I met the contractor this week and we discussed not only the construction work that has to get done, but also ways to cut back to reduce the cost of the boxes and doors. He had a few suggestions which were interesting and make some sense. Now he just has to go back, sharpen his pencil and see if we can get down to a figure that fits our budget. As far as the flooring goes, we are going to take up the old (original!) hardwood in the main floor as it was crudely patched during another owners bad 70s reno. I was out last week to a hardwood retailer to look at a selection of solid hardwood products and selected one that I think will look really good throughout the whole floor and into the kitchen. Since it will be in the kitchen I selected hickory, which is arguably the hardest North American species according to this chart. We are interested in avoiding if possible exotic woods that have to get shipped from far away. Then we have to get coordinated with an installer to come in after the cabinets are gone and any rough construction is complete to take up the old floor, put down 3/8” plywood over the existing fir sub floor and then lay the new hardwood. Its going to look really good as I will rip out the existing cheap baseboards which again went in during the 70s and replace with the original-style deep baseboards. Speaking of new, the windows for the front of the house are being installed this coming Monday and it will be a relief not only because they will look way better (and suit the house), but we won’t have a draft blowing over the bed during the night!