I can't believe it's 2011! Where has the year gone? Jeff worked this weekend, but had some abbreviated shifts due to the holiday...yippee! We spent a wonderful afternoon with my extended family celebrating Christmas and the New Year. We also managed to snag our wonderful babysitter for NYE and had a fun evening out with friends. Of course looming over my head was last weeks' initial contractor bid and sky high estimate.
If you remember from last week, after receiving that initial gargantuan bid, I went straight to 'old trusty'...a sub contractor that we used on our old house - but who is actually a licensed general contractor in Minneapolis. He just actually completed work on my in-law's house and has also done smaller jobs for us and my brother-in-law. He came over today to bid the project.
His initial numbers (now these are just off the top of his head) are right in line with where Jeff and I THOUGHT the numbers would be. Now keep in mind Jeff and I are complete strangers to having a hired general contractor on staff - so I think the sticker shock is purely relative and my point is not to discredit these types of establishments. However, this type of operation just isn't for us. If you are going to tell me that I can save a substantial amount of money by being an active participant in this project, I'm on board. However, BOTH Jeff and I need to keep in mind that our time is spread thin already between the store and the kids...so we need to be realistic about what we actually have to give.
Anyway, after talking through the project with contractor #3, it is becoming more and more clear that this will be the route we are taking. He will act as the general contractor (pulling permits, coordinating subs, scheduling...and ultimately be responsible for keeping the project moving forward and on track). However, when it comes to gathering bids, making phone calls and perhaps even ordering materials - that's where Jeff and I will come in. The good news is that we are so experienced with what we want and how to go about getting it from our previous project - that it won't be nearly as complicated as it was last time. However, I'd be lying if I said that I didn't roll my eyes upon hearing that this is the way I will have to go about getting my new kitchen. BUT, we are frugal people...and are working with a tight budget...so if this is what it takes to make it happen - so be it.
So...he is going to get back to us this week with a firm number. He brought his electrician with him today, but will come back with his plumber and HVAC sub ASAP. He thinks realistically, by the time the project gets started, it will be mid-February. This works fine for us since we still need to get quite a few of our 'ducks in a row.' Contractor #3 will not be involved at all with the exterior. We will be bidding this project out completely separately to a company that exclusively does siding/roofing/windows. #3 will be responsible for coordinating the exterior, however, (in an effort to save on the old pocketbook) we will be responsible for contacting, bidding and hiring the company.
So...we are busying ourselves for the next few months. My GOAL is to have this project DONE by my 30th birthday (June 25th) in an effort to make the next decade of my life remodel free:-) We will still be meeting with contractor #4 on Wednesday morning and potentially a 5th that I'll be contacting this week. In the meantime, I'm placing the order for our bedroom furniture. Jeff and my bedroom is a gaping hole of nothingness...just a mattress and box spring. Time to warm it up a bit and create a space we are anxious to enjoy.