Monday, August 1, 2016

Mortgage Monday: We Finally Have Our House Back!

This is how it all started.
When I first reached out to contractors in late June there were two very simple projects in mind, garage doors and an office door. That is all that we planned on doing this time around and all that we thought our budget would permit. The garage door situation was resolved rather quickly and Shank Door did not disappoint in either price or service. However, it was a much more involved process trying to find a contractor for the work inside the house. After all, this is our home and I wanted to make sure that whomever we chose would do the job right.

I first met with a few contractors and was less than impressed with how they were approaching this rather simple project. It wasn’t looking good until I met with Mike Swenson from Swenson Home Solutions. Not only did he listen to what I wanted done but he was also honest with me and let me know what would work best for the space where I wanted my office door. On top of that his estimate was lower than all the others that I received by a few hundred dollars. There really wasn’t a question at that point, this was the right company for the job.

First addition to the project list...
This is when that small project began to morph into something much bigger. What started as a simple French door installation soon transformed into a small first floor renovation. With the prices we were being given, the work that we wanted done was, all of the sudden, possible now rather than later. This is when we decided to replace the carpet and linoleum with hard wood floors (thanks in part to a great price on ¾ inch oak floor from Carpet and Tile Mart in Reading), replace all of the external doors, replace both of the toilets on the first floor, and remove the baseboard heating. The two day project was now expected to take a week and a half.

...and the biggest addition to the project list
(we will work on the walls later).
Well, that was the plan. The office door, besides the floor being slightly out of level, went smoothly but everything else began piling on days to the project. Not only were the carpet and linoleum subfloors different thicknesses but the kitchen floor had a thick layer of leveling compound under it which required over a week of work on hands and knees with a heat gun and scraper. It made the dry rot repairs around all the doors seem like a minor hiccup that only cost us a couple of days. In the end, the week and a half projection ended up being nearly four weeks of work. However, when it came to the bill, what surprised me most was the fact that he stuck to the original estimate and only added a nominal amount for supplies.

We finally got our home back today and we are really happy and impressed with the work that has been done. It was a lot of work and only the first stage of what will be a rather long process to make this home our own but at least we now have an honest contractor that really has our best interests in mind and treats each house as if it were his own home. What more can you really ask from a contractor? Not surprisingly, we are already having him write up a few more estimates for some other projects in the works. But, for now, we are going to enjoy our “new” home.