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U-Build-It, Please explain yourself

Gumshoe's picture

Since another thread got off onto the subject of U-Build-It, I decided to start another thread specifically on that subject. I found their website at http://www.ubuildit.com/ (as Gunner said), and I am going to send them an email inviting them to join this discussion, and explain themselves, since a lot of us have a lot of questions about who they are, and what they offer.

If I get a chance, I'll try to pull those posts with questions, and move some of them over here (or if anyone feels motivated to do that, that would be great!). And maybe they'll grace us with their presence. If you'd like to email them to invite them also, their email address is on the website mentioned above. Just be sure to give them this IP Address: http://forums.taunton.com/tp-breaktime/messages?msg=53698.1


Edited 2/5/2005 3:18 am ET by Huck

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #1 of 105)

Here's a little quote I picked up from their website (I might actually learn to like these guys): "DON'T always pick the cheapest subcontractor. Most quality contractors charge about the same. Some may charge less because of lower overhead or not being very busy, but the materials, subcontractor and labor costs are virtually the same for everyone. Once your project is underway, you'll appreciate reliability and quality workmanship more than a small difference in price."

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #2 of 105)

Gunner: Another option is go the U Build it route. I think the web site is U build it .com Check it out. They let you be the GC, then they provided you with the subs. They get a much smaller cut then the GC and you have a good pipeline and a GC to fall back on if you need one. I've never known anyone that's used the service but would be interested in findiing out how it goes.

kcmarie122: ...We are using UBuildit to do a major whole house remodel including a large addition (practically new construction when it's all said and done). UBuildit is exactly how he described. They are basically a builder consultant for the whole project. You are your own GC but they are always around to answer questions, come out to your site, help you find subs that they have experience with, help you get quotes and help you work with the subs effectively. The advantage of having them help you find subs is that the subs seem to be more willing to work with a UBuildit led homeowner because they know if they do good work, they could get repeat business, not from the Homeowner, but from UBuildit's other clients. We had a few GC's quote us around $400,000 for the whole project (gulp). But we are doing it with UBuildit for around $225,000 (baring any major cost overruns) and we are barely going to do anything of the work ourselves. Our Framer starts monday so we are still early on in the process but it's worked out great so far and UBuildit has a pretty good rep I think.

Bill Hartmann: BTW, the are a number of company like Ubuild-It. They all seem to be regional. Presidentail (or President) Homes is another one. And there is a new one from out of Texas that I hear advertising on the Radio. Don't remember their name. They will probably show up in a google on Owner Builder Homes.

Jeff J. Buck: Your price did not go from $400K to $225K simply by switching from a GC build to UBuildit. Impossible. Apples to apples? nothing deleted ... no scope of work altered? I'm not buying this one. a 42.5% savings? .... I'd like to see the books at the end ... if something sounds "too good to be true" .... it usually is. No way it's the same end result ... let along same materials ...

Tim Kline: dammit Jeff, you beat me to the punch again..... I had exactly the same reaction. I'm sorry the person who posted this thread will read this.

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #3 of 105)

piffin: I think that is how U-build works. Low ball pricing from inexperienced subs who need the work and unrealistic expectations from HOs

kcmarie122: I'm sure you're right. It's definitely not apples, to apples. Sorry that I implied that you could save 40% by just doing it yourself. I agree that's not realistic. They (UBuildit) say it's between 20% and 30% savings over hiring a general contractor. But I guess we'll see, wont we? I think the GC we got the quote from was used to doing higher end projects. So when we gave him our plans, he gave us an "approximate" cost of the type of job he normally does. He was also probably just trying to being safe by quoting high anyway. We weren't paying him to do the quote so maybe he just gave us a average $/sq. ft. type price. I don't know. He's also got a good reputation too. Maybe he doesn't like to build a home where people skimp on things so he'll only do jobs for people who can afford to do it high end. Another factor with the quote was the fact that it was a remodel so there are a lot more unknowns with what you'll find when you start tearing stuff out. Maybe he put extra padding in the numbers for that too. In reality I just think we were/are a lot more willing to go light (money-wise) on things because there's no way in hell we could afford a $400K home. I know a lot of you contractors are extremely skilled and proud of your work and frown on homeowners who cut costs and skimp on things. But sometimes for us to be able to afford it, that's how it has to go. We decided to skimp on things that we could upgrade later if we choose to, i.e. countertops, fixtures, etc. But not on things that are essential to the basic quality of our home like our foundation waterproofing, windows, etc. We truly tried to balance size of the remodel with the cost and also with the quality. It's a hard balance! :) As far as UBuildit goes, I really don't feel like they always suggested the cheapest contractors. In fact, they often gave us a few choices. But they always suggested a company that they had personal experience with (had worked with them before) and felt that they would do a good job. That's my opinion of our reps but if you go meet with your local UBuildit rep you can talk to them and decide for yourself if you like what you hear.

Rob: Kacy, Good points. It's always the reality part that makes it difficult.

Jeff J. Buck: That's the big difference .... "cut costs" is lots different than "skimp" nothing wrong with cutting costs to fit the budget ... just don't "skimp" on materials or quality. I don't see a PLam countertop as being "skimpy" over granite. Just c good cost cutting measure. I'm curious ... before deciding the UBuiltIt route ...did U seek out other contractors and try to get someone to work closer to your budget? And .. have U started building yet? This would be a good topic for U to start a thread that updates the process. Hope it works well ... glad to see no one expects a $400K house for $225K! btw ... that 20% to 30% savings ... I'm still not buying that either. Ask the accomplishied DIY home builders around here ... I'd bet most say they saved under 20% ... if that. Since the BuiltIt people are supposed to help hammer out the little details as they crop up ... they gotta be charging for that service somewhere ... Nothing's free.

piffen: Since it is a remodel, take the figure you now have ($225,000?) and multiply it by one hundred and twenty percet. $275,000 is now closer to what you wil spend

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #4 of 105)

Doug@es: There is a bit of difference between U Build and President Homes. President sells you the stuff to build, will do any or all of the building. U-Build is more of a consultant, they do have subs at there disposal. Anyhow that's what I know about the two. I saw a billboard down here in TX that said something about a similar Co. I think it was "Ownerbuilder network" IIRC

piffen: I'd be curious to know how u-build it makes the bucks. Percentage? Flat fee? Kickbacks - oops enrolment fees- from subs for placing them on the referal lists?

Doug@es: Piffin I dont know if someone else answered your Q or not but I believe they get %, I know someone that built a house down here in TX using them, thats sorta what I got out of it. I may be mistaken but I thought its was in the neighborhood of 10%, dont quote me on that though. If ten percent is close than that sure would cut into the savings that one can hope to make on the whole thing.

kcmarie122: Actually Piffin, UBuildit charges a flat fee based on square footage. They (UBuildit) touts this as a big advantage to a GC. Mostly because they don't up their fee if you decide to spend more later on the details. So whether or not you go all out with all the luxuries or go bare bones, it's the same price. Our rep actually gave us a pretty good deal. It's a long story...but basically we started the planning process with one UBuildit Franchise and then had to transfer to the other local UBuildit franchise that had just started up. We switched because the original guy decided to move out of state and sell his franchise. The original guy felt bad about "abandoning us" so he asked the new guys to give us a deal. Basically we added square footage later during the planning process and they still gave us the flat fee based on the original, smaller square footage. The total came to $11,500 for the whole project. But that's typically how they price it. It's definitely not based on percentage of what you spend. We could go crazy spending money on top of line stuff now and the fee would not change (as long as we didn't start adding square footage). Hope that answers your question!

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #5 of 105)

kcmarie122: I don't know about kickbacks...we asked them about it a long time ago and they said they didn't get them but I can't vouch for that personally! They could've been fudging the truth, who knows. But the better subs they get us, the less involved they have to be in our process. The more problems we have, the more we are on the phone calling them! :)

Framer: What is their fee?

kcmarie122: Their fee was $11,500 based on a 1500 sq. ft. addition. But I think it's usually more than that for 1500 sq. ft. Like I mentioned, they gave us a deal. They also have different pricing based on whether it's new construction vs. a remodel. But both pricing sheets are based on sq. ft. unless you're not adding sq. ft. and are just remodeling existing. Then it might be based on a value $ of the remodel.

kcmarie122: Jeff, Yeah, I guess skimp was a bad word. Cutting costs is what we're really trying to do. Yup, we started building in late December. The framer starts Monday. So far so good but we haven't gotten very far yet! Although we did add basement to our existing basement. We wanted a basement under the addition. It was a little challenging though because our old basement was shallower than our new basement was going to be. It involved underpinning but overall it went well. I wouldn't mind posting updates to our project if people were interested but we're no experts. I have been reading through the boards the past few months to get some good tips from all of you!

Bill Hartmann: Yes, Ownerbuilder Network is the new one that I hear advertised in KC. There are no U-Build-It's in this area. But there is a Presidential Homes operation. The run ads all the times in the Sunday RE section, usually an open house for a newly constructed home by one of their clients. I don't know what kind of materials that they supply or than just sources of supply. All of the homes that they have featured have been "custom", at least they are not "packaged homes" of any kind. However, I suspect that the homes that they feature or not there typical client, but I might be wrong. BTW, the best that I can tell these are all franchises with different people running the local operations so there might be a fair amount of variation from place to place.

piffen: Plenty of builders work on only 7-10% markup so it is hard to see where anyone saves by using them if they sub it all out.

piffen: I see K C Marie can we put that to a tune? Thanks.

Framer: There telling you it will cost AROUND $225,000.00 and they're baring any major cost overruns. I assume all that is in their contract and all of what your going to do is not included in that $225,000.00 or is it? It sounds like they're acting as a Construction Manager but around here the Construction Managers that I know get a percentage of the job cost and that's anywhere from 10-15%. Your saying they're fee is based on the square foot of the addition. The Construction Managers around here run the job and deal with all the subs on a daily bases and get all the invoices from all the subs and give them to the homeowner and then the homeowner writes out all the checks. Do you do that or do the subs deal directly with you and you pay them? I'm just trying to understand this UBuildit company because I've never heard of them.

piffen: Me too, The ads I hear on the radio sound lie the stretch the fabric of reality with their claims but I have no direct information

Doug@es: Piffin I see I have been corrected by some one that actually knows what they are talking about! :) KC seems to have straitened you out on the cost. I probably wasn't listening or my source wasn't any more knowledgeable than me!

piffen: Your source mauy not have been wrong exactly. It may be that the company charges a flat feet per sq ft, but that your source was thinking in terms of a percentage, so he made tjhat conversion in his mind and reported it that way. If their primary product/service is to provide advice and a list of potential subs to use, together with sceduled inspections on site, it stands to reasion that the cost to them would be no larger for an expensive home than for a basiv economy model.

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #6 of 105)

This is a very interesting thread, Huck. Good luck on getting them to show up and join the discussion.


 


"A hard head makes for a sore [JOBSITE WORD]."

"If you have enough energy you can solve a lot of other problems." - Charlie Munger, Berkshire Hathaway.

We have an abundant supply of domestic natural gas. Let's get busy solving problems.

(post #64540, reply #7 of 105)

thanks, I thought they might like to come introduce and explain themselves to an audience of hardcore construction people. Seems like the "self-help" niche is growing in all sectors (i.e. "We The People" legal assistance, "Help-U-Sell" and "Assist-2-Sell" real estate assistance, and of course now "U-Build-It" construction assistance). I guess if they're a legitimate alternative, and the niche (of D-I-Y'ers) is here to stay, we might as well get educated to what they offer, and what they don't.

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #8 of 105)

kcmarie122: Hmmm, so many questions from all of you! I didn't know what I was getting into when I posted my first response! UBuildit definitely does not do what it sounds like your construction managers do around there. The only time they deal with the subs without you is when they gather the quotes for you in the early stages (before construction). After they give you the quotes the job rests entirely on our shoulders. We are the decision makers, we pick which subs we want to use (even if it's not one of the ones they got a quote from, we can pick the guy next store if we wanted), we watch the budget, we get the loan, we sign the checks, we do everything. Also, if we decide to do some of the work ourselves, we don't ask anyone if we can, we just do whatever we want. The only thing they do after getting the quotes is answer your questions and help you be "your own GC." They did not say, "your project will cost $225,000, sign this contract and we promise you it will only cost you that much." The quotes gave us an estimate of what we could approximately do the project for if we used all their subs. They are not "baring any major cost overruns", we are hoping there are no major cost over runs besides the contingencies we already have in place. They told us this in the beginning so we put in some padding here and there in our budget with their help. We also have about $40,000 of additional money that was already figured into our construction loan (by our lender) plus we have some money saved in the bank just in case we go over that too(God forbid!). So I guess the project could eventually end up costing us closer to $300,000 if we let it (by picking the rarest of granites for our countertops) or if fate demands it (by something accidentally going really wrong)! Overall, I think it's just like being your own GC except the guys at UBuildit are there to answer questions when they come up. We are the ones who deal with all the subs 99% of the time. Sometimes the UBuildit guy will come out for a "site visit" which is usually our first onsite meeting with the sub so they can help make sure that it goes smoothly. They help us know what questions to ask the subs and how to avoid misunderstandings. But they are not legally responsible for anything really. They also have relationships with various companies that allow us to have the typical builder discount. They say this also helps to save some costs. Hopefully it's not too good to be true for us! We think we have a realistic attitude about the whole thing. We're not expecting our dream house for half the price! I'll post some info and pictures in another thread when I get a chance!

Jeff J Buck: So how's that supposed to work? I'm guessing from what U said ... that you simply call the lumber yards they recommend and get material price quotes yourself? Do you just call and say U got their name/number from UBuiltIt .... then handle all the details yourself? And while I'm trying to figure this out .... the plans ... did they help at all with the plans and take offs? Or did U have the plans beforehand then contact them? This is all new to me.

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid...He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it." - Raymond Chandler

(post #64540, reply #9 of 105)

Here are the web sites for President Homes and Ownerebuilder Network.

http://www.ownerbuildernetwork.com/
http://www.presidenthomes.com/program.asp

Here are a couple of other companies. I have not gone through the web sites to find the details or where they operate.

http://www.ownerbuildercenter.com/hometour.asp

http://www.ownerbuildercentral.com/Need%20us.html

And one in Austrila that provides "consulting" for owner builders.

http://www.bsc-buildingsolutions.com/

Here is someones personal web pages of there OB project. I have not read the details, but I did not see any reference to them using a 'service".

And here are two resource web sites for Owner Builder.

http://www.ownerbuilderbook.com/

http://www.b4ubuild.com/

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #64540, reply #10 of 105)

Huck, this is a bizarre thread.  You are directing replies to specific people, but I don't see thier questions.  Are you replying to questions from another thread?


 


I'm sorry, I thought you wanted it done the right way.

I'm sorry, I thought you wanted it done the right way.

(post #64540, reply #11 of 105)

What he is doing is quoting our comments from the other thread - but not using the same paragraphing - probably lost in cut&paste sequence - and he is not using quotation marks either, so I find it confusing and I was part of the other thread.

But I dio think it is good to let them position themselves here, as long as it does not become some sort of indictment or inqusition. There are a lot of Qs that many of us have.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #64540, reply #12 of 105)

Just to give you the other side of the story. I am a consultant with the owner Builder Network and thought I would respond. I also investigated a franchise with U-Build-It. As has been stated we are primarily consultants but also educators. We realize we are not going to cram 20 years of building knowledge into our clients on the first project but we can help them down the path. I am in Atlanta, Georgia and there are several U-Build-it  franchises here also. Here they charge 9-10% of cost to build. We charge a flat fee of $2.95/sf. The advantage being customers can upgrade their house w/o raising the consulting fee. Many of our customers have a desire to be involved in the building process for more than just economic reasons. They want the satisfaction, they want to do something that contractors may not want to do, or they mey feel they will do a better job because they have a personal interest in the outcome (that is their perspective). One thing I do with all my clients is to educate them to the pros and cons of being their own contractor. We don't want someone to get in over their heads and not be able to finish. The good news is Owner Builder Network has built over 2000 homes with our clients and have only had two who we had to finish the projects for. One difference between these types of companies is in the amount of hand holding we offer the clients. That also accounts for some of the cost differences.


Just had company show up so I gotta go. will check back later and glad to answer any questions.


 

(post #64540, reply #13 of 105)

This link is what I posted to someone who is using Ubuildit. I'm wondering if what I asked or said about this company is true.

http://forums.taunton.com/tp-breaktime/messages?msg=53614.62

Joe Carola

Joe Carola
Joe Carola

(post #64540, reply #14 of 105)

Joe,


Just read that post that you had the link to. All very good questions, and some of the same I'd have asked. I find this whole topic very interesting. Can't wait to read more, and see if the Co. does infact step up to the plate, and comment.


I've grown up with the theory that my Father always quoted..."there's no such thing as a free lunch" and have always realized that it's just 'Marketing' and not usually a real good deal at all. You get what you pay for...period! At least we expect to. Sometimes that doesn't happen even if we do! (Pay) Does auto repairs ring a bell here?


Dez

(post #64540, reply #15 of 105)

The wife and I are heading down the path of home construction with President Homes.  I went to their seminar and Homeworx's. 


Aside from working with financing companies that are familiar and comfortable with "Owner as GC" projects, here is what they do:


First, you submit a loan app and pre-qualify.  Then you can pick one of their models, modify one of their models, or bring the sketches for a custom home.   THere is a plan charge for a custom, but it is very reaonable. 


They prepare a preliminary estimate based on you doing NONE of the work.  The prices are not firm at this point - this just gives you an idea of what you are getting into.  If you decide to move forward, you pay a processing fee.  This is where we are at right now - we have not paid the fee yet (I think it will be $400) and I will get to see the estimate sometime this week (no fee to see the estimate).


This gets the prelimary set of plans generated which eventually turn into your appraisal plans for the lender.  This is also where you go over the list and remove the costs for the items that you want to do.  They try and play the devil's advocate and make sure you don't take on too much.


From here they help you with the bid book and schedule.  You can use the contractors they recommend or find your own.  They also help you nail down the finishes and fixtures.  The end of this stage hopefully leaves you with a firm understanding of what your costs will be.  You take this bid book and your "cost to complete" to loan approval and then loan closing. 


Your final plans are generated (structural and mechanical) and work can begin.


How do they make their money?:


1) "Value Add" on the lumber.  They panelize the walls (2x6, 16oc, 7/16"osb, tyvek). Homeworx does a "we frame it, you finish it" program.  WIth President, you can put put the building together or hire it out.


2) They make a mark up the other construction materials - trusses, I-Joists, windows, doors, etc.


3) They make a mark up the mechanicals (HVAC, Elec, plumbing, etc)


As far as numbers 2 and 3 go, they are confident that their negotiated prices are better then what you could get the same or similar items for if you source them yourself.  However, if you think you can get any of those items for less, they take out "DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR" what they were going to sell you the stuff for.   The components they offer are all good quality, well-known names, too.  


If this did not work, I think their lenders would drop them like a hot rock.  The rates they offer are compeitive, too - since there is nothing stopping you from closing the home loan with someone else after construction.


I know that this will be a lot of work, but we are looking forward to the challenge.  They guy that runs the local office told me that 5-10 years ago, most of his customers were in the trades and/or did this because they wanted to do a lot of the work themselves.  Now, he says, the majority of his customers are doing less and less of the labor and just acting as the GC.  We will be doing a lot of the work ourselves, but not all.


I tried to be as complete as possible on this explanation, but I will try and answer any questions.

http://jhausch.blogspot.com 
Adventures in Home BuildingAn online journal covering the preparation and construction of our new home.

(post #64540, reply #16 of 105)

"They guy that runs the local office told me that 5-10 years ago, most of his customers were in the trades and/or did this because they wanted to do a lot of the work themselves."


That's kind of what I had in mind when I suggested using them. If a customer could do twenty percent of the trade work, say a mechanical trade and paint and landscape then they could save some good bucks or roll the savings into higher end appliances or features such as vaulted ceilings.


Who Dares Wins.

            

 

   

(post #64540, reply #25 of 105)

Jim,

Is President Homes a national company, or are they regional?

Do they do residential additions?

As a DIYer I find this thread very interesting. Please keep us informed throughout the process.

Mike K


Amateur Home Remodeler in Aurora, Illinois

Mike K

Amateur Home Remodeler in Aurora, Illinois

(post #64540, reply #28 of 105)

They are headquartered in New Hope, Minnesota, and do business in 13 states.    The states cut a path from the Upper Midwest (MI, WI, MN) to the Southwest (NM and AZ)


http://www.presidenthomes.com/


I don't think they would do an addition, but I'm sure you could ask your local rep (via the website) The website shows them in IL.


I will do my best to keep this thread updated with my progress. 


I think the pros (such as many here at BT) rightfully want to approach something like this with caution and suspiscion.   I don't think it is a threat to their livelihood, I think they would like to just make sure that they'd get paid fairly and in a timely fasion if they did a job for a PH client.


I suspect that most builders would rather not have the typical PH client as a customer due to the amount of involvement they want in the process.  This gives these people, like myself, a way to take on a project like this with some help.

http://jhausch.blogspot.com 
Adventures in Home BuildingAn online journal covering the preparation and construction of our new home.

(post #64540, reply #17 of 105)

"So your baring all major costs and overruns but what costs and overruns would you bare if Ubuildit gave you a price using all their subs for $225,000 ?


I see now because it's an APPROXIMATE cost. So then all their subs quotes/estimates are an APPROXIMATE /GUESTIMATE to me.


Where are you protected now with any subs pricing. How do you know now that your locked into them that their subs prices can't go up because they were just an APPROXIMATE guess at what the job should cost.


What's to stop that $225,000 from going up to $400,000. It sounds to me like they tell you what you want to here for your budget and then the charge you a fee based on the square foot of your addition and then your on your own because none of their subs that they got quotes for you are locked into those prices.


How are you protected as far as how much more  you can go over the $225,000??"


 


Hey Joe,


Basically to answer your question...you're right, we are not protected.  No one promised us it would only cost $225,000.  Man all you guys take every comment I say so literally!!! 


We, as the general contractor, have taken on the risk that it might end up costing more than the quotes approximated.   Which is why we padded some of our numbers when we applied for our construction loan. 


We are our own general contractor!!!!  I don't know how much more I can emphasize that.  Pretend I never made the comment that we are using UBuildit and imagine how we would do it if we, as the homeowner, started the project completely on our own. 


That's exactly how it is for us...We would get some quotes from subs and make up a budget and approximate how much it will cost.  I don't get why that is confusing?  We never asked for a guarantee of how much it would cost.  Are not most quotes in in the building industry "approximate?"


Am I just not being clear?  I don't get what is so difficult to understand about this!


Maybe someone from UBuildit can better explain.  Like I said before, I'm no expert.


(also, to answer another question, yes we already had a complete set of plans from our architect before we contacted UBuildit) 


-Kacy


(post #64540, reply #20 of 105)

marie,

Pleased don't take the questions too personally. They are direct and looking for the full story on this outfit in particular and method of dioing business in general. wE are in this for a living and need to know our markets.

That means a GC needs to understand Ubuildit as a competitor. A subcontractor needs to understand it as an agent. And several other potential HOs here need to understand it as a possible business relationship. I don't think anyone is trying to put you on the spot, just tryiong to eliocit as much info as possible. You seem to know more about their process than anyone else in the discussion.

As for my comment about what you can expect to spend - this was not to beat you up or hurt your feelings, but to forwarn you about the realities of remodeling and additions, the same thing that your consultant should be telling you. I do admitt to some skepticism as to whether they can actually help people save money when their fees appear to be in the same range as many builders I know make on customs, while Ubuildit takes on less responsibility for the same money. Only time will tell.

I, for one, appreciate your willingness to share what you know about them and their approach and hope you wil be willing to continue to update us on things as they go along, as well as to let us help you with things as well.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #64540, reply #21 of 105)

kc...


<<<you're right, we are not protected.  No one promised us it would only cost $225,000.  Man all you guys take every comment I say so literally!!! 


We, as the general contractor, have taken on the risk that it might end up costing more than the quotes approximated.   >>>


keep in mind.. we take things literally because that's how we live or die


the term is General Contractor..it's a specific thing that is often loosely applied..


 what it really means is the General Contractor executes Contracts.. too many people forget this..if you are going to be the GC.. you have to learn the jargon, the laws, the code, and the standards..


you also , to be successful, have to learn not only how to execute the contracts but how to administer them so you acheive your desires


after 30 years  ( we started in '75).. it still has it's everyday challenges


anyways ..welcome to the big show... have you read "House " yet ?  by Tracey Kidder ?


 


Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

              www.mfsmithbuilder.com

(post #64540, reply #89 of 105)

good book . i read it about 5/6 years ago. i got my gc's license last year and things are a lot clearer in a confusing kind of way.

tyke


Just another day in paradise

tyke

Just another day in paradise

(post #64540, reply #90 of 105)

tyke.. i wonder if kc has read "House " yet ?

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

              www.mfsmithbuilder.com

(post #64540, reply #91 of 105)

No, I haven't read it.  I'll check it out though! 


(post #64540, reply #93 of 105)

KC how is your project coming along? Should I be looking in another thread for updates?

(post #64540, reply #94 of 105)

I just posted another update in the original thread!  We had a bit of a slow down in progress last week and this week so far.  You can check it out there!


Thanks for asking!!


Kacy


-Whoops, spelling error!


Edited 3/8/2005 1:47 pm ET by kcmarie122

(post #64540, reply #95 of 105)

And that would be...   53790.66



 

 

(post #64540, reply #96 of 105)

Razz haz a great perspective to see all these threads, from that balloon floating overhead

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #64540, reply #92 of 105)

I read that book a few years back. Thought it did a good job of showing each perspective...homeowner, architect, and builder. The architect - a little doofy with his head in the clouds, the homeowners - a bit of the hardass, the builders - the heroes.


I wonder how often everyone at the table has such pure intent. It was a rather rosy portrayal, I thought. But maybe I'm too jaded? Perhaps I should give it another read?

(post #64540, reply #22 of 105)

We are our own general contractor!!!!  I don't know how much more I can emphasize that.  Pretend I never made the comment that we are using UBuildit and imagine how we would do it if we, as the homeowner, started the project completely on our own. 


This is why I'm asking and probably why everyone is asking all these questions is because you said this in your post  We had a few GC's quote us around $400,000 for the whole project (gulp).  But we are doing it with UBuildit for around $225,000 (baring any major cost overruns) and we are barely going to do anything of the work ourselves


That's a $175,000 Savings/Difference. Your the one that brought up using Ubuildit that it would save you $175,000 and we're just trying to figure how that can be. I know what being a GC means also so let's forget about Ubuildit.


That's exactly how it is for us...We would get some quotes from subs and make up a budget and approximate how much it will cost. Did you get Estimates from EVERY sub from start to finish on your house? 


I don't get why that is confusing?  We never asked for a guarantee of how much it would cost.  Are not most quotes in in the building industry "approximate?"


What????? You call me up and I look at the plans and give you a price on framing your house, that's not "Approximate" that's what it will cost you period. So all the subs that  are looking at your plans are just giving guestimates and not the real cost of the job. I never heard that before. You call all the subs in and they give you a price on the job in writing and that's it.that's the price.


Am I just not being clear?  I don't get what is so difficult to understand about this!


It's not difficult at all. I just hope that your not getting in over your head because you've got estimates that are APPROXIMATE numbers not the real numbers for what every trade will cost you from START TO FINISH and then came up with a budget number that is APPROXIMATE not realistic and got a Construction Loan. What's to say that you wont come in close to $400,000 after you get all your real numbers in plus the $11,500 that you paid Ubuildit?


 


 


Joe Carola
Joe Carola