Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Thinking of remodeling?

Go get drunk instead.

Seriously. Even if you are a nondrinker, it is a better option than having any part of your house ripped apart.

Those of you that know me on Fbook know that I have been bitching about criminal painter for the last week.

I had him come in to do a small patch and paint job, and it has snowballed into a full blown redo of my master bath involving tearing out a wall, 1/2 of the ceiling, removing a built in 8 foot tall cabinet, etc etc.

You wanna guess how many times I have gone to shower in the other shower and forgotten something?? Like a towel. Routine is my friend. I like consistency. Not knowing where the qtips are...makes me nuts.

I would not have chosen this particular man to do this project but I really didn't have a choice. He did the wall/ceiling patching (from what we thought was an OLD leak, from a freak sideways rainstorm long ago) and when he came in the following day to paint.....THE AREA WAS WET AGAIN.

I know, I know, it is a good thing that it was found, but I had already paid him 1/2 for the repair when we discovered that in fact there was a roof issue, and that was considered a separate repair..no, he seems to have forgotten the payment for 1/2 doing it the first time. I wouldn't mind if it had be been done, he left, and rehired, but since he was here already and had only completed part of the first repair, I am a little ticked that he started the clock at the beginning again so to speak.

I contacted the insurance agency, you know the people that suck money out of my wallet for homeowners, car, life insurance, yet getting a check for repairs is nearly impossible.

I have had to have 3 separate discussions with the adjuster that came out to assess the damage. Finally after the third conversation, she upped my payout by 40 bucks. Yeah. Woohoo.

Anyway, criminal painter was here when she came and he started getting involved in MY conversation with her. I think because of his big mouth, trying to impress her that he could do all this work for very little money, she came in ridiculously low on the payout. We are talking about ripping out walls and ceilings people....this isn't cheap. In the meantime, he keeps hitting me up for a "little more" money, while telling me how much money he is "saving me".

I told him today, the well was dry, and when the project was completed he would see another check.

OHN may be nuts, but she sure isn't stupid. I called the adjuster and asked her to please not take his calls....oh, yes, he had been calling her asking what they were going to "give me" and, as he said "keeping her up to speed" HELLO? She had already closed the claim and doesn't need a blow by blow of how amazing he is. So, I called her and asked her to leave him out of MY business. Like I said, I would not have chosen him, but since he was here working and had, the day before, patched etc, it was basically already in progress so I had to give him the work.

He made sure that there was no bidding. He sealed the deal with the adjuster outside in the driveway. I wondered why he walked out with her.

I could see the twinkle in his bloodshot, hungover eyes, and he was smelling Christmas money.

We are in the downhill slide of the "project", he should be done by Thursday. If not, I may have to kill him. Please start thinking about chipping in for my bail money.

Everything in the house is covered in plaster/drywall dust, he is very very messy. For the life of me, I can't figure out why he didn't at least cover the heat register on the floor before he started ripping out the wall.

Then there is the plaster crap on my cherry cabinets, the ceiling paint on everything below the ceiling, the paint smudges on my cherry/oak window trim, and on and on.

The thing that makes me crazy is that he keep closing the bedroom door and honestly I trust him as far as I can throw him. At about 285 lbs, most of it beer gut, that wouldn't be very far.

I keep going upstairs and opening the door, half expecting to see him dancing around the room with my underwear on his head.

I think I have hidden anything he might steal, but guys like him are sneaky and he could snag something and be long gone before we would notice..I am thinking ID theft, more than anything. BigD is very lazy about keeping important papers put away....they land on the nightstand, the dresser, wherever. It doesn't matter when it is just us here, but this could be a recipe for disaster.

To make things even worse, he talks about ALL the people in town that he has done work for....naming names and telling me things that are none of his business. I have lived here for 30 years and he has too, so we know many of the same people, I guarantee you, if these people knew what he was telling me, they would be mortified.

He has spent countless hours over the past 10 days telling me how broke he is, how he can't make his house payment, how his wife is getting screwed in her work hours (she is working 35 hours a week in retail) and that she made more on unemployment (they are trying to figure out a way she can get fired so she can go back on unemployment--lovely), how his daughter is married to an asshole, how his business has hit the shitter, (wonder why), and basically complaining about EVERYTHING.

When I tell him I have to get back to work, he follows me into my office. I have to get up and physically direct him back upstairs, where he promptly closes the door, and the whole cycle begins again.

If I survive the next few days, it will be nothing short of a miracle.

Yes, I know this is rambling. That's what you get from a distraught woman with plaster dust in her lungs and sinus rot from paint fumes.


Paige said...

I do not envy you this at all--and I get it totally because I end up with crack heads working for me all the time,

I swear, i could hire the priest and he would turn out to be a meth cook

PaleMother said...


I have enjoyed your comments on blogs we follow in common for a long time. I read your story on Deathstar about the boiled nipples and I thought to myself, not for the first time, haven't I added her to my reader yet?

Thanks so much for stopping by. I know you are neither weird nor a stalker. :)

That repair job/contractor sounds awful!! The bedroom thing? The Gossip? The neediness? YIKES.

It reminds me of the summer that I set out to hire a painter to freshen up the trim on our house. It looked awful, but thankfully we have mostly siding so it wasn't giant $$$ job. Sounds simple right?

I talked to five or six contractors. All but one of whom were INSANE in one way or another. And those were just the ESTIMATES.

There was the College Pro guy who actually said -- first thing when I called -- that he preferred to talk to my husband. Wha? Seriously? He flunked the intelligence test right on the spot and I told him so. Just a friendly tip. Don't be a pig.

My neighbors ended up hiring him and ... true to my instincts ... he continued to harrass me after our initial conversation, which should have been our last. Very creepy. Made me want to go out and buy a very large dog.

The last guy I talked to made two or three trips to do the estimate that took my winning painter all of a ten minute walk-around to complete. He talked his way into my kitchen -- the only estimator to insist on entering the house (the work was all exterior). And he ended up sobbing at the kitchen table over his daughter and some other problems. WTF?! His price was also over the top. Double the lowest price. When he called to find out that he didn't get the job, he got shrill and told me I'd be sorry because I'd get what I paid for.

Um, the normal, clean cut, low maintenance, professional guy I hired was a ~dream~. I had to wait a couple months to fit into his schedule, but he was worth the wait. Painless. I can't believe what I had to go through to find him, though.

Hang in there.


Unknown Mami said...

Sounds like a criminal insurance company.

Anonymous said...

If we ever have the money to move out of here, I will make sure the place is brand new - cause I am terrified of renovations. My friend is having her downtown penthouse renovated - was supposed to move in August - and well, now it's almost Christmas - and with a new baby. The last couple of handyman guys she hired, put a window instead of a skylight (guess what happened when it rained?) and also gave her a sob story about his tattered life, kept her money and never finished the job.