Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More on the winding handyman lane

Day 4, which shouldn't have happened.

Got the now-expected 'we're running late' call. Again, they promised the work would be done. Worker #2 arrives first. She has another job starting the next day, so today, she'll stay as long as it takes. More or less.

Worker #1 arrives, and they get the toilet out of the master bath, but she leaves soon afterward for what turns out to be a medical appointment, not the supply run for the lumber to fix the chimney surround. Worker #2 reaches a 'let things dry' phase and says she's going out for a soda, then will be back for the duration. She's gone about half an hour. The master bath has 2 coats of paint, but it's now well past noon.

At about 2:00, they go out for burgers and get back 45 minutes later. Worker #1 notices the bolts are rusted on the master bath toilet. We'd been advised to buy new wax rings, but not bolts. Another trip for supplies. I may not be in the business, but to me, it makes more sense to check everything you might need before the job starts. Yes, there will be some surprises, but I think they've made two supply runs each day.

Finally, at 7 pm, they call it a night. The walls are painted, but there's still a lot of touch up—and cleanup—to do. And there's still the chimney.

The colors look good, and they've got the blinds back up in the kitchen and bathroom. I'm sure the neighbors appreciate it. But they haven't managed to get the kitchen wall phone re-installed properly, and they've missed the stud for the bathroom magnifying mirror, so they have to find it to re-hang it. Plus there are the under-counter appliances still sitting on the dining room table. There are gobs of caulk and other bits of debris all over. We won't discuss the dust. Their estimate of how long the job should take was about half of what it did take. While yes, there were some surprises, if they'd both been on the job and had their supplies from the get go, they probably would have been done on time. But, we pay by the job, not by how long it takes, and we'll see what happens tomorrow.

But first, I'm sure my husband will go through and point out to me all the things they need to attend to, then go off to work, leaving me to miraculously comprehend exactly what he expects them to look like at the end of the job. The thing is, if he's interfacing with tradespeople, whatever they say is usually a sufficient explanation. But when I have to play middleman, I'm going to be the one responsible if he's not happy.

Overall, am I satisfied? Yes, because 1) every contractor experience has been along these lines, so I expected nothing different, and 2) I sure as heck wouldn't have wanted to do it myself. However, the final answer comes after the, "We're finished, I'd like my check." The difference between doing it myself and paying someone is that I'm less likely to accept, "close enough" as a quality standard.

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