Saturday, September 09, 2006


I haven't really posted about some of the problems we've been having. Partly because I haven't had time and partly because some of it is related to (surprise surprise) issues with a few of contractors we are still working with. I won't mention their names here. But when this is over, I am going to Angie's list to give them the review they deserve.

Issue #1 The electrician

The project started June 1st. Any delays we've had were caused by the electrican not showing up. In fact, they left us waiting for weeks to run the conduit. Our main contractor was really pissed because they left him hanging also. We have been very patient with them (maybe a mistake).

Recently, they no-showed twice in the past 2 weeks to install the lighting. They finally came yesterday and installed it, but they still have the cable and phone and the garage wiring to do. He told us when he was leaving that, "He is very busy and probably won't be able to come back for a week or two."

In response, I did say that we were hoping to have this wrapped up by October. It's funny how when someone says something to you like that, you can have a delayed reaction. We are both now mad about this. We've been jerked around basically all summer because they have "more important commercial projects" to work on. We are now looking at the possibility of not being able to rent it for October 1st. If they had done everything they were supposed to through this project, we would have had it ready for September 1st. Suffice it to say, Steve will be calling the boss today to discuss this.

Issue #2 The Iron Railing

Steve had been in contact with a welder, who was going to fabricate the railing. He faxed him the design and told him that he would be giving him a to-scale drawing with the exact location of the returns that will bolt to the building. We wanted them to be in the mortar not the brick in case we ever decide to remove it.

Anyway, Steve called the guy this week and imagine his surprise when he found out that he had already fabricated the railing. Steve said he told him like 3 times about the schematics and to wait until he received them. Now we don't know what we are going to do.

I am in favor of having him bring it here and see if it works. (I am wanting to finish this project already). Steve wants to find someone else to make it.

Issue #3 The Budget

Even with careful and detailed planning, we are over budget. We don't want to drain our savings, so we are looking at a home equity loan. Fortunately we obtained one at the start of the project in the event this would happen. We're not terribly over budget, but then it's not over yet.

Anyway, I just thought I'd post these things so no one thinks we had "the perfect project" or something. Here is proof that even when you plan far in advance, organize to the hilt, etc... things can still go wrong.


Greg said...

I'm crushed......but not surprised. All this time I thought things were going so well.

It makes my problems with The Gutter People look like nothing.

jg said...

well, to make you feel better perhaps I can tell you that I've done quite a bit of rehabbing on Chicago's south side and on every new project I had issues with electricians. they overcommit, hire apprentices and collect fat payments for their work. I founds a young guy who used to work for one of these unreliable b.....rds and is doint a superb work for me. He has no license but I know enough to tell you that not only am I saving 50% and everything is up to code but also his total work time at my 2 flat will take no more then 2 weeks. Same applies to a plumber who has gotten his experience working in Italy. They key in this business is to find honest individuals who have references will not milk you for money. In case you do not know the electrcicians union is nothing more then a wel organized mafia. They get young electricians to work for them for ridiculous amounts of money then do them a favor and if they are lucky they sign their license paperwork certifying that such new guy has worked for them...
BTW, this is Jarek..Darrell is working out well. He is removing paint from my trim. Most of it is still mounted and that is how they prefer to work. About 30% has been taken off....

derek said...

maybe see how the railing fits, then have him adjust it onsite to fit the way you want it to. It seems like he jumped the gun, some kind of miscommunication. Hope it works out.