Mike, being capably handy, is always reluctant to hire contractors. Working full time, though, he realized that the renovation of the fourth bedroom and hall bath into a master suite was going to require more time, tools, and skills that he could spare. Our one experience with a contractor had been positive, Gary finishing the work beautifully with minimal hassle. Each evening the house was left clean and neat. Unfortunately, Gary was not available. Having witnessed the beautiful transformation of a friend’s kitchen, we hired their contractor J*.
J* showed up early each day, working diligently for several weeks. The hallway to the kitchen was partitioned off forcing us to experience villa living, traipsing from bedroom to kitchen via the patio. We were a little surprised when J* proposed a cheap vanity and light fixtures and wanted to take shortcuts such as not moving a wall or omitting a light switch. We needed this house to work for us for 15 years, so, although not our dream home, it had to be comfortable and functional. One very positive result was that J* was able to fit in a clever powder room with an adorable corner toilet and sink as well as a jewelry/shoe closet for ED.
We were not prepared for the mess. Moving a toilet required tearing up floor tile and digging deep to move sewer and water lines. What a jolt to witness the entire floor gone, replaced by a large muddy cavity. More irritating, though, was that J* indicated that it wasn’t necessary to move our belongings out of the adjoining bedroom. Tearing into the tile and dirt released dust that permeated the boxes, lamps, pillows, linens and everything else stored in the room. I was taken aback, too, with J* knocking on my bedroom door at 6:30 in the morning, asking for decisions on paint color or tile placement. No complaints, though; he was there.
Towards the end of the project, J* brought in assistance resulting in less than professional results, such as poor paint coverage on the back of a recessed door, unnoticeable until inside the room, and poorly placed light switches.
The project revealed egregious lack of communication between Mike, myself, ED, and J*, no surprise to ED or myself. Overall, though, the results allow this multi-generational household to be comfortable and functional. Our 15-year flip had begun!