I met with contractor #1 yesterday about the big projects we have coming up, and as it turns out, he’s the contractor. As in, I’m not even going to meet with any others, and I’ll explain exactly why that is.
When he walked into the house, he said right away, “Wow! Y’all have already done a lot of work on this house!” But of course, he didn’t assume that I had actually done the work with my own hands. He naturally assumed that I had hired out all of the work. When he found out that I had actually DIYed those rooms myself (with the exception of a few projects here and there, which I told him about), he was absolutely blown away, and even asked if he could snap some pictures of my hallway bathroom. 😀
As a side note, that’s the second time that’s happened in the last week or so. A few nights ago, my neighbor saw me unloading lumber from my truck and came over to see if he could help me. Then we chatted for a bit about remodeling in general, and I invited him in to see the progress I’ve made on the house. He was also blown away. Genuinely blown away. (You can tell when people are being genuine and when they’re just being kind. Know what I mean?)
And I have to admit that it has felt really good having two men within the last week (one who has been remodeling his own house, and the other who actually owns a remodeling/building business and is a licensed general contractor) be genuinely impressed with my work. It makes me think that perhaps I should be taking the necessary steps to become a licensed general contractor myself. Perhaps this town could use a female general contractor. 😀
Anyway, moving on. Here are the details of my meeting with the contractor yesterday.
The scope of the work
I only talked with him about the first two “phases” of the big remodel/building projects we have planned.
There are five in total:
- The garage conversion to my studio with the half bath in the back.
- The removal of the existing sunroom and tiny master bathroom, the conversion of the current master bedroom into a master bathroom, and the addition of a new master bedroom, laundry room, and family room.
- The changes to the front of the house to extend the front porch and add more character. (You can click here and see the general plan we have for the front changes.)
- Pouring the driveway and building the carport.
- Building my workshop.
Those are the five big phases that we’ll be tackling over the next three years or so, but for the immediate future, we’re only focusing on the first two.
The Before and After Floor Plans
If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already gotten a glimpse of the floor plan I showed the contractor yesterday. I’ve been showing piecemeal floor plans on the blog lately, and I’m sure it’s been very confusing for some of you. But before meeting with the contractor, I wanted to have a very clear “current” and “after” floor plan to show him what I’m wanting to do.
Here’s the “current” floor plan I showed him…
There might be a detail here and there that I’ve overlooked, but that’s a completely updated floor plan showing all of the changes I’ve made to the house thus far.
And here is the plan that I showed him of the areas we want changed and added…
Now here’s the big question that everyone wants to know, right? How much is all of this going to cost?
I’ll admit that I was prepared for the cost of the addition. That wasn’t a surprise to me. But the cost of the garage conversion with the half bath was definitely a surprise. The numbers he gave me are very much just a general idea of the cost. In other words, it’s not like he gave me detailed, line item quotes for each project. He just wanted me to have a general idea of what kind of budget we’re looking at for each one.
He also gave me general quotes based on me being completely hands off, and him and his subcontractors handling every single thing right down to every detail and handing me these rooms completely finished and ready to decorate, which we all know isn’t going to happen. So these numbers are on the high end, but here they are:
- Addition with the new master bedroom, laundry room and family room: $70,000
- Garage conversion with added half bath: $25,000
I was totally prepared for the addition cost. In fact, after I explained to him everything we wanted done on that side of the house, he said, “Now I want you to tell me how much you think this is going to cost.” I said, “Well, we were thinking about $70,000,” and he said, “Exactly! That’s the number I was thinking!”
But for some reason, the cost of the garage conversion kind of floored me. I mean, I know that plumbing that back room for a half bath is a lot of work (maybe even $5000 just for that), but other than that, I just couldn’t see $20,000 worth of work there. But that’s okay, because it won’t end up costing that much anyway. As I said, those numbers are for turnkey remodels where they do the entire thing, start to finish, every detail included, and hand it over to me ready to move furniture into and decorate.
The plan of action
After giving me those numbers, he said, “But Kristi, I just really don’t think you need me.” I think after seeing the scope of the projects I’ve already tackled myself, he knew I could handle being much more hands on during these projects. So he suggested that we basically act as co-general contractors, which could save me tens of thousands of dollars in the end.
Co-general contractors. My ears perked up at that suggestion, because of course, I love to be as hands-on as possible. And I’m kind a bossy. And a control freak. And a micro-manager. 😀
So what exactly does that mean? Well, it means that he’d be the one pulling the permits and negotiating on pricing for subs and materials when needed. He’d also give me a general idea of the order in which things need to be done. But I’d be the one actually placing orders for materials, making sure the materials are on site when they’re needed, scheduling the subs, working directly with the subs to be sure things are getting done, etc. And then, of course, I’d do much of the work myself, like I’ve been doing in the rest of the house.
I think that sounds incredibly exciting! And I think it would make for a much more interesting process for you, my awesome readers, to follow along. I mean, how exciting would it be for me to be completely hands off on this process? I wouldn’t imagine that would be interesting at all. So doing it this way, we’ll all get a much closer look at the process, and I’ll also be sharing the ups and downs of acting as your own contractor on big remodel jobs.
I’m excited about it. And I really love this contractor. He’s super high energy and clearly knows his stuff. He’s been in business for about 30 years, is well known in the area, and has great customer feedback. His company screens their subs very well to make sure all of them have the proper licensing, insurance, workman’s comp, and everything else they need to be sure that the job is done right, and I really like that.
This is going to be a fun adventure. I’m sure I’ll want to cry at times, but that just comes with the territory. It’ll be worth it in the end.
If all goes as planned, we’ll be starting the big addition this fall. I’m not sure when the garage conversion will happen, but Matt is pretty anxious for me to get people over here and started on that pretty soon. So we’ll see!
Filed Under: Our House
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