How do we contractor?
March 30, 2014 9:35 AM Subscribe
We are buying a house -yay! But the house needs renovation work done - eek! While we have previously owned a house, it was 10 years ago, in another state, and never had any major renovations. We are scheduled to close on April 30, so we are trying to figure out what kinds of professionals we need and how to find/hire them.
posted by DiscourseMarker to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The house was built in the 20s, and seems to be generally sound structurally, according to the inspector and our agent (who is a former contractor). But the interior hasn't been updated since the 70s, and the exterior hasn't been painted in....a while. Luckily, we have time to get work done before we move in, because the lease on our current apartment is not up until Aug 31, although we would prefer to move in before that.
The things we want/need to get done are the following, in order of importance:
1) Completely renovate the upstairs full bath. Everything must go, and I do mean everything: tub, tile, toilet, sink, floor, wallpaper (oy, the wallpaper!). The ugly hurts.
2) Exterior paint & minor repairs. As mentioned, it doesn't seem to have been painted in a while, and there are definitely a few places where some fascia boards will need to be repaired/replaced. Needs to get done before the next fall/winter.
3) Kitchen renovation. The kitchen isn't quite as ugly as the bathroom, but it is very outdated, and not all the appliances work. At a minimum we would replace the appliances and wait to do the rest, but ideally we would replace all the cabinets and the counter tops. In addition, if we renovate we will need to do electrical work, as there are no GFCI outlets in the kitchen and are required by the code. We also want to change some of the lighting in the kitchen.
4) Paneling removal/drywall installation in the basement (finished basement had to have some paneling removed due to termites, so we will want to just get rid of the rest of it and replace with drywall).
5) Floor refinishing. We are confident we can rip up the old shag carpeting ourselves, but want a professional to refinish the oak floors before we move in.
We are planning to do all interior painting ourselves to save money, but there are two rooms with some vinyl wallpaper (looks to be only 1 layer). If possible, I'd like to remove that myself, but if it's gong to damage the walls to do so, I will pay a professional.
So based on the things we want to do, we are trying to figure out the most cost effective and efficient way to go about hiring people for the renovations. Is it better to find one general contractor to handle everything? Is that even possible? Or a contractor for the inside work, and a house painting company for the exterior? I also saw that Home Depot has kitchen renovation services - are these worth looking at, or is a contractor better?
If we end up with a contractor, what's the best way to approach the work? We have a budget of about $50K, and I'm not sure that we'll be able to get everything done for that. Ideally I'd like to know what each bullet would cost, so we could pick and choose based on priorities. How detailed will a contractor's estimate be?
Any other useful things we should know going in to this process? Also, if you have an recommendations for professionals in the general Boston/Cambridge area, please feel free to memail me
Thanks in advance!