Thursday, February 28, 2013

Renovation Madness

If you ever want to drive yourself crazy, plan a renovation where you will try to hire people to do the work for you. Being someone with a skilled trade ticket I can appreciate a professional wanting to be paid a fair price for their time, skills and knowledge. The problem is a FAIR price. When you have flooring installers charging by the square foot and electricians charging per light, things can get out of hand in a hurry. For example the flooring installer wants $6.00/square foot to install tongue and groove engineered hardwood. Yes it will require gluing the boards together along with the cutting and fitting, but my rec room is 570 square feet so that means it will cost me $3420.00 JUST for the installation. It's a job that can be done by one person in two days maximum, and that would be a snail's pace. It's basically a square room. Even if I paid him $50.00/ hour for two 8 hour days that is only $800.00. There is something really wrong here. At his $6/sq.ft. rate I would be paying him over $200.00/hour. WTF????
The electrician wants $125-150/light. I supply the lights (fixtures and bulbs). I need 18 to 20 lights installed so I am looking at $2500.00 MINIMUM again JUST for installation. OK he will supply the wire. I can buy 100 feet of wire for under $100.00. Again this should take no more than 2 days at a snail's pace so this guy is making $150.00/hour. How do these people actually get work charging these ridiculous fees?
We talked to a general contractor about putting up a drywall ceiling to replace our drop ceiling. It's only about 10 sheets of drywall. It will require a bit of strapping as well. First thing he says is "I don't do much taping and mudding but I could probably do it." We asked him about the flooring and he said "I have never installed one of those floors but I'll give it a shot." Sounds like a crap shoot to me. I can't afford to buy flooring for this guy to "experiment" with. And if he can't do basic drywall work, what kind of contractor is he?
So it looks like we will once again have to take hammer in hand and do it ourselves. I am waiting for a surgery date to have my left knee replaced and my right knee is not far behind. The flooring seems pretty intimidating right now, but I really think the raping of my wallet by these people is far more painful.

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