composite slate shingles. We've received pricing from a couple of GC's on the EXACT same shingles and the price was almost DOUBLE! So, we called DaVinci directly, and they gave us a much better price and even gave us a list of 7 roofers that they know have installed them. None of those roofers cared if we bought them from the manufacturer directly; they only need to be sure they are at the site when they are ready to do the install.

We are getting tired of hearing that there is a "premium" for building in that area and that the materials costs are high. Example: a piece of oak in X town is still the same piece of oak in Y town providing you are comparing all apples. Why pay a premium because that piece of oak went 10 miles into the next town over? Ridiculous.
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