Monthly Archives: September 2011

Contractors, Part 2


I had a knock on my door last week.  Guess who it was?  That’s right, Roger Hussey from R J Property Maintenance.  He wanted to know why I was taking the porch down.  He wanted to know why, if I was not satisfied with the work, I didn’t call him.  The porch was still under warranty and he would be happy to honor the warranty.  I explained that I don’t like conflict and that I had talked to another contractor and was going to have them build a new porch.

He asked if I would give him another chance to build it.  I gave him the deck plan that I had printed out from Lowe’s with all the instructions and supply list and told him that if he would build it exactly like that, then I would give him another chance.  He said he would call me later that week and we would go to Lowe’s to get the supplies.

No call.  No nothing from him that week.  He calls me on Monday of the next week and wants me to give him another check to go get the supplies himself.  I say, No!  I will go with him to make sure that we get the supplies and materials we need and that I will pay Lowe’s directly for the supplies myself.

So I meet him at Lowe’s and pick out the materials.  He tries to run me off at least 3 or 4 times because “he can come back tomorrow and pick the materials out and take them with him.”  Each time, I said no, I will stay until we have what we need and I will pay for them tonight.  Well, in the process, I find out the guy can’t do math and is still trying to cut corners.

Oh yea, as we are up at the front checking out, he lets me know that the stairs were not part of the original porch and that he will charge me $200 to tear them out, rebuild them, and give me a 90 day warranty on the porch and the new stairs.  I say, No.  I calculate in my head the square footage for the porch is about 20 square feet and I price it at $3.50 per square foot, based on the figure that the other contractor gave me and come up with $70 for the new stairs.  Then he tells me that he charges $100 per job for the warranty.  I said, I am not paying you for a warranty.  I will give you $70 for building the new stairs.  He calls me later that night and says he will build the new stairs for $50 and give me a 30 day warranty on the new porch and stairs.  Fine, I say.

One hour later, we finally get finished up and get the materials paid for.  He picks up the materials the next morning and shows up at my house.  When he gets there, he decides to back trailer up the steepest part of my front yard and tears up the grass that has finally grown back from where all the tornado debris had been.  He and “his girls” start in on the work and take apart the deck floor and the old staircase.

Throughout this first day, he keeps calling me to come out there and look at his work.  He tells me that the original stairs were not level.  He tells me that the original porch was build in line with the original stairs and that is why it was not level.  However, he never once asked me during the original build if they should do that!!  Had I been asked, I would have told the numnut to build the porch level and fix the damned stairs.  Then he shows me the string with the level on it and asks me if it is level and then says that’s where they are going to start the framework.

About 3 o’clock they call it a day and leave.  I come around from the back of the house to go somewhere and am appalled at the work they have done.  Again, the front beams of the porch are bowed.  The one joist they put up is crooked.  I get out my tape measure and my level.  The joist is 23 1/2 inches from the side of the deck at one end and 22 inches from the side at the other end.  The one spot that they called me out to look at and see if it was level, is not level – again.  They left all the wood from the deck floor piled up in front of the old structure with the nails still in them, all with the nails sticking up in the air.  And the one board they used for the joist, still has the old nails in it.

Click on this image to see the rest of them.

Ok.  I’m done.  It is painfully obvious to me that this guy does not know what he is doing.  This new structure doesn’t look anything like the plan that I gave him.   And the work that has been done is completely unacceptable.

So, I spend the rest of my evening unloading the materials from his trailer.  Call Lowe’s to get a copy of the receipt from the materials to make sure that I only take what is mine.  I find that half of the brackets are not there and the $55 of screws are not there.

When he shows up the next morning, 2 hours later than he told me he would be there, I tell him that I would like him to hook up his trailer and leave.  I do not want him working on my property any more.  He wants to know why.  I tell him that I am not satisfied with his work so far.  I explain about how crooked the joist is and how the end of the deck is not level.  He gets out his tape measure and level and tries to tell me that the joist is straight and the deck is level


You know what.  None of this matters in the big scheme of things.  I just got a phone call that one of my old friends may not make it through the night.  I’m out.


Great Feedback Today!!


As you know, I did the first section of my Image Workshop for the Common Bond Christian Women’s Job Corp on Tuesday of this week.  I didn’t think I did a very good job because I was a little rushed and very nervous.  Apparently, I did get through to someone though.

Today I received a phone call from one of the leaders of the group.  She told me that she ran into one of the ladies from the workshop at the grocery store the other day.  The lady told her that she looked at herself in the mirror and started to think about what I said.  About how our outer image is a reflection of who we are on the inside.  And that we should take control of that image and what it says about us.  She was thinking to herself that if she didn’t want to put on make-up, she shouldn’t have to.  But then, she looked at herself in the mirror and realized that taking off her big bulky coat would make her look better.  And putting on some lipstick would make her look better.  She found that when she looked better, she felt better about herself, which made her feel better in general.

I am so proud that a few words that I said were able to make one person feel better!  Just remember that words and attitudes can make a huge difference in someone’s life – so be kind!!

I Don’t Get This Missoni Craze


Yesterday, the Missoni clothing hit the stores with all it’s crazy textures and patterns.  Yes, it’s cute.  But, come on!  People waiting outside of stores for hours before Target opens.  The Target website crashing because so many people were on it?

I don’t get it.  And guess what?!  Last night I reached into my pajama drawer for a tank top to sleep in and lo and behold, look what I pulled out!!

Yep, the same exact pattern, almost.  Guess what else?  I bought this tank top 3 years ago while I was in Colorado visiting my Dad and Sister at a Maurices.  I’m just sayin’.

What is the big deal?!

What do you think about this Missoni craziness?

OOTD – Common Bond Christian Women’s Job Corp


I have been invited to teach the Image Workshop for the Common Bond Christian’s Women Job Corp again!!  I am so excited and honored to be able to share all the stuff that I have learned over the last few years.  So anyway, this is the outfit I am wearing today.  What do you think?

  • Cardigan – Fashion Bug
  • Belt – Fashion Bug
  • Shapewear Cami – Fashion Bug
  • Black Skirt – I made it myself
  • Shoes – Rack Room

Contractors, Ugh!!


Click on this picture to see the rest of the images.

So, my worst fears have come to fruition on my front porch.  I have had my doubts about it from the beginning, but now it is official.  I had a professional look at it and they say it is not even close to being up to code.

It is not level, the spacing on the railing is not right, the pitch on the deck makes it feel like you are going to roll down the deck, over the railing and just keep on going on down the front yard.  There are no joists under the decking, so it sags in two different places.  I don’t know what they did on the top of the railing, but it’s a mess.

They just eyeballed where the screws should go.

So, I guess I will begin taking it apart when the rain stops.  I talked to someone else about rebuilding it for me.  I am glad that I didn’t spend any money on deck furniture!!  Now I can spend it on rebuilding the deck.  Ugh!!!

The new guy told me I should call the old guy up and at least make him tear it down.  My concern is that if I do that, they will do a crappy job taking it apart and there won’t be any salvageable wood left.  I think I will just do it myself – sort of self-punishment for not properly looking into the contractor and doing a good job of hiring the right person to begin with.

I should have known when they cut corners and didn’t do the back pergola properly that I was not going to be happy with the front porch.  They didn’t replace the pergola boards with the 10 x 2’s that were there, they replaced them with 6 x 2’s.  Then, they reused the old hurricane brackets that were originally there – the ones that were torn apart by the tornado!  Then, they “couldn’t find” any extra brackets for the ones that couldn’t be reused or were gone, so they just nailed the boards in place, and not very sturdily.  So I went out and got the brackets myself and put them up before I painted the porch.  Oh yea, after they were finished and were patting themselves on the back for the job they had done, they let it slip that they had never built a porch from beginning to end before.  They were actually proud of themselves for this monstrosity!!  Had they told me that at the beginning, I would have hired someone else to do the front porch.

The french drain they installed, HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!  That is a complete joke.  The black pipe is sitting in a very shallow ditch and is about 2″ above ground level.  I can’t mow over it, I can’t do anything around it.  So again, after the rain stops, I will be out there re-digging the ditch so that the drain is actually buried in the ground and I will have to add drainage rock to it, because they didn’t even come close to thinking about adding that.

Frankly, by the time they said they were finished, I just wanted them gone.  I signed off on everything and said goodbye and good riddance.  I know the right thing to do is to call them up, let them know how dissatisfied I am and force them to fix it.  But I don’t want them back here.  I don’t want to deal with them ever again.

So, if you live here in the Cleveland, TN area – stay away from R & J Property Maintenance – they are not any good at all!!!