Muddying up the Works

Carpet remnants and mud

Carpet remnants and mud

I’m sure one day we will laugh about all this.  Just not today.

I have gotten a little angry about some of the blunders that have happened in our remodel, but I’ve always thought that mistakes will happen.  As long as the contractor was willing to fix them in a satisfactory way, I was okay with it.  Some of the mistakes have been pretty bone-headed.

Who can forget this:

Two electrical boxes installed in our brand new island

Two electrical boxes installed in our brand new island

or this:

The switch just didn't fit with the heated floors controls

The switch just didn’t fit with the heated floors controls

Unfortunately the project manager insists that these things will be fixed by the electrician who caused the damage in the first place.

So far…not so much.

So, how does this tie in with the muddy carpet remnant picture at the beginning of this post?  It is how we were greeted when we arrived at The Money Pit on Saturday.  That and the pendant lights were on and couldn’t be turned off.

I grew up with parents who were always reminding me to turn off the lights when I left an empty room.  They felt it was a waste of electricity to leave lights “burning” when there was no one in the room.  It cost them money.  I didn’t care because I wasn’t paying the electrical bill.  But I did care that it made my parents unhappy, so I learned to turn off the lights.

So, when I saw that the last worker (pretty sure it was the electrician) who left the house on Thursday or Friday left the lights on in the kitchen and the office, annoyance kicked in.  I guess his mother never told him to turn off the lights when he left an empty house.  He doesn’t pay the bills, so why would he care?

However, when my husband told me that, although the island light no longer turned on the outside patio light, the pendant lights over the island could not be turned off with any switch in the house…it riled me up a little.

But, when I saw the mess this electrician left for us, I hit the boiling point.

California finally got some rain last week and it came down pretty good. And, in our neck of California the soil is full of hard red clay.

Our Reservoir, Jenkinson Lake surrounded by typical red clay dirt.

Our Reservoir, Jenkinson Lake surrounded by typical red clay dirt.

When I was a kid, I used to pretend that I was an Indian and made clay pots and plates out of the red clay dirt and water.  My hands would become stained and my mom would have a fit if I tracked it into the house because it was very hard to clean.  All this to say, that this is what was tracked throughout our house by the electrician on Friday.

I had that little purple rug outside in the garage for the workers to stamp their feet dry from the rain.  Then I had another mat by the door in case there was still dirt on their shoes.  (Mind you, in order to get in the house, the men walk across our driveway and thru the entire garage to get to the door.)  Then, inside the door I laid out some of the new carpet remnants in long strips, thinking that this would get off the last bits of dust and water so my new floors would not be messed up. I even put a broom and a dry mop right next to the door for easy clean up.  It was a waste of effort.

I underestimated the cleverness of the electrician and the amount of caked-on mud he must have had on his feet.

Purple rug brought indoors and caked with mud

Purple rug brought indoors and caked with mud

He obviously knew his feet were muddy, otherwise he would not have brought in this little rug.  He even dragged his muddy feet across the carpet remnants, which we will no longer be able to use as a patch in case our carpet needed one.

However, all of this did not stop the mud from continuing thru the house on the bottom of the shoes of this man.

mud on the hardwood floors

large drips of mud on the hardwood floors

And this:

Interior hallway

Interior hallway

And, as I followed the tracks, my heart sank as I saw them heading towards the new carpet.

Sure enough:

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

And on into the closet:

Master Bedroom closet

Master Bedroom closet

He was apparently working on the outlets in the Master Bedroom Closet.  How did I guess (besides the muddy footprints on the floor?)  How about this clue:

Outlet in Master Closet

Outlet in Master Closet

and this:

Baseboard pried away from wall for some reason

Baseboard pried away from wall for some reason

You can also see little chunks of mud, etc. on the floor.  These walls were freshly painted by me just a few short weeks ago. (Excuse the color differences in the carpet in the above pictures, but I used several different cameras and the color did not match.  It is the same carpet.)  All these photos were taken on the same day.

And to add insult to injury, the pendant lights are again beginning to drop.

Pendant lighting at differing heights...again

Pendant lighting at differing heights…again

The last time I went to the house, prior to this visit, I was feeling pretty good about the way things were going.  But, my hopes were shattered.   My husband sent an email to the Project Manager on that same day, which was a Saturday.  We didn’t expect him to come running over, but we did expect a response, as he had emailed us before on weekends.  But, we got no response.

My husband and I went home, had a couple of scotches and didn’t have much to say to each other.  We were on the verge of being defeated by all of this.

However, the next day I told him that we needed to write to the owner of the Contracting firm.  The reason we chose this particular contractor was because they have a good reputation in town and we wanted to stay local.  Maybe…just maybe, the owner was not aware of all the issues that we had been dealing with.  I convinced my husband that if I was the owner of this firm, I would certainly want to know about my customers’ dissatisfaction with my product.  I would want the chance to make it right. My husband agreed, and so I spent the next several hours putting together an email with lots of photos of some of the issues we are having with The Money Pit. A copy of the email also went to the Project Manager so that he would not be surprised by his boss receiving an email from us without his knowledge.  We are not here to make enemies or get people in trouble.  We just want the electrician who did all this kept out of our house and we want the other areas fixed to our satisfaction.  And now, we want the carpet in those two rooms replaced.

The email went out Sunday night and we really did not expect a response that night.  Bright and early this morning we got a response from from the supervisor apologizing profusely, saying that the photos were embarrassing. Yes, they are.  We said nothing about all the other things that the electrician had done to our place, but had fixed or made do.

My husband also received a phone call from the owner who deeply apologized.  He and the supervisor and the project manager are all having a powwow over at the Money Pit today to take a look and see what can be done. He also says we will not be dealing with that electrician anymore.  For this, I am thankful

I’m feeling encouraged by this, but still skeptical.  My husband and I do not yell or go off on people.  We do not feel that this solves anything.  We have always felt that honey works better than vinegar, but some of these fixes are absolutely not acceptable.  We paid them for a professional job and we expect that they will give us a professional finished project.

I have restrained myself from going down to the house today, but I will probably drop by tomorrow.

Meanwhile…cheers!

Scotch on giant ice balls "rocks" served in mid-century modern cocktail glasses

Scotch on giant ice balls “rocks” served in mid-century modern cocktail glasses

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