On October 9th, we finally reached the end of our patience with the contractor we had been using. To be fair, Sarah had reached the end of her patience at least a month before I did. Anyway, I e-mailed him with the still lengthy list of things that needed to be done at our house, and asked him how many of them he would be able to get done by the end of the week. He said they'd be able to do everything except the windows by the end of the week. Sounded great, but we'd heard that one before. On the 10th and 11th and 12th, nobody showed up. I e-mailed him again, and said that enough was enough, we were willing to pay for what was done but would need a refund for what wasn't done. He said they would finish the baseboards and drywall work on that Friday and then we could settle up. Friday, they didn't show up. Surprised? No, not really. We hired a company called Mr. Handyman to come and do the inside work, and they got about 90% of it done in 1 day. All they have left to do is sanding the drywall patches on the inside. We are waiting until we get the safety railing back from the old contractor to have Mr. Handyman come do the outside work, and of course, that has been another whole dramatic endeavor. He supposedly had it in his truck ready to deliver to us 2 weeks ago, then we didn't hear from him for a week, then got him to respond by threatening legal action. We're currently scheduled to get our refund check and our safety railing back from him tomorrow. I'll believe both things when I see them.
The nicest thing about Mr. Handyman was that they said they'd show up at 7:00 am and start working, and they were there at 7 and started working! It seems like a no-brainer, but after the experience we had with the other contractor, we certainly weren't used to it. They also don't overbook themselves. They book each of their contractors for 1 job per day, and if they finish early, they call to see if someone else wants them to come over and do a partial day's work. Seems to be a good system for everyone involved.
We still don't have a solution for the windows, and we have to at the very least replace the window in the kitchen, since it is the wrong color, the wrong style, and the wrong size. Our condo association hasn't yelled at us TOO much about it, but I sense that their patience is probably wearing a little bit thin.
We got a grill the weekend after we got the patio, and it has been such a nice thing to have. I used it a LOT the first week, and I have plans to use it all through the winter as long as there's not ice on the patio making it too dangerous to walk around out there. I love being able to grill stuff, haven't done that since I was living at home back in high school.
I got hired on as an employee a few weeks ago at work, which is a relief. I've been a contractor here for 3 years, it's nice to finally have paid vacation days, sick days, and benefits.
Sarah ran the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend, for more details see her blog.