We're going to remodel our kitchen. Yes, we really are. I mean it this time. After seven years, we finally have the money to address the cracked tile and expand the lone countertop. We also need to replace all of our plumbing, as, of course, we couldn't possibly have one catastrophic system failure at a time, oh no. I wanted to do all of the repairs and renovations at the same time as I thought it would save money (since we'll be adding a washer/dryer hookup in the kitchen for the remodel, may as well do all the pipes), but we may need to address them singly, as it turns out.
Of course, all of the proposed work is dependent upon finding a contractor who will work with us within our budget and allow us to do as much work ourselves as we are able, which is quite a bit. Now, you'd think that that would be no problem, wouldn't you, especially in a recession? Well, you'd be WRONG. At least, you'd be wrong according to the contractor I spoke to yesterday who, without having even seen our house told me, after whistling condescendingly at my budget, that I should consider refinancing to be able to afford a real remodel. Because he was also a banker? And, you know, loans are so easy to get these days. He told me that framing a 4x10 bump out of the back wall will take all of our budget, but he, of course, wouldn't be able to give us a REAL estimate until he spent $2,000 of said budget to draw up plans. Oh, and he also let me know that, again, not even having seen my house, I would need to address my deferred maintenance issues sooner or later. I asked him politely what he meant, which, really, I shouldn't have even answered as he had already told me that I was too poor to remodel, and he said that, since the plumbing was old, chances are there were many other problems we'd need to address. Because his magic 8 ball told him that our roof had moss. Oh, OH! and, when I told him that we were planning on doing all of our own tiling, cabinet hanging, painting, etc, and that we had a friend who was an excellent carpenter, he asked me why I needed a contractor if I had a carpenter friend. Um, because he's not an electrician/plumber/foundation pourer, etc and he's not magically able to complete all of our remodeling needs in a weekend, damn him. It was patently obvious that the contractor had absolutely no interest in working with us, as our budget was, apparently, thousands less than his strip club spendings every month.
Since that degrading call, which reminded me of the first realtor we worked with when buying our house (all problems, no solutions), several friends have come forward with names and number of recommended contractors, all of whom are said to aid homeowners in completing some work themselves. I am hoping that none of them will recommend hooking or selling a kidney to support my kitchen and plumbing habit.