The moment of truth has come- we have quotes to compare! According to all the experts, you are supposed to get at least 3 quotes for a big job like ours. They also recommend not selecting the least expensive one.
We've met with more companies than that, but we only have 2 quotes so far. These quotes are from people that have been in business for less than 7 years, but have at least 10 years experience. One of the guys is arranging for us to inspect some of his finished work. One is the renovation of an old home maintaining the original trim. The other is new construction. We are most concerned about reusing the trim because as anyone who had drywalled where once there was plaster knows, this is a bit tricky.
We are pretty much serving as our own contractor on this job. Steve and I together make up that contractor. I am responsible for sourcing and purchasing most of the finishes in the apartment: cabinets, lighting, appliances etc... Steve will monitor the job site daily as he works from home. He will also be building a medicine cabinet (he says) and shelving for over the kitchen sink identical to ours.
Next step is to get some trim test stripped by the guy who quoted us $1/per foot. We are going to remove some from the den in our unit and use that since we can't very well remove trim while the tenants are upstairs still. And we are going to Home Depot to have the kitchen cabinet configuation mapped on their computer.
Speaking of the tenants,this morning when I opened the front door, I found a crumpled up piece of paper on the floor. Of course, I picked it up and uncrumpled it to see what it was. Turns out it was the acceptance note we had given to each tenant upstairs stating we accepted their early termination. So, someone is mad- At least it's not me this time!