OK. Time to give credit where credit is due. Where most coworking founders lease space, we opted to buy and remodel (for lots of reasons). So many have helped us get the space for Cowork Frederick ready. Here's a list of those we want to specifically mention:
- BlueRidge Bank (http://www.blueridgebk.com/)
For providing the financing when we bought the building and then an addional loan for improvements. We needed flexibility in a credit market not inclined to be very flexible and BlueRidge came through for us. Michael Shuchardt has been very helpful.
- Chappell Millworks
For fixing the front steps, for answering a quizillion questions and providing initial quotes and guidance on the process of getting permits, etc. as we tried to figure out how to approach the remodel on a limited budget, and for simple acts of kindness like leaving a truck so we could load it up with debris. Doug Chappell was a trooper and we'd recommend him to anyone considering a remodel.
- ACM Services, Inc (http://www.acmservices.com/)
For removing the asbestos from the pipes in the basement.
- PFP Engineering
For helping us navigate and negotiate plans for "occupany load" and a sprinkler system we were required to install.
- Porter Brook II (http://www.porterbrookinc.com/)
For redoing our sidewalk and putting pavers in the basement. Not only does their finished work look great, they did top-notch work all-around on both of these projects. They communicated extremely well asking us questions, considering contingencies, and alerting us to issues if they found them and then worked with us to jointly decide how to address them. We also really appreciated their flexibility in working with us to recycle and reuse materials.
- Fitzgerald’s Heavy Timber Construction (http://www.heavytimber.net/)
For taking on work they might not otherwise do in a somewhat "piece meal" fashion, as we figured out what we needed and doing it all very well. Joe Lubozinski, our Project Manager, was very easy to work with and went above and beyond on many occasions to offer advice and coordinate tasks. He was also a wealth of information, sharing his insights into our building as our demolition revealed much of its history.
- All Steamed Up
For being so very good at something many gloss over. I cannot say enough good things about All Steamed Up. We read several posts they had made to websites about steam heating and hoped we'd finally stumbled upon someone who actually understood and could properly work on steam radiators. They did not disappoint. Gordon and Frank are extremely knowledgable (I'd call them complete radiator "geeks") and very easy to work with. They installed a new boiler and repaired our entire radiator system, explaining the whys and hows all along the way. We'd recommend them to anyone with steam radiators.
- Palmer Industries (http://www.palmerindustriesinc.com/)
For providing the ever-so-environmentally friendly insulation in the back part of the building we literally rebuilt.
- A.K. Main Plumbing
Albert (AKA "Kip") Main came recommended to us by a neighbor. He has done an excellent job for us replacing almost every piece of pipe in the building (the original steam pipes and sewer pipes are all that remain). He has a great attention to detail and was very prompt when we needed him and was willing to work around / with other contractors.
- MEC Electrical (http://www.mec-electrical.com/)
For rewiring the entire building and for adapting their plans as needed as the job went along (are you getting the sense that flexibility was a key factor in this project?).
- Noel's Fire Protection (http://www.noelsfp.com/)
For working with Keith Powell of PFP Engineering and Steve Krone from the City of Frederick in designing and then installing a sprinkler system that would work in our building without us having to upgrade the water line (which would have been a show-stopper for us, budget wise).
- Kaufman Heating & Air
For rerouting AC lines, duct work, and making sure the AC system was in good working order.
- C.F Grimes & Son
For the work going on right now, tiling a shower. This is another one of those jobs where we needed someone willing to adapt to our broader design, our guiding principles. The tile for the shower has come from multiple sources and has a pattern fashioned to accommodate salvaged materials we were able to find.
- Monroe Grossnickle
For hauling off many, many loads of wood to be burned for fuel, for pulling down plaster, for patching holes and painting, for multiple trips to Reliable Recycling to recycle wire, pipe and other metal we took out of the building, for hauling furniture we bought when Borders went out of business, and for generally doing anything else we asked him to do.
- Habitat Restore (http://www.frederickhabitat.org/restore_page.html)
For supplying materials for our little project at excellent prices. Dean, the manager of the Frederick ReStore, was very accepting of my desire to negotiate a bargain on every single purchase. Hey! A girl's got to do what a girl's go to do! Our budget was limited!
- John Swanson (my brother)
For taking several weeks out of his busy schedule running his own company (Pacific Regency Design and Construction) in Waldport, OR to roll up his sleeves and help with putting up crown moulding and putting down tile (and showing us how in the process). He's a real artist, a true craftsman, and did a beautiful job. Plus, selfishly, that meant we got to share many good meals and conversations with him!
I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention a couple of folks from the City of Frederick who were especially helpful to us. Those people are:
- Todd Himes - Building Department Manager
- Donnie Beall - Building Inspector
- Ed Moss - Permit Site Inspector
- Steve Krone - Fire Protection Engineer