Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Morning Stories With Mookie - Episode 74

The Time Mookie and Megan Hired Home Town Restyling 
(And It Was A Nightmare) Part III

Writing this third installment of the Home Town Restyling saga has been bittersweet.  I have received comments and questions from readers as to when I would finish the story, which I found exciting because someone was actually reading this crap.  However each time I started working on it, the recollections of how bitter and disappointed my wife and I felt during this whole thing made me close the story after only one or two paragraphs.  Finally, after multiple attempts to push through the bitterness - I now present to you the last (and hopefully final) installment of this little tale.

Disclaimer:  The following story is 100% true.  I must say this because I don’t need someone coming out of the woodwork and suing me for defamation, slander, or libel.  Everything stated here is matter of fact, and indisputable.  Trust me...nobody would WANT to make this stuff up.

Let me start Part III by re-introducing the characters to you:

Mookie:  Yours truly.
"Megan(*)" My hot wife.
Home Town Restyling (HTR):  The company we hired for various home improvements.
HTR Sales Guy:  The guy that sold us on the 3 jobs we have hired HTR to do.
Wayne:  The owner and president of Home Town Restyling.
Foreman Guy(*):  The guy responsible for the workers who did the 3 jobs.
Two Dudes(*):  The guys who did the original window/trim job on our house in Part I.
Ken and Lonny(*): The guys who did the window replacement/trim on our house after the 2011 storm.
Joe and Tony(*):  The guys who did the soffit/facia replacement.

When I ended Part II, "Foreman Guy" had just showed up to review our concerns over the work that was previously done on the front porch windows/trim, and the soffit/facia.  He said that he would be sending "Joe and Tony" back up to our house to "correct" our issues with the soffit/facia, and also have "Ken" come back to fix the issues on the porch trim around the windows.  While we were disappointed that we had to have some of the work "re-done," we did appreciate the fact that they were trying to make things right.  I'm sure all of the shenanigans and misinformation at the beginning of the soffit/facia job had something do with with their eagerness.

As promised, "Joe and Tony(*)" showed up a short time later and took to fixing the issues we had pointed out to "Foreman Guy(*)."  As I stated in Part II - I liked Joe and Tony because they were really nice guys and diligent workers.  I even went as far to tell Joe that I felt bad making him come back to fix a few things.  He said that it was part of the job, and that he wanted to do what he could to make it right.  To their credit - Joe and Tony made the changes we asked for as best they could.  Admittedly, it wasn't "perfect" but it was much better than it was before.

Then Foreman Guy called and said that "Ken(*)" would be coming back by himself to fix the issues with the trim.  We were very apprehensive about messing with the trim - given our issues with it when we had the first set of windows done (in Part I) - but it had to be done.  The issues of trim starting to come loose and looking warped in some places less than 6 months after it was installed was something that could not be overlooked.  Ken did an "OK" job when they put the porch windows in, so we had some hope that he'd be able to correct the trim.  WOW were we wrong.

A "lovely" unevenly ended seam
When I arrived home after work the day Ken did the corrections, I could not believe what I was looking at.  It looked WORSE than it did before, and probably as bad as "The Two Dudes(*)" handiwork (back in Part I).  How bad?  Take a look at the pictures that run down the side of the story here and judge for yourself.

Poorly seamed (and sharp) corner
This ladies and gentlemen - is what our hard earned money purchased.  For what we paid, we expected flawless beauty.  What we got....well...I could have f'n done this.  Which is why I DIDN'T DO IT.  Please note that these pictures only show small parts of the whole screw up.

Another uneven and poorly cut end
Needless to say, we decided that Wayne - Mr. Home Town Restyling himself - again needed to be made aware of how unhappy we were with the piss-poor handiwork done by his master craftsmen.  So I penned yet another email, and this time I attached pictures - some of the very ones you are looking at here.  His reply was short and sweet.  He said he would have Foreman Guy look at it and take care of it.  Yep.  Awesome...I'm sure he will.

One of my favorites: Loose flaps of trim and
gaping holes at the seams
Foreman Guy called and let us know that he would be coming up and making the corrections himself, which was funny because this is the very same thing he had to do when we had the windows put in the first time (in Part I).  So while we felt that he might do an OK job, we were so pissed off at the fact that they had to make a THIRD attempt to install the trim work around the porch windows.  THREE TIMES.  I wish I could F up that many times at my job and still get paid for it.  

Poorly cut corners and shitty caulk work
So one day Foreman Guy showed up did his best to make all the seams smooth and even, and not goop caulking all over the place.  In the end, while the seams were good, the some of edges where pieces of trim butt up against one another were not perfect.  His fix for this was to cover the joints with caulk, and then paint over the caulk with a color that matched the trim.  It looks OK, but this is not something we would have asked him to do.  If we wanted lipstick, we would have paid for lipstick.  

To finish off his work, he re-hung the front porch light on the front of the house and called it a day.

Trim with even MORE warping than it had before
When reviewing Foreman Guy's work, I have to admit that we were not 100% satisfied with the job he did.  However, we were so sick of dealing with them that we sort of resigned ourselves to the fact  that we should accept it so that they didn't screw it up anymore.  The really sad part is though, when we were actually TRYING to give up...we found more issues.

More poorly cut and loose flaps of trim
Foreman Guy had to remove the front door to do some of the trim work.  When he re-installed it, he didn't do it right.  The door didn't open smoothly or (most importantly) even LOCK anymore.  SO I AGAIN called Foreman Guy and let him have it.  I said "Look, our door doesn't even lock anymore.  Unacceptable.  Fix it now."  He of course said he couldn't come and do it right away, so we had to live for a few days with the idea that some hobo could come in and sleep on our porch while we were gone.

So yes......In case you are counting....This was going to be the FOURTH TIME that Home Town Restyling would have to come back to our house to actually complete this job.  They were making corrections from their corrections of making corrections.  Son. Of. A. Bitch.  Four times.  

Does it end there? Of course not my friends.  One day my wife went out to get the mail (this is before Foreman Guy came back to fix the door), and turned on the light switch that not only turns on the front porch light, but also runs the ceiling fan inside the porch.  I'm sure you can guess what happened.....Neither worked.  Not only that, there was an odor that smelled like something was burning.  Now since the light worked before Foreman Guy was last here, it was pretty obvious who was to blame.  It should go without saying that my wife was LIVID.  She called Foreman Guy - and like my last phone call with him - she let him have it and demanded that it be fixed NOW.  So what did Hometown do?  Sensing that their incompetence was overflowing in the matter, they did what they should have done in the first place - they hired someone else to fix it!  

They contracted out to a licensed electrician who showed up within a few hours, and quickly found the root of the problem.  When he removed the porch light, he was able to tell that when Foreman Guy mounted the front porch light to the house, he put a fixture screw right through one of the wires.  The result: When my wife flipped the switch to turn it on - BBBBBZZZZTT - it shorted out big time.  The electrician showed my wife the black soot on the inside of the fixture - AND on the house trim where the wire shorted out.  The electrician did what he needed to do, fixed the light, and went on his merry way.  I just hope he billed the shit out of Hometown for their stupidity.

A few days later, Foreman Guy came up and attempted to fix the door.  Did he fix it?  He claimed he did and I guess he wasn't totally lying.  We found that you COULD lock the door...but you had to use a pair of PLIERS to turn the lock because it turned so hard.  

Did we call them back and ask them to make their FIFTH visit to fix it?  Are you kidding?  We ended up fixing it ourselves.

That was the last time we worked with Home Town Restyling, and hopefully we never will have to again.  In case you are wondering, they never once offered to give us any of our money back, or to do anything "extra" for us to make up for our troubles in the matter.  I suppose I should be happy that they were willing to come back to fix things, because I know some people won't even do that.  One thing that does make me smile though is that I'd bet they lost a butt-load of money due to the extra materials and wasted man-hours spent at our house.  It's a small victory in my evil little mind.

But seriously....If you are in the market for some home remodeling, I urge you to think twice about hiring Home Town Restyling yourself.  Seriously, you can't even make up the shit they put us through.  Who knows what they might do to you........I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.  
If you do hire them though, tell Wayne "Hi" for me.

(*) - Names changed to protect the guilty/innocent

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