OK, so I was M.I.A for remodeling week 4. As you all know I was here. So I crammed like a crazy person,(and probably freaked Mrs S out too!) when we did all this, in week three! But I take my jobs, clients and vacation very serious, so no time for screwing around. In week five the electrician came out and placed the lights in the bedroom.

Smith lights

First order of business was to move the fan over 18″. It’s old location was off centered and drove me crazy. She decided not to go with the accent lights, (those shown in pink) and opted for the two lights over her bed. As the budget gets squeezed, Mrs S is having to make sacrifices, and decisions on what her absolute priorities are. Some things are worth the extra dollars, others, like the lights, were not. And yes all remodels require a tug and pull. You can’t always get everything, so you will have to determine what is most important.

Our starting budget was $26K. This fee does not include my professional services, and Mr and Mrs S. opted against a 10% contingency. Many contractors and architectural firms will include a 10% contingency fee at the end of their bills. This dollar amount helps ensure that you stay on track, when your project gets squirrely. So what does that mean exactly? Things like this:

1) First hiccup:

hiccup one

The floor was laid with wire and concrete. Typical for the time it was laid, but without the contingency can easily add $500 to a budget

2) Second hiccup:

hiccup 2

Also a floor issue, when the carpet was pulled up Ritchie discovered carpet mold. Or at least that’s what we all thought it was. Turned out to be silicon gummy balls from deteriorating carpet pad. But we lost a day while we were waiting for the test to come back. Estimated Costs: $500 in labor and the loss of an entire day

3) Third hiccup:

3rd hiccup

These faucets were supposed to be re-purposed. Original, and beautiful Kohler faucets….that we found out had corroded and now busted interiors. Not originally built-in to the budget, these added $400.

A contingency will help absorb some of the “unexpected”, without extra dollars coming out of your pocket. But in this economy just about everyone takes the contingency out thinking that THEIR project won’t have any hiccups. Well guess what? In twelve years I have NEVER, EVER been on a project without one or two hiccups. When you start busting into walls, it’s inevitable! And the unexpected thus far would have been covered with in the contingency.

OK, moving on. Remember this beautiful slab from week three?

Marble slab

Well we were hoping ON A WING AND A PRAYER!, that the marble company could make this s-t-r-e-t-c-h into two vanities and the top of the tub…..turns out, it.ain’t.gonna.happen. There just isn’t enough. Mrs S loves this particular slab and we cannot get two. So we are headed to another slab yard this week to see if we can find another TWO slabs that she will love, to finish all her surfaces.

So there you have it. Week five in a nutshell. In case you missed it, here are weeks 1-3

If you missed week one, click here.

If you missed week two, Click here

If you missed week three, click here


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