No, I haven't moved to California - but I am saying "peace" to my not-yet-hired contractor. For now anyway. I am so sick of people telling me "well, this is a high cost of living area" when I am pulling my hair out over an estimate. Yeah, I get it, OK. I lived in Manhattan for over a year - I KNOW what a high cost of living area is. I expect to pay more for my house and my milk, fine, I get it. But, what I don't understand is why renovating a house costs 2x as much in Washington, DC than it does in Nashville, TN. It shouldn't. A 2x4 from Lowe's does not cost twice the price, nor does a granite counter.
Salvation came this week in a nice man named Jorge. Jorge is a painter (who painted our neighbors house and did an amazing and quick job) and came to our house last night to give us an estimate for painting the house and fixing some exterior molding around the windows. He looked at the house, asked about 10 questions, and gave us a quote. Done and done. Then, he asked if we would like to get our own paint to save money and make sure we were getting the quality we wanted. Um, yes. He told us the number and Dan and I looked at each other with twinkles in our eyes, trying to keep poker faces. Sure, sounds good. Jorge then told us he was sorry but he could not start for three weeks. Since we haven't picked a color yet - that is for the best. We showed him to the door and squealed with delight!!! His estimate was UNDER, UNDER our budget. Not only that, but it included extras...for no extra!! I said, oh, and can you paint this gate? Sure, he said - same price.
Another glorious estimate was given by Roy, a hardwood floor guy. He came in 25% less than Dude. Fantastic! This was also under what we had budgeted.
So, it looks like in about a month we could have hardwood floors upstairs, and. . . a freshly painted house!!! Weeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!