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Contractors I would recommend
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Submitted by jpinpb on June 28, 2011 - 8:09am
I've been meaning to start this thread for a while, but I've been elbow deep in remodeling. I already posted the Appliances thread.
There doesn't seem to be hand-holding instructions on remodling and it's pretty stressful to say the least. I thought at a minimum I might offer some input on who we used and for what and how it turned out. I thought I'd share my experience. Perhaps others could contribute to this thread, as well. I was not able to find a thread on Piggington that had sources for contractors. If there is one already, forgive the duplication. And if you have the thread handy, insert it here, please.
First off, we had some crazy textured walls on the interior of the house. It was really horrible and we couldn't stand it. Thick cement. We almost tore them out. DH spent the better part of a week sanding it down. We hired a GREAT lath and plaster guy who had been doing it forever, mostly for people in RSF. Ed was referred to us by a guy we know who had recently done work at his shop. This guy did not have a cell phone, so leave a message! Not sure if he's got a cell phone by now. He is old school. He is worth every penny, which IMO was cheap and the walls look great now. Ed 619-449-6527.
We also wanted two pony walls put in to open up the kitchen. The guy we hired was recommended to us by the neighbors where we used to live who had a lot of work done on their place. His name is Gary Bowen, general contractor. Good guy. Nice work and decent price. 619-276-3012 His electrician Keith was good, not great, though. DH was watching some of their work and sometimes requested it be done differently. I know contractors don't want people standing over their shoulders. It's great if you don't have to babysit them. And you don't on the good ones. Be VERY specific on what you want done in your contract. For example, they were going to re-route our gas line. Turned out they intended to route it behind the cabinets. DH did not want it done that way, but have it run under the house. So DH crawled under to do it. I'm sure they could've done it, but extra money and we were way over budget already.
The house originally had wood floors that were later NOT professionally stained a very dark walnut espresso color that looked like crap. Gary recommended Royce. Royce is a good guy and he may talk your ear off, but he brought our floors back to life. I definitely recommend him. 619-280-0636. However, I would not recommend him for carpet.
For our kitchen cabinets, we initially got an estimate from Home Depot. The choices I was considering was Kraftmaid or Thomasville. They would not be custom, so I was constrained by their dimensions. I wanted cherry wood and lazy susans and soft close, etc. It wasn't cheap and I'd have to hire an installer in addition to the cabinets.
Then we got lucky and my brother suggested his high school friend who makes cabinets. I was hesitant at first, but ended up very pleased w/his work. He was excellent and I have no problem recommending him. He is detail-oriented and priced fairly. Best of all, he custom makes them himself and installs them himself. If you need cabinet work done, call Jason Hovencamp 909-226-6467. He will work w/you and do whatever you want done, however you want it. He will also share his experience on what might be better. He will make and install them as if they were going in his own kitchen. Conscientious.
We initially weren't going to redo the floors in the kitchen, but DH wanted to. We found some nice italian tile at Lowes. DH knew someone from many years ago in the tile business and we called him. Ceasar at A & L Tile 619-947-1470 is a good guy, been in the business a very long time. He sent one of his workers who did a great job installing them, was quick and priced fairly.
We shopped around for granite. We found Tutto Marmo and Bedrosian were pricey. Though if you have some small counters, they have orphans for less. The best deal we found was at Brazilian Exotic. Talk to Kathy. She's been in the business a long time. She's a little rough around the edges, but we liked her and she worked w/us on pricing.
For the granite installation we hired Ceasar again. If he's got the time, maybe he'll tell you stories of when he was working at the Ivy Hotel, though it's not a happy one. I'll just say he has integrity. The guy he sent to do the granite had been doing it for many years, knowledgeable and priced fairly. We were very pleased.
For the back splash, I didn't find anything that thrilled me. We just happened to stop at San Diego Marble and Tile, 7946 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. Turned out they had some nice honey onyx basket weave that they ordered, but then the ordered was canceled. So they had it really discounted. We got a great deal. Shop around and check for items on clearance.
We also used Ceasar for the back splash. I wouldn't recommend the guy he sent for the backsplash. Slow, sloppy and actually seemed disgruntled.
The main problem we had w/all this was coordinating w/their schedule and ours. We had delays in closing, which then pushed back work that we wanted done, which meant that their schedule was impacted b/c they had other jobs lined up and then they conflicted w/the schedule of other workers so then it became a mess. Gary was busy doing a big job in Ramona and we were on the back burner by the time we were ready for him. Our cabinet guy was great and worked w/us and accommodated us no problem, luckily, b/c when Royce did our floors, that meant no one could come in the house for a week. More delays. Ceasar will work w/you in a pinch, too.
I hope this information helps others who are planning any remodels.
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