Saturday morning 8:15am there was a knock on the door. I was determined to ignore it. But then there was another, and another and I walked up in my jamas and guess what? Five unannounced workmen were standing on my front porch and Boris, their leader, said in a heavily Russian accented English, “Ve here to take up floor.”
You don’t say.
So another loud conversation with my project manager ensued, a key was handed over to the crew, C went climbing as was her plan and I took mom out for lunch as was my plan, and then I came back home at 4:30 to find a new Boris smoking on my front porch.
Thank goodness that the original Boris and crew were not here any longer because I swear heads would have been rolling.
This is what the floors looked like before I left and after I came home..fair enough…
…but then! I found that my hundred year old doors were taken off their hinges and placed in the bathroom. I guess one of the doors didn’t come off it’s hinges properly because the door frame is cracked, gouged and part of the hinge is missing. Here, have a look: Complete hinge on left, broken hinges in middle and right.
More dooors were taken off the hinges and stacked beside the toilet and now get this!!!!! The toilet was used messy boy style and there is urine and toilet water splashed onto my doors!!! Are you freaking out yet? Yeah, me too.
Do you see that crumpled mess on the ground behind the door? Those are my extremely expensive Levolor blinds from my bedroom.
Here is a shot of my sink vanity. Believe it or not, I was promised site protection, zipped plastic doors, extreme care of my things. I think that my MAC make-up brushes, now completely caked with dust, saw dust and other grime may have to be replaced, the basket of fresh towels needs to be rewashed and my father’s vintage Dr.s bag which holds the medicine and sits on a metal shelf high above Binky and Bunny reach, probably needs to be somehow professionally cleaned. What does one do with old leather? Oh, and that shelf has had one of the anchors pulled part way out of the wall by one of the doors.
This is what the promised secure dust proof zip entrance door between the kitchen and the rest of the house mess looks like. Not quite what I was expecting.
To say that I’m totally fed up is an understatement. I sent an email following my phone call with the project manager. This is what I said:
I had to leave today and trust that things would be OK with the unexpected work crew who showed up first thing this morning. I came home this afternoon at 4:30pm.
Before I left I had to instruct the crew to tape up the kitchen/dining room entrance. They began removal without the plastic door, which should have been a zippered door properly sealing the kitchen off the renovations as per Eric’s promise, but it wasn’t. It is just a piece of plastic taped here and there by painter’s tape. The result is that the kitchen is full of sawdust. At one point, one of the workmen dropped his roll of painter’s tape down the back of the kitchen cabinets and started flailing a long piece of wood (one of the baseboard mouldings full of nails) on the top of my stainless steel fridge seriously threatening to crack the porcelain stored there and scratch the fridge. I stopped him and Boris came to investigate and started pulling the fridge away from the wall. I told him to stop as I didn’t want him to damage the floor under the fridge or crash the porcelain on the ground behind the fridge and he became argumentative telling me it’s not a problem to pull the fridge out that they do that all the time, and I had to climb to the top of the counters and retrieve their stupid spool of tape only to be told that they had more tape available.
I left Boris and his work team with a house key. Upon my return I found a new work crew here and the original Boris and crew had left and availed themselves of the house facilities in a way I wasn’t quite expecting. The bathroom is now unusable due to a thick coating of dust because they moved the interior doors into is, used it, and failed to shut the door or protect the room. As I kept asking you and Eric what I was to prepare for and what to expect, and I was told that the rooms not part of the renovation did not need to be packed up and would be site protected. Therefore the towels all need to be washed, all the toiletries, make up brushes and my father’s vintage Dr.s bag need to be cleaned.
The kitchen has been used as the workmen’s crew cabin. There are used coffee cups, a water bottle and pop cans on the counter and the microwave has been used and the time not reset to the clock function and my household broom was used to sweep up the wood dust. There are apple cores tossed into the flower garden where they are attracting ants and they obviously have had a pleasant picnic as my patio furniture has been moved, the plants moved along the table and the chairs draped in black plastic. The two foot square piece of wood I asked to be saved for historic reference and agreed with Eric on his last visits (and also reminded Boris of this this morning) turned into a cracked six by six inch piece of wood and, it was my understanding that the ducts would be protected from saw dust but are instead full of saw dust and I cannot turn the furnace on for fear of sucking the sawdust into it or blowing it through the house.
All of this stuff might seem trivial to you but coupled with the problems with having to redo the baseboards of laundry room, the delay on the removal of the machines, the floor delivery man swearing and causing a scene yesterday and the work crew showing up this morning unannounced can be summed up with one word DISRESPECT. I did expect a follow up phone call of explanation from you or Eric about why the workmen showed up unannounced this morning and how that mishap could have happened but there was no call. I feel that On Side Restoration are talking up a good game verbally but the service is really below par and I feel like perhaps you have much more important projects than my floors.
I really cannot be the police here and make sure things are done as they should be done because I’m going by on promises that everything will be alright only to find one upset after another and, since I don’t know what to expect, never having dealt with a renovation of this magnitude before, perhaps I’m being over sensitive, but, this evening, I’m seriously so upset I am considering cancelling this whole project and finding someone else to finish it. Could you please assure me that these major upsets are not going to continue to happen if we continue on this project and tell me how this will all be made better.
The reply I received was:
I will be discussing these matters in depth with Eric.
I do not believe I have ever treated this job or the issues as trivial. I am not sure why you are under that impression. This is a very important job to me and I am also upset at the issues you have brought up. I can assure you we (Eric and I) will be speaking with the work crews about their conduct on the job
When we spoke earlier, I told you I would get back to you on Monday with a more firm timetable for repairs. I did not know you wanted a call back for an explanation. I believe I have responded and replied to you in a timely matter whenever you have contacted me and will continue to do so.
There is a certain level of dust that is unavoidable, but we will prepare your home better in future in attempt to contain this. We will also rectify all the issues and clean whatever is required due to dust. As some dust is unavoidable, this was accounted for when estimating for the final clean at the end of the repairs. A job like this obviously requires more cleaning than other jobs due to the type of repairs we are doing. However, there is no excuse for unaffected areas to be completely exposed during demolition/installation
I will update you on Monday when I have had a chance to discuss the issues in depth with Eric and his crew and I sincerely apologize for the stress this has caused.
Once again, these issues are not being treated as trivial and the job is important for us.
I do not work on weekends, but I am replying to you because the repairs at your home are important to me and I will do whatever I can to rectify the issues and get the job moving forward with more attention to detail.
Can you say defensive? After having a through look thru the house I sent this this morning with photos:
Thank you for your reply. While I appreciate that you don’t wish to work on weekends, my feeling is that if you, or your hired trades, send out work crews on weekends then you surely must be prepared to deal with the aftermath of their service.
As you said that you will be discussing the matter with Eric on Monday I am sending you some photos of the situation around here. Out of the several distressing things here, the main are:
1. The 1920 doors have been removed from their hinges and stacked beside the toilet, the toilet has been used and urine and toilet water has been splashed onto the doors.
2. One of the pairs of doors has come off its hinges without damage (as you can see from the photo) but the other door’s 1920 hinges have been compromised as has the door frame, which has been split and scratched and probably will have to be replaced, and parts of those two hinges are missing and I don’t know where they are.
3. My very expensive Levolor blinds have been removed from my bedroom and, without any protection or care, have been piled on the floor behind the removed doors in the bathroom.
4. Our makeup brushes have been damaged with the dust and dirt and will probably have to be replaced.
Awaiting the result of your conversation with Eric tomorrow so am not dealing with the situation until I hear from you.
I’ve not had a reply…guess he’s making a point of not working on weekends!
Yeah, we all feel a bit deflated here…kinda like Morgan.
Any comments, suggestions, Zen master contacts gratefully accepted.
Your frustrated friend.