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Energy Efficient Home Renovation Update – The Good, the Bad and the General Contractor

Energy Efficient Home Renovation Update – The Good, the Bad and the General Contractor
July 11, 2013 Cassee Cunningham

SavvyCassee web teamSo, one of my complaints about the social media realm, of which blogging is part of, is the superficial Polyanna nature of it. I promised that when I wrote about my experiences with our energy efficient home renovation I would include the good and the bad.  My goal is to be honest, and maybe someone somewhere will benefit.  Well, the truth of it is my project has hit a plateau because finding good subcontractors is like herding squirrels. Once you think you have one planned and ready to go, they don’t show up.  Heck, just getting them to call you back is hard.  I guess that means the housing/building market is so good, all the electricians, plumbers and such are so busy they don’t need the business.  Some of the bids I have gotten for the same job are so drastically different, I have no idea what a fair price actually is.

Then there is the permitting process.  OMG, now I understand why people avoid getting permits!  I call the permitting office and after being on hold for 30 minutes, I feel like I’m talking to my parole officer after robbing a bank. I’m a homeowner trying to gather information to do the right thing by getting a proper permit for all of the work I’m planning to do. I’m not the bad guy.  So, permits are on hold too, because I have to have all my contractors on board before I can get them.

So, I’m flirting – ok more than flirting – with the idea of a general contractor for the renovation.  The role of the GC is one I’ve been trying to fill to save myself that cost. But right now I feel like there is a deep conspiracy against homeowners that try to act as their own general contractor.  I have talked with several GCs, but there is one I have my eye on.  He has been professional and not condescending to me and my skill level.  He also shares my philosophy of energy efficient building and is knowledgeable about ethical, local, and energy efficient products.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I expect to get his bid next week.  We’ll see if it’s feasible.

If it sounds like I’m a little frustrated, I am.  I’m still loving the renovation project, and I’m trying to remember that I am learning. Stay tuned.  Please let me know your thoughts.  To check out the progress we’ve made, check out the Facebook album of photos and take a peek at our previous posts on the blog.

The picture that I have added with this post is me and my two techno angels that help me put this blog site and so much more together.  In stark contrast to my house renovation, they are an example of something that does work and show up on time.  The lovely Pixel Diva, Laura Mitchell and the extraordinary Stephanie Nelson of SBN Marketing.