I have been complaining and alluding to our bathroom woes for months now. It is finally finished, so I thought I’d share the beauty with you all. You’re welcome.
Here’s the before. Boring, but not awful until you spot the masking tape in the lower left corner.
Yes, that is a tile being held in place with maksing tape so we don’t have a gaping hole straight through to the attic. I’m sure the kitties would have had a blast wriggling through and then getting trapped over there. After a few months of ignoring this, and showering downstairs, I decided enough was enough. We ordered a new tub, then all this crap happened.
When everything was “resolved” and the tub had arrived, we got Handychicks (love the name!) to rip the house apart, but in a strategic manner.
I missed stage 3, but it was the same as stage 2, but the cement board was in place.
Stage 4: almost done! The tiled wall at the bottom was initially going to be a plastic tub wall, but when it didn’t arrive, and we lost all hope, Handychicks came to the rescue and built and tiled the wall for us.
Handychicks did a great job, and Joanna, our contractor, was great about answering all of our questions and explaining all our options. When we are un-broke, I plan on having her do more things around the house. Anyone want to hand me a bunch of money so I can get that done?
My favorite topic of complaint over the last few months has been our attempt at home remodeling. Many of you have heard bits and pieces of the story, and I even mentioned it in an earlier post, but I thought I’d go ahead and get the whole story down in one place.
This all started when the people who owned my home before me, who by now we all know are lazy jack wagons, ignored the upstairs tub dripping. They must have ignored it for at least a year. This leak proceeded to run along the side of the tub, and work its way through the grout between the tiles. Unfortunately, there was just sheet rock behind them instead of green board or hardi board, either of which would have been waterproof. The sheet rock slowly dissolved, leaving only a thin skin of paper holding up the entire tile wall.
Here’s why the previous owners are awful human beings: the water leaked enough to cause a water stain in the ceiling of the garage. Did they take that as a hint to fix it? No. They decided to simply replace the sheet rock in the garage to trick us into buying the house. We could have knocked off a large chunk of the price if they hadn’t been so deceptive, and would be having an easier time paying for their laziness right now. I hope a sinkhole swallows their current house and their insurance refuses to pay for it.
So Hubby and I got the leak fixed, discovered the illusion that is our “wall”, and started showering downstairs. This spring we had decided to get the whole shower fixed. We found a contractor who shall remain anonymous until their work is completed, at which point they will get a whole blog post, which I’m hoping will be entirely positive. We finally agreed on, and purchased tile, and ordered a tub.
Woe to ye who do not research large purchases ahead of time, for ye will surely be subjected to endless torment and frustration.
We went to the normal places to shop for a tub: Home Depot, and Lowe’s. I always prefer to support local businesses when I can, but I couldn’t seem to find a local plumbing supply shop, until we stumbled into Austin Plumbing Supply. I had already found a tub online at Lowe’s that was on sale, and would be shipped to our home for free. I should have ordered it and stayed home.
We went to the showroom, which is on Burnet (at this moment, but who knows how much longer it will be there). The person we were dealing with, who I believe was the owner, Bill Sullivan, said we should go over to their warehouse and see what they had there. We 10 minutes over there, where he tried to sell us two tubs that were not even close to what we wanted. One was basically the same as the one we already had, and the other was some big, fancy Whirpool number. This is how the conversation went:
Me: “That’s not what we want”.
Bill: “Yeah, but I’ll make you a deal on this one”.
Me: “I don’t want a deal on that one. I want a tub without all those jets and things”.
Bill: “This is usually a $1,500 tub. I’ll give it to you for $700. That’s less than half what it usually costs”.
Me (thinking I know $700 is less than half of $1,500, jackass. Don’t insult my intelligence): “I don’t care. That’s still way more than I want to spend, plus it will cost me a ton more to install. I found a tub I want for $500, so I’ll just go order it from Lowe’s”.
After a bit more discussion along this line, he gave me a rather irritated look, and said we should all go back to the showroom. We drove back through traffic, all the way back down Burnet. He had me find the website with the tub I had in mind, and said they would match the price. At the time we were on a deadline for the contractors to get started (little did I know that date would be missed by 2 months at least), and he told me we would have it delivered in time for the start date. After he ran my card he said it would SHIP within 2 weeks, not ARRIVE within 2 weeks, which is what I needed. I should have cancelled the order at that second, but I didn’t know any better.
After that, there was a consistent string of delays, ignored phone calls and emails, and excuses. We finally got the tub and the flange (part of the tub) delivered, but no tub skirt. The skirt is the front white wall of the tub, and this one was a separate piece. When the tub was delivered, the (seemingly 15 year old) delivery boy told us the skirt would arrive in a couple of days. I called the store after he left, and they said it would be a couple of WEEKS.
We stopped hearing from them completely, and I even emailed them saying, “Please just email me back if your business is still open”. I had no idea that I was correct. The local paper did an article about the fact that Austin Plumbing Supply closed its doors without telling anyone, before they declared bankruptcy. I found out because my contractor physically went over to the store to find out what was going on, and saw numerous customers wandering around, unsure what to do when faced with the inexpicably locked doors.
The Statesman has since written another article about the bankruptcy, and the effect on customers. Personally, I feel really lucky that we got a tub at all. I’ve disputed the charges for the remaining purchase with the bank, and it’s already been refunded. My contractor says we don’t need the skirt (oh yeah, turns out the tub is discontinued as well, so getting any remaining parts my be nigh impossible), and she can build and tile a small wall instead.
I’ve posted this before, but I’ll post it again: this is the link to Austin Plumbing Supply on Yelp. For those of you unfamiliar, Yelp is a website where people can review businesses and restaurants. They have a five star scale (five being the best), and this place has an AVERAGE of one star. One!! It turns out that I’m not alone. Bill Sullivan is apparently rude to every person he comes across, and once he has your money, doesn’t care about actually providing the materials he’s promised. No one deserves to go out of business more than this guy. I am gleeful at his downfall, and I hope he can never open another business again.
Hubby and I were very lucky, and I hope everyone uses this as a lesson to research any place you’ll be making a major purchase thoroughly before handing over your card. Hopefully, the world is now a little safer for consumers, and with any luck, I’ll be able to shower upstairs in less than 2 weeks!
This is part 2 in the Strange World of Clever Chick. Odd things have been happening to me for weeks now, and I had to document it, or lose what’s left of my sanity.
We have a very sad peach tree in the back yard. The previous owners, who we all know are morons, planted the thing at a 45 degree angle, so that it’s leaning across the only pathway in and out of the back yard. It is also surrounded by tons of massive trees, so it never gets enough sun. We live in Texas, so it never gets enough water, but neither does anything else. The first year we lived in the house, there were a series of hail storms that knocked every baby peach off the tree. The second year, squirrels at them all. This year however, we have Flapjack.
He chases squirrels like he’s in doggy heaven. It doesn’t matter if they’re in the trees, or on top of the fence, or in the yard. He races after each one as though he will really catch it. When they get into the peach tree, he can reach them because there’s a bench next to it, so I had high hopes of harvesting my own fruit this year. The peaches had a guardian. I have even been watering that crooked, ungrateful wretch every night. I went out there on Thursday to water. The peaches were about the size of a 50 cent piece, and starting to turn peach! I went out there on Friday. No need to water. They had all vanished overnight.
Last night, Tinkerbell, our Siamese cat, inexplicably started attacking the Chrsitmas lights that hang over our bed. They’ve been up for over a year, and she’s never taken any notice of them. She has brain damage from being hit by a car years ago, so I just picked her up, and carried her away from the lights, hoping she’d forget they were there. Hubby and I were laying in bed reading, and petting Flapjack. He likes to lay in bed between us for a little while before he goes to sleep on the floor. He suddenly perked up, and I realized he was looking very intently at something to the left of my head. I looked to see what was so fascinating. A roach.
I think I teleported. The next thing I knew I was standing on top of the ottoman, shrieking. Hubby already had a shoe in hand. Somehow he’d gotten the roach onto the floor, and was attempting to destroy it, but those things are crafty. After much shrieking, running, jumping, and more shrieking on my part, Hubby destroyed and flushed the beast. Woe ye who piss off my Husband, for that shalt be thoroughly vanquished with a flip flop. I, of course, was super-paranoid the rest of the night. I had to sleep with my hair in a braid, because I would flip out every time I saw one of my dark brown locks from the corner of my eye. We all know I do not deal well with roaches. I hope this teaches you all to pay attention to your animals. They don’t just predict hurricanes, and notify us of children in wells.
Another tiny weird thing happened the other day. I was in the shower, and I was washing my very long, heavy hair. A section of it dropped, hitting me on the shoulder. It felt like someone laid their hand on me, and it was freaky as hell!!
Some of you know that we’ve been attempting to have our upstairs bathroom remodeled for months now. There was a long-term leak (again left by the previous home owners, those fantastic human beings), which caused a ton of sheet rock to be damaged, so we have to have the entire tub, and tile surround area removed and replaced. All of this was supposed to be completed in April, but everything has been delayed repeatedly because we ordered our bathtub from Austin Plumbing Supply (link is to the Yelp page because their website has been shut down).
They were constantly putting us off, saying there were delays, or just not responding to emails or calls at all. After a few weeks of this, I looked them up on yelp, and they have only terrible reviews. They have an average of 1 out of 5 stars, so that should tell you something. Sometimes, I’m just not as clever as I try to be. I should have researched them before making a major purchase, but hopefully all of you lovely little minions can learn from my mistake. We finally got the tub and one of the parts delivered to the house, with the promise that the other part would be arriving in a couple weeks.
After even more back-and-forth, I got an email from my contractor this morning. They are closed. Went bankrupt. I think it’s kind of funny. I mean they deserve it, but they either owe me a part, or $75. I’ve already called my bank to dispute the charges since they didn’t deliver the product, so in a way this isn’t my problem any more. It’s nice to not worry about that horrible company anymore (at least for now), but we’re still no closer to being able to shower upstairs.
To top EVERYTHING off, my high school reunion is THIS FRIDAY (as I’m writing this. As you’re reading this, it was yesterday)!! That’s right it’s my
ten year five year reunion (yes, I’m uh..(carry the 4)…23! Really!!) on Friday. I’ve been dieting, and I’ve lost about 10 pounds in the past 3 weeks, but it’s getting hard to be good. I went to Wendy’s yesterday. I still hang out with lots of my friends from high school, so I don’t think I’m nervous, but I keep having crazy dreams, like I’m supposed to get married but forgot to plan the wedding, or I’m supposed to be in medical school, but I never went to any classes, or I got a job but forgot to finish college, so now I have to finish it on the side without my boss finding out. All these crazy things keep happening, which are small, but they’re big enough to keep my slightly off-balance. Add bad sleep to that equation, and you get one crazy Clever Chick. Everyone, please wish me luck, and don’t let me have any carbs until Saturday.