I have spoken before about my contractor, Mark. I hired him to excavate my house in order to install a french drain system. Upon learning that he was something of a Jack of All Trades, able to perform most any maintenance or renovation in and around a house, I contracted with him to do some other work on my house after he finished with the outside. He is far more than a mere handy-man, having built homes from scratch in the past, and I was confidant in his success.
Other than the excavation, I wanted Mark to renovate my bathroom, taking out the too small bath to install a tile shower. I wanted him to sand and re-finish my hardwood floors. I wanted him to build two custom cabinets for my kitchen.
I wanted him to do a professional job.
Mark was hired at the end May, by the end of July he had started on everything and finished nothing. He continuously screwed up, broke things, didn't listen to my instructions or requests, and forever seemed unable to stay focused on one job long enough to complete it.
And through all this, he asked for money. More and more - $400, $850, $1,100 - an unending stream of requests. It was for materials, he said, and to rent the large tools needed to do his work. By the time I had given him $8,000, almost everything we had contracted him for had been payed off and NOTHING had been completed, so I cut him off.
So he walked off the job.
After a long and loud argument over the phone with my mom, Mark sent me an incredibly insulting email. It essentially said that I had been acting in bad faith, that I had been routinely rude to him and lied to him over the course of our interactions, that I owed him money for materials he had bought and that it was my fault that he had to rent the drum sander for extra days so I had to pay for it, and that I should never have questioned his professionalism and ability to do his job. He essentially said that we had 'irreconcilable differences' and that he didn't think he could continue working for me anymore.
I never acted in bad faith (whatever that means), I was upfront with my desires, always talking to him about what should be done, how, and when. It's not my fault he was incapable of listening to me and decided to do his own thing, instead. I had never been rude to him, in fact my mother and I both had gone out of our way to be as polite and accommodating as we possibly could. We always spoke softly, never raised our voices when we became upset or frustrated, started our conversations with a 'Good morning' and ended them with a 'Have a good day', said the obligatory 'please' and 'thank you', and even feigned interest in his life story when all we wanted was for him to get back to work. Also, he lied to me. His hired hands lied to me. I NEVER lied to him. The comment he referenced as proof of my lying to him was taken completely out of context of the conversation and was part of a discussion that I had thought resolved long before. He claimed I had to pay for the extra days rental for the drum sander, but the only reason there was extra days was because his hired boy left the job early one day and never came back. How, exactly, is that my fault?
As it is my house, I am paying for his services, and it is me he has a contract with, I believe I have every right to question him when it appears to me that he isn't doing the job right! He hasn't done a single thing right sense I hired him and the moment I stopped handing out the checks, he walks off with my house an uninhabitable mess.
I don't have any money left. Everything I had, my entire savings, has gone into this house. There's no way for me to go out and hire someone else to come in and fix what Mark has screwed up. There's nothing left.
My house, the cute little cottage that I fell in love with, is in ruins. I hate it. I cannot stand even the thought of my house, much less spend any time there. I panic just thinking about it. In fact, I have become so stressed over everything that has happened that my hair has begun to fall out, I am having nightmares nearly every night, and I have begun to have trouble breathing, leaving me gasping for breath. I am having anxiety and panic attacks several times a day and have had to go on medication to hopefully lesson their severity.
Needless to say, I have not been feeling particularly inspired to post to the Project recently. I will continue posting, immortalizing the insanity that is home renovation in digital form, but they may be slow in coming.
Wish me luck.