Help me hire a contractor for my basement

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Help me hire a contractor for my basement

Postby deadphish » Fri May 08, 2009 1:29 pm

I know, I know...it's help deadphish day. :lol:

So we need about 800 sq ft finished including a full bath (with no plumbing yet). I had a guy from Craigslist come over for an estimate and he surprised me. About $8500 for everything. This includes drywall ceiling and the bath from scratch. He offers a 5 year warranty on all his work (claims he'll personally fix anything that goes wrong for 5 years). Does all the work himself. Will take about 4 weeks. We get checklists everyday as the work progresses. He was pretty clean-cut, nice work truck, BLUES ball cap.

Here's his site: http://www.thestlhandyman.com/

I'm tempted to hire him. He's got the same references anyone does i guess. Everyone says he does good work. He's not listed with BBB, but that doesn't necessarily bother me. $11 per sq ft is pretty damn cheap isn't it?

Anyone here have a basement finished recently?
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Re: Help me hire a contractor for my basement

Postby abc789987 » Fri May 08, 2009 1:34 pm

deadphish wrote:I know, I know...it's help deadphish day. :lol:

So we need about 800 sq ft finished including a full bath (with no plumbing yet). I had a guy from Craigslist come over for an estimate and he surprised me. About $8500 for everything. This includes drywall ceiling and the bath from scratch. He offers a 5 year warranty on all his work (claims he'll personally fix anything that goes wrong for 5 years). Does all the work himself. Will take about 4 weeks. We get checklists everyday as the work progresses. He was pretty clean-cut, nice work truck, BLUES ball cap.

I'm tempted to hire him. He's got the same references anyone does i guess. Everyone says he does good work. He's not listed with BBB, but that doesn't necessarily bother me.

Anyone here have a basement finished recently?

I have no idea if that is a good price for everything, but if it is, I'd see if you could go look at some other work he has done for people. Try and make sure isn't just giving out his friends numbers as references.
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Re: Help me hire a contractor for my basement

Postby tsblue » Fri May 08, 2009 5:50 pm

If he is legit that is a great price.
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Re: Help me hire a contractor for my basement

Postby cprice12 » Fri May 08, 2009 10:08 pm

tsblue wrote:If he is legit that is a great price.


Agreed. It makes you wonder...

I would definitely check out his previous work.

Do your homework. If you aren't aware of how things should be done, find out, do your research, and inspect what he is doing every step of the way.
This is your house. Don't be shy. Make sure it's done right. That's what I am trying to do. I am researching everything he is doing, the materials he is using or wants to use, etc.
Get a detailed contract on what specific materials you want used (type of drywall, type of insulation, vapor barriers between wood studs and concrete floors & walls, etc.) and the specific processes involved, etc. If I had it to do over again, I would have gotten more details on what materials were to be used before construction started, because I've had to discuss this stuff and change some things with him as we go. I guess it's not a huge deal, but it just would have been nice to have it all mapped out before hand.
I've learned a ton from this whole process.

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My contractor is pretty good I think. I'm out there almost every evening at the house to check on the work done each day, and I go out there a couple times a week during the day (over lunch) when he is there to talk to him about stuff and point out concerns/ideas/etc. He's one of those old school builders who seems to take pride in doing things the right way. The process has been a slow one, but I'm happy with the quality of work.

I'd recommend him to you (after he's done with our house of course :wink: ), but he's out of Edwardsville...so you're probably out of his service area.
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Re: Help me hire a contractor for my basement

Postby Steve Levy Sucks » Sat May 09, 2009 6:08 pm

Make sure he's licensed. That sounds pretty cheap for someone who isn't. Even in you're f'd up state that's a major issue. If your city, township, etc catches his truck over there, and they will, and he hasn't pulled permits, he'll be subject to a big fine, and you'll get stuck with either paying it and then having to hire contractors who ARE licensed to finish up or with him charging you all kinds of extras to get in compliance.

I do this shit for a living and I have yet to ever find a contractor who was licensed in all of the trades (mechanical, electrical, plumbing, building). If he's telling you he's going to do all of the work himself, then something isn't right.
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Re: Help me hire a contractor for my basement

Postby WaukeeBlues » Sat May 09, 2009 6:28 pm

My best friend back home is a master carpenter, and read ur post off to him. He said that the 4 weeks is a long time but given that- the price is a great one- almost too cheap. Says if you paid more, would likely be able to find someone to get it done faster but that's your call obviously.
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