Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 31 seconds
Occasionally I get the pleasure of telling folks “I told you so”. Rarely does it cause a stir.
Here is a short story that worked out for all parties in the end.
This case involved an exhausted client and a tile setter that had real life issues.
I should have seen the warning signs, but I am/was too forgiving. The work, when actually accomplished on time, was wonderful. I was given ample warning and had several opportunities to resolve the problem or fire the tile setter, but my fault was that I was willing to overlook the mess, the missed promises, the incomplete work, as well as the crazy scheduling, and leaving several times in the middle of the day.
I “got it” eventually, and now have a real Masonry Contractor, who I love. Oops, I’m jumping ahead.
So, Levco was ending the project, turning into the home stretch of the addition, and the guest bathroom was the final part. That is when the homeowner balked at having us do the tile work. He essentially fired the subcontractor for me and hired anther “Tile Guy” from out in front of Home Depot. The home owner proudly told me it saved him $300.00 Ah, if only all tile guys were the same, I warned him.
I had not heard a word and assumed that everything was fine, until I was asked to return to remodel the dining room. I noticed that the pluming fixtures had not been installed in the guest bath. Confused, I asked why. As it turns out, the owners were so concerned about the shoddy workmanship that they never even put water into the shower pan for fear of it leaking into their new addition.
That was is when they contacted me again, 3 years later. Enough time had passed, I suppose, allowing him to get past the anger of making a mistake. One day, he just tore out all of the shower tile. He was calling to have us return to replace the shower completely.
The project was a huge success and we laugh about it now, but I wish it had never happened. In reality, I gave the owner no option at the time.
As I get more experienced, or the “older” I get, the more I see the big picture. This theme repeats itself with painters and all of the subcontractors, I suppose.
So, if you are an inexperienced general contractor, take my advice.
- Don’t allow a substandard subcontractor to sour your projects.
- Maintain a low tolerance for anything but perfection.
Your clients will appreciate it and your reputation will flourish. After all, the reason they hired you was to avoid gambling with their hard earned money.