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Considering a remodel? You might want to wait.
Old 04-14-2021, 06:07 PM   #21
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Considering a remodel? You might want to wait.

Your power to get things done is dependent on specific damage and/or reward dates of completion spelled out in your original contract and how much money you withhold at various stages of completion. Donít pay more than 25%, 50% and 75% and so on until at least that much of the final project is actually complete. Itís best to still be holding the last 20% or more when he states heís done until inspections are completed and you use it awhile to know nothing is missed. If you handle construction this way you will be a priority customer at the top of his list.
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:25 PM   #22
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Ooh, thanks for the warning! We were going to expand our garage this year, but decided to put it off. I'm glad we did! I do have some contractor referrals for here in the Twin Cities from other people if you want to try a different contractor, just drop me a PM. Good luck getting this project done!
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Old 04-14-2021, 06:46 PM   #23
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Ooh, thanks for the warning! We were going to expand our garage this year, but decided to put it off. I'm glad we did! I do have some contractor referrals for here in the Twin Cities from other people if you want to try a different contractor, just drop me a PM. Good luck getting this project done!
I second those thanks!

I have been thinking about having all the windows in my house replaced this spring, but these stories are giving me pause. I may rethink and wait a year until folks get their "Covid/lockdown home improvements" out of their systems.

Granted, the house is small and only has 10 windows total (1971 ranch) but they are old single-pane windows (probably the original windows).

If I had to wait and wait for the work to be done I would be incredibly annoyed. It's not something that can't wait another year.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:09 PM   #24
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Cabinetry and kitchen refacing is my personal business. I keep it small with only myself doing the work. I believe that puts my clients at ease as I'm a one stop shop. A refacing is a pretty straightforward process. I get appx 1/4 down and the balance when I'm done.

A deposit gets them in the schedule and doors made. I then prime & paint them prior to doing demo. 1 week or less (after doors are complete) is a typical kitchen refacing and backsplash in my typical job. Clients are back in business in 5-7 days...

Most refacings with new doors and backsplash have been coming in around $7-8k + countertops (usually $3-5k) + appliances for POR.

Materials are up 10-15% over the past year, but not like lumber thankfully.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/gvm53NdGytYUoEkPA
Beautiful work.

I've seen it here, in addition to real estate exploding the remodeling people are going full bore. Some started pre-covid and is still going. There's a row of 8 homes with awesome views, half had major expansions over the last 3 years, some took 2 years. These places were 600-700 range before the expansions, they're all 2-3x that now.

A home we walk by just went through a massive expansion. When we saw them excavating at first we thought it was a new home in the next lot was being built. No this home doubled in size.

BIL needed some foundation walls fixed in their summer place. He's dumping hundreds of K into this adventure. It sounds kind of like the OP's situation, a never ending job with poor communications. He's been on-site for months to try and gain some control to no avail.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:28 PM   #25
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Wow, such beautiful work! Amazing!

And hoping the OP's work gets finished soon. Contractors can be a nightmare. When we were going to build a home after our first one burned down we had a horrible time getting contractors to show up just to even begin the project. It was awful. And that was long ago, pre-Covid. I can't even imagine trying to keep on top of a contractor now. And then the materials difficulties on top of everything...

Keep us posted on your project!
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:32 PM   #26
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I'm @ 9 months since contract for a (relatively) simple pool. Everything is taking longer. Everything that was supposed to happen week after week is month after month. Walking, not sprinting.

Yes, this is the worst time to be doing this, everyone is doing upgrades. But yeah a good GC - one throat to choke - is mandatory in the best of times.

At the end of it all, if schedule overruns are the only lasting issue, count yourself lucky. Remodels almost always far exceed schedule in the best of times.
In The Villages FL the big local pool company has a 5 to 6 month backlog before they will come out to give a quote! I wonder what the backlog is for actually building/installing a pool after the contract is signed.
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Old 04-14-2021, 07:43 PM   #27
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Sangiovese, unfortunately around here, without a down payment cheque, you won't get on a schedule or get materials ordered. It's risky, but it is also the reason that I let a roofing contract to higher price bid since I felt more confident that they could deliver. I guess that we shall see in the next month whether that was a good decision.
When I last had a house roofed, I asked the roofer to give me a list of supplies to have delivered. I had the shingles, tar paper, nails, etc. there the next day, and I directly paid for those supplies. The roofer was out no money out of pocket.

When good roofers show up, they'll most often tear off the old roof in one day. And they're roofing it the next day. And I pay them when the job is complete. He's not out any pay as he does the job so fast and he's not paying his help until Friday.

My "new" home is now 12 years old, and I expect to have to roof it within another 3-4 years. The biggest problem will be finding a roofing crew for a fair price. The prices being charged for roofing is getting higher all the time. I'm not above paying good money, but don't rip me off.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:26 PM   #28
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Your power to get things done is dependent on specific damage and/or reward dates of completion spelled out in your original contract and how much money you withhold at various stages of completion. Donít pay more than 25%, 50% and 75% and so on until at least that much of the final project is actually complete. Itís best to still be holding the last 20% or more when he states heís done until inspections are completed and you use it awhile to know nothing is missed. If you handle construction this way you will be a priority customer at the top of his list.
While your thoughts are sound, the world has changed. Good luck finding someone to give you a contract with those terms. Unfortunately, itís a contractorís market. If you call them out for a quote and start talking about terms and conditions, they will lose patience with you and youíll never see them again. Of course you could add a premium to the price and you may get their attention, but in general, the buyer just doesnít have much, if any, leverage in the current environment.

Similar to buying a house. Used to be the seller would price the house and a buyer would offer something less and a negotiation would ensue. Now, the seller prices the house and the houses sell for more than asking price. Things have changed.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:50 PM   #29
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Contractor work for household improvements is extremely tough right now. These guys were shut down for months in the early stages of Covid-19 when no one wanted anyone near their houses. Then, everyone was awash in helicopter money and decided that staying home a lot justified home improvements. So all that pent up demand started being released a few months ago and there is a huge backlog. Throw in the supply chain disruptions and free money for unemployment (they can't get workers) and it is quite a mess.

We've been renovating the summer house, built by FIL in the early 1970s, and have had fits. We need a roof repair and have a really good roofer that replaced the whole thing two years ago (the repair has nothing to do with their work) and he came out but won't commit to anything.

Our bathroom and powder room renovations are now 4 months late because our contractor is late on his current job (he can't get windows and other materials delivered on time due to Covid) and he had Covid-19 and then some other medical issues.

It will take a while for the Covid-19 disruption to work their way through the system. Hopefully government actions won't make it worse, but I'm not optimistic.
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Considering a remodel? You might want to wait.
Old 04-14-2021, 09:08 PM   #30
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Considering a remodel? You might want to wait.

I appreciate all the well-wishes. We can see the finish line, so we arenít going to change horses at this point, even though Iíve certainly had my ďmoments.Ē

The latest cluster is, two weeks ago, we had a kitchen full of young fellows who were the electrical subs. Not one was wearing a mask. Turns out, one had been exposed, so our construction company owner pulled her related employees off of all job sites for two weeks, including our on-site manager who barely wears a mask himself. (DW and I are vaccinated). So, nothing substantial is happening this week here, losing more time. We only learned about the situation when we emailed the owner to say we hadnít seen the on-site guy in quite a while.

Iím telling ya, donít be me. Wait. Iíd ask if anyone knows a good PTSD doctor but, fortunately, trout season starts Saturday, so I will be making myself scarce soon, probably to DWís relief.
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Old 04-14-2021, 09:41 PM   #31
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Most refacings with new doors and backsplash have been coming in around $7-8k + countertops (usually $3-5k) + appliances for POR.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/gvm53NdGytYUoEkPA
'"POR"?
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:54 AM   #32
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Threads like this remind me how nice and stress free it is to be a competent DIYer. I shingled my own house and garage (2 days each) with a little help, saved at least $4000 in labour or $1000 a day.

I also did my own (well, 90% of it) major reno. I probably saved $30k by doing most of the work myself over 6 months. I actually could have done it in about 2 months but wasn't in a major hurry and still had a life to live.

And for someone of modest means, $30k saved = a year of expenses.
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Old 04-15-2021, 08:55 AM   #33
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My pool was contracted before COVID (December 2019) to be installed “first on their list” in the spring. Of course COVID hit and there were many delays, but everyone who came said how lucky I was to have contracted pre COVID. The got us into the water by July but the final landscaping want able to start until fall. There was one mistake that was made during the build which still isn’t repaired. They were just out a couple days ago. They actually had the parts they needed, which apparently were on back order all last year, but they still had to figure out how to actually pull off the repair. They said they’d be back in a couple days. I’ll be lucky if they’re back in a couple weeks and I don’t expect they’ll ever get it done. My guess is I’ll end up in small claims court with the guy.

There’s other things that should be addressed, but the one issue has (needs) to be fixed. Unfortunately, the guy never calls me back or answers emails. As said above, he does seem to react to this one issue, but everything else doesn’t appear will ever be addressed.

The good thing is that at least we can swim and the grandkids enjoy the pool. Hopefully, at least the one issue will be fixed this year because it presents a tripping hazard and the safety measures look like crap.
Pools tend to take FOREVER to build and I see it chronicled everyday on a pool forum I am active with. Our neighbor's pool took almost a full year to build once they broke ground and that was almost 6 months post contract signing and a good year *before* COVID. Pool ownership is awesome; I have been waiting almost a month to get a circuit board for our heater...Boo! Hiss! Boo!
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:02 AM   #34
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Pool prices around here are laughably expensive ($80k+ for a small one) for what amounts to a ridiculously short 5 month season. We casually considered one until we saw the prices and then it was a firm NO. $25k swim spas a couple years ago are now $40k
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:05 AM   #35
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Pool prices around here are laughably expensive ($80k+ for a small one) for what amounts to a ridiculously short 5 month season. We casually considered one until we saw the prices and then it was a firm NO. $25k swim spas a couple years ago are now $40k
Nothing cheap about them, that's for sure. Just a big hole in the ground that you throw money into. I would have never had one put in, but it was already here when we bought the house and it would be way, WAY too much of a pain to fill it in with dirt.
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:06 AM   #36
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WOW.... 6 figure kitchen remodel.... We are budgeting to stay under $35K on a total house restoration.... But with COVID hitting prices have gone insane....
Like Bamaman and Music Lover we are DIYers and the cheap progress is slow.
Good luck on the river... I'm in need of some trout therapy myself.
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:10 AM   #37
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Nothing cheap about them, that's for sure. Just a big hole in the ground that you throw money into. I would have never had one put in, but it was already here when we bought the house and it would be way, WAY too much of a pain to fill it in with dirt.
I really didn't want a pool so the price came as a bit of a relief as it gave me an "out" if needed but thankfully GF is too frugal to spend that much anyway.
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:46 AM   #38
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We are still chugging away at our relatively small house (I first posted that we had started about 1 year ago today).

We are putting on siding and will be putting on the roof tiles this summer (it spent the winter under several tarps and we kept it quite dry).

Thank goodness we bought *most* of the plywood we needed. I sheathed the roof in 3/4" CDX instead of 5/8" like most people because I didn't want any sag. I paid about $32 a sheet and now it is $74!!!!

We used 1"1/8" T@G plywood on the floors for a really solid no squeak experience and paid about $50 a sheet for that. I was at Home Depot yesterday and saw it priced at $108!

Somebody is making bank.
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:22 PM   #39
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I am planning on a new bathroom in my condo but after reading this I intend to wait until winter when things slow down for the workers. Everything else will be done before I move in and this is no rush.
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:57 PM   #40
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I am planning on a new bathroom in my condo but after reading this I intend to wait until winter when things slow down for the workers. Everything else will be done before I move in and this is no rush.


I have to think that supply lines and worker recruitment will catch up to meet demand at some point. I have no idea if it will be by this winter.
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