Monday, March 20, 2006

Home project updated

I have decided not to tile my dining room. My dad brought up a good point over the weekend- I am not going to live in this condo for a long time, so it is not worth my time and money to replace the dining room, as the carpeting is still good. So I have decided to just replace the flooring in the kitchen, hallway, bathroom and the foyer. The bathroom's floor is not damaged, but I desist the look of its ugly vinyl flooring. Kitchen and Hall definitely need to be replaced, thanks to Socks' anxiety one day last Spring of '05. The tile flooring of the Foyerits flooring is cracked and damaged, from previous ownerships and the shift in the building's foundation.

So it comes down to around 152 sq feet (possibly less as I decide to/not to replace the flooring under the dishwasher and the oven).

Last Saturday morning I visited Nebraska Furniture Mart. Wow. If you are a person thriving on a mininum number of choices, NFM is not the place to go. It got abundant number of choices I was not able to decide on anything initially. Then I decided to look at the cheapest tiles on sale - and finally found this tile for 88 cents each sq foot. It looked very nice and of course I loved the price. I got 2 samples of same tile to bring home - one light beige and one dark beige. Asked about installation cost. $9 flat per tile? Eeek forget it. Moving on. Home Depot's starting asking price was 4.99 for basic installation (then it adds up because I require backboarding as I have wooden floor underneath the carpeting).

Moving to Lowes. Wow. Saw even cheaper tiles - going up from 78 cents each. This tile was on sale, and all of its boxes are right there to bring home. So I tried to talk with a Lowes representative and found its customer service sux (i waited a good 30 min before one guy finally started talking to me) and he was uncertain because of my deafness ::groans::. Finally I managed to get a quote set up. One of Lowes' contractors would call me sometimes today or tomorrow, he said.

Lowe's install price seems similiar to Home Depot, but they do not have set price for everything - like 19 cents per carpet sq foot for removal. The man told me that the contractor come over and make a bid. They do not have fixed price. Hmm. That is interesting, way opposite of Home Depot. Home Depot has fixed price for every thing, no "bid". Looks easier to negotiate with Lowes when the quotes come.

Realizing I need to do local contracting justice, I looked up (wow the web has everything doesnt it), and it has list of hundreds of local contractors. Sigh. So I picked 4 that sounded most appealing. Called first one. Whoa. $12 per sq foot for install and it does not even include removal! Sheesh. "Thanks for your time." ::hangs up the phone::

I kinda knew it - local contractors cost more than "mass retail contractor" but possibly better quality, but eh, I was just asking for basic tile installation - nothing fancy like 2x2 mosiac tiles on the bathroom wall. Other 3 local contracting companies I contacted, all of them had answering machines. Will call back sometimes later and keep you updated.


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