Becoming a General Contractor… Sort Of

On Monday the recovery company came to claim their industrial fans and to declare that their job with our house was complete. They’d come, removed affected materials, washed everything, and then dried it all out. The result was two rooms stripped down to concrete floor with flood cuts in the dry wall, a third room with flooring partially removed, and a large room in need of carpet removal and replacement. In order to return our house to normal we would have to work with a different department of the company, hire our own contractor, or do the work ourselves.

Without the roar of fans and the disruption of people traipsing into and out of our house we finally had time to assess what needs done. The bathroom was the source of our woes, on the left is what it looked like before, the right is how it looks now.

Then there is the studio which houses Howard’s workspace:

And also Keliana’s workspace:

At the moment we have Howard set up to work in our front room and Keliana set up in the kitchen. The kitchen table is banished to a storage pod, so everyone has to eat either at the counter or holding their plates in their laps. No one wants this arrangement to last long. That was one of the first challenges we noticed. Working with the recovery company or a contractor would introduce delays. We’d be waiting on them and their schedules. The process could take months. On top of that was the expense. Our insurance company has given us money to cover the repairs, but they also depreciate for the age of the flooring, and they pull out their deductible. Our adjuster was very nice about getting us as much money as he could without being dishonest. Yet I knew there was likely to be a gap between the amount of money offered by the insurance company and the amount of money a contractor would need in order to get the job done.

I examined the insurance claim in detail and noticed that there is a dollar amount for “General Contractor Overhead” and for “General Contractor Profit” The adjuster said that if we acted as our own general contractors, those dollar amounts would come to us. Then I looked at the bid from the restoration company, and the vast majority of the expense was labor rather than materials.

The thing is, we’ve done this sort of work before. I’ve hung dry wall. I’ve painted. And the new vinyl plank flooring is super easy to lay down. If we do the work ourselves, we can put the insurance money toward paying for some of the mitigation expenses that weren’t covered by insurance. On top of that, we’ll probably get the work done faster because we’ll prioritize getting it done.

The thought was daunting. It’ll be a lot of physical labor over the next weeks. I’ll be drafting my teenagers and paying them an hourly wage.

Yet, I’ve already replaced the flooring in my office. It took half a day and now my office just needs its contents returned to it. I’ve got all the mudding and taping supplies. The sheets of drywall will arrive tonight and odds are good that I’ll have them in place by the end of the day tomorrow. The goal is to have the walls ready to go by the time we leave for Gen Con. The flooring will arrive while we’re at Gen Con and will be collected by the adults keeping track of the house. Then I can lay floor as soon as I get home.

My head is full of calculations for square footage, workflow, and time management. For the next few weeks I’ll be acting as a general contractor while I get our house back to normal.