Renovation Nightmare

Someone recently wrote to me and told me that they missed my blogs.

So here it goes, what has been happening in my life for the last three weeks.

I have a lot to say, as you have probably noticed.

I am in renovation h***.

That’s right.

Remember how I told everyone that I was going to renovate my bathroom?

On Sunday, I fired the contractor.

It was the last straw.

He “installed” my toilet on Saturday.

Told me it was going to be ready to go today (and the tub too).

We went to Grandmas for dinner and returned home at 11:30.

That’s when it happened.

I flushed the toilet.

Imagine my surprise when water exploded around my feet.

Water, water, everywhere.

It was coming out from both sides of the toilet, and even out of the right side of the tank.

Holy sh**!!

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a toilet do that.

Bobo and I ran downstairs to turn off the water and get some buckets.

It was raining water through the ceiling, down the wall in the bathroom downstairs.

Drip, drip, drip.

Bobo tore down the ceiling.

What a mess.

“That idiot”, I thought.  “He can’t even install a toilet right.”  I was up until 3:00 in the morning fuming.  I could not go to sleep.  Yes, I know I am not suppose to stress, but I couldn’t help it.  I think this bathroom reno has taken at least 2 years off my life.

I’m not sure why the toilet did that.  Maybe it had something to do with the fact he did not heat the wax when he put it down.  Or maybe it’s because he put 2 of those wax things on top of one another.  The ding dong contractor, also said that we could use the tub.  It would be fully operational this week-end.  However, when I put the kids in there, three new problems occurred.

1.  The stopper doesn’t stop the water from escaping down the hatch.

2.  The cold water pipe is dripping water (you can only see that if you flash a light through the tub

skirt because it’s all tiled now).

3.  And drip, drip, drip, the water is coming out of the drain and onto the ceiling in the laundry room.


In hindsight, I should have fired him right from the start.


Well, he didn’t accurately measure the vanity sink and linen closet.

As soon as it arrived 3 weeks ago, I told “The Big Box Company” we hired that there was a problem.

When the contractor tried to install that, it was so wide that you couldn’t shut the bathroom door.

He tried to convince me to let him install the door so that it opened from the hallway.

I told him I didn’t exactly think that was safe seeing that if someone came out of the bathroom and didn’t know another person was there on the other side, they might get whacked.

So I was told, “Don’t worry, he said, we will put the new linen closet in the existing closet space, behind the door”.

Does that not defeat the purpose of having a custom-made linen closet in the bathroom?

The extra space I wanted for the towels would be installed in my existing closet.

Yippee.  Hide the nice custom-made closet in an existing closet.  (By the way, it had scratches in it, discolouration along the sides, and 4 drawers the size of a shoebox, which I didn’t want…. I wanted shelves for my towels).   Wrong again.

Last Saturday, the electrician, came over to do the wiring in the bathroom.

Knowing that the linen closet was not going to in the spot I wanted it to, I was convinced to put the switches on the inside of the bathroom instead of out in the hall.

However, the next day (Sunday, June 20th), I went to “The Big Box Company” to address my concerns.

I met a very nice assistant manager.  Both her and the install manager, arrived at my house last Monday.

He said we should recess the linen closet into the wall.  I don’t think he wanted it in the closet because it would cost them too much to do it.  The contractor wanted $2500 for it when I asked him beforehand on my initial quote.

That required the electrician to move the switches to the outside of the bathroom, which was fine with me.  That’s where it was suppose to go in the first place.

I told the installation manager that I was very concerned that the two licenced italian tilers weren’t going to show up because they had a job to do (3 or 4 floors of condos that had to be done before the HST sets in).  I was worried because I had bought some very expensive tiles from Italy and I didn’t want them to get wrecked.  “Don’t worry”, I was told.  It will get done right.

So the contractor began the work to get the linen closet into the crevice.

When I got home from work that day, imagine my surprise when I saw  TWELVE holes in the wall going up my stairs.  That’s right, twelve.

Good ole’ Contractor moved all the joists in the bathroom.   You can touch it now and the whole wall moves because the drywall isn’t attached to anything.  This is, the same wall, I labouriously painted way back in February at 2:00 in the morning when I was on chemo and steroids.

“Don’t worry”… we’ll fix it, he said.

“How did that hole happen?”, I asked pointing to the one with a straight line.

“Oh, that was the saw,” he replied.


You see the funny thing is, is that he only really had to remove one of the joists… the one where the linen closet had to go.  But he made some extra work for himself, intending to bill me or “The Big Box Company” for the “extra work”.  He moved the joist where my 30 inch mirror already existed to make it 31 inches – so it would fit the new medicine cabinet.  This is why I have 8 holes in my staircase wall.  Meanwhile, the contractor spoke to the company where I bought the mirror on the phone (I called them) and they told him all he needed to install the mirror I bought was 29 3/4 inches.  There was already room for 30 inches (my old medicine cabinet was 30 inches) and really there was no reason for him to move that joist.  So I have 8 extra holes in my wall for nothing.

So let me see if you all got it all straight.

I ordered a linen closet to fit my bathroom.

It didn’t fit, so they wrecked my staircase wall to get it in there because the door didn’t close.

There is also the issue of the vanity sink.

It is also too large for my bathroom.

The contractor tried to convince me that it would be fine.

How is that possible?, I asked.

I am a very small person and if I wanted to get to the toilet, I wouldn’t be able to do it without hitting my hip agains the door knob and I would literally have to walk sideways when I went past the sink.  What if a fat person decided to use my washroom?  They’d never get to the toilet!

And now my custom-made sink needs 3 inches to be taken off the back.

Even the drawers need to be sawed off.

The installation manager told the contractor over 2 weeks ago to fix it.  The contractor said he wasn’t capable of doing the job and had to take it to a cabinet maker.  As of today, he is still driving it around town with my custom-made vanity in the back of his van.

Can’t wait to see what it’s going to look like if and when it arrives.

And my tiles?

Well, the italian guys never showed up.  Go figure.

Instead, we got a guy who had his drivers license revoked because of drunk driving charges.

The reason we know that is that Bobo drove him home last Saturday and he dropped him off at a bar near his house.

And my tiles.

My expensive, lovely tiles need repairing.  That’s all I can say.

Parts of the listello (sp?….the fancy little decorative tiles) are pushed too far into the wall.  And the contractor scratched a few tiles when he installed the shower head too.

And as soon as you step on the second tile in the bathroom, it creaks.

Bobo is certain it is going to crack.

I told the installation manager  that I asked contractor several times to make sure he put two inch screws into the sub-floor but I didn’t think he did it.  He said, “Don’t worry about that tile that moves and creaks, we can screw it in from the wall in the basement.  Well, if the job had been done properly, I wouldn’t have to worry about it after the fact, would I?

So today, the store manager and the install manager, came to my house to assess the damage.  I had phoned the store manager on Sunday and told him about this mess with the toilet.  He said that it would be difficult to get someone to fix it on a Sunday, and could we wait a few days.  Bobo said alright after speaking to him.  I, however, was livid.  We have already been inconvenienced 3 weeks.

This morning the installation manager called me and told me it would take about 3 to 4 weeks to get someone to fix up the bathroom.  I went ballistic and phoned the store manager.  I told him that I had a major plumbing problem which one of his contractors orchestrated and that had to be fixed.  And if they couldn’t fix it, I would be calling a plumber on an emergency basis and sending him (The Big Box Company) the bill.  I told him I had cancer and couldn’t take the stress anymore of living without a bathroom.  That my children were afraid to go to the basement because of “monsters” and I had to trek up and down the stairs which isn’t something my doctor said I should be doing right now.  I also told him that Frack had a kidney problem and that he doesn’t always have time to make it to the bathroom downstairs.  Plus, it’s really difficult to wash my children seeing as WE DON’T HAVE A TUB.  Which means I’ve had to wash him in the kitchen sink and that isn’t easy because he wasn’t exactly the size of a baby!  I was tired of going to other peoples houses to have a shower and that I can’t handle it any more.

That’s when they decided to come over to “assess the damage”.  I told the manager that I wasn’t going to wait 3 or 4 more weeks for a plumber.   That if the installation manager couldn’t supply me with plumber immediately, that I would hire one myself and give them the bill. The new drywall in my bathroom is soaking wet.  “Don’t worry,” said the installation manager, “We’ll cut it out and put new drywall in there.”  I also told him that I didn’t think it was fair for the contractor to expect my 80 year old father to drive the garbage mess he left in my driveway to the Bermondsey dump site (and he would reimburse him for the bill they gave him).  The contractor never cleaned up anything and my house is a mess.  I was told a licensed plumber would be coming to my house tonight.  It’s 11:07p.m.  I don’t think he’s coming.

Good thing I took pictures.

Lots of them.  Anyone know a good lawyer?


My husband has suggested that I email installation manager right now and tell him it’s 11:30 p.m. and we are still waiting for the plumber.

Do you think he will show?