Here we are again another exciting season with my “Off The Grid” Project. I’m calling this season “Fixing Stupid,” as some of you know I had to fire my contractor after numerous ethical issues and substandard construction.
Unfortunately the pain is just beginning, because of the numerous problems I have to correct before I can move forward with the project. In the end they will get fixed, but it will take more time and money. Funny how you hire a contractor to save time and money, but the opposite is what usually occurs.
I have a dedicated chapter in my upcoming book on the projec about how to deal with contractors, especially the unethical ones, which there are many.
Make sure to stay tuned, as there will be a lot of lessons learned, and I hope to save people from some of the pain I have experienced.
See Complete Transcript Below:
Gary Collins: Hey, everyone. I know it’s been a while. I’m on year three of my off‑the‑grid project here. I’ve been here a couple weeks. I’m working really hard. I’m calling it “The year of fixing stupid.” As some of you know, who have read my blog post on the project, and a couple videos dealing with general contractors.
I got bit by a really bad one, and had to terminate him before he finished last year, and had to hustle to get the thing dried in before I left for the winter. This year, I’m going through everything, and finding all the problems, and there’s a ton. For as simple as this project was supposed to be, they screwed up a lot.
A lot more than we originally thought, because I’m having some new contractors come in, subs to help me out. I can’t do this all by myself, but this year I am managing everything hands‑on. No one’s allowed up here without me supervising. I’ve learned that lesson over the last 20 years, and that’s a good piece of advice I can give you. Babysit these guys. They’re like stupid, little children.
If you don’t watch them, they’re in the candy jar, robbing you, so make sure you keep an eye on these guys, the good ones, if you can find them, for most of us we can’t afford them, or they’re busy. For smaller projects, especially this off‑the‑grid stuff, it’s really difficult to find good contractors who are willing to do the piece work.
As you guys know, I’ve explained this, too, there’s no financing. You’ve got to pay cash for all this, so it slows you down. I was trying to speed up the process a little bit, and save my body, and it ended up costing me, cost me more money, and it cost me more time using this idiot.
There’s a lesson there, again, a chapter in the book on how to deal with contractors, general contractors. This year is about fixing a lot of problems. I’ll show you some of the things they did wrong, and how I’m fixing them, and the labor involved, and it’s not fun.
That’s one thing, too. If you’re going to live this off‑the‑grid lifestyle, and get into this, you have to be handy. I had general skills, I’m no construction expert, by any sense, but I had the basics. You can learn most of it, and it will save you a lot of time and money if you can do it yourself, but some of it is just impractical.
There’s some things, there’s 20 feet up here. I don’t want to be standing on top, putting up a roof, actually, 30 feet. I do not want to do that. You fall off that, you’re dead or paralyzed. I’d rather not risk that. Let’s pay someone to do that for me, but those are choices you’ll have to make.
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