Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lost Causes part II

Photo above... 2 years ago our home stood on a plot of land that had been farm land. The front of our land had been cleared of trees and bush, most beneficial for farming but not that desirable for a home site. In the span of that 2 years, we've added a number of elements to our yard. A crushed shell driveway and where there was once a mud hole there is now a cement stone planter that features a small magnolia tree. Slowly we will transform it into a lovely landscape, or at least that is what I hope.

As stated in Lost Causes, we were left with a new home and no landscape nor any funds for creating one. Our builder had misappropriated our landscape budget in order to complete the next house and get it ready for its Certificate of Occupancy. He was in a perpetual game of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, or John, or Charlie or whomever. It was a game he would never win.
Brad found himself working alone, nonstop trying to complete what is referred to as a "punch out list", those odd jobs that aren’t up to a new home owners approval such as ; touch-up painting of walls or trim work, doors that need slight adjustments, a window that doesn’t get the picture. Trying to do the job of 3 men was taking its toll, but he had no funds nor anyway of paying someone to help knock out this list of odd jobs and the bottom line in home construction is that "Time is Money". Brad was aware of this, each additional day spent in getting a home ready was money out the door.

above photo...different angle of front of house gives a little better view of small magnolia tree.

During the construction of our own home we heard such a litany of excuses that I soon began to tune them out. "I’m sorry but this week I’ve been taking my wife to the doctors. She’s been having some frightening episodes. We’re not sure if it’s her heart or if she’s having anxiety attacks."... "Would have gotten that done this week but my wife’s mother was in the hospital" ... "Didn’t get that done last week as my dad passed away." ... "This week’s been a bear. My wife’s dad just passed away and we have got to go to his funeral next week, so we’ll be gone for about a week."

Let me see I’m sure there were a few other really good, heart wrenching excuses, oh yes; "Man the past few weeks have been such a strain! My grown daughter has moved back home and we found out she has a bad drug problem. We had to put her into a drug rehab program. It broke our hearts but we had to do it for her own good. So we’ve been seeing and talking with her doctors just about everyday this past week."

There was also the one where his daughter was ill and in the hospital, his father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer, his mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer,his dad was diagnosed with dementia, he discovered he had an ulcer. Perhaps all of it was true and he was having the worst spat of luck imaginable, or maybe it was all fabrication, either way I had grown tired of hearing it and towards the end could no longer offer my condolences. After hearing so many excuses for so long I couldn’t decide if I should cry with him or laugh at him. Hard to decide if he was genuinely confiding in us or playing us for fools. Who’s to say ? be continued


  1. Wow! What excuses! Even with the benefit of the doubt, doesn't the builder understand that by the fourth or fifth excuse that they don't sound believable anymore? Whew!

    Pretty house though, and I just love magnolias...they smell so good.

  2. Your house does look pretty! Crushed shell driveway, is that a Florida thing, looks gorgeous, don't think it would hold up to NW. winters. :(

    I bet you just wanted to do away with the builder after a while! I think I tried running mine over a few times, mentally of course (He! He!)

    Keep it coming, it is cathartic! T.

  3. SleightGirl Thank you, we've grown fond of the house it is very comfortable, not too big yet not too small. And yes, it was probably worth the inconvenience and the extra $20,000 but doubt that a property appraiser would agree. ,)

    T@PoppyPlace I'm not sure how wide spread the use of crushed shell is. I would think it is used through out the gulf coast states as it is readily available. Crushed shell is the next step up from a plain dirt drive way and much cheaper than asphalt or cement. We thought about gravel but to be honest the crushed shell was more affordable and since we were already out $20 grand we were cutting as many corners as possible. =( After living with the crushed shell for 2 years, I really like it.

  4. This should be on a TV episode. "The Horror of Contractors!" The house really adorable tho!

  5. Contractors and builders are SO frustrating! We had our 11 month warranty walk through with the builder who built our house. It's a service they do just prior to the "one year" warranty covered items runs out. The guy comes in...nods at all the things I point out that need to be fixed...tells me "oh we can knock those out in a day" Three weeks later...most of it is done, but the last of the work...the work on our poor drainage spots is STILL not done. I'm tired of calling him every day asking when it will be done. Every he tells me "it will get done today"...uh huh.

  6. Hmm.... that does a bit fishy when there are that many medical instances in one family? There is a TV show in Canada called "Holmes on Homes" where you call him if you have had bad contractor problems, and he and a team comes and fixes it... sounds like he would be the one to call... he's heard it all.

  7. Wowza what a difference! From rain soaked mud bowl to this in such a short time. It is truly a gorgeous piece of property!

    I think that same contractor worked for us, and just about everone else I know. My friend's contractor had also "spent a couple months in jail" which was why he couldn't finish their job so maybe it was a different guy. Of course your guy did disappear, hmmm...

    This is why I tell people I'm an Artist, NOT a contractor. lol


Nothing makes me happier than to hear from those who have dropped by my blog for a visit. I love hearing from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...