Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The reno day 2 – twilight zone

You have a dropped ceiling in your living room. Meaning, there is almost two feet of space between the drop ceiling and the real one. You think people did it save on heat, but it’s a worthy trade off to make your living room perfect.

So, you decide to hire a contractor. You get a couple of quotes, then go with the one who seems to be the most together.

You hire him. He starts a little late, but you can live with that. Then, on day two he calls with a problem. The problem, he says, is that they did a shoddy job framing the drop ceiling. You agree. To replace the dropped ceiling, he says, I’ll need to frame it better.

You look for a camera.

Did he just say that to replace the drop ceiling you hired him to remove, he would have to frame it better?

After three meetings, meetings in which you and your wife talked about how your furniture would look in a bigger room – how your fireplace would look when it didn’t dwarf the wall – how you couldn’t wait to have an extra almost two feet room, in your room, he didn’t realize you wanted two more feet of room in your room.

Did that just happen, you wonder?

You calmly tell your contractor that you want the ceiling removed, not replaced. You want him to get rid of the framing of the drop ceiling, and put a ceiling on the ceiling, where it should go. You say this as clearly as possible, half expecting a candid cameraman at any point.

After you think you’ve cleared things up with your contractor, you call your wife to ask her if you’re nuts. She tells you you’re not, which is a relief.

But still. You can’t help but wonder what your room is going to look like. It dawns on your that you hired someone to do a job and that he didn’t know you hired him to do. And you have a contract, which is fairly vague.

You think you’re being had. But maybe you’re just in the mist of the single largest misunderstanding in the history of contracting. And things will work on. In the meantime, your dropped ceiling is gone. Your room looks big, but really messy. You see the potential now in the room. You’re geeked, but still looking for candid cameras.

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