They tell you that remodelling is one of the most stressful life events. If finding a vendor isn't the hardest part of the whole process, then I'm in a great deal of trouble.
With the last go-round on the flooring, we had found that very few places seemed to carry the brand that we wanted in the species that we wanted. I had pinned my hopes on one of the flooring stores linked from the manufacturer's web site. I called them last Friday afternoon and they told me that their "guy" was up in our area on Tuesdays and Thursdays and he would give me a call to set up an appointment. The weekend passed and I didn't hear anything, so I called on Monday, to be told that he would be in touch.
Monday passed and about the middle of the day on Tuesday, the "scheduler" (not "the guy") called and set up an appointment for between 1:30 and 2:00PM today, Thursday. Despite everybody being very friendly and helpful, checking stock and such, I'm getting a little bit concerned.
By 2:30PM on Thursday, I'm very concerned. "The guy" hasn't shown up or called, so I call the store. "I'm sure he's on his way" is what I'm told. Right. About 10 minutes later, "the guy" calls — telling me some story about them getting a call to cancel an appointment and thinking that it was mine. Hmmm. He's several miles away, but promises that he'll be here by 3, or 3:05 at the latest.
Of course, he gets here at 3:20, because the traffic corridor (I405) from Redondo Beach to where I live is awful at any time of day. Why am I so obsessed with the time? I have to pick the boys up from a class at 4:00 and it's about 15 minutes away. Things are tight.
"The guy" does the fastest job of measuring the place that I've seen yet. In about 15 minutes he has an estimate ready. A written estimate, which is the first one we've seen for this part of the project. It's nicely laid out and covers everything. Of course, the price for the materials is $4.00/sf more than I've seen it on the internet and $3.00/sf more than Home Depot. On this project, that's a difference of over $5000! Unfortunately HD doesn't have all three wood species so we can't get it from them.
On reviewing the estimate, I think that he over-estimated the amount of wood needed. I had measured the place and gotten that measurement confirmed by another contractor. Using the same wast calculation (8%) that today's guy used, I still come out about 100sf less. (Yes, I accounted for the three different wood species.) The amount of bull-nose needed for the stairs seemed to be a bit high, too.
It looks like we're going to have to get the materials from a place on the internet and find an installer. I'm calling around to some of the real estate agents that I know, to see if they can recommend anyone.
This is what happens when you're picky, and want something slightly out of the ordinary. If we wanted red oak flooring it would be done by now.
Update: I'm an idiot. Complete and total. The only excuse that I can come up with is that I was rushed when reading the estimate the first time — I literally had minutes to go get the boys. What is my idiocy (beyond the obvious, that is)? The price per square foot on the estimate is the installed price, not the materials price. I was comparing that to another company's materials price, so of course there's going to be a difference. Now that I've been able to look at this estimate in the cold light of dawn, it comes very close to what I had estimated for the project. Some time ago I found an online construction estimator and calculated the whole thing myself.
So, if I can get over my discomfort with their reliability issues, we'll probably go with this company.