(Hopefully) The End to the Floor Saga

So after the flooring idiots royally messed up our floors (and not to mention left stain on all sorts of surfaces of our house) the first time around: we made them redo it. There was a lot of debate in the comments about whether or not we should pay the company the full amount when they were done. It was split pretty even down the middle with half saying we should subtract for expenses and the inconvenience (10 extra days living out of a suitcase), and the other half saying that if it was done right we should pay the full amount. I was torn myself, but I'm also a bitch and I feel like I should hold professionals to a higher standard, and the first job they did was just ridiculous.

Here's a refresher of the fun we discovered that first time (footprints in stain, stain on all of our light switches, unstained putty on the nails all over, unstained streaks on the wood, stain on our walls, stain on our trim, poly on our door, poly drops on our already finished floors, a poly'd in woodchip in the hallway, sandpaper feeling floors, stain footprints on our marble tile bathroom floor, and a filthy house)

Then the second time around came and when the workers arrived (late of course) they didn't even know what rooms needed to be redone. Seriously. So I told them that they needed to redo the whole house - everything they did the first time. Mr. Employee Man was very rude and I shot my snottiness right back. I called the owner and let him have it (hello, how do your employees not know what needs to be done?) Things finally got sorted out and I left. I stayed that night at my parent's because I hate the smell of the fumes, but Chris was a crazy person and stayed at the house that night. It was actually a little nice because he was able to see that the stain was looking good so far. PHEW!

We left for LA for the weekend to visit Chris' fam, came home on Sunday night to a royally stinky house because they had just finished up, so we retreated to my parent's house for the night. From what we could see, things looked pretty good. But we obviously couldn't walk on any of the floors to check on anything, so we just kept our fingers crossed.

When I came home on Monday mid-morning I was able to see the work they did. The verdict was not good. The floors looked a lot better, but that didn't mean they still didn't mess things up: they painted our baseboards and got paint all over the floor, they used the wrong paint color on the toe kick and it looks like crap, they got paint on our cabinets (and keep in mind, we told them not to paint), they got more stain on our walls, baseboards and trim, they clogged our toilet and they ruined our deck.

Here's another refresher for you

Needless to say, I was PISSED.

There was no way I was going to have Chris and I pay the full amount, it was just a matter of how much we were going to knock off. After I wrote the post on Tuesday morning my step dad CBH sent me an email that he felt so bad. It helps that he's also been an awesome attorney for the last (almost) 40 years and suggested that I figure out the cost of replacing the deck boards, the cost of Chris and my labor to fix everything (he suggested a rate of $50/hr) and the cost of the inconvenience. CBH is an attorney that deals with insurance claims and damage to personal property (mostly homes) in the event of (most of the time) natural disasters. While this wasn't a storm, he was definitely a person who knew what he was talking about when it came to how to tackle this situation fairly.

I headed out to HD to find out how much it would cost to replace the Trex boards they ruined

OF COURSE, they don't make the kind of Trex we used anymore and they make none that doesn't have faux grain (which is the kind we used), so we would need to buy all new Trex or else it would look a little ridiculous. The cost of just the materials of the deck? $650.

Next up, how much time would it take for Chris and I to fix everything. I figured taking apart and then replacing the deck would take 2 days, and the time to repaint the toe kicks the right color, scrape the paint off our floors, clean all of our light switches, remove the paint without damaging our cabinets and repainting our baseboards, trim and parts of the walls would take a day. 3 total days (I figure 8 hours a day), made for 24 hours x $50/hr = $1200.

Just the materials and our labor was $1850. The total bill was $2250 and I thought it was fair, frankly, to say we should be able to subtract the remaining $400 for our inconvenience. I called CBH to go over the totals with him and see what he thought. He laughed at the ridiculousness that the Trex would all have to be replaced, but agreed that it was fair. He thought the remaining $400 was pushing it, but frankly, there was no stopping me because I was pissed.

I called the flooring guy and asked that he come at 5pm. Chris would be home from work by that time and so in the event that I started getting really pissed off (which can happen. Frequently.) Chris would be able to calm me down and be the sane one. Of course the guy came at 4:10 and Chris wasn't home. I was really annoyed, but whatever.

What followed was just laughable. There was no apology for the terrible job they did. He didn't seem to mind the paint they got all over our floors. I told him that we said we didn't want him to paint and he claims we didn't say that and then that he didn't hear us say that. I told him that either way, they did a terrible job, used the wrong color and got paint on our cabinets. No apology. Just a shrug. Then I showed him the additional paint they got on our walls. No apology. Then I took him out to our deck. Nope, no apology. He just said, "Oh, yeah, I have chemicals that can clean this off." Hey idiot, THAT'S NOT THE POINT, how about the fact that your workers continue to be IDIOTS and fuck everything up? And frankly, I'm not trusting of your "chemicals" not continuing to ruin our deck.

I just laughed. He asked what he could do to make me happy. I told him that I didn't want his workers at our house anymore trying to "fix" anything because they clearly have no respect for the homes they work in and every time they come they continue to mess things up. Why should I give them another chance?

Then came the talk about money. I told him the price for materials and labor (and explained everything) was $1850, then there was the inconvenience they put us through. I concluded that I would pay them $300 (I was feeling bad) and I thought that was fair. He chuckled and said something along the lines that his expenses were $5000. Are you insane???? You think we're going to pay you more than double your original quote after you fucked up? Twice? I shook my head and responded that we would pay $300 and that's what was fair and I had already talked about it with our lawyer and our lawyer agreed. The guy looked down and said, "well that's nothing." Alright, open the door for my response, "Alright then, we'll pay nothing." And he said ok. I reiterated, "So you are aware that you will not be receiving any check from us, we will pay you nothing," And he said yes. Well, fine.

Then he left. And he stained our door mat

I called CBH to tell him what happened and he suggested I write them a letter summarizing the visit and our verbal agreement so that we have record of it. Here is the letter

Chris felt bad when I told him what happened. You see, Chris has a warm heart and I'm a cold bitch. He always wishes for the best in people and appreciated the guy's desire to make things right. I responded that while there was a desire, they just can't execute it and it's not fair to us to keep giving them a "chance" when they continue to mess things up. He wasn't super thrilled with how I had left things and felt we should give them something. Nope. Meryl the bitch wins.

But then, when we were moving the fridge back into the kitchen on Thursday night and we had TWO layers of ram board on the floor and our fridge is on rollers we scratched the crap out of the floors.

And then Chris didn't feel bad anymore.



Feral Turtle said...

Holy Crap, I would be mad too. It saddens me that so many contractors lack pride in their work. We do everything ourselves so that we can avoid "numbnuts" like this. I am truly sorry for you guys!

Heather said...


E said...

I can't blame you at all!
Good luck cleaning/fixing it all up!

mary said...

Can you just flip those deck boards over and save the $650?

Carrie @ Hazardous Design said...

it helps to have a good cop/bad cop when dealing with contractors. I'm glad you guys didn't have to pay for the shoddy work, but sorry you are left with the mess. No fun.

meryl rose said...

We DEFINITELY have the good cop/bad cop thing down, and that is an AMAZING idea to flip the boards over Mary!

Thanks for all of your kind words everyone!

aptpupil said...

can we flip the boards over? yes and no. that would work for most of the boards that have been damaged, but some are cut around the posts so we would still need to replace those. unfortunately trex doesn't make this style decking anymore so getting additional boards isn't going to happen.
i think we'll try mineral spirits to clean them up. i don't think it'll get the stains out completely, but it should tame it a bit.
i still feel bad about the situation and wish that i was there when this all went down to (at the very least) help the guy understand that his employees aren't helping him out at all and that cleanliness needs to be a higher priority.

Lisa said...

You go girl!!