Builders and other revelations.

As you may have suspected, the previous posts are playing catch-up to what’s happening in “real time” on our renovation.  I am feeling a bit guilty keeping you in the dark, and need to come clean:  We are into the second week of demolition (of the interior)!  THIS MORNING THERE WAS A CRANE LIFTING THE MASSIVE CHIMNEY INSERT THROUGH THE ROOF!  There, I said it.  Now we can all relax…Yes, of course you will get a photo update as well, but all in due time, all. in. due. time.

There’s just a few more things to talk about before the demolition slide-show.  You still haven’t heard about our finding a builder, and how that process influenced the project!  Okay, so back when we felt comfortable with the “generous” floor plan, as well as with floor plans noting changes made to the basement and upper level, AND totally revamped exterior, we needed to move to the next step.  Find a builder to bid the work.  John, our architect, has worked with various builders on other projects, so we met with two he recommended.  They were both knowledgeable and thorough in their preparation, spending hours to best understand the house and the work to be done.  It took awhile, but when the numbers started to roll in, it was a major reality check.  Both builders knew our target budget of 100k (no more secrets!).  Builder #1 was annoyed, and got hung up on little things, like us not having decided on the exact puck-light placement under the cabinets, or baseboards with or without base shoe.  Without those things figured out, how could he provide us with an accurate bid?  Builder #2 was courteous and understanding of our hope to keep costs down.  Where Builder #1 had a furrowed brow, Builder #2 had a smile and the confidence to work things out.  It came down to the fact that I basically really liked Builder #2.  It was an easy decision.  His name is Jay.

Budget woes.  With bid information, we had to get more creative.  We nixed a bunch of cabinets and built-ins, and decided to shop for the necessary ones at ikea.  We had originally planned on an ikea kitchen, which suits the house, but the island was first planned in custom walnut cabinetry.  Now, it too would be built from ikea cabinets, and only faced in walnut on the sides facing out.  The range was first planned in the island, but relocated on the wall with the sink to save costs associated with an island hood and the extra venting.  We nixed other “wants” like the basement bathroom and new storage, cabinet refacing in the upper baths and fancy sliding doors separating the laundry  and loft areas.  We also decided to hold off a bit on the exterior improvements, which can wait until later in the spring.  Decisions continue to be made.  Just yesterday, John, Jay, and I finally found the perfect flooring for the entire main level:


From left, premium maple, #2 grade maple, #3 grade maple. We all like the #2 grade, with some variation, and overall lighter tones.



John (left), and Jay.

You now know our architect, our builder and our budget.  All three play a big part in this adventure!

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