Laurie, et. al,,
Thanks. I will take your advise. From the way you talk, it sounds like you think it might be worth the effort to check into it. I've been checking prices for materials for awhile now and it seems like I could get the finishing materials (laminate wood floors, tile for kitchen floor and bath room, kitchen cabinets and paint, maybe some inexpensive fixtures and lights too, even though I can't install them myself) and rent the tools for under $10,000. It's just that I never hired a tradesman or contractor before and I don't know how to go about it and can't even begin to estimate their prices. Getting started with them seems like the hardest part because of my ignorance and fear of being taken advantage of. If I want to buy this condo I guess I will have to think of negotiating with contractors as the beginning of a learning experience.
Can anyone refer me to a contractor or tradespeople who are willing to work with a do-it-yourselfer. From what every one has told me so far, most of the licensed and bonded professionals won't give an estimate or do a job unless they are given complete control from beginning to end.
Also, I know some projects must be completed in stages and it requires the different tradespeople to work together. So, it seems like I have to hire a contractor who has different tradespeople working for them so they can coordinate it. Or is there some way of hiring individual tradesmen and getting them to work in cooperation.
I'd love to talk to a homeowner who has experience working with contractors or tradespeople who have done jobs similar to mine. I'd love to hear other people's experiences.