Should You Hire a Friend, Family Member or a Professional St Cloud MN General Contractor for Your Home Improvement Project?
Homeowner Christine Silver wasn’t sure what to expect when she decided to remodel the two full bathrooms on the upstairs floor of her townhouse, but she anticipated a fairly simple project.
“I wanted to make them nicer,” Christine said. “I decided to do more in the master bath—tear out the fiberglass and put in a tiled shower—and refinish the fiberglass in the other bath. Both got new floors, accessories, and top of the line shower valves and handles.”
Unfortunately, Christine didn’t hire a professional contractor and instead chose a personal friend to handle the construction work at her home. Her friend estimated the project would take a few weeks—but two months into the project, the work wasn’t finished and a number of things had gone wrong along the way.
The trouble started when Christine left town near the beginning of the project. She left her indoor cats in the garage so that they wouldn’t escape or get in the way of the construction team while she was gone. But when Christine returned home and let her cats back inside the house, she found a hole in the master bathroom where her friend’s team had pulled up some flooring to work on the plumbing system. Unfortunately, one of Christine’s curious cats got stuck between floors.
“The contractor had to tear out a bunch of sheetrock to find her,” Christine said. “The good news was he spotted a weak floor under my water heater and was able to shore that up.”
Next, a leak developed over the living room ceiling after the workers hooked up new shower valves for the hall bathroom. The ceiling had to be removed.
“I had plastic sheets hanging and fans running,” Christine said. “The water traveled and ran down through the ceiling fan/light in the dining room. Everything had to be removed and/or moved over to dry out. The carpet upstairs got wet, so they had to pull that back and run fans 24/7.”
Though Christine’s friend originally said his team wouldn’t need her garage, they ended up needing the space to do some rewiring for the new bathroom exhaust fans, and Christine had to move her cats into her office. Next, the team had to go through the closet in Christine’s guest bedroom to access the attic—which wouldn’t have been a problem if she hadn’t already moved into the guest room when they first began work on the master bathroom. When they entered the closet, the workers moved her clothes and personal belongings and didn’t put anything back when they were finished.
Christine felt that the construction team was trying to be neat, but her home was still a mess and she was upset. With staples left in the wall after they had removed the plastic sheeting, footprints and sawdust covering the back patio, a broken flowerpot and hose spigot, and debris covering the walls, there was dust and dirt all over the entire house.
“I am a clean and organized person, and this whole-house disaster has been so hard to live with,” she said. “I’ve finally given up on anything being clean.”
Two months into the project, Christine was rightfully frustrated that it still wasn’t complete. Instead she still had to contend with a leaking toilet, poorly mixed paint, towel bars and accessories that hadn’t arrived yet, a wall that needed to be repaired, light and smoke detector installations, the replacement of a medicine cabinet, loose cables in the garage, and the serious need for a professional home and carpet cleaning.
Though Christine trusted her friend to work in her home “from a security point of view,” she says she isn’t sure that she would hire him again because of all the problems that came up during the project. Fortunately, she understands more about the remodeling process now and would be better prepared if she chooses to undergo another project with a professional contractor in the future.
“I know what questions to ask,” she said. “I would do my own painting…I would get in writing the start date and expected end date. I would ask specifically for communication at certain points of the job.”
To learn more about the benefits of working with a professional contractor and to get Christine’s recommendations on the best ways to prepare for your remodeling project, check out our latest article here.
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Give him a call today at 320-252-0911 for your no-obligation consultation.