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2014-03-01 - 11:20 a.m.

I am just amazed at the nerve of the contractor I hired. I gave him a check to Home Depot with a letter of authorization to purchase the needed supplies for the job working on in my basement. It was really CLEAR that meant DRYWALL (At $10 to $15 a sheet I am estimating) and GROUT (At about $10-15 per 25 lb bag) as well as a Ground Fault Interrupter (as there was not one in the bathroom according to him), a new light fixture and ceiling fan. I already picked up for $5 each a couple of new towel bars and paint and I already ordered all the needed tile spacers, tiles for the job , the new toilet and its required hose, silicon sealant and what it specified was needed.

So he came back that day and continued working but I didn't get the receipt from him. (Yes my mistake in the moment)

I saw the charge of $319 from Home Depot and have to admit I laughed at the gall despite the fact of being surprised. I mean I HIGHLY Doubt the items really came to that total.

It's really simple. If I paid for his new tile cutter that was an ADVANCEMENT on his pay so he could get the essential tools that are the cost of his doing business. If I paid for the buckets etc and other tools that are going to be hauled away when done here and remain in his possession they too are his industry tools of trade. I have no problem paying for BOTH labor and materials but am not such an idiot to just blindly write a blank check and let the dude go tool shopping.

I mean when he left we had a discussion of what was on the approved list. He said "IT won't be more than about $150 or $200." To which I replied "I know that- there is no way it would be more."

So for the bill paid with my check to total $316 is a bit suspicious to me. I mean he KNOWS I was going the cheapest route for materials. HE says he will double check to make sure none of his things were on that, and he will also bring me the receipt when I addressed the inquiry to him of the total. I insisted on actually walking to the Paint Store on the other side of town as it has good quality paint, and I trust the lady there who really knows her stuff AND SHE HAS A SCRATCH and DENT section of paints others had mixed but didn't buy. (I found a good quality Benjamin Moore can for $15 on that clearance bin which is nice and the right finish for bathrooms as it can tolerate water from steam.) Heck I didn't walk all the way there and back and then visit every thrift store in town to seek out fixtures because I am made of money.

I just can't believe the gall of some people.

I also think that anyone who does intentionally try to cheat a client is SO DUMB as they ARE NOT Going to get a good reference.

The thing is this dude quoted me a CASH price and then the on the books price (to account for his payment of taxes). Be wary of anyone who will do that I think as it alone says something about their honesty in business dealings. I don't care if EVERYONE cheats on taxes- I don't and won't. I don't get the sense of entitlement. I mean WE ALL USE ROADS , we ALL go to the library sometimes, WE ALL have benefited from our local fire and police department's and sanitation of cities and towns and roads being maintained that ALL Of our taxes pay for. Why should someone thing they are so entitled to NOT have to pay into the system THEY GET A BENEFIT out of AS MUCH AS I DO??

I just think its really a selfish attitude.

I mean my former nanny who never made much ALWAYS insists on her income being reported, her employers paying their share of tax and she always claims and pays her taxes on every earned dime. And SHE IS LIVING on a really meager income and always has. YET SHE CAN GET BY yet others making more than four times her income in the middle class bracket feel somehow cheated if they have to hand anything over? It irks me. I see good hardworking people with little means happy to do their part so I have little empathy for anyone who feels the need to try to avoid that responsibility.

So I was given the option to pay a lower rate in cash, or a higher rate for him to put the work on the books. I opted to pay the higher rate as it then IS A WISE TAX Move for me as then every dollar into this job in the rental space of my home IS A TAX DEDUCTION. That is just smart business. It's taking full advantage of a TAX BENEFIT designed to actually encourage spending and maintenance of property. But just because it is a write off for me doesn't mean that dumb decisions should be made to OVERSPEND and not thoughtfully try to stick to a budget discussed. YES IT WORKS FOR ME To pay the higher rate as but for the tax deduction I wouldn't want to , or be able to afford to dump ANY MONEY into my basement. HOWEVER, I WILL have to pay that much in taxes out of pocket next year so it makes perfect sense to INSTEAD put that money into the improvement of that space (Which NEEDED work anyway- as it had a running toilet contributing to a $367 water bill for the time between NOV 15 and JAN 15 as I can't be nagging my tenants like I nag my kids to jiggle the toilet in the middle of the night and HAD to fix that anyway; tiles that fell off the wall and showed black mold that was not clear if it was due to lack of tenant's maintenance OR An underlying water problem so had to be investigated, AND there was some mold signs under the rim area on the floor near the toilet which likewise was indicative of a slow leak so needed that work done anyway.)

NOW the good news is that I AM HAPPY With the work done so far.

They are ledgering their hours on the wall downstairs (old wall which is to be painted that has the shopping list and the hours penciled with notes)

Its a good method as I can review and see that. Not happy with a few minor incongruencys from the first three days the first week on the job- like a 4.5 hour day I noted as I was here when they came and left is noted as a 5 hour day. But then the next day they are off by a half hour in my favor.... so that is OK, but then there is an hour differential on the third day. So minor, but it makes it clear there is not conscientious CAREFUL tracking so make me question both the accuracy and integrity then of the six hour days when I was NOT HERE observing and writing down hours myself.

It's just disappointing.

I mean why would one be so either dumb and sloppy with details OR Unethical to lie and try to cheat as one of the most valuable assets a business can have is their reputation of GOOD FAITH And HONESTY. Quality is of course important but truth is this type of work is not rocket science and there are enough folks out there ready to do it.

So if someone wants to be successful they had best be dealing in good faith and honesty.

I am glad that I think the bathroom so far looks lovely.

Look forward to it being done and then will pay the bill after the accurate accounting.

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