How on earth do I meet with contractors to go over plans and bids with five kids? McDonald’s Playplace! I am totally laughing with you too! Why didn’t I think of that sooner? No babysitter, no one pulling on my shirt asking me a question for an hour. Sheer meeting bliss! Thank heaven it was a very nice framer who was already hard of hearing from years of pneumatic nail guns preventing him from flinching at 5 kids squealing with delight in the play set. I told you this would be an adventure!
What is a framer? Framers put the sticks/lumber together to frame your structure. They are key players in building a straight, non-sloping floors and a roof that won’t sag kind of player. So important that your budget needs to be prepared to pay for quality work which is solely based on square footage. They charge a dollar amount per square foot not including the lumber. Add a percentage that a General Contractor will charge on top if you aren’t GC’ing yourself. Thus I am…General Mom. That will save 10-30% depending on who you talk to. Hey if you have the money and can pay to have someone manage the whole project for you great! You would hire someone to do a “turnkey” house for you which is ready to move in with the turn of a key. I actually enjoy sourcing subcontractors, interviewing and managing the process and it really isn’t that hard.
So how to find a framer? Start by going to your local lumber company/yard and ask for one of the sales managers to refer you to two or three carpenter/framers who have accounts that are good. They know who is good and fair priced. Just call them up and say they were referred by the local lumber yard and want to discuss your project. If you have elevations and floor plans, they look at the square footage and multiply their needed dollar amount. Anywhere from $15-24 per square foot depending on area of the U.S., skill and complexity of work. I mentioned corners and angles in my earlier posts during the design phase…those add up with carpentry bids through finish work and concrete too.