Overall I found this experience to be quite fucking miserable. I started making inquiries last SUMMER. If you don't know it's now the end of January. The following year. Part of this was my fault - the Madame could win an award for procrastination as long as I didn't have to enter an essay by a reasonable deadline. In my effort to bore you to death with previously mentioned minutiae I wrote a really long and boring post about this process. Like to hear it? Here it go.
|I don't have any relevant pictures for this topic so I'm just throwing in some random crap.|
June: I started by calling subcontractors directly and a few recommendations given to me by friends. This was all a disaster. No one that a friend recommended returned my phone call. What a great start!! The subs I spoke to were relatively nice but I realized I needed a project manager and I did not want it to be me because I have a job and I will most likely lose my shit at some point during this process. I will pay for someone else to organize and it'll give me one single person to yell at. I like to be efficient like that. Also, subs and I generally do not get along. I hate to generalize (except as a punchline to a hilarious joke) but I don't trust these redneck fuckers as far as I can see them and I really hate looking at them for long periods of time. Where are all the hot handymen with strong hands and hearts of gold???!! I don't want to pull out the vagina card but I'm thinking being a young single Madame probably isn't helping. When I talk to them I always have the same feeling when I leave my car to be serviced - that uneasy reluctant ball of "please please don't fuck with me" feeling that never really goes away because I have no way of knowing what goes on underneath the hood until I'm stranded in Murdertown on the side of the road or my ceiling collapses while I'm making
|I can't help it. It makes me laugh every time.|
July: More research, more recommendations, more phone calls, more waiting. I got a few nibbles but they were pretty lame. Once I ask a construction dude how long the electrical work will take for installing a few more outlets and light switches. This is a trick question because I obviously know how long this will take and I'm just testing him. He responds by asking me if I've thought about what I want the edge on my counter to look like. "They have round ones and roundier ones and ones with two round things..." he says as he draws edge profiles on a napkin. Fuck. You. Get out of my house.
August: I have a new list of names and make more phone calls again with no call backs. I'm not on a deadline but hell aren't we in a recession? I begin to drink more. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. A friend tells me to use Service Magic which is like the eHarmony of contractors. I resist. I'm not to that point yet am I???
|my thoughts exactly Dude|
September: I hate contractors now and even just men in general make me squinty-eyed because I think they're all flaky misogynist liars out to steal my time and money. I don't know what happened this month - I waited a lot, turned 30 and probably did a lot of evaluating my life, indulging myself and very little kitchen work. Well, that's a lie because I did kitchen stuff but only the fun stuff like work on the cabinet plan and shop for tile. That's really all a kitchen is anyway, I tell myself, pretty things. La la-la la-la...
|Will you help me find a contractor?|
October: The irrational desperation has set in. I realize my friends must hate me because why are they doing this to me??? Why is this so damn hard?? I start making cold calls - I'd rather have a trusted recommendation but when you're surrounded by frenemies you learn you are all alone and to trust no one except google. It's just you and me, Charlemagne, and you're really only with me when there's bacon involved. I talk to a few receptive people on the phone but when I send them my floorplan, scope of work and budget they never talk to me again. I'm cheap but organized - they're assholes. Way to be professional, dicks. I'm a big girl and if you don't want to work with me do me the professional courtesy of texting me like a normal person. I call more people - they aren't accepting new work. Is the recession over and no one told me?? Fuck.
I've lost all track of time: But my luck is turning! I find someone legitimate that an ARCHITECT friend recommended. Faan-ceee! They are nice and have a clipboard and don't smell. I think I cry from relief. Despite wanting to giggle and hug them inappropriately a nice consultation ensues, they bring subcontractors by to see the project and seem excited for the business. Sure we can meet your budget - no problem. This is a great project - fast and easy! My heart soars. Then one day I get snubbed when I see them in public - oooohhh... This makes me want to shove his clipboard up his ass. When the bid comes in it's double where they said it would be with no explanation. Methinks you overbid because you didn't want the job. Thanks for stringing me along for three weeks and making me take time off of work multiple times to meet you when you really didn't want the project. I hope you get a really nasty intestinal parasite, fuckwad.
|here. I have no idea...|
November: I have perfected my cold call speech except now it is devoid of all emotion or hope or politeness and apparently this all works. I have a great meeting with a company that works in the cool part of town and they guys laugh at all my jokes except the one I made about a seance. Note to self: do not let your freak flag fly so early. I anxiously await the bid but don't want to put all my eggs in one basket. I ain't dumb. I search for more options.
Still November: I go to Service Magic in secret. Somehow I feel it's the place of last resort for losers but I AM 30 now... It's an awkward site. They're supposed to "match" me with up to three contractors but I only get one because this ain't a big city y'all. My match? Sears home improvement services who eerily call me within 30 seconds. They can only offer me HVAC work, Ty Pennington and tires and that's really not what I need so don't act all pissy that I don't want to use you, Terrance!!! I search more on Service Magic and find a list of local contractors that for some reason they DIDN'T match me with. WTF???? #magicfail Found one cool one out of the list but his bio says he runs his business following his Christian principles. *cringe* However the consultation was good and he was normal. Beggars can't be choosers but I really do NOT need to make seance jokes with this dude.
December: Bids come in. They are reasonable and I'm positively buoyant that I actually made progress! Except for the fact that no one itemizes a bid to my satisfaction I can whip these fuckers into shape. I make a spreadsheet for an official saucy side-by-side comparison. The numbers aren't that far apart and they both have good references which means I have to rely on my psychic abilities and convoluted personal feelings about each company. However by now it's Christmas and I'm distracted by sparkly lights and glittery things and eggnog.
A NEW YEAR COMETH!
|Gawd I need some cuteness right now|
January: Ok for real, I need to quit stalling and pick a dude. I've talked to references, seen their work and although they each have pros and cons I feel like they could each do a good job. But which one is best for me?? Is the anticipation killing you? Are you still even reading this? Company 1 has a lot in common with me - they're kinda professional hipsters who dig vintage homes, the project manager is a ginger (bonus points), are always good to follow-up with me and we always have a great time when I see them. Whhheeeee! But even though they are good at communicating with me they don't answer my questions like I would want them to and I'm always just a tad disappointed after talking with them about the project. Company 2 is rather bland - we don't have that shared warm and fuzzy feeling like Company 1. Sad face. However they are nice guys, very professional and the way they answer my questions is incredibly thorough and I always feel relieved after I read their answers. I WANT to work with Company 1, I'm excited to work with Company 1 but I have a feeling that I like them too much. My stupid girl personality is not listening to the rational brain part of me that says laughing over shared Family Guy jokes is NOT an indication that they'll do a good job. I have a very real fear (that perhaps only another girl would understand) that when problems or important decisions arise in the future that our funny fun times will get in the way of me having to rip them a new asshole. I'll be too nice because I won't want to hurt ginger's feelings. Fuck my polite Southern upbringing! Since I don't have a personal connection with Company 2 I can feel much more free to bitch when necessary or makes outlandish demands or other general diva-like behavior with no remorse. I'm kidding, I only bitch at you people here on the blog. I'm practically a saint in real life. *innocently bats lashes*
|Are these random pics getting awkward yet? Replace Facebook with my reader and that's pretty much my day.|
Despite all my
In the end I probably called about 15 general contractors plus subs. I spoke to maybe 6. I received 4 bids. Two were legitimate. This ratio is pathetic. If this was my industry I would be embarrassed. Or perhaps I have no idea what the hell I'm doing (a VERY likely possibility) and it will continue to be made clear over the next several months. Of course any contractors that are reading this obviously have an internet connection and incredible taste in blogs so I bet they're doing okay which means I probably couldn't afford them. I want a contractor with really low self-esteem so he goes above and beyond what is necessary because he feels inadequate and won't charge me hardly anything. There was no where to indicate that on Service Magic. I looked.
I'm sure I'll have plenty more insights as this project progresses so stay on your toes. Construction begins February 28. Mark it on your calendar. Right now I'm just cranky about this whole process and the fact that my GC is down with JC. Think I'll go drink some wine and text with the ginger while we watch Family Guy reruns.