Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I've Dug A Hole For Myself Again

Out of sheer frustration at the amount of work needed to rehabilitate my condo and because I'm not so handy (I don't even own a power drill), I contacted a highly recommended general contractor to do some work for me. My list was initially short and modest. But as I was going through the work that needed to be done, I started adding in extras that I wanted.

Here was my original "need-to-do" list:
1.) Fix garage door opener and hardware ($650);
2.) Patch drywall and paint ceilings/walls and replace baseboards ($5,000);
3.) Replace corroded pipes under sinks ($1,000);
4.) Replace broken fire door ($950);
5.) Get HVAC/furnace serviced ($100 + repairs extra);
6.) Remove heavily soiled carpeting and replace ($4,000);
7.) Replace kitchen sink and broken garbage disposal ($1,325);
8.) Refinish tubs in master and guest bathroom ($1,650).
TOTAL: $14,675

Not too crazy, right? After all, most of those items were recommended by my inspector.

As I was walking through the condo explaining my needs, my mouth detached from my brain and started spouting off stuff I wanted done as well. Suddenly, I no longer wanted carpet; I wanted hardwood floors. I couldn't live with the ugly fluorescent lights -- I wanted recessed pot lights in the living room and kitchen. I also wanted a ceiling fan with lights in the master and guest bedroom, which requires additional electrical work. The drab laundry room needed some pizzaz, so I wanted a glass backsplash added to the walls between the cabinets. And here's the pièce de résistance -- I want the guest bathroom entirely remodeled because the fiberglass tub is old and cracked.


I'll let you fine folks guess how much my revamped rehab/remodel job is going to cost me. I'm a bit depressed right now to tell you how I intend to finance this as well, but as I'm sure you've already guessed, I'm going back into consumer debt.



Michelle P said...

I'm sorry. Have you ever looked at Young House Love? They have a ton of DIY inspiration.

ej2akind said...

Home updates/repairs can be expensive, but I'm surprised by the prices you put on a couple of them. Replace corroded pipes under sinks does not sound like a $1000 job. How many sinks are we talking about? $5000 for painting and baseboards? How big is your place? Re-finishing tubs is an expensive short term fix that is not worth the money. I say "slow down" and research your contractors thoroughly. Prioritize your jobs and get 2-3 estimates before moving forward. Garage, fire door, and furnace/hvac service seem like a high priority. Take your time and begin to build relationships with contractors. I don't recommend hiring someone because a friend said they used them. It's your house now and it's your money that's being spent. Buying a home is exciting, but don't plan on getting everything 'perfect' right away.

Shtinkykat said...

The plumbing work also includes removing and replacing 10 angle stops and supply lines, including those at the fridge line and the laundry room. I too was surprised at the cost of the paint job but it's not just a prime coat + paint job. In addition to the standard paint work, the contractor needs to remove all nails and patch the holes (which there are many), cut out damaged drywall and replace.

With respect to DIY, considering that I haven't done any in the past, I'm a bit leery. But once I've moved in, I'm definitely considering it.

spiffikins said...

I would second ej2akind's comment - do the crucial things first and then save up and plan for the rest.

When I moved into my house, I replaced the carpet before I moved in, mostly because what was there was gross and because I reasoned that it had to be easier to replace the carpet before I moved furniture and boxes into 3 bedrooms :)

Other than that, I *had* to get a toilet replaced since it wasn't low-flow (regulations in my area).

I have a list of things I want to get done - but I'm doing them bit by bit.

Plus I also had to buy a washer, dryer and fridge when I moved in - and furniture - since my existing furniture consisted of a folding table, 2 dressers and a bed.

You have loads of time - you don't have to do everything at once!