Contractors from Hell

Sometime in August 2012, we planned to do some renovation works to our house. We have been staying here the past 20 years, so it’s time to do some major repairs. Two of our bathrooms were leaking and, after a colleague’s near brush of death with robbery in his house, just opposite ours in July, we think it’s better be safe than sorry. So, we decided to install a grill at the balcony behind our house. So we shopped around for a quote but some people already taking orders for CNY, so they couldn’t do for us. We decided to stick to the previous contractor who did a minor retiling for us some years ago, who happened to be my sister’s friend. So, the renovation works only started on Oct 20.

So, we gave the job to him. He said, retiling the bathrooms would take 1-2 weeks but we have to make do with one toilet for the time being because he simply couldn’t ask the same sifu to come tile our toilets on different days! So, once and for all. Okay, so we agreed. It took more than 2 weeks for the bathroom and I really got impatient. Coupled with different orders from my first aunt also further complicated matters. Imagine, you ask her for her input and she refused to give any ideas till last minute, do changes here and there. Yes, this is not the contractor’s fault I know. The thing I cannot tahan is, how the main contractor, ie. my sis’ friend coordinate his work. He simply cannot coordinate things properly. People just show up at our house, without notice, don’t even know what they were supposed to do. There’s this guy, who install the bathroom doors, who bought the doors two inches too short for the door – so basically, we give free show whenever we take shower inside!

Then, he had to reorder a new door… which is okay but then, instead of positioning the door latch to the pre-existing hole created by the previous guy, when installing the first door, he went on to drill another hole in the newly tiled ceramic wall. Wah lao eh… we were so furious!

So, the plan of 2 weeks top went on and on for 1.5 months. We decided not to let him do the exterior painting because we know how shitty his job would be. Who knows what might even happen if we continue to hire him to paint the walls. And we can’t even choose the colors we want for exterior walls because he said, only white and charges us Rm7,500. So we decided to cancel the painting job.

On 8th of December 2012, a new painter came to our house to have a look. Seeing him so earnestly jotting down the colors we wanted from the ICI Dulux catalogue, we think, our house should be in good hands. At first, we decided to just paint the exterior of our house because the paint is already too old and we haven’t been painting for over 10 years. But he suggested we should also paint the inside. Since, he’s doing the job, might as well get the whole house done. He said don’t ask for discount anymore because he will help to fix whatever needs to be fixed including patching up the decay in the door panes, will also paint the grills, as well as the brick fence in front of my house porch and the house gate. We were thinking, ok, since he’s going to do it, it’s ok to pay him that much for his work. Since he is highly recommended by a fellow colleague, we relented even though the price he quoted us is way off our budget at RM13,000.

We gave him RM5,000 as downpayment and also to buy paint. So off he went to buy paint. He started work on 14th December 2012, right after Nuzul Quran holiday because we were not in. The first few days of work, he was all hardworking and we find he is quite a fast worker, eventhough he’s doing it himself and all alone. So I asked him, did he come alone? So he said, yes. And asked me not to worry because he will finished on time. Maximum one month. But he said, he can finish painting my house in 2 weeks tops and he will hire 4-5 people to help. So we were glad when he said that.

When he started to paint the kitchen, things went downhill from there. My mom asked him when will he patch the decay at the bathroom door because, he’s only working 3-4 hours a day, come at 8 am and leave by 12 pm. Why can’t he just finish his job as fast as possible and stay longer throughout the day to finish the job? He said, it’s not his job to fix the decay. My mom and aunt got furious because he didn’t do what he promised he would do! And he always came alone and didn’t hire anybody to help him as promised!

Then never mind. He further threaten us if we don’t pay him the balance, he will stop work and said, we can never find anyone this last minute since it’s nearing CNY (when he threaten us, it was end of December already). Anyway, I prayed over this shit and leave this matter to God. I just say, “God, please help us to find a good replacement so we don’t have to suffer all these nonsense. I leave everything in your hands! Amen!”

Lo and behold. The abandoned house behind ours started renovation works after almost a year, the new owner bought over the place. We have seen numerous people coming to look at the old house but nothing was done for more than a year till now.

While the idiotic painter was spray jetting the walls, getting them ready to be painted, he was doing half assed job as usual. He didn’t want to move his ass to scrap the dangling old paint and said, it’s like that one.. if the jet spray couldn’t get rid of it, there is no need to scrap it! So, we got really fed up and fired him on the spot. He still couldn’t believe we fired him and even begged for his job back! But still insist on us to pay him the balance! So we said no! Please get the fuck out!

We hired the Indonesians who are renovating the house behind ours at fraction of a costs! For only Rm1,500, they helped to paint the exterior walls (3 sides since my house is an end lot) and also the gates and grills! So in a way, we saved some money, some Rm4k! And nothing can beat the satisfaction of firing the annoying “fly” painter who kept buzzing our ears for more payment for the half assed job he has done! It was also a blessing because during the time, the idiotic painter was dragging us, it had been raining cats and dogs, making it difficult to plan for painting! Thank you God for sunny days when we started to paint the exterior walls!

Well, I simply want to give thanks to God.. that really…..even if you think the matter is so small and minute in life – they still matter to him! Even my mom kept saying, Thank you “tee gong” for “poh pi” us. Haha! She didn’t know I prayed to my God.