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Ralph's Forum Posts: 26
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By Ralph in Nashua, NH on 10/29/2004


I'm trying to locate contractors that will actually return phone calls and request for quotes. I've gotten lots of bids from excavators, a couple of bods on foundations, and I finally received my first proposal from a builder. We started seeking bids in April and we feel like we've barely made a dent in the project.

If anyone out there is building in this area and has any suggestions we would appreciate it!  Seems like there's so much building development going on that subs could care less about the OB.

Thanks!

Ralph G.


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By Peter in Gilford, NH on 12/31/2004


Hi Ralph,

I'm building in Gilford, NH and had much of the same experience as you.

I finally decided to do the work myself.  I just finished pouring the foundation at the beginning of Dec.  Put the septic system and driveway in last week.  January is Framing...

Building isn't rocket science...just hard work.  I've lost 18 pounds and now considering writing my new "Construction Diet Book"...

Happy to help in anyway I can...


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By Ralph in Nashua, NH on 1/1/2005


Hi Peter!  Sign me up for the first copy of your new book!  I could stand to lose a few pounds anyway!

Glad to hear you've made some progress on your house. It's a great time of year to get some work done without having to pay a contractor those high summer prices.

Can I assume that you put in your foundation, septic, etc?  What size is your new house going to be? We finally got a price from one of the builders that we spoke with...$207K for all site work, foundation, framing, roof, windows, doors and siding.  We had planned to do all the finish work ourselves. Overall, I thought it was a great price considering what I've gotten for quotes from certain task related contractors. And I've been told that by some freinds of mine who are in the trades as well.

We sat down with him recently to discuss ways of cutting out some cost and we're going to have our plans revised in a couple of weeks. One of the items he had mentioned was to put in our own septic so I'd be curious to find out how difficult it was for you?  I know that I could do it but I have some concerns about how particular the town is going to be.  I don't want to get it done only to have the town shoot down the inspection, but I'm sure I can work closely with them to avoid this...just a little gun shy I guess. We had also thought about purchasing our own backhoe/loader to do a lot of the site work but the builder warned against it since it would cost us a pretty penny if something went wrong and we had to fix it.

What did you do for your foundation?  Are you in the trades or do you know enough to be dangerous like me!?

I'm happy to pick your brain on your project and I'd welcome any advice, as well as, stories of what you've had to deal with related to your project.

Thanks, Peter!  Best of luck!

-Ralph


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By Peter in Gilford, NH on 1/2/2005


Hi Ralph,

Did all the work myself, clearing the lot (four log trucks had to came in to take away the trees), put in the driveway with 26 trucks (over 500 tons), dug the foundation, poured the footers and the walls using ICF's and the septic and electric (240 feet of trench from street to house). Well is going in this week (not doing that myself).

Took about two+ months so far and about $35K so far.

The septic cost about $3500 for the parts and $2500 for the fill. I went towards the high end on the septic (with enviro-septic pipe) to reduce the size of the leech field for my four bedroom house (about 4500 sq feet). The rental for the equipment to do site work for septic was about $2000. I had the design done for $800 bucks. Nothing to it really. I could have saved some on the parts, but would have increased cost on the site work. I also choose a plastic holding tank, and could have saved money using a concrete one (but I figured if I needed to move it, the plastic I could using a bobcat and the concrete would have required a crane). The state does the inspection of the septic, not the town. The first place to start is getting a designer to do the design for you.

I figure that the whole thing will run me about $200K, with me doing much of the work. I could save some by using cheaper materials, but I figure, I'm saving big time on the labor, so I can spend more on the materials. For instance, instead of using Anderson 400 series windows with a clear pine interior, I'm going to spend another $50 bucks a window to go with Loewen windows with a douglas fir. Since it would cost me a couple of hundred to have each window installed, I figure I will spend some of my savings on better materials.

What I have found out is that getting subs to call you back is impossible in the lakes area. And when you talk to them about simple things like warranties and contracts, many are scum.

Happy to help in anyway I can....


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By Barbara in Wilton, NH on 5/18/2006


    Hey Ralph,  We just closed on our land in Wilton NH and will be breaking ground soon.  I posted my requests for contractors at bidclerk.com and recieved replies immediately.  All supplied references, had insurance and were licensed.  Anyway, thought that might help you out.  Good luck with your construction project.
- Barbara - Working in Wilton

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