Day three of the floor replacement and people almost died…and they still might!!!
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. I am already beginning to regret that I didn’t hire professional flooring service. My friend suggested I can find out more information about Gettysburg Hardwood Flooring Group as suggested it as a reputable company.
Yesterday I had a gas engineer take a look at the gas pipeline and fix them to ensure that I don’t get disturbed by him, as I had planned to sleep until at least the noon. Which is why I was a bit freaked out when Boris decided to show up at my place at 8:15am.
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. I guess any house repair or remodeling should start with the basement. Check out https://www.purlevel.com/choose-a-concrete-leveling-contractor/ for it.
More doors 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, dust after table saws, dewalt combo kits, 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 I wish I would have just hired services from water removal austin to get the work done, but I had trust that things would be OK with the unexpected work crew who showed up first thing this morning. I came home this afternoon at 4:30 pm.
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 ian ashe 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. (Contact bathroom remodeling Houston for excellent renovation experience).
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 after cleaning microfiber cover, 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!
And check this service at this website, if you suffer from water damages.
Yeah, we all feel a bit deflated here…kinda like Morgan.
Any comments, suggestions, Zen master contacts gratefully accepted.
Your frustrated friend.
Well, he is correct about dust being unavoidable. We sealed up and taped up everything when we did our floors and still had dust throughout the house. The damage to your doors is quite a different story. He should not have had a crew there on the week-end that were not being supervised by him. So sorry to see this. I hope things can be resolved. Xox
Thank you so much Diane, I’ll take the virtual love. (XO back to you) I know there will be dust and dust will be inevitable, but hopefully now there will be more care. 🙂
The lovely cat picture says it all. I am really sorry to read this. As you may or may not know I am in Construction. Money talks (although with a guy named Boris I am not sure) Make sure you withhold any additional funding until you are satisfied ! So sorry, I hear this frequently and witness unsavory behavior even more. So sorry.
Are you in construction Kathryn? Oh boy what a job that must be. My poor girl. Great advice though, thank you so much. I’m planning to call my insurance man and tell him of this latest nonsense. I know he said he wouldn’t release a remainder chunk until I sign off on the project. 🙂
I am glad to read this. Hopefully you have no paid over 1/2 yet?
You know Kathryn, I’m going to call the insurance agent today and see. I’m so very glad I catalogue everything in my life with photos. 🙂
Ugh! Stay strong and keep taking the pics as evidence. I’m with vastlycurious – withold most of your final payment until all is completely satisfactory
Thank you Amanda. I’ll try to be as strong as possible. 🙂
Veronica: I can relate, when we were doing our remodeling. I had a drunk roofer on a Saturday, cut his leg off with a chain saw. I will pray for you. Martha
Oh dear Martha! What on Earth was he thinking? Poor man and how horrible for you to have to witness and deal with. Thank you so much for your love and support. 🙂
I applaud your restraint, i think i would have gone ballistic on the ‘Boris’ who was there … and i suspect James is not replying because he needs to talk to Eric and cover his arse … i would get a bill together for the cost/out of pocket to clean the blinds, your dad’s bag and the make up brushes and give it to James/Eric … they should be reimbursing you directly or deducting that amount from the cost of this job .. and i would send both James and Eric the definition of Project Manager .. clearly they’ve no idea what this entails .. GAH!
Daryl, you’re my shining star! Thanks so much for this. The renos are definitely going to be proceeding along a very different vein from now on. No more miss nice girl! 🙂
Oh Veronica, that really sucks! My heart goes out to you. I get mad on TV shows when the contractor does a reno on the house and leaves it a mess overnight! People have to live in the space and a good contractor always cleans up after himself at the end of the day. It’s just good sense!
Typically ( at least in Canada ) we hold a min. of 10% off every payment to hold until the end of the job (at least we advise clients to do that as [Intern] Architects) called a hold back, that goes ensures the guy pays his trades, and stuff gets fixed. Usually they want their money so they’ll finish. But it’s usually in the contract you signed at the beginning.
Keep documenting everything!
Thanks so much for this advice Heather. I know there is a hold back in place and will check in with my agent today about that. Also, will make the Project Manager source new 100yr old door hinges and replace the cracked and damaged frame. 🙂
Oh my, what a mess! I’m so glad they are taking care of their mistakes, as they should. And with pictures to prove your point, they really can’t deny it.
We are going to be doing our house soon, but it will be completely taken down and rebuilt – can’t go wrong there, right?!
Hi Astrid. Do take a lot of photos! It’s becoming such an important thing to document this reno all the way. Good luck sweetie, I’m so going to be following your progress. 🙂
Off topic – We’re going to be in Vancouver for a few days, what shouldn’t we miss doing/seeing? You can email me if it’s easier – firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
I’ll email you Astrid 🙂