From best to worst

As our son and daughter-in-law work through the final inspection process on their house, it has been a joy to be able to help them build their first house. The education that they have received will prove to be invaluable throughout their entire lives. Many would say that building a house in Chesterfield County is difficult, at best. I appreciate the fact that we live in a county that attempts to maintain a high standard of construction. The rules that my house was built under in the 1960s were much different than the 2009 IRC (International Residential Code).

In the course of this journey, we have experienced some things that concern me about today’s workforce. By my son being the general contractor, he has had the responsibility of hiring all of the sub-contractors. Let me begin by saying that the lowest price is not always the best price, and you definitely get what you pay for. Contractors must be hired based upon the quality of their work, as well as being able to afford their price. A good work product is a direct reflection of work ethic and integrity. The problem with a first house build is that you do not know the good contractors from the bad ones, and have to trust in other’s recommendations. We have truly seen the best and the worst throughout this build. We did have the privilege of seeing some men that were the best in their field. There were others that talked a good game, but that was all that it was, talk. For some it was more about the money than doing a good job.

On the journey, a friend was hired to do some of the work. The problem was that this friend was incapable of doing what he said that he and his crew could do. The real issue comes when problems begin to arise. At first, we were all about maintaining the relationship at all cost. In the end, we simply needed to break construction ties. I do not know the state of the friend’s relationship, but the learning curve was that hiring friends prevents the level of accountability necessary in business. Don’t get me wrong; dependable friends are invaluable. For those friends that helped on this build, we are eternally grateful.  

My wife and I just finished flipping all of the insulation in the crawl space, since it had been put in upside down. Ultimately, all of this will be history before much longer. The final inspection will eventually be completed and they will move in. You can see how a newly built house can cost so much, especially if every house builder has to go through the same things that we have experienced. We have enjoyed the opportunity of working alongside of my son and daughter-in-law on this. Thank you to everyone that pitched in to help.

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