Remodeling is Hell

Next time you file an insurance claim, make it a big one! Make it a claim which will allow you to do as much remodeling or construction as you need. I know, this is flat out insurance fraud, but damn it my wife and I are stuck in the middle of this and are still discussing how to proceed. Thankfully, we have already received three insurance checks, one for personal property and two for repairs. Actually, I liked the idea of a friend at work to make the repairs, then take the rest of the money and walk from the mortgage. Needless to say, that didn’t happen.

So here we are with this money and it’s a good amount to make the repairs to the downstairs bathroom and replace all the carpet and remove the wood floors for tile. But we decided to stretch this amount to include the kitchen. Why? Because it is old and falling apart, as the cabinets are nothing more than press board (high density fiberboard, as they call it now).

We also have a pipe (maybe two) that require repair. I have called 10, count them 10 plumbers in the Oakley, Brentwood, Antioch area. Of those, 4 did not answer, 3 said they would call me back, 1 did want to give me an estimate, 1 gave me an estimate over the phone and one stood me up on coming to see the pipe. I then got the names and numbers of two other plumbers, both of whom have yet to call me or stop by. Why the hell is a plumber so hard to come by? I guess they all have better work than repairing my pipe.

Back to the kitchen, the sum of money if budgeted wisely could stretch to include the kitchen, the catch. I would have to do a considerable amount of work, including the tear down and replacement of the cabinets. As long as I get my buddy, Greg from SoCal, I don’t see why this would be out of the question. There are no fixtures, switches or lights that need to be removed, so I am fine on electrical. The plumbing should be fine, the only area of question is the pipe feeding the sink.

So we were given an estimate yesterday from a contractor and I think we were both speechless after he ran down the itemized list. I figured it would come in a bit higher, but got of lucky, I guess. Still after going through it, asking questions and discussing our situation there is a good chance only portion of what he included will get accomplished, if not by the contractor then by myself. The only problem with that, it will take twice as long. How much is convenience actually worth?

I was shocked at the price of kitchen cabinets. The estimate I saw was nearly double what I figured. Then I checked with Lowes since that he where he went to price cabinets and I was appalled when the cabinets I asked for were not the same ones he got a quote on. Huh? So I am headed back to Lowes on Tuesday to sit down with a planner and work out our new kitchen. Rest assured it won’t come in nearly as high as the contractor’s estimate.

The end of August is my target date, not sure I am on pace to make that, but rest assured when things start to happen it will go quicker than what is happening currently.

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