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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: TOH Editors want to know: Any renovation/relationship disasters?

    Don't know if this qualifies or not. I had a contractor who, for nearly 20 years, did quite a bit of work for me. That includes removing my roof, adding a second story, kitchen remodel, and various smaller projects. We had become good friends. His work was (and is) excellent. It is as close to perfect as I have ever seen. I had a project planned that involved adding a small room to my house, a deck, and a screened in porch. He took the job. He got as far as framing the room and hanging sheetrock, and flooring the deck and screened in porch. Then he disappeared. Didn't answer my calls. Left his tools sitting, and didn't return. His tools set outside for 4 weeks before I locked them up in my shop. I did not hear from him for another 8 weeks. In that time (I am a DIY person) I finished the room, made box beams for the porch, stained and polyurethaned siding for the porch and got things prepared as far as I could go by myself. At that point I contacted my friends at the local lumber yard about someone to finish my construction. They were very helpful. In fact, unknown to me, they had already talked to another contractor to see if they would help me out. The same week they agreed to finish my project, my original contractor contacted me. He apologized for disappearing, said he wanted to finish the project, and would like to get his tools out of my shop. We had a discussion, parted friends, and are still friends.

    As an aside to the story, the first contractor worked with his semi-retired carpenter father. We have been friends for years. After leaving my project, his father later began working for me on occasion, and he and I have just completed a rehab some rental property.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: TOH Editors want to know: Any renovation/relationship disasters?

    I had a siding and gutter project that cost my contractor his relationship with his siders. He'd used them on numerous jobs previously and was very happy with their work. Until my house.

    The company owner came out and met with me and my contractor (a fabulous fella, and I trust him implicitly) and we went around the house, talkg about what I wanted done and getting measurements for the estimate. On my contractor's recommendation, I hired them (yes, i had another quote, but wasn't comfortable with the guy). So work began. There were a few dry rot places on the window frames, and they were to remove the rot, fill in with good wood before wrapping the window frames. And my house is built oddly with huge beams atop the windows and magnificently large screws/bolts to the house. They were to cut the bolts flush, not pound them out because they'd go straight through and out the drywall inside.
    There was a pipe at the back of the house, just about foundation level, that had been capped. we couldn't figure out what it was, but my contractor told them to cut it flush and cap it before siding. They were to make air flow holes in the eaves and put very fine screen over them to keep out spiders.
    We decided on gutter and downspout size.

    - They wrapped the window frames, we discovered they did not do the repairs.
    -They sided the back of the house and when my dishwasher ran or water in the sink, water came out of my house. Seems it had been a grey water drain. My contractor checked it and they'd just sawed the pipe flush and didn't cap it.
    -They removed large sections of wood in the eaves to allow free flow of air and didn't use any screen.
    -One of the idiot team (the owner's son)took the nut off the end of one of the massive bolts and pounded it flush to the big beam. that, of course, put the bolt straight through the insulation and out the brand new drywall in my brand new bathroom.
    - They put the wrong size downspout for one of the gutters, too small, but on the opposite side of the house, they put the correct size. Guess they figured I'd never know.
    - They ran the gutter slant the wrong way on one side of the house so the water didn't go down the downspout but over the top of the gutter at the opposite end.
    - They put the siding on with the 'ends' facing the wrong way both front and back.

    Then the owner gave me a lot of grief about the holes & screens and until my contractor reminded him that he was there and what was said and promised, denied it all.

    So my contractor was so unhappy and plain mad at them that he declared he'd never use them on another job, and he hasn't. And I told all my neighbors who asked, too.

  3. #13

    Default Re: TOH Editors want to know: Any renovation/relationship disasters?

    My mother and father had a small cable coumpany that was in a new housing division. People bought their lot and started building their "dream" home. My mother who did the book keeping and could see how finaces were going ie: paying bills and address changes...was amazed at the number of couples that divorced after compleating their dream home. As I recall it was upwards of 50%.
    I have made it thru several remodels and the biggest problem is living with the CHAOS!!!You have to be very tolerant and not be anal about housekeeping!!!
    As for the questions about Jig saws...I have given them up in favor of Roto tools!!!

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: TOH Editors want to know: Any renovation/relationship disasters?

    Quote Originally Posted by mopargirl View Post
    What I can say about taking on remodel/renovations to any SANE married couple who is even remotely considering it.is..DON"T!!! If you have any shred of hope for your sanity, or your marriage to last you will hire a reputable contractor.
    My husband and I have what we refer to as remodel ADD. We are like 2 small children in a candy store with no adult supervision. We will be sitting there admiring our lovely home, albeit, it's our half finished projects house, when out of the blue, one of us delinquent brainiacs will get some hair brain idea like..taking out a wall to make a room bigger, or walling in a patio to make a master bedroom, or converting the garage into a living space for the mother in law, oh, and that is whole different story worthy of divorce court at it's finest or worse!!!! That's arbitrary.
    Now let me clarify that we have actually completed a small project or two, and no one died or divorced, but it was close.....whew!!
    However,the main issue with us is that we NEVER complete a project from start to finish. We have no problem starting projects, that's the easy part, the idea, the planning, the buying of the most necessary tools (my husbands swears they are all necessary) I beg to differ, REALLY, do you REALLY need 20 different types of hammers, screw drivers, saws, etc. and don't even get me started on the power tools!!! By the way, our table saw was a "special order" and even has a plaque that has our names engraved, this is just a clever ploy on my husbands part to make me feel a "part" of his tool obsession, I'm not falling for that. NOPE. Oh, I think that's another whole story.
    I have pictures too!!! and I think our neighbors are tired of looking at tyvek!!!!!
    Great post! Love the humor you added to your experience. With humor like yours (and hopefully your husbands), I'm sure you can make it through any of the hurdles of life, even home renovations.
    I'm not married, but I do live with my boyfriend & we have these damaged, old hardwood floors throughout our home. We are talking of replacing them which would surly disrupt our lives greatly. We're looking into flooring information now, to figure out our best way to tackle this job. I just wanted you to know that I'm going to share this post with him later, at which point we may hire someone to oversee the project rather than doing that job ourselves.
    ......... The unique character of an old house, can be compared to no other ............

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Uniontown, PA
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy Re: TOH Editors want to know: Any renovation/relationship disasters?

    Our story is one odd from most others on this site. We, the adults, decided we wanted to restore an old home. So we went in search of the home that cried out to us to bring it back from the brink of death. We relocated from SC to PA to restore an 1893 Queen Anne Victorian. We fell in love with her at first sight. She was once a grand home to one of the largest music store owners in PA back in the late 1890s. The history of the home was of two families, both living in the home for 50 years each. About 15 years ago it was purchased, unceremoniously divided up into apartments, which fell into severe disrepair, neglect and was even condemned previously. We didn't care, we loved her and knew she needed to be brought back to life and we were just the family to do that. At least that's what we thought, that we were the "family" to do that. We have been working on the home and bringing old life back to the the grand lady, though it hasn't been the most enjoyable time for us. Please don't get us wrong, we adore the home and the restoration/preservation we are doing. The thing that has caused us the greatest heartache is the children. We have a son, 9, and a daughter, 12, who in the beginning thought it was going to be a grand adventure. When we first arrived, the home had been without water for 10 years. We began running all the lines for the bathroom and kitchen, which took about five days... don't ask how horrible those five days were!
    We relocated in June, right after school let out in SC and packed up everything we owned and moved to PA to follow our dream of restoring a home to its single family status and saving her from complete neglect. The children, for a few months, thought it was wonderful. They then began to show signs of depression and sadness, which made us completely heartsick. The children desperately missed their grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends in SC. They have had such a hard time that we are going to cut our losses, which are substantial, and return to SC as soon as the school year is over. We, the adults, are heartsick to leave a home that was filled with the love of two families who resided in the home for 50 years each, leaving the height markings of their children on the master bedroom door frame, which are still there today! Children are only young for such a short time and then they are welcomed with open arms into the harsh reality of adulthood. We just can't take those precious few years from them. They need to be around family and friends, or at least within reasonable driving distance. So with sad hearts and empty wallets we will return to SC so that our children know that they are what mean the most to us.
    So if there anyone out there who loves old homes and is willing to continue the work we have begun on this fine old home....our hearts would be filled. We cannot leave her to be neglected.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    158

    Default Re: TOH Editors want to know: Any renovation/relationship disasters?

    about 8 years ago I had purchased a 1920s cottage on the water. It was a disaster, but the bones were good. I told my wife I'd have the inside fixed up during my two week vacation This is only a 900 sq ft cottage by the way..and I truly thought I could do it in two weeks. Well, that two weeks went by in a flash. I was traveling to the cottage after a days work to finish the job. It ended up taking the entire winter to complete...and even then, you always find more things to do.

    We sold the cottage two years ago. It was such a cute place. Everyone who visited loved it. We maintained the cottage look.

    Anyways..to your question. It really didn't impact my relationship. I loved working on the place and I think my wife knew that. It made me happy. Turns out that after I was done, I found that what made me happy was transforming the place. Once I was done, I was looking for more to do.

    I'm sure renovating while living in the space is a totally different story. We did add on an addition in the recent years and went thru that, but it was smooth.

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