Monthly Archives: August 2019

My Experiences With Contractors, Plumbers, and All Fixer Upper People

Having lived in this house almost forty-three years, we have, on occasion. hired people to do work for us.  When we first moved here, we were kind of poor with three little kids, so much of the remodeling on this old house was up to us.

When we bought the house it had blue paneling on all the walls upstairs and greenish blue carpet over most of the downstairs. Carpet that crunched when you walked on it. I said at the time that carpet would be the first to go. Well, it wasn’t. We had to get bedrooms ready for all of us, a nursery for our baby and a bedroom for our two boys.  We painted the paneling since we didn’t have the money to rip it out and fix the walls and then paint them. It actually looked pretty good. In fact, three rooms are still painted paneling and you would not know it.  We bought new carpeting for all the bedrooms, a little at a time. I sewed curtains and decorated as best I could on a limited budget.   That greenish blue carpet stayed on the floor for years until we could afford new carpeting.

As our family grew, we needed more space. The boys wanted separate bedrooms as they grew older so we looked for a contractor.  I’m not sure how we ended up with the one we hired, but he has pretty much remodeled this whole house through the years.  He was very young when we hired him, as were we,  He built a two-story addition to the back of our house that included a new bedroom for David and me, a family room and a combination bathroom and laundry room. We felt like we had so much more space.  After it was all built, we had a big rain and it was leaking in our new bedroom, so David called the contractor and in a storm with lightning and thunder, he got up on our roof and fixed the leak. I was so impressed with that even though we had not expected him to do that. We still talk about that with him. Since that time we have hired him for pretty much all our remodeling except for our kitchen and that’s a story  all by itself.  I regretted not hiring him for that job.

Since then our contractor has replaced all our windows, added two porches, one screened in and has done some other work on our house.

I have one criteria for hiring someone for a job. Are they optimistic and do they say they can get the job done.  I have hired people that I wondered why they were in that line of work. One time I hired a chimney sweep who said he was afraid of heights and I even had to hold the ladder for him when he climbed to the roof.  We do have a very high, steep roof, but I told him he was probably in the wrong line of work. Another chimney sweep I had hired came to our house and with one look told us he was too old for the job and I understood because he was about our age.  So we switched to a gas fireplace and no longer need a chimney sweep.

We have called people to our house who have brought their children who began to climb all over our wood pile and I feared for their safety. Needless to say, they weren’t hired. It’s not that I don’t like children, but they don’t belong on a job site.  We had a man to our house about painting our vaulted bedroom ceiling and I knew immediately that he would not be doing it by his attitude.  So, David and I painted it ourselves.

Now for the kitchen remodel.  We searched for a long time for someone to put in a new kitchen and we went to a kitchen “specialist” where we found cabinets we loved so we hired them.  Well, a job that should have taken a month took all Summer. I had to cook all our meals in my shop and we did not have the use of our whole downstairs all Summer as we were also getting hardwood flooring put in.  And the guy evidently didn’t pay his sub-contractors because I had them calling me asking me to convince him to pay them. I told them I paid him and it was up to him to pay them.  I have always wondered if they ever got paid.   It was one crazy Summer. He sub-contracted the drywall work and as soon as the middle aged woman and kid came to our door to hang the drywall, I knew we were in trouble.  They drywalled over a bump in the wall that looked like something was going to pop out of the wall.  I was not a happy camper when the contractor came the next day.  He found someone else who did the job right, but it was an unnecessary delay in our kitchen progress.  I really am not a demanding person, honest, I just expect people who say they can do a job, to do it.

We have been blessed to have a very good contractor for the last few years, but now I think all the work on our house is done. Except for some painting once in a while it is completed.

David stained our cabin this Summer. We have had it for sixteen years and it was needing some work. I will show you some pictures of it my next post.  I also will tell you about all the swings we have on our property. David and I are real swingers. Ha.

Have you ever had trouble with a contractor or anyone who has come to do work for you? I’d love to hear the stories. I’m sure there are many.  Here’s to good contractors who get the job done. Bye.

I never wrote one thing about a plumber, did I?  We don’t hire plumbers too often, but we have found a very good plumbing business who sends plumber to our house when they say they will and they get the job done with no excuses, so they are the ones we will always use.  And that’s all there is about plumbers.