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Now that I've calmed down a bit, I can explain what's going on with the heat pump. Last night there was much teeth-gnashing as we realized there was no possible way that we'd have heat before the middle of next week. It's just not humanly possible to do all of the things that need to happen between now and that milestone.

We're at the point right now where everything is torn up. There are open ducts, the crawl space is a mess, plumbing and gas changes are in the works. However, we still have hot water and I haven't been without water for more than about 5 minutes at a time, so it's not all bad. Not for lack of trying though. At this point we're still looking at 5 days of actual work left to be done before they leave. Arranging to be home from work for them to do this is getting increasingly difficult as time goes on. For some crazy reason our bosses think we should go in to the office occasionally. So we'll have to sneak those 5 days or so of work into the first two weeks of June somewhere.

I'm incredibly frustrated with this project. We've managed to avoid cost overruns so far, but this time delay is making me insane. See, this project was supposed to last 4 to 5 consecutive days, after the device was delivered. That delivery date was scheduled for the first week of May. Even with extra days (always add about 50% delay to project to avoid killing people), this should have been done over a week ago. And here we are looking at 2 more weeks, mostly without heat. Even as late as the end of last week they were projecting only cosmetic work next week. And now it's full heat install.

The reason this is making me even more crazy than usual is that we're planning a short vacation this weekend. I was hoping it would be a celebration of all the brain-eating projects I've been working on for the last two months, but it's not even close. We're going to be coming back to frustrated employers and coordinating home days. I'm just so sick of it I could cry. 

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The only good thing I can see in all of this is the fact that so far there have been no cost overruns. Other than that it sounds awful. I'm wondering, is this the first time these people have installed this particular type of equipment?

Yes, I'm very happy about the cost thing. But this certainly isn't their first time doing this sort of work. Granted they ran into a few things in the walls that were unexpected, but it's getting ridiculous. At least I'm getting practice being firm and reasonable about dates and learning to catch the overly optimistic timelines.

I positively *twitched* when I read your response. I'm having deja vu all over again, as we say around here. If I may digress, we had our roof replaced about eight years ago. The bid process was brutal. Evidently few contractors in these parts are used to dealing with a woman. I have a background in construction so I wanted to do it. Ultimately, the company I chose was okay, except...
After they'd done the roof itself, they started on the aluminum covering for the eaves. As they installed it, I noticed, nothing. No sound of power tools, very quiet. This was not good as one of the problems with the original roofwork was that there were too few vents in the eaves. I figured the easiest way to put more vents in would be to use a hole saw in the original wood wherever the aluminum sheathing had perforations.
So I waited for all the crew (8 or 9 guys)to get off my property, called the office and raised hell. A customer service person came out, confirmed what I suspected, and the whole back eaves had to be stripped, cut, and resheathed. My hubby said afterward he would never have known any better. He would have signed off on the paperwork, we would have lived with a compromised job, and five or ten years later we would have had the same problem we'd had originally with ice dams in the eaves, leading to leaks and rotting.
Sad to say, it's helpful to be as intelligent as you obviously are.

Oh, I had one of those last year. The bidders all talked to me like I was 4 years old. Of course, they were automatically disqualified if they couldn't at least *pretend* to be civil. Still, so frustrating.

Oh man, roofers. They're a special brand of crazy. You'd have to be to get up on some roofs though.

I'm so thankful that my father made me help him with stuff as a kid. I know enough to be able to look at a job and tell if it's being done badly. I think we got lucky, despite all the problems, with these guys. Part of the reason we picket them was that they seemed to have brains in the heads.They're thinking through problems and coming up with reasonable solutions and more importantly checking in with us on decisions. So much nicer than finding out they made arbitrary crappy decision X.

That said of course, they just tried to tell me "2 more days" till they're done. Sure. 2 more days if the stars align. I'll plan for 4, thanks. At least they have the grace to be moderately embarrassed by the whole thing.

"I'm so thankful that my father made me help him with stuff as a kid."
OMG, that's me all over. My dad wasn't real handy (he sucked as a carpenter), but as I say every now and then, he had a son and two daughters, not a son and two duds. We ALL ended up handy, in one way or another, and it's helped us a lot over the years.
Hang in there.

I'm not handy, but I'm not dumb. In general our work with contractors goes like this: I'm the nice guy. My husband is the meanie-head with the money.

I make them want to do good work for us but I use him as an excuse. He rarely speaks to the contractors but I often speak to them and when we notice issues, I bring them right away to the crew foreman's attention. I say things like: We noticed this work is not to our specifications or satisfaction, I understand you may have made other choices, but my husband will refuse to pay for your services if the work is not done to our specifications and satisfaction.

He stands back and looks menacing, I look at sweet and innocent but just in a bind b/c my hands are tied by my big meanie-head husband with the fat checkbook. It works remarkably well for us to deal with contractors in this way.

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