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So You Want to Build an Addition?: An Interview with Thaddeus Richardson of PunchList

By Thaddeus Richardson

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are a small, independently owned, residential remodeling and maintenance company which services Santa Fe and Santa Fe County. I have lived and worked in this area for over 35 years, and my subcontractors have similar work histories. After building my base of knowledge by working for various contractors and clients in the area, I created my own company in 2010. We continue to service the needs of our community through hard work, dedication and attention to the small details.

What are some of the most common types of additions being in built in New Mexico?

Since the economic downturn in 2008, the work parameters have shifted for every contractor/builder in New Mexico. The larger firms have absorbed more of the smaller jobs usually contracted by companies my size, and simple, small-budget jobs are often completed by on a cash basis by illegal labor, as homeowners sacrifice quality for the lowest price point. For this reason, instead of adding square footage, many homeowners are choosing to upgrade existing interiors. The additions I have completed are primarily multi-use spaces, such as garage/studios, apartment/storage or guesthouses which can be rented or used as additional personal space.

What are a few of the biggest benefits of building an addition to your house?

The biggest benefits to a client of building an addition to their house are increasing the value of their property as they upgrade the amount of personal space, often at higher quality than the original dwelling. The outlay of capital to fund new construction is most often offset and compounded upwards, as the ROI is seldom less that 25%.

Can you list the basic steps involved with designing and building an addition?

a.) Reconciling the desires and needs of the client with their projected budget b.) Researching the possibilities for accommodating those needs within the local restrictions on zoning, variances, or homeowners association covenants c.) Converting ideas and concepts to working drawings which will satisfy the client, structural engineers and building inspectors in addition to allowing for a reasonable profit margin by the builder d.) Completing the project down to the final detail while working within a timeline and budget which benefits all parties.

Can you talk about some of the challenges that a homeowner in New Mexico might face during construction?

The challenges a homeowner might face during the construction are project delays due to inclement weather, slowdowns due to materials backordered or delayed in transport, complaints or obstructions by neighbors/neighborhood associations, delays in funding because of lack of clarity in understanding the various points of completion affecting timing of the draws, miscommunication between client and builder in regards to materials, spaces or construction details, or impatience with the pace of schedule because of the lack of knowledge regarding the amount of time involved in nearly all aspects of finish, i.e., finish carpentry, electrical and lighting finish out, paint and floor surfaces.

Do you have any tips to help people make the process as easy and stress-free as possible?

Communication, communication, communication. Do your homework previous to embarking on any project of any size to best understand any problems or difficulties that could arise in making your dreams become reality. Ask questions frequently, be fair and equitable in making demands for changes or upgrades from the original plans or contract. Have patience. Clients are frequently happy in the first stages of construction as things move quickly and progress is easy to spot. As the project progresses and the work becomes more detailed and less apparent, client satisfaction starts to waver. By the time the last bits of finish out are being completed, the clients can become contentious or adversarial because they might feel the builder is not honoring his commitment to the project. Keep in mind that quality does take time and that finish details are always more time consuming than foundations, framing or rough construction.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

The best way for people to contact my company is by calling me directly at 505-980-1027 or sending an email topunchlistnm @ gmail.com.

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3/25/2016

susan hedlund

just saying "hello" and glad you are doing well.

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