When I started out building on my own I did not want to get into the big business of large crews, complicated estimates, standard mark-ups for labor and materials to cover profit margins and contingencies, and included allowances for insurances of liability, workers comp, and health. I wanted to be free to enjoy the process of creation without all the worries of making the bottom line work.
For this reason I intentionally keep my labor rate reasonable, work by myself, do all the trades involved as much as possible, be creative with design and application, and take the project all the way to completion without leaving it off for someone else to finish. I am the GC, the carpenter, the concrete guy, the plumber, the electrician, the roofer, the finish carpenter, the painter, the laborer, the landscaper, and the clean up crew.
When I take on a project I want it to go smoothly and enjoyably for everyone, and come out beautifully. With this in mind, please consider the following:
1. We will work closely together regarding design choices and directions.
- The planning stage is often the most challenging as we attempt to build it on paper first, or at least get a general direction for the project. Often times the project drives itself, as a design-build, allowing for the flow of the land, space, and function, or the creativity of the builder/owner to shape the outcome. In each case we will dialogue closely along the way and choose the best directions as they present themselves.
2. We will design and choose the materials with cost, simplicity, aesthetics, and function in mind.
- I endeavor to build simply, cleanly, and with a healthy amount of thought toward utility, function, and inter-relation. Simple materials, with smart and artistic application, yield comfortable living spaces. This philosophy also insures a lower project cost, an immediate lived-in feeling, and an easy connection with the setting.
3. I like to take on projects that I can complete solo.
- This insures a common hand in all the details of the project from start to finish, including washing the windows. It allows me (and you) to be certain that each part of the process relates to, and is wisely integrated with another. It certainly reduces my labor rates as I have no need to add on costs for employee insurances, extra overheads, or increased profit margins. It can mean a relatively smaller scope of work, a reduced stress of building decisions for you, and a faster time of realization. In addition, It usually insures that I alone will be on site with no coming and going of numerous trades and the resulting disruption that can add.
4. I take on only one project at a time.
- You can be assured that my complete attention will be on your project until it is finished. My focus will not divided between other projects that would take me off the job, stall your project, or leave you wondering what is happening and why we aren't progressing. I am here for the duration, and until completion.
5. You will become very informed as to the processes of building.
- Throughout the project you will learn how things go together, be instructed as to the material choices and decisions, and be very involved with the reasons things work the way they do. I feel it is important to teach you along the way so you really understand the function, aesthetics, and value of your project, as it will be you who ultimately takes the pride, joy, and ownership.
6. I work for time and materials only.
-With the process of bidding, comes the need to insure that one makes or exceeds the costs of building, plus their profits. This can result in over-charging to compensate for overheads and unknowns, or stressing, cutting corners, sacrificing quality, or rushing if a project is under-bid.
- I work at a standard rate of $50 cash per hour, and give a detailed invoice every two weeks with all the labor and materials incurred throughout the project. You will receive a log of every cost incurred and every task completed. With this method you pay for exactly what you receive relative to the project vision, with no more or no less. I believe it is the most fair way of working together, and I offer a lower labor rate to insure that this is so. Most often, the project costs will be below what you would expect with a larger crew.
7. I will do my best to work with you regarding project estimates.
- I understand the need to know what a project is projected to cost for the decision making process, but still I strive to always keep costs as low as possible, make smart design and material choices, and complete the job in a thorough and timely manner with no strings left untied. Estimates are just that, and there is always something new that comes up along the way to keep us scratching our collective heads.
8. I believe in a clear integrity of giving and receiving.
- Prompt service suggests prompt payment. Prompt payment encourages prompt delivery. One position supports the other to a mutually beneficial outcome. I will always take the first step to work hard and put my whole attention to a project to it's completion. I expect that you will join me in this project with your attention, your ideas, and your fair compensation.
9. I generally live on site or nearby in my own accommodations and steer the project steadfastly to completion.
- I believe that finishing a project is as important as starting one, and to this point I am committed to staying with it to the end. Usually I like to work every day of the week, give my complete attention to the different aspects of the project, learn and integrate what I need to along the way, and deliver the finished product to you as soon as the scope of work allows. Certainly there will be changes and unforeseen challenges to solve, but these will be attended to diligently and successfully unto a clear conclusion.
10. I am always working to improve my service
- In my approach to any project, it is important to realize that I am constantly searching out techniques, tools, and materials to do the job faster, more efficiently, cheaper, and better. This takes extra time input on my part, but it is important to me to be as efficient, effective, clean, and quality minded as possible.
In conclusion, I hope to create and build projects that are smart, clean, aesthetically appealing, and work with their environment. I want us both to be pleased with the outcome, aesthetically, functionally, logistically, and financially. Hopefully I have painted a clear picture of working together, but please contact me with any further questions. Also take a look at my testimonials page to see what some of my past clients have related about our projects together.