Thursday, July 30, 2009

When the Going Gets Tough...

Things around here have been busy, busy, busy. That is until they came to a screeching halt yesterday.

This past Spring, my parents sold the house I grew up in and downsized to a new place closer to my mom's work. By downsizing from a 3 story, 4 bedroom house to a 2 story 2+ bedroom house, they had furniture to spare. Since they were willing to pass along some pretty nice couches and other great housewares, we were happy to receive some new pieces.

Of course, we live in a 2 bedroom tiny cottage-like home that was fully furnished. Wherever would we put all that furniture? Why in the attic of course. The attic that was already in the beginning stages of a drywall job.

And that is how it all began.

With dreams of a cozy family room, we began seeking contractors to hang the last of the drywall and then do the mudding and taping in our full attic. Not a major project, but one we didn't really feel capable of doing ourselves.

Before we began browsing paint chips, we needed estimates. I went straight to Facebook, and asked local friends if they had any recommendations. Adrian hit the internet and began making phone calls. In a pretty short time, Adrian had a few appointments lined up for estimates. I didn't even have time to get him the recommendations from friends. The contractors came out, and we decided to go with the young-ish guy who seemed less slick and more laid back... ultimately too laid back but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Once the contractor was chosen, we had the task of not only moving furniture cross country but also storing it (a 10 foot truck's worth) and all the furniture currently residing in our attic somewhere. We couldn't put it in the attic space as the contractor needed room to work and so we crammed as much as we could in the open eave space and the rest was left scattered in the dining room, living room, and our bedroom.

For someone, like me, who has a difficult time with chaos and things out of place, it was a bit overwhelming but the thought that it would only be for a short while kept me sane. Thus, when Wednesday rolled around and our contractor arrived as scheduled I was able to relax and begin making decorating plans.

All this calm was short lived. Around noon on day one of what was to be a three day project, the contractor emerged wanting to speak with Adrian. Up the stairs Adrian headed where he was hit with the opener, "I'm embarassed to say, I won't be able to complete your job." Adrian, completely caught of guard, responded with a bumbling, "Why not?" The contractor went on to explain that he had thought he would be able to reach the high section, but has since figured out his ladder is too short. "Ok, no problem," thought Adrian, "we'll just rent a bigger ladder." The contractor was not very responsive to this idea and instead said that he'd understand if we wanted to hire someone else. Of course, since we hired him for the job, we didn't have a back-up contractor just waiting in the wings. Adrian explained this and the contractor said he'd make a few calls. Adrian quickly got on the phone as well and called a friend who does industrial drywalling as a profession. He simply wanted to ask our friend how to go about reaching an awkward spot to hang and mud drywall. Our friend said it was simple and offered tips on making a platform on which to stand safely.

Armed with ideas, Adrian returned to our contractor who again seemed resistant but continued to hang a few lower level pieces. Since the contractor continued with the work the rest of the afternoon, we assumed he was working on a solution to the height problem.

Around 5 o'clock, the contractor began cleaning up and loading his tools into his truck. I thought to myself, "He could just leave those up there, it's not like we're going to be using the space."

Once packed, the contractor turned to Adrian and said, "So I'll try to send you the names of a few guys who might be able to complete your attic for you. I'm not going to charge you for the work I did today. I'm really sorry."

And just like that, he left.

We were completely dumbfounded. He just quit. He ran into a challenge, one that was present and obvious during the estimate visit, and instead of finding a solution, he just quit.

Now, we're left with a dust covered attic, a house full of misplaced furniture, and no contractor to speak of. All we got for our effort was a few more pieces of drywall up and a certain delay while we try to locate a new hopefully less acrophobic contractor.


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Oh wow. That's so demoralizing. I hope you find someone soon.

@juniandpip said...

Ugh. I am SO sorry! My neighbor (actually Marty's next-door neighbor) does dry-wall -- he has a full-time gig, but might be able to work on the weekend if you need help. Let me know...

Anderson Fam said...

Too bad we don't live there, Jon could totally do the job for you. We built our own house in Nebraska, holy cow!!! I can't believe he just quit. You even gave him solutions to the problem, how do people give up so easily. I hope you find someone soon to do the job. Heather

Marty, a.k.a. canape said...

Yup, my next door neighbor has done all of our drywall work. He's fantastic and a pro. I'll ask him about driving to Durham for a job and get back to you.

Miche said...

Oh good god! That is awful! I can't believe he just walked out-and to be honest, drywall is easy. My husband and I did our whole downstairs and built a little platform for me so I could reach and help.

If you still need help when I'm back in town I'll come over and take a look, if my hubby can't do it I know his friend Mike could in a heartbeat. And I'll be back the last weekend of Aug, so we will have to try again to meet up at Marbles or something!

Good luck with the walls!