We built our first home in fifty-one days. I was in a hurry, pregnant with our fourth child and wanting moved in while I could still see my feet. We were working with a contracting company that helped new home buyers function as their own contractor.
Jer was often busy all hours of the day and night with his job. That left me to organize the construction and make the final decisions. After finding out home lot, my first assignment was to hire someone to do the excavation. This was the one of the few areas the company didn’t have contractors come in and bid on at their office. I was young and quite shy. I had no idea what I was doing. The company created the budget for me. I found phone numbers for several excavation companies, pick one at random and called and immediately hung up. I did this several times before I actually found the courage to have a conversation with someone about something I knew nothing about.. We met the next day. “What do you charge? How many hours will it take?” I asked. I worried about the budget and felt he was being a bit vague. He could drag his feet and take longer than the budget allowed. Working hard I got him to agree to a flat rate...under budget. Score one for the pregnant lady. Two or three times a week I packed the cars with the kids and drove to the site. When I climbed out with my baby bump somehow all the cussing magically stopped. The men greeted me as Mrs. Womack. I quickly learned each contracted blamed the contractor before them for any mistakes. Inspections were called in. I had methodically booked everyone back to back. At one point I had the electrician, the carpet layer, the window people in to replace a broken window, and the plumber all on site on the same day. The company contractor for the organization happened to show up. Impressed, he stated, “Contractors don’t like working at the same time with other contractors.” Score two for the pregnant lady. I'm sure my presence had something to do with their polite behavior. Sure, we made few mistakes. When Jer was putting up the lap siding, we realized the front window had been framed crooked. Ugh. We couldn’t change it now with the sheet-rock completed. The concrete guy tried to warn me about pouring when it was too cold. Excited for a sunny day in November, we poured. I rented one thermal blanket to cover most of the driveway. Unfortunately, it snowed that night, causing the surface to pop up along a one-foot stretch of the driveway. It also impacted the walkway and patio. I tried to convince people it was designer, the latest fashion. Others I told there had been a bad hail storm and was usually believed or at least it made people wondered. Our realtor was impressed with my quick work. He thought we should go into business together. I'd build and he'd sell. Just goes to show a young pregnant woman can get things done when motivated.
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