So why didn’t I just hire a contractor to manage the project? It would cost more money, but would be much easier for me to interface with one individual who would be responsible for all of the project activities, deadlines, dealing with builders, suppliers, and attaining the necessary permits from our local township. Besides, all of this needed to begin while Lake Edge was still in its busy season – up until Thanksgiving weekend. And, what do I know about managing a construction project anyway? However, I soon came to the realization that most of the reputable contractors were busy 1-2 years out, and there was a shortage of both skilled labour and materials (e.g. concrete).
So, with these constraints, I deduced that I would need to ‘dig deep’ to find reliable resources, and then project manage it myself. The risk being that I don’t know what I don’t know, so there will be some learning/growth pain throughout the process – but that never stopped me before. I learned from running a student painting business during my university days that “some people make things happen, others watch things happen, and those who don’t know what’s happening”. We get to choose.
Above it all, I find motivation in life through continual learning, transformation, and improvement. This is often where new opportunities emerge that can make a positive difference in one’s self, your career, and stuff you’re accomplishing as you go forward.
And so, the project blueprints, phone calls and networking to find the right resources began. Generation Solar (as discussed earlier), had already earned my trust, so I leveraged their network of suppliers to find “Whippletree” a well-experienced company that would build a pole-barn framework that would satisfy our needs. As I got to know the owners, I realized how fortunate I was to have them on my project. Not just because of their extensive experience, but also their collegial and positive attitudes, that would make the project fun to work on together. I learned through personal experience to expect issues on any project, and having a strong team that works well together, much easier to navigate through obstacles that come along.
And finally, I chose a reputable concrete supplier – or so I thought. After several weeks of discussions and my agreement to move forward with them, they sent an email saying they could no longer commit to my project. Huge disappointment, as I had wasted several weeks and it would be difficult to find a replacement with only 8 weeks to go before breaking ground on the new foundation. Neither Generation Solar, nor Whippletree had any recommendations either. So, I sourced one through my local building material suppliers. Definitely not the ideal situation you when your options are limited.
With 4 stages of pouring concrete – and 2 left to go, the foundation has taken longer than expected as we are currently 3 weeks behind schedule. This stems from a combination of earlier wet weather, and resource challenges. Our updated schedule tells us that we are about 10 days away before we move to the framing stage.
Our picture below illustrates 15 concrete piers, resting on 4-foot-deep in the ground, concrete footings, upon which the white pine timber beams will be attached using 8-inch-deep concrete screws re-secured with epoxy. The fog is typical at this time of year as our lake is warmer than the cool night temperatures. Most mornings see frost while our fog burns off around 10am. It’s my favourite time of year!