House Work

Why is it that when we want to have stuff done on our house, that it is such a battle!?  Do people who own and operate home improvement stores, and home improvement contracting companies ever try to get work done on their homes?  I wonder. 

We’re replacing all our doors and siding.  I’ll start with the tale of the front door. 

So we go to Lowe’s to buy a door.  Simple enough… we found one we liked, went in and ordered it, paid for it with a shiny new Lowe’s credit card (no interest for a year, ya da ya da) and they said it would come in two weeks.  We hired a contractor who said he would install the door as soon as it arrived.  Cool.  Two weeks later, the door arrives… and it seems like everything is going really well!  This is where you hear the sound of screeching brakes.

First off, when the door arrives, I’m in the back of the house and wasn’t present when they delivered it.  I walk out and there’s my door, no packaging on it, no paperwork (warranty, etc.) and it looks good enough, so I think, cool… it looks OK to me.  But then I took a closer look, and it has a giant split up the middle of one of the vertical frame pieces.  So I get Lowe’s on the phone and someone says, oh, we’ll just give you a new piece.  That’s fine…so we go and pick up the new piece.  It sure doesn’t look like the right piece to me, when I bring it home, but whatever. 

The installer comes the next day, and I show him all this and he says, “No way…this will not go in right.  You need a new door. ”  Not his fault, I don’t blame him because I was actually thinking the same thing, I guess I have a good instinct about this stuff.

So I called Lowe’s again, this time I talk to a manager (or so they call him)… who tells me that he will have the broken door picked up the next day and will order a new one.  How long will it take to get a new door?  Two weeks.  Of course.

So the broken door was not picked up the next day.  Surprised?  Not at all.

So I called Lowe’s again,  this time the manager (or so they call him)… is not in.  Surprised?  Not at all.  I talked to another guy who said that we were on the schedule for a pickup tomorrow.  We’ll see. 

Then I asked the guy if the manager (or so they call him) had put in a new order.  He checked, and said there was no new order.  Surprised?  Not at all.

So then the guy said that he would put the new order in…would I mind holding on?  Sure.  I hate hold music, it makes me want to rip my teeth out.  But sometimes there are good songs…this time it was Elvis.  Not too bad.

He comes back on the line and said that he needed a manager to do this and that all their managers were tied up.  I get this mental picture of all the managers in the store bound and gagged, sitting in various corners of the store waiting to be released.  Anyway, he promised he would take care of this first thing in the morning.  We’ll see.

Tomorrow…. tomorrow… I love you, tomorrow, you’re only a day a way.  Now we’re 3 days later and two MORE weeks away from a new front door… assuming that this guy follows up in the morning.  Will I call to make sure, you bet.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Am I crazy to have tried to do all this coming up to the Holiday season?  We are also replacing our four sliding glass doors and our old decrepit wood siding.  The stucco is fine, but the old tongue-in-groove cedar must go.

Now the siding story… we called a company we have dealt with before and a couple of others for price comparisons.  It took a couple of weeks to get all the estimates done, that was a huge process in and of itself.  Phone calls, messages, missed calls, returned calls, a coordination masterpiece. 

Once we decided we would work with the company we’ve dealt with before, we now have to sign contracts, and order materials.  First thing that happens is that the siding guy tells us that he’s going to do the job on his own, because the person he usually works with (his brother) is injured…and it’s going to take him two weeks.  So that means my house is going to be a work in progess for two weeks?  Yikes.  I sure hope the guy doesn’t fall off a ladder and I come home and find him broken and groaning in the bushes. 

The same company is doing the sliding glass doors, and they have to come out and re-measure, to double-check the first guy’s measurements, and then order the doors.  Then I get a call confirming the door color.  Now I’m worried.  That was last week, so I have no idea when those are going to come.  When they do they will hopefully be white and not brown.  We’ll see.

We can’t do the siding until the doors are in…because… they will bang up the trim.  Now with the front door delayed two weeks, it means that the siding guy will not be able to do the trim in the front…geez… more coordination headaches.  But I haven’t heard from them yet with a starting date, so I won’t worry about that.

Stay tuned for an update later on this week.

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