TGBR – Contractor Talk

Yesterday, I showed you guys pix of the empty basement.  Today, let’s talk about who is going to fill that basement up with gorgeous rooms, flooring, and a suspended ceiling.

Thus far, we have had 4 contractors come in and look at the emptied basement.  I didn’t meet with the first guy – Meemaw coordinated all that – and he glanced around for a hot minute and gave us an estimate of 3k for the entire thing, bathroom and all.  Dude must’ve been smoking crack because I’m estimating 700 sq ft of flooring alone at 1.5k, low-end.

The second contractor spent a great deal more time in there, took measurements, sketched out my idea, then took over a week with the estimate and laid a 17k price tag at my feet – not including electrical or flooring.  Dude must’ve also been smoking some crack because we’re not dropping that much moolah, especially since over half of his estimate was in labor costs alone.

It looks like we’re probably going to be going with a combo of contractors #3 and #4.  The third guy we had in is my mom’s friend’s son KC, who recently completed a basement renovation over at his sister’s house.  He’s not a professional with the 20 years experience of guy #2, but he provided us with samples of his work and they were very nicely done.  The perk with KC, other than the low prices, is the fact that he is going to teach Canadian Bacon and I the ends and outs of framing, drywalling, laying a floor, and hanging a suspended ceiling.  This will truly be a DIY effort led by someone with experience.  CB and I really wanted to be involved in the building and this way we will be able to.

The only catch is, #3 has no plumbing expertise and so we are going to hire out the whole bathroom area to another contractor.  That will be professionally done, at a much higher price I am sure, but you don’t screw around with plumbing.  That brings us to contractor #4, who has done several jobs for Meemaw before.  This guy and his son built Sugarbandit’s ramp two summers ago, and about ten years ago they renovated the upstairs full bath, redid the plumbing, and laid new subflooring.  It makes sense to me to have the same guys who did the upstairs bathroom plumbing do the new downstairs bathroom plumbing also.   Number 4 will be here today to go over plumbing plans and give us an estimate.

We are planning on starting the living area very soon – perhaps next week!  KC said he thinks it will only take us 3-5 days to finish everything in there.  Then it will be up to #4 to get the bathroom done and we will have a completed apartment.

Meemaw says she can’t wait for us to be living there with her.  I know it’s comforting to her and SB to have me and CB hanging out downstairs, even with all the banging around we’ve been doing as we demo things. One day last week, Sugarbandit’s sugar dropped and he slid to the floor and fortunately we were there to help them deal with that.  I’m sure they also enjoy us running around on their errands, doing their shopping, and delivering meals!

Meemaw has to have surgery later this month to correct a blockage in her carotid artery, and I’m hoping we’re there by then to be useful when she recuperates, so the whole family doesn’t have to do the usual dance of who-is-staying-with-who-when.  Let’s hope we get a fast turnaround on the bathroom!

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