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Thread: Finally Bought Some Land

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Jorn...as Mike and Bruce have indicated, if a GC is not in the competitive bid business, they're most likely negotiating work and using what the commercial world labels a GMP formatted agreement. Cost of the work, plus a fixed fee with a guaranteed maximum price. Most experienced GC's fix general conditions as well....field supervison, temporary utilities, etc. Savings from the GMP are split with some percentage to the GC and some to the Owner. Unforeseen conditions are identified in the agreement and it would be wise to establish unit prices and hourly rates for events such as encountering rock (define rock too), hauling away additional spoil beyond what is indicted on the site plan, importing soil, Winter conditions, adding outlets, etc. The cost of the work plus a GMP is very good format for complex projects and your architect can recommend an AIA agreement that is appropriate for your project.

    With your project, you're asking for people to spend several weeks studying your documents and provide a detailed (low) budget while you, your wife and the design team have had several months to dive deep into the project. There's going to be some miscommunication of "intent" somewhere down the line and your definition of risk and your expectations for performance might not be clearly defined in the project documents. Conflict resolution needs to be quick, decisive and systematic. A well known principal from HOK once commented that on low bid projects, his architects were essentially devoting the majority of their time to practicing what he defined as "defensive architecture". The selection of a GC in your case might be the firm that is best suited to work under this format and perhaps ask your prospects to clearly outline the process that they propose in resolving conflicts and document clarifications with the design team.
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  2. #362
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by xjoex View Post
    ...
    The house down there.
    ...
    Whoa. That's a major mountain view. Do you get any of that from the house? How are you going to set it up so you can have coffee each morning on that rock?
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Jorn...as Mike and Bruce have indicated, if a GC is not in the competitive bid business, they're most likely negotiating work and using what the commercial world labels a GMP formatted agreement. Cost of the work, plus a fixed fee with a guaranteed maximum price. Most experienced GC's fix general conditions as well....field supervison, temporary utilities, etc. Savings from the GMP are split with some percentage to the GC and some to the Owner. Unforeseen conditions are identified in the agreement and it would be wise to establish unit prices and hourly rates for events such as encountering rock (define rock too), hauling away additional spoil beyond what is indicted on the site plan, importing soil, Winter conditions, adding outlets, etc. The cost of the work plus a GMP is very good format for complex projects and your architect can recommend an AIA agreement that is appropriate for your project.

    With your project, you're asking for people to spend several weeks studying your documents and provide a detailed (low) budget while you, your wife and the design team have had several months to dive deep into the project. There's going to be some miscommunication of "intent" somewhere down the line and your definition of risk and your expectations for performance might not be clearly defined in the project documents. Conflict resolution needs to be quick, decisive and systematic. A well known principal from HOK once commented that on low bid projects, his architects were essentially devoting the majority of their time to practicing what he defined as "defensive architecture". The selection of a GC in your case might be the firm that is best suited to work under this format and perhaps ask your prospects to clearly outline the process that they propose in resolving conflicts and document clarifications with the design team.
    More good stuff. GMP sounds like where we are headed, but I will know more after we talk to the architects this weekend.

    The first round of meetings with contractors is done. We've already made our deadline a bit more elastic. After a couple general delays (weather, illness, life) the deadline as is didn't seem conducive to getting accurate bids. They all seem able to get us their bids before Jan 1, however, so that's completely functional. In the meantime, we'll make some decisions about whether we need to go back to some of the contractors who demurred and see if we want to employ some persuasion.

    The most frustrating part is that the field designer for NYSEG has not been forthcoming with the designs for our electrical connection, nor with our bill that unlocks the installation process upon payment. There is enough possible variation in the design that if we went ahead and dug a trench and got everything setup for the connection, we'd run the risk of being wrong. Wait and dig once. But ugh...
    Last edited by j44ke; 12-09-2017 at 12:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Oh the utilities saga...and I thought that utility company monopolies ended with the breakup of Ma Bell. We actually identity the connection of permanent power as a major project milestone, as so much is dependent upon having the building systems fully energized. Not much happens without a temporary power service either, as there is only so much that can run on a generator. Is there a local EC tha can help you expedite your plans with the power company? Sometimes the site/civil has some pull as well.
    rw saunders
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Oh the utilities saga...and I thought that utility company monopolies ended with the breakup of Ma Bell. We actually identity the connection of permanent power as a major project milestone, as so much is dependent upon having the building systems fully energized. Not much happens without a temporary power service either, as there is only so much that can run on a generator. Is there a local EC tha can help you expedite your plans with the power company? Sometimes the site/civil has some pull as well.
    I think I am going to get my excavator guy to call him. He can usually get just about anyone moving.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Whoa. That's a major mountain view. Do you get any of that from the house? How are you going to set it up so you can have coffee each morning on that rock?
    Thanks! Yeah this room has some views (excuse the mess, we are still unpacking).
    PC090695 by Joe, on Flickr

    I have put in about 2 miles of trails for walking the dogs and am calling it done until the spring.

    Although have you checked on broadband access in the new place? We have a radio network connection and I might get a second as a backup since the one we have works great when it works, but that is about 70% of the time.

    -Joe

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Looks like the dogs are unpacked already!

    Yes, we did that while looking. The National Broadband Project has of course be killed like a lot of things now, but there are a couple orgs. that have taken over the information. We will have a regional ISP with DSL that chugs along at 30mbps. Both Spectrum (Time Warner) and Fios (Verizon) are right around the corner with significantly faster speeds, but they seem disinclined to connect anyone on our road. My wife will use her firm's cellular WIFI "brick" to fill in any holes.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    If you are installing solar, expect your power company to run interference.

    As for Verizon service, good luck with that. Around here they show no interest whatsoever in making more connections. I am waiting for drones to provide service.
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    How about a little modeling? We met our architects up in Hillsdale at the site, and they had this model ready for us. Unfortunately, it snowed and melting snowflakes made the model look a bit bleary. I can vouch for its execution though as I saw it before getting spritz with frozen water.

    As long as the electrical utility* (no solar, just one guy doing the work of 5 more than likely) signs off on our projected transformer location and the run from transformer to house etc., this will be the arrangement of the house and garage. Drive will come in from the right along one of the old walls, and then there will be a stair way up the far side of the garage to the house and a gently sloping path up from the porch on the garage to the house. 2/3rds of the garage is for a car and 1/3 is for bikes, though the openings are set up so it can be a two car garage. The little bench is actually an outdoor barbecue and table. The 3/4 cylinder is an outdoor shower. You'll note that the garage is sort of embedded in the ground. There is a big outcropping of rock there. Not solid but big, and we decided this was a landscaping opportunity that gave us an opportunity to hide the garage (and the lights from cars) a bit.

    *Sounds like we just got an onsite meeting with him, so I am hopeful. I talked to the excavator yesterday, and he assures me that he can dig a trench in February during a blizzard....











    Last edited by j44ke; 12-12-2017 at 06:23 PM.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    I want the job where you get to make those models!

    Looks great, Jorn. How's the birding at the site?
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Best bird so far is ruffed grouse. I had a pair of them run from me and then take off one morning I went to the site to cut some vines. Scared the beejeebus out of me, because they were almost underfoot when they went. Now I am more cautious so perhaps I can sneak up on them, but who knows if I'll ever see them again.

    And we have a family of pileated woodpeckers. There are 5 that hang out together even though it is now, what? December? They really go after the trees, and I am sure they are eating some of the longhorn beetle grubs and other pests killing the trees. We have quite a bit of standing deadwood, and I know they are really enjoying it, so while I want to bring some of it down, I will leave plenty for them to whack to pieces. Whack whack whack - big splinters go flying.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Very nice. Very. Bit of Mies, bit of Le Corbusier. Like the banked garage, and the way the contours of the buildings play on the contours of the land. Not clear as to whether you can drive up to the house proper, though. You'll want that.

    Came home yesterday to three bald eagles taking flight across the field in front of our house. One immature. A Barred Owl sat on the power line as snow fell today.
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Thanks. I think the architects have really done a nice job.

    Owls. I would really like to have owls in our woods. That would be super cool.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Owls. I would really like to have owls in our woods. That would be super cool.
    I hear one at night every now and then in my woods - "Who, who, WHO, WHOOOOO"

    I used to get wild turkeys quite often, but one of the large adjoining properties was cleared a few years ago and they aren't as common as they used to be.

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    I spent way too much time googling plows, used trucks, etc. But I realized I do not want to fix a 30 year old F150 when it is dumping snow. So I went with a new Honda Foreman ATV with a plow.

    IMG_8704 copy.jpg

    Now I have assured our current snowless fall continues on as a snowless winter.

    -Joe

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Looks like the images arent available on flickr anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by defspace View Post
    I want the job where you get to make those models!

    Looks great, Jorn. How's the birding at the site?
    They are fun! (well atleast until your awake at 3am for a 9am presentation. But that goes with every career I suppose, they are just generally overlooked in some offices and you get stuck with them early in your career.

    we've been making some progress, still a lot of electrical work (ugh) and the whole kitchen to go.

    105E01FD-04D0-4869-AD03-1F51BC674FFE.jpg
    --------------------
    another jaunt
    REBAR

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by xjoex View Post
    I spent way too much time googling plows, used trucks, etc. But I realized I do not want to fix a 30 year old F150 when it is dumping snow. So I went with a new Honda Foreman ATV with a plow.

    IMG_8704 copy.jpg

    Now I have assured our current snowless fall continues on as a snowless winter.

    -Joe
    We look forward to a full review.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by s_curran View Post
    Looks like the images arent available on flickr anymore.



    They are fun! (well atleast until your awake at 3am for a 9am presentation. But that goes with every career I suppose, they are just generally overlooked in some offices and you get stuck with them early in your career.

    we've been making some progress, still a lot of electrical work (ugh) and the whole kitchen to go.

    105E01FD-04D0-4869-AD03-1F51BC674FFE.jpg

    That ladder looks like it was made for that position. Also who here hasn't wanted to have a chop saw right next to the fireplace?

    Family friends spent almost 5 years cooking on a Coleman camp stove after they ripped out most of their kitchen and then got sidelined by work, baby, time and money. As soon as the baby went to all day kindergarten, they put a new gas line in and bought a nice range to celebrate.
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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    We look forward to a full review.
    We have a similar setup on a Kawasaki Mule. It's surprisingly effective, given the relatively small size. Having a little pickup truck is incredibly useful, a real time- and back-saver. Throw two saws, tools, gas and oil, and head off to cut wood. Forget something and you just hustle home for it.

    The downside of having owls is that cats don't last long living outdoors. I wasn't a cat person before a black manx showed up one very cold winter's day the first year we lived on the farm. I took his loss hard.
     

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    Default Re: Finally Bought Some Land

    IMG_3186.jpg

    Owl country.
     

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