Monday, July 28, 2008

A "Soggy Homecoming" Revisited ...

This is a follow up to my "Soggy Homecoming" post dated June 30th. As you may or may not recall, my husband and I returned from a pleasant weekend trip to New Orleans, and were greeted by a soggy ceiling in our dining room.

It seems that condensation from our air conditioning unit, which is in the attic, filled the drip pan, which in turn overflowed and soaked the ceiling in the dining room. Evidently, water dripped from the ceiling all weekend while we were gone and soaked part of the oriental rug and the pad underneath it.

NOT a pleasant thing to come home to after a fun trip to New Orleans, but I guess it could have been a lot worse. At least the furniture and dining room chairs didn't get wet.

Remember that this was on June 30th, almost a month ago, and since then, we've had the air conditioner repaired and the rug picked up, dried, and cleaned.

We also discovered, not surprisingly, that it's almost impossible to find someone to do a relatively small repair job like this one (small to a contractor, but major to me). We were impressed with the first guy who came to look at it and eagerly waited for him to "call back with an estimate." After waiting three or four days, I called and left a message on his voice mail, asking if he had had time to get the price together, with no reply from him. A couple of days after that, my husband called and left a message, again with no reply. Then, the following week, I left a message asking him to please let us know if he wasn't interested in doing the work so we could contact someone else ... AGAIN, no reply.

I can understand a busy contractor not wanting to tackle a small job when he has several large ones going on, but there's just no excuse for him not calling us back and being honest about it. And to top it off, the second guy who came did the exact same thing!

In my opinion, not only is that no way to run a business, it also shows a lack of respect for potential customers and a lack of just "plain old good manners."

Fortunately, though, it looks as if our contractor story is going to have a happy ending. A couple of weeks ago, a neighbor whose husband builds houses gave us the name of a contractor they highly recommend. I called him and he immediately came by and gave us an estimate right then, which we accepted.

He said he would be here at 7:00 a.m., this morning, and at 7:00, on the dot, he and his crew arrived and immediately went to work.

This is my dining room before the damage occurred ...

This is the way it looked when they got here this morning (we pushed all the furniture out of the way and I covered the chandelier with plastic bags) ...

They covered the floor with drop cloths, covered the furniture with new plastic cloths, and taped new plastic cloths over the openings leading to the rest of the house. So far, so good ...

And, bless their hearts, they even vacuumed and cleaned up their mess before they left for lunch. That, along with the NEW plastic, really made an impression on me.

The contractor just finished applying the "mud" to the sheet rock and will be back later this afternoon to "skim" it, which means that he will apply a thin coat of plaster, as I understand it.

I won't bore or depress you with any more of these ugly "in progress" pictures. Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, they should be finished by Thursday, and I can put my dining room back together before the weekend.

I think every cloud has a silver lining, and I guess the silver lining from this "cloud" is that the next time we need a contractor, we'll know who to call to get the job done professionally and efficiently.

It's just really disheartening, though, that it's so difficult to find professionals these days, in any field, who take pride in their work and do what they say they're going to do.


Tracey said...

I totally agree! I've had the same type of problems with tree trimmers, furniture repair businesses, etc.
I just don't understand why people can't be good on their word, and if they can't do that then at the very you back!
It just makes me wonder with the economy so bad and so many people out of work how businesses can continue to treat potential customers this way!
I can so relate to how you feel and it is a huge pet peeve of mine when people don't do what they say they will. Sorry, I got on my soapbox there for a minute!
Hold onto your good contracter. I'm sure your dining room will be back to beautiful soon!

At Home in the Country said...

It sounds like you have found a good contractor. I have noticed myself, that people, businesses, etc. do not seem to have common courtesy anymore. Good manners have flown right out the window.

Looks like you will have your pretty dining room back in order soon!


Steve Buser said...

Glad you got the fixing done. Home you enjoyed the N'awlins trip.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

I'm so glad that you found someone to repair your damage. Your problems reminds me of one we had after Katrina...we were adding on and the contractor didn't get the roof on before the storm, so we had major damage to our dining room! But since we were already adding on, we didn't have to hunt someone to repair it!

And, you before of the dining room is so pretty!

Anonymous said...

Morning Janie! I was wondering how you made out with your ceiling! I get really upset with rude contractors or anyone who doesn't return a call especially in this day and age with cells and answering machines!!! Looks like you found a remodellers dream contractor! It's hard to find someone to do a great job. You are on the road to normal again. Your dining room like your kitchen (which by the way was the first one I fell in love with on RMS and the very first one I clicked on)looks gorgeous even with the ceiling!lol Hope they are out of there soon and you can relax again! Have a great day - Sincerely, Jeannette

Scooterblu's Whimsy said...

So glad your repairs have a happy ending! I have been through this so many times! A lot of the redo's we had to do at the lake house, were from hurricane damage 8 years ago! ...some of it was to redo shotty contractor work, and some of it was for work of contractors that never showed up! Now, that building new homes has slowed down around here, it is a lot easier to get good contractors that actually show up! Can't wait to see how the room turns out! ~Rhonda :)

Anonymous said...

Dee from Tennessee

Same here.

I just don't understand. Last year, our water line broke. OUR WATER LINE. It took call after call to get someone to come. And to beat it all, everyone said, "Oh but he's the highest one in town." But he was the ONLY ONE who returned a call. Thankfully, my husband knew how to turn our water off/on at the meter every evening for several days until we could get it repaired or we would have had to go to a motel. (And my mild-mannered hubby said that the guy really did overcharge us, but what do you do? You pay it and be thankful you had the money to do it.)

I'm too embarrassed to tell how long a bedroom has needed a ceiling repair. We just can't get anyone to come and my hubby is no longer able to do that kind of there it is. I just keep the door shut. Sorry for the rant!

ForeverMe said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the water damage when you returned. It's not fun to come home to something like that, especially when it's our "home". I know how it feels to be waiting on things to get back to normal again, but I'm so glad you found someone dependable and with some work ethics to do the job for you! He sounds like a good one!
Take care and things will be back to normal again soon!

Jon said...

Glad to see you were fortunate to have found a good contractor who seems professional and who seems to take pride in his work...that in itself is "lagniappe" these days. Obviously you take great pride in your beautiful home and I can imagine what a devastating experience this is for y'all. I hope this ordeal will be over soon and that things get back to "normal" for you all.
Jon on 7-30-08

3CHEERS4MOM said...

I am contacting every lovely person who’s blog that I read for a very important reason. I am asking for letters of payer for our 13 year old friend Caty. A few weeks ago she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and has started Chemo. You are more than welcome to post her information to your blog if you would like. I am trying to collect as many “cheers” as I can.
Thank you,

KARIN said...

I guess this is a universal problem. We moved into a new-to-us house last fall and wnated to make several updates. I registered with Angie's List, hoping to be guided by those who had had good experiences. Well,Angie's List was no help at all. It seems that any uncle or sister can make a favorable report on behalf of their son or nephew's company. You should see some of the shoddy work we've had done :( My husband has one fit after another because he could do so mcuh better if he had the time. I hope the rest of the project goes well for you!

Janie, what's the name of your dining room paint color, please?