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PB2 PB2 is offline
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Default Renovations question

Our family is in the process of buying our first house and wanted to
ask a few questions about doing renovations. This is the first time
we've owned a house, so we know nothing about renovations - who to
hire, how to do them, how to plan timing, etc. - so we wanted to ask
a few questions on this group regarding it.

The house is in fairly good shape - it's 25 years old and has been
reasonably well maintained. We don't anticipate having to do any major
structural changes. What we do want to do is 1) renovate the kitchen
2) renovate two bathrooms 3) replace wallpaper with paint throughout
the house and 4) refinish the hardwood floors. We'd like to do all
this before we move in. This is a 2500 sq ft 3BR house in the suburbs
of Boston.

A few questions that I'd love to pose to the group:

1) I know there are general contractors and contractors. What are the
advantages/disadvantages of choosing one over the other, given the
amount of work we need done? We don't have any experience doing home
repair work, we'd like to do the work done quickly so we're not paying
both rent/mortgage simultaneously, and we'd like the work to be high
quality. The data points I have indicate we'd be better off with a GC,
but I don't have a sense for the premium that involves.

2) When should I be doing what to expedite this process? We just
agreed on a price and the inspection will be early next week. The
closing is planned for 11/12. Should I ask if I can get contractors in
before closing to get estimates? Is that reasonable to ask from a
seller? Any
other recommendations for what I can do to get the work done as
quickly as possible?

3) How do I go about finding a good people to do the work? I've e-
mailed friends that I know that have had work done in the area and I'm
hoping to get suggestions. But are there other resources I can
leverage? Do any of you know good people to do work? in the Boston

4) Do I need an architect? I may want to move the stove to where the
refrigerator is (it's on the counter between the kitchen and the
breakfast area, which means no backsplash) and the refrigerator over
to where the oven/microwave is, but aside from that I don't anticipate
making any changes. We're willing spend some money and get relatively
high end materials / appliances / fixtures, etc, but don't need
something super stylish / fancy.

5) Are there any websites with simple tutorials about this stuff?

Appreciate any help you guys can provide!

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