Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The saga of the screened in porch

We built our house and treated ourselves to a screened in porch. Due to the nature of our lot, we had our builder create it with the original structure of the house. Our house plan had a perfect place for a side porch – and Patio Enclosures suck.

We paid a lot for the porch and expected it to be great. And I know we paid lot more than $5 for that door, too. We're 1 of 2 porches out of 200+ homes. We are known as the "house on the corner with the screened in porch". We hear comments from other homeowners that they wished they had thought of it, too. It makes me smile because I know how nice it really is. Or is it?

The builder gave us a hefty price on the addition but what did the builder do? They installed a $5 door. (see image) Nice. We didn't approve it on our walk-through, but it was an oral disagreement. Mistake #1. Mistake #2 was that we orally negotiated a new door with an employee at the builder. Of course, that person was eliminated before we received our new door. Wrong person. Must take note to quit making oral agreements.

The $5 door became a problem the first night in the house. It didn't have a locking mechanism other than a hook. As if a hook will keep a $5 door from rattling with 2 mph breeze. That first night I had to invent a way to keep it from rattling when even a bird farted. So I folded up a white pillowcase in between the cheap door and the frame (see image again). There – that fixed the rattle, but now we have a pillowcase in our door and everyone can see it. "The builder will replace it, so it is ok" I can keep hearing me say. That day never came.

We hired a handy man to replace the door because we eventually gave up. We now are the proud owners of a very nice door for our porch. The only thing is that it is not finished.

A year ago, we had the handyman over for an estimate and for him to look at our situation. He approved and said he'd buy the correct door for us, install it and we'd all be happy. Wrong.

Five months later, he finally installed the door. Of course, he took off that cheap $5 door and realized he had ordered the wrong size replacement. So at this time, we don't even have a $5 door. And it was nice outside. But with a hole instead of a door, the porch was unusable. This caused numerous swear words from M.

It is now five months later, and we still don't have the project complete. The screen above the new door is missing. We now have a 40" x 14" hole. It is the perfect size for birds to fly in and make a mess in our porch. They can find the way in, but can't find the way out. It has caused stress to M and the cats (as M is the official bird-shoo-er in the house).

I have pestered and nagged our handyman's wife for the past month because he's never home. I know he's busy, but we have a bird tunnel now. Surely me telling her that will get him over. I told her we have not paid for the door or the labor, too. I knew that would get her to have him finish the job. Bu that didn't work, either. hmmmm

Dad said that the screen replacement would be pretty easy... so just try it ourselves. Ha. Eleven years of college between M and I and we couldn't figure it out. And we were almost there, too. Damnit.

So M called the handyman at 8:45 p.m. last night. We know he has an infant in the house – but we didn't care after his ignoring us. He said he'd be over today. 

All we want is reliable help at an honest amount. Why is that so hard to find? We are willing to pay for your service and expertise, but at least show up to finish the job. If he doesn't show up today, I still have that nasty pillowcase to strangle him.

No comments: