Dax’s Big Boy Room: All Moved In

You guys will never believe this, but…David finished Dax’s new room by the deadline I gave him! Woohoo! Best miracle ever!

Once the paint was finished, we we started moving Dax’s things into his new room.  We are keeping all of his furniture the same until he is ready for a big boy bed, which hopefully isn’t for a long time.  I love how the white paint looks with the black, gold, and green accents.  It is a perfect room for our wild boy and definitely one that he will be able to grow into.  It is so hard to believe that it used to be dark wood, and blue, and now it is light, airy, and bright.

The room is a lot smaller than we anticipated, so it is a good thing we decided to make this Dax’s big boy room instead of the new nursery.  There is no way the glider would have fit in here, so it couldn’t have worked out better.

We are still waiting on the closet doors and closet door hardware to arrive as well as a mirror for above Dax’s dresser.  Since the room is 98%, it’s time to get that nursery competed as best as we can so we can feel fully prepared for the baby.

Mudroom Reveal

I never thought I would be writing this, but our mudroom is complete. I repeat, the mudroom is complete. I gave David a strict deadline, and he got it done. Ok, two days later than the deadline, but baby steps right? It looks beautiful and I love it, but I do think it would have been worth a few thousand dollars to have hired it out so that it would have been done months ago. Oh well.

He basically built everything from scratch and it’s so nice knowing there is a place for muddy and wet shoes and coats now.  I also feel confident that we will have a designated place for keys, especially for David’s since he is always losing his.

The cabinets were a great addition since we have so much random stuff in the garage that would go better in here. The sink will be great to rinse off after playing outside.

Now that the functional stuff is done, we get to decorate! The wall behind the sink needs something, as does the blank wall between the bench and the cabinets. I am thinking a mirror will make the room look bigger, but I have to play with different ideas.

Next up, the planning center! Yep, David had a deadline for that too, and it’s complete as well!

Patio and Retaining Wall Reveal

I finally have a completed project to share with you all! We all know how long it takes for David to do complete something, so it’s been so nice having a finished patio to enjoy.  It took the guys about 5-6 days between demo day and building it out and we couldn’t be happier with the final result.  The only thing that we aren’t the most happy with is the retaining wall.  That is completely our fault though.  It’s 15 feet and it just looks really small against the giant patio. I think we assumed it would go all the way to the dog run, but we figured that we could always add onto it if it really bothers us, or we can build in the BBQ like we planned between the dog run and the retaining wall.  I know that the dog run looks really ugly and out of place next to this gorgeous patio, but once we paint the exterior of the house, we will paint this as well.Since the patio has been finished, the boys have loved playing on it.  They bring out their trucks and cars, play soccer, basketball and t-ball.  It’s been so fun to see how happy they are outside and finally enjoying their safe space. I can’t wait to get our outdoor table and chairs out here so that we can have dinner outside this late spring/ summer. I also am looking forward to do the landscaping, it’s looking a little bleh out there.

Review Backlash

This is the last time you’ll hear me complaining about our contractor. I promise!

You all saw my Yelp review I posted about last week. Well, I also posted that to BBB and a few other sites that The Basement Men and The Creative Approach are on. I decided that I was going to write a shorter review on FB, directing readers to the Yelp review.

Steve, our contractor and owner of the companies decided to write back with nothing but lies. I was actually in so much shock that I retaliated quickly. Normally I wouldn’t react publicly. I would let them get the last word because I would have zero need to defend myself for something I know I’m right about. This time however, I couldn’t help myself.

My response was probably irrational and immature but it had to be said. It’s one thing for Steve to defend himself and his company but to flat-out lie about me and David- nope, I won’t have any of that!

Here is how all of the drama went down. If you don’t like drama I highly suggest exiting out of this post ASAP

https://m.facebook.com/The-Creative-Approach-Builders-The-Basement-Men-The-Concrete-Man-108344832553947/

Our Final Review

I’ll be honest, I am not one to write reviews unless it is asked of me to write one, I’ve had an exceptional experience, or an awful one. I really don’t even write reviews on awful experiences because it’s not worth my time or I quickly forget about it within a couple of days. After our experience with this contractor, I couldn’t help myself. I wrote a long and horrendous (but honest) review of our experience with him/ his company.

He has three names for his company which is weird to me. He has The Basement Men, The Concrete Men, and The Creative Approach. We were writing checks out to The Basement Men even though our project wasn’t in the basement. Anyway, the contractor, Steve, didn’t want to see the final reveal of the bathroom, I lost my sh*t and decided I wasn’t going to sugar coat my review.

So, here it is. I copy pasted it from Yelp. Was I too harsh? Probably! But, hopefully Steve can take this and learn so that his company thrives.

Readers beware: this is long but honest
When we first met Steve, we liked the work he showed us in his notebook. He also gave us a really low quote which my husband thought was actually a fair quote for a small bathroom. We signed the contract and were excited to get this project started. The contract said we had to give a 50% deposit and a 50% completion check.
Things were going pretty smoothly, but Steve was annoying when it came to payments. We decided to remove some concrete and he said it was an extra 600 dollars. We agreed to the cost& he came over to collect a 50% deposit and the following day he came over to collect the rest. We thought it was odd that he needed 2payments for such a small bill or why he couldn’t have just added it on to the final invoice.
He then asked for more progress checks and we gave him them even though our contract said NOTHING about progress checks.
We started to notice that Steve ONLY came over when he wanted a check. He never checked on the project unless a check was involved. Our previous contractor was here every single day and was an active part of the remodel. So strange.
We went through a polar vortex which delayed our counters from being installed. Steve was on us about it but it wasn’t something that we could control.
The second the counters were installed we contacted Steve to let him know. He said that his workers would be over the next day. The following day we expected the guys to show up, and they didn’t show up in the morning. Steve called my husband and texted him asking if it was ok if he came over for a completion check. What???? The bathroom wasn’t completed or anywhere near it. My husband told him that he wasn’t comfortable with giving him a check until it was completed and Steve asked if we could write a post dated check instead. My husband said it depended on how much progress was made that day but he wasn’t sure he feels comfortable writing the check. Well, 12pm rolls around, no workers, they showed up at 1:15!! We didn’t care that they showed up so late, but we knew that the bathroom would be nowhere near completion to write a check for Steve. My husband texted Steve to inform him that he would not be writing a check that day. Steve did not like that answer. One of his workers came to find me and had Steve on the phone for me. Steve told me how rude my husband’s text message was to him and how it’s not ok for my husband to say he will write and check and then go back on his word. I reminded steve that our contract states a “completion” check and the bathroom isn’t completed, therefore he should not be getting a check. He proceeded to push me into writing a check and post date it, and he would not accept no for an answer. When I told him over and over that he won’t get a check until it’s completed since that’s what the contract said, he told me we were playing dirty and kept saying “so that’s how you want to play this game”. He mentioned that we delayed his project with the counters and he took a higher paying job than ours and now has to pull his men from that job to finish ours. So I told him to have his men finish today and we will hire somebody else to complete the job. He said he would pull his men from our job and reschedule in a couple of weeks when they finish their bigger job. Finally I cut him off and told him I had to deal with my two small children and hung up.
I was waiting and waiting for his men to leave, they never did. My husband got a lovely text that Steve was pulling his guys, and my husband didn’t respond. When he came back from work at 5:00 the workers were still there. So it was an empty threat. They didn’t leave until 6:30 and then my husband got yet ANOTHER text saying that the men made lots of progress, how about my husband gives him half of the completion check?? Are you serious??? Is this real?!?! My husband said nope, not until the job is complete.
The men showed up the next day (Thursday) , Friday, and were at the house from 8-6:40 on Saturday. They came back Monday as well. We heard that the workers got in trouble for installing our mirrors, painting our trim, and potentially sealing our tiles.
They finally finished Monday afternoon and Steve texted my husband about when he could come collect his check. He agreed on 5:15 and didn’t show up until almost 6. HE DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO SEE THE FINISHED PROJECT!! Can you believe that?! What contractor doesn’t want to see the work his men did on a job?!
This was the most disturbing, uncomfortable experience and I would never ever ever work with Steve again or recommend him to my worst enemy. The way he spoke to me was unacceptable and inappropriate and the harassment for a check made him come off desperate and shady. It’s a shame because his workers do a good job and some were pleasant to be around, but save yourself the hassle and do NOT use this company. We would have rather paid 3 times more than we did just for a more pleasant experience.

Broken Tile, Messy Grout, Bad Vanity Planning, and Paint Splatters

I think that our contractor and his men wanted to be done with the bathroom just as bad as we wanted it to be done.

Besides not reading the reviews for this company, our biggest regret was not having the contractor do a final walkthrough because there was a lot more to be fixed than we anticipated.

Last weekend, David went to deep clean the bathroom so that we could move the boys into it. Who would have thought sharing s bathroom with two small children for 2 months would be such an ordeal?! As he was cleaning we discovered quite a few things that we would have expected to be fixed.

The grout is kind of mess but I really think if we used a lighter color it would have turned out great. I just expected more from a professional company. We noticed one broken tile and three scratched tiles in the shower. All which can’t be fixed but need to be chiseled out.When David was walking in the bathroom, you can hear and feel that some of the floor tiles are loose. Again, they need to be chiseled out.They did terrible planning when installing the vanity because the drawer on the end cannot be opened all of the way due to the window trim being in the way. Unfortunately, this is something that can’t be fixed at this point.Lastly (from what we could tell), there was ceiling paint splattered all over the counters. I’m not exaggerating here, splatters everywhere. Luckily the counters are light so it’s hard to tell, but it took a while to scrape them off and we didn’t even get all of them!I am so mad we didn’t have the contractor do a final walkthrough but I am so grateful that David could fix all of this stuff. We would be in big trouble if he couldn’t.

We learned so much during this experience and with all of the trouble and stress that came with it, at least the bathroom is done…but no the boys still aren’t moved into it yet!

Blue Tape and No Final Walkthrough

One thing that we were asked to do, was walk through the bathroom and blue tape anything we might need to be fixed.

David and I walked through and found so many things, it really wasn’t even worth blue taping. I figured that when Monday rolled around, I would basically tell the guys that they need to clean up their grout job as it is thicker in some places and thinner in others. It looked like David could have done it and the point of paying money for a contractor was so that it looked more professional than David’s grout job (not that there’s anything wrong with David’s grout job), we just wanted a professional look.

Fixing the electrical problems from the weekend was on our punch list, there was some bad dry wall work and painting that needed fixing, sealing the counters and shower, and then just cleaning up so that the bathroom could finally be used.

When the guys showed up they weren’t thrilled that we didn’t blue tape- understandably so. I showed them where the grout looked good which was pretty much one side of the shower, and explained that that was how I wanted the grout to look everywhere. He told me that because we picked black grout, it’s very dark and really hard to get perfect. He said if we looked at the grout in our master bathroom and kitchen we wouldn’t notice the imperfections because it’s white and light gray. That makes total sense but I still think that they could do a much better job considering they are professionals. They shouldn’t blame their work on our color choice.

I mentioned the dry wall and he gave me attitude about it, and lastly I said the electric needed to be fixed because we weren’t paying until it was fixed. He proceeded to blame us again and said that they have already done enough free stuff for me and they wouldn’t fix this too. Umm what?? What free stuff he was talking about I had no idea. I obviously asked and he said that they hung the towel bars and mirrors for us and that wasn’t in the contract. That was super confusing to me. Never met a contractor that doesn’t include hanging mirrors to complete a bathroom. Thanks for the free work I guess?? I told him that David cut his foot and wasn’t able to get the sealer for the bathroom. Don’t worry everyone, that wasn’t in the contract either so he wasn’t going to seal even if we had it. Ridiculous.

At around 2:30-3:00, the guys packed everything up, left, and that was that. Our main contractor, Steve, told David he would be over at 5:15 to collect the completion check and we also assumed he would do a final walkthrough like our last contractor (and I think most contractors?).

David rushed to get home in time and was pretty nervous to see Steve since we hadn’t talked to him or seen him since the previous week when he called and attacked me over the phone. 5:20 rolls around, no Steve. 5:40, no Steve. 6:00 and he finally shows up. Some nerve not letting us know he would be that late.

Anyway, he showed up, had zero desire to see the completed bathroom and just wanted the check. David was way nicer than I would have been. I would have demanded that he looked at the bathroom especially since David didn’t even see the final product yet!

Steve left without seeing the bathroom, with his check, and fortunately we never have to see this man again. Let’s just say, I was fuming and all I could think about was writing my review on this awful man and the horrific way he does business.