Dating is Tough? Try Finding a Contractor

The Contractor Crunch!

finding a contractor

In the old days, I thought dating was tough. Forget that. Try finding a reliable contractor!

When I dated, I worried, “Am I cute? Do I look fat? What should I wear? Should I let him kiss me?” But man, oh, man, that was a cakewalk compared to dealing with contractors, “subs,” and suppliers.

Talk about true heartbreak. Not to mention heartburn.

Decisions were simple when dating: If a boy was late or lied, I dumped him.

But if a contractor is late or lies, I’m forced to smile wanly and offer him a cup of coffee and a piece of cake I specially baked for him.

If a boy I dated forgot to bring a book or a what-not he was supposed to supply, I’d read him the riot act.

If a subcontractor repeatedly fails to deliver the goods. I gently remind him — for the umpteenth time — of the promised delivery date for the appointed task. and sweetly say, “Hey, man, I really need you to get this done already. Pretty please. And would you like another piece of pound cake? I just baked it.”

Just Try Finding a Contractor

We moved into our new house in July. We naively thought getting our house painted plus a few upgrades would happen 1-2-3. No, naïve isn’t the right word. We weren’t naïve. We were idiots.

I’ve already written about the Great California Invasion of 2021 in which hordes of cash-rich homeowners, fleeing the high taxes and wildfires of the Golden State, have flooded into Reno, NV snatching up all the local craftsmen to renovate their new dwellings, leaving Handsome Hubby and me at the back of the home renovation line.

For months, we waited “patiently” for our scheduled due date — and like all expectant “parents,” we excitedly debated colors and such.

Bring on the Joy?

Our big day came. We pushed furniture into corners and flung the door open, eager to greet our contractor. The appointed hour — 8 a.m. — came. It went. Traffic? A car accident? A family emergency? Another hour passed. Then another. And another. Where were our contractor and his crew?

We went through half a fresh-baked coffee cake by ourselves. Finally, crumbs … and hearts … crumbling, HH called. “Oh, I guess I forgot to let you know. I’m running behind on a couple of jobs,” said our contractor. “I wouldn’t make it out this week. Maybe not next week either.”

Good thing HH was suffering from coffee cake dry mouth syndrome. The words he was trying to scream out were not pretty.

But what could he say? What could we do? Try finding a new contractor? Go to the end of another contractor’s queue? We had heard the ugly whispered rumors from other newbies in town. Contractors were scheduling clients for 2023! We couldn’t risk that kind of delay!

I’m Too Old for This Drama!

So, now, we sit and wait, fume and fret.

And speaking of waiting, here’s a “fun” update: our contractor forgot to line up the painter!

He knew we needed a painter. In fact, he insisted the painter come before the hardwood floors and carpet were installed. Then, he forgot to schedule the painter. So now, not only is the painter NOT coming before the flooring, he’s coming … drum roll please … Christmas week!

Christmas Crisis

And why is the painter even available then? Because, of course, NOBODY wants their home painted over the holidays! The painter’s next available time slot? Late summer 2022!

Meanwhile, Handsome Hubby already knows what he’s getting our contractor for Christmas — coal for his stocking. Can you imagine? My alternate energy/renewable energy champion HH is actually going to buy a lump of coal! That’s how red hot mad he is!

As for our holiday plans? Can’t you guess? A week-long feast of bickering and, of course, eating the left-over crumbs of coffee cake left behind by the contractor, his crew, and the painter!

And yes, please take note, we truly take comfort in knowing this is not an illness, unemployment, nor political upheaval. We are grateful that we have the resources to do all this fixing up and fussing, but still, we wonder and worry. Will this project ever be finished? Will we ever achieve domestic and working-from-home Zen?

Yours in Reno reno remorse!

🏠 🏠 🏠

Home Renovation Trivia

52% of Americans will spend $15,000 on home repairs in 2021.

6 replies
  1. Misha MacDowell
    Misha MacDowell says:

    I feel your pain. My kitchen contractor is a great guy. He has done other major jobs for us. This one is a cluster****. We contracted last November. Then, Covid hit and the cabinet manufacturer’s shut down. So, we waited and waited and waited and waited. Finally, they resumed work with SOME staff. They lied to contractors and only focused on the ones who supply them the most work. Eventually, someone told our contractor the truth that they wouldn’t be getting to his “little” jobs until they’d made their major customers happy. So, we left our order in their queue and ordered new from another manufacturer. Meanwhile, our contractor (vaccinated) and some of his guys (both vaxxed and unvaxxed) came down with Covid and had to stop work on everything to protect their customers and get better. This took time and one is still in ICU. Our old kitchen was torn out the last week of July. It is now mid-October. About 1/2 the project is done. Our island cabinets are still not here. The contractor is trying to finish by Halloween. If it’s actually finished by Thanksgiving, I’ll be happy….and that will be more than a year since we signed the original contract. I’ve told everyone I know to postpone all projects until the 2nd half of 2022 and not to allow ANY demo until the new stuff is sitting in their home or garage. It’s not worth the hassle.

  2. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    An attorney once told me that the two major causes of divorce were 1) money and 2) renovating a kitchen. The first is usually given to a contractor in advance and hoping that it will be enough. The second requires a contractor. A friend said she and her husband were ready to get their divorce and what saved their marriage was mutual loathing and exasperation with their contractor.

  3. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    I bought a new bed in 2016. Started telling store where purchased, mattress was not meeting expectations in 2018. I was told to contact manufacturer since the did not carry that brand anymore. Manufacturer required pictures from all angles. I sent them. They told me the bunching and slopes were not bad enough yet, to call back. (?%$#%&^&%%^) I saw an ad for the store where I purchased and once again, they were selling the brand of my bed. I took my documentation to the mgr. He was very cordial and said yes, we can exchange it for you. I chose one of the “hot sellers” in a box, but wait, I “should buy an adjustable frame” with new mattress. I tried it in store, felt great! The boxed mattress comes the next day, so excited to sleep without bunching. I was told to allow it to expand for at least 48 hours and it will “grow” to the expected height. 72 hours later, I am still waiting for it to “grow”. They sent another one and apologized, cuz this never happened before. I am waiting for the replacement to expand, but not! I tell them I do not want a store brand this time, but give me the one that spends lots of money on advertising. It came, so excited one more time, you guessed it, this one did not even expand. By this time the district manager gets involved. Apologies again, and asks me what the atmosphere is like in the bedroom, I paused to think how should I answer this personal question—–and asked him what kind of answer was he looking for—–we both laughed. I told him nothing odd in there to cause stunted growth of the mattress’s!! I tell him I am not a fan of what they sell in a box–I found a comfortable box spring. Now is the problem with the frame, it is the height I needed for the mattress in a box (plural).
    The box spring was 5 inches thicker. He assured me that the frame was only 13″ so it would be ok. Mattress comes (frame is 15″). To my dismay, I have to hop to get on and slide to get off. Not safe at any age! I ask if they have shorter legs for the frame. They said yes, we will send them (after I pay of course) — When they arrived I called the store so they will send guys to put them on–as soon as they saw the frame, they said these legs will not fit. They told me there is none they carry that will. I do what anyone would do and turn to Google. No one has shorter legs to fit. Frames are not returnable. I sold it to a friend and bought one I found on Walmart that has adjustable legs. I arrives, so happy again—friend helps me put it together (it is 150lbs). The head and feet area can be raised, it also has a massage mode. BUT the remote does not work—-Walmart said no problem send it back and when we receive it, we will send replacement. The Fed Ex truck picked it up on Sept 10, have you seen it??
    After way too many calls, that might have been fewer if communication was understandable from people on their end..Finally after 4 weeks back and forth, Walmart gave me a refund for the MIA defective bed frame. I was able to find one on Amazon with adjustable legs, had to forfeit the massage option, but hell I could finally sleep in my own room. So far so good. Should not take 5 years to exchange a mattress. I bet the ones the store took back are still not the expected size—(I think people must not measure them, and just jump right on and sleep)
    (and contractors here are on the same team as ones in Reno!)


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