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First, please don't 'shout'. Using all capital letters makes posts hard to read. I read enough of them that I don't need a capital headache. Usually, I skip these posts but, tonight, you caught me before I got my headache. Thanks in advance for your understanding.
The recommendations you rec'd are all reasonable. I suggest you hire a Structural Engineer to give you the BEST advice. The Contractors all have a specific 'interest' in what they're recommending. The $$$ you spend on an Engineer will be $$ well spent. As you can see, you're being quoted 1000's of $$$ by Contractors. Spending a few 100 $$$s on an Engineer will be $$$ well spent.
My best to ya and hope this helps.
Jay J -Moderator
PS: Architects know Structural Engineers if you can't find one in the phone book ...
PPS: God Bless America!
My impression is that you may only need your walls pointed up - maybe a couple grand or so, depending on the size of the house and condition of the mortar.
And please check to be sure that your caps key is working right before you use forums.