Monthly Archives: May 2014

Almost too busy

Don’t want to say the recession is over but home improvements have perked up significantly. Maybe it’s just the act of going outside that has made people see that the decks and patios need work. We don’t want to turn away work but we aren’t masons so if your concrete is crumbling and you don’t want to replace them with wood, call a mason.

Almost every town requires architect sealed plans for permits. I hate having to tell people this because it adds time and money to every job but it is really in everyone’s best interests.

Just had what should have been a simple permit application turn into a bureaucratic bad dream (not quite nightmare yet). We have to go for a Highlands exception after the zoning review and before permits. Should pass but not in a timely fashion.

Also gone are the days of free estimates. Due to daily raising prices for lumber and siding and even increasing legal hoops for permits we have to spend serious time figuring out proposal prices that won’t bite us in the … Just this week I went to purchase something for the firehouse that we got a price quote for in November and the price went from $521 to $568. It was for a redi-made item that we could have bought in Nov and stored here but we didn’t think it would have gone up so much in 6 months. We are out the $47 since we quoted a price for the job already. We have gotten letters from multiple suppliers who have announced price increases over the next few months. I understand the homeowner just wanting a number but it’s not so easy. What would work better is for them to give us a number. Like “Could I get this addition for less than $10,000?” That we could say yes or no. People are afraid to give us a number thinking we are going to always charge them for the amount they say even if it would be less. But why waste our time if you have too little money for your dream job? Now that we are busy we don’t have as much time & energy to write up estimates. But people still want them and balk at paying for our time and effort. It’s a hard balance.