15 Apr Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems
I have pretty much decided no construction project would be complete without a bit of angst. (I know many of you who have done projects big and small are nodding your head right now.) As much as I truly like and respect my contractor, he cannot be everywhere at once, and as someone with an eye for detail in design, I am going to pick out every little thing that is not quite right.
For example, we got the plumbing hardware installed in the shower (can’t wait to show you, but everything is covered in plastic sheeting right now because they are painting), and I noticed the little button with the pretty lettering would turn whenever you turned the knob. (there are three of these knobs, and they were all turned in different directions) Therefore, the letters always looked like they were diagonal, and it was driving me crazy.
When I mentioned it to the plumber, he kind of shrugged his shoulders and made some comment about “how it was a little loose”. My reply: “Yes, but what can we do?” His response: Shrug.
Little did he know he was talking to someone that would forever be bothered by the crooked letters. “I’ll be right back”, I said.
A few minutes later, I showed up with two supplies to remedy this problem. There has to be a creative solution to this complication, right?
Option A: Felt
I was thinking we could cut a little square and stick it in there to support the little button, and all would be well.
This did not work.
Option B: Teacher’s Putty
You know the stuff teachers use to attach papers to the wall? Yep, I love this putty. I use it pretty frequently, plus it is great to attach photos to the wall if you want kind of an organic look.
Good news, this worked! My letters are all straight and snug.
The plumber thought this was all very funny by the way.
The next problem I noticed was the faucets were not correctly aligned across from one another.
When I pointed this out to the plumber, I got a shrug again. I wasn’t backing down.
“What can we do about this?”
“Well, I would have to take the whole sink apart to fix it.”
“Uh-huh, okay, I’m really sorry about that, but let me know when you are done. Thank you so much!”
It is now fixed. : )
The last problem ended up being kind of a big deal. You may remember this photo I posted from last week.
Do you notice anything about these faucet supports? Yup, they are crooked crooked crooked. Instead of realizing the plumbing was not centered on the mirror, and fixing it, the plumber simply angled the fixture so the faucet would be in the center of the tub.
This is not okay.
As much of a pain I knew it would be to fix this, I also knew it would drive me nutso forever. Therefore, I asked him to fix it. Even though it set us back a week since the beautiful wood and marble floor had to be taken up, the plumbing had to be redone and centered under the tub, and the floor had to be recut and placed, it was worth it. It looks sooooo much better.
But wait, was it worth it?
Because then, we had a small problem. There is a small bathroom downstairs underneath this tub. Late that night, my husband noticed part of the ceiling of that bathroom was on the floor, and the ceiling was sagging. We called the contractor who was there in minutes (bless his soul), and we turned the water off to the bathroom.
The next morning, it was discovered that when the plumber screwed in the faucet supports to the tub, he accidentally screwed into a pipe. Woops! And yes, the wallpaper in the downstairs bathroom is ruined.
And yes, I still think it was worth it to fix the crooked faucet.
Here’s the moral to the stories/problems:
1. When you are paying someone to construct something for you, you should not feel bad about asking to correct details that are incorrect. (even though I still do sometimes to be honest) It is difficult not to feel this way, but the truth of the matter is this is your hard-earned money paying for this project, and it should be perfect. Step up and say something, you will be glad you did. (P.S. this should not come out of your pocket/budget)
2. If you are not an individual with an eye for design or detail, I think it is important to hire someone that has that talent to be in on the project with you. I realize this may not be in the budget at all, so ask a friend you know with a knack for this sort of thing to walk through the construction with you every so often. It is always good to have a fresh set of eyes on a project to help you see problems you may be missing.
3. “It’s all in the details” is a very true statement. Details really make a space. Get them right.
4. Showing kindness goes a long way. Even though people mess up, it is still important to show them you appreciate them making something right. I think that can be easy to forget when you are tired of putting out fires – small or big as they may be. Say “thank you”. Offer cold drinks and/or cookies to people when they are taking extra time to fix something for you. This can help ease the tension a bit or erase it all if your cookies are really, really good. : )
In better news, after going back and forth on what I wanted for the trim, we settled on this design, and here is the cut, placed, and primed trim ready to be painted and finished.
Oh, and we have a toilet! And it’s not nearly a hundred years old with a wooden seat. Improvements!
Read about another time I was glad I spoke up here.
TiffanyPosted at 12:12h, 15 April
Grace! Kudos to you for speaking up. These are things that would also drive me crazy. What you said is completely true, the devil really is in the details. A divine space can be completely thrown off by small mistakes. You’re investing a lot into the space and therefore it should be PERFECT. I love everything I’m seeing! xox
GracePosted at 17:03h, 15 April
Hi Tiffany, totally agree. Thanks so much! It has felt so slow lately, but it will be done, and then I will be so happy we made it through. 🙂 And of course, then it will be on to the next project. 🙂
SharonPosted at 18:26h, 15 April
You know Grace, it sounds like maybe on your next renovation project, you need a different plumber? Good for you for speaking up and making him fix those little imperfections that will drive you crazy. It’s your money and your house. He’ll be gone when the job’s done, but you have to live there, so keep speaking up. 🙂
GracePosted at 15:22h, 17 April
Sharon, ha! I know, right? Yes, I have already expressed to the contractor that the next project needs to include a different plumber. 🙂 Thanks for the power talk, you are so right! xo, G
Frances @ Improvement ListPosted at 05:16h, 16 April
This is a good reminder! I always hesitate to speak up because I am afraid of upsetting the other person. But I find as long as I do it nicely, it all works out. Plus, I am also someone who would have gone crazy over things being crooked! Love that the letters were such as easy fix…poster putter works wonders in many ways;)
GracePosted at 15:23h, 17 April
Frances, I hear ya. I always hesitate too, unless the problem is particularly egregious. (like the turned bathtub faucet ??!!??) Yes, love me some poster putter! 🙂 xo, G