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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finding a Builder

The Daze After The Fire was just what it was.  Remember me telling you about my uncles working on new house plans?  One of my uncles started laying out the plans and put them down on his drafting board.  He called us in for a meeting, asking us questions, and the next thing we know, he calls with a complete set of plans, EXACTLY like we wanted!  It was a feeling of joy, excitement, encouragement and hope seeing our new house on paper.

I took the plans, the next day, and obtained copies.  Flower Boy started making calls from a list of builders we had compiled over the last few weeks.  Within two days, we were meeting with builders!  Things just got real!  Builders have questions, uncles hadn't asked.  Some told us the cost of options we had chosen.  Yikes!  Some also had input or changes for us to consider.  Yay!

We started with a list of 8 builders.  Two never returned calls.  It was easy to drop them from the list.  Meeting with 6 builders was hard enough.  The word RANCHEY took on new meaning.  Some understood it, some didn't.  It took almost three weeks to meet with them all. We were then in a holding pattern until they got numbers together.  I hate waiting and Flower Boy is not a patient person.  It was a long next few weeks.

The first bid came in.  I remember thinking...  I didn't like this guy but I can deal with his numbers.  The next two builders gave us sticker shock!  I told Flower Boy "Go get us a double wide and one of those cheap $500 carports, because we will NEVER be able to build a house!"  I had a feeling of hopelessness.  No one had prayed over this house building, finding a builder and having the right price, anymore than I had.

Flower Boy got a call from one of the first builders we met.  He calls me, "We have a meeting with another builder..."  I'm thinking "Great???"  I heard this little voice inside me say, "Don't be negative!  You have YOUR builder out there.  He will come to you.  Just give it time."  Some may say that's weird, but I believe we all have those little voices inside us.  I heard mine for the first time when my Daddy was in the hospital, right before he died.  I listen when It speaks to me now!  I even quiet myself to listen!

Back to the builder meeting...  Flower Boy and I had looked a home built by "this builder" right after the house fire.  We spent about an hour going through the house and talking to the owners.  We were impressed and loved his work.  Our first meeting with "this builder" went well, but we weren't sure he listened to everything we were saying.  Flower Boy questioned if "this builder" was paying attention.  On our second meeting, "this builder" had every single detail we had discussed on his bid.  He mentioned things Flower Boy and I had forgotten.  He didn't take a single note during our first meeting.  He NAILED it!  After "this builder" left, I heard that little voice say, "He's your guy!"  I told Flower Boy, "I think we just found our builder."  Flower Boy agreed, but wanted to make sure we had all bids before we made a decision.  Flower Boy is like that.  He wants to make sure everything is right, that Drewman and I are taken care of, protected and happy.

We met with two more builders.  One guy wanted to build us one of his spec homes and we would pay the cost to customize it.  NO WAY!  The other was out of the price range, but wanted the opportunity to rebid with more solid numbers, as he had only called the sub-contractors to get rough estimates.  WHO DOES THAT?!

Flower Boy called "this builder" and set up an appointment to look at more of his homes.  During this time, I sent our plans off to an architect for final dimensions and layouts, a detail the builders said they would need.  Within the next week, we had looked at "this builder's" homes, chosen a brick color, trim color, shutters or no shutters.  I even picked my stove and Flower Boy picked his shower tile!  All from looking at "this builder's" homes.  I'm telling you, he NAILED it!

A week passed before we had final plans from the architect.  The second she emailed them to me, I called Flower Boy, "Call "the builder"!  Let's sign a contract!"  Flower Boy made the call.  No response from "the builder".  The next day, nothing...  The next, HE CALLED!  Turns out, he listens to his little voice too and knew he was "The Builder".  He was wrapping up things on his end in order to start our house.  We sat the meeting to be held in my office.  I thought we would need the computer, the calculator, the copy machine, the fax and anything else I could think of.  I was so excited!

As we were leaving my office that night, I said to "the builder", "My birthday is April 4th."  He looks at me and says, "We will see what we can do."  Flower Boy and he talked about the length of time needed to get the contractors together.  We were coming into the Thanksgiving holiday.  They decided it would be mid week the next week before we could have a site meeting.  We shook hands and went on for the night.  Flower Boy and I went to dinner.  Before we got set down to eat, "the builder" called, "Can we have a site meeting Monday?  The concrete guys can start laying out the house then."  I should have taken a picture of Flower Boy's face!  I had know idea what was being said, but I knew it was GOOD NEWS!

Monday morning "the builder" and the concrete guys arrive at the site.  Guess what?  The target date for completion of our new home is April 4, 2013!  

Building Site

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