Trust Me Ma’am, I’m a Professional

Neither Sean nor I framed the addition.  We had a friend do it for us.  His wife actually arranged the whole thing for me.  We were chatting one day in the nursery (No, we weren’t skipping our meetings we were… Oh forget it, we were skipping our meetings.) and she was asking about the work we were doing on our house and I told her about it and that the next thing I had to do was frame.  And I was nervous about that.  I don’t know how to frame and these are the WALLS we’re talking about here.  (I’m not going to mention that I didn’t know how to hang floor joists but I did that anyway.)  So Carla, my friend, said that she was going to send her husband Todd, who works construction for a living, over to frame for us.  I demurred but she insisted.  So over he came.

It’s amazing how fast that guy can put up walls.  He did have to come over a few different times but each “session” was only about an hour and he only came over three of four times.  It would have taken me the whole month working the whole time.  And it was amazing of him to do it for us for free (thanks again Todd).

Anyway, Sean and I were looking at the framing the other day and trying to figure out what he had done.  we had some existing posts that were (and still are) holding up the roof.  The wall was built in between those posts.  But instead of dividing the space up equally the studs he put in were off center.  Nor were they 16″ on center (14″ apart) as is standard.  It was so weird (and apparently we had too much time on our hands) that I got out the tape measure.  One stud was 21″ from the post the other was 18.  What on earth was he doing?

In addition to not understanding it, I was sure that when the inspector from the city came he was going to make us add studs, something I didn’t want to have to do, because the ones we had would be too far apart.

Well, the inspector came.  He said not a word about the studs.  Maybe he just didn’t notice but… I doubt it.

You see, as I was putting up some exterior insulation today I realized why Todd put those studs where he did and I take back everything I said about him, the man’s a freaking genius!  The studs are where they are so that we wouldn’t have to cut the plywood or the exterior insulation or later, the sheetrock!  It’s awesome.

The thing is that it’s not that I couldn’t have done that myself.  I certainly could.  But I never would have thought to do it.

And that my friends is why you hire a professional.

Does that mean that we’re going to be hiring out the rest of the work?

Do I look like I’m made of money?  No way.  I put the floor on myself just today.  And the exterior insulation as I mentioned.

But I am hiring out the wiring and at least some of the ceiling.  And maybe I’ll stop questioning things that look strange.

Probably not.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jami
    Sep 08, 2008 @ 23:30:08

    I am so glad that you got a genius framer. I’m afraid our professional has sniffed a bit too many fumes over the years. Turns out the weird stuff he did was just weird. However, I am certain that he did a better job than the man and I would have done.

  2. chronicler
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 08:24:59

    That is super! I am glad you are hiring a wiring guy, they’re definitely the guys to hire! I read a blog just yesterday where the young couple remodeling, put in the ceiling fans themselves. They were very happy to get remote control ones, and installed them and they work great. Except for some reason every night the one in their baby girls room turns it light on in the middle of the night. Hmmmm.

    This is making me think I could actually add that third bedroom! My biggest concern is the roof line.

    (oh and I’m totally proofing everything I type before I hit send now days!)

  3. Alison @ hairlinefracture
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 08:37:59

    He really knew what he was doing–it will save you work! What a great guy.

    I didn’t know how smart I was to marry a professional builder whose father made him learn how to do everything you have to do to build a house–but boy am I glad I did.

  4. s'mee
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 10:02:44

    This post was awesome! I agree with Chronicler, do many things yourself but leave electricity and gas to the professionals! (They have medical insurance because they are used to working with things that like to blow up and/or burn if you forget on little thing.)

    I have to laugh because we have a lot of pro builder types in the family, but when it came to laying floor (how hard can that be, we build industrial buildings and nuclear power plants? thump thump chest) It took the guys about four hours to fiddle with about a 18″x8′ foot strip. In walks the youngest of the crew and he tells them, “Um, hey… guys… if you do it (grunt grunt) like thiiis( grunt and a bang on the wood) it just snaps into place, (umph, click) There! Done.” It took the crew about an hour more to finish the entire three rooms…with molding.

    Moral of the story: Experience means something!

  5. Lisa M
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 12:03:22

    I LOVE IT! I just think this is neat. That is one thing we have actually agreed to do, is the wiring. Framing. NO way. Dry Wall. YIPES.

    I think that you’re great.

  6. bythelbs
    Sep 09, 2008 @ 18:15:36

    Did you at least give Todd some brownies and ice cream?

  7. angela michelle
    Sep 10, 2008 @ 11:32:31

    How awesome that you got that help! We’re always doing some home improvement project that we’re doing for the first time and so it takes forever and a pro could do it in 1/10 the time but we have even less money than we do time…

  8. julie
    Sep 10, 2008 @ 14:32:42

    I’m glad that you had some help with the room. Sounds like progress . Yeah !!!!

  9. Melanie J
    Sep 10, 2008 @ 19:22:23

    Someone used the phrase “Mickey Mouse construction” once to my dad to describe some stop gap fix they found on the back patio when they were remodelling. He liked it, which meant that in Rainman fashion, he repeated it over and over for years. Anything that was slightly askew was a “Mickey Mouse” job. “Ha, ha, that light fixture must have been put on by Mickey Mouse.”

    “Uh, Dad, you did that the last time you changed the bulb.”

    “What? No way. I would have done a good job. That’s totally Mickey Mouse.”

    Okay, Mickey.

    I’m all for professionals. I’d save time over money any day.

  10. Madmad
    Sep 11, 2008 @ 07:45:01

    Oh, I’m getting gaspy just READING this! Contractors and renovations and a real job, oh my! I don’t know how you do it!

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