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babushka_cat_gw

Sanity check: how does my GC experience measure up?

12 years ago

Nearing end of project. Not having done construction before, this is the first time I have worked with a GC. I am not sure how to evaluate my experience - do I have a good GC or not so good one? I will be embarking on a bathroom remodel in the not so distant future. Should I be seeking a new one or continue to work with this one?

The positives:

When cabinet maker completely damaged cabinet doors and walked from install, GC PM quickly picked up the job (this was not GC's fault, was not their cab maker), got their cab maker involved and took on install. This did not come cheap to me but they stepped up on very short notice.

They have a PM who is relatively responsive. He is not stellar but I do have a contact and when I need info I get it.

Generally a good crew - I feel comfortable with them in my home. One team member is a bit young and needs reminding(remember to lock the gate etc) but all are pleasant to interact with.

They were open to me doing some of the work to control costs (painting etc).

They have been flexible with me in terms of schedule, pets in the house etc.

Generally the project is proceeding well. They show up and make progress, not always as quickly as I would like but they are making progress.

The not so positives:

PM left abrubtly for vacation, no warning other than email day of departure. Not good transition to people covering for him, ultimately led to fabricator screwing up counter, causing 4-6 week delay

When doing electrical upgrade throughout house, no paper was put down, dirt covered guys were attempting to parade throughout house. I had to paper the house to protect furnishings and floors even though I have about $700 in "protection" in contract

Some poor molding work completed (by young guy referenced above) - damaged boards installed that should never have been installed. I caught it and had to bring it to the PM's attention before it got fixed.

They seem to require a lot of oversight by me to ensure stuff is done correctly. I have found I need to be here anytime something new is kicking off. Examples: hardwood floor sub almost laid floor in the wrong direction. Cab hardware almost mounted in incorrect location even though I reviewed with GC PM. Thankfully I was here to catch these things but it has required flex time from work.

No regard for security (same young guy again). Have come home to find my entire house open with the guys buried deep in the attic or crawl space. I live in an urban area where anyone could have walked in and out with stuff. Have had to discuss this with the PM on several occasions and I put up signs to remind them.

Shorted out phone line during electrical work. We eventually discovered it and they fixed it.

I was not well informed on some of the activities and what it would entail. I am living in the construction site while the work is going on. My cabinets were to be painted on site. I had no idea what the level of disruption would be and space they would need. I was not informed until the day the work commenced which required a mad scramble to move stuff around to make space for painter. Also required parking car outside as they needed to take over my entire garage as well (urban area, not good from security perspective)

I have received a few change orders that I have approved but feel like are a bit much:

1. The original quote from hardwood floor sub was an older quote and by the time he did the work his material costs had increased. I think the GC never went back to refresh quote before we finalized the contract. So they issued me a change order reqesting that i pay the material cost increases without any warning. They made it sound optional but it did not feel very optional. I paid it and did not contest with them, it was $200.

2. Got a change order today to address issues they had with the RH and Rejuvination screws that came with the door hardware. They were breaking in the doors, they had to extract, source new ones that would work. CO for $355 to deal with it. I paid $5400 to have my cabs installed (increased cost from original quote due to door saga referenced above) which is a lot for my small kitchen so to charge more for screws seems a bit much. In the interest of keeping the project moving and things civil I am paying it.

How does this measure up? I appreciate your perspectives.


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