Anyone in the Construction business?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Care4all, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Care4all
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    Care4all Warrior Princess Supporting Member

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    I am trying to hedge this economy...

    My husband and I need to have a garage built and installed...for our Cottage.

    Are construction material prices dropping and if so, are they going to continue to drop?

    Are labor costs dropping as well in this business due to the slowdown....

    Should i wait till next fall where prices could be lower or go for it this spring, because prices will be the lowest this Spring?

    Care
     
  2. strollingbones
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    strollingbones Diamond Member

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    i know wages are dropping as there is no work and a lot of unemployed carpenters and contractors....
    first you need a contractor to pull the proper permits...unless you or your man are able to do the "contracting" check local building and state codes. spring is a good time to purchase....i would work up the materials needed and hit the "iwanna" type papers. a lot of contractors have preordered and then clients have backed out...lots of deals out there if you are willing to look..and know what you are looking for and not getting ripped off..and bring cash..cash is gonna speak volumes right now..avoid the amigos..they pay no attention to local codes...you have to stay on top of them...pay everyone in cash if you can...the fortunate ones will have unemployement and wont want a check...
     
  3. sealybobo
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    sealybobo Diamond Member

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    For the sake of the economy, do not sit on your money for another year. Do it now.
     
  4. American Horse
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    American Horse AKA "Mustang"

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    Do it now. The price of labor is far more volatile than that of material. But because of that be especially careful of the contractor you select. Not only ask for references, but get a certificate of insurance from anyone you talk to about a bid, and to have it when they do present their bid to you, for Liability and Work Comp insurance. Even if they say they don't have any employees, and use subs, then ask for insurance certs for their subs. If they don't have these or can't produce them, they aren't responsible contractors, and they'll be risky to employ. Without W.C. Ins. things become more complex and you don't want to go there.

    All payments to them should be progress payments proportional to the work that has been done. On small projects like this one I usually get 25% as earnest money when signing, while on quarter mil $ projects I ask for as little as 5%. I really hate to take anything up front, but a contractor so soon gets so heavily invested on someone else's property, that to not do so is way too risky. Try to arrange to hold off the final payment of say 25 to 50 percent, whatever that is, until you accept the completed project.

    Make sure they or you get a permit to build unless none is required where you live, taking care to be be sure of property lines and set-backs. If the property line isn't so distant you have nothing to worry about you might need to consult a surveyor. A staked boundary survey is very costly but if you ask a surveyor to only find two stakes adjacent to your garage, not so much. You can get bids on doing that by calling at least two surveyors. Once they know the legal description (or lot number/subdivision) they'll know how much to charge for it.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009
  5. Skull Pilot
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    Skull Pilot Platinum Member

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    I do a lot of my own carpentry etc. I gutted and re did our entire living space over the past 2 years and materials are cheaper than they have ever been. i can't say how much more material prices will drop but I wouldn't worry about it.

    Personally, i would buy the materials myself and just get bids on the labor. if you can pull the permits yourself do that too it'll save you a few dollars. Depending on your zoning laws, you might be able to act as your own general contractor and do some of the work like running electric and other things yourself. Check it out
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2009

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