Countdown date: T minus 9 months
Project: Home Improvements
Biggest Disappointment: Dealing with people that aren’t true to their word
Lesson Learned: If you want something done well, then you probably have to do it yourself.
When we finally found the “perfect” RV for us, I was very excited about getting right to redecorating it and making it over into our new home. Tom had a different vision and the redo was derailed. Why not just leave it as is? There was nothing WRONG with the interior other than my distaste for the vanilla decor – and we knew we’d replace the whole rig at some point anyway. So we started using it as is and I kept an eye out for a newer model. But in using our RV I discovered what a rare gem it was: 100 gallon fresh water, forward facing headboard, roomy shower etc.
So, resigned to keeping the Kountry Star, I asked to at least replace the mirrored headboard with something more comfortable. And, as they do, one project led to another that led to another.
Which brought us to the floors. That is one area we discussed replacing at the very beginning. I searched and searched for floor renovation projects to see if it was something we could do ourselves. If we didn’t have the slide-outs I think we could have. In hindsight I wish we would have done it ourselves.
But with our time line slipping by we just wanted it done. Tom found a local RV company to do the work. We took it in and dropped it off with someone neither of us felt comfortable about. The flooring guy we talked with didn’t seem to share our vision of “upgraded” flooring. After sleeping on it, we decided to rescue her and Tom went back to pick up our motorhome.
Now what? I found the contact info for a restoration guy we met at the Quartzsite RV show. He was 5 hours away, but after some email exchanges and phone conversations I felt like we were on the same page and that he could really do a good job for us. So we made an appointment a few months off to drive the RV down for an estimate. We spent a couple of hours with him, met his family, picked out flooring, discussed all the things we wanted done (this was turning into a major redo) and felt very good when we left. His shop was busy but it sounded like they could get everything done within another few months. We left feeling good about the project knowing that the estimate would probably come in above budget, but were willing to spend a little more to have quality work.
Well. . . .that’s as far as we got. Never heard back from the guy. Tom called after a couple of weeks to inquire about the estimate and he apologized saying he’d start on it. And that was the last of that.
Then we were driving around town and saw some RV’s with their windows taped off as if they were getting restoration work done. Tom stopped by the next week and sure enough, there was an RV repair company within a few blocks of our home. Tom said the guy was great, understood what we wanted, was just finishing up a big job and if we hurried to get the RV in to him, would have it back in plenty of time for our 4th of July trip to Oregon. We took it in around May 27th. That was a Friday, so we rushed to pick out flooring (again!) from the flooring company he used. We had a list of things they said they would be able to do as well as the flooring, such as re-doing the shower door (from gold to silver) and fixing the fantastic fans. Half of the project involved re-painting the top edge of the roof which was looking rather worn. Tom had thought about doing it, but we decided our time would be better spent on other projects and left this job to the “professionals”.
I have to say that they did a great job on the paint. They didn’t fix all the areas where the clear coat was wearing off, but the outside looked MUCH better when we picked it up.
But this story is about the floors. The ones we hurried up to pick out so they could get them installed right away. Oops – the floor we picked out (a wood looking premium vinyl plank) would take 2 weeks to get in. A second trip to the flooring company to pick out flooring that was in stock took less time for us to agree on a choice. Oops, the flooring guy was wrong. They didn’t really have that one in stock either. Tom made the third trip to pick out flooring on his own. They already had the old flooring removed and we needed the RV back to get ready for our trip.
We knew the 1 week turnaround time they promised was a little unrealistic. Especially with the flooring delays. But after 2 weeks Tom started checking on their progress daily. Every day the story was the same: it will be done tomorrow. As our departure date approached, Tom grew increasingly impatient with them. The Sunday before our trip, we finally got a call that it was ready. But “please hurry and pick it up” because he had to take his wife to the hospital. We rushed down and I was less than thrilled with the finished look, but we were happy to regain custody. He apologized for not having time to clean it up and said that when we got back from our trip he would finish things like replacing the fantastic fan cover – which was now an open hole in the ceiling.
Well we got everything ready for our trip, and while I was happy about the look overall, the workmanship was shoddy to say the least. We still have to repair spaces in the slats, and completely redo the baseboards.
No, we won’t be taking her back in. In fact, we committed to completing the remaining projects on our list by ourselves!
Peace & Love, Joy
UPDATE September, 2017: We just ordered a do-it-yourself carpet binding to hopefully repair this damage. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
What a disappointment! There are bound to be good workmen around, but we often find shoddy ones impersonating good ones.
Yes, I suppose we should have researched it more fully. It just seemed we were so limited in our options – and we got in a hurry!