Dear Editor,

In keeping with the President’s mandate of going green, I’m in the process of  building a green house. I’m only using wood, and I’m encouraging others to do the same. I don’t have any experience in building a house, but was told that a wooden house is much cooler than concrete. By building with wood, I’m investing in Guyana’s economy and creating jobs.

Building a house is a huge learning curve for me. Because of this, I’m writing to share my experience with contractors, hardware stores, sawmills, GPL, GWI and other services. I’m hoping for a good experience from this project, but neighbours have told me horrible stories  with dealing with all the above.

I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. So far the neighbours’ advice has been informative and invaluable.

Editor, the homeowner must  research, buy their materials themselves, talk to people before building and be present at the worksite at all times. This will reduce stealing and prevent mediocre work.

Very early into the project, I had a bad experience. On the first day I made a mistake that cost me $200,000. I bought the wrong wood and the sawmill refused to exchange it, take back the wood or refund my money.

If this had happened at Farfan and Mendes or Home Depot in the United States, I would have been given a full refund. However, there are few companies in Guyana that give refunds. When companies treat customers like this, who would want to invest in Guyana? It will discourage people from building.

On a lighter note, I found some contractors deeply superstitious. They believe in pouring alcohol on the foundation of the building to prevent injuries. Not believing in superstition, I had a time convincing them that no amount of alcohol poured into the foundation will prevent injuries.

Prayers prevent injuries. I pray for their safety daily.

I’m hoping that my experience on the first day of building will not be a glimpse of what is to come.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided)

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