Thursday, October 3, 2013

lesson learned

Upon moving into her apartment two years ago, ICDC created a plan for slowly renovating the place over time. 

The first step was to repaint the whole space, which hadn't been done in years.  (We actually found milk-based paint on the peeling ceilings..)

In the bathroom, we installed a new sink and a bowed shower curtain rod to allow more space while showering.

The next task was to swap out old appliances in the kitchen and put down a new floor.  ICDC just couldnt stand to look at grimy linoleum for one more second. 

Then, ICDC got inspired by the color red and rather than replace all the kitchen cabinets, painted them in a brilliant gloss and removed extra pieces on the side walls that were crowding the space.

In the final stages of the reno "plan," it was time to tackle the rest of the bathroom.  ICDC decided rather than gut it, which would have been extremely expensive, all that was needed was to remove the ugly, cracked tile that was crumbling in areas and put dry wall in its place. 

Simple, right?  And probably pretty inexpensive?  How much could removing tile and drywalling in its place really cost?

It turns out, for a professional job, a lot.  And you'd better hire a contractor who knows what he's doing.  Because with contractors, you get what you pay for.

Here's what it took two weeks, much mess, a lot of excuses, headaches, tears, and a slap-dash effort by our first contractor to do:

(you can't tell from these pictures, but the tile was broken and cracked across each wall..and in some places actually painted over..)

After seeing little progress, we fired the first team which started to show up every other day as excuses piled up.  They were clearly out of their depth.

Here's what it took our new, professional contractor 3 days to do:

And here's the glorious, finished product:

ICDC can't say enough good things about A-Pro, our second contractor who helped us out of quite a pickle.  They were so kind and patient, telling us that we weren't an emergency job, but we were "upside down" in our lives (our sink wasn't attached..) and they would move things around to help us fix it quickly.  So nice!

At the end of the day, clients receive a "status update" email with all tasks accomplished and photos to show progress.  They work fast and efficiently and without a huge mess.  It was like a whole new world.

Lesson learned: due diligence on a contractor should be taken as seriously as one might research a doctor or dentist.  Picking any random contractor can ruin a home!

So, dear readers, resolve not to just take the least expensive bid.  Do your homework about how much a job should cost and make sure the contractor is capable.  Ask if they've ever done a job like yours before and if you can check references before they begin.

Or you'll end up like ICDC, paying more to fix the mess created by an inexperienced contractor who underbid the work.

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