Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Contracting Disasters

**Note to Reader: All caps in this post are not meant to stress the sentiment. I am, indeed, SCREAMING!!**

I am so grumpy. I am watching our nest egg - that money we made off of the start-up acquisition - go diminish. That was his supplemental retirement!!!

Let this serve as a Doc Wife PSA... DO NOT, (I REPEAT) DO NOT ALLOW YOUR HUSBAND TO TELL CONTRACTORS HE IS A DOCTOR!!! Because, they only hear, CHA-CHING! and raise their prices.

Our first bill from the contractor was supposed to to the "big push". Big Push = >$50,000. That bill alone put us over-buget. I get the second bill 3 weeks later. 68 MOTHER-EFFING THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!

Excuse my french. Seriously, I don't swear in "real" life, but on-line I allow myself to vent, because now, I can't even afford therapy despite the obvious need.

Mind you, this is not an addition. This is mere LANDSCAPING!

My friends, we don't even have the deck or fence in. The driveway has not been done. We were to have some construction done to the house: add an upstairs deck and catwalk, some sliding doors and french doors. That is completely off the table now. We were to put in a pond. That's been scratched. I'm not even going to have money left over to put in new landscaping plants. Our land is now bare. Last night in a fit of fury, I told Doc H, "The yard looks a BRAZILIANED VAGINA!" He stared at me and did his best to keep his composure. He continued to rationalize all the costs to me, but I know better. He knows I'm right. His eyes were laughing. 

My parents almost divorced over a DIY wallpaper job gone (what is referred to today as "pintershitty") wrong. So, I understand the stress it puts on the relationship. All this has wiped my libido clean. Talk about a Debbie-Downer.  I've lost my lady hard-on. I'm sorry, but there's no polite way to state that pathetic fact.

So, last night Doc H went over the contractor's invoice with a fine tooth comb and found double charges to the tune of $11,000.

That man knows how to light my fire. I might put on my pretty panties tonight.


  1. I wouldn't put it past a contractor to do that to ALL his clients. Many wouldn't get around to going over the total invoice the way your husband did, and would just pay it. Is there anything in the estimate with a guarantee, (like not more than 10% over or something?)

    Back in '06 my library was moved from the 4th floor of the hospital to the old medical office building, requiring much renovation, and that was stressful enough. I remember one day walking in to check on the work and shrieking "That's not my carpet!"
    The poor guy doing the work: "of course it is."
    Me: "Look at the color, blue with a wavy cream line, with dark red brown molding?"
    Him: "Well it is weird, but you should see what I've seen decorators do".
    Me: But it has swirls! How can it be named "parallelogram"?

    I got to spend an hour online tracking down a picture of my carpet (mine was the only area the designer hadn't done a story board for) and then they got to pull up and throw out => $10K worth of carpet since it had already been cut and glued. (and which was actually supposed to be installed at the hospital several towns over). Thank God we didn't have to pay for it, or at least that it didn't come out of my area budget. The decorator also liked to change things drastically without telling me until after it was too late to change them back several times, so I have pink granite end caps (instead of wood grain) on shelving with everything else being browns and blacks and all British Gentleman's Club-ish. She always talked to facilities, they'd forward stuff to me, if they remembered, I respond directly to her, and so the circle went. If I thought she did residential work, i'd find out her name so I could make sure to never, ever use her services in the future.

    Then there were the lights hidden by built-in cabinets, which were in the blue print before lighting guy designed the lighting, requiring money and time to remove them, the fire alarm covered by the built in shelving, etc., etc., etc.

    I know I must have driven our facilities guys nuts, but at least we could go home at night away from the other.

  2. Hire a different contractor. Don't put up with that crap. this is just the beginning....sorry friend. Some people are total scum.

  3. Holy. Crap. That is ridiculous!! I would definitely have to give that contractor a piece of my mind! Did you have a quote in writing? Can you discuss your options with a lawyer? That is seriously a lot of money.

  4. I'm twitching in between snorts and giggles. We had a horrible experience with a contractor who not only ripped us off but did shoddy work that we had to get fixed by another contractor who also ripped us off. Not a fan of contractors. You know what I am a fan of? Wine. Big glasses of wine. Sometimes I don't even use a glass, just stick a straw in the bottle. If I'd received that invoice it would have been a straw in the bottle kind of night.

  5. I'm having flashbacks.
    Our disaster was a bathroom in a house we had just bought. Contractor appeared ok until he got our first check and once that was cashed it turned into a nightmare. He told us he pulled permits so when we questioned that the work met code and called the building inspector the you know what hit the fan.
    Work stopped. Consult with lawyer. Complaint to state contractor's board and investigation by them. The result was that contractor had to repay us most of the money. We had to pay for his removing and getting rid of the old fixtures. We then hired a new contractor, who was wonderful, to do the work.

    Awful contractor went off on his merry way and learned nothing from the experience. About a year later there was a news story of how he lost his contractor license in the state permanently as a result of things he did after our case settled.

    If your contractor violated the contract check to see if there is any state agency where you can file a complaint.

  6. So annoyinggggggg. No wonder you are angry. You have every right to be. Brazilianed Vagina...I laughed out loud at that one! Good Luck figuring it out.

  7. Love it! Saving money, finding money, cutting bills in half, getting a good deal - my husband knows what makes me tick:-)

  8. Over a hundred grand for landscaping? Are you putting in a yellow brick road or something?

  9. OK, I am mad at myself for laughing, because even though the way you wrote it is funny, I know IT IS NOT FUNNY! You have been through a lot, and are supposed to be enjoying the fruits of all you have been through. From now on, tell contractors he is a teacher - elementary school!

  10. That's when you call the boss or the boss's boss. Seriously. We had a guy come in and replace the condenser in our air conditioning unit. He tracked clay all over the entire house. And when I say tracked, I mean, took the time to grind it into the carpet which is white. I was furious. We ended up calling the company and talking to the boss and said that we spent hours cleaning the clay off the carpet and guess what?? There was still a problem with the air conditioning. And you know, since we have a lifetime warranty on the parts, you owe us big time. Man oh man did someone get in trouble!!!

    I think they can tell by the house and the neighborhood and the kind of work that you want done the general amount of money you have. What you need to say is that you're renting this house for the "evil" stepmother who demands that you oversee all these renovations. She wants things done right, she wants them done well, and she wants them done at a reasonable rate (and in a reasonable amount of time.) AND if you fail to deliver on this, she may come to haunt you: in your sleep or in the form of a big lawsuit.

    Just some thoughts,


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