Not so nice to meet you, Mr. Half Baked

How to pick a Crappy Contractor Part One is here. (at least look at the before picture)

I didn’t really intend to leave you hanging.  There’s just so much shiny in the world.


So, we had that first meeting with Mr. Perfect and laid out our hit list for our new bathroom.

We wanted a new shower, two sinks, new cabinets, light fixtures, toilet, and flooring.

No tile.

Oh, and buh bye gold EVERYTHING.

With each of these listed items Mr. Perfect had catalogs.  He was helpful guiding us through them and giving us his input along the way.  He took notes and measurements and wrote them down as we went along.   He was instrumental in helping us pick out the right look for the shower area, including the perfect shower door.  He was competent in his knowledge.  He was able to answer our questions with confidence.

What kind of questions did we ask?  We basically had looked up a “How to pick a contractor” article cause I’m pretty sure that’s why Google exists.

Also?  How hot will our new mirror make my ass look because our other one is a jerk.

The end of this meeting resulted in a really good idea of what we wanted done, how it would get done, how much it would cost and how hot my ass would indeed look.


After that we called Mr. Perfect’s company to sign a contract.

::Door bell rings::

And we opened the door to our first encounter with Johnny Half-Baked

Johnny Half-Baked was actually the owner of the company.

Word on the street was that his father gave him the company after he retired.

But where’s Mr. Perfect?  He was on leave from the company.

Ok then, let’s sign that contract and get this hot ass going.

After we signed the contract and gave him a deposit, we again asked about pulling permits.

Mr. Perfect as assured us that it was not a big deal.

Johnny Half-Baked stumbled through his words asking if we REALLY wanted to pull permits and mentioned that we would have to pay for them.

Um. Yeah.  We know that and yes, we do.


“Because permits can really get in the way and make the job take longer”

Yeah. We’re ok with that.  Our bathroom isn’t going anywhere and we have 2 others to shower in.

“You know that the permit people could come and reassess your house and that could change your house value”

“It’s just that the town inspectors can really hold stuff up”

>Insert Red Flag One<

My husband makes his points on why we want to pull permits.

And now?  I’m annoyed.  Don’t annoy me.

I say “Listen, my husband and I are not plumbers or electricians.  That’s why we have it inspected.  If your work isn’t up to code?  That’s their job to catch you, not mine. We want permits.”

And with that Johnny Half-Baked learned that I wasn’t someone to table check with.

Mine’s bigger.

Johnny Half Baked left that day with the contract, down payment, and a quest to pull permits.

The next we heard from Half Baked (about 2 weeks later) he had called and said that we (as the homeowners) needed to fill out the permits for the job.


>Red Flag 2<

My husband got the permits and as he looked over noticed the spaces for job specifics (including drawings) and requested contractor’s license numbers.

Besides the name and address info, we were unable to fill them out.

We let Half Baked know this and he agreed to fill them out for a fee.

A fee that was already figured in with Mr. Perfect we reminded him.

>Red Flag Three<

It took him FOUR WEEKS to fill out and submit the permit forms.

>Red Flag Four<

Honestly, at this point we already knew this guy had taken a few too many pipe hits in his lifetime and had more shade going on than a hundred year old oak.  The problem was, we already had given him a deposit.  We thought really hard if we should just lose the deposit.  In the end, our budget was already tight so we drank some Kool-Aid and powered on with Half Baked.  I mean,  how much more would we really have to deal with him.

How much more?  More.  With each step of the way, we actually could see the brain cells dying as he spoke to us.

And soon?  Not only would we have to deal with Half Baked but his sidekick Obtuse Moron as well.

>>>>>Part 3- Half Baked and Obtuse Moron.  A lot like Weebles but less fun.


I know a 3 part-er.  Really?  SHINY… shiny…. shiny……


  1. These guys sound a lot like a few we've run across in land of home improvement including Slipshod Scott, Kenny (his name was Dave but for some reason kept calling him Kenny. Close enough), and Buck-toothed Beaver Face.The dog could have done a better job than these guys did (and might have smelled better too.).
    My recent post Everything I Learned I Learned from Fred Flintstone

  2. Ha, Mr Half Baked… What a tool. He needs to hire someone who knows wtf they’re doing or get a bigger one. Wait that didn’t make sense, but you probably get it anyway. I kinda feel like Star eats starting at the second instalment – torn on whether I should read the 1st or 3rd post

  3. Sounds a lot like our 3 month escapade to replace our furnace – ya know….in the Fall….when it's cold and heat is nice. I really don't like being a homeowner.

  4. ok, I am forgiving you for this being a multiple post story, because honestly, I would not want you to make it shorter. Your story-telling is awesome.

    That this happened? Is not.
    My recent post Project 356: January 15-21, 2012

  5. REALLY?! ANOTHER PART!? You dork!

  6. Oh no. These posts are stirring up my remodeling PTSD. I sure hope you added therapy costs to your remodel budget.
    My recent post If we ever meet, it will probably go something like this:

  7. Though I LOVE that you've posted, and thought this post is just the kind of thing I love to read, and you are so damn funny.

    I'm still so sad this happened to you, and I sense where it's going.

    We lost thousands to an architect: and all we got was just a REDRAW of blueprints we already had.

    It sucks, doesn't it? People who make a living off of ripping people off?

  8. Megryansmom says:

    I'm afraid right now, very afraid.
    My recent post White Out

  9. Well I can't imagine this story is going to end well. But I look forward to reading about you kicking these idiots around :)
    My recent post How they see me

  10. Oh dear god, it sounds as bad as our house buying saga.
    My recent post Welcome, welcome one and all…

  11. This is why I still have my 1985 kitchen. Yeah, that's why.

  12. Uhoh. I'm afraid of part three. I think I will just sit here and stare at the shiny chandelier (that exists only in my mind because I'm too scared to hire a contractor to install a light-thingy to plug it into in my ceiling).
    My recent post Grandmother's Smoke Breaks

  13. Is this supposed to be what the homeowner hubbub is all about? I can't say I get it.

  14. PBP Designs says:

    Foul! Not fair!
    Red Flag!!!
    This was supposed to be a 2 parter. Nobody said anything about a PART 3!!
    Sitting here waiting for it. Come on! You can do it.

  15. Oh no. . .

    This story doesn't have a happy ending, does it?

    I have learned my lesson {with a different situation} and have made the BBB my best friend.
    My recent post Ten Thought Tuesday

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