We met with another contractor this morning. Both Lis and I were favorably impressed. He did not spot any new major sticking points over and above what the first contractor noted, other than that significantly enlarging the kitchen window opening would likely be cost prohibitive.
One thing I found interesting: when we mentioned an anteroom between the foyer & kitchen, he noted that he’s worked on several houses that have a feature like this. He says these tended to have originally been niches with benches, cubbies, etc. and have generally been converted to coat closets as we’re considering doing from the start.
This contractor is a slightly larger company than the first one, and does more types of work in-house than the previous one, including design/architect services and a custom cabinet shop. The person from whom we heard of this contractor warned us they’re not inexpensive, but we’re fully aware this is not going to be a cheap project. Both contractors so far have said the right words about project stages, one-job-at-a-time, fitting into their schedule, etc. We have one more contractor coming for an initial consult; once we get rough estimates from all three we’ll be able to make a decision and move forward.