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Hope fades fast for financing the renovation in 2015

The dream is slipping away.   I’m talking about the dream of doing the addition this year.  It’s probably not going to happen until next year.  Here’s why:

First ball-park estimate for construction

We were at a home show a while ago.  And at the home show there was a construction company.  That construction company had shiny brochures and the representatives said the right things.  Plus they offer free estimates.  Last week, the owner of the company came around to our humble money pit to put some numbers to our project.

It wasn’t pretty.

First of all, we only did a five minute walk-through and he was only here for a little more than half an hour.  I tried to explain everything we wanted done and gave him a current copy of the architect’s drawings.  He said that he would have to sit down and work out the numbers but he figured it would be about $130,000.  That’s $30,000 more than we were hoping.  Not good.  But we could probably work with those numbers if it wasn’t for the septic system (which does not figure into that estimate).

The septic system:  same crap, different pile

We never heard back from the company that came out a few weeks ago to locate our leach field.  So I called a local septic inspector / designer / installer.

He took one look at our back yard and the location of the tank and said that our current system is not up to the current standards.  He wasn’t even taking into consideration the proximity to the house.  Our yard is just too small for a properly sized filter bed.

He also had concerns about the conservation land to the side and back of us, along with the flood plain (we live on a watershed).  We would be better off installing a new system in the front yard.

Because of our lot size, it would have to be a tertiary system, with a biofilter. Those systems ain’t cheap.

And because we were moving the system to the front, we would have to reconfigure some of our plumbing.  Especially the kitchen sink which drains to a grease trap, apparently.  Everything added together, we’d be looking somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000.

That didn’t come as a surprise.  Unfortunately.  I was expecting the worst case scenario and that is what I got.

So with this massive increase in the total budget for all the work we want to do, we just can’t afford it this year. Not unless we catch a break on the assessed value of our house.  That piece of the puzzle is missing right now.  At this point, I am basing everything on my own conservative “best guess.”

We should be able to stash aside enough cash as well as decrease the mortgage enough that we will be able to afford the project in the spring of 2016.

The timeline could change, depending on other estimates for the construction and the actual assessed value of our house.  It might not be as bad as I think.  Or it could be worse.

But as we now head into May, the likelihood of finding a contractor who could fit this project in their schedule this year is fading fast.  We might have to delay the project until next year anyway.  Looking on the bright side, that will at least give us more time to tweak the architect’s drawings.

Because whenever we do this project, whether this year or next year, we want to make sure it is done right, exactly the way we want it.


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