Monday, August 15, 2016

Mortgage Monday: Not Recommended

There used to be plants there...
One of the many projects that we have checked off our list so far this summer has been to get some basic landscaping done. Nothing complicated or expensive. Basically, all we needed to do was to remove the plants around the house, side and back, and replace with grass or some means of drainage. Again, simple is better and what we really wanted to accomplish was to minimize maintenance while avoiding future potential problems.

After going through the usual process and receiving a few quotes, some in writing and some over the phone, I decided to hire a local landscaper who came well recommended. Everything was falling into place and we agreed upon the work that needed to be done. The whole process was going smoothly… at least until they showed up and actually started working.

Well, it was bound to happen. Our luck has been too good with contractors, service companies, sales people, and other transactions lately. Someone was bound to foul up at some point and last week we had a “winner”.

I took the time in the early morning to give a final review of the tasks that needed to be accomplished for the day… this was a one day project. When I left for work that morning I felt pretty good about what I would find when I came home that evening. After multiple phone calls throughout the day and seeing what still needed to be done when I pulled into the driveway that night, that level of comfort had completely disappeared... the work was going to take an extra day and the work that had been completed was not of the quality that we were expecting (I'm not sure that they are familiar with the concept of parallel lines). 

In reviewing the footage from our security system, speaking with my wife, and watching a little as they got started the next morning it was clear that this was nothing more than a paycheck for them. Now I completely understand that they need to make a living but that doesn’t mean that short cuts should be taken or they should provide substandard work simply so they could get to the next job that much faster. It was actually to the point that I had them remove some work and change things up on the second morning as I had little confidence in what they would end up producing.

Thankfully, we have a contractor that we trust and that will fix the errors left behind. But it is safe to say that we will not be hiring this company again for some of the future projects that we will be having done in the yard. At this point I’m just glad that I hired someone else to take down the trees around the property because these guys, based on the work that I did have them do, might have taken out the house, or at least the shed or gazebo, in the process. At the very least, I know they wouldn’t have done the excellent job that Monster Tree Service did a couple of weeks ago (I highly recommend this company). I think I will stick with the people I trust for now.