Remember the post on September 20th? A few things began to go my way - finally I got the title on my new car and I found craftsmen to do the things on the house that needed to be taken care of. But that's where the good stuff stopped.
The contractor came Sunday to discuss the specifics of the deck and stairs on the front of the house. This is the guy that took almost three weeks to get back to me with an estimate - the full of excuses guy. He was supposed to have arrived Sunday afternoon with a sketch of the deck/stair construction so we could work out particulars and I could see how he planned to build it. First off, he was 40 minutes late and had to call to get my street address again. Not good. Then, he rolls up without even a pencil sketch of the proposed work, and is extremely weak in describing how the deck would be constructed. You can't bluff me on this -I'm a retired mechanical engineer. When he didn't know that you can buy composite decking material in different colors and said he would have to buy gray (which doesn't by any stretch of the imagination coordinate with my house) and proposed to build the 6 ft by 4 ft deck so that the deck planks would be laid across a 4 ft span without any center support (can you say bouncy and weak and, well, not to code?) I just shut down listening to him. I told hubby what he had said and decided that this guy wasn't for us. I called him this morning and cancelled the job.
I'm confused because this is a company with 41, yes 41, "A" ratings on Angie's List, which is why I chose them. Of course, those "A" ratings were in 2010 and 2011 and the spring of this year. The latest rating posted last month, which was after I first started talking to them, gave the company an "F" because they completely botched installation of a garage door; that client ran them off the job and got a garage door company to finish it, which did the work in a fourth of the time the inept guy had already used (all he had to show for it was damage to the materials and to the house). Of course, a garage door is not a deck but in my eyes it's easier. There are written instructions how to put the thing together and it only goes together one way. How hard is that? This client's rating and description of the bad work were scathing. It would have given me pause if I had seen it before calling them.
So now I'm back to square one. Time to call more contractors. The pitiful thing is I know exactly how this should be built, I just don't have the skills to make it cosmetically acceptable to be on the front of my house.
I'm absolutely terrified about the roofer coming on Friday to fix the broken vent on my roof. I know he's excellent, or so his ratings say, but good grief, that doesn't seem to mean much.