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New Project? Obtain at Least 3 Bids

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 24th, 2011

Get at least 3 bids per item or work (for subs and materials), and use those bids to negotiate with each of the other subs, but be careful with this. You really shouldn’t say exact bids, or whom they are from because these guys talk. They will know if you are making stuff up and if you aren’t, so, be honest!

Now, you want to know how to get bids, and since you need to get three of them, you should learn the secret to getting them.the secret to getting bids is to ask for them! Ok, this is not much of a secret, but seriously, you really just need to get on the phone, find some contractors, and ask for bids.

To find the contractors in your area (which are the ones you want bids from, otherwise you will get travel expenses included in your bid), open the phone book and look under categories relating to construction. For example, “building contractors,” “general contractors,” “excavating contractors,” “concrete contractors” are all great places to start. Just go down your list of needs and find a contractor, sub, or supplier that can fill it, and ASK for a bid. A great way to find these subs is to go to other job sites and ask the subs there for bids. Ask builders because they like to keep their subs busy, so it helps them to send work to their subs. Once you find some subs, ask them for material people and suppliers they recommend. This has great advantages.you find out the best people to go to, and often subs will warn you about the people you don’t want to go to.

In most instances, in order to get an accurate bid you will need to get your plans, house specs, suppliers list etc. to the contractor. Many times they will come to you to get them. Make sure you have plenty of specs and prints. It is very inexpensive to print several of these, and it equals savings because it allows you to get multiple accurate bids. Once the contractors and subs have your specs and plans set a deadline that is reasonable to have them get you a bid in and have you accept or reject it.

See full article at :http://www.homebuildingremodeling.com/how_to_get_contractor_bids_1_000915.html

Are backflow preventers the same as vacuum breakers?

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 23rd, 2011

Backflow preventers prevent the possibility of pollution in the water systems. Thus, the good water does not come into contact with the sewage or other pollutants. This is the same function that the vacuum breakers play. Therefore, in essence, vacuum breakers are types of backflow preventers. They are in the shape of plastic disks, and when there is water pressure, they move forward and cover the vents. One of the common types is the atmospheric vacuum breaker. It is the cheapest of the backflow preventers. The other type is the pressure vacuum breaker.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/are-backflow-preventers-the-same-as-vacuum-breakers#ixzz1EnxAPyYE

Common Culprits of a Sewer Line Clog

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 22nd, 2011

One of the worst things to happen is a sewer line clog. This is not only gross and inconvenient, but the cost of fixing it is really high. The worst thing about this problem is that it typically can be prevented if you know how. Here are some of the usual culprits of a sewer line clog:

Grease
Grease all too well known to be bad for drains. Grease should never ever go into the drain or be washed down the sink even if it is in liquid form because when it gets cooler, it will solidify and clog the sewer line. The best way to get rid of grease is to put liquid in an old can and then throw away when it hardens.

Food
Food often gets down the drain when you are cleaning up after dinner or a meal. Using a strainer over the drain is the best idea because you can stop all of the little pieces from getting down there.

Soap
Be careful what kind of soap that you use because sometimes it can cause buildup.

All of these things can be prevented if you are careful. A little extra time paying attention to what’s going down the drain will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Read more: http://www.doityourself.com/stry/3-common-culprits-of-a-sewer-line-clog#ixzz1EhtNQmO2

Why does repiping my house cost so much? Copper Prices Soar and Discourage Buyers

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 17th, 2011

Copper slipped Wednesday as businesses hold back on purchases because of higher prices.

Some manufacturers have stockpiled inventories of copper. Others are cutting back on purchases or substituting different materials in certain applications.

That has kept pressure on copper prices, which have traded in a narrow range between $4.226 a pound and $4.6285 a pound this year.

CPM Group analyst Carlos Sanchez said he has seen similar trends in in other metals. There also are questions about whether copper demand may wane in China as it pushes measures to control inflation and the pace of its economic growth.

Sanchez said he expects copper demand to remain strong, particularly in developing countries. The metal is used largely in consumer electronics, construction materials and transportation.

Copper for March delivery fell 6.6 cents to settle at $4.47 a pound.

In other metals trading, April gold added $1 to settle at $1,375.10 an ounce.

In other March metals contracts, silver fell 6.7 cents to settle at $30.629 an ounce and palladium lost $1.55 to $838.35 an ounce. April platinum added $2.70 to settle at $1,834.30 an ounce and April gold added $1 to settle at $1,375.10 an ounce.

In energy trading, oil prices rose after Israel’s foreign ministers said that Iran will send two warships through the Suez Canal on the way to Syria.

The news added to tension in the region and “absolutely moved markets,” according to PFGBest oil analyst Phil Flynn. Flynn said traders are worried that spreading unrest in the Middle East will disrupt oil production and shipments in the region.

Benchmark oil for March delivery rose 67 cents to settle at $84.99 per barrel.

In other Nymex trading, heating oil rose 4.58 cents to settle at $2.7748 a gallon and gasoline gained 5.59 cents to $2.5447 a gallon. Natural gas lost 5.5 cents to settle at $3.921 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Grains and beans were mostly lower. In contracts for March delivery, wheat fell 3.25 cents to settle at $8.37 a bushel, corn was unchanged at $6.905 a bushel and soybeans lost 2 cents to settle at $13.66 a bushel.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/feb/16/copper-falls-as-high-prices-discourage-buyers/

Planning a Plumbing Remodel: What Are the Options?

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 16th, 2011

Planning a Plumbing Remodel: What Are the Options?

When planning any plumbing addition, you must first consider code restrictions; the limitations of your system’s layout; and, of course, your own abilities. Although it’s usually straightforward to route supply lines to a new location, tying into drain-waste-vent (DWV) pipes is a different story.

The simplest and most cost-efficient way to add a new fixture or group of fixtures is to connect them to the existing main soil stack, either directly or through a branch drain. A common strategy is to install them above or below existing fixtures on the stack, piggyback style (see below left), but check codes carefully for restrictions. Another way is to place the new fixture or fixtures back-to-back with an existing group attached to the main soil stack (see below right).

If your planned addition is across the house from the existing plumbing, you’ll probably need to run a new vent stack up through the roof and a new branch drain to the soil stack (see bottom right) or to the main house drain via an existing cleanout. To save on labor costs, tie a bathroom sink, tub, or shower stall (although not a toilet) directly into an existing branch drain instead if possible.

Three common ways to install new fixtures include above or below old fixtures on the soil stack (A); back-to-back with existing installations (B); and with a new vent stack and branch drain (C).

To see photos and full article visit :http://www.hometips.com/buying-guides/plumbing-remodel-planning.html

Top 10 Mistakes: Preliminary 20-Day Notice

Posted in Uncategorized by Administrator on the February 11th, 2011

By Suzanne Ervine, Construction Commando

1. Failing to Provide a Preliminary Notice at All. Any subcontractor who enters into a contractual relationship exceeding $400 is required by law to prepare and serve a Preliminary Notice. Failure to do so constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the Registrar of Contractors.

2. Serving the Notice Too Late. To preserve Mechanic’s Lien or Stop Notice rights, a Preliminary Notice must be served within 20 calendar days of the first date services were performed or materials were provided on a job. If the Preliminary Notice is served later than 20 days after you first worked on a job, you are entitled to Lien or Stop Notice rights only for work performed within the 20 days prior to serving the Notice.

3. Waiting Until the 19th Day to Prepare the Notice. Putting off the preparation of a Preliminary Notice leaves little time to resolve any problems that may arise, such as difficulty reaching the prime contractor to request additional information, or delays at the governmental offices where you need to verify information in recorded documents and/or building permits. Furthermore, because the law requires the Notice to be sent via certified or registered mail, simply arriving at the Post Office even 5 minutes after the counter closes could result in missing the cutoff. Plan ahead!

http://blog.chs-law.com/2006/10/top-10-mistakes-preliminary-20-day.html

4. Mailing the Notice by Regular First Class Mail. The Preliminary Notice may only be served by personal delivery, or by first class certified or registered mail. Sending the Notice by regular first class mail is not sufficient, and the courts have ruled against contractors who did not comply with the strict requirements of the statute. In IGA Aluminum Products, Inc. v. Manufacturers Bank, the court ruled, “The statute clearly states that proper notice is a prerequisite to perfecting a mechanic’s lien, and that if service of the notice is accomplished by mail, the notice must be sent by registered or certified mail.” Proof that the Notice was served by mail in accordance with the statute must be accompanied by either the return receipt of certified or registered mail, or by a copy of the record of delivery; or in the event of nondelivery, by the returned envelope itself.

5. Providing an Arbitrary Estimate of the Total Price for the Job. While the law requires a Preliminary Notice to contain an estimate of the total price of a job, any such estimate must be a good faith estimate. The estimate must be “a derived figure, arrived at by rational analysis.” (Rental Equipment, Inc. v. McDaniel Builders, Inc..) Estimates that are “made up out of whole cloth” are insufficient.

6. Deviating from the Required Language in the “Notice to Property Owner” (private works only). California law is very specific about the language required in a Preliminary Notice for private works of improvement. The California Civil Code sets forth the exact language required in the “Notice to Property Owner” contained on the face of the Preliminary Notice. California courts have long held that deviation from this language will render your Notice invalid. In Harold L. James, Inc. v. Five Points Ranch, Inc., the court held that, “Where the Legislature has provided a detailed and specific mandate as to the manner or form of serving notice upon an affected party that its property interests are at stake, any deviation from the statutory mandate will be viewed with extreme disfavor” (emphasis added).

7. Failing to Verify Proper Identities of Notice Recipients. Many subcontractors rely on information obtained from the prime contractor. However, this is insufficient and could render your Notice invalid, thus barring any future mechanic’s lien or stop notice legal action. Contractors seeking to enforce a lien or stop notice remedy have a duty to inspect readily available public records to determine the identities of a property owner or construction lender. In Romak Iron Works v. Prudential Ins. Co., the court held that Civil Code section 3097, subsections (i) and (j) “impose on a prospective stop notice claimant the duty to examine…the building permit and the specially-indexed official records of the county.” The court further ruled that, “If he fails to examine the two sources, subdivisions (i) and (j) operate to charge him with constructive notice of the information recorded in either.” Ignorance is no excuse – make sure you check the official public records!

8. Failing to File the Preliminary Notice with the County Recorder. Although not required by law, filing a copy of the Notice with the County Recorder can help contractors ensure that mechanic’s lien or stop notice rights are fully protected. If a contractor has filed a Preliminary Notice, the County Recorder is required to notify him of any subsequently filed Notice of Completion or Notice of Cessation. If a property owner files either of these documents, the time within which to file a mechanic’s lien or stop notice action is shortened to just 60 days for prime contractors, or 30 days for subcontractors and suppliers. Notification of this shortened time frame enables you to seek legal counsel and initiate legal action before the deadline. Please note, however, that the County Recorder’s failure to notify a potential claimant of a Notice of Completion or Cessation does not extend the amount of time you have to initiate litigation to perfect the lien or stop notice.

9. Failing to Send a Copy of the Notice to the Surety Company. To enforce a claim on a payment bond, notice must be given to the bond surety and bond principal within 15 days of the recording of a Notice of Completion or Notice of Cessation (or within 75 days after completion of the work if neither Notice is recorded). This payment bond notice can be accomplished by simply serving the bond surety with the Preliminary Notice, and further ensures that a very short 15-day deadline is not missed.

10. Serving Only One Notice if Multiple Notices Are Required. Generally, a contractor must serve only one Preliminary Notice per job, regardless of the length of time or amount of materials and services provided. However, if you are providing services or materials to a jobsite under multiple contracts with multiple subcontractors, a separate Notice must be prepared and served pursuant to the contract with you have with each subcontractor. This most often occurs with suppliers who provide materials to many contractors for the same job.