The architect and I met with Contractor #1 today. It was a good meeting. He answered all the questions we asked very appropriately, and would be a good fit for this project. Because of KP's poor remodeling experience, I made sure to ask if the contractor would ever request us to pay subs directly (NO-good answer) and how he handles mechanics liens as KP has had two that I know of. It seemed that he was surprised by my interest in mechanic's liens, but said he could make me comfortable. Also, he is very open to the idea of weekly project meetings between us, the architect and the contractor. We really want an open dialogue between all parties on this project so that was important. Frankly, his bid was higher than my high projection. Because there wasn't any type of itemization in his proposal, I couldn't tell what was driving the cost up. Probably our scary, detailed, plans and specifications. We can see after interviews with Contractor #2 (tomorrow) and Contractor #3 (next week hopefully) if this price is basically correct, or if something might be off. I added a surprise question #51, "What do you think about having this project detailed in a blog?" I said that architect and contractor names have been anonymized, but they don't have to be (depending upon their preferences), and I am most certainly not anonymous. The contractor smiled and said, "I think that is a great idea. I have always been meaning to do something like that." I caught the architect a little off guard (just a little). He said he likes the idea but are comments on? Good question! I told them the blog name, and saw that the page views went up this evening (you know, from zero to 15). Revealing the blog so soon was probably a tactical error on my part since we are still in the contractor selection/negotiation process, but this is REMODEL 2.0. Everything out in the open with total transparency.