Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A new chapter

The last month has been a real roller coaster but today we signed a contract with a new builder to complete our renovation. It is a large commercial builder yet a family run business. In addition to building schools and large commercial buildings they also specialize in restoration and maintenance of historic houses and in the renovation of rental properties for high end property management firms. Our project to them is small. Why would they even bother? Well, some friends of ours who own an historic house and who have worked with this company made a personal appeal on our behalf. They came to see the house and agreed to help. It took a couple of weeks to finalize, but they gathered all the original trades on site and had a massive meeting, confirmed everyone's prices to complete the work and spent dozens of hours estimating and meeting with the city inspector and engineer. The effort they put into their contract proposal alone was impressive. Even though we've been shaken to the core by a nightmare of a building experience from before, we had confidence to proceed with this new builder on the recommendation of our friends and the strong effort they put forward in good faith to make a proposal that would work for us.

At this point our worries go from being a million different things - dozens of deficiencies, months of delays, dishonest billing, contract violations, breach of trust with bank funds, bullying and extortion, and even a break and enter where materials were stolen - to being really just one thing to worry about, which is the financing side of it, since the costs to finish are now about double what they were supposed to be.

The new builder didn't waste a minute getting into the job either. They were on site today and already cut the basement slab for footings if the structural supports. I imagine our neighbors will be hugely relieved to see work finally happening on the house, with a full crew on site in a daily basis. Finally, a real builder.

No time wasted getting started: concrete work for structural supports started immediately. Shoring up the beam with proper equipment as well. What a difference already.

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