Night and Day

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Two contractors were here yesterday and they couldn't have been more different.

The first contractor asked us our budget. He asked us about our concerns for the basement. He carefully looked all of the plumbing, walls, crawlspace, etc. He explained all the options for flooring, from tile, cork, wood to marmoleum. He told us one kind of insulation (recycled cotton denim) was out of our price range, but we could use Roxul. He also told us that all of the work they do it LEED platinum standard. He said he'd take away our basic floor plan that we'd developed and tell us which parts of it we could do within our budget and which projects could be done in future years. He really listened to us and we had a good rapport with him.

The second contractor was the one who had won Renovator of the Year for our city. He pointed out some of the work he would have to do with the plumbing, flooring and the ceiling. We asked him about low or no-VOC products and he said he could use low-VOC paint. He planned to use all conventional products such as pink fibreglass, plywood subfloor and standard hardwood. He said he was willing to use healthier products if we told him which ones we wanted. We told him we wanted a drop, acoustic-tile ceiling and he said he would do a drywall ceiling. He said he would put in a hardwood floor, even though we didn't tell him that is what we wanted. It was almost comical the way I said one thing and he ignored it or told me how he would do things. He gave me a price, about twice our budget and asked how well that fit into what we were thinking of spending. I almost choked and thought it was an obscene amount of money.

We'll be hearing back from both contractors next week with their detailed estimates and their plans for the basement. I'm really looking forward to that.

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