Monday, May 07, 2007

The Memories

In light of my sprained ankle, actual house productiveness has significantly diminished. Yesterday my big "house project" was going through some piles of papers we had-including old estimates. (Glenn, on the other hand, had to catch up on a lot of things that we might do together-laundry, grocery shopping, home depot trips, dishes...)

I feel for the most part that I've interviewed every random type of contractor in the city of chicago. Some of the highlights of my paper review included:

1. An estimate for $25,000 for painting both units, and installing some drywall. If we paid an extra $1500 "pressure washing and light sanding of the garage would be included". Needless to say (I think) we opted to hire drywallers and to do our paint prep and painting mostly ourselves. Eventually we got around to pressure washing the garage on our own and did a bit more than a "light sand" I remember when the guy handed me the estimate and I had to really contain myself not to laugh.
2 Electrical estimates ranged from $6500-$38,000. In all fairness, the $38,000 estimate was a much wider scope of an estimate. After we got it, we significantly changed the scope of our project. (the estimate included running electrical to the garage). The estimates for just updating electrical in both kitchens and baths and installing outside lights was more along the range of $6500-$17,000.
3. Plumbing ranged i think from $4000-$17000. In the estimates one from the guy we really wanted to hire was included. Unfortunately, the guy dropped off the face of the earth for a week when we were anxious to get started. We ended up hiring this other guy which was a huge mistake. When we tried to get a plumber to come in just to give an estimate it was really difficult. It seemed like every plumber just wanted to do the small project as opposed to the massive overhall.

We also found various floorplans Glenn put together on Visio, and "to-do" lists. I even found my really early wedding planning notes.

The wide range of estimates also revealed a wide range of perceptions about renovation. I heard the spiel over and over again about how we should do forced air heating. "no, we actually like the radiators". How we should just tear down our garage and start a new. "no, this is solid construction." (for that one the guy laughed that we'd be able to scrape and paint it). The flooring guy who basically stormed out of our house and said that none of our floors were salvageable. (we sanded some of our floors, and they turned out great).

I knew getting involved with the project that we'd have to work hard, have patience and the like, but I never in my wildest dreams thought that getting a contractor would be so difficult.

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