Renovation, a Dream House or a Nightmare? (pt1)

Posted on Posted in Story Sharing

Anyone ever had a nightmare renovation story?

Here is one:

It started when my wife and I bought a new home and wanted to design and renovate the home to become our dream house.

The First General Contractor

When we signed our agreement with our original general contractor, Scott, he immediately responded that he wasn’t going to make much money on the project. I replied: “I get the sense that this doesn’t work for you. If we are not both comfortable with the terms, then it probably won’t end well. If you are comfortable, then we can proceed. If not, then it’s probably a sign that it isn’t going to work.” Scott replied: “I have accepted the terms of the contract. If I could not accept them, I would let you know.”

Every subsequent discussion seemed to include a rant about how he was not making money. Of course, he was rarely on site to oversee the project. Big shocker: Without any oversight, his project was not being run efficiently.

The contractor failed the next county inspection because he had not met the base building code requirements. He responded by telling us that these were “extra items” and we’d have to pay for them in order to proceed. We declined his kind offer, fired the contractor, and took over the project.

Getting Wired

Our general contractor “could not find an electrician within the budget provided.” After a few phone calls, I found an electrician, Jason. He provided a fixed-price proposal for the project. We accepted the proposal and work began. Along the way, we added some lights, and agreed to the additional cost. The project was moving along well.

In the middle of the project, Jason landed a large commercial project. A few weeks later, there was about a day of work remaining. We had not seen Jason for a while. I asked him when he would return to complete the work. He told us “Tuesday morning, first thing.” By noon on Tuesday, we figured something was wrong. Upon contacting him, he said “Yeah – I can’t make it today. How about Thursday at noon?” Five times he failed to show up as promised. Finally, I sent a note that said “I think we may need to find someone we can rely on to complete the project. His response is something I had to share verbatim:

“Yeah probably a good idea to get someone else to finish it. I just don’t have time… I’m done with houses anyway. It’s way too much hassle for zero money. Sorry to disappoint you and you can have whoever finishes the job call me with any questions.”

And, just like that… via text, the electrician walked away from 20% of the job

with less than a day of work to go. He explained to the person who referred him to me that there wasn’t any money in it, and the project was taking too long.

It was like a WOW This is not going to work moment.
I will share what I have learned next…

Cheers, Ian

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