How I met my contractor, part 1

Myryah Irby

November 7, 2012

By: Myryah Irby, Home Renovation Enthusiast

In: ContractorsGeneral Remodeling

Last week I wrote about the speedy progression of our home addition, including preparing to pour the foundation, and explained why the rain dumped by Superstorm Sandy was no big whoop. (For our foundation that is, obviously for many people and places Sandy has been a very big whoop).

We drove upstate again this past weekend and the progress continues. But before getting to that I want to write about our contractor, Joe. And before I get to Joe, a little background on where I'm coming from, and why I feel qualified to offer advice on hiring a contractor.

My dream of owning a home started to feel achievable around 2006. I was living in San Francisco and was saddled with student loan debt, but had a decent paying job and some savings. I was living with a swell guy (my now husband) who had some cash tucked away too, so home ownership was within reach. We started attending open houses. We saw a few places that were interesting, but I just couldn't wrap my head around spending 700K for a small two bedroom apartment with ugly granite countertops and no yard. Also, I have very particular tastes when it comes to pretty much everything, building materials, fixtures, layout, lighting. It became clear pretty fast that a fixer upper was the way to go.

I've worked as an online editor since 2000. In that time I've assigned and edited content on a broad array of topics, varying by client and/or media outlet. Here's a photo of me in my first office cubicle:
Lucy at work
In 2006 I started working at my current company, Quinstreet. The following year I was offered the opportunity to devote myself completely to home improvement content. Since then I've likely assigned and edited over 5,000 pieces of home related content. I've worked with home inspectors, contractors, green renovation experts and various DIYers to create articles, videos, guides, blog posts, Q&As (like our popular Ask the Contractor feature on ReliableRemodeler.com) and more. I'm not saying I'm the expert on contractors, but I'm certainly informed. Not surprisingly, we are working with a wonderful construction manager on our home addition. He understands our goals (and budget), communicates well, and is doing excellent work. We're very happy.
our wonderful contractor!
I took this shot of Joe (left) and my husband this past weekend as we finalized things like window size and placement, closets, doors -- pretty much anything related to framing out the addition, which is happening this week.

Tune in next time for: How I met my contractor, part 2, wherein I share how we actually met our contractor, and our experiences so far working with the great guys at Rapp Construction Management.


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