Nothing Can Just Be Easy

You guys, I’m going to complain for a minute.  Or maybe vent.  Or bitch?  Not sure what the appropriate verb is.

This flip is taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

And the worst part?  We’re at least partly to blame.

This is the first flip that we’ve contracted ourselves.  That’s right, the buck stops with us on this one.  It’s both exhilarating and terrifying (although we’ve gotten past most of the terrifying parts).

We bought this sucker right before Christmas, when we thought we’d be working with the contractor that helped us with our last flip.  Weeks passed, and we were still waiting on final bids – it was like watching paint dry.  So, we made sure our ducks were in a row and then we decided to just contract this flip ourselves.

Everything was chugging along AMAZINGLY well until sometime in February (my timeline on all this is a little fuzzy, bear with me).  I made a rookie mistake on a Friday and made the last payment to our framer for 100% of the work when I should have held 5% back until he completed a few little projects.  You know the drill, “It’s Friday and I need to pay my guys!  I’ve worked with you before, we’ll be back.”  Against my better judgment, I paid him in full and we never saw him again.  We got a text message at one point saying he had been hospitalized, which I hope wasn’t true because I’d like him to be okay, but that was the end of things with him.  A total bummer, and I thought we’d had a really great working relationship.  At least the work that he did do was pretty awesome.

So, it took us about a month to finally accept that the framer really wasn’t coming back and that we needed to find someone else to do the little leftover framing projects.  We finally did that, and things were back on track.

Then, two weeks ago or so, the electricians came out to do their finish work – installing light fixtures, switching out outlets, etc.  It was the same company we had been using for the whole project and we’d been really happy with them and their guys.  Jason and I showed up on our way to a foreclosure auction (I owe you guys a post about that!) to walk them through everything that needed to be done, and instead of our regular electricians there were some seriously sketchy-looking dudes* in their place.  We went ahead and walked them through everything and then left to go to the auction.  When I checked back in on the flip the next day . . . nothing had been done.  Like, NOTHING.  They had installed one ceiling fan and put face plates on a couple of outlets (while leaving behind a jillion fingerprints on the freshly painted walls).  Since the finish out was supposed to be a one-day project, I was concerned.  I called the main office, they were wonderful, and they basically said they were firing the guys.  (It was later confirmed that they were let go.)  That’s all well and good, but we still needed our electrical work to be finished so that the plumbers could install the appliances, etc and so on.  A whole domino effect.  And our regular electricians couldn’t come back for a week and a half.  Ugh.  That meant every single other thing on the schedule had to be pushed back by a week and a half.

*These dudes were sketchy to the point that I felt the need to change the code on the lockbox once I realized that they had bailed on our job – it was just too creepy.

In the meantime, the vent hood over the range was installed, and the installers had to chip out a tile.  That now needs to be fixed.

As of today, most of the electrical finish-out has been completed.  So the plumbers came to install the stove and the dishwasher…and couldn’t complete either task.  We need 1/4 inch of the countertops to be ground down so that the stove will fit, and we need a piece of trim installed under the countertop to screw the dishwasher into so that it won’t wobble.  Luckily, these jobs can both be completed by the tile guy (who is also our countertop guy) when he comes back in a few days to fix that single backsplash tile.

The HVAC guys are almost totally finished, but they can’t install their last ceiling vent until some sheetrock is fixed.

We’ve also had other run of the mill delays along the way, but for some reason these delays today just got to me.  Even thought I am completely in love with how this flip is turning out, I’m tired of the minutiae and I’m ready for this sucker to be finished!!!!!

Consider this bitch-fest officially over.  (I decided that was the appropriate verb, after all.)  :)

And since you deserve a progress photo if you’ve made it to the end of this post, here you go!

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  1. Katrina says:

    Liz, I know exactly what your going though! One little detail throws off time-lines over and over…We’ve been dealing with various little timeline delays and they are driving me crazy….all of our finishing details are take forever do due tile delays, then tile arrives wrong which delays the next set of work to be done and so on! The good thing is looks like we both in the home stretch and you’ll be selling this flip very soon & we’ll be moving in our house very soon (praying) Anyways hang in there….almost done

  2. Asiyah says:

    Don’t worry it’ll all come together in the end. Think of it as childbirth. It hurts like heck in the middle but by the end, you (almost) forget about the pain.

  3. Centsational Girl says:

    So so sorry it’s taking so long! I do love that tile and cabinet color you chose, keep us posted!

  4. christy says:

    OMG. You poor things! What a freaking nightmare. Do let us know when it’s all completed!!!

  5. Yep, this sounds like when we did our kitchen without a general contractor. It is not fun. It is not worth saving the money. I’m so sorry you went through all that!

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      I hate that I gave the impression that we wouldn’t do this again, because we totally are! In the long run, it’s worth it to us to save the money because we’re doing it so many times (the money saved adds up quickly) and we like learning how to manage the projects – it just turns out that there’s a bit of a learning curve. :) But if we had a one-time deal like your kitchen, I agree, just spend the money!

  6. Amanda says:

    Good GC’s are like good hairdressers – they make it look easy if they’re doing it right. And then when you throw yourself in to give it a shot? Totally random how it turns out, and things snowball so quickly. I hope you’re out from under this one soon and that things are moving along again!
    The cabinets/counter/tile look great!

  7. Maggie S says:

    Yikes!! That sounds like a nightmare! I like the comment that it is like childbirth ;-)

    Love reading about your journey! We are waiting to see if the bid we put in the AM is accepted (in a 3 way competition)and then we will be into our own remodel!!

  8. I am so with you right now! I think I said the exact same thing this morning. Of course we’re not doing a flip, but we’ve been in the process of putting an addition on our house for six months now and we haven’t even gone for permits yet! Prelim drawings too FOREVER, bidding took three times as long as we expected and now it’s taken almost a month for the bank to decide to send out an appraiser rather than use truila…and the last sale records that say nothing about our adding 60% to the size of our home already. So yeah, why can’t things just be easy? It’s looking great though, can’t wait to see more photos!

  9. Mike Thompson says:

    That sucks, Liz. So sorry about the trials and tribulations. The improvements are gorgeous in spite of the hiccups you’ve endured. You have such exquisite taste in finishes. Hope the rest of the improvements go much smoother. Please keep us posted (more frequently if possible). ;-)

  10. Aimee says:

    Urggggggh! Sounds awful and I’m sure we can all relate from our own experiences. However, now you are thoroughly seasoned as your own contractors and are ready for the NEXT transformation! Loved the picture you included — looks absolutely fabulous! Post more pictures soon, please.

  11. Clare says:

    Wow, what a run of bad luck. At least the shady guys were fired. Not that it makes things any easier for you. Good luck with the rest of the project. It has to get easier sometime, right? Seattle Water Damage

  12. Joe says:

    Oftentimes, you have to trust your first instinct. If someone looks shady, do not hire the person. You should work with someone you are comfortable with. Good to know you that there is progress in your project.