General Contractors and Investors, What The Heck Are You Doing!?!

I wander the landscape of NE Ohio, showing any variety of homes to buyers or listing homes for sellers. Some of those homes (more than you may think) were rehabbed by investors. Investors who, by the way, helped our area out during the recession when they were still willing to purchase homes in bad shape and fix them up so they didn’t wind up on the demolition list. I love seeing the creative floor plans designed for the rehabs in many cases (and yes, sometimes those are odd but not usually!) None of this is what I’m going to rant about but I wanted to start out on a positive note! Our vast, older housing stock is much better off because there are people willing to invest in them, give them love and make them livable again. Now to drop the other shoe….

Investors  plunk down a large amount of money to rehab a house. Usually included is a big expense towards a remodeled kitchen. Once you’ve done all that, with beautiful new counter tops and shiny new sinks, why oh WHY would you or your contractors use those sinks as your slop sinks for the completion of the work on the rest of the house? I would say one out of five homes I go to that were rehabbed by people not living in the home do not treat it with much thought to what they are doing to the new materials. If you have spent a ton of money on a marble counter top and your contractor is setting his brush and slop can ON THE NEW COUNTERTOP  while applying polyurethane? You just might now have a permanent stain on that white marble (single slab custom cut mind you!) counter top. By the way, I’ve now seen this several times in the past year. One time it was not polyurethane but some black tar like substance.

1) Investors: do you tell this contractor who costs you extra money due to laziness that their services are no longer required? I sure hope so. I know for a fact, as inconvenient as it might be, I would never let them back in my house again.

2) If you are a contractor: get a clue. Someone (not you!) is spending a fortune on materials to rehab a house but you feel too lazy to go to the basement or better yet outside and instead use the new kitchen sink to do your clean ups? Do you cut wood and pipes (yes, I said pipes! I saw this in action in person last winter) on the new counter tops? Do you even put a work top over the counter tops before doing this? Nope, you do not.   What on earth is wrong with you?

Last year I listed a home that was 95% finished over 5 yrs, lovingly, by the owners. The guy was an amazing craftsman and the work was beautiful with great attention to detail. The kitchen featured a deep farm style black Corian sink. They wound up having to move two weeks before we listed and one small job needed to be painted. So for the first time in all of this rehabbing, the owner (now out of state) turned a small job over to a local contractor. Who used white paint which got onto the kitchen sink when cleaning brushes with oil based paint on them. Paint did not want to come out so he bought something abrasive to try to clean it. Two weeks later, not only was the paint still in the sink but now the entire sink finish was ruined.

I know, Mr/Ms contractor, you do not live in that home. But part of your job as a professional should be to make sure a place looks as good or better than it did when you got there.  Why is this so hard?

The home owners with the black ruined sink put a new one in (flew in from across the country to do so). But investors don’t always seem to want to make it right because understandably, now they have to spend more money again. It’s really simple. Don’t use living space sinks or counters as a work area!

And if you think buyers won’t notice, you are sadly mistaken.

☺Rant over. I really needed to get that off my chest.

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