Home Renovation Nightmare on Elm Street
, on October 31, 2007
I hope this will be our last renovation for a very very long time. Our horror story began in late August when the contractor came to our house and quoted $6,000 (labor only) to repair our clogged backyard drain, hang new doors, and overhaul our bathroom. The estimated time was 1 week to complete. Obviously, we were delighted when we heard the information.
4 weeks and $16,000 later the work was finally completed — not to our satisfaction, but it was deemed done. There was dust everywhere, our carpet was ruin, our new floor was scratched up, and the result was sub par. How did I get into this mess? Well, let me just tell you what we would have done differently:
- We would’ve hired anyone that’s not a family’s friend to do the job. It’s better not to mix friend and business. Our dispute can only go so far before the friendship is completely destroyed.
- We would’ve insisted on a written contract. Unfortunately, we went by a gentlemen’s agreement, and there was nothing gentle about it afterward.
- We would’ve insisted on a detailed bill of materials. We were unhappy with some of the material they used, and were surprised by how expensive some items were.
- We would’ve insisted on a foreman that could communicate effectively. This was a major road block for us.
- We would’ve insisted on a detailed description of work. It would have been great to know exactly what was or wasn’t included in our agreement.
- We would’ve insisted on a delay penalty, where the contractor would’ve to give us a discount for finishing their work after the agreed completion date.
- We would’ve insisted on a clearly spelled out standards of work. Some of the outcome did not meet our expectation — i.e., a loose door knob, single coat paint, mismatched paint color, etc.
- We would’ve arranged a better living plan if we had known how long the renovation would take
You may say that we deserved it for being so naive (or stupid), but we and other people within our community have dealt with him successfully before. Unfortunately, the quality of his work has declined dramatically since our last project together, and it only became apparent during this renovation that we should have handled this differently.
Anyway, it was a lesson learned, and we now know what we would do in the future.
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About the AuthorPinyo
is the owner of Moolanomy Personal Finance
and an entrepreneur with over 20 years of business experience. He has a strong appreciation for business management, investing, and wealth building. He has written for many online publications, including American Express and U.S. News.
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