Friday, December 17, 2010


I hired someone to paint (about 3 weeks ago), because I liked his name. It was Liam and I liked how that name just rolled off my tongue. He seemed to be a nice, upstanding young man;  pleasant with a cheerful manner and an agreeable smile. However, his work was terrible! So I fired him.

My daughter advised me to call Mr. Experienced Handyman, a fellow recommended by a friend, who had painted their house a year or two ago.

So I called Mr. Experienced Handyman. He was not available right then, but could I wait about 5 days or so? Hmmm. Not the answer I wanted. When you're ready to have the house painted, you don't want to wait. Oh well, I guess so.

Three or four days later, I came down with a doozie of a cold, so put house painting and renovations on hold.

In the meantime, I thought I'd call around and find somebody local. Mr. Unexperienced Handyman came  by to give me an estimate. He too was polite, but this time I was ready. "How would you fix this problem?" I asked pointing to some bumps in the wall that were obviously screws or joists protruding through. He looked a little unsure for a minute before happily providing what he thought would be the "right answer". It wasn't (I won't bore you with details).

I called somebody else. His name was Mr. Dude. Well, I'd learned not to judge a person by his name, so asked him to come by. He offered his renovation skills as well. Since I needed a sink and toilet replaced in the small downstairs bathroom, he gave me an estimate for that at the same time. But he could only come two weeks down the road.

I was starting to get frustrated. It seemed to be taking longer to choose a good worker than to actually have the work done!

 I called Mr. Experienced Handyman back once again, since he'd done a decent job in my daughter's home. There was no answer and he didn't have an answering machine. Odd in this day and age.

In desperation I called a painter David and I had hired five years ago. He was very good, but rather pricey. And since I'm refreshing the house to put up for sale, I don't really want to spend a lot of money. Mr. Expensive did come over and just as I'd thought, his prices were more than I wanted to pay. But - he could come within a couple of days.  Hmmmm.

A couple of days came and went and no Mr. Expensive. His "other job" would take another week to complete. Figures.

Decided against Mr. Dude installing the the sink and toilet, as somebody else, a Mr. Old  Handyman-with-a-truck told me he would pick them up at the Home Depot instead of me paying a hefty delivery charge. Fine, good, but this guy doesn't paint.

However, when I went to Home Depot to choose a sink and matching toilet, the salesman told me they were the last ones in stock. Groan....  So I had the young man hoist them into my car and home I went. Once in the garage, it was easy to remove the sink (it comes in pieces) from my car but the toilet was heavy. I looked around to see if any of the neighbours were about. The couple across the street were in their driveway, along with some members of their family. However, it was their wedding day - definitely not a good day to ask one of those finely dressed guests to come over and help remove a toilet from my car.

Ever the resourceful one (or more likely the stubborn one), I eased the toilet from the trunk of the car onto a garden chair, which I had pushed over there to catch it. Otherswise, I'd be carrying a toilet around in my car for days on end. But now I have a toilet (in a box, of course) sitting in the garage in a garden chair. The sink is lying in pieces next to it. 

And, I still need to hire a painter. I decided to call Mr. Dude. Could not find his number anywhere. Ah, but I had his email. Sent him an email telling him that the toilet and sink were installed (they were not as yet, but hopefully soon), so could he come and do the painting instead?

He did not answer my email. Is he mad? Who knows. This is business. Tough luck. I'll try Mr. Experienced Handyman-who-had-painted-for-my-daughter.

He was not home, of course, but this time his wife answered. Yippee - progress! I left him a message - could he come on Monday to do the painting?

Went upstairs to check my email. There was a message from Mr. Dude-who-was-not-installing-the-toilet, saying he'd be glad to come and do the painting on Monday if that was convenient.

Great, now I'll have everybody coming to my door at once. I'll have to call somebody back and cancel.
Sounds like a comedy show.
And with my luck, whoever I choose will probably not show up!

Stay tuned.......
Oh, and this is just the upstairs painting (2 bedrooms and a bathroom). Wait until I get the downstairs painted and carpets ripped up!


Karin said...

Wow - that would be a comedy if it wasn't so frustrating, time consuming and annoying! Sorry you're going through all that and just before Christmas! God bless you anyhow! May you know the peace that passes all understanding because Jesus Christ is born!

amelia said...

How frustrating when you are mentally ready to do these things and they can't be done!!

I hope you won't be alone for Christmas Wendy, I also hope you won't be too sad...

Beverly said...

Oh my, that is uqjite a situation. I hope it gets done quickly and that it is a good job. Good luck with selling too.

Hilary said...

How totally frustrating. I hope it all works out for you in a timely fashion.

Maggie May said...

Oh my Goodness what a difficult task. I think there is a shortage of plumbers and painters. A shortage of tradesmen. I know you always have to wait for them to get over and do the job.
Hope you are successful.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Ruth said...

We had a major renovation completed last year and there were lots of unexpected delays. But we had one contractor who we trusted and he stuck with the price estimate. Good luck!

Rose said...

I think this would make a good plot for a situation comedy, Wendy:) But not so funny when you're the one having to live through it. As I read this, I am waiting for our handyman who said he'd put in a new patio door this morning if the weather was suitable. He hasn't called, so I wonder will he come or not? And why didn't he come three weeks ago before it got so cold and snowy? Ah, having work done on the house is always such a frustration. Hope it all works out for you soon.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Wendy; I do hope you'll be spending it with family and can enjoy the grandchildren.

Grayquill said...

Hah hah….You are the impatient one aren’t you? As a child were you one of those little ones that screamed I want it, I want it, I want in NOW? :-) I also see you are quiet resourceful finding a plethora of options. It is clear you might get it done when you want, but it will be done soon. Good work!

Grammy said...

That is why I became a handy woman. I like things done yesterday. lol. If I waited for hubby things would never be done. I still need to finish this house. But it will happen some day. I have finally let go of the need to get it done. But not given up the need to control how it is done. May your holidays be filled with joy. Also remember the floors are the last things to do. So they will not get damaged.

Nature Rambles said...

Love the way you put it but so frustrating having to wait to get things done! I'll stay tuned!;)

On this Christmas day I hope you're having a blessed time with your family. My love and my prayers on this special day. (Hugs)


Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Leave it to you, Wendy, to put a humorous bent to a very frustrating situation! LOL! I went through a very similar experience this summer after daughter moved out and I was trying to get someone here to do some painting and repair work that needed to be done. Good luck on your renovations.

Kat said...

Haha! My goodness that was fun to read. Though not fun to experience, I'm sure. Sorry 'bout that.

In my experience, all the best handymen have old school names. We have a FABULOUS plumber whose name is Curly. Our carpenter's (who built our house) name is Errol. Our painter is Joseph but everyone calls him Mugsy.
So much for lovely sounding names like Liam. ;)

Ms. G said...

Ha! Ha! This is all so familiar to me. I learned the trick of the lawn chair, too, to move a 42 inch television from my car to the kitchen door, where I could effectively drag it without having to hold its weight. And this fall I had to call five landscapers before someone actually arrived to remove the leaves from my lawn. Living alone becomes quite the adventure!