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Home Renovation Misfires

Amanda Bar

One month ago I was happily reporting on the completion of my master bathroom remodeling.  Flip the page to just last weekend, where I'm showing off the renovation to fellow No-Spend-Zone blogger Kevin (visiting from South Carolina).  I start up the water to demonstrate the fancy showerhead when all of a sudden I notice that the water is steadily pooling along the floor of the shower - something is clogging the drain, apparently.  This being the first time I've started up the shower since the remodeling was completed, I place a call to Mr. Blue (the man responsible for the construction) inquiring on what I should do.  He suggests that the clog is possibly due to sediment caused during the construction, and he advises me to remove the drain and attempt to dislodge the obstruction with a broom handle.  After having completed this task and still finding that the water is not draining, Mr. Blue then suggested that I call RotoRooter.  Naturally I am somewhat miffed at this response, since I'm assuming that whatever is clogging the drain is Mr. Blue's doing - not to mention the fact that he is, in not so many words, refusing to come out to my house and take a look at the problem for himself.

A RotoRooter technician reported to my residence the very next day and almost immediately confirmed that the clog was not only Mr. Blue's doing (the clog being a massive collection of grout that he allowed to enter the drain pipes), but that it was so severe that the pipe (aka "the trap") was going to have to be replaced.  The cost for this?  $650.  The method needed to reach the pipe in question?  Punching a massive hole in my downstairs bedroom wall!  Infuriated that I was left between a rock and a hard place, I contacted Mr. Blue again who advised that he would do the repairs himself for only $200.  Gee, what a deal considering that he was entirely responsible!


This is the view of my downstairs bedroom one day later.  Yes, there are two holes in my wall; not because two holes were necessary, but because Mr. Blue couldn't find the drain pipe on his first attempt.  Luckily the caveman-approach seemed to work out, and the clog was able to be dislodged just by having him bang on the pipe for awhile with a hammer.  After that he patched the holes back up and charged me $250 for the entire procedure - a quote $50 more than he originally stated, even though he didn't even have to replace the pipe.  And why, readers, did I let him get away with this?  Because I'm a first time homeowner, folks, and I went on the stupid good faith of my parents and hired Mr. Blue with NO CONTRACT.  He's basically a talented Mr. Fix-It with no real company backing him, and because he did such a great job with my parent's bathrooms in the past I put my trust in his skills and professionalism.  Hindsight, unfortunately,  will reveal that this was a bad idea.

Sadly it took me $250 to learn my lesson, but you can guarantee that for every other renovation that takes place in my house is going to be in writing with a reputable company.

Posted by Amanda Conwell at 07:08 PM on September 20, 2009 in Housing | Permalink | Facebook | Digg | del.icio.us | AIM


ashley labrie

Oh. My. God.

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