There’s no such thing as a vacation from renovations

We spent this last week vacationing in St. Croix, where my boyfriend is from. Along with seeing family, getting his driver’s license renewed, and tanning at the beach, we ended up semi-yelling at our contractor. Twice.

The last time any work was done on the house was the day before Hurricane Sandy. Yep. 6 weeks and still nothing has been ordered and nothing has been started. We also asked just about a million times to at least have a materials budget sent to us so we could start picking out stuff now and actually have time to deliberate on what we want.

It finally came to a head this week. Boyfriend’s family does construction and renovations on the island so we set up a call with the contractor and semi-ambushed him with the family. We ended up having a very convoluted call where I finally had to say, Listen, all we want is the materials budget so we can start picking stuff out–wait let me finish–so if you could just break everything down for us and give us an exact timeline on when everything is going to be finished–hold on, let me finish–then we can start planning for it.

He said by Wednesday he would have it for us.

We get it on Friday.

By it, I mean a really long email about how long it would actually take for him to break everything down for us. He also tells Boyfriend that his siding guy has a family issue and he can’t come next week. WHAT?

So I create a google spreadsheet and break it down for him. Column 1 – item, Column 2 – # of units, Column 3 – price per unit, Column 4 – labor costs, Column 5 – total cost, Column 6 – notes. Then I fill in the information we already have and send it to him with a bit of a snippy look-I-just-did-what-you-said-you-couldn’t-do email. We make plans to research siding installation specialists.

Boyfriend’s mom is voice of reason. She says, just let it go. Make sure he finishes the job and does it right. Let go of trying to use your own people and your own stuff. He is going to use who he wants to use. Just make sure he finishes.

He emails us back – he fills out the form “as much as he could” and says if we think he is trying to screw us on labor costs, then feel free to get prices from other contractors – he would rather have no job than a bad rap. Oh no he didn’t just try to back out of the job.

After calming Boyfriend’s mom down from getting ready to fight him through the internet (he is trying to punk you guys!), Boyfriend is voice of reason this time and sends a very reasonable email back. Boyfriend’s mom approves of the email. While we would like to reach through the interwebs and shake him, we cannot be unprofessional back.

We have another call with our contractor on Saturday after finishing our lobsters benedict (hooray for brunch by the marina on a tropical island!) and he has his tail between his legs. He has just read Boyfriend’s email and has finally gotten it. He says he has found another siding guy who can also do the windows and the doors and he is planning to have him in early next week, if not tomorrow.

Today I text him twice about the siding guy. He finally answers on the second text. He will check tomorrow. As in, he hasn’t checked today.

As in he will get a text message from me every single day until he gets this job done.

Every. Single. Day.


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