Split Level Redesign

To accommodate our growing family my wife and I were considering our options – buying and moving to another location or adding on to our existing house.
To help in our decision I attended a local evening course titled – How To Avoid Building Or Remodeling Hell. The course was based on the book of the same name and was taught by the author Richard Connolly.
The information contained in the book and the course help us make the decision to remodel our existing house.
After speaking with a prospective contractor or two we were not comfortable with their suggested method/process for determining design specifications, estimates for pricing (i.e. a per square foot construction cost) and implementation plans.
Since we did not have construction experience we enlisted Richard’s services to assist us in being able to handle the general contractor role and duties.
By using the information and tools outlined in the book, How ToAvoid Building Or Remodeling Hell, were able to easily research the specifics of such a project and know what to do, step by step. It had outlined the steps to take and questions to ask of all parties, including the building inspector and town departments. 
By organizing the labor and material specifications at the detail level, surprises for unforeseen work or unapproved budget overruns were eliminated.
It also allowed for a better determination of the scope of the project. For example, it was easy to see that the cost of adding a small additional space was not going to be worth the benefit of that change. It also showed that by doing work myself, like painting, I was able to cut 15% of the total budget. 
By having Richard coordinate the project it was not difficult or time consuming to sign contractors and pay contractors or suppliers.
The project proceeded smoothly because communication was timely and effective, and the hired contractors were extremely professional and competent. The line item specifications provided an excellent way ensure payment to them was according to their performance, so there was never more money into the project than the work completed.
So, in the end we ended up doubling the living space for a lot less than double the cost and headaches.
The project was so successful that an article was published in The Boston Sunday Globe.

Description of work:

Richard provided services for two phases of the project.
First, was the preconstruction work for developing designs, request for estimates, reviewing contractor proposals and contract signings.
The second phase was to assist with the coordination of the project and my role as the general contractor which limited my effort and minimized my commitment. 

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