Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let the Games Begin

April 22, 2010

Woo hoo, we've finally hired a contractor for the dwelling. Two bathrooms will be redone, we will save the third bathroom till later. Part of the kitchen will be redone due to fung shui reasons, the basement will be torn out accomodating a wide open room for a pool table. The master bedroom will have a closet since we are using half a closet to expand the tiny shower out.

Things we've learnt from hiring a contractor.
  • Have a clear and concise wish list. Go through each room of the house and make a list of what you want done.
  • Make a before and after drawing / diagram either in visio or on paper with measurements of each room / bathroom which are going to have major renovations.
  • Be patient with contractors when they are trying to give you estimates. Some take as long as three weeks to come back with an estimate, some take as little as three days.
  • Have the contractor break down the cost for each room, some will give you a line item of each thing they are doing, and scrutinize that. One of the most expensive contractor wanted $1825 to install a closet light and closet shelving. What?!?!
  • Don't pick the cheapest contractor and don't pick the most expensive contractor.
  • Ask yourself whether you feel comfortable working with this contractor, see what vibes you receive from them. One HVAC person said three times to us that the house was way too big for the two of us, he was immediate off the list.
  • Try to make clear what your budget is but don't tell them exactly what your budget is.
  • When trying to trim cost, look again at your wish list and ask yourself whether you can do it yourself or do you really need a professional to do it for you.
  • Check with the town hall to see what you can do and what you can't do and what the regulations are for that city.
  • Be respectful to the city inspector, but don't act as if you are are a long time friend of theirs, they don't like that.
  • Research things that you do not know so that when you ask the contractor questions, you can see if they really know their stuff or not.
Quilt & Bitch


p00lriah. said...

hey! u can convert the basement into a full entertainment area w a pool table, a one-lane bowling alley, a home theater, darts, and a wet bar! woo hoo!

just messing around. btw, what kind of pool table are u getting?

Quilt+Bitch said...

We are looking at the Diamond Pro-am [I think that is what it is called] or the Gold Crown V. I guess which ever is cheaper, used of course. :)

p00lriah. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
p00lriah. said...

if there are pool rooms closing down maybe the owner can sell u one.

have u guys checked out any home theaters? it's money well spent, especially if it's part of ur mortgage (if u have a mortgage. if u have computer & network expertise, u can tie a broadband connection (and other home functions like a/c and lighting) right into the home theater, so u can watch youtube on a 60" screen. :D

Quilt+Bitch said...

As for home theater, no we won't be having a theater in the house. It's going to be a flat screen in front of the couch. We will probably be hooking up the computer to it to watch streaming pool matches. But we aren't going overboard with the home theater concept. [Yes we have computer and network expertise]. The other big thing we're doing is the HVAC system. There is a funky controller / thermostat thingy that we can program a bunch of stuff into. It can calculate whether to use gas or electric for heat depending on the cost of gas or electric... I think that's the only techy thing we're going to be doing. The other thing I want is a wireless camera at the front door.

p00lriah. said...

hey qb, there's this control company called crestron. is that the controller you're talking about?

Quilt+Bitch said...

No... the control is the Bryant one, specifically for heating and cooling, it is call "The Evolution System". Bryant Evolution System .