Just want to pass along a piece of info for those building a home or having
To pre-empt anyone getting their shorts in a knot - this is not suggested as
a means of babysitting a contractor. It could be used to "watchdog" a site
at night, and for watching the progress in a speeded up fashion (stills
combined in .avi or animated .gif).
Someone asked about an IP enabled webcam for their site, and this is not.
Its a digital game camera made by
can be mounted to a pole or tree
slef contained with long battery life - up to 6 months / 1500 images
can be programmed to take digital pictures at a pre-set time interval, (day
only, night-only, or both)
can be programmed to do both time lapse, and motion activated
It takes color pictures during the day, and IR at night (no-flash) might be
helpful to have photos to show law-enforcement if materials disappear
Uses removable compact flash memory card, has usb interface, and a rca video
You'd want to inform the GC that its there, and your reasons for using it -
I plan on getting one to make the time-lapse movie of our house coming
How well can it be disguised? Or maybe I should ask how long until it is
removed from your possession? Either by a contractor who does not want to
be watched or by a kid who wants a new toy?
Other than that, sounds great.
Because it's the fair thing to do. If you don't tell him, and you use
the pictures to settle a dispute with him halfway through the job, you
may win the dispute but you just dealt a fatal blow to your relationship
We'll be breaking ground shortly on a custom design, passive solar,
extremely energy efficient home.
I guess my comment was based on experience with our GC - we shopped around a
LOT before finding a GC that we feel comfortable working with.
We, as the homeowners are investing time, dollars, and confidence in the
builder. He is offering his experience and knowledge for hire and is in
business to make a profit.
We went and looked at a lot of model homes built by "custom builders" -
bwahahahaha. Sure they looked pretty enough, but if you looked any deeper -
cracks in block foundations or water stains, gaps big enough to stick your
finger in between basement stairwell headers and their support columns,
etc., etc. Wouldn't contract a doghouse from any of them.
One builder wanted 30% up front instead of monthly draws for work
completed - don't call us, we'll call you.
Another wanted to get paid to provide a bid....isn't quoting a job
considered a "cost of sales" - I know it is in my engineering business.
Below are several items that influenced our choice.
-History and experience - two brothers who have been in the business for 20+
-They only build single family homes - no spec or developments
-During our initial meeting, he readily offered names and numbers of other
homeowners he'd built for. We've contacted every one of them and all had
nothing but good things to says about their work and their experience
working with them. He also offered to meet at a couple of job sites to see
their work in progress. Its obvious they are proud of the work they do and
of their reputation.
- Every home built in the last 7 years has achieved Energy Star rating of 5
(HERS 89 or better), with the most recent ones all being 5+. Which means
they understand proper building practices for energy efficiency.
- They visited our lot/site after receiving the drawings and before our
initial meeting. Had also reviewed the drawings in detail, and had a number
of questions, suggestions, and recommendations ready to discuss with us and
- Subsequent meetings with them included reps from both the SIP and pre-cast
vendors. We discussed the drawings prepared by both suppliers, along with
alternatives and detailed proposed alterations to the drawings and material
specs that could reduce overall costs. This demonstrated that they were
giving the project detailed design and engineering consideration before
summitting their bid.
- His bid clearly itemizes material costs, labor costs, and his profit. It
includes labor only prices for installation of those items we are
purchasing. We were able to work this way because we did our homework up
front, picking cabinets, fixtures, lighting, flooring, roofing, etc. as well
as defining finishes and trim. The contract is in final draft, and closely
parallels a commercial AIA contract. It clearly spells out payment
schedules, oversight, contingencies, and remediation procedures, etc.
Discussing and understanding everything in it, with both parties in
agreement should eliminate problems during the build.
He doesn't have a problem with the camera, and is actually looking forward
to getting a copy of the foundation / SIP install portion for advertising.
What the hell is wrong with that? It's YOUR house, YOUR money and you have
EVERY right to monitor construction. When I had my shop framed I worked my
schedule so I was right there for most of the time and made them fix several
things I didn't like.
When I had to fix the basement wall in my last house I discovered that the
masons didn't fill the blocks with grout, they stuffed scraps into the
second block down and filled the top block so it looked like they did it
right. Sure which the guy that had the house built caught that during
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