Camp Box(Not Glamp Box) Customer Relations Philosophy/Terms and Conditions—-(very important-must be read by all site builds!!!—First, you are responsible for all legal and building inspector issues.)
Life is extremely short and every day should be filled with fun and laughter and joy. As I myself only have a limited number of years to work, and I derive pleasure from seeing structures come to life quickly, the whole process must be extremely simple and easy so that the happiness and delightfulness is not lost.
The only reason Camp Box exist is for me to contribute something to our community and utilize my abilities; the idea of making money is not important, but rather a realization that we each and every one are responsible for contributing the most that we can to our neighbors, community and country and world to make it a better place and support one another. We all know that if we each and every one never did anything we would all starve and cease to exist. We all must do as much as we each can to do as much as we can to contribute to the wellbeing of our world and its collective success. So accounting, making money or success will never be a priority; merely helping to provide shelter and work for those that are not lazy and want to work. At this age, success and money is no longer important and one can better understand ones such as Thomas Jefferson that died penniless and many other amazing public figures and those such as Warren Buffett that wish to give all of his money away prior to his death as it means that the money is unimportant and contributing to the general welfare of our fellowman is paramount. The residual benefits of these extremely successful individuals are often overlooked and how they have immensely changed our world.
Therefore, we do not operate based on the standard and traditional business model that bends over backwards to cater to every customer whim, unique construction perspectives or debates on workmanship and material. We focus solely on an economical product that is created fast and efficiently with little or no profit, and while our units, through mass production get more refined; perfection is nothing that we will ever guarantee, so griping and complaining about anything is not allowed!!!!!!! There are thousands of other general contractors in Hawaii that can cater to elaborate plans and detailed explanations of every junction and special demands and wishes. Therefore, if we do a custom unit or if the site demands a site build, we demand to be paid half up front prior and the balance on the last day of work and extremely clear understanding that we will not tolerate any complaining or disputing the building and workmanship that we have produced. We would prefer to be paid in full up front to avoid any issues and if you do that we will go do a far better job focused on every detail, rather than worrying about whether you are a cheap individual that does not pay their bills; but we will never short anyone and will always go above and beyond. If you do not wish to pay a deposit up front, we can build it at our shop on our trailer and our crane operator or any can usually drop it anywhere from $800 to $1,500 total. The price of our units does not include either travel or delivery of the units, which is normally about the same cost for either, from $300 to $600 and must be added to the total.
Here in Hawaii all construction projects start in the tens of thousands of dollars and any economical options should be greatly appreciated, so if you are questioning our pricing structure and the product that we offer and pondering way to beat us down; we would prefer that you move along and find someone else to do your project. We do not work for big profit and to get rich or even make money at all; we work to help people and try to offer people with limited resources and option for housing. If you are a yuppie that merely wishes to take advantage of our economical structures for your mere capital improvement to your property for resale profits and want to squeeze every drop out of all involved, we are not your partner. We go above and beyond for those that are deserving and give more than promised. But we despise the current trend of consumers to take advantage any business, even the largest and wealthiest. It is asinine for any shopper to purchase an item and use it for months and return it to a store for some bogus reason; or to special order and item and then change your mind or have made a mistake and wish for someone else to cover your loss, this is unfair, selfish and taking advantage of nice courteous persons, but we will never stand by as this occurs, and if this is your mentality we prefer that you move along; the state can provide you an unlimited list of 2854 active contractors just on Oahu that you can play games with. As Americans we should not be self-serving and selfish but rather look out for the benefit of the whole and realize that our actions contribute to our economy in a positive or negative way. It is up to us.
Much like my one of my previous employers, L L Bean, which tried to offer an honorable and noble policy to stand behind their products, but instead found that cheap selfish customers over time lost all dignity and respect for their policy of good faith and mutual support that they had to dispose of that policy. It is a sad day when common Americans spend more time trying to game the system than actually working. With the extremely high cost and complexity of everything here in Hawaii anyone that offers an economical solution or simply willing to do something quick and easy should be cheered and celebrated and shown great thanks and appreciation. With our business model of mass production and economies of scale we offer and affordable product, but with affordability comes the elimination of complaints; you cannot have both. There are companies that offer $100,000 units that you can gripe with and brow beat. We are on the opposite end of the spectrum, if customers are happy and appreciative and go the extra mile to accommodate our operation, we always go far beyond expectations to help them out. Most customers in this era have little or no appreciation for the grand task of any project and fail to understand all of the varying degrees of quality and detail that go into a project that hinge on the customer’s attitude and cooperation. It is an extremely vital partnership and teamwork that is required to make all of the fine points come out beyond expectations so that decades down road users are still recognizing the brilliant smallest details that make a building so wonderful and extremely functional and long lasting. We and anyone has the capability to create and build amazing creations and incorporate so many special items and additional features with little or no money if the customer feeds the situation correctly. Conversely, asking stupid questions about silly items like the brand of a door knob or if we sweep up dust and childish insignificant details when far greater monumental items are at your disposal. So, when you are responsible for any material or item for one of our projects it is strongly suggested that you gather those things as quickly as possible and plenty of it so that you do not slow down this train. Invariably, those that wish to complain about everything are also the cheap bastards that cannot find the time or the money to go and get the most important items to make a project come to life; they for some reason think in their minds that maybe if I wait the need will go away……do not be stupid, we have the capabilities to fulfill any hope, dream or visual masterpiece that you can dream, but you better have the intelligence to lay the materials before us in a timely fashion to make the magic happen. If you do not have the foresight to see that any structure in Hawaii is worth its weight in gold and facilitating a building is the smartest financial investment anyone can make and you should never slow that process; then it might be best if you build it yourself or call someone else.
Again, I do not work out of the need for money, all of my bills are paid and I could gladly sit in my beach chair with my toes in the sand 7 days a week without a problem. But if every American sat on the beach every day, we all would starve and our country would collapse, so I feel obligated to contribute at least just a little to our economy and survival, so I will do what I can, but it must be done as smoothly and with no friction or I am out. So, a thousand stupid questions are not advisable. And you must also remember that we are building out of wood which comes from crooked trees and is not perfect and never will be. I so despise those idiots at the lumber yard that feel compelled to go through a whole stack of lumber to find a board that is good enough for them; what dumbasses. As if their carpentry skills warrant the finest lumber, as they pick the best untreated 2 by 4 for 4 dollars, and they leave a chaotic mess in their wake for someone like me to fix……they should all be taken out and shot. And if I see you doing that, best believe I will ask you what in the hell are you doing. It seems to not only be the googling and youtubeing yuppies where knowledge is a dangerous thing but also the contractors whom should know better. Any bow gets straightened when it is installed and most lumber might only show one side and the rest gets caulk and paint. Again, if you are searching for perfection we can provide that gladly, simply let us know up front and we will charge accordingly. We can get the finest lumber and can spend months building a masterpiece that Frank Gehry would be proud of; I would enjoy that so much, a Disney Concert hall or Bilboa or the like. Myself I am more of the mentality to buy the item on the shelf with the busted packaging that everyone else has been avoiding out of some unfounded fear, are they too stupid to deal with a ruffled edge or a missing screw. I make those items my first choice and do not want or wish for any discount as most might. I am certainly smart enough and ingenuous enough to deal with any irregularity and meek and modest enough to live with any imperfection. Also, I like to make sure that I compensate anyone that helps me fairly or beyond fair. If I think that someone is undercharging me then I will give them extra to make sure they are happy, even if I will never see them again in my life. I always ask if it is enough and if they are sure. I never want to take advantage of anyone; and nor should anyone else.
Likewise, we do not enjoy or support any business that operates and focuses solely on fat cat government or corporate angles where they can charge 10’s of thousands of dollars per hour to trim a tree on the side of the road or whatever bureaucratic red tape has allowed and not to touch a branch more or do anything extra for the community; as the saplings they ignore are their gravy train for the future; and the cycle continues. We support all of those that go the extra mile and do what is right in an economical fashion so that our entire community benefits and we each help improve our society just a little with every step. We will always charge a fair price and never ask for more than we deserve.
In regards to structural engineering and design there are thousands of ways to construct a building and if you asked hundreds of engineers to design the exact same thing they would all come back with different plans; all of them correct, yet different. Some engineers stay at the baseline of 10 lbs per square foot by International Residential Code and others go to 20 or 30 or more and each has their own pet focus that they worry about. If you would like to borrow my IRC book I will gladly let you study it as long as you wish. And we can gladly build a unit to withstand 10 foot snow loads and 200 mph wind gust if you can afford it, but we strive for extremely efficient units where every structural member plays a very important role and utilize our wonderful climate that allows such simplification, so if you enjoy over-engineering designed for Alaska we may not be your best option.
Strength of Materials-Having worked on projects all over the mainland it is interesting the extreme variations in thought processes and methods. And here the spectrum is wider than anywhere with the rich having unlimited funds to overkill every aspect and the poor wishing for just 4 walls. In reality we can never engineer anything that will withstand a tsunami; that is impossible. Designing for a tornado is somewhat possible, but not likely here. A hurricane and high winds is basically all you can plan for here, and while stud walls may add some support, they are more designed to carry downward load. A stud wall with no sheeting can be pushed over by a kid. The sheeting panel that is attached provides all the wind load lateral support and is the most important item in this environment. Even a simple 2 by 2 that we use on our corners has a compressive strength of over 3000 pounds and even laterally used as a beam a 2 by 2 6 feet long can support 505 pounds in the center. Even a toothpick can support maybe about 100 pounds and in engineering competitions we could use just 1 or 2 ounces of balsa wood and support about 500 pounds, so stud walls are extreme overkill in this climate without snow loads. But if a 2 by 4 can support 6000 pounds then our average 8 by 16 unit could support 150,000 pounds atop the walls; somewhat excessive.
Wiring- DPP does not allow wiring on accessory structures, but is needed in this day and age, so we provide simple outlets and light, however we again will never guarantee their function or lifespan. All wiring should be viewed as a free item that we have given to you as a bonus to any structure. We simply put a plug on the end of the line so that you can plug it into an extension cord.
If you plan to run AC or microwaves you will need to separate out some of the outlets to have direct lines to the power source as our one 14 gage wire will not pull that much amperage nor will an extension cord and a single home outlet.
Outside opinions-While it is certainly acceptable to get second or third opinions for those that have to experience with construction prior to deciding on a project, it is a very delicate issue as to how advisors speak about completed projects and the weight that is given to third party opinions. Again there are hundreds of designs that comply with IRC(International Residential Code); but our economical designs in no way try to conform to IRC codes, so when someone offers and opinionthey need to know that prior. Thoughts and comments should always be prefaced by the acknowledgement that “ this is my perception or preference or simply the way that I am accustom…..” as it is juvenile and immature to step into any situation and boldly suggest that something is “wrong” or “inadequate” or any number of derogatory comments based on limited background knowledge. While it may bethe norm here in Hawaii to talk trash about everything, as if nothing is good enough, it is an extremely ungrateful and seems to be rooted in some sort of insecurity or defense mechanism wishing to protect outdated or bureaucratic complexities. I think that older and wiser experienced people can see the forest and the trees and carefully consider all of the facts and all of the parts of the puzzle and not try to make every item they see fit within the limited parameters of each person’s experience. And quite simply it is rude and arrogant if someone thinks someone else’s work is less than theirs. I certainly celebrate any achievement or project and prefer to help it succeed or improve rather than thinking to point out possible mistakes or opportunities. At this stage in life I have a great appreciation for any person with unbridled ambition and motivation to attempt any task or make or build anything. I will always support any child or person that wishes to pursue and idea or dream or project and I will protect and foster those ideas and goals at all cost. There is such a wide vast part of our population that have no hopes, dreams, goals and plans to achieve anything, so those that are forging ahead with projects will always have a every resource I can offer and those that try to bring them down and complain and spout negative comments add nothing to the progress of our community and only bring down the ones that try to push us forward and I do not enjoy them in my company.
Given that—How about a question—How do you think the same 8 by 16 unit would look if the price were say double from $4000 to $8000 or triple and took 8 days and not 4….or even 12 days…..?????? It would still be a fair price; most definitely ….and maybe the junctions may be tighter and all the details cleaner and neater and more perfect all around as you would expect; but is this how you wish to spend your money. I think in this tight economy and economical option is most important and that homeowners have decades to seal, polish and paint and iron out the minor details as time permits. We are big picture people that prefer to bang out major capital improvements and let the homeowners personalize and customize the units as they wish. We are strong believers in American ingenuity and the motivation that free enterprise and capitalism engrains in us to push ourselves everyday to improve on the work that we do every day and to improve on our product and give more than 100 percent as the product is our product and we will always put forth more effort towards those things that we strongly believe in, that are our own ideas, and push them forward to the end of the earth as it is our vision and we all enjoy seeing our dreams become reality. So recognizing this independence and the boundless energy it harnesses it critical to getting the most out of American entrepreneurs….the wisdom to step back and let self-motivated creative minds plow forward and not restrict ideas and passion is critical to maximizing potential. Creative minds cannot thrive with a very narrow and strict set of specific demands that does not allow making the most of situations; it is imperative that as situations arise that we can adjust and continue to strive to an ever-evolving best outcome. Simply give me a budget and loose expectations and you will find that the outcome will far exceed your wildest dreams and the labor expended may equal that of age old $3.35 an hour or $2.01 or whatever minimum wage was 40 years ago.
So if the price per square foot of a home is now $691 and if you say the land itself is half or two thirds that cost you are still at $250 or $300 dollars a square foot and most baseline budgets suggest about $250 a square foot so with our units at 20 to 25 dollars a square foot you can quickly realize what a bargain our units are. So, our units based on norms would cost $30,000. If you think that our pricing is not fair or you feel like one of the corners does not meet as tightly as you might wish, you will have to think in the back of your mind that you saved $26,000 dollars as you ponder that imperfection.
So, we reserve the right to decline any custom projects and sales to those that make any transaction more complex than it need be. We expect everyone to attempt to facilitate a simple, streamlined and efficient transaction that is smooth and mutually beneficial. We work extremely hard all week every week and we expect the same of our customers and basically every American; if you are not doing all that you can to push our society and country forward then you are slowing it down. So, if we are working for you and you cannot figure out how to help and support the goals that we are pursuing on behalf of your dreams, ideas and wishes we would prefer that you waste your time elsewhere while we work and not under our noses.
While this may seem rude or arrogant, I think it is extremely important to be open and honest so ensure that every interaction is a win-win for everyone that goes smoothly and everyone gets exactly what they expected. It is childish and selfish for anyone to think that they deserve special services or treatment as if they are better than the next; we all must be humble and modest and cherish whatever economical products are available here.
Jobsite Access and Scheduling–When you ask us to do a site-build we expect free and open unhampered access at any time, and we do not set specific start or finish dates; we arrive when we arrive and finish when we finish. We offer extremely economical products based on the ability to work extremely quickly, meshing and matching projects in close proximity and the need to get materials where they need to be. We are production based and old age has proven that plans always go astray and the flexibility to adapt and change to maximize every day and opportunity is imperative. As time and opportunities unfold, we like to utilize every moment and get as much accomplished even with a busted day when tools or materials fall short. So, we cannot adhere to any type of schedule and if we do offer an estimated day or time it is a luxury and pure speculation. None of our crew has ever been a thief and we shall ensure that none ever are; as currently one of my helpers has Alzheimer’s and the other epilepsy and the rest of us are just dumb,it would never even cross our/their minds, as there is nothing they need or want. I fully understand the drug addicted construction field where relapse is unplanned but that is not anything that I will deal with at this old age; I would rather work alone in peace and quiet, so your valuables will always be safe. As you can tell by now, I am a grumpy old man that prefers to work alone and not bothered with stupid questions. I enjoy building and appreciate uninterrupted continuous thought required to plan every dimension, every junction and every detail to try and provide a building that is as tight and functional as it can be. We have texting, email, video/facetime/zoom/skype, and unlimited means of expressing your thoughts without standing next to me all day questioning every move. I have been building my entire life and gone to engineering school, so I fully grasp most all of the important aspects of a building.
Scheduling as it regards to open scheduling also means that we prefer to not be rushed. While we work as fast as we can to offer economical products, we often times may have 3 or 5 projects going at one time and for us to be efficient we must maximize available crew talents and materials available and we may need to be on different jobs different days. Also I find it beneficial if by chance we start a project and must go elsewhere for a day to give time for the neighbors to get acclimated to the idea of a neighbor’s structure and give them time to ask you questions to iron out differences before we get the whole thing complete. If you haven’t spoken to neighbors it is good to have time to digest and process and warm them up to the idea of a nearby structure. So if we do not show up for a day, we do not want to be yelled at phones to blow up. We will try to accommodate deadlines best we can.
As far as visiting sites prior to a job, again it is a waste of my time. If you wish to pay me 2 or 3 hundred to come to chat with you, I may consider it, but simpler if you simply come to our shop in waiahole. You can send me as many pictures as you wish or if you wish to come and meet me and see what a grumpy old man I am I can give you my location every day and you can come and meet me, but looking at projects that have a net profit of a few hundred dollars is not practical. Our model is to show up and bang it out and move to the next.
Contracts– I am all for being extremely clear about the entire construction process and what will happen and what we will and will not do, that is the whole purpose of this note and the entire website, but likewise through all this conversation I hope it is apparent that this process will be a working partnership whereby we are both doing all that we can to support and facilitate each other’s work in an effort to make both our lives and jobs easier and in making life easier that the end product will be better than expectations and have features beyond what you had hoped. I am often amazed at how ignorant some people are to the extremely wide spectrum of the quality and friendly cooperation that exist between a mere adequate job that fulfills a contract and a magnificent job that exceeds all hopes and dreams and is the most wonderful experience. I have unlimited capabilities and energy and can make big changes in short time given the proper climate; it is your task to facilitate and support this to achieve as much as possible. I did two similar jobs for two friends and neighbors in Kailua and they ended up at the same price in the end, but the customer that was the nicest on the planet and helped us throughout the entire process got so much more; the unit painted, wired, loft, ladder, bed built, ac, bookcase fixed, bench moved, sheetrock fixed and on and on;(their son moved in before we left) they were smart enough to realize the vast capabilities before them and if they gathered the supplies we could help them in seconds fix major problems. The other customer, their neighbor and friend were the exact opposite; did not want to lift a finger or cooperate and never said thank you, or say “itlooks great” or any manner of support or encouragement and wanted to make changes daily as if our time and planning from the month’sprior were useless, so they ended up with a windowless shell. I am certain that looking at our gallery of pictures you can quickly see the smart customers whose units are finished and furnished and those that are half done, where the customers exhausted our motivation prematurely, with silliness and ungratefulness.
So, if you are unclear on what we are planning to build for you andcannot see the tremendous value and feel that you need a detailed contract to spell out what we will do, then you are working with the wrong company. If you cannot call us or text us to answer your questions, or feel you are so litigious that you must have everything in writing then we do not want to work for you; you are not the kind of customer that we wish to work with. It has been proven that there are defined specific groups and types of people; one that is generous and cooperative and an opposite set that is greedy and selfish. Hence if you spend your life worried about legal documents and taking advantage of the game to avoid any effort then we do not wish to work for you. If you cannot take a person at his work with integrity and honor then there is a problem. We always try to do more than we say we will and try to ensure that everyone is happy.
In addition, mass production and economies of scale rely on setting up tools and systems and using them thousands of times; so, once we are on a jobsite I do not disconnect or put away any tools until the job is complete. I enjoy building and seeing a structure come to life and hate dragging out tools and searching for them; and I am most definitely not some hourly company drone that spends hours winding up cords wrapping things neatly for an hour before and after a day of work; we plow forward until a good stopping point presents itself and we drop our tools were they are and come back the next day. If it rains and they get wet, so be it, if we have to buy more, we will buy more, but the train must keep rolling; torch the derailed cars if needed. You may want to turn the switch off on the air compressor if we do not so it does not come on in the middle of the night.
The Squeaking Wheel and High-Pressure Sales-
Because we offer such economical products in this extremely expensive environment, we will never put any effort into trying to sell our products. For starters, high pressure selling borders on criminal anyway, as no one should ever be pushed or pressured to spend money. All expenditures should be extremely confident and comfortable and certain that it is a great investment for decades to come. So, we may not follow up with you over and over to see if you are ready; we simply are not going to push you to do anything. If you cannot realize the tremendous value that we offer, we certainly are not going to spend our time explaining it to you. And as we always have plenty of jobs to work on, we not only focus on the nicest customers but the ones that remind us gently most often to keep us working in that direction. So, if you are not squeaking, we may forget or your project may be put on the back burner. Likewise, constant badgering will cause us to decline the project, so it must be a happy balance.
Stray nails and staples—Obviously we make every attempt to ensure that all fasteners hit the target, but with thousands of fasteners we occasionally miss. Therefore, you may need to invest in some diagonal cut plier to cut the ones that miss. Likewise, we use a wide range of fasteners from half an inch to 3 inches and occasionally some may be a little long and protrude through the wall and need to be bent over or cut. On site builds where we do not have our layout forms and jigs, we must staple both ends of the 1 by 2 battens to hold them in place as we build the wall so there will always be a stray staple at top and bottom.
Electrical and Plumbing-Like everything, we reduce all aspects of our units down to the simplest bare bones methods, and with both accessory structures and AG building not technically allowed to have hard wiring and plumbing, so our simplistic systems are ideal. Agricultural(ag) buildings can have extension cord exposed wiring, but not inside the walls so our wiring system tries to follow this guide where our wiring is powered by simply plugging into a cord and the wires simply pop through the floor to outlets or up inside walls to switches and on to lights. So those that might ask where the panel is, or ground rod or fancy niceties such as those are in the wrong spectrum of building.
So, consulting a journeyman electrician or plumber that works on fat multi-million dollar projects is an absurd waste of time. We use inline studder vents in our plumbing which are perfectly adequate but not accepted by some organizations, so micromanaging minor details in an attempt to make an economical structure match up to a multi-million-dollar building is a wasteful absurd exercise. Likewise consulting your brother-in-law or construction friend or whomever to advise you on proper construction techniques is likewise a waste of time; if you feel the need to question the structural integrity of our buildings or any of its details at the price we offer, then you are wasting my time. Be grateful and appreciative for the value of the product we offer, and if you do not have the intelligence to see the extreme value; again there are thousands of contractors that can spends days sharing structural calculations to your satisfaction.
Warranty or Guarantee– If it is not already abundantly clear; we do not offer any type of promise of how long or how well any or all of the components may function. We do a wonderful job with all the many variables that arise but we are not the one to call when you are unhappy or have some issue that you cannot resolve; you must put on your adult pants and man-up and not cry like a baby, and handle it. These structures are just like every house in Hawaii and across the country; they require painting and caulking and a homeowner that pays attention to details and adjust items as needed. These units will last hundreds of years, just like any house if you maintain it.
Type of Concrete blocks– I am befuddled by the number of times I return to a unit and the owner has changed the concrete blocks to something different. All styles of concrete blocks are more than adequate to support the load. While I always suggest anchoring every unit to the ground for high wind and hurricanes simply changing the block to a solid block that weighs 20 or 30 lbs may help in a light breeze; but is merely equal to filling a unit with furnishings, it still is not secure from toppling over. The extremely heavy solid concrete block that weigh about 100 lbs would be the only thing that might help a little. Otherwise, if you have some odd preference to what type of concrete block make you happy; go and buy it and we will use it. I am amazed out how weird people are.
As far as the required wood shims between the blocks and the floor, they are required, and thinking that these shims for some reason may need to be a ceramic product when they are in direct contact with a wood floor one millimeter away is ridiculous. No spot on earth is perfectly flat and trying to make it perfectly flat it ludicrous. Again you can go back to normal construction methods and dig and pour footings that have been pinned with a laser, water level or transom if you have thousands of extra cash.
We always use one height of block so our units are 8 inches off the ground, with 3 along the front and back and 2 in the center with a lateral 2 by 4 so that floor span is limited to 4 feet; if you want a second layer of blocks so it is 16 inches off the ground it will add $100
Level Buildings- No building is ever going to be perfectly level or a floor perfectly flat, there we always be minor variations no matter how hard one tries. Most buildings here are sitting on sand and thus move constantly over time and must be adjusted as needed. Variations of 1/8 or a ¼ will never affect the function or be visible to the eye. With our lightweight structures you can easily use a simple car jack or bottle jack and make adjustments and add shims as much as you like. Floors are designed to flex as well; have you ever had an aisle seat on a plane, you can sit and watch the floor flex as anyone goes by and it is designed by hundreds of engineers to last forever.
Framing Carpenters- We are framing carpenters and not finish carpenters thus we are the big picture guys that handle the big picture items and not ever going to install 8 inch crown molding or spend hours on one special cut with a coping saw like on this old house; all of that detail work is up to you. We give you the BOX and you must make it special if you wish.
Window Installation- Everyone loves to debate about every issue of construction as if they are all engineers. They are all accustom to double wall construction and try to mesh their limited knowledge to single wall construction. Some want to argue that the flange of the window should go inside the wall panel and not out; in reality all the windows are poorly designed and rather should have 2 or 3 flanges that lap over from top to bottom to shed the water outside the wall. The lower flange should be outside the wall, the side flange between storm sheathing and frame and upper behind everything. During the EIFS crisis with fake stucco we all learned the problem with all junctions with straight continuous joints that terminate inside a wall; it rots. Kick out flashing to divert water out was added as well as space for water travel and air flow. Anyway, while I could spend hours making fine slits in the siding so that the upper flange in inside the house and the lower half is outside, which would require inside to trim to hide the ugly upper flange; I can gladly do all of this for an additional 500 per unit if you wish. Otherwise we must rely on caulking the upper flange and trim to keep the water out.
If you want to see the upper flange of the window inside to ensure it is waterproof, we can do that at and extra charge of $20 per window. So caulking over all windows and doors should always be a maintenance item that one does every 4 or 5 years to keep moisture out.
Jalousie windows and used items from Reuse Hawaii and Habitat are items that normally do not come with frames which make it hard for us to install. If we must get out a router to recess a hinge into a door jamb that we must make it takes hours and will add hundreds to any build. So any item without an existing frame that we can simply install makes our life hard and slows our process. If you are good with simple surface mounted hinges and pricing is the primary goal let us know and we can make it work.
Doors- With lightweight frame structures and modern doors with very little tolerances the doors will always rub to some degree. One may wish to install extra blocks under a door to possibly help with any flex at the doorway to help rubbing. So again, do not expect perfect margins around a door like on a million dollar house with a double 2 by 4 jamb and 2 by 10 floor joist. So our doors will rub and you may have to move the strike plate of the knob numerous times.
Doors that we use that are the most economical are steel doors that have very thin metal faces and therefore it they get bumped at all will dent. We cannot guarantee that during the building process or delivery that your door does not accidently end up with a minor blemish. These door are honestly not ideal as they are steel and any steel does not do well in salt air. But we are trying to offer economical units; but if you have money to spend fiberglass or other doors are more suitable. Also we use outswing doors that do not use up interior floor space, but you have a hard time installing a screen door so if you want a screen or security door you need to go with an inswing door.
Vapor Retarders/Housewrap-Some people whom are still hung up on double and triple wall construction enquire about wrapping their unit in plastic aka housewrap. In the IRC section R702.7 you will see that it only applies to specific zones of the world and not here. It is only important where there are vast differences in temperature from inside to out to deal with condensation and cannot be installed with single wall construction anyway. Housewrap is a new item that was added with the EFIS stucco crisis and water intrusion at windows and junctions and is irrelevant here. Sheetrock, Insulation and Stud Walls-Addressed elsewhere on our site we can do flat wall studs or standard stud walls for $900 on an 8 by 16if you wish. However our entire business model is designed around the ideal climate here in Hawaii and the lack of snow load requirements making single wall methods ideal and extremely economical, so if you are programmed and stuck with the mindset of requiring expensive double wall and the need for insulation and sheetrock then you do not understand the brilliance of the this super-efficient model that has been done in Hawaii for hundreds of years. So, we do not deal with wall insulation or sheetrock!!!!!!!!! If you have the money to waste on that, or have that fixed a mindset you may be shopping the wrong contractor.
Our plywood walls are smarter than sheetrock anyway; the plywood is waterproof, is a wind-wall structural panel and you can attach anything to the wall easily, and is very lightweight. Sheetrock is extremely heavy and if it gets wet from flood or tsunami you must rip it all out and start over where with plywood, no problem. You can treat the plywood wall just like sheetrock as well; you can tape and mud the seams and make it as smooth as you like and paint it and no one will know the difference. If you want the wall to be somewhat more insulated we can use 5/8 plywood so that you have a little more R value in the wall with slightly more thermal mass.
The plywood that we use on the floor and ceiling is normally a C-D grading to keep units economical, but we can upgrade to A-B grade plywood in pine or even go to hardwood or mahogany if you want the interior to be extremely beautiful when done. The same goes for the 2 by 4 loft and ceiling boards, they also can be upgraded to clear fir, redwood or whatever exotic lumber is available.
What we can do, which is a good idea, is to add insulation in the roof system. All commercial buildings and big box stores put all of the structure insulation on top of the roof, which is wise, as it adds a soft layer for the membrane to sit on top of as well as keeping the insulation out of everyone’s way while being in the ideal location to keep the hot sun out of the building. We can install either a polystyrene or polyiso insulation with screws and plates over the roof plywood attached at the rafters in any thickness, from half inch to 8 or 9 or 10 inches. This is the smartest way to help insulate any structure.
Single wall construction is the more historic and most popular method around the world for tens of thousands of years. So, if you are not comfortable for some reason with single wall, you should be, every big box store is single wall, Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, most every large building recognizes the efficiency. Most all of our historic structures; all of the castles in Europe, cathedrals, brick, stone, log, igloos, huts, the majority of all buildings are single wall, meaning what you see on the inside is the same as what is on the outside. Stud walls for double wall construction is a new technology that has only been around for a few hundred years so you should not get stuck on your limited exposure to construction methods.
Perimeter Roof Vent– The plastic white vent material only has a limited flange on each side of half an inch and with 3/8 inch plywood where we try to have the flange fit into a junction in the plywood the tolerances are extremely minimal and often the vent barely touches the groove in the plywood and you may have to caulk the upper edge to hold the vent in place. Getting the vent to stay in the groove is something we try to do, but you may have to push it in or out to get it close to the gap.
Cleanup- We do not focus on cleanup. If time permits, we will try to get as much trash as possible into a can, but it is never our focus or priority. We offer a very economical product and cleanup is a task that anyone can do. However, when I pull the barcode tags off the lumber, I would never take something that is already in my hand and throw it down, they always go in my pocket; I would never intentionally litter.
Wood and Brick are not waterproof-If you think about it trees are just large straws that use the capillary effect and the adhesion in water to move water to the top of a tree; so basically a water pipe. Luckily with it dead and plywood in reverse layers makes is more waterproof, but painting is required on any structure to make it watertight. So if you do not caulk and paint your structure, do not expect it to be watertight. The roof trim that holds the roof on must also be caulked and painted to keep the roof watertight as there is a vertical seam in the trim and staples that fasten the membrane down. Even brick is not waterproof at all, and must have drain hole/weep holes to let the water out. It is no accident that angled steel goes over all doors and windows as it more importantly diverts the water out as well as support. So you must plan to caulk and paint to keep all water out.
Painting- I am honestly befuddled by the primer coat mentality; why would anyone spend hours and days painting something the wrong color/ white primer and then start all over and paint it again with the correct color. Primer is good if you need to block a water stain so it does not bleed through or on plastic when you need try and make paint adhere otherwise it is a rich man’s OCD compulsion. Buy the smart paint that is paint and primer in one, if you insist; but do not spend weeks putting on primer and then beg me to come and take over spraying unit. It seems a constant conflict here, being surrounded by rich people trying to match unlimited budgets opulence with meager funds; one must compromise.
Hurricane Proof Roofing– Our commercial .060 thermoplastic Polyolefin TPO membrane is secured around the perimeter so it is maximum of the 10 foot span that the roof engineers and every roof in American is built to. On high skyscrapers they reduce the perimeter attachment dimension down to 7 feet and use 7 foot rolls of membrane. If you want to go beyond extreme engineering we can use bonding adhesive and fully adhere your roof membrane to the plywood so that is will with stand 100 MPH wind and wind uplift for $500.
Returning items to stores– We return nothing to any store ever; it is not part of our DNA and I so despise those that constantly purchase items and use them for a year or two and return it for some bogus reason; it is a blatant abuse of kindness and generosity of companies for selfish gains and everyone should be ashamed that makes it a habit. I may have already covered this topic but it deserves repeating. Our country and world moves forward as a collective whole and decisions that cost companies and our community is childish, greedy and selfish. Those that are so short sited and ignorant towards seeing the whole picture are un-American and uneducated. Furthermore; those that delight in free replacement of broken goods is absurd; the steam blows out of the top of my head when some gleeful consumer shares-“oh, you should buy from this company; if it breaks send it back and they will send you another one”—wow—what a freeloading mooch; they want to make sure that no company ever makes money off of them and tries to ensure company bankruptcy. I prefer to be the opposite and be a cog that tries to ensure that everyone succeeds and benefits from my business and not take advantage of one’s generous policies.
Sorting through Lumber- Also, I despise those self-absorbed fools that are compelled to sift through an entire pile of lumber to find an piece of lumber that satisfies them. Once again they have no consideration for anyone else or the store and are selfish and greedy. Lumber comes from trees that at not straight, irregular and random and at the low cost of lumber one should be happy that it is even available to be purchased and used. All lumber is graded—if you want better lumber then you must purchase a better grade of lumber at a higher price; if you shop the cheapest grade then my must take the good with the bad; it is that simple. Anyway the vast majority of lumber is never seen anyway, so fools that want something pristine to go inside a wall, floor or roof is idiotic. Any bow in lumber is straightened when it is installed; simple as that. So if I see you at a lumber store making a mess of a need stack of lumber; you best get ready for some loud obnoxious commentary from me to put that hack of lumber back the way you found it or move along; as I will not stand for it; nor will I allow it to happen. So if you want beautiful 2 by 4s that are perfect and sexy, you will need to tell us that you want high grade fir or redwood and we will price accordingly.
And if you park your little car or truck in front row loading zone parking to go shopping expect me to yell at you also; you best park in the lot; order your supplies and pull up when your cart or forklift is coming out the door and if you come out of the door with some small item in your hand—-expect me to yell at you as well.
The dreaded Change Order- In construction the change order is the most critical tool and detail that really shows the moral fabric and integrity of individuals and companies. Many entire business models are built solely around the change order or a variation whereby once you are in the door or locked in and you can no longer change course you are at the mercy of that establishment be it a hospital, emergency flood or fire companies, car accidents, or any situation where asking the cost of anything is not a priority; these companies and situations have blank and open billing to do whatever they wish. Couple that with scare tactics where the salesman makes the situation seem catastrophic and deadly and one ends up at their mercy and taken advantage of. A tremendous amount of companies depend solely on change orders as their means of profit and survival; most that bid jobs or take on competitive projects know that while the base job may be break even or less, they can charge outrageous sums once the smallest change occurs or problem arises. Often times even managing Architects will find or make up problems to inflate a project so their percentage of income goes up and pointless unneeded work is performed just to pad the project. Any project, unless one that has been done exactly the same many many times over; no matter how much planning is invested will have issues and questions and changes. When these problem moments occur, one can be take advantage of or honor, integrity and fairness can take over and the problems fixed quickly and easily without any or maybe minor cost increases. We try to help our customers and make the process as smooth and simple and cost effective as possible and would never price gouge when any problem arises.
However, most every siding seam both horizontal and vertical is carefully planned in accordance with the window and door openings and most every dimension is dictated by material standard lengths so it is best to give us window and door placement far in advance so we can plan a precise layout and not wish to shift them at a moment’s notice.
Helping those that help themselves-We believe strongly in American ingenuity and hard work towards pushing our community and world forward so that our kids can drink from the wells we drill, reap the fruits of seeds we plant, and feel the heat of the fires we start, so we must all do our part to improve the lives of those less fortunate and struggling. So, while it may be hard for me to vet customers to see if they are hardworking and contributing to our society, let this note put one on notice that I will be paying attention and perform better if those around me are engaged and ambitious and contributing. And I would appreciate if the lazy useless humans be kept out of sight. When I ran many crews of a hundred men or more, I was forced to keep the lazy Americans away from my Mexican crews to ensure that the laziness did not kill moral and motivation. I would rather send the lazy guys home early as not to disrupt eager ambitious production. So those that are eager to get ahead and wanting to help in every way lighten my load will get far more than just the standard box; I will bend over backwards to help in as many ways as possible. It is everyone’s obligation to be unselfish and do whatever we can as it is merely a means of helping others that are struggling. We all move forward as a collective whole and standing by as others are trying to survive on less is not what makes us Americans. Unselfishness is the basic core of what makes America what it is. Looking out for one another and making each other’s lives easier and more fulfilling is the core of our system. So while we may not make much money with our work, we are hopefully making others lives better and contributing to our society in a positive way, so profit ends up being insignificant. While it may be altruistic, why not, why can simply contributing to our community not be reward enough.
Sidebar- Also as being older and recently finding many of those businesses closed that had helped me on a daily basis to get by and being so kind and generous; and now with them gone I can only wonder. How could I have taken advantage of their kindness to help me daily for meager funds; a twenty here a thirty there, and now they are gone. Where have they gone for me never to see again, and did I take advantage of them and not give them the fair reward they deserved. Was there enough funds for their kids and for their college and for all their needs; did they fall short because they helped me and I did not support them as I should. Did I bring them down? I certainly do not wish to have this feeling again and hope that I can do all that I can to be as generous at every turn and help to make ones lives better so that we all win and put in more than we take out.
Life is short, so I want for every day to be a totally fun and enjoyable experience with laughter and wonderful interaction; with only a few decades, if that- of my life left, I hope for it to be a magical fun-filled dream. We look forward to working with you in an extremely smooth capacity where everyone is happy when we are done, and we look forward to your input and feedback.
Ryan Routh Camp Box