Has anyone 'installed the cheap stuff' then demo'd?

Mom23EsJune 16, 2012

I'm still stuck on the outrageous upcharges for tile in our house. Has anyone picked out the super cheap stuff and then had it replaced prior to move in? We are not DIYers. We would have to pay for tear down and retile.

DH thinks I'm crazy and I should just suck it up and pay for what we want. I'm stubborn and hate to be overcharged. I'd love to hear stories from people who have done this and whether they'd do it again. Please help me think through this. I know I get a little carried away sometimes. Sigh. :(

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I would think that the labor charges for the tearout and new tile installation would outstrip the money that you would save by putting in cheaper tile to begin with. There would have to be a huge difference between the price you would pay for the materials on your own and what the upcharge is.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 1:30PM
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Going through the same thing. And it's maddening. Mine is a new build.

I'm not upgrading backspashes, tub surrounds, lights, faucets, door handles, appliances, custom paint, and anything else that will be relatively easy to do later. I'm doing the "free" 6" kitchen tile backsplash that I will be having torn out before I move in and replaced with what I want. I don't even know what it looks like and don't really care. I just told them to pick something.

I had told them to leave the standard appliances in the garage in boxes but they said it wouldn't pass inspection without a range so they will put in the standard one. I will buy all new appliances after close. Habitat for Humanity will get a nice little haul out of everything I'll be stripping out.

But the floor - I'm afraid so much damage will be done to the walls, cabinets, baseboards, etc. that I'm having that done. And I agree with palimpsest, I think the cost of pulling up the tile and replacing it will probably outstrip the upcharges. I've thought of letting them do the standard granite and then ripping it out and putting in new but may suck that one up too. Anything that won't be relatively easy to undo I'm going ahead and having them do. If I don't decide to try and cancel the contract....

Good luck. I hadn't realize the builders jacked us around once they had a contract. Naive of me I guess.

Here is a link that might be useful: My long story...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Seems to me like the less stuff you have to "tear out" prior to replacing it with something you like, the better.

For floor tile, if you have a concrete slab, can't you just tell them to skip tiling the floor entirely and just leave you with a bare concrete floor? There are enough concrete floors out there that getting a certificate of occupation with concrete floors shouldn't be a problem. Sure, most people who have concrete floors have them stained and polished but I doubt the city is going to care if YOUR concrete floor are "ugly" when they're inspecting for you CO. Then, when you're ready to put in the good tile that you like, you won't have anything to clean up first.

And, if your builder says he won't give you a credit for the tile flooring that he won't be installing, INSIST that he has to deliver the tile that he would have used to you b/c, even tho you have decided against installing it, you HAVE paid for it and you have another use for it. (You can always sell it on Craigslist.)

Or, if you're tiling your shower and tub surrounds, offer to let him NOT deliver the floor tile to you in exchange for a credit for the value of those tiles that you can apply to upgraded tiles for the shower and tub surrounds. (You pretty much have to go ahead and tile your showers and tub surrounds and pulling that stuff out and redoing it would be a major expense.

Ditto with kitchen backsplashes. Why put in ANY backsplash at all just to have to tear it out later? You can live without a backsplash - I know b/c I still haven't picked something out for my kitchen backsplash even tho we've now been in the house for two years! - and getting the CO shouldn't require you to have one. So, just tell the builder to skip installing a back splash at all and slap a coat of paint on the wall there. That way you don't have to worry that you'll tear up the wall board trying to get the unwanted tile backsplash down.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 5:30PM
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If I were going to do this, I wouldn't put in cheap tile. I'd put in some easy fiberglass surround type thing; and I'd ask for it to be only lightly tacked in place. Just enough to pass inspection, but nothing that you'll have to spend a lot of time in demo... if that is an option.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 5:38PM
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Epiarch Designs

i can not believe the contractor will not let you supply your own tile and they install it. people do that all the time around here. They just credit back the product and you supply what you want. Around here, we can supply ALL materials if we want to. Just tell the contractor to supply pricing on labor and have a lumber yard of your choice supply everything. Some people do not like this because they think the contractor can be wasteful with the products since they are not supplying them. That is rarely an issue, especially if you, the lumber yard, and the contractor agree upon an estimated quantity prior.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 7:24PM
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Do not put tile. Ask for linoleum everywhere you intent to have tile or hardwood. Make sure it is only glued on the perimeter. That way removal takes seconds. You just pull it up. and floor is clean and ready.

Standard everything else. Ask for no top cabinets if you don't like cabinets. Only stove is required. Ask if you can supply one (from craigslist). Ask for money either refunded or moved to options like pre-wire or extra can lights.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:23PM
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One problem with changing out the flooring is the baseboards. If have no finished floor or vinyl then the baseboards will have to be removed. During removal the baseboards may be ruined or the walls could be damaged. I am not saying do not go this route, but just be aware of the domino effect.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 9:29PM
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I don't know why baseboards would be required for CO either. For appraisal, sure, but not CO. Just depends on how much you are going to pay someone else to finish later.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:10AM
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We are in the middle of our build and we had a set price we wanted to stay at and the builder 'in my opinion" grossly overcharges for things. Anything we wanted structually we paid for (4th br & 3rd car garage) but upgrades we are going to pay for when we move in. For example we will do these just to name a few:

1. install tile (3 bathrooms, mudroom, dining room)
2. install backsplash in kitchen
3. remove figerglass tub surround and do a walk in shower
4. lay our own wood floors(it will be engineered and not real hardwood since we are on a concrete slab)

Even if you aren't that handy or in the diy mode some suggestions above like asking for vinyl or at least doing the demo end of things will save you money before hiring the job out.

Here is a link that might be useful: our home sell/build

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 9:31AM
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kirkhall - The baseboards may not be required for CO. But, no baseboards and other things not being finished may pose a problem with your bank when they come for the final inspection needed in order to get the final draw. You could also have problems if your original appraisal was based on having certain items (granite countertops, wood floors, etc.) and the final inspection shows those items were not installed.

Again, I am not saying don't do this, I am only saying there could be consequences to going this route.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 11:00AM
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I'd definitely price out the labor (as already suggested) and see if you'd actually save any money. If not, go ahead and put in the tile. Another idea, if they're charging you so much for the tile installation...for a few dollars more can you get something even nicer? Just an idea :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 12:41PM
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Thank you for all your input. I'm going to keep working with the design center and see if I can work this out. I had read all over about the outrageous cost of upgrades when building a house, but I never imagined it would be this much. They're over changing us as much as possible but not so much to make it worth it for us to redo it later. After reading all of your comments, I'm definitely inspired to find a compromise. I'll be sending a long email requesting lots and lots of pricing info later tonight.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 2:07PM
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