<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Layout:
Home > Category: Home Renovation
 

Viewing the 'Home Renovation' Category

Overbudget and over time

December 1st, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Well we are officially over budget and way over time Well the timing thing is tight. The contractor told me Thanksgiving which I always thought was optimistic. Turns out I was right. As it stands we are hoping 12/20 before my parents arrive. Of course it won't be completely done the glass shower door and side won't be done. That is looking like January but hopefully everything else will be done.

We are currently framing the windows and just finished priming. We have to paint and do the tile of the fireplace and floor. Then there is still the upstairs work and attic, fan, insulation to still deal with, which I may tell them come back in January. We've got guests for the holidays and I don't think I can deal.

Budget wise we are over period. Over my "budget" not what they told me. When we started we were at $3700 for garage doors, $55k contractor, and $5k for designer and OOP. I figured we would come in around $75k. We are at $77k and not done. I knew things would come up and things would change But I was thinking 20% over was generous. I was wrong.

Things that changed? Our shower was rotted, we finished the garage, moved a door, found rot on the siding, replaced some rot and reinforcements. So our change orders are currently at $18k and we aren't done yet. Things happen when walls come down and you don't know what's behind them.

Oh well. I hope this works out okay. We are in so deep that we can't turn back now. Whatever it's worth I think if I escape under $100k I'll be happy right now. I don't think we should be that much further over I am going to guess $85k all in. But don't hold me to this. I'll continue updates and more importantly I'll post photos when it's done. I can't wait.

basement financial update

October 24th, 2017 at 08:51 pm

Well we added a few things to the basement repair. Another $8500. That means we are up to around $60k at least? We were at $52k including all tax. And I'm pretty sure we have another change order and more money going out. This is on top of the $3700 for garage doors. So we are at least out $65k. Wow my initial $75k budget is looking pretty close to target. Also we're not finishing by Thanksgiving although they did say for sure Christmas. So my initial estimate of Christmas seems appropriate as well.

The new windows are almost all installed except for the bathroom. The contractor ordered the wrong window without frosted glass so it's on him to reorder it. I didn't do anything with the window order.

I did however score an extra 5% off my garage doors in the form of a Costco cash card because I ordered my doors 9/29/17 and on 10/2/17 the sign went from 10% cash back card to 15% for the month of October. So I called and asked for my extra 5% back. I got it and scored another $100. Which okay in the grand scheme of things isn't a lot, but it made my day.

Things that have changed during our renovations included a rotted shower in the bathroom so new framing needed entirely and a tile floor for shower instead of shower pan. Rotted supports under the stairs that needed replacing. Moving a support for the door that we didn't know was there. Opening the walls and realizing there was minimal insulation so we asked they fully insulate the house. Replacing the water heater, which we thought they knew we wanted and quoted us, they didn't but then they are doing it. Adding the cabinets to the laundry we were going to have done by someone else but they ended up doing it is the $8500. I haven't mentioned every little thing but you can see how it quickly adds us.

Of course we aren't done yet. Let's see if we can stay within the $75k I budgeted it's getting close and I'm stressing out with the timeline.

3 weeks in

October 14th, 2017 at 03:25 pm

So we are 3 weeks into the renovation. I can say that because I am at the laundromat for the 3rd time and I have 2 hours of me time to write this post. DH and the kids are still sleeping and I am up in the quiet of the laundromat. Sounds crazy but it's nice.

Basement 1

Basement 2

Basement 3

Basement 4

Garage 1

Garage 2

Doesn't look like a lot has been accomplished but seriously it has.

We did make some changes and some things cropped up of course unexpectedly. The shower when torn out was completely rotted. No idea until they tore it out. Guess there was a leak or something. So the frame basically fell apart when they took it out.

There wasn't insulation behind the super thin paneling and we had to reframe the door to the laundry because we couldn't get the washer and dryer in after we put in drywall. Wasn't big enough. So the door and tile had to be redone. Lucky we found matching tile. We did manage to flow the laundry perfectly with dryer, washer, sink by flipping the door on our dryer.

The door we were moving from the garage to house had a major support beam in the way. So we are putting in new supports and still moving the door. We found live 220 wires behind the walls when they opened it up that had never been capped.

We have to figure out what to do the garage. With side loading garage door openers I don't think we have the temp lights that normally are on garage openers. So we won't have lights when we drive in. We have two lights in the garage but we'd have to jump out of the car to turn it on or leave it on. We're researching options because we are thinking of getting a sensor that can tell us if we leave the garage door open. We are also trying to iron out the mudroom we are trying to create in Garage 2 picture.

The window just came in. I am praying we are done with this project by Decemeber 21st. My parents come to town and I want it done or done enough they can stay in the basement. If not it'll be cramped. They did say thanksgiving but when has anything ever run on time? I don't have enough experience to know if they under or over estimated the time budget. I am assuming they just hire more guys if they are tight on time and need to start the next job? Or do they just start working weekends?

My Macy's Nightmare

October 5th, 2017 at 04:51 am

So in August we bought a new bedroom set from Macy's to fit our new king size mattress. The total cost of the set, it was a large annual sale, was $2866.60 including a $200 delivery fee and sales tax.

So where was the headache? I tried to place the order using the gift cards I bought for 8% off on gift card granny and it worked. But I wanted to leave enough to put on a macy's credit card I opened that would allow me to get 20% back up to a maximum of $100. I figured we don't care about our credit anymore so why not.

Anyway while I could place the order it took me over 4 days to do so including calling from Asia in the crazy early morning hours to place the order because even though I opened a credit card with macy's and was approved they wouldn't let me charge on it. I was upset and asked for the 20% discount and they refused. They said I could deal with it upon getting back and before delivery.

Well I tried before September 2nd. No matter what I did they couldn't fix the issue and they said to have it delivered then worry about the payment.

So now over 1 month later it's still not resolved. You are probably going WTF. Well they've been trying to figure out what went wrong but they can't. So I got free delivery out of it back in August $200 when I placed the order.

Then they tried to deliver the parts of the mirror above the dresser and twice they didn't get the right parts. So I got it this week in the mail after 1 month. DH put it together because after waiting for delivery 2x more and still messing up we were pissed. Another $100 came off the price.

I'm still waiting for Macy's to Balance transfer the amount they charged me to the macy's card so they can retroactively give me the $100 or 20%. Seriously. I am in dispute on my CC because I had refused payment and more importantly I wasn't sure what I was being charged because I still 1 month later do not have a receipt. Yes I am not lying. I do not have a receipt showing what I bought and how much it costs.

Macy's is the worse. I mean seriously I have to wonder if it's even worth all these headaches for the discounts. I mean I probably all in am around $2230 in gift cards. So about 20% off the $2866 purchase price but the stress and headache have not been good. I was waiting to write this post until it was resolved, but I seriously can't wait. Besides the face the woman helping me says it'll still take another 10-14 business days! OMG.

I hope this is done before the end of the month.

9/27 renovations start - too many decisions

September 29th, 2017 at 06:29 am

So i'm going to journal this so we can see how it goes. Renovations start and the signed contract was for $46k. $15k down payment $15k midway, and $15k upon completion. I just signed the garage doors for $3700 installation of 2 new doors and side openers. That's charged to Costco visa.

Right now we are trying to decide about custom cabinets and tile for the shower. We are also choosing the gas fireplace insert and I need to order a water heater. Also we took down the walls so we could move the garage entry door to the home but there is a support beam. I need to make a decision tomorrow. As well as decide where to put all our outlets we want in the garage and basement. I also need to determine if 30" walkway is enough between washer/dryer and cabinets facing them.

We started 3 days earlier than anticipated. According to our contract we are supposed to finish by Thanksgiving. Right now almost all demolition is finished. They are about to start framing.

Did I mention my DH has been traveling for a week internationally and I haven't been able to talk to him? I also finished moving everything into our storage unit without him but I ended up throwing stuff into my outback and driving his car because I don't have carseats in mine. I'm so tired I can't even do another storage run till this weekend.

And until they can put it back we don't have a washing machine and dryer. On Wednesday they couldn't move it because that morning my DK2 peed in bed and I couldn't stand it so I stripped it and immediately started the wash. They gave me a day to finish the load and I took all night to wash as many loads as possible. I was up to 1 am.

Cross your fingers we're done by Christmas my parents are coming and I need the space back as well as the laundry.

Renovations starting

September 17th, 2017 at 03:15 pm

So we start October 2nd our basement/garage remodel. We signed a contract and put down $15,000 deposit. After the drywall is up we pay another $10,000, and after all work is done we finalize our payment. Right now as it stands we are signed on for ~$47,000 to finish our garage, replace all windows, remodel our bathroom.

This does not include new garage doors which was quoted at $3700 from Costco installer or cabinetry in the laundry, family room, and garage. The cabinets in laundry we were quote $3250 from closet factory. They also quoted us $3000 for family room and mudroom/garage $3000. We haven't decided exactly what we are doing either.

We also only have a $3500 allowance for gas fireplace which could cost more with the gas line and installation. Also we have some low tile allowances so depending on what we choose we will run over.

I'm budgeting $75k for this project though right now the numbers are looking more like $65k. I figure 10% over run is to be expected and if I can stay close to that 10% I'll be happy.

Time frame we are looking at is being done they said by Thanksgiving. They have other projects they already have booked to start so they don't want to dawdle any longer than they have to. I'm nervous about anything they could find.

This is a pretty big project. We have to move everything out of the garage and basement before we start. This weekend we've been sorting what we want to put into storage and what we want to keep. We are renting a 10x10 unit drive up for $148/month with $1 rental the first month. We wanted a pod but our driveway didn't seem to have quite enough space for a pod + dumpster and deliveries. So we were forced into a storage unit. The storage of our stuff if it's 3 months should be ~$450 plus the moving truck rental.

I'm hoping to get this photo thing working then I can document the stages we got through. Another cost is our washing machine will be out of service so I'll be forced to use a laundromat eek.

Estimate #1 and #2 oh dear....

July 23rd, 2017 at 03:50 pm

So we put in the gas line for $700 and water pressure regulator valve for $700. I am feeling like things are crawling along. But slowly.

What we need to do is drywall/sheetrock the garage because it's a fire hazard and not up to code. The garage doors don't open and are also not up to code. The estimate from Costco for the garage doors is $3500.

Then redo the laundry room and put in new cabinets and windows and tear out the paneling.

And redo the bathroom downstairs as well.

So all new windows and paneling, moulding, trim, walls and ceiling. The ceiling is broken in multiple places. The garage is overinsulated but without the fire barrier. The rec room in the basement needs the same too.

So yes these are wants/needs. But we need to get the fire barrier up it's for our safety. It's grandfathered in since the house is 1966. But hey who wants to die in a fire? Plus the garage opener is improperly placed in the garage and could easily catch fire.

Long term fixing the windows will make it more efficient to the heat and cool the home. But the cost? We also are getting insulation put in the attic and 2 tube skylights.

So we got our first two estimates. The first estimate was completely over the top. It was $75-90k rec room, Laundry $20-30k, Bathroom $25-30k, and garage $7-10k. Meaning we were looking at low end $127k. That's ridiculous.

The second estimate has come in at $54k. I'm not sure if that's more reasonable or low. We still have two more bids coming in.

So DH is now suggesting he gets back into home repair and start to tackle some of this himself. I think we have someone do the drywall and sheetrock and moulding and then we do the cabinets and stuff ourselves. We haven't sat down yet with the estimates since we're still waiting. He's also suggested he do the fan and insulation in the attic since he's done it on our last house. He can also do the cabinets but we'll need to hire a handyman to help him since last time I did it. This time with the kids it's a lot harder to find the time.

I'm struggling because we can afford it. Should we just pay someone else to do it? Should we do some of it? Stuff we've paid so far well we've never tackled real plumbing. Not changing a flap or new seal on toilet or tightening a bolt. But valve and gas lines? I don't think we can do the garage doors ourselves either but maybe I'm wrong. And for $3500 I thought it wasn't a bad price for 2 doors, 2 openers, installation and disposal.

I always hear about how people did their renovations on the cheap. I don't understand how it can be done so cheap.