Saturday, 2 March 2013

KITCHEN RENO - BUYER BEWARE!

So, my mini kitchen renovation is finally complete! I didn't think this day would come!

PHOTOS OF KITCHEN PRE-RENO





As many of you may have read on my Facebook posts, I had alot of struggles with this project.  Primarily, I contracted someone that was an expert in plumbing, but sold himself as an all around home renovator!!! Buyer Beware! If it sounds to good to be true, it usually is!

I was quoted $500 for the job of removing my old counter, installing my new counter, new sink, faucet, and installing back splash.  I was also told the job would take no more than 4 days!!! 4 days turned into 27 days! (less 7 because I was away for business)...so in all fairness....20 days!!!!

CHALLENGE NUMBER 1
* The measurements for the new counter top were not correct. The counter was 1 inch too long. The counter top was also not measured wide enough and was short width wise, as well, as it didn't have under build to make sure it sat on the cupboard top properly. The Reno Guys when removing the old counter, tore the wood structure on my bottom cupboards.

* The Reno Guy left a huge gap between the counter and the counter top.  He told me he was fixing the problem.  Below is how he fixed the problem!! Not sure, but gap still looks pretty big to me! NOT ACCEPTABLE, and I asked them to fix properly! Funny thing, he thought this was good!





 

 
 SOLUTION AND HOW IT WAS REPAIRED
 



 
 
CHALLENGE NUMBER 2
  • Tile installation was done by an inexperienced person who was subcontracted. This was not told to me prior to the installation being done. I was assured that the contractor himself would be doing the work. Tiles were not aligned properly, spaces were either too close or too far apart, and the worst was that the glass tile were installed with chips and cracks! THIS WAS NOT GOING TO FLY WITH ME!






CHALLENGE NUMBER 3
  • The tile could not be fixed at this point, and the solution by the Reno Guy was to remove all the tile. 



DECONSTRUCTION PHASE
  • During the tearing down of the tile, they loosened the walls from the studs, making for a very unstable wall.  When I questioned this, I was told that all walls move, and that once the wall was grouted it would firm up!!
  • BUYER BEWARE, I may be a girl, but I know that drywall needs to be secured to studs, to make sure the wall is sturdy.  I am not that stupid guys!
  • Needless to say, I made them adhere the wall properly to the stud prior to installing tile.
  • This phase took 2 guys, 2 hours to remove all the tile and clean up the debris.








 REPAIR PHASE
  • The Reno Guy told me he would pay for the tile....then he changed his tune.  He told me to go purchase the new tile and we would deduct it from his labour and his supplies!  I did purchase tile, this was not my first choice, clearly, I had already picked out tile that I liked, however, the below are photos of the new tile.  It has since grown on me.
  • I took 4 days off work to ensure that I was home to observe the work being done.  It is a good thing that I did. During the "Repair Phase", if I had not been around, these guys most certainly were going to cut corners. 
    • 1. NOT repair the wobbly walls
    • 2. NOT repair the tile that was bulging out from the wall. They said it was because the wall "bowed"....no, it didn't do that before!!! It does now because you guys did something to make it do this! Fix it please, gentlemen!
    • 3. And what was even more surprising, the Reno Guy who claimed he did it all, tile, plumbing, electrical, complete renos...had to be guided on how to install the new tile by another guy....honestly, it was like watching an episode of Abbott and Costello! 





 IN SUMMARY

BUYER BEWARE!!
Make sure you have references from people who have worked with the person you are contracting. Don't just go on the recommendation of Hardware Store.  You need to be informed of who you are hiring and what their qualifications are.

I was shown a portfolio, but honestly, who is doing the work in these photos.  Find out the qualifications of the tradesmen. Ask alot of questions, and believe me I did, but honestly, not as much as I should have. Ask to see a certificate of their qualifications.

Get your agreement in writing and make sure that there is a clause in there that protects you should you not be satisfied with the workmanship.

Shop around and get estimates, the cheapest, may not always be the best route to go!

IN THE END
The Reno Guy that I used did the right thing in the end.  He fixed the horrendous job that was done by his subcontractor, he apologized and made sure he himself did the work for me and he didn't take any money for his labour or supplies.  Although, in the end it cost me 4 days of vacation, 27 days of grief, 27 days of a non functioning kitchen, 27 days of tears and anxiety....I guess that would qualify as "pain and suffering"....

OVERALL, I HAVE LEARNED A VALUABLE LESSON WITH THIS EXPERIENCE.

I hope that my humble Blog will help anyone out there that is considering a reno, especially if you are a single girl and negotiating on your own.....they will try to make you feel like an idiot! Don't let them!

Thanks for channeling into my humble Blog!

Ciao for now!