Ending 2013 with a Bang Bang Bang of the hammer

In my next renovation things are going to go a whole lot different.  I know I said I would never do this again but lets face it I been rehabbing houses for the last 25 years and I don’t think that is going to end anytime soon.  It would drive me crazy to be in a house that is move in ready.  In the future I will not do this again if I don’t have the money to do it in the right steps.  This was the first project I did entirely on my own (financially) and it was more extensive than any others BUT I DO like how things came out. I  wasted a lot of time and money and did too much back tracking though.  I never had a house that needed to be gutted before so this was  a lesson learned!!

Okay so that was the back story to this story.  In my last blog post I explained that I was having a problem with the floor being spongy.  This posting is probably going to make me sound like a cheap tight wad but I am going to tell the story just like it happened and you forget the prices and concentrate on the fact that this is right before Christmas AND there is a principle involved….Agreed?  Okay so what happened wassss…

The guy (Eric) who came to tighten my bolts on the toilet came over and gave an estimate for the floor.  I would have done the floor myself but  I had finals to do in school, was stressed out from job hunting, went on these long distance job interviews and was trying to Christmas shop, so my plate was full and I could not handle another thing on it…not ONE.

He told me he had to replace the entire floor and I told him no, I did not want my bathroom torn up right now.  What I wanted him to do was to cut out the rotted wood and replace it then go under the house and reinforce it and put a piece of laun on top of the whole floor so I could lay the new vinyl.  My plan was to let him do that then I would finish by installing the left over floor  from the  mudroom and kitchen….. I thought I had plenty left over.   I asked him how much and he said  $100.  COOL!  When can we get started?  He said he would call.

He called me a couple of days later.  My dad was here so I did not have to come home.  I did not get the laun so  I asked him if he could pick it up for me.  I only needed one sheet and it was $19.99.  I arranged to pay Lowes over the phone but Eric never called when he got there (as I instructed him to do).  Okay so I come home from work and the floor was finished up to the layer of laun and it looks okay.  I asked my dad what they did and he said he had no idea.  My gut knotted up.  I asked him if he saw anything they did and he said no he left them alone.  Okay my fault for not telling him to occasionally look in on them to see what they were doing.  I mean once they finished and everything was covered up you can’t tell what they did without taking it all apart.  I gritted my teeth while telling this to him nicely and that I was not happy with this situation.  He said the next time he will watch them like a hawk.  LOL That wasn’t necessary either…just an occasional “look and see” will suffice and if something does not look right call me and I will handle it.  To add insult to injury when I review the security tapes I see they were going through my tool drawers on the porch A-N-D they used MY tools.  And one stood on the porch most of the time texting or playing with his phone.  Probably playing Candy Crush or something.  My dad said they did not even have a pencil!! I was ticked off but again it’s partially my fault for not being clearer on the instructions.


So when I come home I see they did cut the laun and put it down, and as I asked them, they did not glue or nail it.  I was going to take care of that.  The wood is so thin you can cut it with a razor and the only skilled cuts were in the doorway and that was pretty ugly.  No problem though because it was getting covered up.  This was a really easy job and it took them 2 hours to do.  Essentially I paid them $90 an hour to do this, with my tools.  hmmmph.  THAT NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE AND WON’T HAPPEN AGAIN.  NOT FOR UNSKILLED LABOR…NOT IN THIS LIFETIME.


Moving forward I text Eric and ask how much I owe him.  I am thinking he is going to say $120 ($20 for materials and $100 for labor) but he says $200.  I ask him why did the price go up and he says they removed 5 old tiles and replace a piece of plywood below the toilet and then he tells me he charged me for the estimate and picking up the laun and also for the last trip when he tightened the bolts.  WHAT???  He should have told me before hand not after the fact.  I was so livid at first but I had to calm down because at the end of the day all I am talking about is $80. But it was the principal here and you have no idea how much I just spent on Christmas.  I mean I did have 7 grandkids I had to buy for.    He said if I did not feel it was a fair price to pay him what was fair, but I paid it all to him just in case I was being unreasonable.  I know I have a way of panicking over nothing sometimes.  If he was ripping me off he will pay for it in other ways… guaranteed!  I can’t let this ruin my spirit.

Sadly that’s not the end of the story.  I wasn’t able to get to the floor until the next week because of all the other crap I was dealing with.  By the time I got around to it I noticed that the floor was feeling spongy again.  I had no choice but to take the toilet up and investigate.  The first thing I do is turn off the water behind the toilet  and soon as I turn the knob it starts leaking.


Nice…Eric never told me I had a leak in the shut off valve.  I took a photo and took it to Lowe’s to see what I need to do since my pipe is copper.  I had to buy a pipe cutter to cut the pipe right under the valve and get a replacement  valve with a gator grip that allows it to be used on the copper pipe without having to weld it.  That part of the repair cost me $40 for the valve and the supply line.   A BIG  SAD FACE  😦   on that!!

Now with the supplies on hand I can proceed to taking the toilet off.  I  sent my dad under the house to turn off the shutoff for the bathroom.  I sucked all the water out of the tank and the bowl with my shop vac.   When Eric  fixed the floor, instead of using one of those wax rings I had decided to use one of those rubber rings.  It was still looking good.  Of course it should as it was only in use for a week.


I remove the laun, and under that he has a piece of linoleum just like he said, and under that the plywood.  So far so good.


I go to unscrew the plywood and noticed the screws came out super easy, as if they were not gripping into anything.


To my shock and frick fracking surprise the ROTTED FLOOR IS STILL THERE.


What the hell?  I mean really WHAT THE HELL??…but STILL  I kept my cool…


I text Eric and send him photos and of course he does not text me back.   But I can’t concentrate on that right now.  I will get to him later.  He WILL make up for this

I send my dad under the house and ask him to take a photo so I can see what the floor looks like and it looks salvagable.


I send the boys under the house to hold the flashlight for him but they turned it into a treasure hunting activity.  They were down there digging for gold LOL.  Unfortunately they found none.

IMAG1725 IMAG1726

Dad wasn’t too happy about being down there.


He reinforced the floor under my guidance and we built the floor back up.


I checked it with the level….perfect.

I start laying the floor and OF COURSE I ran out of flooring.  I had to buy another box…$44.  I got pissed off at that too.  I usually buy that stuff at Surplus Warehouse and they usually give me a vets discount just like Lowes and Home Depot does but now…on Christmas eve?  No discount.  WHAT?  No it appears that now they only give landlords (and slumlords) discounts and screw the vets.  I won’t buy another thing from them either. Hmmmph.

I stayed up all night Christmas eve laying the EC Lock grip strip flooring.  I finished and it came out perfectly.  (See the other floors where I used this same flooring here)


In between laying the floor I was cooking.  The price I finally paid? In money it was 200+40+44= $284.  I guess that does not seem so bad now that I look at it  but a few days ago that brought tears to my eyes. Wellllll it was Christmas eve and remember I had 7 grandkids to buy for plus 3 adults and I won’t say how much that amounted to.    I had  spent about $700 earlier that day on last minute stuff, food, whatever, and I kept telling the kids I was not spending another penny but things kept coming up making me spend my money.  It was pissing me off.  No it was making me cry!!  But the saving grace in the whole situation is that I had about $2,500 worth of stuff to take back to the store and I kept that in the back of my mind.  In a way it was like God looked out for me in another way.

Anyway, I spent Christmas day layed up in the bed.  Well actually the couch.   The kids were entertained by their tablets and they were happy to all be together.  Watching cartoons and talking cat videos all day long did not even bother me.  I took a Tylenol3 and slept the day away.   I was in so much pain it was crazy!!  But the end result is that the floor is fixed, it looks nice (I really really like it) and I have no fear of falling through anytime soon and that sense of security is priceless…

Merry Christmas all and Happy New Year…

4 thoughts on “Ending 2013 with a Bang Bang Bang of the hammer

  1. I’m so glad you are keeping us up to date. What a mess in the bath and those guys knew darn well they were getting away without doing the job. I hate finding help, even friends of friends end up with more work for me than doing it myself.

    Glad you are relaxing for a bit. Had a GD visiting for two days, but her tablet wasn’t working. I got a bit frustrated with her, they are completely different kids without their head on a screen. She was beyond restless and had the attention of a gnat. One wonders how this direction of electronics is going to go. Me the IT person asks.

    Keep us updated on the job/move. A big change in your life.

    Meant to respond to the floor. If you can find those guys, I’d give them every picture you showed here. They should be ashamed of themselves, but considering their “honor”, I doubt if this will happen. Where did you find them?


    • just wrote a long response and something happened and the next thing I know it was gone. so to try and recap:
      i hear you on the gd. I brought mines Nabi’s that lasted all of 6 months. I found them to be too restrictive so i replaced them with cheaper Clickn Kids tablets from Walmart at more than hlf the price and I got the warranty this time. LOL they love them. I wonder what effect it will have on their eyes. I only loaded games on there that were educational or had some educational value. I find it a useful tool, if they don’t keep their rooms clean no tablet. It works.
      As for the guy. I work out in the field around construction workers all the time. I asked a guy to do my bedroom drywall and he was too busy so he recommended Eric. Eric did some of my work. It is hard to find people to work like i need them. FOr instance in my bedroom I did the demo they come in put up the sheetrock, tape and mud it then sand it. I then prime and paint it then they come back and put up the trim. and then i paint the trim. I do most of my jobs like that but that is not enough money for some people and they want to do the job start to finish. He read my blog and said he was going to give me all my money back. I told him he did not have to give it all back because they did cut the luan so I was willing to settle on the original price. I haven’t gotten it yet though. He came over but didn’t call before he came. and he didn’t leave it. LOL


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