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Susan Latta
Susan Latta, General Contractor
Category: Home Improvement
Satisfied Customers: 106
Experience:  Licensed Contractor and Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer
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I want an estimate new home construction in WA to determine

Customer Question

I want an estimate for my new home construction in WA to determine how much concrete I need for my foundation and retaining wall & approx what the costs would be?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Home Improvement
Expert:  NCCPrime replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to the service. I will need more info prior to be able to assist you such as dimensions you have on your blue prints. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have attached the files you requested. Looking forward to your assistance.Regards,
Expert:  NCCPrime replied 1 year ago.

Hello again. It will definitely take me sometime to review that and come up with some numbers. This is not the typical question so please be patient. Thanks

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate you getting back to me. I understand this will take some time. By when should I expect a response back please so I don't bother you prior to it.Jesse
Expert:  NCCPrime replied 1 year ago.

I truly apologize but something unexpected came up and in order to to keep you waiting I will opt out so one of our experts could assist you better.

Expert:  Susan Latta replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is***** and Bath Designer and Licensed Home Builder.

One reason the previous expert opted out on your question is because you did not give the city and state you are building this house, if it is in the city or out in the country, r how far out in the country, or which concrete company you plan on using. All these things affect the cost per yard of concrete; and yes, prices vary among concrete companies in your area.

So I might remind you that we are not magicians here, and that you've got to give us all the facts in order for us to answer a question intelligently. I know too that you thought that we would be an easy source for figuring the cost of concrete without any work on your part.

But let me give you the best answer for this question and the appropriate, most accurate route you should take for this sort of thing, and it will even save you money.

1. Go to FedEx Office and make at least 3 copies of your site plans. Copy only the pages that refer to the description of the concrete and also the pages that show the dimensions of the retaining wall, foundation, and any other concrete you want quoted (like driveway, sidewalks, etc).

2. Using the site plans you just copied, take a copy to 2 or 3 of the concrete companies you would consider using on your house. The closer the concrete company is to your new construction, the cheaper the concrete will be.

3. Go inside and visit with the salesperson. They will have a few easy questions. Be personable and ask for a QUOTE. (Quotes are usually good for 30-90 days)

4. Leave your full name, construction site address, and all the phone numbers you can be reached (work, cell, home, etc) AND the email address you read daily. Tell them your preference for communication. Don't make it hard to be reached with only 1 phone number if you have several numbers you might be at. Don't leave your spouses number if they are not involved in the project. Always ask them to leave a message if you don't pick up, and mention you will call them right back. All this describes how serious you are about getting a quote. They work on hundreds of quotes in a months time and you want to stand out to them, not be put on the back burner of all the other jobs they have to quote. They can also email you the quote rather than calling you, but make sure it comes in on or before the date they said they could get it to you.

5. When all that is winding up, make sure you ask this question: "When do you expect you will have a quote for me to look at?" and "Can I get a hard copy of your quote?" (you must have this!) Write that date down in your "New Home Daily Planner" you are going to start keeping especially for this project. If you are going to be involved in your home building project, you must have a special planner for the project and carry it with you wherever you go.

6. On the date the concrete sales person said they would have a quote ready for you, call them if they don't call you first. The number of days that go by after they said they would have a quote ready, is also the level of interest you should have for using a company that doesn't keep it's word.

7. Don't expect to get your blueprints back, unless you want go get them.

8. This should be a FREE service, they want your job, because you are the only way the company makes money. It should be free!

9. Make sure you get that hard copy, so you have a reference. They can email it to you too...whichever is your preference.

6. Building a house is like having a second job IF you plan on being involved at all in the project. There will be too many details to try to remember everything. Writing things down on scrap pieces of paper is not an option because you WILL lose the scraps you need most and you will stay disorganized. The planner keeps your workers honest too. If they say, "We'll be done in 2 weeks." write the date they said they would be done. Then when that date comes along and they haven't even been back to the job site, immediately fire them and find someone else who will be honest with you. The building industry is FULL of dishonest people, and your planner will help you remember what workers say and do. Even if you have hired a builder, you still need to keep a planner to keep him honest. If he pushes your envelope too many times or doesn't complete work as described, be ready to fire him too, but make sure you are paid up in YOUR favor first. Don't leave any money on the table for him before you fire him. And absolutely make sure he is not overpaid before you fire him!!

All this probably sounds harsh if you've never built before. It's a different world out there in the building industry and the nicer you are, the more you will be taken advantage of by both the builder and the subcontractors he hires. It's all about money to them, and you as a person don't mean much to them. Even if they are congenial with you, remember it's all about money to them and how many corners they can cut that you don't notice. You won't have any "friends" on the job site, trust me. If you think you will, or that I may not be telling you the truth, you'll find out quickly how far your idealistic thinking will take you when building a house! And guess who will have the short straw of the money? You will! It won't be them.

Well I covered far more than your original question. That's because I could tell you are new to this game!

My advice to you as a rookie: Do your homework and google search what you don't understand. Trust no one on the job. Visit the job site daily. Take notes or photos of things you see on your project so you have proof, and make sure you put a date on these notes. Call your builder daily for any updates or to voice any complaints you saw that day (he will hate you for this, but guess what? IT'S YOUR MONEY THAT'S ON THE TABLE HERE!). Be diligent about keeping your daily planner up to date. Make sure workers stay true to their word, don't put up with a lot of slackers. Be ahead of the game, such as: if you are supposed to meet with your electrician the following day to make sure or approve the location of outlets and lighting....BE READY AND KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, KNOW EXACTLY WHERE YOU WANT THAT PENDANT LIGHTING OVER THE ISLAND, KNOW IT TO THE INCH. Don't be afraid to spend the extra money to change something when you see it was built according to blueprints, but you don't like it after you saw it. You will always wish you had changed it when you could have but were too cheap to spend the extra money. And most of all, BE PATIENT AND DON'T RUSH THE BUILDING PROCESS! If you wanted to be in by Thanksgiving because you were going to impress all your family members with your new house and you promised everyone this and now you see your house needs at least another 2 months to finish, don't act like a maniac and rush the workers. A project of this scope is NEVER FINISHED ON TIME, so just don't make promises like serving Thanksgiving dinner at your new house. It will save your heart and keep you from looking like a fool. Don't rush the building process! And lastly, building projects ALWAYS go over budget. Don't think yours wont because I guarantee you it will. This is at least 10% or more. So again, instead of looking like a maniac, expect it and watch your expenses during the building process. Either get what you want now or make a vow that you will change things out to what you really want in a few years, or once the whole money issue settles down. (of course you can change out light fixtures later, but you don't want to move walls later. Keep this in mind).

I hope that I have answered your concrete question, and that you found my advice acceptable. Thank you for allowing me to answer your question, and please feel free to ask for clarification on this subject.

Susan Latta

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By providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, and I will be happy to continue. There is no additional charge for follow-ups.

Expert:  Susan Latta replied 1 year ago.

The last number 6, should actually read # *****