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Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

This is a discussion on Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions within the The Official Puff Pipers Non-Pipe Related Banter Forum forums, part of the Pipe Smokers Forums category; This is gonna be TL;DR for most folks, and that's ok. Mainly I just gotta get this off of my ...

  
  1. #1

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    This is gonna be TL;DR for most folks, and that's ok. Mainly I just gotta get this off of my chest somehow.

    I had a small house fire 6 or 8 months ago. I know first hand about the generosity of the gentlemen of this board, and that's one reason I didn't tell anyone here - I didn't want anyone to think I was falling on hard times and feel the need to try to help me out with gifts or anything. It really wasn't a huge deal, as far as house fires go. The kitchen was basically a total loss, but the rest of the house (other than the smell of smoke...which surprisingly wasn't too bad) was just fine.

    So there's the background.

    My insurance sent an adjuster almost immediately - literally within a couple of hours of the fire. Fantastic guy, super nice, wrote for some damage that I didn't think they would. Suffice it to say, I got what I thought at the time was a generous sum, in the form of a check - a check made out to me, my wife, and the mortgage company. It seemed strange at first, but it makes sense if you think about it - the mortgage company has a financial interest in the house, they still technically own it, so they have an interest in making sure the house gets repaired properly. I first had to call the mortgage company, mail the check to them, they had to endorse it, and send it back to me...with the caveat that I got the house repaired and they would be contacting me to make sure. That all worked out fine. Money in hand, I start calling contractors.

    Here's where the nightmare begins. I called no less than 8 contractors. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE EIGHT made an appointment with me to come to my house and meet me and assess the damage and give me an estimate. Of those eight, can you guess how many actually showed up? THREE. The other five just didn't show up - no phone call, no explanation, no nothing. What a huge waste of time to plan to be home, sitting around doing nothing, waiting on some goober to show up, and NOTHING.

    So we're down to three general contractors. All three came to my house, surveyed the damage, took measurements, scribbled numbers in a notebook, and said something like "oh, yeah, we can fix this right up. I'll go crunch some numbers and I'll get back to you with an estimate." Can you guess how many of those three actually called me back with an estimate? ONE.

    HOW UNPROFESSIONAL! How asinine! I'd have much MUCH more respect if you said, "nah, screw this, I cant make any money doing this, go find someone else" than to give me the impression that you want the job and just NOT SHOW UP, or even better - come take measurements and actually SEE the damned job and STILL tell me you want it, but NEVER CALL BACK?!?!?

    Sometime in the interim of this, the mortgage company calls:

    chipper CS rep: "HI!!!!! How are the repairs coming?"
    me: "ugh....trying to find a contractor. nightmare."
    chipper CS rep: "No worries!!!!!! There's no rush, sir, we just want to stay in touch!"
    me: "yeah, whatever, ok."

    That's a bit of an exaggeration, I was cordial to them, and wasn't rude....but you get the idea.

    (I'm gonna hit the character limit soon....on to the next post)

  2. #2

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    So I called the ONE contractor who actually showed up when he was supposed to, stayed in touch with me, and gave me an estimate.

    He was here for....I dunno....about two weeks. Every day, my wife came home from work, and pointed out little things that she thought were being done wrong, mistakes, stuff not up to snuff. I really took this as my wife being nitpicky...."they're not done yet, just give 'em time." I pointed out most of these things to the contractor...his reply was always, "oh, yeah, I know....keep in mind, we're not done yet. you'll be happy when we're done."

    Sounds good to me! He seems like a good guy, and came with lots of good references.

    Not so much.

    Final day of work, he's done. I write him a check for the balance. His words - "I tell all of my customers this - you are going to find stuff, stuff you're not happy with, after living in it for a few days. I want you to live in the kitchen for a few days. Get comfortable in it. A few bumps and bruises are gonna show themselves after you've been in it for a few days. Call me in one week, give me the list, and I'll come by and tidy up." WOW!!!!! Sounds super, right?!?

    Yeah.

    I think you know what comes next.

    Made an appointment for him to come back a week later. He didn't show up.

    A couple more phone calls from the mortgage company in the interim.

    me: "no, I'm not done yet. Still gotta paint outside and do the floors."
    them: "NO PROBLEM!!!! No rush at all! We just want to do an inspection when you're done. Let us know when you're done!"

  3. #3

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    My wife and I both work full time, AND we have two small children. It's SO hard to schedule life when everything is NORMAL....not to mention trying to schedule things around home repairs...compounded by the fact that I have wasted an enormous amount of time sitting around waiting for people who don't show up.

    And the mortgage company keeps calling me at the most inopportune times. Same old story - "no rush, sir!!! we're just checking in!!!!"

    Summer dawdled on, and I *finally* got around to hiring a guy to paint the carport area (smoke damage), and also to repair the columns (a couple were rotting - unrelated to the fire, just seemed like I should replace them rather than paint them LOL). Great guy - he wasn't cheap, but he did a GREAT job, showed up on time, great communication with me, etc. I saved his number, and will be using him again.

    Well, he found termite damage in the damaged columns. YIKES!!!!! In a brainstorm, I called a friend from work

    me: "HEY...is your father in law an exterminator? can he spray for termites?"
    her: "I'm eating lunch with him now! I'll give him your number!"

    Bug man shows up later that same day! Cool!!! I make it clear to him that I'm not looking for a special rate or anything, just that he was the first bug man that came to mind, and I'd rather give my business to someone I know, you know? He quotes me a price (which is surprisingly low), and says he'll be by next week.

    I bet you can guess where this is going.

    Two weeks pass. No phone call from the bug man. No evidence that he's been here when I was out. So I said something to my coworker. She called him - his response was that he wanted to wait until the rain stopped (this was during the last hurricaine a few weeks ago...we got LOTS of rain). Ok, that's logical! Says he'll be by next week. Sounds great!

    Am I sounding like a broken record yet?

    That was....what?....about a month ago? Still no bug man.

    More phone calls from the mortgage company. Always chipper. Sweeter than saccharin. Always while I'm in the middle of something. Usually while I'm at work with a client. Always the same: "No hurry, sir! We just want to schedule that inspection when you're done!!!! We'll be in touch!!!! Have a wonderful day!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  4. #4

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes Hannibal's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    So your having a wonderful day????

    Times like these you can only laugh about it Brother!!
    My Cellar: http://www.tobaccocellar.com/hannibal
    Proud to have served 1988-2000 U.S. Army!!

  5. #5

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Three weeks ago, I got a letter from the mortgage company. Nasty. Threatening. Hostile. WTF?!?!?!? I also got a notice that there was a certified letter for me at the post office, ALSO from the mortgage company. What a pain in the neck to have to go to the post office and pick up this letter. A huge inconvenience....but I figure I should have it in hand before I call them.

    It was the exact same letter.

    I phoned my mortgage company, and asked what the deal was?

    Chipper and sweet as pie: "We just want to make sure your repairs are underway!!!"

    I officially lost it. Every shred of frustration came out on the phone with this poor girl.

    "Yes, they are underway, you moron. I told you that."

    Chipper: "Sir, I don't have any record that you've contacted us!"

    [blood boiling]

    I spent about 20 minutes ranting and screaming at this poor girl. Admittedly, she was only one tiny link in the chain of my frustration, but she happened to be the one to pick the scab just right at exactly the right moment that I just couldn't contain myself anymore.

    We ended the conversation with her telling me an inspector would contact me in 3 to 5 days to make an appointment.

    Great.

    Inspector calls me Wednesday of last week. Set up an appointment for TODAY, 9:00 am. Calls me AGAIN, Thursday of last week - "we need to schedule an appointment." I inform her that she called me yesterday....which she vehemently denies. WHATEVER. I give up. "Can we come today, sir?" "NO. YOU CAN COME NEXT WEDNESDAY AT 9 AM."

    As of this moment, 10:12 am on Thursday, no inspector. I'm just sitting here. Waiting. Just fscking sit here and wait. Maybe they'll show up. Maybe they won't. It's a crap shoot. But either way, my whole day is shot. If they don't show up at all, that means ANOTHER whole day is shot, too, because I'll have to reschedule this.

    Sit.

    Wait.

    My blood is boiling.

  6. #6

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
    So your having a wonderful day????

    Times like these you can only laugh about it Brother!!
    This has been going on for MONTHS. I can't laugh it off anymore.

    I've decided that everyone in the entire home repair and improvement industry must have their heads up their asses.

  7. #7

    Elder Puffer Fish Leader DanR's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    It seems to me, with things the way they are right now, you'd have people beating down your doors to get the job. It's very surprising to me.

    I am sorry to hear about your predicament, Clifford!

  8. #8

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes Hannibal's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    I'm really sorry to hear it but I feel your pain also. I lived through a similar ordeal just not quite as severe....
    My Cellar: http://www.tobaccocellar.com/hannibal
    Proud to have served 1988-2000 U.S. Army!!

  9. #9

    The Karate Squid Aninjaforallseasons's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Sorry to hear man. If you lived around here, I know several guys who are great and would be on point.

    You'd think with the overall contracting industry in the toilet, they'd be more proactive about bidding a job! That's crazy.
    On Instagram as @stogieninja || Reviewer for Blind Man's Puff
    Check out cigarlopedia.com - the most comprehensive cigar database ever created!

  10. #10

    Codger In Training gahdzila's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Thanks, guys.

    Thing is, north Louisiana survived the whole housing bubble thing surprisingly well. Sure, things got bad here, but they never got that bad, never as bad as what I saw on the news in other parts of the country...and with record low interest rates, they're picking back up quickly. So contractors are doing ok. Plus, this was a small job....and as long as there are enough big money jobs put there to keep them busy, no one wants to do a small kitchen remodel. That's my theory, anyway.

    So the inspector just showed up! I was all set to go postal on his ass for being an hour and a half late.....but he was a big burly looking guy, kinda scary looking. Hahaha. Plus, he ended up being SUPER nice. He snapped a couple of pics, chatted a little, promised me he'd give a "100% complete" inspection report to my mortgage company, and was out of my hair in about 15 minutes.

    Sigh of relief.

    I think I'll have a pipe now

  11. #11

    Huge Puffer Fish packed with spikes Hannibal's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Reach WAY back and grab some good stuff Clifford!!
    My Cellar: http://www.tobaccocellar.com/hannibal
    Proud to have served 1988-2000 U.S. Army!!

  12. #12

    Alpha Puffer Fish


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Clifford,

    Your story reminds me of the ordeal I went through in a small remodel job.. NOT renovating!! But repairing to live in a 1905 house that I am currently residing in. Let me tell you this, I now know why people get divorce after a major remodel!! Bloody Contractors!! The world is so much better with a smoke in hand and a glass of bourbon if you can. Just remember this is your home. You are the customer and withhold payment until they get everything right. If you want, I can come visit and slap them around for you. I still have left over hostility from the last contractor go around.

    chin up that is what puff is for!! We can provide the laughs to keep you going atleast.
    The vermin SOTL bomber is back, have a nice day!....

  13. #13

    I'm watching you.


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Wow... What an ordeal! At least the mortgage company is off your back!
    "Only fine cigars are worth smoking, and only men who smoke fine cigars are worth kissing." -Joan Collins

  14. #14

    665 Neighbor of The Beast Wharfrat's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    Holy forking fiasco Batman ! Hope its all over with but the puffin man. You have way more patience than I do for shuuure !

  15. #15

    Beer Lovin Puffer mpls's Avatar


     

    Re: Home repair and improvement - a rant of epic proportions

    I got frustrated just reading this. I realize we don't know each other, but damn I feel for you...

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