Day 17 - Still in Shock / by eric teran

We are still in shock with the quick installation of Superior Walls. We knew they would do it but it is another thing living it. Today was a make up day as the site stood empty. I did not have my plumber ready to work today and Jose the excavator was at another job. No work today. We only had some materials arrive from Home Depot and they didn't send everything. I gave the construction schedule 3 contingency days before the modular units arrive on the 28th. Wasting days is not ideal but it happens. As long as the days don't turn into months.  

Some materials for under the slab. R10 insulation on the left, rebar for the footing and steel mesh for the slab.

I remember that once we got back from the Caribbean I was in full drive to get a building permit that I assembled a great team to make this a Passive House. A Passive House is a highly energy efficient home. After two months of trying to attain this goal I realized that it was completely out of my budget. Instead I focused on building a Pretty Good House for $100 SF.

The first Contractor (yes, the first as there are many) I worked with was nice, helpful and taught me a lot. However the prefab company that he represented in the area was not good. Communication was horrible and it took weeks to get something back from them. Granted my design was complicated. However, I did ask at the beginning of the process if my design was doable as a modular home. I should have also asked if it was economically doable.

We began the plans in March and I thought I would have completed plans by the end of June. I did not get them until October! When I did get them a lot of the stuff we had spoken about was wrong or they now told me they could no longer do it. Regardless I submitted the plans to the city and figured I would correct the plans when we had to resubmit them to the city. Plans are never approved on the first submittal.

While I waited for the updated plans from the modular company I had a vision. It was probably to due lack of sleep but it was a vision none the less. It was the beginning of December and I simplified the design so that it worked better with a modular home concept. I gave these plans to Contractor #2 and received an estimate in one week! Contractor #1 took over five months to give me an estimate and once he did it was way over my budget and left out numerous estimates such as connecting the sewer line in the middle of the street. 

I asked Contractor #1 if he wanted to give me an estimate within a week for the new design. He said not without a $10k deposit and I said, "Thanks. Goodbye." I was frustrated and I did not trust the modular company at all. I would have tried to work with Contractor #1 but not with the same modular company. I was probably about a month or two away from getting a permit but it did not feel right. During our Christmas vacation of 2015 while eating a carne asada taco in Rosarito, Mexico I made the decision to go with Contractor #2.