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Ever have a remodel or addition to your house? February PORCH Update

Posted by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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 I found a contractor and will embark on adding a screen porch to my house.  I have searched the Internet for ideas to come up with the specs.  They will have to tie into my roof and house foundation.  I am a bit anxious because I know it will probably take a couple of months and it will be a mess in the back yard.  I will have to handle my dogs on a leash and keep up with loose nails.  It will be worth it, but I am afraid this will be an unpleasant process. 

Has anyone else gone through a renovation?  What did you have done and were you glad you did it? 

February 24 - Well it has been several weeks and this is the progress thus far.  I will enjoy it when it is done, but I have to admit this kind of chaos is very very hard for me to cope with - I just keep telling myself this is temporary.  In the mean time my dog just barks at the porch.  I have items stuffed in the garage and all over the house with the final destination as the porch.  The contractor says he can finish by the end of March.  I sure hope so.   I really hope I can get the yard repaired when they are done.  

   

 

by on Jan. 19, 2013 at 10:33 PM
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by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:10 AM
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The only thing we had done is getting a new roof,
As long as you have contracted with a reputable company it should be fine.
Yes there will be mess & the dogs will need to be leashed.
Honestly you could ask them at the end of each day to pick up the nails too.
that is all part of the process.
Good luck & let us know how it goes ;)

sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:13 AM
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We have both remodeled and built from the ground up, always acting as our own contractor.  HOWEVER DH is a union industrial/commercial electrician, his brother was a union carpenter, and many of his friends are in the trades.

How did you find your contractor?  Have you seen FINISHED work he did?  Also ask for names and addresses of work he did several years ago, and see what THOSE homeowners have to say, after time has passed.  Is your porch going to be all season use, or only summer?  Will it have windows as well as screens?  Awnings?  Gutters?  Interior lighting and electrical outlets?  Insulation?  What will the flooring be?  How will you exit the house to the porch?  The porch to the yard?  Get a WRITTEN proposal from the contractor, including a breakdown of costs of  supplies versus labor, specific materials to be used ( even things like using hot-dipped nails, and the thickness of the concrete), the project time line and payment schedule.  Do you have electrical outlets OUTSIDE your house for the construction workers to use?  Will they want YOU to supply compressed air?  Loose nails will be the LEAST of your concerns. There is going to be a LOT of garbage around your house. 

If you want the costs to be fixed, then make sure you are getting a BID and not an ESTIMATE.   And write into the bidding contract a clause specifying penalties for each day beyond the project deadline, that  the construction project is not completed.  But be prepared-- a lot of contractors will NOT want to give you a bid.  Decide if you still want to do business with the contractor if he will not.  Do you want to be on the hook for cost overruns, and have your home and yard torn up for an unspecified length of time???

You will need a permit from your town, and you may have to submit the construction plans and proposal in order to get it.  If you DON'T get a permit, and an inspector from the town aks for it, they CAN make you tear the addition off!!!   You will need a plat and survey, and an outline of the proposed addition,  to make sure you meet all the setbacks, and that you are not encroaching on the property lines.  Find out if your town specifies a  dumpster, where it must be placed, and who pays for it--you or the contractor.  Be aware that the construction must also be inspected before the town will sign off on it's use, and after that, your real estate taxes WILL go up.

Good luck, and have fun!

Shellness
by Michell on Jan. 20, 2013 at 12:22 AM

 I haven't but have been the contractor many times working with my husband on other peoples homes. We have never ever left a mess at the end of the day in someones home though. We always cleaned up everyday before we left for the day. Make sure you tell your contractor that you want this done and I'm sure he will see to it. I sure hope you are pleased with the results! Good luck. Maybe you should ask for references to check the contractor out first.

Also, I just wanted to say, no offense, but sabrtooth1 made it sound a lot more scary and involved than it has to be. You can pull the permit yourself just go to city hall and they will guide and direct you and make it simple for you. They will also sometimes give you great advice. Your contractor may want to talk to them himself to get the specifics about what is and is not allowed.

Getting a bid is a good thing but please be a little lenient on the time schedule because sometimes there are just unforseen events that take place that wre ill delay a project and there is nothing you can do about it, it being no ones fault, such as weather events or problems obtaining certain materials. The reason you want that schedule is because sometimes you can be taken advantage of and a project that should only take a couple of weeks can drag out to a couple of months, things like that.

sabrtooth1
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 1:38 AM

 


Quoting Shellness:

Also, I just wanted to say, no offense, but sabrtooth1 made it sound a lot more scary and involved than it has to be.

No offense, BUT, altho I am sure your husband is a good contractor, not all of them are.  Some are craftsmen; some are butchers.  Small contractors often have cash-flow issues--they can't take advantage of economies of scale, and have to wait for payout on other jobs befor they can buy supplies for new jobs.   Because they have small crews, or are doing some or all of the work themselves, they can be delayed by things like a blown tranny, a carpenter with a DUI, or a brickie who decides to go back to the auld sod to see his brother get married.  And people are naive about what they want, how good the outcome will be, and how long it will take.  They should NOT just hand a check to someone, and expect everything to turn out fabulous.   It is ALWAYS better to be OVERprepared than underprepared.

And it's one thing if you are working in the middle of nowhere,  where there are few, if any, codes, and quite another if you are working in a nice subdivision with covenants, and city, county and state codes and inspections. 

BTW, in addition to being an electrician, DH has been a project manager for a Chicago engineering firm, for 25 years. 

suesues
by Silver Member on Jan. 20, 2013 at 8:35 AM

only had kitcken cabinets re done and floors or pool and patio blocks put in could be messy but well worth the time and money

Bmat
by Barb on Jan. 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM

Yes, my kitchen. My SIL had had hers done and said it was **** and I had to agree, My refrigerator was in the dining room, I cooked in the microwave which was in the living room, there was dust all over the house- now I know I should have put up sheets or something as dust shields, But the results were worth it, I love my new kitchen.  You'll be glad you did your porch, I hope it all goes smoothly.  If you have a neighbor with dogs, you may want to arrange to let them play there during the day.

nana9106
by Darlene on Jan. 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM
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My husband attempted to add a screen porch to my house one time....what a disaster
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atlmom2
by Susie on Jan. 20, 2013 at 9:01 AM
We moved in a new house and right away finished 3/4 of the basement. Had 4 rooms finished. Super glad we did. Helped when we sold it.
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Bmat
by Barb on Jan. 20, 2013 at 9:04 AM

I read the other replies and was reminded of when we contracted to have the inside walls and ceilings painted, what a nightmare. Be sure you have talked to other people who have worked with your contractor before-  the guy who handled our painting was the worst- instead of two weeks it took all summer, and he had an inexperienced kid doing the work. At one point we said we would like to go into arbitration for this, and he talked us out of it. In the end I was so glad to see them gone.  But the roofing contractor, on the other hand provided a professional job when he said and cleaned up well afterward.  I had a contractor put a new window in my bedroom last year, and although it was messy in the room for a couple weeks, I love my new window, and he did a wonderful job.

Bmat
by Barb on Jan. 20, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Thank you for the info about a bid, I hadn't thought of doing this.

Quoting sabrtooth1:

We have both remodeled and built from the ground up, always acting as our own contractor.  HOWEVER DH is a union industrial/commercial electrician, his brother was a union carpenter, and many of his friends are in the trades.

How did you find your contractor?  Have you seen FINISHED work he did?  Also ask for names and addresses of work he did several years ago, and see what THOSE homeowners have to say, after time has passed.  Is your porch going to be all season use, or only summer?  Will it have windows as well as screens?  Awnings?  Gutters?  Interior lighting and electrical outlets?  Insulation?  What will the flooring be?  How will you exit the house to the porch?  The porch to the yard?  Get a WRITTEN proposal from the contractor, including a breakdown of costs of  supplies versus labor, specific materials to be used ( even things like using hot-dipped nails, and the thickness of the concrete), the project time line and payment schedule.  Do you have electrical outlets OUTSIDE your house for the construction workers to use?  Will they want YOU to supply compressed air?  Loose nails will be the LEAST of your concerns. There is going to be a LOT of garbage around your house. 

If you want the costs to be fixed, then make sure you are getting a BID and not an ESTIMATE.   And write into the bidding contract a clause specifying penalties for each day beyond the project deadline, that  the construction project is not completed.  But be prepared-- a lot of contractors will NOT want to give you a bid.  Decide if you still want to do business with the contractor if he will not.  Do you want to be on the hook for cost overruns, and have your home and yard torn up for an unspecified length of time???

You will need a permit from your town, and you may have to submit the construction plans and proposal in order to get it.  If you DON'T get a permit, and an inspector from the town aks for it, they CAN make you tear the addition off!!!   You will need a plat and survey, and an outline of the proposed addition,  to make sure you meet all the setbacks, and that you are not encroaching on the property lines.  Find out if your town specifies a  dumpster, where it must be placed, and who pays for it--you or the contractor.  Be aware that the construction must also be inspected before the town will sign off on it's use, and after that, your real estate taxes WILL go up.

Good luck, and have fun!


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