Monday, May 23, 2011

meetings with contractors moving smartly along

On Saturday, we met with two contractors, each with very different takes on what their roles were in the rehab process.

The first, Major Homes, a northern Queens 4th generation family run "soup to nuts" operation, and blue, green, red, llc, an independent contractor.

Richard, the sales person from Major Homes was prompt, professional, and knew the General Contracting (GC) business. His job was to assess the needs and scope of the project, run the estimates, schedule the trades (Major employs the various trades under its roof), and supervise the renovation. As we want to do a bulk of the finishing work ourselves, he was dubious as to whether or not Major would be able to help us with the reno job.

The second individual, Salem, was much more our style and speed. She had a trade carpentry background before becoming a GC. She has a set of trades-people she works with (as sub-contractors a.k.a. "subs") on the various jobs. She was into creative problem-solving and practical long-term solutions for the reno. Much more in-tune with what we are looking for.

So at this point, we are still getting bids from the electrical and plumbing subs, as well as a mason/chimney company, as we have to repair some interior damage and certainly re-line the chimneys with metal flues for the kitchen exhausts as well as the hot water heater(s) and the boiler.

Lastly, Salem has recommended a utilitarian architect who is "old-school, no nonsense practical, one-sheet blueprint kind of guy who can create the design for the Alt 2 permit we have decided to get from the DOB. This is an added expense, and according to many of the contractors and trades we spoke with, not really necessary as we are homeowners doing the renovation ourselves. But, it is worth the couple of thousand it will cost to have the plans professionally drawn up and certified. it will make pulling the subs permits easier, and give us a guideline when talking to the sub-trades, should we go the GC route ourselves.

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