02 Sep February 2010
Willis Sinclair Homes
“The Lowcountry’s Premier Custom Home Builder”
Personalized Full-Service Construction
Fixed Price and Cost Plus Contracts
24 Gabriel Road
Lodge, South Carolina 29082
843 846 2500
About Gantt Charts…
There are several ways for a contractor to manage building a house.
Some contractors “fly by the seat of their pants” and don’t really have a plan at all. If they (and you) are lucky, everything gets done in the right order.
Some contractors make all sorts of notes and hope they don’t miss things.
Excellent contractors prepare detailed schedules for your home. They think through the building process before the first shovel of dirt is moved. Typically, these builders use some form of Gantt chart.
Gantt Charts, named after Henry Gantt (1861-1919) are a graphical way to show a schedule. By laying out the entire homebuilding process, all activities can be scheduled at exactly the correct time. Nothing is missed or forgotten. No time is wasted. There is no faster way to build a house. You need a builder who uses Gantt charts to build your home. Ask to see them before you sign any contract.
Of course, Willis Sinclair Homes, the Lowcountry’s premier custom home builder uses Gantt charts and other modern management and control tools. We would be happy to show you charts we have developed and used to bring projects in on time.
We have written a book illustrating how we built a home in 123 work days. You can purchase it for $14.95 or download it free. Go to www.lulu.com/willissinclairhomes.
If you want a high quality home built quickly and cost effectively, call or email Willis Sinclair Homes! We can do it!
From the desk
of Bill Burdick …
Many of the owners where we build homes occupy their homes only part of the year.
Have you given any thought about preparing your home for a period absent? We have provided some suggestions you may want to consider in this newsletter.
We would be happy to sit down with you and work out a totally custom plan for you and your home.
As a full service builder, we provide many services which might interest you. We are very organized and will make a list of exactly what we will do for you.
You don’t need to worry about a home that is hundreds or thousands of miles away when you have Willis Sinclair Homes. For very nominal fees, we will close your home up, open it for your arrival, check it on a regular basis and prepare it for a hurricane.
On a new subject, before you know it, summer will be here. Do you have an outdoor kitchen? One of our clients had us build one. It has a smoker, steak grill, clam steamer/frier, sink and buffet table. (See the photo on the front.) Could we build an outdoor kitchen for you? Call us if you would like to see the kitchen or if you want us to build one for you.
Vice President, Willis Sinclair, Inc.
843 846 2500
Preparing your home for your absence
If you leave your home empty for significant periods of time, there are some things you should consider doing when you leave.
The first thing you should do is to make sure water to your home is turned off. Water can cause a lot of damage very quickly. You should have a cut-off valve where water enters your home. Be sure to turn it off before you leave.
Alternately or perhaps in addition to turning the water off, you might consider turning off the circuit breaker to your well pump. Well pumps are particularly vulnerable to lightning strikes since they are sitting in water. Turning the breaker off will not guarantee your pump will not be damaged, but it will make the chances of damage less.
Pipe fittings can break, washer hoses can rupture and other failures can cause considerable damage. We are currently working on a home where a pipe fitting failed. The damage is several tens of thousands of dollars. Usually, leaving the water on is not a problem, but if you have a failure that goes unchecked, it will be costly.
Another thing you should do is make sure you turn off gas to your home. Your gas tank should have a valve on it. If you turn the gas off, you don’t have to be concerned about gas leaks or other problems.
It would also be a good idea to turn off circuit breakers that don’t need to be on in your absence. You can easily mark them with stickers, so when it is time to leave, it is easy to decide what gets turned off and what stays turned on.
Of course, you need to check your windows and doors. Be sure if you have any hurricane clips on your windows that they are pulled out. Check your doors and make sure the three point latches are closed. Hurricane season is June 1 to November 30, but keep in mind hurricanes can also happen before June 1 or after November 30.
If you don’t have impact windows, be sure you have someone lined up to install hurricane protection in case a storm is poised to hit your location. Don’t wait until a storm is coming to prepare. You will be too late. If you don’t prepare, your insurance may not cover your losses. Be sure to call your agent to discuss your coverage.
It is probably a good idea to turn your air conditioner up in the summer if you are not home. If you turn it off, you will have no humidity control in your home and you could end up with mold and/or mildew problems. By setting the temperature higher than normal, you will save power and money, but still allow dehumidification.
One thing you might consider also is having your home checked on a regular basis. Some home owner’s policies will not cover a home if no one is in the home for a week or two. Check with your agent.
Willis Sinclair Homes can help you with your home preparation in several ways. First, if you are having trouble finding your water or gas cutoff, call us – we will help you for no charge.
If you would like for us to close your house when you leave, simply call us. We will discuss exactly what you want done. When you leave, all it takes is one phone call or an email from you for us to cover all of the details.
We can also open your house and get it ready for you. We will turn on and check everything, set your thermostat and if you like, we will also dust and clean so your home will be just like you left it. We will be glad to do any additional services that you might like in preparation for your arrival. We are just a phone call or email away.
We will also check your home on a regular basis. Typically, we do weekly, bi-weekly and monthly checks, but we will set up any schedule you like. We will also suggest items to check. Of course, you can add to the list or change anything you like.
Each time we check, you will receive a signed form showing what we checked, any problems found and the date and time we checked. You will have written proof that someone was in your house on the dates of our checks. If service is needed, we will either notify you or call a serviceman and coordinate his repairs – your choice. Call us, we will be glad to help.
Willis Sinclair Homes, where ‘Built Right’ is the only ‘good enough’ we understand.
Call 843 846 2500
Willis Sinclair Homes is a family business operated by a fourth-generation home builder and a retired professional engineer. Not only do we provide excellent quality homes, we provide services that many home owners need:
Home Close Up: Once we have a plan from you, we will see to it your home is prepared for your absence.
Home Open Up: We will make sure your utilities are on and everything is functional before your arrival.
Regular House Checks: Willis Sinclair Homes will be happy to check your home on a regular basis. We will provide you with a signed document (faxed or emailed) showing what we checked and when we checked.
Hurricane Close/Open up: We will install any hurricane protection devices you have when a storm threatens the area. Once the threat has passed, we will remove and store the devices. You must have devices for us to install at your home.
You want Willis Sinclair Homes.
843 846 2500