Having anything built is a long process and when you decide to be the general contractor on the project, the process is even longer! The pole barn itself we hired a company to build, but all of the finish work on the inside, I have managed. Learning and following all of the building codes rules is one thing, but keeping all the subs in cue and in line is another thing entirely. Our area is booming like crazy, middle Tennessee is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. Because of that, the subs are extremely busy and you throw weather in the mix and it can delay things even more. Pretty much every sub-contractor we have hired has gotten behind schedule on other projects, which makes them behind schedule on our as well. We have used all local subs, some owning their own small companies and that has been helpful and cost effective mostly.
Managing their time hasn’t been the most stressful part, getting what we ask for has. We have planned and planned and tried to be as specific as possible with the various subs and there is always something that turns out wrong. The best way we have stayed on top of this is to always check their work. It has been things like a board not in the right place on the framing, a pipe in the wrong place on the plumbing, a light switch not in the right place, gravel not quite where we wanted it in the driveway. The items have been relatively simply fixes, but they take time and extra trips for the subs. I feel like staying on top of the work, along is the way, is critical to getting it built the way you want it.
One of the main reasons we approached this build the way we did is so we can be onsite when we eventually build the house. If we are already living on the property, then we can keep an eye on things and make sure they are going as planned.
I sometimes feel like work ethic comes into play, it seems in some cases the worker is trying to see what they can get by with. They just want to do the bare minimum and move on. This is usually the workers that work for the various subs, that I see doing this. I understand that they need some help to get all of the jobs done and I bet it is truly hard to find good workers, for any of the trade fields.
The truth is that no one is as particular about your build as you are yourself. But when you are the one spending your hard earned money on it, then you want it to be right.
My last thoughts, most of the subs have been great to work with and regardless I am very thankful to them for the efforts they have made. Some of them have went above and beyond and they are truly a rare breed!
Next week, we will talk about epoxy floors!!!