Monday, August 07, 2006

Doing it ourselves... sort of

Last Tues I called the contractor who gave us estimates for several home improvements. I let him know we were ready to begin getting some of the projects started and asked him to come by when he could to review the project list again and prioritize it. He said he was available that evening so we arranged for him to come over.

From our conversation I understood he was going to bring us some samples of flooring and countertops for our kitchen, but when he arrived he did not have any samples. Instead, he suggested we go to home improvement stores, flooring stores, and granite suppliers and write down the materials we were interested in. Then he could tailor the earlier estimate using the cost of the materials we selected.

So Wed evening Joe & I went to a carpet and flooring store and looked at 'floating' laminate floor samples. We were pretty sure we wanted a 'floating' floor because our current kitchen floor has multiple uneven layers of tile that we do not want to have to pay to be removed. A slate, stone, or ceramic tile floor would require the removal of the old floor. A 'floating' floor can be installed over top of what is there. We found a laminate we liked and got a price on the materials; less than we expected. The David the salesman told us that this particular brand of floor was professionally installed by an employee of the manufacturer, NOT a local flooring contractor, and that it had a great warranty. When we got an estimate for the materials and installation, it was still less than we expected, based on the estimate we'd gotten from our contractor guy. We decided to think about it.

Thurs evening we went to a granite outlet and looked at granite slabs. After getting price information, we had Monica give us an estimate based on the countertop measurements and drawing I'd brought with us. It was less than we expected, based on the estimate from our contractor guy. This made us seriously question our contractor guy's pricing and ability to provide estimates. We took Monica's printed estimate and told her we'd sleep on it.

On Fri afternoon we went to another granite outlet and got another estimate. It was closer to Monica's estimate than to our contractor guy's estimate. So we decided the contractor guy was history. We could do better by doing it ourselves. We went back to the carpet and flooring place and told David we wanted to move forward with his material and installation estimate. He agreed to come to the house that evening to take the actual measurements. Then we called Monica and told her we wanted to move forward with the granite countertops, new stainless steel sink and faucet she'd quoted for us. Tomorrow we are taking a check to David's store and signing the contract. On Wed Monica is sending the person to take the actual countertop measurements. In less than 2 weeks we'll have a beautiful new 'floating' floor that looks like a cross between travertine and light slate, and we'll have beautiful new granite counters and a new stainless steel sink and faucet.

Drag Queen name of the day: Paige Turner

1 comment:

Bugsy (aka Joe) said...

Sounds great! I can hardly wait to see the results!