Thursday, October 16, 2008

You Did WHAT?????

I knew we had to hit some rough waters at some point. Thus far, our issues have been purely mechanical - the unexpected expenses coming from what we have found lurking behind the walls. I have been so pleased that I found a plumber and electrician we love, the painters have been great so far, and our contractor has been fine. Coming from someone who swore off all contractors after our last house remodel, this is a big deal. Today, my dislike of contractors was once again validated.

Last night, I sent Honey over to the house to lock up and check all the windows, etc. He found two of our guys finishing up with the bathroom and heading out. When he came home he said the vanity top was a little high and covered part of the electrical outlet. Maybe the vanity was sitting on something or not quite in yet - give the guys the benefit of the doubt - but he alerted me to check it out in the morning. So this morning, the house greets me with its beautiful new less colorful interior and I am happy. I do my rounds as usual, and everything is neat and orderly and work seems to be moving along.

As I turn on the bathroom light, I start to sweat. The vanity is in place, but the backsplash covers the bottom of the outlet. That is not nearly the issue though. The drywall has been cut out on the left side of the vanity and the studs have been shaved down in order to make it fit. Clearly, the vanity is the wrong size for the room. In addition, the sink is in the center, when we specifically discussed pushing the sink to the right so you would not have to sit on the toilet while you wash your hands. So, I stress, and I start painting. I'm fuming as the plumber arrives, the painters arrive, and finally the contractor. When I broached the subject of the vanity being the wrong size and maybe we should fit the cabinet to the room rather than destroying the room to fit the cabinet, he becomes agitated and tells me basically that it is my fault - I had already seen the cabinet in the living room and liked it. Since I didn't go and measure to check his work (which I should have!) I can't see how liking the cabinet amounts to knowing it will fit and set up the way we discussed. He's the contractor - I assume that is what he knows how to do. Bad assumption.

Anyway, we don't come up with a solution - he spends a lot of time telling me how he will shave down the drawers so they will still open and that the drywall can be shoved in there too, and no, Peanut will not trash the drywall the minute she opens the drawer... then he says if I don't want to deal with all of that then we need a custom cabinet and I agree. He and I both go off and continue working.

Well, if you can believe it, there is more. I leave to pick up Peanut from daycare, and then we come back to check on all of the work in the late afternoon. All of the contractors tools, equipment, truck, trailer, lawn sign, and stuff is gone. There is a printout on the vanity of a custom cabinet plan from Home Depot. I can't tell if this is what he ordered, something I am supposed to consider, or just so I know how much it will cost. No call, no note. Clearly, this is pushing a big button for him. Things like this happen with remodeling all of the time. I have never ever seen or heard of anything like this. Our bathroom has no wall tile, no fixtures, no light, medicine cabinet, no functional vanity, no toilet, and a completely destroyed wall! It looks like he finished (I say that loosely - there is no knob and the nails are sticking out and it's not plumb) installing the door to our bedroom. He still has not wired the lights in the gym, so we have random
wires hanging down in a dark room.

So I left a message on his cell, saying gosh I noticed all your stuff was gone and this printout here...what is it for? What is the plan? I've done the math and it looks like we might be OK - what we owe seems to be just about what he has yet to do. I am now faced with a half done bathroom that really needs to be functional within two weeks...and I need to figure out what to do about the studs. I think I will sister them if I can. Oy.

On the positive side of the day - our kitchen cabinets arrived and although they are in a million boxes, they are beautiful! So our weekend will likely be fixing the bathroom instead of laying the cork flooring downstairs as planned. Oh well - we could stand to learn something new.

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