Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Backsplash

My husband and I bought a 35 year old house seven years ago. We have labored to bring it out of the 70’s and into the 21st century. We have had all the floors and doors replaced. My husband has stripped wall paper from every room and painted. We have added crown molding and replaced mopboards. Kitchen cabinets have been painted white (they were custom and in too fine of a condition to get rid of). We have replaced sinks, appliances, and countertops. We really only had one more thing to do inside…backsplash.

We tried several stores without much success.  Finally we settled on a tile we found at a local home building center. We ordered and paid for the tile. We also asked to be hooked up with a professional to do the job for us. Cutting around six outlets left us feeling inept for the job. We were told when the tile came in, the store would contact the craftsman and he would contact us to find a time to install. And the waiting began…

Ten days later, we got a phone messsage that the tile was in and would we please pick it up. I informed the person the installer was to be called so he could pick it up. The caller had no idea what I was talking about and so I explained. She apologized and said she would get on it. Three days later…no phone call so we went back to the store. My husband spoke to a person at the desk. She looked up our account and told us no one had contacted the installer. She would get right on it. Five days later…no call from the installer. My husband went back to the store. The next day the secretary for the installing company called. She gave us a date of the following Thursday and Friday. My husband made arrangements to take those two days off. On Wednesday evening as he was driving home, I got a phone call from the installer’s secretary…they had to cancel Thursday but they would come Friday. I cringed. On Friday…my husband got a phone call asking him if anyone had called him to cancel yet, he said no. The secretary said, the installers could not make it.

My husband made a trip to the local store where we purchased the tile. He summoned a manager and told him the story of weeks of frustration and two days out of work. At 1:00 PM on Friday an installer showed up at our house. He stayed until 6:00. He had been called to travel two hours to our house to do the job. He was a sub. Originally he was supposed to begin the job on Friday and return the next week. My husband shared the whole snafu with him while he was working. Today is Saturday…the substitute craftsman is coming back to our house to finish the job. He said he doesn’t want us to be inconvenienced any longer. Don is a very nice man and helping to make a not so nice story a little better at the end.


  1. Grrr, I can hear the frustration in your voice. My husband and I have been working on our kitchen too. Hopefully, when we get to the installation of countertops, we won't have this issue!

    Enjoy your "new" kitchen

  2. Our kitchen re-do just took months longer than the person doing the job estimated. He did do a good job, but would disappear days at a time. I'm glad you finally had the work completed, but oh the frustration!

  3. We've done three kitchens in our life as home owners...never again! It's wonderful after everything is said and done...but the hassles!!!

  4. I have a house of similar vintage and slowly we have updated nearly everything. Some workmen we rejoice when they come and others, when they leave. Some are a headache all the way through. Our last contractor was a dream dream dream, although he did like to work with the windows open--and it was during a heat wave. I finally just went into my studu, shut the door and quilted. I love the end results, though. Thank heavens for people like your Don!

    Elizabeth E.

  5. Hooray for a nice ending! There are some out there, just hard to find. Keep this guy's name and phone number! We may want to use him someday...