Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Love My Contractor

People claim to "hate" their contractors when they don't arrive at the job and stay there till it's done. However, busy contractors usually have several jobs on the go and have to work around plumbers, electricians, flooring guys and painters if they don't do that work themselves — and one person not showing up because of a funeral or a doctor's appointment can change everything for everyone right on down the line. Often an unforeseen repair is needed and that causes a delay that affects the whole picture. Sometimes drywall or paint takes longer to dry than expected. There are a myriad of reasons.

But of course the customer doesn't see this; he only sees that things aren't getting done at his own house as quickly as he'd like. Well, I'm aware of some these little details now, and even so it still surprises me how long it takes to do these jobs. Watching Scott install cabinets is an education. There are so many things to consider (adding extra support beneath the arborite), so many adjustments to make (the walls don't line up perfectly square), so many behind-the-scenes factors.

It amazes me that any merely "handy" person might think "Ah, no problem; I can do it myself." If you haven't had lots of experience doing this sort of thing and don't know what pitfalls to look for, let alone how to figure out the best way to make things work ... this is one area where any intelligent angel should fear to tread.

On the other hand, once a home handyman's job is done, it's unlikely that anyone but a professional contractor will notice the things that are "wrong." Scott often points out errors that were completely beyond my radar; some I don't see even after he's tried to make me aware of them.

Scott isn't a plumber, but he did a plumber's job on the weekend, getting our new sink in. There was a lot of fiddling around!
There is more work to be done, but ... we're getting there. Note: one of Katherine's woven potholders hangs on the oven door.

There are times when I do hate my contractor, believe me. Like when he goes off to do other things, leaving our kitchen upside-down, for instance with no sink. Other jobs and people are important and he is looking after them all to the best of his ability, but I still "hate" that his priorities are different from mine and inconvenience me considerably (Shouldn't my comforts be Number One on his list of priorities!? Hmph; no. that was, alas, only in the days when "love was new." Hee! I laugh or else I'd cry; it's painful to go from being Number One to being When-I-Get-Around-To-It. Ha!). Or now, sink in, but we have this horrible hard water that stains everything and this is how it will be till we decide on a water treatment system and get it in, and so it begins: His OCDness will try to police every drop of water left in the sink, and so on, as he tries (unsuccessfully) to keep new things like new. He knows better than anyone that all things will meet the wear and tear of daily living, but it kills him for the first while. The initial scratch on the arborite will be a tragic irritant for him. Oh, for me too: but I'll only sigh and carry on, while he will curse loudly and point his finger.

I take a deep breath and resign myself to being as patient as possible. As one must be, with contractors. If you've got a good one, he knows what he's doing and he's doing it to the best of his ability. I believe Scott does and is, even when it's not obvious to a layman like me. As my friend Cathy said once, noting all the construction and repair work Scott can do around our place, "I don't think you realize what you've got there."