I bought my house in the summer of 2013 as a forclosure; it was a pretty good deal, it wasn't detroyed to pieces like the forclosure homes you hear about on the news, and the owner was a contractor so that means when things fell apart the guy could fix it right? And when I first introduced myself to the neighbors they showed me little things in their houses that he had worked on/upgraded for them that looked amazing, so it sounded promising, right?
...In real life not really. The more I walk around the home the more I feel like crying when I start thinking about how being a grownup is not all cracked up to be. So far I've discovered that I need to overhaul my ENTIRE kitchen, replace my fence, redo all the bathrooms, the deck, the driveway... it almost makes me miss living in an apartment... almost...
As a single mom providing for 2 little dudes and no the US Navy won't just go and give me a raise no matter how nicely I ask (and they don't do overtime either, booooo!) it really helps to know that with all the shit I'm going to have done to the house that I won't get ripped off, which is why this website is pretty awesome.
Homewyse is a great resource for pricing your rennovations; it takes the average price of contractors in your area and includes the price of material and labor too, so less Googling and time wasted for you!
I mentioned I need my driveway redone, right?
Obviously after clicking on Installation, I'd choose Concrete, then Install Concrete Driveway.
Then type in your zip code and sqaure footage and viola!
What it doesn't include is sales tax, permit fees, and things like that, but still it's better than going in blind and and getting ripped off by Jim Bob or whoever woke up that morning and decided to be a fence builder, and from reading on message boards people usually end up paying either right at or below what Homewyse estimated. And if you're on the move, you can use this touch screen friendly version at the bottom of the homepage here. This awesome site also has a list of terms (don't know what an electrical insulator is? look it up!) so you can sound smart when calling around. On the downside it doesn't list contractors but you can always check with your local Better Business Bureau before hiring someone.