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Building Our Home and a Workshop #1: Demolishing a home

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Blog entry by twokidsnosleep posted 09-21-2016 04:13 PM 886 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Building Our Home and a Workshop series Part 2: Some Plans and Elevations »

Been away from posting on this website for a while as have been busy over the last four years. Have had a new office made for my business by a GC and Management company and learned a few things about how construction works in Canada. I am not trying to insult anyone in the industry. I just know a few more things now about why stuff costs so much, why it is so slow to construct and how difficult it is to do it yourself anymore.

I am not a contractor, construction worker or trained in a trade. I am a dentist and stupid enough to buck the system and act as the General Contractor for our house construction. I have an awesome wife and family who have worked hard to help and I thought maybe show you guys and get some insight as we are 3/4 of the way done and the finishing stage is getting my woodworker itch going again.

So here we go

Our house of 13 years. Craftsman style with knob and tube wiring, dangerous insulation, carpenter ants, thick lead paint, house insurance being revoked etc etc. We maintained it well but was running out of space and the two teenage kids were going to axe murder each other over the shared bathroom upstairs

This arrives October 22nd, 2015

I watched our home go down over two hours with tears in my eyes. People next to me on the street cheering and thinking how cool this was…not for me. Here my wife inspects the aftermath, I think you can see the sad body language there as well

Have to do some work to pay the bills, back again soon

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"



9 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2308 posts in 2293 days


#1 posted 09-21-2016 04:18 PM

Well, that’s the starting point of something new, isn’t it?

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1101 posts in 2434 days


#2 posted 09-21-2016 04:27 PM

Hey bud, I was just researching you yesterday. Awesome to hear from you!!!
So happy things have worked out for you in life. I have been stupid busy and away from wood working for too many years. So yes, this is my little project.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

899 posts in 1496 days


#3 posted 09-21-2016 08:06 PM

Whoof! What a punch in the gut!

So… you’re going to rebuild on the same spot then?
When you say you’re 3/4 done, does that mean the demo took place some time back?

Planning alone must have taken a long time….

-- "woodworker with an asterisk"

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1101 posts in 2434 days


#4 posted 09-21-2016 08:44 PM



Whoof! What a punch in the gut!

So… you re going to rebuild on the same spot then?
When you say you re 3/4 done, does that mean the demo took place some time back?

Planning alone must have taken a long time….

- Underdog

Hi, thanks for reading and commenting
Yes we are 11 months into the build and finishing inside right now. I dated the demo October 22, 2015.
I thought I better start at the beginning with the blog so it makes sense in timeline as I show you guys
One of my next postings will be plans and drawings

Land and house prices in Vancouver area have skyrocketed so we HAD to build on the space we owned or else could not afford our own neighbourhood. Had to be the GC to be able to build affordably and with better quality.

I dont understand the punch to the gut thing??

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1101 posts in 2434 days


#5 posted 09-21-2016 09:30 PM

We had a nice mature garden and managed to save quite a few plants. Some we planted in a corner of the lot and some we brought to a rental house we are staying in for the year of building.

Transport in the utility trailer

Wife and son replanting one of two Japanese Maples we saved.

My Dog inspecting the moved Maple at the rental house

My first job of moving was to cut down and preserve the small cherry tree in the front yard. Have it saved and hopefully will make something with the wood

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2308 posts in 2293 days


#6 posted 09-22-2016 07:10 PM



Hey bud, I was just researching you yesterday. Awesome to hear from you!!!
So happy things have worked out for you in life. I have been stupid busy and away from wood working for too many years. So yes, this is my little project.

- twokidsnosleep

Well yeah, things move along, slow but thorough. Teaching physics and chemistry takes a lot of time but is o rewarding! I’ll post again rather soon when things settle down a bit :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View magaoitin's profile

magaoitin

64 posts in 410 days


#7 posted 09-23-2016 03:34 PM

Massive undertaking, but congratulations. Hopefully there will be tears of joy on the day the paint drys, and the first piece of furniture is moved in.

On the construction, don’t second guess yourself and feel too bad about what you didn’t know of the process or costs. I have been in the industry for 30 years (all of it commercial and government construction), and owned my own General Contracting buisness. I started building out my shop last year, and I have been staggered and dumbfounded on the costs of residential construction. I cannot even imaging where the industry will be in another 10 years.

Good luck on the finishes…that is where the real test of your GC’s skills will be seen.

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1101 posts in 2434 days


#8 posted 09-24-2016 07:12 AM

Ahh now I see where the insight comes from Jeff
We are at the finishing stage right now and my blogs will catch up to it really soon. Target move in is late October, early November.
We have educated ourselves on the different aspects of construction as we go along and with the Internet and excellent resources, helpers and friends, can get a pretty good idea of the what is going on. The jargon is a big one to learn, dealing with the guys both salesmen and workers. Costs, well that just blows me away and we are real careful to try and get three good estimates from known sources. Some are so busy they throw out a stupid $ figure to drive you away or see if you are desperate.

I don’t know how you guys deal with CODE that the authorities throw at you. Been trying to get guys to just do it a bit better, even over code God forbid.
I have said we could build ten houses and have a hundred different and new issues pop up. I don’t want to build another house, far too stressful.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View canadianchips's profile

canadianchips

2345 posts in 2457 days


#9 posted 09-25-2016 04:44 AM

Yes things change. When i finished the first house for people in 1977 there were 4 different trades people.
The framer, the electrician,the painter and me “Finish carpenter”. NO GC was used
Today that number is about 23-24 sub-trades.
One would think that each sub trade should be more experienced and do a better job at what they do !!!!!!!
Not always the case. Some are learning on the job…....home owner is paying….....
Dont be frustrated to badly…...
My little town is sask is doing same thing…..the locals offer to do work then SHAFT the people after job is done….
SAD…..REAL SAD the way the trades profession has headed.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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