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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
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    9,144

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    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    So, is there a good rule of thumb for budgeting? Such as, assume you'll spend X% more than the contractor's estimate once everything is final?
    Yes! Your remodel will either cost twice as much, take twice as long or both

    As for finding the right contractor, do your research, follow up on their references. Yes if there is someone local who you know their clients, have seen the homes, that is worth a lot.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  2. #122
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Edge of Colorado Plateau
    Posts
    701
    Tulip-Your house looks wonderful. I love what you have done. It sure looks so much better than what you started with. The clean lines..etc. Wow! Great job.

    Red Rock

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,209
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I have a question - the first of many, probably. When you're budgeting for work to be done by a contractor, how much do you estimate for unforeseen overruns?

    !

    That's easy. About 10% MORE MONEY THAN YOU HAVE IN THE BANK.

    And throw in another month for each $10,000 worth of work before it's "finished finished."

  4. #124
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,144
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    there's supposed to be hardwood floors under the wall-to-wall carpet, but I've heard that some people find sections of plywood when they rip up their carpet.
    You mean you haven't taken a sneak peak at a corner? Judging by the age of the building you may have hardwood there.
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  5. #125
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I've been on vacation, but I'm back, and it's almost done, really! I'll post some photos soon. While I was away, the contractor installed the counters. BUT he has to redo them because the concrete mix wasn't right and crumbled in a couple of places. So he's going to remake them and replace them next week. But for now it works okay and looks really nice (except for the crumbled parts).

    NYbiker--I think I know the condos where you live and I've had a few friends live there, too. They did wonderful things with their condos--beautiful floors. You can check under the carpet yourself--just pull up a corner and see what's underneath. $5k will go fast, and you can save a lot be doing it yourself or hiring someone to help you. I don't know if you are a DIYer or not. I am for some things, but I wasn't up for doing my whole kitchen as a DIY project. Now, however, I would take that route. Even though I've had a GC and subs do all the work, I've learned a tremendous amount of how-to, and I would not hesitate to do it myself (with help) next time. There's still work to be done in other rooms, and I'll be taking it on later in the spring and summer.

    The floors are pretty straightforward to refinish--I've done them myself a while back (not in this house--the floors were already done) and there are plenty of videos and books to show you how to do it. Just keep the sander moving! If you want to redo the kitchen, you can get great results by painting or staining the existing cabinets and changing the handles. That way, you save a ton of money over replacing the cabinets, and you also reuse what you already have, which is the greenest way of doing things. My kitchen didn't have cabinets to begin with (well there were two on one wall), so I started from scratch. Of course, painting is a very easy change with lots of impact. the hardest part is choosing colors. You can also get good results with lighting. I've installed track lighting at my old house and it's not that hard if you already have a ceiling fixture. For the kitchen and bathroom, you can get nice results by changing the faucets. It takes patience, but is pretty easy to do.

    If you go the General Contractor route, get references and check them out and go visit if you can. Ask about scheduling and realistic budgeting. My experience has been less-than-spectacular. The finished product will be very nice, but it's taken twice as long (so far) than scheduled (6 months as opposed to 3 months) and some of the workmanship has been shoddy--and I've made them do stuff over. I think my GC is very good, but his workers were not up to his level. Of course, I interviewed the GC, not the workers. Be sure to ask if the GC will be doing the work. If not, perhaps you can ask some questions about the workers, or at least tell the GC up front that you expect high-quality work AND cleanup from his workers. Attention to detail is pretty important, and was not always a priority with the workers.

    This ended up costing me more than I had budgeted, and I find myself in a pretty tight place right now. But that will pass and I do love the space. I could have gone with cheaper cabinets, but in the long run, I really think I'll be glad to have the custom bamboo cabinets that I chose. For resale, too, custom cabinets will be a big plus. I considered Ikea cabinets, but I figured they would have run their course in looks and quality in about 5 years, so I went with the more lasting option. Building green and local was also important to me, and the cabinets are bamboo, will last for decades, and were made locally. The house did not have a kitchen when I bought it--only two cabinets and a sink. If the kitchen had been complete (even if not stylish), I would have tried to update what was there with paint, tile, and hardware. That was not the case, though.

    The things I ended up saving some money on were the appliances. I got all GE Profile stainless appliances and a very nice Bosch dishwasher at the Sears Outlet and paid 1/3 to 1/2 below retail. Essentially I got all the appliances (French Door fridge, gas range w/warming oven, microwave hood w/convection oven, really nice dishwasher) for just over what the fridge retails for. The fridge has a few scratches, and the DW has a little dent, but they would get that anyways after a few months in my house. The range and microwave do not have any blemishes (yet!). I'm also going to do the backsplash tiling myself since I know how to do that and have done it before.

    My project involved knocking out a wall and redoing all the electrical and plumbing in the kitchen. Knowing what I know now, I would be my own GC and arrange all that work myself. But my GC took care of all the permits (important for resale) and knew about the cabinet maker (I would not have found him, likely). So in the end, the GC was important for me.

    I still have another wall to knock out in the living room, and I will hire someone (a skilled carpenter type) to help me with that instead of using this or another GC. More electrical work has to be done in other parts of the house, and I'll hire an electrician directly for that, too. I do all my painting myself. Eventually I'll redo the bathroom, but that will be a while down the road.

    More pics later!

  6. #126
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I think your bamboo cabinets look great. If I needed new cabinets I would try to go with bamboo, too.

    For my kitchen, the big work will be replacing the circa-1970s dropped ceiling and flourescent lights with drywall and canister lights. Lots of folks in this neighborhood have done the same thing, and the contractor I plan to hire has done a lot of them. I'm hoping to use LCD lights, which are expensive but use teeny amounts of electricity and will last for something like 20 years.

    I'll keep the kitchen cabinets (real wood) and paint them. I started to paint them when I moved in, but realized it made sense to replace the ceiling before going any further with it. Also there are some cheap moldings on them which I want to replace. I'll also paint the walls, and will put down a new floor to cover the ugly vinyl that's there now. I will probably go with cork or marmoleum. Lastly I want to replace the counters and tile backsplash. That will probably be the last thing I do because I want to use Icestone for the counters, which is not cheap.

    For colors in the kitchen, I want white cabinets and trim, blue for the walls (not sure what shade yet), and black/gray for the counters. I think the tiles will be white. I figure they and the counters should be neutral so they'll work with other color schemes if needed. No idea what color the floor should be.

    The living room/dining room mostly need to be painted, and some cracks in the plaster need to be fixed. If I can afford it, I'd like to put up crown molding and hide the tv/modem cable underneath it. The walls will be green (kinda sage but not really) and the trim will be white. (I have a dark red love seat and chair in the LR, and the DR furniture is black.)

    As for the floors, when I pull up a corner of the carpet I see wood (painted white for some reason). But I have heard from others in the neighborhood that some people find sections of plywood in the middle of the room instead of regular wood flooring. So I don't know yet what I have.

    The bedroom is like the LR/DR - just fix some cracks in the plaster and paint. I'm thinking a pale peaceful blue for the walls, and again white for the trim. New carpet for that room, hopefully something recycled.

    The bathroom is a mess. I started to remove the ugly wallpaper but apparently whoever put it up did a bad job, and on some parts of the wall it took the top layer of drywall off when I removed it. So I'm thinking about putting up white wainscoting on the bottom half of the walls, and then painting the rest a dark red or maybe cranberry. The tub needs to be replaced (enamel in bad shape) and I'll replace the tile walls in the tub/shower area also. But that area will remain white. I will keep the tile floor that's already there -- it's 4-inch square white tiles, kind of cool looking. I'll also put in a new dual flush toilet (and if anyone can recommend a good brand/model, I'm all ears, because I plan to do this soon), and get rid of the hideous beige clam-shell sink and vanity that never look clean no matter how much you clean them.

    I have some ideas about what I where to start with all this work, but I figure I will show the list to the contractor and ask him where he recommends we start. I'm planning to hire a guy who has done work for several people I know, and has worked in this neighborhood for many years, so he knows all the eccentricities already. The people who have recommended him told me that the final cost was the same as his estimate.

    I wish I could do the work myself, but I really have no DIY ability. You should have seen me try to put up a curtain rod over the bathroom window. Pretty pathetic. Even when it comes to painting, I manage to mess things up. Assembling Ikea furniture is the limit of my ability. Luckily, I'm getting a bigger tax refund than I expected, which will give me a little more money to spend on phase 1.

    p.s. I am a bit concerned that all the blue and green walls will make it feel like I'm under water, but I really want a cool, peaceful environment. I think the red furniture, as well as accessories in colors like red and yellow, will break things up enough so I don't feel like I'm trapped in an aquarium.

  7. #127
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    the dry side
    Posts
    4,365
    DH started tearing down our deck today. We knew it was bad, but wow - good thing it's coming down! No parties for a while! We'll expand it, rip out the lower tier that has a not tub in it, and rebuild the whole thing out of composite decking.

    The hot tub deck will be the big project. Tear out old one ( which is plumbed through the wall of the garage) pull down siding that has hole in it for plumbing, tear out siding above that which is warped from the steam because they put the hot tub too close to the house ( less than 12")

    Then, either put a flagstone patio there, or a step up deck, instead of a top tub level deck which is how it was before. Put the new hot tub about 2' away from the house, close up holes in wall with new siding.

    The door out to the hot tub has to be re done because it's old, leaky, unsecure and it was installed inside out instead of reverse hung, coming off the bath room. And then, there's the bathroom attached to the door, LOL. That might have to wait.

    And then, the storage area under the upper deck has to be redone,too....

    I'll take some more before pictures tomorrow.

  8. #128
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    931
    My experience. What ever you do: building or remodelling a house... it's always more expensive than you intended. We first bought a house and redid it ourselves (that took 8! years), and the day we were finished we sold it. Now we have built a new house, and boy was that an experience! i would never do it again. Ever.

    I love my house, it's really unique, but boy did it gave me grey hairs.

    And sometimes i miss my old house because we did it all ourselves and we were really proud of the result. Our house was sold in less than four hours !!! Normally it takes 3-6 months to sell a house.

    So my advice, when it's finished, enjoy it, and don't move too quickly.
    And yes, it looks great!

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Mrs. KnottedYet
    Posts
    9,144
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    I'll also paint the walls, and will put down a new floor to cover the ugly vinyl that's there now. I will probably go with cork or marmoleum.
    Oh I'd love to use marmoleum. Maybe the next house So many colors, so many possibilities. They have a rich tomato soup red that makes you just want to get on the floor with a spoon and sour cream

    They also have a color/pattern that's just so cork-like I was tempted to use that. My carpenter hadn't used marmoleum before. With a possible learning curve delay we chose other flooring.

    Next house
    Fancy Schmancy Custom Road bike ~ Mondonico Futura Legero
    Found on side of the road bike ~ Motobecane Mixte
    Gravel bike ~ Salsa Vaya
    Favorite bike ~ Soma Buena Vista mixte
    N+1 bike ~ Brompton
    https://www.instagram.com/pugsley_adventuredog/

  10. #130
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Quote Originally Posted by papaver View Post
    My experience. What ever you do: building or remodelling a house... it's always more expensive than you intended. We first bought a house and redid it ourselves (that took 8! years), and the day we were finished we sold it. Now we have built a new house, and boy was that an experience! i would never do it again. Ever.

    This reminds me: everyone, right now, go out and rent "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House."

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    The counters have been replaced with new ones that aren't cracked, and I paid the contractor his last check, so I guess that means it's done...I still have to do the backsplash, though.

    I learned alot. I love the space. If I do it again, I'll do things differently (not the design--that works well--but the process).

    Before and after pics for your viewing pleasure. -tulip
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  12. #132
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    Posts
    1,993
    I love it. So warm and inviting! Having lived through a simultaneous kitchen/bathroom remodel, I know the relief of "having it done!" ENJOY.

    How does Mr. Shiloh like it?

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,821
    Yay! It's gorgeous! I'm sure it's a relief to be done, but it was so worth the effort!

  14. #134
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    3,867
    I LOVE IT!!

    Very Zen.

    Karen
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    insidious ungovernable cardboard

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,769
    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckervill View Post
    I LOVE IT!!

    Very Zen.

    Karen
    Why thank you

    Tulip, that looks fabulous.
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

 

 

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