When I last left off in Tear it All Down, my barn had one half without any roof at all and the other half with enough holes to mistake it for a planetarium. Oh and a rain storm in the forecast. We had already expressed our displeasure and set up a meeting for Monday night at 6 pm to have all parties involved. When we hung up we left it with “do not come to the property tomorrow to do work prior to our meeting tomorrow night”.
You can all imagine how pleased I was then to show up at 5:30 pm and see that they were a) already there and b) had been working all day. Sigh. Listening was not their strong suit.
The main factor in all our issues, well other than plain old fashion shoddy work, was the fact that the company we hired sub contracted out the work to another outfit which created a lot of middle man communication. They both were present though that Monday night and got an earful from me about all the garbage, food waste, beer bottles, cigarette boxes, holes in my roof and the wood work that my 6 year old could have done better. Of course, they nodded in agreement. What else do you do when a 5’4″ rat terrier is spewing insults and pointing out issues for half an hour? I wasn’t pleased and they knew it.
The sub contractor pointed out the new side that was done that day (without permission I remind you) and asked if I was happy with the quality on work over there. He had fired the original crew of two men and had a new crew of six on the job. I took my time inspecting it. I went into every stall looking at it from all angles. Thankfully there wasn’t a hole in sight and the wood work was of professional quality as far as I could tell.
I told him it passed and that he could repeat it on the right side.
He smiled and said they already had removed all the holey tin and replaced it. I looked at him dumbfounded and went to inspect that side of the roof. It hadn’t crossed my mind that they would have done that since the wood hadn’t been touched and we quite specifically told him that the wood work had to come down and be replaced properly yet there I stood looking at the same crap job.
He asked me if I was happy and I responded with “No. Make this side look like that side in all aspects, wood work included, and I may be.” He grumbled something as I walked away.
That was Monday. That night it poured and they had not finished the roof which meant that the entire inside of my barn got drenched. We had unopened bags of feed in the feed room and apparently they aren’t waterproof because a week later when we opened one to fill the bin, it was moldy. As were the other 4, so we lost 5 bags of expensive horse feed because of them. I’m still a bit bitter over that. There were puddles everywhere and it took weeks to get the barn aired out enough to not be moldy.
Tuesday night I came home to find that they had “finished” the roof. The subcontractor was pleased as punch with himself until I pointed out yet again that the wood work had not been replaced. Instead he had them taken down, cut to span from rafter to rafter, and then put back up in double fashion. I was a bit incredulous. What part of “make this side the same as the other” was hard to comprehend?
Sub contractor was not happy. In order to do the wood work appropriately, he would have to to take all that tin off yet again, replace the wood, and then replace the tin. Not my problem. I didn’t do the original crap work, I wasn’t the one who proceeded to work when I was told not to, and I wasn’t the one who replaced the tin without permission.
This is where I was happy we had paid a small portion for supplies only because at this point, had we paid in full, he would have walked away and left it as is. As it was, we still owed him a significant sum of money and he wanted that money. Wednesday saw him remove all that tin for a second time, replace all the wood properly and then replace the tin for the third time.
Wednesday evening he waited for me to get home and inspect the new roof for what would hopefully be the last time. I walked in, approved the wood, and then saw a new hole in the tin. When I showed it to him, I could see him visibly deflate. He called his main worker who drove to our house straight away, removed that piece, replaced it and then we called it square.
He pointed to the judge’s booth attached to the arena side of the barn. We had not wanted this done because it didn’t leak and wasn’t necessary and we had told the guy we hired not to include it. Apparently that didn’t get communicated to the sub contractor because he had done it.
“I know we weren’t supposed to do that, but I didn’t know it at the time. Can I charge you for it?”
I explained to him that had the project gone smoothly and correctly without all the stress, the rain inside my building, the multiple conversations he didn’t listen to etc…I could probably be convinced to be nice and at least pay for the supplies he used to roof a building he wasn’t supposed to. As it was, no.
He left probably just as glad as I was that he would never be stepping foot on my property again.
In the end, the two day job spanned 10 days and was a royal mess the entire time. We lost bags of feed, had to deal with water inside the barn and they left behind tin that they stuck behind the barn and we didn’t find until a week later. The only thing that makes me happy are the new sun roof tiles we had them put it. They were more expensive but worth every single penny. The barn used to be a dark cave. I’m not sure why the original builder decided he had to make it for a snowy apocalypse, but that thing has no air flow and no light. The new plastic tiles let in so much light that I often think I left a light on in the barn. The farrier came out the week after this was all completed and even he remarked how nice the barn was with all the natural light. If you are ever doing your barn roof, you may want to look into these. I LOVE them.
You know what I don’t love though?
Dusty and I had joked that we would withhold $1000 of the money we owed until after it rained again. We didn’t because I’m not sure you can legally do that, but we were tempted. It hadn’t rained a single drop in the last 5 week until last night. It wasn’t a hard or long rain, but it was enough to wet the world a little. We have barn project #2 hopefully starting today (though that is already an issue god Lord but this barn is going to kill me) and the contractor was out last night to look things over one last time. Since I was in the barn, I gave a close look to see if anything had leaked. And….Pete’s stall has a leak in the roof. Everything else was dry and stable. Dusty shot a message off to the roofer but the chances of getting a response are basically zero. I am very tempted to sue his ass if he doesn’t respond and come fix the roof. We would win too but the headache of that is not something I need in my life which is already at 1000% stress level at the moment for a lot of things that I am not blogging about but probably should just to vent and get it off my mind.
Anyway…project #2 is about to start and it better go smoothly or I will tear this barn down with my bare hands.