Ohhhh Those Floors

Before we left for the Renovation roadtrip Chris and I packed everything in the house into 3 rooms, patched floors, busted holes in the wall, tore down ridiculous closets and completed many other things on our 40 item to do list on our way to getting our floors refinished while we were gone.

We went with a company that gave us a great price and had 4.5 stars out of 35 reviews on Yelp. A few of you commented that you were surprised that we were able to relinquish control and let someone else work on our floors. After all, we poured our blood, sweat (and of course) tears into refinishing them ourselves in the front room and the TV room, and I have to admit that we did a good job (after it looked like crap the first time in the front room).

So when we left for the trip we were excited and nervous. Excited that we didn't have to do the work of refinishing ourselves (because holy crap it's a lot of work) and nervous that it would look like shit. Well, we came home on Sunday (and if you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you knew our immediate reaction): our floors look like shit.

Now, sometimes I have a tendency to overreact, but when Chris was more pissed off than me, I knew this was bullshit. Generally speaking the stain is uneven and the house is just FILTHY (despite them insisting that they mask everything off and then clean), but then there are all of these fun, ridiculously terrible examples of their horrible job littered all over the house

There is stain on our walls

Stain on our lightswitches

Stain all over baseboards AND doors

Oh, and they got stain footprints on our white marble bathroom tile

I wouldn't be so mad about the stain everywhere else (well, except the bathroom floor because that's bullshit), except the actual floors look really bad too, so it just gets stacked on top of each other.

There are footprints in the stain in kitchen (VERY hard to photograph, but I tried)

There is a crazy line between the kitchen and the hallway

There are terrible putty patches in the art room that they did a terrible job filling in (not even with the floor) and they apparently didn't feel like staining

Then there are putty holes ALL OVER the house from patching nail holes that they also apparently didn't feel like staining over (some people may say that some putty has trouble taking stain, but we had absolutely no problems at all with this when we did the floors and a professional should not either)

I could show pictures of the putty nail holes forever, they are ALL OVER the art room and the office specifically. And because are floors are mocha, that blonde color of the putty stands out A LOT and our floors look like they're polka-dotted.

There are little strips in the wood that aren't stained also. These are really narrow, but they clearly didn't spread it out to cover everything and again, when you have dark stain and then completely miss a strip, it really stands out (like a zebra pattern in real life almost)

Then they poly'd in a woodchip

And there are drops of poly on the finished floors that Chris and I did

The last kicker is that our floors just feel like shit. They're really rough, almost as if they didn't clean off all the dust before they put the poly down.

So, naturally, Chris and I were not mailing their payment to them. Instead I called about 10 minutes after we got home and complained that the bosses needed to come see the crappy ass job their employees did. Chris was going down to LA for the weekend in the morning, so we had them come on Monday after work and I retreated to my parent's house for the weekend.

Monday the boss came. I was ready with all my pictures in case he didn't think it was a bad job. If that was going to be the case, Chris and I were going to refuse payment and then file a complaint. There was no way we were going to pay for the job that they did.

Upon walking into the kitchen we showed him the footprints, the stain on the baseboards, the putty holes, the strips of wood they just completely missed and had him feel how rough it is. He sighed and asked, "Can I redo it?" We said yes, but continued to point out all the errors. We made sure he understood that we were not okay with this level of work at all and asked that he be the one to do the work because clearly the idiots who did it before had no idea what the hell was going on. We showed him the floors in the rooms that we did to let him know what we were going to be expecting when round 2 was done. I was a little hesitant to let them get a second chance for fear that they just fuck it up again, but he was insistent that he wanted to do it again and fix it all. So we agreed.

While it's good that it will (hopefully) get fixed. It's kind of a bitch and a thorn in our side. We've had to live in the disarray since Sunday night. All of our belongings are still packed up in the front room. And our fridge still has no food because the fridge is sitting in the TV room. Needless to say, we've been eating out a lot. The plan will be for them to work Thursday-Monday and hopefully then it will be fixed and look acceptable. Otherwise, I'll be even more pissed.

Now, here is my questions for you folks: how much would you pay? Our original bill was for $2,250 and both Chris and I feel like we shouldn't pay the full amount because of the headache and inconvenience. Are we being unreasonable? How much would you pay?


Deb said...

You have GOT to be kidding me....that's absolutely ridiculous. I would deduct out at least what it would cost for you to stay in a hotel while the floors are repaired, plus the costs of meals you have to eat out since you don't have a fridge, plus another at least 10 to 15% for the sheer bullshittedness of the situation. And that's if I even paid them at all. (Ok, I would pay him if he fixed it but definitely not the full amount) I would be so pissed....

Natalie at Chadwell Chonicles said...

Oh. Em. Gee. I feel your pain on this and I would be pisssssseeedddd. I am with Deb I would deduct the amount it would cost for me to stay in a hotel while they finish up. I'd probably only end up paying them around $1,000.

Also, I would probably cry if this happened to me. Sometimes tears in front of the contractor help. Ha. Been there, done that.

Jessica said...

He should have immediately offered a discount, and a substantial one. I like the idea of deducting for whatever expenses you have. Will that stain even wipe off of the bathroom tile without damaging it?

Heather said...

I'd figure out how much your mortgage costs you per night that you can't be there, itemize for new paint, light switches, professional cleaning of the marble, and all the meals you are out. I'd present that and then suggest a nice round number under that to pay. And then mention that you write for a major a campaign and Bob Vila.

Bunny @ 86n It said...

I felt my blood pressuring rising with each photo. AYFKM? That's horrible. Horrible. Horrible workmanship.

I'm w pp, figure out meals out, mortgage days you can't stay in your own how and 20% for your trouble. Then pay them whatever's left.

Reuben Collins said...

At least he offered to fix it right. Kudos to him for that. If the end product is acceptable after the second time around (and there is no permanent damage to anything), I would still pay the full amount.

You might ask them to pay for any direct costs you incur, but I think it would be unethical to, say, ask him to pay a per diem for a hotel when you're really just living at a family members house for free.

Good luck.

EMOM said...

If they actually DO fix everything (and I would have no problem giving them a list with the pictures attached to make sure they do), then pay the bill. If they don't, then slowly subtract for every mistake made and make detailed notes why with the check you send in.
I bet your online review will be very revealing for others.

Gene Anderson said...

I'm with Reuben and EMOM. If they fix everything, then pay the full bill, though if they want to stay in business, they really should offer you a discount.

LifeBegins@Thirty said...

My mouth was hanging open as I looked at those pictures. I can't believe how bad that is! The odd thing I think you could live with, but everything just screams SLOPPY. The light switches? The marble floor? OMG.

Glad they are redoing it - hopefully they send the "A" team this time.

Ugh. I feel for ya.

meryl rose said...

Thanks everyone!

We shall see what happens on Monday (or Tuesday) when it's supposed to be done, so keep your fingers crossed for us!

And the guy claims he has something that can clean the stain off of our marble so we're definitely keeping our fingers crossed for that too.

Peter said...

I had a similar situation with our roofer. It wasn't as much of an inconvenience for us so I didn't have a problem paying in full. If it was me, and they did all the repairs and the end job was up to par with what you were expecting, I would ask to pay $2000 for all of the inconveniences. If you think he'll try to split the difference, ask for more off, or if they don't take that, I would ask them how much a bad review is worth to them on every site you can think off. I know they have to already eat the cost of the extra labor to fix everything, but that's not your fault, it's the business owner's fault for not setting an acceptable standard. If you end up paying the full price, you still got what you wanted, it just took a little while longer.