Monday, January 2, 2017

Contractors and Our First Big Purchase

Happy New Year!  Relaxing in Astoria, Oregon for the New Year weekend provided some much needed down time for both Scott and I. Sunday, in particular, was a get comfy in your favorite chair, snuggle under the throw with your favorite slippers on and surf the web on your iPad kind of day. We ventured out only to buy fixings for tater tot casserole and didn't turn on the tv until evening when we decided to watch a movie. We needed that! So today I'll catch you up on some things that didn't get written over the course of the last three weeks.

The Monday after we moved in (among all the boxes) we had eleven contractors scheduled to provide bids for work including a new furnace, new electrical panel, new water heater and water supply lines, chimney sweep and repair, crawl space, and bathroom renovations. It was a long day with contractors overlapping, no shows and really drawn out appointments. We received three bids for crawlspace work, had one of the chimneys swept and received a bid for rebuilding the chimney on the roof, one bid for electrical work and two bids on the furnace. The bathroom renovation bid came in a week late and way high.

I contacted two more plumbers, another HVAC contractor, a chimney mason and two more renovators. It's strange to me how you can tell contractors the exact same thing and they will quote completely different things. I'm not sure if they think they know better, completely interpret your needs differently or just want to sell what they want to sell. It makes comparing bids very confusing, requiring clarification and requotes, and generally slows things down.

Silly Beth, I thought we would be well into design work on the bathrooms and we haven't even selected a contractor. I thought the plumbing and electrical work would be done by now and we're still looking at plumbing quotes and need to get a couple more electrical quotes. Sheesh.

We have actually made our first big purchase. On Friday, December 30th our new Amana 96% furnace with electronic ignition was installed, complete with a/c coils so the existing a/c unit works - an expense we can put off for a while. The new furnace is eligible for both federal and state credits and state rebates. Our new Nest thermostat (so cool with the copper ring) is also eligible for a $50 state rebate. We need to remember to get the paperwork in order to take advantage of these things - with all the money going out the door, having some come back in is really nice!

By the way, I will be compiling a list of the contractors we use with their contact information. Located in a tab at the top of the blog, it will be a handy reference for us and may be of use to someone out there.

Out with the old furnace!
In with the new furnace!