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wacky1980

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city just showed up, so i guess i'm getting my water meter installed today. wish they'd have let me know they were coming in early, because i had them scheduled for tomorrow/wednesday. supposed to have concrete guy coming in today to do some cutting around for plumber guy, and he won't be able to do his work with the city's machinery all over the place. ugh, come on guys. we met last week so we could avoid tripping over each other, and here we are, tripping over each other on the first fucking day of work. 

i like my shit to be on schedule and on time. these guys are causing me stress. but hey, at least shit's getting done, so i'm just gonna grumble to myself and keep going.

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Tell them to come in for a drink and get them drunk so they have to come back tomorrow.

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1 hour ago, wacky1980 said:

city just showed up, so i guess i'm getting my water meter installed today. wish they'd have let me know they were coming in early, because i had them scheduled for tomorrow/wednesday. supposed to have concrete guy coming in today to do some cutting around for plumber guy, and he won't be able to do his work with the city's machinery all over the place. ugh, come on guys. we met last week so we could avoid tripping over each other, and here we are, tripping over each other on the first fucking day of work. 

i like my shit to be on schedule and on time. these guys are causing me stress. but hey, at least shit's getting done, so i'm just gonna grumble to myself and keep going.

Welcome to the world of construction.

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21 minutes ago, scoobdog said:

Welcome to the world of construction.

this is why i'll never work in the trade. well, one of the reasons. i hate being tied to other people's schedules. i also only have enough knowledge there to be dangerous, and i have no plans on furthering that education.

now the city has backed off for the day because they have a water leak they're fighting. after i already pushed out concrete guy for a day. so now i'm trying to get him back in today to do his work.

data & tv guys (same company) are supposed to be coming in later today as well, to do a site survey for the bar and the garden. we're moving to IPTV in the bar and i'm gonna try to talk them into letting me add the garden to the bar's account, even though it's technically a different property. i'm already planning to shoot wifi across the alley, and i'm hoping they'll let me do the same with tv since it's all from the same provider.

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Just now, wacky1980 said:

this is why i'll never work in the trade. well, one of the reasons. i hate being tied to other people's schedules. i also only have enough knowledge there to be dangerous, and i have no plans on furthering that education.

now the city has backed off for the day because they have a water leak they're fighting. after i already pushed out concrete guy for a day. so now i'm trying to get him back in today to do his work.

data & tv guys (same company) are supposed to be coming in later today as well, to do a site survey for the bar and the garden. we're moving to IPTV in the bar and i'm gonna try to talk them into letting me add the garden to the bar's account, even though it's technically a different property. i'm already planning to shoot wifi across the alley, and i'm hoping they'll let me do the same with tv since it's all from the same provider.

I'm assuming your doing all this work as owner/builder and not through a general contractor.

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9 minutes ago, scoobdog said:

I'm assuming your doing all this work as owner/builder and not through a general contractor.

yes. i've never managed a project like this. the thought of hiring a general contractor never really entered my mind because we started out with a much smaller project and it grew just a bit over time. i'm learning as we go...learning that i'm never doing this on my own again lol.

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1 minute ago, wacky1980 said:

yes. i've never managed a project like this. the thought of hiring a general contractor never really entered my mind because we started out with a much smaller project and it grew just a bit over time. i'm learning as we go...learning that i'm never doing this on my own again lol.

You just gotta put a little more prep work in.  Have you created a schedule?  I mean, you wouldn't need anything professional like Microsoft Project, but writing down a schedule and making sure all of your subs have it is usually the first step because that's where you start dealing with lead times for material and coordinating utilities with the city.

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4 minutes ago, scoobdog said:

You just gotta put a little more prep work in.  Have you created a schedule?  I mean, you wouldn't need anything professional like Microsoft Project, but writing down a schedule and making sure all of your subs have it is usually the first step because that's where you start dealing with lead times for material and coordinating utilities with the city.

i called that meeting last week to do exactly that, and everyone was there and on the same page at that point. city was supposed to be coming in tomorrow/wednesday because they weren't supposed to have all their materials until later today. so concrete was gonna make cuts today to prepare the slab for plumber, who was ordering his parts and was supposed to be coming in at the end of this week/start of next week. then the following week, concrete comes back in to pour the slab and footings. week after that, construction crew is supposed to show up to put up the buildings. we had a pretty solid plan for the rest of this month when we broke that meeting. i thought.

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I figured you had a schedule, but what I'm talking about is an actual written timeline - preferably one on a blank calendar so you can visually see the dates.  If you give them just dates, subs will almost always agree to meeting a deadline.  The problems come in with how they go about meeting it.

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1 minute ago, scoobdog said:

I figured you had a schedule, but what I'm talking about is an actual written timeline - preferably one on a blank calendar so you can visually see the dates.  If you give them just dates, subs will almost always agree to meeting a deadline.  The problems come in with how they go about meeting it.

yep, i don't have one of those. i have my calendar with all of the schedules penciled in, but i didn't distribute copies to everyone. it seemed pretty straight-forward and everyone was on the same page, so i let it go at that. consider that my lesson for the day, i suppose.

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1 minute ago, wacky1980 said:

yep, i don't have one of those. i have my calendar with all of the schedules penciled in, but i didn't distribute copies to everyone. it seemed pretty straight-forward and everyone was on the same page, so i let it go at that. consider that my lesson for the day, i suppose.

Eh, it's all good.  I'm just mentioning it because you were talking about how overwhelming the process was.  Even with my Project schedules, which tend to be pretty detailed, subs rarely follow the schedule I send to them.  Having the visual forces them to be at least somewhat honest, but, more importantly, the visual allows me to better look ahead to see potential adjustments if one trade goes long or doesn't start on time.  Doing that makes the whole thing more manageable.

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One other thing is that, in the process of becoming proficient in Project, I had to learn how to create "predecessors."   Without getting too technical, the program uses links between line items to determine when a new task starts, and, in creating a schedule, I have to think of sequencing not in terms of dates but in terms of when a task starts in relation to its parent.  Even if you're not programming a schedule like I am, thinking of tasks in terms of parent-to-offspring instead of as deadline-to-deadline is far more manageable.

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1 minute ago, scoobdog said:

Eh, it's all good.  I'm just mentioning it because you were talking about how overwhelming the process was.  Even with my Project schedules, which tend to be pretty detailed, subs rarely follow the schedule I send to them.  Having the visual forces them to be at least somewhat honest, but, more importantly, the visual allows me to better look ahead to see potential adjustments if one trade goes long or doesn't start on time.  Doing that makes the whole thing more manageable.

well i'm definitely on a learning curve throughout this process. once we get the concrete done, i get to start doing work again (assisting the construction team while digging into my area of knowledge -- the bar build -- while on vacation from the day job for the first half of june). if we can keep this schedule from falling apart, that is... looks like i'll be reaching out to everyone again and confirming it asap. there's some buffer days in there for this exact purpose, so i'm not too worried just yet. as long as the city gets their meter installed and the concrete is chopped by the end of the week, we're still on track.

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Just now, wacky1980 said:

well i'm definitely on a learning curve throughout this process. once we get the concrete done, i get to start doing work again (assisting the construction team while digging into my area of knowledge -- the bar build -- while on vacation from the day job for the first half of june). if we can keep this schedule from falling apart, that is... looks like i'll be reaching out to everyone again and confirming it asap. there's some buffer days in there for this exact purpose, so i'm not too worried just yet. as long as the city gets their meter installed and the concrete is chopped by the end of the week, we're still on track.

Baby steps.  You don't want to end up being stressed about things you can't control.

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2 minutes ago, scoobdog said:

One other thing is that, in the process of becoming proficient in Project, I had to learn how to create "predecessors."   Without getting too technical, the program uses links between line items to determine when a new task starts, and, in creating a schedule, I have to think of sequencing not in terms of dates but in terms of when a task starts in relation to its parent.  Even if you're not programming a schedule like I am, thinking of tasks in terms of parent-to-offspring instead of as deadline-to-deadline is far more manageable.

this is actually something i had considered. knowing how there are variables outside our control made it difficult to nail down specific dates for start/completion, especially knowing that step B being finished late meant steps C D and E would all be pushed back as well. i don't really have a good method for handling that, except just keeping everyone informed about the progress with weekly calls (which i've been doing for the last few weeks now). we're on a timeline, but it's got plenty of wiggle room as long as we continue to make progress. 

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1 minute ago, wacky1980 said:

this is actually something i had considered. knowing how there are variables outside our control made it difficult to nail down specific dates for start/completion, especially knowing that step B being finished late meant steps C D and E would all be pushed back as well. i don't really have a good method for handling that, except just keeping everyone informed about the progress with weekly calls (which i've been doing for the last few weeks now). we're on a timeline, but it's got plenty of wiggle room as long as we continue to make progress. 

That's why Project exists.  Do you insist on on-site meeting with your subs weekly?

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8 minutes ago, scoobdog said:

Baby steps.  You don't want to end up being stressed about things you can't control.

TOO LATE

we've been talking about this project for almost 2 years. and we now have the next 2 months to wrap it. plenty of time ..........

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Just now, wacky1980 said:

TOO LATE

we've been talking about this project for almost 2 years. and we now have the next 2 months to wrap it. plenty of time ..........

Is there a reason for such a tight timeline?

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Just now, scoobdog said:

That's why Project exists.  Do you insist on on-site meeting with your subs weekly?

we're not meeting on-site weekly, just via phone. i remember messing around with Project in a college course, but that was in the windows xp era so i bet it's changed just a bit since then.

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Just now, scoobdog said:

Is there a reason for such a tight timeline?

beyond me putting my foot down, not really.

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Just now, wacky1980 said:

we're not meeting on-site weekly, just via phone. i remember messing around with Project in a college course, but that was in the windows xp era so i bet it's changed just a bit since then.

Not much.  It's a little more user friendly, but it's still time consuming.

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1 minute ago, wacky1980 said:

beyond me putting my foot down, not really.

Nothing wrong with that.  You gotta hold these guys to deadlines or they will find a way to put your project on the back burner while they finish someone else's project.  What will help a lot is if you start having on-site meeting on a weekly basis and make them mandatory for the subs that are on-site or setting up to be on-site.

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so the water meter is being buried as we speak. i'm ok with this. concrete guy has tomorrow/thursday to do his prep work before the plumber is coming in. 

tangent. i went shopping last night for containers and dirt for the hops. we'll be growing about a dozen hop plants in said containers, mostly for aesthetics (hence the name "hop garden") but also to see if we can produce enough of a harvest to use them for making a few small batches of beer. i'd like to get about 5-10 lbs of "wet" hops from them in this first year. my biggest concern with that is whether customers are gonna leave them alone to do their thing. time will tell.

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and this morning, concrete and plumbing both decided to get to work. they kinda work in tandem anyways (plus, one recommended the other) and i think today is mostly prep work and a little digging around. would be nice if electrician had his shit together so we could have power turned on (like he was supposed to have done by monday...ugh), so the contractors could power some of their equipment. no, we have drop cords strung across the alley from the bar for now.

and the city located their meter too close to where the foundation is supposed to go. we had everything clearly marked (the city even marked their own location), and they were off from that by almost a foot. if i was feeling rather assy this morning, i'd tell them to move it back about 6". but concrete said he can *probably* wiggle his shit enough to avoid it and still be good. i also learned something new about the meter install. apparently i have to purchase the meter and the pit, even though the city still owns it. cool, there's another $650 i wasn't budgeting.

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You've had a hell of a time with that damn water meter.

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1 minute ago, scoobdog said:

You've had a hell of a time with that damn water meter.

right? it should have been the most minor thing too. oh well, it's done, so now we can move on with life.

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If it makes you feel any better, my father is my pro bono contractor, and every room in my house is half-started with no finish in sight.

Maybe someday I will have an upstairs bedroom or a completed kitchen.

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1 hour ago, Admin_Raptorpat said:

If it makes you feel any better, my father is my pro bono contractor, and every room in my house is half-started with no finish in sight.

Maybe someday I will have an upstairs bedroom or a completed kitchen.

but now look at all the excuses he has to come visit his son.  silver linings, my man.

~~~

concrete guy got his cuts all made and i had some rock and sand delivered for backfill when the plumber does his work, starting tomorrow. concrete is coming in next week. we're back on schedule. successkid.gif

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yeah? he dumped off a bunch of furniture I had stored in his garage for the past four years, then he left.

now all the furniture is in my garage because i'm not ready in here for it.

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3 hours ago, Admin_Raptorpat said:

If it makes you feel any better, my father is my pro bono contractor, and every room in my house is half-started with no finish in sight.

Maybe someday I will have an upstairs bedroom or a completed kitchen.

You know who's the worst at remodeling his own house?  A contractor.

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18 hours ago, Admin_Raptorpat said:

yeah? he dumped off a bunch of furniture I had stored in his garage for the past four years, then he left.

now all the furniture is in my garage because i'm not ready in here for it.

he's testing you. or maybe he's making room for his new chopper?

anyways, new day new update. i spent last night measuring and staking off the lot so the plumber could come in today and do work. he's currently burying plumbing, but just on the lot. he decided he's just going to stub off the sewer at the edge of the alley today, and not going to tie into the sewer main until after concrete is also done. the reason he gave is that it's another day's worth of work and he can do that anytime, so this gets him out of the way and the concrete guy in there a day earlier. i guess that makes sense, but he's already got all his crew and machinery here now so why not just do it now? eh, whatever, it's getting done and it's not like i have to pay him any more to bring everything back onsite in 2 weeks.

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18 hours ago, scoobdog said:

Is your dad a commercial or residential contractor?

Small scale, self-employed, mostly residential stuff. Specialty is sheetrocking and taping.

Way back he and my uncle would build houses (again, small scale, maybe like one a year) in the 80s and early 90s, but he's more of a sub than a prime at this point.

1 hour ago, wacky1980 said:

he's testing you. or maybe he's making room for his new chopper?

Nah, every few years he cleans out his garage of accumulated shit. Never enough to actually use it as a garage, mind you.

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On 5/15/2019 at 11:08 AM, scoobdog said:

You've had a hell of a time with that damn water meter.

oh, it ain't done yet.

i made the mistake of checking in with the plumbers at lunch. they were HOT. we have already established that the city installed the meter too close to the foundation. turns out they also installed it about a foot deeper than they were supposed to. and they were supposed to leave a 3' whip (using the plumber's terms) outside the meter pit for the plumbers to tie on. the whip was only 5" and was stubbed off inside the pit. so the plumbers had to dig all the way down and cut through the pit wall to get to the stub on the meter (apparently that's a no-no because the plumber isn't supposed to touch anything inside the pit?). and now i'm short about 5 tons of rock because we had a big hole to backfill. the plumbers are a full day behind now, and won't be done until at least monday. 

the city's guy in charge of all things road, water, & sewer is a god damned idiot. he's been responsible for a lot of fuck-ups in the few years he's had the job. my brother-in-law is the county highway dept commissioner and has been witness to a lot of the fuck-ups. a couple years ago, the county made a promise to the city that they would not put their name on any projects for the city as long as that particular city guy was involved. BiL and i actually sat down with an alderman last night and had a conversation about this guy, and just how utterly horrible he is at his job. and now today, i'm gonna go talk to the mayor and let him know how much extra time and money this asshole has cost me with this water meter bullshit. 

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so now i'm sitting here thinking about this whole thing. my lead plumber has been offsite all day, so his two helpers are the ones doing all the work. not entirely sure how honest these guys are. it's possible they fucked something up themselves, and are pushing off the blame on an easy target. maybe i should call the lead plumber to make sure i have my facts straight before unloading on the mayor...

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On 5/16/2019 at 10:39 AM, Admin_Raptorpat said:

Small scale, self-employed, mostly residential stuff. Specialty is sheetrocking and taping.

Way back he and my uncle would build houses (again, small scale, maybe like one a year) in the 80s and early 90s, but he's more of a sub than a prime at this point.

I hate taping.  I have all the tools for it (including a flatbed) and I still can do it worth a shit.

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1 minute ago, scoobdog said:

I hate taping.  I have all the tools for it (including a flatbed) and I still can do it worth a shit.

people have said it's a real art to do it well, and that my father is really good at it

now whether either of those things is particularly true is not something I know

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No, it's true.  Taping is an art and it's something that you have to specialize in.  Tapers have a lot in common with plasterers.

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Sounds like the discarded line from a Christmas song...

...13 Contractors Contracting...

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5 minutes ago, scoobdog said:

No, it's true.  Taping is an art and it's something that you have to specialize in.  Tapers have a lot in common with plasterers.

the first floor of my house is all plaster, he says he knows a little bit how to work with plaster but mostly kind of made the :/ face when he saw he'd have to work with it

(as an aside, the upstairs is sheetrock but the old couple who lived here before us didn't paint it - they applied wallpaper directly on with no layer of paint or primer between them. scraping it off without totally ruining the sheetrock was entirely miserable, and I don't entirely blame him for having not done the clean-up job in the past year)

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Plaster isn't as hard as you might think, but it still involves actually making the plaster mix rather then opening a box of mud.

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i've never applied plaster, but i've gutted a couple houses full of it. current house is all plaster, and i know that means we'll be removing it all in time. ugh. as for drywall, i'll hang the shit all day but i'm no good with mud. tapered edges, maybe passable. butt edges? be looking like fuggs' belly roll.

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one perk as a kid though was that for a number of different years my father would save up decent-sized scraps of drywall and make a cool fake cemetery in front of the house for halloween

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Screw schedules, Leeroy Jenkins that shit!

Leave it up to the city and utility companies to fuck up any kind of schedule you have. I waited 6 hours for an inspection Wednesday because the receptionist didn't want to bother the inspector. 

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On 5/15/2019 at 5:42 PM, scoobdog said:

You know who's the worst at remodeling his own house?  A contractor.

My house has been finished for two years. I still have to do all the crown mold, jetted tub tile backsplash, kitchen tile backsplash, concrete the driveway and finish my yard work. Oh yeah and put shutters up around the windows. Some day I'm going to add a shower to the bathroom in the garage.......that's it......someday. 

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anyways, back to the stuff. plumber cleared out yesterday. concrete guys came in this morning. digging footings by hand like real men lol. i think they're gonna try to get them poured today before the rain starts again. then maybe come back thursday to pour the rest of the restroom and utility areas. if things go well, he wants to form up the rest of the pad on friday and have it ready to pour early next week. we shall see how well all of that goes...

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3 hours ago, wacky1980 said:

anyways, back to the stuff. plumber cleared out yesterday. concrete guys came in this morning. digging footings by hand like real men lol. i think they're gonna try to get them poured today before the rain starts again. then maybe come back thursday to pour the rest of the restroom and utility areas. if things go well, he wants to form up the rest of the pad on friday and have it ready to pour early next week. we shall see how well all of that goes...

Good luck. 

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