Day 28: We officially have ONE week left! Cue the sleepless nights! Today did not start well at all. As you are already aware, we have been having problems with one of our subs. Despite being a no show on several occasions, yesterday he was supposed to stay late and finish all of the tiling. Guess what?!?! He didn’t. I am sure you are all thinking “No Surprise”. So what did we do? Initially, PM had enough, and fired him. The problem with firing someone is you will always pay more to get a replacement. Whether it is due to added time, cost, or both, you are not in a good situation. PM and I spoke about this, and realized it would be best to try to get him to finish what he was doing. Here is our thinking: 1) We won’t be able to get a replacement and get everything completed in time for the open house on Sunday, and 2) It is only about two more days worth of work we need finished. BUT, that doesn’t mean we don’t have a backup plan if needed. Here’s our plan; initially we believed the electric estimate to be too high. However, we could reallocate the money that we were going to pay the other sub, and shift it to the electrician. This would free up PM to complete the unfinished work, and have the electrician (whom we have used before and know is reliable) to complete the electrical finishes PM was doing. Considering we already bought all of the tiling materials, and we were only paying for labour for that particular sub, we just wouldn’t pay him the rest since he would not complete any more work. We will only exercise this backup plan if he does not come in this afternoon, and finish what he is contracted to do. While everything will still fit in according to schedule, just barely, we did allow for a bit of a buffer in case we need it. In other words, we have the flooring guys coming Wednesday afternoon to apply the last coat of poly. We told everyone they are coming Wednesday morning, and therefore, they need to be finished by Tuesday evening. If worst case scenario they are not finished Tuesday evening, theoretically they can come in on Wednesday morning. Hopefully, it will not come to that. If that wasn’t enough stress, I think PM might want to kill me. He sent me a picture of the backsplash with the granite, and I hated it. If I just didn’t like it, it would be one thing, but I honestly hated it. So I began frantically searching for alternatives, and he ran out to Lowes to pick-up replacements. He actually didn’t seem too mad at me, but after all of this work we put into the kitchen, I didn’t want the backsplash to cause a delay in sale. Back to the house...Fortunately, the one sub arrived in the afternoon to finish the tiling. The painters painted all of the spindles and handrails. The cleaners arrived to clean the exterior windows and the interior entrance high window (as the ladder was still there).
Day 29: Today the painters finished! We could not say enough good things about our painting crew! They showed up everyday, arrived before PM, and always stayed after PM (including the night he stayed until 8:30pm). Their work was exceptional, and despite being one manager short, they finished on-time and delivered high quality work! The kitchen backsplash installation started. We were right to change out the backsplash. The new backsplash is amazing, and creates the high-end finish we wanted. The microwave and dishwasher were also installed. A few hall lights were installed. And the sure sign you are near the finish line is when the clean-up commences, which it did today. Hooray!!!
Day 30: My Mom was a huge help today with the staging! My Mom met the furniture company and let them know where all the furniture was to be placed. She also noted that they forgot one of the tables, and arranged for them to deliver the replacement prior to our open house. My Mom also ran to a few stores to get some finishing touches. She did such an amazing job, and confirmed her spot for all of our future staging needs (whether she likes it, or not!). The tiling finally finished in the master bath. The Electrician came and installed the entrance light and switch plates. The cleaners started on the second floor windows, and the kitchen backsplash was installed. PM noted that a few pieces of tile were installed upside down, and told the tile guy to fix them right away, before the cement dried. Of course he did not listen, and then had to chisel a few pieces off. Luckily, we had enough extra pieces for when he cracked the chiseled pieces! BUT, the most interesting story was our sub (the one who has been giving us some difficulties) asked if he could sleep over to catch up on the work. PM thought about this for a while, and ultimately decided it would be ok. He bought him dinner. Maybe we will be able to catch up on lost time!
Day 31: PM arrived this morning with coffee and breakfast for the sub who slept over. And, guess what?!?! The sub didn’t get much done. The unreliableness is becoming reliable! Our agent came to take pictures of the house. As the tiling was not done, and the subs were tracking dirt through our freshly cleaned house, PM had to get down on his hands and knees to wipe the floors so the dirt would not show up in the pictures. One of the subs who works for our problem child asked when the next payment was coming. PM politely reminded him that based on their performance they would not be getting anymore checks until the entire job was finished, and that he was in a contract with his boss, so if he needed to be paid he should speak to his boss. Lastly, our realtor was able to post the listing:http://www.estately.com/listings/info/105-quail-la...
Day 32: PM is just a wee-bit stressed. He called me to go over what was left to do on the house. We both knew there would be a few minor things left to finish after the open house; however, when discussing those items we realized our lists did not match. So we spent a few minutes discussing which items should be prioritized. During our discussion we took into consideration what items would have an impact on someone making an offer. Once we finalized the list, we realized we would need some extra hands to get all of the work completed. We spoke about a few different options, but settled on asking my awesome brother and his friend (one of my really good friends too) to help. Both of them are very knowledgeable about renovation. My brother grew up working for PM (our Dad), and within our business plan we hope to have him full-time with HouseItLook too! And my brother’s friend has multiple investment properties, and does both buy and holds and flips. With respect to the house, the carpet was installed in the basement. The sub who installed the carpet, is the one we have been having issues with. After the carpet was installed and all of the tile was sealed, they were officially finished. The sub then came and had a long conversation with PM. To summarize, he asked PM to give him another chance and apologized profusely for the delays. PM told him he had given him multiple opportunities. (Side note: I have read in multiple forums on BP how your initial relationship with a Sub is typically how it will go, if not worse. Our initial relationship with him in our last flip included delays. I was very hesitant to hire him, but PM and I spoke and his price was good and at the time we did not have an alternative. PM asked the Sub if he wanted some advice, and the Sub said “Yes, of course”. PM said, “I have been in this business a long time. Are you busy?”, and the Sub said, “Yes”. And then PM asked, “Are you having a hard time making money?” and the Sub replied “Yes, you have no idea”. So PM said, “Then something is wrong. I think you should take a break, and reflect on your business. This industry is either crazy busy, or you are begging for work. If you are crazy busy, and not making money you will never make money. Something is wrong, and you need to figure out how to fix it before you lose all of your customers. You just lost us, and you do not want to lose anymore, so you need to do something about it.” I think the Sub was grateful for the advice. Now whether he does anything with it, remains to be seen. But, in the end you never know when, or who you will need to call on for help. It is always good to never burn a bridge, no matter how much you are probably dying inside to do so!
Day 33: PM, my Mom, my Brother and his friend came over today. According to PM, he would not have gotten even half of what they were able to accomplish. We are truly lucky to have such a great supportive family and team! PM was able to complete the list of items needed for the open house. My Mom finished the final staging touches while running out to get lunch and water (which the boys would have preferred beers!). We owe them big time! I searched Zillow today and did not find our listing. I was very nervous, as in our area Zillow is the end-all, be-all of finding houses. So I went on Zillow and listed the house by owner, with the disclaimer that it is being listed with a realtor, but it has yet to pull from Trend. I did this for two reasons. First, I wanted people to know the house is now for sale, and second as we have an open house tomorrow and Zillow allows for you to list your open house.
Day 34: Open House Day!!! PM and my Mom went over before Open House to get everything ready. The Open House was amazing! We had three potential buyers, and seven neighbors stopped by too! It was a great opportunity to not only meet the neighbors, but they also gave us some good insight on the neighborhood. I hope to post very soon with confirmation of the sale, and our final numbers. Until then, thank you for sharing this experience with us!
Check out our website to see before and after pictures: http://www.houseitlook.com/project-002.html.
Disclaimer: This post is not my best work, but I am so exhausted with everything that is going on with the house, the writing definitely took a hit this week.
Day 21: The painters moved outside today, and power washed the exterior. In the process, PM identified a few minor leaks around a couple of the windows. He spent the rest of the day fixing all of the leaks, and caulking around them. This will secure the seals, and prevent further leakage from occurring. The new bathtub spout conversion kit arrived for the master bath. We also had a HVAC company, the one the previous owners used, come and service the system, and everything is in good working order. Most importantly, the cabinets arrived!!! PM will need to hang them tomorrow, in order for the granite template to happen on schedule. We had a no show Sub today. PM got on the phone with him and worked everything out. He also received confirmation that all of his tasks will still be completed on time.
Day 22: More painting, tiling, grout, and cement board installation today. The kitchen cabinets were installed today, as well. I got several pictures at 8pm from PM, so he is really earning his keep!! PM wanted to insure installation was completed as the granite template is scheduled for tomorrow.
Day 23: Another plug for the BP community...on my last posting, one of the amazing connections I met through BP sent me a private message about staging. He gave me an amazing recommendation that we ended up using. Special shout out to Percy!!!! During the cabinet installation, PM noted one cabinet was broken, and one was missing. He called the company, and they are able to get the cabinets ready by tomorrow. We had a roofer come out to give us an estimate on the minor roof repairs. He is not able to do the job until after the open house, but we are going to move forward with him as the price is right, and it will not impact the open house. AND, lets say it together, “the painting and tiling continued”.
Day 24: The cabinet company called to confirm the cabinets are ready. Fortunately/unfortunately there was a very bad storm last night (with tornado and flash flood warnings), and it is making it very difficult to get to the house. Several of the contractors have called to say they have tried four different routes to get to the house without any success. Side note: in my previous job in pharmaceuticals, I had to do these Risk Analysis Plans rating the likelihood, and impact of certain events to assist with project management. The scale was a 1-5. Typically environmental factors have a likelihood of 1. While I did not complete a Risk Analysis Plan for this house, just try to imagine my state of mind when I heard that even major highways were shut down prohibiting access to our house. Lets just say, I had a good laugh. PM, was in a better state of mind, and realized the opportunity to go to Home Depot and pick-up the kitchen faucet, master bath vanity faucets, master bath lights, light for hall bath, lights for hallway downstairs, a few extra tiling material, and pick up the cabinets. PM was later able to get to the house and check on everything. Luckily, we only had a bit of trash that had escaped the dumpster, but no damage to the house.
Day 25: Today, PM did a bit of patching in the master bath so the painting in the master bath can be finished. The master bath electric got updated to account for the two vanity lights over our new double mirors. A lot of trim work was completed in the kitchen around the cabinets. And going back to the staging, my Mom (PM's wife) and her friend went to the furniture rental company, and selected furniture for staging. Then they went to a few different stores to pick out a few more decorative items. It was a lot cheaper than the normal staging costs!! The same Sub that was a no show in the beginning of the week, was once again a no show. Lets just say PM is not happy!
Day 26: We received a recommendation for a few different cleaning people. One guy I spoke to appeared to be perfect for the job. He could do the cleaning in a few hours, and also worked on construction cleaning jobs previously. All I need to say, is if this flipping thing does not work out, I am going to clean houses post construction. His estimate was $1200, and that did not even include cleaning the windows! Needless to say, we found someone else. The painters began sanding all of the hand railings. PM installed the trim in the kitchen, and he installed the vanity in the hall bathroom. He also hung three replacement doors. And, once again that one sub was a no show. PM called him, and received confirmation that he would be be there all day Sunday. He also promised he would be finished on time.
Day 27: One week to showtime! The bathroom tiling continued (finally) today. The Sub promised to stay as late as possible to get all of the tiling completed. The painters moved on to staining the handrail. PM was concerned about how long the handrail staining would take, but was assured by their boss it would be completed on time. This is because there is a new oil-based polyurethane that dries in four hours. Thus, you can apply two coats in one day, as compared to the old process of needing two days to apply two coats of stain. Besides meeting with all of the subs and doing one more check that they will finish according to schedule, PM fixed a few windows as well.