Owner Builder Hints II

We continue our series on owner builder hints. These tips will help you proceed with an informed confidence. This advice is a result of decades of experience.

Owner Builder Hint #5

“Be on the jobsite for inspections.”

It is a good idea to be at the job when the municipal inspector is schedulde to inspect the project. This will often facilitate approval. Rejections are often for trivial items which can be corrected while the inspector in on-site. It also shows your trade contractors and the inspector that you have a personal interest in your project.

Owner Builder Hint #6

“Stay ahead of the game.”

Always be looking at your schedule. Consider what is coming up tomorrow, next week, and next month. There are many items which require a long lead time. Don’t wait until the last minute and cexpect a sub-contractor or supplier to perform miracles. Remember, to start, measure or install some items or tasks, may require completion of other tasks. Looking ahead and reviewing your schedule daily will help reduce job delays. Follow up on these owner builder hints by reviewing indivual topics. Check our scheduling page.

Owner Builder Hint #7

“Dry-in as soon as possible.”

Drying- in your structure will provide a dry workspace inside the home. Working in wet conditions is difficult and can contribute to problems later such as mold or twisted lumber. It also makes it less palatable to work on your project. If a trade contractor has 3 projects to work on and 2 are dry, where will they work?

If you are building in the late summer, fall and into winter, having a covered structure as the weather begins to grow colder will be a benefit as well.

Owner Builder Hint #8

“Check your potential trade-contractors references.”

Don’t just ask for references. Review those references and contact each of them. If possible, ask to see a job that is underway or recently finished. Check the quality and the tidiness of the work.

When you discuss the performance of the contractor with their references, you should expect glowing remarks about their quality, timeliness and honesty. If you aren’t overwhelmed with how beloved the trade partner is, be wary. References are typically contractors or homeowners that are expected by the trade to give them high marks. If anyone you speak with speaks negatively about them as a subcontractor, remove them from your list of options.

Owner Builder Hint #9

“Don’t pretend to know more that you do.”

If you don’t understand something that your subcontractor inspector is talking about, say so. They will respect you for being honest.

Request expert advise. After discussing a subject with your trade or inspector you may still not understand or you may be uncomfortable with their explanation. Of course, the internet offers abundant resources like www.ownerbuilderonline.com to review and look for answers.

Another option is to hire a construction manager or consultant to assist in subcontractor relations.