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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 #30 of 105)

Joe,


Let me just start off by saying that I should never have stated the $400,000 to $225,000 numbers.  That was really stupid of me.  I totally agree that that comparison was not correct.  I implied that the entire savings of $175K was going to be realized just by being our own General Contractor and using UBuildit.  Obviously that is too good to be true.  We really don't even truly know what was included in the $400,000 quote.  It was a very vague and general number offered to us by a general contractor.  No specific details were given to us at all regarding what was encompassed by the quote.


The real reason we "hope" to spend less than that is by having more control over the project, period.  So can we just forget that I ever even mentioned $400,000?  Pretty please!  And I guess we'll see where we come in at the end.  We're the ones who have to live with it, right!  :)


And Joe, I do see your point about the idea of approximate quotes.  But isn't there always some unknown factors that could come up during building.  Haven't there been times when you were doing a job where something came up that was a lot more work than you thought?  Something that was outside the scope of the original quote where you charged the homeowner more for it? 


So when I say we got an approximate quote, here's an example of what I mean:


We got a quote from a framer to do the rough framing of our addition and to do the remodeling framing in the existing house.  We signed a contract with him that was exactly what he quoted us.  However, the framer let us know up front that there could be some small additional charges if we uncovered something surprising during the demo of the existing house. 


An example of this is that the floors of our existing house (before we even started the addition) were not all level/flush with respect to each other.  Obviously we want to make all the floors completely flush when we remodel.  The framer stated on our contract a $/hr/man charge for how long it might take them to do this since he wasn't sure exactly what would be involved once we started ripping stuff out.


So we did have an actual quote that is pretty close, but we are open to the fact that stuff will come up that we did not plan for, and that our subs did not plan for when they quoted us.  


We are assuming that all our other quotes will be similar.  We have quotes for pretty much every trade from start to finish and we think that the quotes are pretty solid. But we aren't assuming anything for certain at this point to be safe.  Maybe we will decide to go with a more expensive roofing material than the roofer quoted us?  Therefore the quote would have to be readjusted before we sign a contract with him?  That's what I meant when I said an approximate quote. 


You are right in that there is a chance that some subs prices could go up since we gathered all our quotes early in the process.  We are ok with this.  We understand that that is a possibility.  We are fully aware that it will probably cost us some amount more than $225,000.  We are just going to try and keep it under control when possible. 


(One thing we are already realizing now that we did not include in the budget is the cost of dumpsters.  Since we are tearing out a lot of stuff we know this cost will add up.  Just an example)


 And I admit I was surprised to hear you say that some builders/GC's in your area earn a similar amount as our fee to UBuildit.  That is quite surprising.  Around here I have heard that most GC's typically earn 10%-30% of the cost of the house?  Do most people in your area only build $100,000 houses?  Or are the percentages different where you live?


-Kacy

(post #64540, reply #35 of 105)

"Around here I have heard that most GC's typically earn 10%-30% of the cost of the house? "

There is a lot of portential mythology in that statement
and a lot of potential truth

I'm going to pick a bit, but not trying to offend here, just want to specifically know what you mean, especially with use of the word, "earn"

or did you mean profit taking?

and what "builders" would you be refering to?

see, if the builder is a big name developer doing all the legal, financing, streets, surveying, sales, and other risks in bringing a developement to market, with houses on the lots, you might feasably argue that 30% is not enough

Or - if the builder is a small time solo outfit and he does a lot of the work, framing, pouring crete, etc and his labour is included in that 30%, he has also "earned" it

And if he is a paper contractor, wearing casuals and spending as much time on the golf range as he does at the office or supervising the job, 8-10% might be enough, provided he has enough jobs going on.

I am constantly suprised at the way people misunderstand or mis-use the term, profit. You did not use the term, but said earned instead. If indeed it is earned money, why would 30% be too much, and what are you willing to do to earn it instead of him? ( rhetorical question, you have already answered it)

So my basic question here realy is WHO told you that builders make that much and did they imply that it was undeserved profit? Is that person in a position to know for a fact what they are talking about? or did they have something to gain by the implication?

I have made a fairly large portion of my lifetime earnings by working directly with owner-builders, most of whom wound up feeling like they could not have done it without me, and considering my services invaluable. In some ways, I may have provided similar services as the u-buildit franchisees, acting as construction manager on site all the time. It is not easuy to separate the carpentry function from the management function in accounting, but I can assure you that it is worth at least 5-6%, probably more, but ubuildit is only acting as advisor, apparantly, and not as manager full time. That will be your job. if a sub needs an answer in order to continue or deal with a certain problem, someone needs to be there to make the decision, or he leaves, production slows, or he makes a spot decisionm, and you may or may not have to pay to retrofit...

My main reason for my question about who told you that builders earn 10-30% is that I have heard the ubuildit advertising in my area, and it borders on the sensational, implying certain things.
I'm sure that if the francisee in your area has experience and expertise, you can do well, and build your dream for a fair price, but I just doubt that it will be much less than it would by working with a competant, honest contractor. I think the main attraction in a scheme like this would be for HOs who like to be in control of the process, something that I think may apply to you. If that is the case, you will find satisfaction in this job.

but go into it with your eyes wide open. There ain't no free lunch!

 

 


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 #23 of 105)

>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

Speaking as a residential designer and GC of my own house, do be careful. Even if we round your 225 to 300, it's inconceivable to me that there is that much of a savings--$100k--available through this process. There are areas where I undoubtedly saved myself some money...tile, t&g flooring, framing...but I did all that myself without any helpers. And even then, if I'm honest, I have to count the opportunity cost of being in the apartment a month or two longer, or the cost of servicing the loan longer. For me, the reward of self-GC was having control of the project so I could make it turn out exactly as I wished. Now, that required a 7 day a week, all day commitment--it's a full-time job.

With what's at stake financially, I think it's in your best interests to make sure you can explain exactly where that 100k-175k goes, be/c if you aren't careful, it'll have to come from your pocket on a 3/4 completed project. That's a big oops to risk. For example, are you going to save 10k on the plumber? How? 8k on the electrician? How? Cabinetry gonna be the same or less? Why? Be/c I guarantee you...this is not accounted for by GC mark-up. Overall I doubt I saved any serious $$$. My payoff was the satisfaction of "Hey Mom, look what I built!" And if you're barely doing any of the work, then you really need to do the accounting to figure out who's getting 100k+ less on this house than they would have otherwise, be/c the numbers aren't matching anything I've experienced, either directly or through my clients (many of whom diy-GC).

I wish you the best of luck with the project, and hope that 225-ish number isn't set lowball enough to be bait, and then by the time you see the reality of building costs the hook's been set and you're already fully committed. Building is hard, but can be a lot of fun...as long as your expectations are completely realistic. Seriously, best wishes. And keep us posted how this goes.

(post #64540, reply #24 of 105)

You need to go back to the orginal thread, that the quote was plucked out of.

That was not an apples to apples comparison of cost between the $400k and the $225.

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

(post #64540, reply #26 of 105)

That sounds too much like work. :) I tried to assume a WIDE range on the numbers so that it didn't depend on exactly 225.

Am I still safe in saying that anytime there's a cluster of numbers and one that's different, it's smart to try and figure out exactly why and how that number can be different? The notion that there will be a significant gap...whatever the exact number...without a major change in who is doing the work (owner v hired contractors) raises flags that need to be investigated.

(post #64540, reply #27 of 105)

Here was an annoucement in the local RE ads for Homestead Homes.

http://hhoa.net/

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

(post #64540, reply #32 of 105)

I got the impression from the original post clarification that it was really only ONE builder who gave them the 400K number. And it sounded like it was a ballpark figure rather than an estimate. So, if he's busy and doesn't want to really do their project he may well give them a high number to guage just how interested they are.


To me the system sounds pretty interesting - have an expert in the area help work up your estimate, a list of subcontractors who have been vetted and can expect repeat business, and some light oversight to overcome at least a portion of one's inexperience. I don't see such an operation as being real competition for GC's, I see it as being a tool to help DIY GCs to avoid a cluster. This is for people who were going to DIY anyway and want to try and do a better job of it.

(post #64540, reply #39 of 105)

That sounds pretty accurate to me. At Owner Builder we have found that most people don't need us to do all that a construction manager does, but we educate them well up front about the process and so if they don't think they can handle it they probably don't sign up. Also we are on call during the project so if there is a problem they have a backup.

(post #64540, reply #18 of 105)

I'm also wondering if he's connected!


LArry


The secret of Zen in two words is, "Not always so"!


When we meet, we say, Namaste'..it means..



  I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides,





I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace.



I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you



and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.



 







 



 




 

(post #64540, reply #19 of 105)

Naw, (except by my ISP!). I just thought kcmarie might like a little company (no pun intended!), and figured in case these guys' ears were burnin' they ought to have the chance to come on over and ed-you-cate us!


Edited 2/6/2005 3:03 pm 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 #29 of 105)

I checked their website and found there isn't one in PA yet.


Was planning on offering my services as a sub and get the inside scoop.


maybe I'll call their national HQ and be first on the list?


 


anyways ... I notcied both UBuild and Prez "offer" financing.


 


There's their big incentive ... I'd bet their biggest money maker.


 


back when I was selling cars ... U could sell a car at a loss and if it was financed inhouse ... ya didn't get yelled at by the manager at the mon morn meeting!


something told me the dealership made more off the financing than the sale itself?


'cause ya always got yelled at in the mon morn meetings ....


 


Jeff


  Buck Construction 


   Artistry in Carpentry


        Pgh, PA

    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa

(post #64540, reply #31 of 105)

Just to clarify,


I'm not sure if UBuildit "offers" financing so to speak.  They do have a relationship with Indymac Bank who does the actual financing. 


I guess sometimes it's hard for Homeowners to get financing when they have no construction experience.  We tried to get a construction loan through Wells Fargo (our current mortgage company) but they said no. 


I guess that since Indymac has worked with so many UBuildit owner\builder's they have had good experience with those owner\builder's completing their homes in a timely manner and close to their budget.  That was why we decided to use Indymac.  They didn't question us at all since we had a signed contract with UBuildit. 


But I guess it's possible that UBuildit might receive some sort of compensation for referring Indymac?


-Kacy

(post #64540, reply #38 of 105)

I bet they make good money from that, too.  However, for the record, they don't offer the financing, they are partnered with normal lenders that do.  I bet they get a fee for each one. (just a guess)


It seems that the lender, knowing that the owner/GC is involved with one of these companies, is less skitish about writing the loan.


THese companies also help on the legal documentation side of things to make sure that you can get clear title to the place when you convert the construction loan to a conventional mortgage.  (Speaking of which - I think one of the companies advertises that there is only "one closing")

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

(post #64540, reply #40 of 105)

Hey, Jim,


Federal RESPA laws prevent any company from taking finder's fees or commissions on loans/finance, so I doubt that there's any sort of kickback or payment there.


UBuildIt doesn't charge fees to subs for them to work with our clients, and I can't imagine that ever changing....the consultant has to be totally free of bias in recommending subs so that would be a big no-no for us.


Thanks,


Christi

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #41 of 105)

Thanks for the info


To your first point, I did not know that about referral fees for loans/finance


To your second point, I think you may have misunderstood me.  It is my understanding that President Homes makes its money on the re-sale of the components (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, cabinets, etc) and value add on the lumber (panelized construction). 


As far as I am aware, the subs they refer (whom you are not obligated to use)  do not pay them.

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

(post #64540, reply #42 of 105)

Oh, cool!


If there's a distribution stream in the resale of product, you could have a point. We don't do that, so I'm unfamiliar with how that works.


Thanks,


Christi

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #43 of 105)

In the earlier meetings, as the rep went over their lines, he always said that they were confident that their products and prices were competitive.  However, if you want to use another name brand or know you can get something for less elsewhere, he removes dollar for dollar his estimate of those items from the bid.


I just read a note in some of their literature that limited this "opt out" to 15% of the total home final price.  I need to research this more.

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

(post #64540, reply #33 of 105)

Hi, Huck,


Thanks for the invite!


I'm VP of Franchise Support for UBuildIt Corporate. We are a consulting company and work primarily in the Owner-Builder segment. Our consultants are seasoned construction professionals and we have offices from coast to coast.


Typically, the way the pricing works is a set fee for our consulting services. We don't buy products or services for our clients, they do that directly, without markup or margin. We do have teams of subs that we drive business to and they must be responsive to our clients, price fairly, do solid work, and offer superior service. The way they get on our sub list to do business with UBuildIt clients is to do just that, solid work, price fairly and offer great service. Our Franchise owners are prevented from any sort of kickback from subs and vendors and we enforce that with our Franchise Agreement because our goal is drive the price down for the client.


Subs typically like doing business with UBuildIt clients because we try not pack the job site with trades and they get paid quickly. We have good referral relationships with designers and architects, as well as companies that offer building systems, such as log, kit, ICF, etc.


We work with several banks to get financing for owner builders, but it's just one of many services we provide. IndyMac is one that we deal with, but that will differ regionally. Basically, what we do if refer the client to whichever vendor or sub that's best for their project.


There's a ballpark bid process that then goes through specifications to arrive at a wholesale construction price. If there are no changes in scope (which is hardly ever the case) that price is very accurate. What generally happens is that our clients upgrade amenities. Change orders that happen after specification go to the clients at the wholesale price for the labor and materials.


Not all people are prepared (or able) to be UBuildIt clients, so we often refer business to general contractors, production builders, and real estate agents. Once in a while, a client may decide to build with assistance instead of buying a pre-owned, used home, building with a GC, or buying a production home, but that's not our main market. We really don't see ourselves as competition to GC's.


We've been in business 16 years and have 105 offices in 34 states, with more coming daily. We're a high growth company and people seem to be excited about the idea of building with assistance.


I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have and you are all welcome to contact me.


This forums seems to be driven by Prospero software, so I’ll go see if I can make it ping me when someone posts to me, so I can be timely.



 


Edited 3/14/2005 12:53 pm ET by UBuildIt

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #34 of 105)

Ubuildit toll free: 800-992-4357 home office (where Christi is) Kirkland, WA.

(post #64540, reply #36 of 105)

Hello Christi,
And thanks for chiming in promptly. I wonder if you feel like answering a few questions. As I said in the previous post, I have some healthy scepticism. I'm sure you could lay this to rest for me.

I currently serve my clients as a renovation, remodelor. I have been in this industry for ( Oh boy, has it been that long?!?) thirty five years. I still have a lot to learn. I wonder how much training and experience the average franchisee with Ubuildit has to offer their clients? How can a client be assured that the agent they have is qualified? In states where licensing is requirted, is the Ubuildit agent a licensed general contractor? Or is he more of a walking rolodex?

If I were to contact Ubuildit to become a franchise owner, what would be required of me? After setting up shop with you, would you provide me with advertising copy or require that I have all advertising puss muster with your management and legal teams?

Finally, what sort of insurance does Ubuildit carry? most professionals have errors and omissions and liability coverage, in the event that innocent negligence causes the clients a loss.

I can actually see myself in a position such as your company seems to be in, but I like to know how strong a bridge is before I walk out across it.

 

 


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 #37 of 105)

Hey!


Thanks for taking the time to dig in deeper. I'm here as long as you guys have questions. I'll hit them one at a time and we can go from there.


<<< I wonder how much training and experience the average franchisee with Ubuildit has to offer their clients?>>>


We required that every consultant have 10 years of custom building experience in the market that they will be working in. It has to be in the price range, as well. So, a guy with 10 years production experience would not qualify - it has to be full custom. If a particular franchise is remodeling specific, the experience would be full custom with an expertise in remodels of the same magnitude. Some offices may have several consultants that specialize in for instance, high end, remodel, etc.


<<How can a client be assured that the agent they have is qualified?>>


Again, we have stringent hiring rules and the clients are encouraged to contact past clients.


<<In states where licensing is requirted, is the Ubuildit agent a licensed general contractor?>>


Absolutely. In many cases, the consultant is licensed even when not required. Our franchisees are bound to follow our rules, as well as federal and state laws or they risk losing their store.


<<If I were to contact Ubuildit to become a franchise owner, what would be required of me?>>


We have a fairly stringent profiling process for new franchisees. We look into your background, business dealings (credit, etc), and you have to pass several 'hoops' in the required core competencies. For instance, maybe you have a stellar construction background, but have never run your own business. We would require that you hire talent to make sure your business is run well. We turn down many more than we take as partners because our reputation depends on quality service.


<<After setting up shop with you, would you provide me with advertising copy or require that I have all advertising puss muster with your management and legal teams?>>


Absolutely. We have an advertising program that provides all that stuff (creative, marketing research, strategic marketing, etc). Everyone in the UBuildIt system has to either use what we provide or have any deviations approved in advance. It's a little bit of a pain for franchise partners, but it assures that our brand is protected. If anyone is doing unapproved advertising and is in non-compliance, there are mechanisms with teeth to get that stopped.


<<Finally, what sort of insurance does Ubuildit carry? most professionals have errors and omissions and liability coverage, in the event that innocent negligence causes the clients a loss.>>


We recommend that all our offices carry full insurance. We have several different carriers that we recommend to assist our franchise partners to get insurance. It also helps drive down the price to buy in a group.


<<I can actually see myself in a position such as your company seems to be in, but I like to know how strong a bridge is before I walk out across it.>>


If you are interested in visiting more, feel free to give me a buzz. Healthy scepticism is always a good thing......we figure it's a sign of smarts! Plus, partnering with a company (franchised or not) isn't something to take lightly and should be heavily investigated. We don't take franchise partners who really haven't done their homework!


Thanks,


Christi

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #44 of 105)

Christi,

I design houses. A prospective client wrote to me that ..."I [he] will be acting as the general contractor with the assistance of a local Ubuild It consultant. Ubuild It advertises 15-30% savings when using their services over hiring a general contractor."

Is his understanding accurate? Is that the advertising? Is that corporate policy? If he has that wrong, can you help me understand the correct corporate policy on expected cost savings?

If I'm to properly advise this guy (a nice guy, btw) and design what he needs, I need to get a handle on whether his expectations are reasonable or not.

Thanks, Jim.

(post #64540, reply #45 of 105)

Jim,


All good questions!


<<I [he] will be acting as the general contractor with the assistance of a local Ubuild It consultant. >>


UBuildIt clients do not 'act as their own general contractors'. Only GC's can be GC's. What they do is manage their own building or remodeling projects. They are "owner-builders", not "acting as a GC". The consultant helps them understand specifications and get bids, get plans, find land, and to stay on top of the phases of building. Generally, the consultant is on the site 23-30 times, in addition to 6 or 8 planning meetings (in the office).


<<Ubuild It advertises 15-30% savings when using their services over hiring a general contractor.">>


UBuildIt's clients are not generally the type that would use a GC, they are usually firmly in the 'owner-builder' camp. It's not useful and largely inaccurate to compare UBuildIt pricing to GC pricing anyway. They are entirely different services. That's like comparing the cost of doing your taxes with Turbo Tax and hiring a CPA firm to do them. Of course it might be cheaper: but there are trade-offs. If you do your taxes with the help of Turbo Tax, you report that you 'did your own taxes', not that you 'acted as a CPA'. See?


The price from UBuildIt is after specifications, so it's very accurate. Usually clients call up a GC and say "how much do you charge per square foot" or some other 15 second question. If you call up a UBuildIt office and ask that question, they will only be able to discuss their fee, not the price of the home in the initical call. So, usually, people wrongly compare a GC's toss-out price to UBuildIt's 'after-spec' price. That's not useful. The price or quote that they are dealing with doesn't often include deep specifications and sometimes even includes land prices, which ours doesn't. It's extremely important for people to compare apples to apples.


Most of our clients may not be doing these kinds of comparison....they come from a different frame of mind. It usually starts with a desire to build on their own and then they end up using UBuildIt because they realize they need help with things like finding land, subs, pricing on product and financing. We refer clients who aren't really true owner-builder types to licensed General Contractors. Most of our offices have relationships with local GC and the HBA, so they can guide inquiries over to them.


Clients are usually motivated by the control of doing it themselves, with flexibility after that. Savings is usually a tiny motivator, if at all. UBuildIt clients do usually get equity, and that is a useful number to discuss. 30% equity is possible to achieve. We've had clients get a little more, if they were great shoppers and did a little bit of work on the site. Most clients end up with 15-20% in equity. We've got a young couple working on their third house and they figure that they will be able to do the next UBuildIt home with no mortgage.


Value is a better way to discuss it, rather than savings.


<< Is that the advertising?>>


Our current advertising positions on control and value. If savings is mentioned in our approved corporate advertising at all, it's in a very general way referring to value -- never with a percentage. We're just about to put up a new website, so the last vestiges of positioning on price will be gone. Brands mature over time and this one has grown up from a price brand to a value brand.


<<Is that corporate policy?>>


Nope. If there is advertising going on out there that mentions savings percentages or even mentions general contractors AT ALL, I'd love to know about it. I'd be happy to post a radio ad, if you want to hear one.


We teach our Franchise Partners to discuss the UBuildIt process with potential clients without ever even saying anything about General Contractors. Just not much need to - apples and oranges. After all, ours is a straight consulting fee and a GC has overhead and they provide a completely different service.


Could be a need for some refresher training?


<<If he has that wrong, can you help me understand the correct corporate policy on expected cost savings?>>


You can't even begin to figure equity on an individual home until you dig through all the details, so any number you get prior to that is a average that is based on the local office experience. In general, UBuildIt clients end up with 15-25% equity. That will vary by region, neighborhood, home design, the depth of the local relationships with subs, and the depth of the local deals available on product.


<<If I'm to properly advise this guy (a nice guy, btw) and design what he needs, I need to get a handle on whether his expectations are reasonable or not.>>


You are absolutely right. What I would advise is a call to the local UBuildIt office that this person is working with. That way you can get on the same page. If you are for sure going to be doing the design, the client will need to disclose all the particulars to you. That's most often done with UBuildIt present. If you need help reaching out for anyone, let me know.


 

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #46 of 105)

Thanks for the explanation. If I have follow-ups, I'll give a yell. fwiw, I listed his comments verbatim from an email...not my recollection from a phone call...so for whatever reason, what he wrote is the impression that he got from somewhere about about how things work with y'all. I'm guessing that "savings" vs "equity" is a distinction that's lost on a lot of people...they'll WANT it to mean savings, so they'll choose to remember it that way. People often hear what they want to hear.

>If there is advertising going on out there that mentions savings percentages or even mentions general contractors AT ALL, I'd love to know about it.

Just went looking...your web site home page uses the phrasing "Savings of up to 30% are possible depending on your involvement." Guess that begs the question..."savings" compared to what? What's the baseline?

And of course human psychology is such that "up to 30%" means, "Hey, honey, guess what? We can get a $200,000 house for $140,000!"

Hmmmmm, now I gotta figure out how to explain it to him......

(post #64540, reply #47 of 105)

I know about the website. It's being totally revamped to clear all savings messages out. We'll have a new design up in a few weeks.


Let me know if you need help.


Thanks,


Christi

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #48 of 105)

I want to say what a good performance you have made in a builders room . <G>


So far Im impressed. Im a lisensed building contractor and have been a building  inspector for the past year . Ive found lots of holes that GCs leave and Ive worked with one company that is simalar to UBuild it . I saw problems with both systems . It is not necesary that the company be licensed as the home owner may build their own and take out the permits. So thats not an issue.


I had question with the 30 percent also which you addressed . You said the company would drop it . Im curious if its liability? Not a good question to answer I know . Sorry.


I believe with the take off of home owner does it shows and Lowes and Home Depot making it , the presence is here of DIYs . I think that precence is here to stay as I think your comany offers a spin off service that is also here to stay.


Tim Mooney


 

 

(post #64540, reply #49 of 105)

The owner builder segment is here to stay! Nationwide, it's around 10% of all homes. Of people that own their own land already, it shoots to 39%. Of course, rural areas are much, much more likely to be prone to owner builders. Generally, those folks are very competent to be an owner-builder. And, a chunk of those are hard-core owner builders. Swinging hammers, etc. But, a portion of them get launched on a project and realize they are in over they head. Our goal is to identify those guys *before* they launch off on their own and give them a hand.


Now, a hard-core owner builder might want to use us because they can't get financing or don't have subs and we advise that those clients should be turned away. Our gig is consulting - not financing! We do offer it, but its's icing for the main entree, which is on-site consulting.


30% equity is doable and many of our clients reach it, but in my mind, it's a matter of expectations. What is somebody "ONLY" got 27% equity. They could end up dissapointed. That would be silly of us!


Besides, positioning on price is unnecessary. Who wants to be cheap!?!? Much better to just be darn good.


Thanks for the kinds words........you builders are a tough crowd! ;) I'm going to break my arm patting myself on the back for 'bravery'. LOL! =) Seriously, though, most of our clients would be a total pain for a GC because they would niggle every single thing to death!


Thanks,


Christi


 

 

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do. ~ Rumi

(post #64540, reply #50 of 105)

I agree with Tim that you're walk carefully through the minefield that this forum sometimes is. The "bull in a china shop" style doesn't go over well (nor does blatant self-promotion), especially for newcomers. Style aside, there's lots of good info here from experienced contractors, and your perspective is most welcome, too. We all gotta remember that it's "Fine Homebuilding", not just "Professional Homebuilders".

(post #64540, reply #52 of 105)

Jim

Didn't you start as a owner-builder with your tea pot?

And I think that Mongo did also?

And if you look at the house articles in FHB, while they don't use that term I think that a number of them or OB or semi-OB.

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

(post #64540, reply #55 of 105)

Absolutely...I was thinking of the derisive treatment of diy here at times, as though it reflected anti-quality and a slap in the face of the pros. Almost by definition UBuildIt HO's are non-pros, and I didn't want Christi thinking there wasn't room for them at the table, too. How would the concept go over at JLC?