Friday, May 9, 2008

You're Hired?

Today we had our first meeting with a potential builder. The gold-chained contractor met us at the door on his cell phone and gave us an "unh" to indicate we were supposed to leave our shoes at the door. This seemed highly unusual, yet coincidental to me, as my book club meeting last night discussed Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies. However, the eco-contractor was not of Indian descent.

Back to the story, we went into his office where he whispered "she's a talker" to us while covering the phone with his hand. We sat down into his leather love seat, which nearly swallowed us with it's depth. I felt as small as a school child in the principal's office, but without any of the fear. In fact, it was I who was growing increasingly exasperated with his ongoing phone call. It gave me time to read the notes on his bulletin board--one from "wifey" that said something about going green for God. And he had a nice collection of Christian books and Gore family-related works.

Finally he hung up the phone and addressed us . . . I think. As he talked he was looking out the front window of his house. Not sure what was going on out there--I was busy picking up Cheerios that baby had thrown all over his floor. He was talking about building green as if he were trying to sell us on the concept, but we were clearly already sold on that. I wanted to know his experience, his pedigree. He's built eighty-eight homes in five years, he tells me. Most recently they finished the Gore house, refitting it to be LEED certified. "But I can't give you a cell phone for reference on that job! Heh heh heh. We took some pictures of the work but had to be careful because of paparazzi." In Nashville? It took him a while to finish name dropping, but when he did I think he managed to make himself somewhat credible. And again, being in the house made a difference--you could tangibly tell a difference in the air quality and crisp coolness. It was nice. He said it's heated and cooled using a geothermal system. Quite interesting. 

Ultimately, we think the lot we've been looking at right now isn't right--it's too wooded, no yard, and no room for the kids to ride bikes, etc. So we're still a ways out on making any real decisions. But he said we should expect $100 to $125 per square foot of the house. 

For now I'm going to keep looking at house plans. This guy recommended Frank Betz.

1 comment:

ONNO said...

I have interviewed numerous builders for articles and I think it boils down to who you are comfortable with and who is going to do the best job. Did he listen to your concerns about building? Were his philosophies on building in line with yours? Fortunately there are many options to choose from as more and more builders are seeing the benefits of going green.

Dagny McKinley
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