[N/A] Home Renovation: “The Rise of Absurd Quotes”

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by ARFlyer, Aug 7, 2020.

  1. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I’m starting to think there is a home remodeling conspiracy afoot!

    So I just received two quotes for my two bathroom remodels I posted about a month or so ago. Both quotes were between $30,000 and $40,000 with the higher one stating the start date would be Summer/Fall 2021. I called an additional two highly recommended contractors who both told me no thanks. A third guy said I’d have to pay him half up front because I’m too young and he’s concerned I can’t afford to pay.

    What in the h e double hockey sticks is going on??
     
  2. Juliet Hotel

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    People are spending money and contractors are booked solid. Prices tend to go up when that happens.
     
  3. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Yep, which really makes you wonder how bad the economy is when everyone is spending like crazy!
     
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  4. Grum.Man

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    Yep remodels are crazy and it’s mostly labor. Materials are nothing really.
     
  5. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    Yeah but you’d think it wouldn’t be astronomically high. 20k would be reasonable.

    Mine are flipped. The quotes list 10k and 13k for labor. The materials is listed at 15k and 20k for standard fixtures and materials. I ain’t asking for marble and gold plated fixtures. One of the quotes requires me to sub out the plumbing and electrical.

    It’s starting to seem like these guys are quoting some absurd price to make me go away.
     
  6. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Line Up and Wait

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    You nailed it (bah dum tsss) in the last sentence. My dad was a general contractor for nearly 40 years and in the business closer to 50. When he was booked solid, or if the owner seemed like they were going to be difficult to work with, he’d significantly pad the estimate and/or the time until he could start. Win-win...either they left at a time when he had plenty of other work, signed up for an inflated price, or committed to work down the road when he might not be as busy.
     
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  7. midwestpa24

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    I have to wonder if I'm the only one that clicked on this thread expecting some ridiculous "quotes". :dunno:
     
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  8. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I need a backsplash installed, and every tile guy I talked to said they weren't interested in the job. Like, period, stop, end of phone call. Didn't even want to schedule something.
     
  9. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    $30,000 to $40,000 for two bathrooms not ridiculous?? :D

    I could go with my other idea and buy an aircraft.
     
  10. Omalley1537

    Omalley1537 Line Up and Wait

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    Nope, same here...I was thinking this was about all the annoying buzzwords used on the TV flipping and home improvement shows...:D
     
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  11. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    "Shiplap"
     
  12. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I said that and my girlfriend about hurled me off my back deck! :D
     
  13. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Remember you can’t fly in a bathroom but you can ... never mind.
     
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  14. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I told my girlfriend the three Fs law. She just looked at me and said “men”.... :D

    I did make the mistake recently of telling her the cost of us going to brunch via the Mooney and how much it would cost to get her Private Pilot. Since I’m legally not allowed to teach her... :mad:
     
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  15. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Ridiculous in what sense? For us, it was $40,000 for one, plus $65,000 for the other. This was ~five years ago. Would have been overjoyed to get both done for $40K.

    Mind you, they're very *nice* bathrooms.....

    Is this where I bring up the $135,000 kitchen? :)

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  16. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    I think just spit out my water!! :eek:

    Mine will only be 5x10 and 8x10 bathrooms!!
     
  17. Groundpounder

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    Jesus, I'm in the wrong line of work.
     
  18. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    You ain't kidding! If anyone said it'd be $30K to redo all 3 baths in my house, I'd be a little surprised. I suppose it may be that my standards for bathroom tile and fixtures are usually confined to whatever the local big box store carries, lol.
     
  19. wilkersk

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    This reminds me of the re-siding job I had done about 15 years ago. They quoted me $19K. By the time the job was completed, the total cost was over $27,000. It got to the point that I dreaded seeing the lead guy. Every time I turned around, there was a "job change order" that absolutely must be approved. They actually threatened to not finish the job if I refused to have "structural repairs" done. For one $5,000 "structural repair" it took 5 minutes with a Sawsall, another 5 minutes to measure and cut the lumber for the repair, then another 10 minutes or so hammering it together. So, for less than 1/2 of additional work, and maybe $20 in materials (if you really stretch it) they got another five grand. I hate contractors. It seems impossible to find one that will straigt-up do an honest job without charging exorbitant sums of money.

    A recent quote I got to replace a hot water heater was $4,200. I priced the water heater, it cost $1,800.00 with free shipping from a wholesaler. I suspect that pencils out to something like $500 per man-hour for installation. -I'll do it myself, thanks!
     
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  20. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Try getting painters. I’ve been trying to get the exterior of my house painted for the last 2 years. I’ve
    received bids ranging from $46K (discounted to $35K because I am a veteran) to $9.5K. I had a painter lined up to start a few weeks ago for $20K and he decided he had easier jobs and no-showed. I think when I had the house built it was $9K for both the interior and exterior.
     
  21. Juliet Hotel

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    They are. They've got more work than they can shake a stick at. And I suspect most of those jobs will be more profitable than yours. Its not in their nature to tell you thanks but no thanks. Instead they give you price that's lucrative enough to make them say sorry no thanks to the work they already have. Not sure why this is new information for anyone.
     
  22. NealRomeoGolf

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    My contractor is my non-equity airplane partner. He screws me and he loses access. But he's an honest guy to start so I would never anticipate using such tactics.
     
  23. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Rich Corinthian Leather toilet seats don't come cheap, y'know. :)

    The master bath in our current house is almost as large as our first apartment. It's octagonal in shape. Standard fixtures, but everything else was custom. It's got a large walk-in shower that's a stretched hexagon, with a window that points right at Mount Rainier. Actually wanted to keep the existing toilet (made in 1927) but there was a crack in the tank. Price also included adding a large closet in the adjoining master bedroom (gave up the existing walk-in closet totally to my wife).

    My wife put up with some rather cruddy housing early in our marriage. We bought our current house about 25 years ago. The previous owners had made some rather unfortunate decisions in the selection of paints and wallpaper. We gradually improved things over the years, but my wife really, REALLY wanted to do major upgrades to the bathrooms and the kitchen, and go totally first class. Since she was the one essentially paying for it, I just bowed to the inevitable.

    And it gives me a moral advantage, when it comes to the airplane. I just have a $10,000 homebuilt...a mere fraction of what we spent on remodeling.

    In this price range, they really do pander to you. Company did 3D renderings of the designs of rooms. Here's one of the kitchen (the rendering shows a fence, in reality it's a deck rail with the Cascade mountains on the horizon).
    Rendering004.jpg
    Instead of showing up with catalogs, they picked us up and drove us to a half dozen local showrooms. Walk through the warehouse looking at marble slabs, and put "Sold" signs on the ones we selected. Flooring store, laying out samples. Plumbing store, selecting toilets, sinks, and faucets. Tile store for the flooring, cabinet showrooms for selecting woodwork and handles.

    The renderings include all our actual selections...cabinets, flooring, handles, appliances, etc.

    Driving me absolutely nuts, but hey, my wife was in heaven. The advantage was that there were no surprises. Most of the outfits we got quotes from said things like, "We did the quote based on $X,XXX for the flooring," but this outfit gave a quote based specifically on what we selected. Their estimate wasn't that far off from what we were getting from other companies, too...it's believed there's an informal "neighborhood tax" that gets levied as soon as the contractors see where the house is.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  24. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We’ve been putting off a kitchen remodel for a while. Sounds like we waited too long.
     
  25. WDD

    WDD Cleared for Takeoff

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    With the Covid, people are spending so much time at home they want to make it nicer. Same thing with landscaping - they're swamped.

    I had some plumbing I had to do 2 months ago. It involved whether or not we were connected to the main sewer line and I'll leave it at that. Three guys and 2 days for $7000. Maybe $1000 in parts. It was something I didn't know how to do, didn't have the tools, and had to be done right. Sometimes you just get stuck.

    I've given up trying to get contractors and am basically doing things myself. Takes a long time, but it does get done.
     
  26. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    So we did a bathroom remodel about 5 or 6 years ago. The designer came up with a couple of really great ideas (well worth the $600 or so we paid him) that enlarged the bathroom, gave us a great walk-in closet, big shower, all kinds of stuff we wanted. I hired a contractor, they did mostly what we wanted... but screwed a few things up that quite frankly bug me to this day. The heated floor stops about 4-5" from the cabinet kick panels. That means every morning in the winter I get cold toes while I shave. It's barbaric, I tell ya. But the master bath is gorgeous and very few people would find any fault whatsoever. Cost us way more than I had planned... about $40K when we were all done.

    My wife did the main bath on her own. Nice marble tile, new marble countertops, marble mosaic tile floor, super nice job. We probably spent a couple grand on it, I didn't keep track at all. I did some of the work, it took a while but it wasn't bad.

    Then there's the kitchen. Too big a job to do on my own. Called in the same designer we'd used for the master bath. Total gut, pull down the ceiling, remove a wall, build a new walk-in pantry, all custom cabinetry, 10' long island with a marble slab top, 36" cooktop, prep sink, secret hidden liquor cabinet with a child-proof magnetic latch, the works. I called half a dozen contractors. A month and a half later I managed to get ONE of them to actually cough up an estimate, for $90K which seemed to me to be the "We really don't want this job" rate. By chance we met a project manager. We acted as our own general contractor, she found us some subs and supervised the work -- as did we, since I work from home full time anyway. She brought a lot of good ideas, contacts, and experience to the table for a reasonable fee. We did the whole thing, exactly the way we wanted it with zero compromises, for about $55K. And with better materials and fixtures than the $90K contractor was going to use. That even included sanding and refinishing the entire ground floor worth of hardwood flooring, and it looks amazing. You don't get your money back out of remodels, I don't think, but honestly I think we will from this kitchen.

    So... I am sold on the idea of taking control of your own destiny here. Subcontractors are not hard to find, especially if you can find someone who is more familiar with the process. Our PM made sure they all had insurance, pulled permits, got inspections, etc... fired a couple who didn't perform up to snuff... generally was there to ride herd when we couldn't be there. We found a tile guy for the backsplash when her recommended guy turned out to be a pretentious ass. I did a few odds & ends, like installed the low voltage wiring for a little bit of planned under-cabinet LED lighting (which looks amazing, by the way). We went about 2 or 3 weeks past the original timeline, much better than the 3 months extra it took the GC to screw up our master bath. And we felt like we were completely in control of what was going on the whole time, since WE were the ones writing the checks to the subs (or paying cash to the drywall crew working nights).
     
  27. ARFlyer

    ARFlyer En-Route

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    Where do you search for bath designers? The two bids I’ve gotten put no more thought into the floor plan then making it a simple box with the shower and toilet in odd places. Heck I can do that and have!!

    When I did a local google search for “bath designers” all I got was the same contractors I’ve called.
     
  28. DaleB

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    The first GC we hired referred us to this designer. We really liked what he came up with for the master bath -- stuff we'd never have thought of, but works really well. I have no idea how to find them otherwise... PM me where you are, I can contact our guy and see if they have any sort of network or something. Maybe he can find someone decent in your area.
     
  29. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    everyone???
     
  30. falconkidding

    falconkidding Line Up and Wait

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    That does seem quite high. There seems to be a disconnect between people who buy high end stuff and the rest of us plebs. I could remodel my bathroom with a new tub/shower a new toilet, tile, vanity and sink for 2 grand. Thats cause a new toilet cost me 89 bucks and a shower 800. vanity and sink a few hundred and put some tile down. 2 full weekends and i'd be done.

    Kind of like when my buddies from chicago or socal talk about their tiny ass house costing 5-600k and i'm like that gets you 4k sq ft on the lake here lol.
     
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  31. chartbundle

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    And here I was annoyed the 3 gallons of paint for the bathroom remodel cost me $150... And I'll still need one more for the trim. All in the materials will probably be 5k... cheapest tile I can get so if I screw it up I won't be sad, but nice expensive flooring(not tile), fancy shower controls, fancy but still acrylic tub, the finest in Ikea cabinetry and sink.
     
  32. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    No kidding. I got in a contractor/handy-man in January to do a whole bunch of odd jobs around the house. Showed him a list of around $50k of work with pictures etc. He looks at it and says: “I don’t want to do such a large quote. Get someone else to quote it and I’ll beat them by 10%”.

    Told him: “This is probably only going to be $5k of material. You’re going to be clearing $20k per month for a few months just in your labor. Sure you don’t want to quote it??”

    “yup”

    “okay...”

    So I don’t know how much handymen make around here but it must be more than 20k per month.
     
  33. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Our house was built in 1972 and looked it. Classic 1970s color schemes, etc. Avocado green fixtures in the bathroom. Burnt orange in the kitchen. Brown and gold wallpaper in the hall 1/2 bath, including on the ceiling. It was like walking into a cave. We did the rip-out in the kitchen. Took it down to the bare walls and took out the non-load bearing wall between the kitchen and the breakfast room. Tore out the master bath completely and re-arranged things. New kitchen and master bath. Did some of the work in the 1/2 bath in the entrance hall, just had the cabinets refaced. New tile counter. The bath downstairs needed a new tub/shower and vanity. The whole mess came to about $50,000. But, that was 24 years ago. Today we'd probably be looking a more than double that. And we had to have a bunch of re-work done in the master bath a number of years ago when a leak in the shower took out a bunch of structure that had to be replaced. Re-tiled the bath because you just can't get the same stuff after 15 or more years.

    Oh well, we've been here for 24 years and don't have any immediate plans to move. Although if the politicians get any more left wing we may have to re-visit that plan.
     
  34. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You can see why so many people are diy-ers.
    Suddenly you can 'make' 20K off your own small home project.
     
  35. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I’d guess it’s more laziness
     
  36. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I am having some insurance work done to my house. You won't believe the rediculous quotes we've gotten. The ServPro guys who handled the mitigation gave up and decided to do the work themselves. I've been watching them every step of the way, they're doing an excellent job (and these guys are perhaps the CLEANEST contractors I've ever dealt with). They replaced a lot of drywall and I didn't find a speck of dust each day after they left.
     
  37. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's such easy money. Just get into contracting, find a few subs and start doing remodels yourself. The customers are really easy to work with. And quote fixed prices, its not like the scope of a remodel ever changes after you tear out the old stuff. Oh, and what makes remodeling work so rewarding is that the customers are always grateful and pay on time.
     
  38. Juliet Hotel

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    Probably not everyone, but certainly there is no shortage of people spending cash like its on fire. Car dealers are struggling to keep inventory on their lots. Some of them are parking the cars sideway so they take up more space and make the lot look fuller. Around here, houses are selling within days at asking price or better.

    I had an old project pontoon boat that we wanted out of the yard. I listed it on FB marketplace last month. I had about 100 offers, some of them over my asking price, within 6 hours. It was a project boat not ready to put in the water.

    I'm not going to say the economy isn't tanking. But I'm not seeing evidence of it if it is.
     
  39. MuseChaser

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    If I understand correctly, and those figures aren't for EACH of two bathrooms, then depending upon what "remodel" means to you and assuming $30,000 would be the total cost for two new bathrooms, then no, I don't think that's ridiculous. This reminds me of the "Why do avionics installations cost so much?" threads. I thought the same thing...until I started doing the work. Now I know.

    If "remodel" means new high quality fixtures including toilet ($200 - $500 or much more for a "full service" throne), one or two sinks with cabinet, countertop, back splash, and fixtures (easily $2000 or more, although yes, you could get Home Depot specials for much less), medicine cabinet/cupboard, lighting fixture(s), exhaust fan, shower and fixtures, or tub (jacuzzi?) ... if you picked out high end stuff, you could spend well over a thousand on just two sink and the tub/shower fixtures (meaning the spouts and handles..the plumbing parts...) alone. New floor, or at least some floor reconstruction around the tub or shower, walls, tile, paint, ceiling...it's a ton of work. Been there. Yes, you could buy a cheap toilet for a hundred bucks, a vanity, sink, and fixture for a few hundred, and a similar plastic shower enclosure for a couple hundred, maybe a hundred bucks on the fixture (a thousand total for cheap sink, toilet, shower, and cupboard), and but you'd still have just as much labor...and it's a lot.

    Personally, I buy good stuff and do it myself whenever possible, or just suck it up and pay whatever is necessary for quality work if I don't have time. $15G for a quality bathroom isn't bad at all.
     
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  40. MuseChaser

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    And today's award for "Best Use of Sarcasm" goes to.....(the envelope, please.....).......
     
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