Monday, March 26, 2012

Construction Speak


I am in the process of interviewing contractors right now, assembling my dream team for erecting my first bar.  Contractors or builders come in all shapes and sizes, literally and figuratively.  Normally I wouldn’t endorse a triangulated relationship but as one builder fondly referred to it as a three-legged stool, and this makes perfect sense.

In one corner we have Jen Doak (that’s me), the one with only a few absolutes in this design process.  There are several ideas and “feelings” in my head/heart that I anxiously await to bounce off the professionals. 
In another corner is the architect Shed Built (www.shedbuilt.com) and lastly the builder (unknown at this point). 
There is a new vocabulary to learn, spreadsheets to analyze, and questions to ask.  Here are the questions I have so far:

·         Are you licensed?
·         Do you carry general liability insurance?
·         Do you have workers comp insurance?
·         Do you guarantee your work?
·         Will you provide me with written lien waivers?
·         Will you be in charge once the project starts?
·         Do you pull all the required bldg permits?
·         What professional organizations are you a member of?
·         Request references from several suppliers 
·         Request references from several subs 
·         Have a detailed conversation on how billing & verification of invoices, hours, etc. will be worked
·         How will you perform quality checks, re-do's (get this in writing)
·         Make sure I am the one who picks out the materials. Let them know I want to be very involved in picking out hardware and paint and flooring and everything else. 
·         Make sure they won’t be taking any vacations mid-job 
·         What type of deposit do you require?
·         How do you stay on schedule or to a specific timeline?

I am excited and nervous for this component.  It will complete the design team and I know how important it is.  Not to mention, it makes this dream more of a reality.  I bet the food and drinks will taste better when I’m not just thinking about them but seeing them and experiencing in a real space, with real smells, and real people.

4 comments:

  1. Great list! Maybe add: Request references from several previous clients, even ask to see previous work (in person). Look at the tini-tiny details, like how their lines, corners, joins line up/measure up. Are the nail patterns straight? You're looking to see if things are plumb and square, which will ensure lastability. So exciting!!!

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  2. Thank you so much for the additional questions!

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  3. I'm impressed with you, as always!
    Another question, I'd have is "How many other projects might you/your firm be working on at the same time as my project? How will you prioritize?

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  4. Great questions Joy! Thanks so much for the wonderful input.

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