Flashback Friday – Home Renovation or Teen Angst Movie?

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 9/6/07 at Exit 51

Home Renovation or Teen Angst Movie?

Earlier this year we decided to take on some home improvement projects. When we bought the house, we knew that we wanted to change things but didn’t have the cushion in the bank account. So we saved until we had what we thought was a reasonable budget in hand. Working for an architect as I do, we thought we’d have an inside track on contractors and the process would be smooth.

Silly us. Silly, silly us.

Sure, I was able to get recommendations on some contractors from coworkers. But finding a contractor is kind of like dating. You talk to the contractors and hopefully find one who is interested in your project. Then you set up a meeting to take a look. If you don’t get stood up for that date and the contractor gives you a proposal to do the work then you get to wait around until there’s an opening in his schedule.

That whole process made me as anxious as a 14 year old trying to get the cute boy to notice me. Why won’t they call me back? We had a date on the calendar, why didn’t he show? Ok, he’s been over the house, when am I going to hear back from him? Oh, how long do I have to wait to see him again? See, not too different from dating.

The rational person would just cut their losses and move on to the next name on the list. But I’d rather wait for the right contractor to be available, the one I feel comfortable with who understands what I want the end product to be, than say yes to the first one who says he can start next week. To go back to the dating analogy, it’s trying to date the most popular person in school and then understanding that sometimes you have to decide to be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong ones. (Quick, name that 80’s teen movie!)

This process started back in March. It’s September and I finally got the call last week to say that our job was next on the schedule. It took a while but I feel like I got the date with the cute boy at last. Now, what am I going to wear?

10 thoughts on “Flashback Friday – Home Renovation or Teen Angst Movie?

  1. You are going to wear sawdust and joint compound! and eat a lot of take out cause you just can’t stand the mess.

    Been there done that

    1. Emily, it took me months to get rid of the dust. There were many, many frozen meals eaten during the renovation.

    1. Clearly, John Hughes worked similar themes through his movies. I guess it’s kind of obvious that I was a fan of his work.

    1. Actually I was thinking of Some Kind of Wonderful.

      But I agree that there’s a bit of the same theme in Sixteen Candles. And really, can you go wrong with either movie? I think not.

  2. the follow up to this post, is it good or bad? bob argued w/ all of our contractors except the plumber. the mason got so mad be pulled up his ladders and left pallets behind…

    1. Anne, did you expect Bob the architect wouldn’t have some strong ideas about how the contractors should do their job?

      For the most part, we’ve been happy with the outcome. Of course, we’ve had to go back and fix some things. And every so often something new will pop up…like the paint in the bathroom bubbling up because the painter didn’t use a sealer/primer and then only put one crappy coat of paint on. Even when I asked our contractor to remedy this, we got nada. So that, and the fact that it took almost a year to get our final bill from him, are why I’ll never use him again and won’t recommend him to anyone.

      And our roofer was DREADFUL.

  3. we bought our house renovated, which I used to think was better, except now we’re finding out a lot of those contractors the developer used might not have known what they were doing. so we’re having to fix stuff. and the contractors we call in are going “yeah I have no idea why they would have done it this way…”. And of course the developer (who I did used to work for, which is why we bought the house) didn’t survive the housing bust, so they’re not around to call.

    sorry, you hit a sore spot. probably because we spent $1200 on plumbing in the last week and a half. I hope your project went better than ours!

    1. Oh Beth, I so feel your pain. When we bought our place, the seller had some work done to get it ready to sell but his friend, the contractor, was clueless. We’re still trying to figure out why they did some of the things they did…like make plywood “walls” around our water heater and furnace. Drywall cost too much???

      The thing is, even with the licensed contractor that we used on the kitchen and bath, I still can’t understand some of the things they did either.

      I’m sorry about your plumbing woes.

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