Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Con Tractor

When my wife & I decided to renovate our master bath we thought about hiring a general contractor. Then I thought to myself “I don’t need no stinkin general contractor” I can be MY OWN general contractor.
How hard could it be coordinate a little ole bathroom? I mean after all I do know a tile guy, I know a guy that knows a plumber and I know a guy that knows a guy that does shower doors. Then I could do the painting!


It started out pretty good. The tile guy even built a bench (at my wife’s request) so she can sit down in the shower and shave her legs.

Just a word of warning when picking out tile: Calculating the cost of $2.50 cents for each tile will not cost you $500.00 for 200 square feet. There are things called bull nose and decorative pieces after you add these things in it will cost an additional 5 million dollars.

When the tile man was done with his work your trusty general contractor called the plumber to connect the new vanity and install the new toilet and put the new shower hardware on.

Now it’s time to call that guy that knows a guy to call the shower door guy to measure for our new shower doors.

Then it happened:
When the shower door guy arrived he walked into the bathroom and looked at the shower area and said these 5 dreaded words while he scratched his head. “WHO IS YOUR GENERAL CONTRACTOR?” I then answered sheepishly “that would be me”. Then I tried to sound like a seasoned general contractor with an attitude when I said the next 3 words “WHAT’S YOUR QUESTION?” I knew what he was going to say next was not good news but then I thought to myself hey maybe he has never seen such precision and organization skills in his 20 year career as a shower door installer and was amazed that an average guy like me could master this undertaking and just wanted to shake my hand.

This was never said and he didn’t shake anything but his head.

He just looked up at me and said “there’s no way I can legally put a shower door here”.
It turns out that our new improved shower complete with a bench so my wife can shave her legs was too close to the toilet for any shower doors known to man to function properly. The only option was a shower curtain or to move the toilet.

We decided after spending a billion dollars on the tile and shower hardware a shower curtain was not an option.When the plumber gave me his estimate to move the toilet he kept telling me how lucky I was that we had a crawl space under the house instead of a concrete slab and that it would only cost me $900.00 to move the toilet.

I thought to myself "wow lucky me”

Called the tile guy back to make a new hole in our new tile for our new toilet location.

Called the plumber back to put new pipes under the house and reinstall our new toilet in its new location.

Called the tile guy back again to patch and tile over old toilet location.

Called professional painter. Too tired to do it myself plus after all I am a general contractor. Plus my wife told me to.


Our new bathroom with new tile including bull nose and decorative pieces and a new shower complete with a bench so my wife can sit down and shave her legs and new shower doors along with a new vanity and our most treasured feature: A new toilet location. Now we can finally just sit down and enjoy the new view.


Dx said...

Brilliant. I understand all your frustrations at being a general contractor because I've tried to be one too. And I definitely recognise those words from your own Senior Management - "she told me to do it".

Good luck with the rest of the house.

unca said...

I enjoyed this post very much. Frustration yes, but can you imagine how much worse it would have been if you'd actually tried to do the actual work yourself? Now, in all seriousness, I don't understand: "It turns out that our new improved shower complete with a bench so my wife can shave her legs was too close to the toilet for any shower doors known to man to function properly. The only option was a shower curtain or to move the toilet." This statement makes sense if you're going to have a swing-open type door but not if you were to install a sliding door. In any case, I would have gone with the curtain. Also, I shave my legs without the need for a special bench.

blogball said...

dx, from reading your posts I almost referred to my wife as senior management here but I was concerned about © copyright and ® registered trademark violations. Just to let you know I had equal management status the first couple of years we were married but it soon became very obvious that she wanted the senior position much more than I did. It was actually a liberating experience when I relinquished equal status. I have no regrets 17 years later. Unca might be able to relate to this too.

Unca, a sliding door was not an option because after the doors slide open there wouldn’t be enough room to comfortably get in & out of the shower. The shower guy demonstrated the awkward movement it would take to enter and exit the shower and then he said to my wife “plus your husband is a fairly big guy”. I am sure that skinny little runt was talking about my muscular physic. Plus there was some CA code that says you have to have a certain length for sliding doors and another code that restricts a door from opening into the shower just in case you fall in the shower against the door it would be hard to open the door to rescue the person especially if that person is a muscular guy like me. .

si said...

very entertaining post, blogball. i work w/a guy that's gone thru a similar home-improvement story with his remodeled bathroom. his version had a few more curse words, i believe... and, i'm hoping you are enjoying the view from where you're sitting. :)

jay are said...

I love that the comments are just as entertaining as the posts....
isn't remodeling a BLAST???? Don't you love that it costs twice---if not three times---what you originally planned on??? We've only been doing it for about 8 years since our general contractor is my pa and he only gets around to doing something when he has time (which is never cuz he's a busy guy) and so...little by little. But everything we HAVE gotten done is so great that it makes it worth it.

Your golden (as in expensive. That's what we say around here) bathroom is beautiful, though. Very nice.

unca said...

Re: “plus your husband is a fairly big guy”
I think this is what somebody said to Robert Earl Hughes' wife once.

blogball said...

Thanks si, I’m not sure about the new view yet I’m still waiting my turn to use our $900.00 toilet. My wife tells me it’s really nice.

jay are, I remember seeing your kitchen when you posted it on your blog. It looks great. I wish I at least knew a guy that knew a guy that knew a guy like your Pa.

Very funny unca. For those who don’t know who Robert Earl Hughes is you can check him out here.

Dx said...

Two Senior Management people on the same planet. I'm frightened. Very frightened.

jay are said...

(unca, you're hilarious.) and holy cow!! Robert Earl Hughes!!I'd like to know why his mother looked so proud of those arms of his. Whew. I think it might've been more than a burst gland, but what do I know??

bierman said...

If I had a place to sit down in my shower, I may never get up:)

Do you do any contract work on the east coast? We have several projects that need a "general contractor".

Also, In reference to your profile, I checked around adn found that the Cubbies are looking for a left fielder. Let me know if you are interested.

blogball said...

Thanks for the comment Bierman, I have way too many offers here on the west coast to branch out to the east coast at this time.
Most of the calls I receive have been to help and advise new toilet locations.
I never knew there was such a demand for this. My new consulting /contracting firm is called Moving your Movements or BM Movers (for short)

As far as the Cubs, I am waiting for next year to join the team so when we win it all next year it will be exactly 100 years from the last word championship.

The Engers said...

Amy and I read this together and were laughing so hard we were crying! Oh you are so funny! The bathroom turned out great! You can be my general contractor any day! :) haha We love you!