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

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

  1. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Half up front is the norm in the midwest. New water line, $12K, just completed; partial roof, $9.5K, three weeks wait; partial siding and trim, $34K, months wait. None of which makes my house nicer to live in. OK, having water is nice.
    We got the cash quote, then asked them for 18 months no interest, and two out of three said they'd do that. So there's that.
     
  2. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    A friend let his wife design a dream bathroom; it was nearly $80K. Yikes.
     
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  3. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Yeah, and you never want to work backward from that. You really want to start from, "Hey, we'll just re-paint the cabinets and install new fixtures for $xxx" and work from there. You gotta try to avoid the "Hey, I dropped my demand for the custom gold plating on the already-custom fixtures and SAVED YOU a grand"
     
  4. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep to all of that.

    And I still have a roll of BX down in the garage somewhere.
     
  5. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    And now we have MX cable for commercial. The insulation os different but the concept is the same...
     
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  6. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Bought a house about 5 years ago. The home was built about 15 years prior by someone who was irish. Everything was green on green and the kitchen was done in dark wood. My wife didn't like the house for that reason although many other things about it (the lot, the layout, location) was perfect for what we needed. I made the mistake of saying 'oh, that kitchen can be changed, just re-do it the way you like'. Well, we now have a very nice kitchen that the designer has on her website and I think the contractor bought a new truck when we were done ;) .
     
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  7. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    Ok, well, there's a spot in the floor that needs to be repaired and I really want to open out the shower some... oh, half the subfloor is rotted and some of the plates and some of the studs, oh, and on the wall/floor next to the shower(which was a closet) guess I just make it a tub. surely at least I can just re-use the existing cabinets... which won't come out in fewer than 30 pieces. So much for a 'little' bathroom project.

    moo26.jpg
     
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  8. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Exactly why I hate starting home improvement projects. It starts with replacing a dripping faucet, and ends with tearing up the concrete in the driveway...:eek:
     
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  9. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator Final Approach

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    I think the major issue was that the high amperage breakers were all put right next to each other so when you had 3 electric heaters, an electric stove, and electric water heater all going at once, the bus bar heated up red hot and eventually melted. Either way, getting the contractor was no proof that the job would be done correctly.
     
  10. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Bathrooms and kitchens... I always assume it's going to turn into a complete gut and replace, including subfloor and ceiling. That way if something can be preserved, you're delighted.
     
  11. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pattern Altitude

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    I thought I was going to be able to save some of the walls... turns out that was a mistake since I had to do a bunch of extra work instead of just replacing studs wholesale. Oh well, at least in a few years I'll know better when it's time to do the kitchen.
     
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  12. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Clearly a bad job and underspecified box. For a properly sized box, the bus bar never should have gotten red hot, regardless of the spacing of the breakers. The entire amount of current passes through the buss regardless.

    You're right about contractors. Sometimes they do well, sometimes not. And that's true regardless of the specialty. When I bought my current house, the seller was lauding the (then) just finished deck - until I discovered that the contractor never pulled a permit (required around here, though it would have been simple for this deck with the county "standard plans"). I made them get it inspected by the county, and not only didn't they pull a permit, but the footings were all wrong - just 6x6 posts sunk about 12 inches into the ground. Seller & contractor had to go back, get a permit, tear apart deck, do the footings properly, rebuild it and get it inspected. We escrowed money at closing to make sure it was done. Neither was very happy, but tough bananas. Have discovered (and fixed) a few other things as we've gone along, but that may have been the worst of them.
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm already dreading our planned kitchen remodel. We want to change the island a little bit, but that means the hardwood floor needs to be re-done, and the plumbing needs to move, and then the overhead lights need to move, and then xxx needs to be replaced, and then yyy also needs to be moved, and then ...


    Question on how to begin getting bids on a project like that:

    Is the first discussion, "What can I get for $xxx?", or is it, "What will it cost to do yyyy?"

    Or some combination?
     
  14. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ooh. We did all of those things :) . Moved the island, moved the plumbing, converted electric to gas.....

    A contractor who does kitchen remodels would be able to give you ballpark numbers for the things you want. Relocating the plumbing X, building a new island Y etc. You can then decide which of the parts are wants, and which are needs.

    I like our kitchen. It's probably the room where we spend most time together as a family. Re-doing it exactly as the Missus wanted it was money well spent.
     
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  15. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There aren’t many things we want to change, but if we do anything with the island it goes from minor (but still pricey) to major just.like.that.
     
  16. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Tell them everything you want done. Tell them HOW you want it done. Listen to what they recommend (but don't take it as gospel). Get the quote. Better yet, get quotes from a plumber, an electrician, a framer, a finish carpenter, a few cabinet shops, a few countertop shops, etc.

    I had a number in mind when we were discussing the kitchen remodel. I figured we should be able to do it for $25K or so, all in.

    The first cabinet shop bid $35K just for the cabinets. We ended up getting better cabinets, done exactly the way we wanted, for about half that.

    Wood floor work doesn't have to be that expensive; I was surprised at how little we actually paid the floor guys the the exceptionally good work they did. Top quality. I did some of it myself, and saved a few hundred bucks. I also sourced the wall ovens and saved several hundred bucks. My wife found a great deal on a new, open box cooktop that had been special ordered for a customer who then didn't want it -- and, you guessed it, saved us a few hundred bucks. I found the vent hood for a fraction of the $1500 or so we thought it would cost. My wife picked her #2 choice of countertop material, which was really the only compromise of any sort we made, because it cost a few grand less than her #1 choice (I found it difficult to tell them apart). All those "few hundred bucks" added up to a ton of money saved. If we'd just turned it over to a contractor we'd have spent almost double the amount, and not been nearly as happy with the result. If you want it done right, without the cost getting out of control, you may well need to step in and take control of your own contractors (and destiny).
     
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  17. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    An advantage I have is a friend that’s a general contractor. I would seriously consider NOT using him, I like him too much to take a chance on letting a business deal get in the way of that. But as a resource for subcontractor referrals, it’s a plus.
     
  18. denverpilot

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    My plumber is supposedly coming Saturday. I told my wife to expect the kitchen to be unusable for a month. LOL

    He’s scheduled to replace the plumbing under the sink and install a dishwasher. Hahaha.
     
  19. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    We have a rule at our house. If the dishwasher is broken, I call my wife at the hotel to tell her when it's working again.

    To be fair, I'm the same way about the espresso machine. We took it on vacation with us in June. :)

    And if you want to hear about absurd quotes... I'll tell you about the repair estimate I got from a local shop to fix a few minor annoyance issues on my car. Hint: I'll be working on it Saturday. But, that's something for a different thread entirely.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
  20. N747JB

    N747JB Final Approach

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    I bought a house with a partner to fix up and sell, big exterior issue was the concrete driveway, roots had busted through and it was a mess. First quote $5785.00, the second quote was $2950.00!! Some people need work and some don’t!
     
  21. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    And that is true sometimes as well. A lot of contractors are very busy, getting another project may mean overtime, renting more equipment, etc., so they charge accordingly. Or they give you a sympathy bid just because you asked them too, and they ran it high to hopefully not get the work. Then again if all of their competitors are in the same boat, the cost to do a project just went way up.
     
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  22. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Three quotes from 3 very reputable tree services I've used before: $4800, $4200, $3600 (plus their online coupon for 10% off).
     
  23. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am just a pitiful millennial so what do I know. I built my own house from the dirt up, with my hands, solo mostly or working with a friend, a pregnant (at the time) wife, and it is round, like round as a silo, round. Soapstone countertops, wood walled (ipe) walk in shower room, solar powered radiant heat floors, solid wood everywhere, not a sheet of plywood anywhere. Mahogany trim, floating stairs, arched top door.

    Cost me less than some of your kitchens and bathrooms. $65,000. Granted it is small at only 24’ diameter, three stories (1250 sq ft).
     
  24. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Cleared for Takeoff

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    I got a great deal on a large amount of 3 conductor AC (newer BX) cable and wired my entire workshop building with it. All 12ga. Squirrels, mice, critters are no longer of concern to me. Plus I could run it surface mount in certain areas without having a junction box to change from Romex to conduit.
     
  25. Racerx

    Racerx Line Up and Wait

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    Did the same a few years ago. Tore an existing home down foundation and all then built foundation up. Was able to save the existing well and septic. 28.5x35. county wouldn't let me build any bigger. Had 2 large hickory trees come die/blow over and used them for my floors. Fiber cement siding, standing seam roof... Did everything myself with some help from my dad. Now working on the 2 car detached garage. Previous owner built on grade and it had water issues. Literally rotted 2 feet of a wall away. Had a partial loft above. Gonna change the roof line and sneak electric, gas, and water from my house 10' away. Haven't decided if it'll be a bar with a hot tub above the garage or turn it into an apartment type situation. Sweat equity.

    Not all millennials are lazy and whiny!
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    The “fun” started in earnest here today. Plumber took a look while assessing and getting the new dishwasher installed and said “You really should rip out all of that unsupported PVC. It’s a big problem waiting to happen...”

    We knew this of course. Already had one piece break. And leak before that. We were on borrowed time.

    So.... as soon as we touched it I knew we were headed here. Ha.

    The dishwasher didn’t fit anyway (knew that was better than 50% likely), chopped the underside of the countertop to get it in and functional...

    And we start tearing into basement ceilings to rip out all the PVC in the upstairs (the basement is PEX. Don’t ask. It’s a weird house.) AND while we’re at it I’ll have the HVAC guy back to put in the air returns we couldn’t decide on... and then her more cosmetic stuff... the dishwasher is stainless and she can smell the finish line, so new stainless range and oven (it’s an in wall oven so that’s two appliances...) and new countertops.

    Probably go quartz.

    Meanwhile the dishwasher has a proper p-trap now and vent, and the piece of PVC that snapped as he was tightening a fitting on a janky tapped in piece of copper was the canary in the coal mine. Very brittle. We played with it for a bit. Easy to crack it.

    It’s... time.... LOL.

    Guy seems good and first plumber I’ve trusted in two decades so there’s something to be said for that, too. His tools don’t look as old as mine, but he’s saying the right things and figuring out the.right order to do it all in so we aren’t doing double or triple work.

    My only requirement I told him was we’ll be finding somewhere to put in a quality valve to isolate downstairs from upstairs during the work, because the stupid medical stuff has me in a restroom waaaay too much to be WFH with the water off. Ha.

    My “office” shall be moving to whatever area of the house is the least noisy today... haha. Ugh. Yay laptop computers... LOL.

    We talked about going crazy but the build quality of the upstairs overall would mean truly taking the place down to the studs and even a couple of window replacements to make a “fancy” kitchen not clash badly with the walls, windows, ceiling. Cringe. Keeping the old cabinets and their slightly outdated looks with a fresh countertop and the appliances all matching fits us to a T.

    I joked with my wife, “Ever walked in after work and wanted a gourmet kitchen, or do we usually just want to make dinner and eat, and get on with the evening in the TV room or on the deck?” We just aren’t fancy kitchen people.

    The other one he pushed a little was if we are going under the floor, adding a small prep sink to the island might be nice. We decided nah, just more future plumbing to annoy us, and we like too much crap on the island anyway.

    So here we go. Off to the races to a mediocre but “just fine” and highly functional matching appliances, kitchen... :)
     
  27. denverpilot

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    By the way. He told us anything other than laminate countertops are six weeks out around here right now.

    Since the thread was about that, I meant to add it.

    Pretty interesting. He’s going to get the rip and replace done and we will order now, and try to beat winter arriving...
     
  28. Getonit

    Getonit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I live in an older neighbor, built 1911, and originally they all had front porches. My neighbor wanted to have one put back on and the quote for the two houses was $110,00. About 8’ x 30’. Literally it is just a lean to attached to the brick. There is no hysterical society to deal with, I told them I would do it for $55,000. Luckily I still have my front porch.
     
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  29. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm convinced that, once completed, everyone ends up loving their complete kitchen renovation if only because they are soooo happy to finally have a functioning kitchen again.
     
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  30. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    We just redid ours. Took out a load bearing wall, moved the sink, stove, fridge and microwave. All new cabinets, new stone counter tops, backsplash, flooring all of it.

    we’re very happy with end result (and to have a kitchen again)!
     
  31. kyleb

    kyleb Final Approach

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    We have a two story house on a basement. We'd love to take out a section of the load bearing wall in the middle of the 1st floor, but that seems like a big endeavor - not only the structural issues, but HVAC chaises, hardwoods, etc. come into play.
     
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  32. jsstevens

    jsstevens Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. Ours was just supporting a cathedral ceiling frame in a one story house. Not to bad.
     
  33. denverpilot

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    No kidding. Once we start the countertop the cooktop comes out, so then it’s the microwave or outdoor grill if that takes more than a day. Ha.
     
  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    BIL and wife are starting a “bump out” addition to their place that’s been in the planning and waiting on contractors for a year, that includes removing a load bearing wall and replacement with a beam... gonna be interesting to see and watch if I can go over there during the process.