May not be a good question to ask but...

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by DMC101, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. DMC101

    DMC101 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    We are building a 3300SF custom home. The heat was initiated in January. First bill, no big deal. Second bill, a whopping gas bill for 509 bucks from Feb 15 to March 15. This is in the builder's name. I was told that they had to heat during the sheetrock, taping, painting phase, etc., which was a total of one week. Every time I went up there after that period, the heat was blasting and, of course, I was fuming due to wasted costs. The builder told me he would monitor the heat, but even just yesterday, a beautiful day 60 some degress and the heat was on at three in the afternoon. I never did witness or get a sense that he was vigilent about the heat issues. The tilers were in there and when they saw me coming they turned OFF the heat.
    Of course, I am livid about the waste and people spending our hard-earned money. Now my builder and I are in a fight about this. I say, he was neglegent about not monitoring the heat. He is just making a lot of excuses and I'm totally irate about this wasteful spending. We are not millionaires, nor do we have such deep pockets not to care about this. I told him I was not taking full responsibility for this outrageous bill. Anyone have any experience with this? Now my husband and I aren't speaking. DOn't ever build a house; it's a lot of stress! Thanks everyone.
    Is there any way to lock the system? The builder told me he would put a lock of some sort on it and it never happened.
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Now my husband and I aren't speaking. DOn't ever build a house; it's a lot of stress!

    That also happens with remodeling. Sometimes it takes a very strong marriage to survive either one. Doesn't the heat have a thermostat? If it does and you are getting bills like this now, unless the house is completely open and uninsulated, what makes you think they will be smaller once you occupy the residence?
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,313
    Location:
    New England
    Certain materials require some minimum temperatures for their installation, so heat is often required. Tiling, for example, can't be installed unless it is above some minimum temperature for three days, and you don't want to start with the stuff frigid. So, there is a legitimate need for heat during some processes in the house. The workmen will probably be more efficient if they don't have to have super thick clothing on, too. So, some heat is warranted. I'm not a contractor, so I don't know, but my guess is that during construction, the contractor owns those costs, not the future homeowner. If you are acting as your own general contractor, that's a different story. Good luck resolving this.
  4. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    I think people have a right to work where it is warm enough when at all possible. I wouldn't want someone to be cold working on my house building it or fixing it. I would expect a gas bill.

    I would even make them coffee and buy them donuts and would step back let my husband have the say.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  5. drick

    drick In the Trades

    Messages:
    392
    I work in new construction quite often, and the heat issue can be a problem. Most people are fine but you'll always get someone who thinks that their time is sooo valuable they can't put down what they are carrying and close the door behind them. There is really nothing you can do about this unless you see it happening. There are thing you can do however. First make sure you have a tstats installed. Many times during construction they just use a resistor set to some specific unchangeable temp - say 60 degrees. If someone is cold or needs more heat for the work they are doing they are forced short out the tstat causing the furnace to run constantly until they remove the short. Second, check the house nightly and keep the heat at 65 so things than need to dry will be able to and you will know what the overnight temp is.

    That said it is not fun to work in a hot house. If they have the heat turned up and they are in there working its most likely for a reason besides they want to pretend they are in Hawaii. (BTW, sheet rockers are the worst offenders, but the do it to speed the drying time of the plaster.) As long as they don't have the heat on and the windows open I would not worry about it. Also, your house is unfinished - no carpet, no blinds, people opening and shutting the door all day long - your heating bill is going to be higher than normal. Summer is coming, your heating bill will go down from here. Do what you can to stay on top of it but worry about something else.

    -rick
  6. DMC101

    DMC101 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    You've all missed the point. There was only a time where it needed to be high and my builder was not vigilant on controlling the heat during the off times when it was not needed, like he promised. I'm done. He should take some responsibilty as he was the one leaving the garage door open every time and not going up there to manage the heat. He dropped the ball, bottom line. I am now taking over. On top of that, he will put that in the draw and take a commission off the heating bill. That is just wrong! Now the heat is in our name, like it should have been. Nickel and dime us to death; I'm so sick of it. He charged us for copies of the invoices. Some people just care about themselves. I understand about the curing time, etc., but that was only a short time. I called the bank today and now I am taking over as the general. He wants to pay people for work uncompleted. Unacceptable!
  7. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Finding an honest contractor isn't easy...or doctor, or dentist, or lawyer....

    I can see the issue from both sides, but your GC does sound kind of shady. I don't think it unreasonable that he should have offered to split the bill with you.
  8. DMC101

    DMC101 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    Exactly! Be a man, a person of integrity, and do the right thing! That is what I wanted. Say, sorry, I didn't manage like I promised; instead, it is costing him much more because he didn't step up to the plate. I am now taking control and I have contacted the bank and now the checks are going in our name. I didn't like the job they did on the back patio stairs, terrible angle cuts and the GC flat out said, "Would I want this in my house? No." but yet he wants me to pay full price to the cement guy, and he doesn't have our back. I'm so done! I'm a strong woman and most men can't deal with it! Why should I pay for shoddy workmanship? I get the sense that the contractors have so much power on this lien bull crap. I don't think the GC is dishonest, but I feel that I get a shuck and jive on every turn when I bitch. He is just nickel and diming us to death. Like, the building permit, I told him I would go down and write a check, he said, "we'll take care of it." Yeah, then he back charges me for a credit card fee from the city for 195 bucks plus his commission and 8.3 percent tax on that. That is also just wrong!
  9. DMC101

    DMC101 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    by the way, of course, the house was insulated and all the windows in and the front door was temporarily put in. If I was to have this kind of heating bill after we moved in, that would be ridiculous. We are in an apt. now, having electric heat (way more expensive) and the most is 90 bucks a month at a toasty 72 degrees.
  10. DMC101

    DMC101 New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Richland, WA
    Cookie, screw the donuts and coffee. Obviously, you have no experince other than being in the kitchen baking. Get a clue! I'm not their MOMMY!
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,230
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Do you have a contract with the general? IF so, how is he nickel and diming you to death? Or do you have a "T&M not to exceed" agreement? I bill for ALL items applying to the job, and DO NOT bill them at my cost.
  12. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    You are too funny. My discipline is selling & appraising RE. I hope everything works out well for you but ... you need to learn diplomacy my friend. Where is your husband in all of this?

    This should & could be a great time for you both if you listen to each other & work together. You both could have great memories to reflect back on...building your own home. What a wonderful thing to do.

    Being a strong woman doesn't mean taking the bull by the horns, charging ahead at full-speed, knocking everything down in your path. That shows inexperience.

    Make your husband smile, make some coffee and buy some donuts so he can hear what a great wife he has.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
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