Thursday, September 17, 2009

Updates, Galore!

Dealing with contractors is never an easy thing. Nothing ever goes as planned. Luckily, being self-employed, I can move my clients around when necessary. The bad news this time around: some work was VERY CLOSE to other work, when it should not have been. Here's a little update...

August 16th: Home Depot At Home Services sent out their first man to measure for fascia covers. We paid Ken, making sure to let him know we had to have this project DONE before September 11th (the date the painter was supposed to powerwash). Ken said, "No problem. It's a small job; shouldn't take more than a couple hours. I'll have the project manager call in the next few days to set up the secondary measure appointment." (You know, measure twice, cut once?)

August 20th: Still no call. I left early that morning for my trip to the Dakotas. I asked Ace to call H.D., and he said that if they don't call by the time we return from our trip (he joined me on Saturday; we returned late Tuesday), he'd call them then.

August 26th: STILL no call, so Ace called the main number in Vancouver. Apparently, they were moving offices, so our time-crunch got "lost in the shuffle"; they'd get right on it. Second measure appointment was then set for September 4th (that doesn't seem like "getting right on it", but we were assured, it would be done BEFORE the 11th).

September 4th: H.D. came out, as promised, and took the second set of measurements. Whomever it was (some other guy; not Ken) that came out that day reassured Ace (again) that the work would be scheduled within a few days, and done before the 11th (one week from that date).

September 5th & 6th: We ripped out our back deck over Labor Day weekend, only to discover that whoever installed the deck did NOT do it to code; we had dry rot. Crap -- this better not set back my painting!! Ace called the painter; he gave us a number of a general contractor he coordinates with on a regular basis. Ace left the contractor a message and Sunday night (this was the holiday weekend, still), he called back. He was at the beach for the holiday weekend, but could come out Tuesday to assess the damage, and give us a bid.

September 8th (this is now Tuesday): The contractor came out, as promised, and gave us a bid. It was slightly more than we were anticipating, but since the painter's bid was lower than expected, I called it a "wash". I then called the window installers to see if I could have the contractor remove the sliding glass door's trim (which doesn't fit, now, anyway, since it was cut-out to fit around the decking). My idea was to have the contractor remove it, and do his repairs, then have the window people come back out and put on new trim that goes all the way to the bottom of the siding. Window folks said, "No problem. Call us when your painting is done, and we'll come out to put new ones on; no charge." Awesome.

September 9th: I called H.D. (AGAIN), and pitched a controlled fit to our project manager. We were running out of time, and that work HAD TO BE DONE before that Friday. Apparently, not only were they moving offices, but the two project managers who run this area were swapping districts, and she was never told of the time crunch. I gave her my availability over the next couple of days, she called the on-site guy, then called me back and said, "How's tomorrow between 8am and 9am? Should take a couple hours." "Great. See them then." Ace then called me and said the painter called. Due to the rain over the holiday weekend, we are being pushed out until Monday. That's fine, 'cuz I can have the contractor come out Friday, now.

September 10th: About 9am, H.D. showed up. Took them just over 2 hours to do the work, Ace signed off on it. Good to go. Stephanie (our project manager) called me around 2pm and asked if everything was done, and to my satisfaction. I told her, "Yes. All done. I'm happy with it, and ready for painters."

September 11th: The contractor's son, Dave, shows up with the work van at 9am, ready to work. Thankfully, he was VERY detail-oriented... of course, that means work takes a bit longer to do. He was there until 530pm, meaning I couldn't go to the hospital to see my friend, A's, new baby, until the following day. Not a biggie. The work was done, and it was done right and on time; I was very happy with that.

Yesterday, the painters did powerwashing, and today, they're scraping, sanding, and priming. If the weather holds, the plan is to paint just the siding tomorrow, then come back Monday to do the two garage doors and the trim (well, the trim that needs to be painted, anyway; the new slider & windows won't need it).

In the meantime, as I said, A & E had their baby girl on Friday (my bet was off by only 2 1/2 hours!), and yesterday, I found out I'm going to be an auntie again; sometime in April. I am excited!!