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Drywall and Exterior Prep

After having 6-7 drywall contractors bid the Painted Lady I finally pulled the trigger. With the lack of new housing starts in this town a lot of the high volume big specialty crews are not around anymore. Of course there are drywall “companies” here but they all charge more than I want to pay. Any handyman can hang your drywall so it can be tricky to get a good price yet also get a good job, its one of the most important things to get right in order to have a nice finished product.  We always say you can only get 2 out of 3;  fast, good and cheap. It might get done fast and be cheap but it wont be good. It might be good and cheap but it wont be fast. Lastly, it might get done fast and good but it certainly wont be cheap!

In searching for drywall sub contractors I relied on referrals primarily. In our business we always break costs down to price per square foot on anything in order to budget for things. In Texas everyone used a labor price per sheet which was around 11.00. Here in San Diego all the contractors are using price per square foot and quoting .45 to .65 cents for labor which includes hanging, tape an float and texture. Out of all the rehabbers and other investors I spoke to nobody knew how much they were paying but just agreeing on one price.  Things they take into consideration are the ceiling height and any other details that might slow them down. Our house has 11 foot ceilings with trays downstairs and coves upstairs so it adds a lot of time to the job. While a lot of bids came in at .59 cents I ended up getting it finally from a highly recommended guy for .40 cents. Another thing that’s driving my price up is because I am going with a smooth finish texture to replicate the old plaster found in these homes originally. A quick light orange peel spray job would have been way cheaper but I couldn’t do that to this house. At 10,000 s.f. of drywall I’m paying $4k for labor. I’m pretty happy, the hanging crew is done now after 2.5 days with 5 guys and we have the inspection on Monday for screw spacing then Tuesday we can start taping.

On the outside of the house I stayed busy with recreating some more of the missing details that make this house so cool while the painters started prepping. The biggest thing was that the sunburst under the front gable was broken so we had to scale a 32 foot ladder and take it down to copy it. I made a sweet new one and got it back up there in place, its weird to think that the last person who touched this was over 100 years ago and nobody will touch what we did for probably another hundred years. I’m putting in a little extra effort to make sure the front of this house and all its historical little ornaments are intact. We installed the TM Cobb Victorian front door with stained glass window and rebuilt the original transom as well. I also hand made some cool brackets for under the front porch. Since the original ones were missing I used the mini gable facia for inspiration and came up with a heart-Celtic-clover design, they came out cool and are now in place. Its neat when the sun hits the front of this house all these details create shadows on the siding. I also made some fake scalloped shingles for the top of the mini gable that were missing. I cut them out of 1/4 plywood and even put grooves in them to make them look real, another small detail that will pay off. We are getting color on the outside this week, stay tuned to see some Lady paint.

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  1. 8 Comment(s)

  2. By Bilgefisher on Jul 18, 2011 | Reply

    Tom,

    You mentioned before that this was a transition neighborhood. I think your renovation will change it to an up and coming neighborhood. Your taking all the inspections in stride. Can’t wait to see further work on this classy old gal.

    Jason

  3. By Craig on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply

    I really enjoy seeing the pictures of the progress on your projects. In your last couple of posts I have not been able to open the pictures in a new page with a larger size. They remain the same size as on the page. Am I doing something wrong? I like the large pics. The house is looking great.

  4. By Tom on Jul 19, 2011 | Reply

    @Bilge, yea its getting exciting seeing the primer go on. Hope all is well with you. I’ll show color on the next update, I’m still dialing in the body and trim colors. The neighborhood is definitely more transitional than where I was working in San Antonio. I’ve had to walk a tight rope with trying to do a good job but not overbuild. If this house was just a short 4 blocks north and across the freeway it would be in a more established area and bring another $100k on resale but I’m banking on the historic quality, views and the park across the street to draw someone in. There’s no reward without risk, right?

    @Craig, yup. The pictures are low rez I’m sorry to say and have been taken with my cel phone. I slacked off on trying to document everything by bringing my big camera to work and so much has been going on its hard to really keep organized blog content going. Big pictures are coming back this weekend for the next post so you can zoom in and see the details.

    Thanks for following you guys

  5. By tj & the bear on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    Lots of us following very closely, Tom! 🙂

  6. By CptCool2 on Jul 21, 2011 | Reply

    Oh wow, I’ve missed a lot, I gotta visit this site more often. The house is looking great, as usual, Tom!

  7. By kyoung on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    You will certainly help the values on that street.All the neighbors should be grateful and watching out for the house and its security at night. How many hours a week do you think you actually put in when you are working on a rehab?

  8. By Tom on Jul 23, 2011 | Reply

    They are all having fun watching the transformation but probably don’t care about values because they will never sell but rather pass the house down again to their kids. We are working normal construction hours, start early but home by 5. When we get close to finishing I’ll usually start pushing a little harder.

  9. By Danny Johnson on Jul 24, 2011 | Reply

    Glad to see that you are keeping the ornamentation and detail. That is what really makes these houses special. Great job.

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