Gone crazy | AspenTimes.com

Gone crazy

Dear Editor:

I need a contractor and crew willing to build for about $100 per square foot for a simple 700-square-foot house addition with some inside remodel work for maybe $25 per square foot. Is that crazy? Here is what is crazy:

It’s crazy that the county assessor has set my property value and taxes 60 percent higher over the last two cycles (four years).

It’s crazy when a while back I took some floor plans for a house addition to an architect and he said it would cost $250 per square foot to build locally. And crazier yet back then trying to find anyone interested in a small project.

What’s really crazy has been the real estate/construction gravy train, pie-in-the-sky bubble that has been going up and up and up. Pop. Bubble burst, hello recession. Now, a lot of people have little or no work at all.

Everyone complains about the high cost of health care. Well, I work in health care, have a five-year college degree as hard as any engineer or architect degree, have 30 years experience, and make $30 an hour. Is that crazy? No, it’s normal for the health care field. Normal for workers whom people trust with their health and lives.

What is crazy is for the construction industry to complain there is no work but not be willing to adjust to the burst bubble and work for a normal wage. Is it crazy for me to want the county assessor to tell me my assessment and taxes are back down 60 percent? Crazy to seek a contractor who will set the market for modest middle-class construction at $100 per square foot? (That’s 60 percent less than $250.)

Crazy to find engineers, architects, excavators, etc. willing to work for $50 per hour (that’s 60 percent less than $125). Well, if I’m not crazy and anyone is interested, please contact me at garfi@sopris.net with the subject line “want to work.”

Gary Pax


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