Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 Stages of Grief Hiring A Contractor/Bathroom Remodelling

We are magnets.

If there is an unreliable, self-employed contractor within a thousand square miles of us, we will bend over and kiss our own arses for the opportunity to give him our hard-earned money in exchange for an exasperating and frustrating experience.
I swear we're not doing it on purpose, but so far, in the few years we've lived at our place, we've hired a drunk carpenter who Mark literally throttled and threatened in order to get him to complete the piss-poor job of soffit, fascia, gutters, roofs, etc. that he'd started. We are slowly repairing all the damage he did. Truly everything he touched he un-improved.

We've hired a drunken painter (who bragged about being a teetotaler,) who Mark also threatened (He is not a violent person, I swear.) in order to get him to clean up all the over spray on our brand new deck & "just, for the love of Pete, finish our damned house, it's been half -painted for a month now."
And so on.

Now we have the carpenter who can arrive sober and do acceptable work, but he just can't always be bothered to show up. When he says he'll arrive at 8:30am, he'll call at precisely 8:30am to tell you why he won't be there. Other days he just can't be there. Or maybe he'll show up sometime in the afternoon. (Supposed to be 4:30pm today.)

Then he'll complain about this or that, insult Mark, putz around, talk some more, and make some more insulting remarks. Then Mark will invite him to eat with us and he'll eat supper with us. And finally we'll decide to install the floor ourselves because we're afraid he's going to mess it up in some passive-aggressive fit.
So I've spent the past 3 days on my hands and knees with my nose a few inches from the floor. I've inhaled copious amount of grout dust deemed by the state of California to cause cancer.

Saturday night we mixed up our package of grout and started smearing. We were going to get it all done that night. We'd spent all that day and the previous night babysitting nieces and taxiing my sister-in-law all over the countryside, so at 10:01pm, about 15 minutes into our project and 1 minute exactly after Lowes closes, we discovered that we had about 1/10 of the grout that we needed.

Sunday morning Mark got out of bed and went on a grout run. (And threw in a new charcoal grill for good measure-talk about a boy being on cloud nine.)

So of course they don't have enough packages of Smoke Grey. How about Hemp?

Whatever, I don't care, let's do this.

Brings 100 lbs of Hemp grout mix home, we mix a bag and hate the color.

Dump an entire bucket of Hemp grout over the hill.

Return to town and purchase 100 lbs of Delorean Grey at Home Depot hoping it will match. Getting desperate at this point. Starting to not care a little. This is before wiping:
The new grout seems to be working out and it takes forever and requires endless wiping and smoothing. We are obviously not professional tile setters but dammit we just want our bathroom back. Also, it is not what I pictured. I pictured dark grout.

Mark has asked me a couple times if I like it and my answer has always been 'I'm gonna have to like it.' and he says 'Yes, that's right.'

Grief: Why do contractors hate us so? We pay. We cook. Hell, we do half the work ourselves!

Anger: Are you seriously insulting my husband? The one who cooked you dinner and hasn't complained once that you show up whenever the hell you want to.

Bargaining: Just gimme back my bathroom and I'll never hire a contractor again.

Depression: We are idiots for hiring a yet another contractor. Will we never learn? :(

Acceptance: I can poop in the yard and bath in the pond. Kidding. We still have the bathroom in the cellar.

So that's where we're at. Quite honestly, I should be grateful to this guy, because one day, when our bathroom is done and all broken in with dirty underwear and wet towels lying on the floor, Mark and I can sit back and have a good laugh. Because I haven't even told you the half of it.

Plus I've learned how to do grout. Another positive! This is basically the finished product minus stone sealer:
Have I shown you these? I liked them, Mark insisted on them, and it makes me happy to look at them. Positive!
Nerds Ahoy! The plug I bought doesn't fit. Still using a plastic bag to keep it from sinking.

Later on, Ya'll!


Becky said...

I would be stuck somewhere in depression. Or maybe anger. But the floor looks great! I like the lighter grout--you can see the pebbles that way.

And the light fixtures are so stylish! I can't believe Mark picked them out!

Heidi said...

GOSH that last picture is how I felt Monday morning! The tile/rocks looks GREAT! Milk Man and I used to 'lay tile' as a side job off of the farm in the winter. Before we had to many children, aging parents, bad backs etc... You guys did a GREAT JOB!!! and i LOVE LOVE LOVE the floor!!!!

Amy said...

Love your progression through the five stages. I can't believe what you guys have had to put up with. But the floor looks great--those pebbles will feel nice on your feet!