Thursday, June 25, 2009

A domestic horror

A little while ago, Dipali tagged me to describe a domestic horror. Now, we have one, on a daily basis, and that’s me, but I think she meant one of a kind. Which would also be me, actually. However, a few months ago, a terror of some inconceivable magnitude descended upon us. Masked as a general contractor, wielding a clipboard, wearing expensive cologne and designer shirts. The Contractorator.

For about 3 years now, I had been nagging the BigGeek for new bathrooms. Watching too much HGTV will have that effect on any sane person, not to mention others like me. In the end he conceded to my idea of brand new los banos. My visions of restful spas, seen, you guessed it rightly, on HGTV had to be curtailed to fit our square footage, our wallet and the size of our water heater. I mean, what’s the point of having a fancy footed tub with jet sprays and bubbles which conveniently allow you to disguise that-which-shall-not-be-uttered-by-a-lady if your water heater can only heat 5 pails of water?

So, we went for the minimalist look. Small vanities, simple tiles, subdued palette. The Contractorator nodded, gave us a price including all labor and materials and we spit and shook hands. This contractor, had been un-recommended by a friend. By that I mean, I had wrangled a phone number out of her, but along with it, also many reservations about the less than satisfactory velocity of his efforts.

Now, I consider ourselves quite the opposite of naïve. Contractor-wise, at least. This was not the first major remodel we had undertaken. But your remodel experience should not be counted by the number of remodels, but by the number of Contractorators you have worked with. And by that yardstick, we came under an inch.

On good days, I had no idea what he and his assistants planned to do. The Contractorator was not big on punctuality. The smallest division of time for him, was not minutes, but days, even weeks. “I’ll come today to tile the powder room” meant “I’ll come in 6 days to rip the vanity in Chip’s bathroom.” All I could do was pray that I had a place to answer nature’s call when I came home from work. That and plead with BigGeek to not give him another penny until the promised milestone was met.

Amongst the other stupid things they did, the first was to cut tile inside the bathrooms that covered everything in a fine white powder. The second was a mysterious leak in the powder room, the third was to keep assorted nails and other toolery on the speakers. The fourth was to forget to lay tarp and track muddy boots all over the carpet. The fifth was to reverse hot and cold for the master shower because he thought “C” meant calor (hot en Espanol). The sixth was he had no idea then, what “H” stood for. The seventh was to offer to paint the bathrooms for free because of 1-6 and then ask for money. The eighth was to repair a shower leak and fail to repaint over the mend. The ninth was to forget to paint the new baseboards and the tenth was to fail to seal the granite vanity tops. I am sure I am missing a few.

Are the bathrooms done? No. the baseboards still look like they came in from a rough game of football and a huge patch of unsanded, unpainted spackle greets us every time we shower.

Tagged: Ro, MGM, Rayshma


rayshma said...

hahaha.... calor!!! :D
NOW i know why the hot & cold is reverse at one of our friend's place. must have been identical issue! :D

will do tag. but will have to think. when i read the title, i thought u want me to write more abt me! :D

Mom Gone Mad said...

Dottie Doo. I unwittingly started this domestic horror thingummy and MiM ran with it and there - full blown tag!

Check it out:-)

And well done with the contractator!:-) Sheesh! These people are just bad karma backlog!

Mom Gone Mad said...

Ack.That link no work. The post was called Maid For Me.


Vidya said...

OMG! I am in the middle of a kitchen re-model,and I totally feel your contractor pain!

Rohini said...

The Contractorator?! LOL!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Oh no! Now tell me, is he the motivating factor behind your Spanish lessons?

richajn said...

@MGM: hahahaha. I've been seeing this tag pop up all over the place. Just didnt register that it picked up from ur post!! ROFL.

Ananva said...

yes, tell me more about contractors!! Had to fill in our pool and then landscape our backyard while being preggers with our second baby last year. Not a good thing. Worse, is when you don't know when these guys will file for bankruptcy and go kapoot on you!

Vinita said...

" A little while ago, Dipali tagged me to describe a domestic horror. Now, we have one, on a daily basis, and that’s me, but I think she meant one of a kind. Which would also be me, actually. "

hee hee. survaatilaach itki hasle na me.

But jokes apart..This was our experience.. We put in a new fence (Hispanic people)very economical ,fell apart within a year. Put in sprinkler system (white contractor) great experience, great work, great after completion service, expensive.Put new sod,aearated the soil, a little curb appeal..expensive, Hispanic person , bad experience, half done work.Remodelled master bathroom (white contractor) great job , great experience, expensive, wonderful after work service.


Just Like That said...

LOL! I feel your pain, but I can't help laughing either, esp at the Spanish confusion!

Mama - Mia said...

hahahaha! i think all contractorators go to the same school where they are taught how to blunder and not even do a good cover up job! :p

thatsaid i think you skillfully skipped telling us YOUR horrors because am sure you dont have any!! :p


DotThoughts said...

rayshma: so this is far more common that i thought!

MGM: de verdad? LOL. We came a full circle, then.

Vidya: ATB. We did our kitchen 4 years ago.

Ro: do you arnold in front of your eyes?

M4: Sigh. yes.

Ananva: tell me about it!

Vinita: First time working with a Latino contractor, this time. I am sure there are good Latino contractors out there.

JLT: Can you believe that??

Mama-Mia: Ha! You are on. I have to write about the horror I am. (your trick worked... go on gloat now ;-)

Mystic Margarita said...

Contractors are the very worst - they have a schedule and time only followed/understood by them!

eve's lungs said...

That contractor? But the results were great ..huh ?

Meluhhan said...

I'd be laughing harder if almost the exact same thing hadn't happened to us back home, right down to getting H anc C mixed up!

Argh, and I thought it was only in India that you got such shoddy service. Doesn't help that my mom always goes with the cheapest workmen. My poor mom was in tears at how badly they'd messed up.. I feel for you. :(

DotThoughts said...

Mystic: I am convinced they coem from another planet.

Eve's lungs: yeah.. that one. He left me a message yesterday asking me to recommend him!!

Meluhhan: H&C mixed up in India? What's their excuse. We made a mistake hiring the cheapest people this time. Live and learn :(