Friday, March 09, 2007

Hallelulia! The log jam has broken: we now have not one but two viable candidates for General Contractor--both are extremely qualified for the job and have expressed what seems to be genuine enthusiasm and desire to take on the project.

Minutes after posting Wednesday's blog, I headed up to Fritz's for 10am and noon appointments. The morning one began slowly. The candidate was biding his time as he reviewed the plans, saying little and revealing less. I felt a little uneasy listening to the conversation bump to a halt with some regularity. So I suggested going up the hillside to visit the building site. He loved it--so far, everyone has.

When we got back to the Center, he opened up, letting us know his history in construction in detail and responding to issues he found in the plans very well. He had photos of a wide variety of homes he'd built over the years most with the kind of warm wood-detailed interiors we're looking for. He was especially persuasive when talking about his favored framing crew, guys who set up bins for scrap lumber and go to them FIRST when they need short lengths rather than just running for a fresh 2x4 to cut up. We felt very good about him and decided that he and the man we’d seen two Fridays ago were both well in the running, which was reassuring since the noon appointment started poorly and deteriorated as it went on.

Two guys came from a committed "green" construction company in the southwestern part of New Hampshire. One of them dominated the conversation from the beginning, probing the plans and unhesitatingly announcing which of the materials and techniques they would or would not consider employing given their company's philosophy. Our visit to the site went well--the quieter of the two began to speak more and continued to do so back down at the Center. After they'd left, however, I told M, the designer/former builder who's doing the construction drawings, that I thought we and they were not a good match. I felt they were far too doctrinaire At one point in the conversation, the more talkative one had defined the builder/client relationship as being controlled by the builder. Sorry, guys, but the guy who's paying for the job has to be part of a collaborative process.

Strangely, they’d brought not a single bit of work to show us and although I asked for a couple of business cards and maybe some a brochure or printed information sheet on their company and its work, I was never given anything. But with two good candidates, we can send the job out to bid as soon as the construction drawings come back from the structural engineer. Both these guys estimate five months of construction time. Even if it goes to six months, we’ll still meet our goal of moving in before the weather gets wintery in mid-to-late November.


I discovered rosemary bagels yesterday--rosemary is a very favorite herb of mine--and discovered that they taste even better dipped in French Roast coffee with half & half and a bit of sugar in it.


I also discovered that my Jeep's radiator, water pump and hoses are rotted out and leaking. The job will come in at $675 to $725--not an expense I enjoy as I'm getting ready to build a house.


Dinner tonight was eaten with Anthony (GayProf) and Atari (Ready,Reset,Go) at Laurel in the South End. Laurel's popular but we weren’t rushed in any way, and we wound up sitting at the bar, being regaled by the restaurant's super-extrovert Welsh bartender and extending a delightful evening's conversation an hour or so longer.

It was great having dinner with you and Atari! Have a great weekend, Will.
Rosemary Loaf Cake recipe

This isn't exactly the Rosemary Loaf Cake I'm used to making but hopefully it's just as good!

Adding rosemary to batter makes it difficult to be patient enough for the cake to bake instead of eating the batter by itself.
I've been doing a little getting together with bloggers myself lately and loving it! Very glad about the GC connections. Whew...a huge relief, I'm sure
Rosemary? I like it, don't get me wrong.. but a little goes along way.
GayProf--It was a lot of fun--did we EVER stop talking? Let's do at least one other before you leave Boston.

J.P.--That recipe sounds wonderful. Fritz and I enjoy just that sort of breat when we have tea in the afternoon. Thanks for sending it along.

Lewis--yes, meeting other bloggers is fascinating, particularly discovering how their real selves correspond to the persona that comes through on the blog. I've enjoyed meeting many of the guys in person a lot.
mmmmm... rosemary bagels! I like rosemary too. Someday Jim and I are thinking of building our dream house. I am eagerly reading of your experiences as sort of a primer. Thanks for being a trail blazer!
I had a fun time too. What's wrong with talking? Well, I guess talking amongst ourselves prevents hooking up with people... but Oh well.

Have a good weekend!
I used to have a rosemary bush, started from a seed. It did not survive the move to Arizona.
I have a new one now,only a few inches tall so far.
It is lovely to rub one's fingers through it.
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