Since Contractor #2 still had not submitted his insurance certificate, I had FF call and give him the old heave-ho. Contractor #1 has agreed to sub-contract the work, so hopefully I can get this portion of the mortgage wrapped up soon.
It's quite a relief to be rid of #2 because after all of this hassle with the paperwork, I was beginning to doubt whether he'd ever show up to do the job. His quality of work probably would have been lacking too.
I hope whoever does the exterior work will be careful of my plants (yes, I realize how slim the chances of that are).