We are now officially building a house. Let me rephrase, we are almost officially building a house. We have our contractor lined up and we are signing our loan docs, so we are 90% officially building a house.
We chose to go with Craig Rogers Construction. If you aren’t in the San Jose area (or even if you are), this probably means nothing to you. Unfortunately, as I’ve complained about in the past, none of these guys have websites, so I can’t show work either. Arrgh.
But we went with Craig for a number of reasons:
1.) He reminds me of my dad. My old man runs a small tool and die shop and has done the same thing all of his life. He is one of the few people that I know that truly loves his job. If you told my dad that his expenses would be taken care of and he didn’t have to work, he’d probably show up at the shop at 7 am the next morning to design molds. Craig, I get the impression, is the same way. Sure, he could charge more for the work, but he’d rather be selective about the jobs, do them really well and do them for a fair price.
2.) I don’t get the impression that he is going to shaft us for $1,000 worth of towel racks. If we want to spend that, it’s fine, but that will be our call. Craig builds really high end houses. In looking at the other homes he has built, I get the impression that this will be a fairly simple project for him and his crew. However, I have confidence that he isn’t going to put ugly towel racks in.
3.) We have a budget. Craig was about 5% more expensive than the lowest bid and about 15% less expensive than the highest. He was right in line with the mid-end of our budget. I have it built into my mind that we will spend an additional 15 – 20% during the building phase of this project based on unforeseen expenses. I think that our most expensive contractor would have done an amazing job, but I also think that we could have gotten into trouble if we decided to make some changes along the way.
4.) His references were impecable. We love the houses that houses that he has built in the area and the owners of these homes had amazing things to say about how great it was to work with Craig. How he came in at or below budget (unless people changed things) and finished on time.
Taking all of this into consideration, the choice became a no-brainer for us. We’ve signed the contract and cut the retainer check. His crew is scheduled to show up on 11/1 to set up the fences, turn off the water, move the electrical and begin demolition. Now the fun really begins.