From The Storyteller
January 01, 2018, House
When I was living in Kansas I built a house. Back then, banks would finance new home construction when the owner was acting as the general contractor. With plans, material specification, and the subcontractors lined up, I could see myself saving tons of money. No, I had never done anything like this it before, but “How hard could it be?”
“How hard could it be?” is a phrase that suggests something is easy. Learning to call to your electrician, framer, plumber, etc. by 7:00 a.m. was an easy lesson. The subcontractors doing the work were easy to work with and often gave great advice. It was easy for me to learn that while they actually built the house, my role as general contractor was defined as “everything else”. “How hard could it be?”
This is where the easy part ends. It took me days to just select the paint. Quality, color, type, cost, and quantity, within the budget, is not as simple as it sounds. Decisions about everything from floor coverings and lighting to plumbing fixtures and the kitchen sink took hours. Oh, and all this was done after arranging a builder’s discount at the lumber yard - which wasn’t easy.
To add a bit of character a four foot high used brick trim was decided upon. By the way, there were no used brick stores. Eventually I found a guy who sold used brick - it was very expensive and sold by the pound. Question: How many pounds of used brick are required to for a 4’ high trim on a 2500 sq. ft. house?
Did I mention that I had my full time law practice to maintain?
Moral: In 2018, if you hear the question “How hard could it be?” – run.