Thursday, September 04, 2008

A First World problem or why I need to go to Home Depot U

The contractor that was supposed to be out of our house in 3 weeks is still here. We've just completed week 9 (YES! 9!!!) of his work on the house. On Monday we told him that we are completely and totally out of money (he's cost more than double the quote, all due to small additions we made to the work order that were only supposed to be one day things...) and that we could not pay him after today.

So what is happening? He's back on Monday. I am serious. We stood there and told him that we are out of cash (we had to have the car in the shop for a week after having it towed from Upper Canada Village 100 km away but that is another story - but anyhow, we told him it cost us a fortune to fix that we don't have) and that we can NOT pay him after this week.

As of Tuesday morning all he had left to do was 1/4 of the backsplash tiles & grout it and finish the drywall in the basement. Do you think it's finished? NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.

The backsplash that he quoted us as being 5 hours of work has taken him 3 f-ing days to do. And that included Marc and I scrubbing down the tiles (and various other parts of the kitchen) for 2 hours last night. I think he aimed the grout in the direction of the tiles and hoped for the best.

And how long can it take to hang about 200 square feet of drywall? Apparently more than 4 days. I almost cried when he took me down there as he was checking out at 4pm

He's a lovely person, a really Ottawa Valley boy, good-hearted but he talks a blue streak and never sticks to what he says. He talks in circles. And when you try and call him on it - as in "Hi, I took the kids away for 4 days so you could install my kitchen counters and do the backsplash and all you did was the counters, I was quite surprised." and he's bound to come back with something like "well I just got the counters in" and you say, yes, on Tuesday (please note he was saying to Marc every morning that the backsplash was going up) and he says something that makes it sound like you're the one who is delusional and unreasonable - even though what he said when you said you were going away so he could do the kitchen was "Great, that gives up plenty of time to get the kitchen all finished for you and most of the basement."

Did that last bit make any sense? See, he has my brain so addled that I can't even express myself anymore. My girlfriend Anne was over with her daughter this morning and after 2 1/2 hours of him and his (mostly useless unless throwing paint on the floor counts) helper she was going crazy. She couldn't get over how full of himself he is (her words) and how much time it takes him to explain that simplest thing (i.e. I should be able to re-wire the house based on the narrative about how badly the basement was wired.) And don't bother trying to cut him off, or re-route the conversation, it's not going to work (and I have years of customer service experience behind me, I am usually good at this kind of thing).


And as if that were not enough fun, the deck that we had ordered while we were still at the old house - the one that wasn't built and that they came to check out this yard for - should have been built yesterday and today. Well the installer threw a wobbly yesterday morning because we are in a townhouse and since the houses were built people put up fences that block the common area - and walked out. He was foul. Very unprofessional. Told me he wasn't removing my concrete steps because he was only being paid $25 to do it. I don't blame him, but seeing as it cost us $300 to have them removed I don't really think it was my issue - no? He finally came back but left before the wood was delivered - I had strict instructions to have them deliver it to the back. When the driver came he tried but his forklift wouldn't fit so he couldn't. When the installer came back this morning I was actually afraid of him, the rage he flew into... holy cow. I was thankful there was a house full of people (see? this morning I was actually happy the contractor was here). He was practically flinging the posts across the backyard and cursing and ... it was so unpleasant. There is a pile of rubble under where the deck will be that I am not happy about, and that my contractor (he who talks a lot and knows everything about anything) tells me will attract bees and build moisture (girl with mold allergy - me - not happy). Can you get hold of anyone at the deck company? OF COURSE NOT. Do they return your calls? NO.

I know these are totally insignificant things in the course of a lifetime, and that there are millions of people who would love to have my "problems". And I've really been working on not getting worked up over things, and being grateful for what I have instead of what I don't have (have I mentioned that the contractor won't have finished everything he was supposed to do by next week? That we're going to have to do it again? Which isn't terrible because at least we won't destroy the house doing it).

But right now? I feel like crying. Or rather I am imaging how a good cry would feel since I have not shed a tear since this whole thing began - a feat for the girl who cries when she is frustrated. Okay, I did shed a few tears (cried a river?) the day I left my little house for this one, but that was another thing all together.

So what to do? I've decided that I am going to become a fixture at Home Depot for their information session. I'm going to learn how to do EVERYTHING so I never ever EVER need to hire someone again.

Oh, and I'm going to try and ease up on the Indiana Popcorn I've been shoving down my throat for two days. Yeah, that's not going to help.


katydidnot said...

i like plan. become a stalker of the home depot. seems solid.

Lisa Milton said...

You mean the pain of moving never stops? I can hardly bear it for you.

Rent a tear jerker and let it rip.

It can't hurt, right?

(Sorry for the suckitude. Take care.)

Kimberly said...

Oh honey, I am so, so sorry. What's that TV show? Holmes on Homes? Can you call that guy in to fix this mess?