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Our firm has worked with many owner-builders over the years. It is a very difficult undertaking for a non-carpenter to step into the role of general contractor. Some people are naturals, others have a more difficult time but they all seem to get the job done.

A common offhand comment I frequently hear after the project is done, is: “If I had known how much work it was going to be before I started I would have hired a General Contractor”, and “I wish I knew everything I know now, at the beginning of my project.”

Many owner-builders research the responsibilities of the General Contactor before they step into it but still get overwhelmed after the project begins. Half the battle it turns out is asking the right questions.
 
If you are planning on running your own project the following questions might be helpful to you in your research.

1. What aspects of the project is the Owner Builder responsible for?

2. What should I look out for or avoid when running a construction project?

3. What is the proper sequence for my project from the beginning to the end?

4.  What should each sub-contractors’ estimate include?

5. Where can I get a list of reliable sub-contractors and material suppliers?

 

Here are some FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

HOW DOES THE FRAMING AFFECT THE OTHER TRADES:

Part of the role of the Framing Contractor is to correspond with the Concrete Contractor at the beginning of the job to assure the accuracy of hold-down placement. On some projects, setting the hold-downs properly mean understanding the entire set of working drawings from the concrete foundation all the way up through the roof. Any inaccuracy in the placement of the concrete forms, as well as the hold-downs during this stage of the game could impact the entire project.

WHEN DO I CALL FOR FRAMING INSPECTIONS?

REBAR AND HOLD –DOWN BOLT  INSPECTION:

This inspection takes place after the concrete forms are built and the reinforcing bar and hold-down bolts are installed, but before the concrete is poured. The general contractor is responsible for scheduling all inspections.

UNDER-FLOOR INSPECTION:

After the floor joists are in place but before installation of the sub-floor, all under-floor work should be complete, such as hold-downs, insulation, plumbing and mechanical.

Depending on crawl space accessibility, an under-floor inspection is usually required before proceeding. This inspection can be put off until the framing is complete but it makes the inspectors’ job more difficult.

SHEAR WALL AND ‘ROUGH IN’ INSPECTIONS:

After all the framing is complete but before the exterior doors, windows and roof can be installed an exterior nailing inspection must be passed.

When the plumbing, electrical and insulation is complete the General Contractor must call for a ‘rough in’ inspection. The purpose of the ‘rough in’ inspection is to assure that the framers did not leave anything out, and that the plumbers, electricians, insulators and mechanical contractors' work is complete.

Once the ‘rough in’ inspection is passed, the sheetrock and exterior siding can be installed.  After the sheetrock is installed and screwed off, the installers must pass a screw inspection before the Taper/Mudders can begin.

THE FINAL INSPECTION:

The final inspection is called for after the entire project is complete.

IS THE ACCURACY OF THE FRAMING ALL THAT IMPORTANT?

If the framing is incomplete, or poorly executed, it can cause trouble with the sheetrock, siding, interior doors, finish work, tile, cabinets and hardwood floors.

Bad concrete and framing can cause more trouble then all the other sub-contractors combined.

Hiring an accurate and responsible Framing Contractor is probably the smartest decision you can make over the entire course of the project.

See photos of our projects on the NM Ridge Construction portfolio page, or contact us by phone or email.


Inverness, CA


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