Monday, September 22, 2008

The Home Improvement Blues II

Oh, no! This would not do at all! I had just walked into our bedroom to take a look at the tile work that had been done on the floor on Saturday. I had suspected at the time that it was a rather rough-and-ready job. What I saw before me now confirmed it. Okay, I realize that I needed to be prepared to lower my standards for home improvement workmanship here. But this was totally unacceptable! I was not prepared to lower my standards completely to the floor! (Pardon the pun :)

Several rows of tiles were longer than others. Some tiles were obviously crooked. And as for being level, a drunken sailor could have done a better job!

I'm not normally a confrontational kind of guy, but I was ready to not let the tile layer set foot in our place again! Fortunately, the landlord arrived first. I showed him the work. I’m not sure he saw anything wrong with it like I did. However, I insisted that it not only looked terrible, but that the raised edges of off-level tiles would result in stubbed toes and torn floorcloths. No, there was no alternative but to tear up the 90 or so tiles that had already been laid and start over. And I wanted my friend John to do it.

John did an estimate on the spot. But when the landlord saw the labour charge, he walked out. This was highly unusual because normally people try to negotiate if they feel a price is too high. It was sometime later that he returned with another tile layer in tow. Ha! Nice try, but forget it! I stuck to my guns: it had to be John. I already knew the quality of his work.

Well, the landlord was only willing to pay a certain amount for the labour. I said, fine, I’d pay the difference. In my opinion, it’s better to cry once to pay to have the job done right than pay less and get a lousy job that will require costly repairs or redoing later on. An hour later, the pickaxes were flying and the lousy tile job was on its way out the door. Tomorrow, they’ll start doing it properly… I hope!

No comments: