A friend called and asked if I could bring a mop over. “Sure….hmmmm….why?”
“My dishwasher is spewing water everywhere.”
Rather than bring a mop I brought a wet/dry vacuum. My friend had the wisdom to shut the water off to the house…alas the valve didn’t work (nor did the valve at the street). Water everywhere.
We removed 15 gallons of water and set up a dehumidifier. She ended up calling her insurance company the next day as the carpet was still damp (on July 4 – happy birthday America!) and one of the large “restoration companies” was sent. They expertly/neatly removed any damp carpet and sheetrock, and set up two giant dehumidifiers and a half dozen or so heated air movers to dry the place out (I’d like to know who the marketing genius was naming them a “restoration” company, as they essentially removed anything wet and then my friend had to rebuild).
My friend was crushed. “My house is ruined.”
While the house wasn’t “ruined,” it was definitely impacted. I hear about all these people getting large insurance payouts and her insurance is paying a fraction of the cost to rebuild.
Getting responsive contractors is a challenge. They are all so busy working on other people’s homes.
Eventually my friend decided to do some modest renovations to update the home…a good move for a home built in the 1960s.
My friend has located a contractor to act as a “general contractor” and help pull this all together, including working through building permits with the town.
She still has to make a thousand decisions, and needs to work through the order of construction. Here’s a sample of the thought process with the contractor:
“You want to paint the interior window trim white rather than keep the brown. That’s going to require a primer coat and 2, possibly 3 finish coats. It may be more cost effective to replace the dated trim. If you are going to do that, perhaps it’s time to consider replacing those 50+ year old single pane windows with the rotten sills. And about those brown doors?” The contractor isn’t upselling as much as consulting.
Trips to home centers are now the norm looking at cabinets, colors, finishes, flooring and costs. The internet is stressed looking at different sites and now the kitchen subfloor has Sharpie drawings of suggested kitchen layouts to “visualize.”
Whether doing a freshening, a renovation or building/buying new construction, knowing where you want to end up and your budget is important. You also know you need to have a contingency budget for what you can’t see (like the two growing brown stains on the bathroom ceiling…are they coming from an animal in the attic?).
The contractor is suggesting a Thanksgiving completion. What if it is Christmas? Or Valentine’s Day?
Planning the project is important as is the emotional preparation for the inevitables. Someday my friend will look at this as a blessing; now it is just overwhelming.
Here is free app for your phone/tablet tied directly to the MLS https://www.homesnap.com/Gary-Kelley.
Gary is heard on WCRN AM 830 discussing “All Things Real Estate.”
If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call 508-733-6005.