Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wrapping Up the Paperwork

This past week, we had our final "official" meeting with our contractor. In addition to making the last payment, we received a notebook of documentation we may need in the future. Inside this close-out binder is contact information for every subcontractor who did the work. There are photos of the wiring inside the walls just before insulation and wallboard covered everything. Also included are digital copies of the drawings in Adobe and Autocad format.
Since we chose to pay for the project through a cost-plus method, we maintained a notebook with all subcontractor invoices. These were put in a large notebook each month - divided by trade. After 8 months of work, this binder became very full.
One of the more interesting pages inside the closeout notebook is a document from Ace Waste that tabulates the volume of demolition and construction debris that they processed from our project. It was staggering to learn that 70 tons (140,000 pounds) of stuff went into the dumpsters over the past eight months. The good news is that 81% of it was recycled in some way. If we were tracking the project for LEED certification, we would get 2 points in that category.
Recycling this way was not free but was similar in cost to taking everything to the landfill. If the motivation is there, you can be more careful about what goes in the dumpster and also separate materials to get a higher percentage. We could have done more with the roof rafters and wall studs, but making them usable for future use would be labor-intensive. My guess is that it will soon be accepted practice (if not mandated by the locality) to recycle all construction debris.
Another item of paperwork at the end is the filing for the $1500 federal tax-credit for energy efficient renovation. The work that qualifies is the replacement of the HVAC system on the first floor. It can be earned only once - but there are a variety of ways to qualify if you're doing a project with a scope like ours; the most common are windows and doors, insulation, and mechanical systems.
Over the next couple weeks, we will be hosting a couple events and several overnight guests. On the 11th of August, Modern Richmond is scheduled to make a tour of our house. There are 50 or 60 people who are proponents of modern design and tour a property each month. The week before that, we'll be hosting a group of British scouts who are attending our National Jamboree in Caroline County. Some will be staying here for a couple nights and the whole group of 30 plus leaders will be coming over for a cookout one night.
The house is starting to feel like ours and being able to have guests use our house was part of the reason we did the renovation.

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