So How did our Bathroom Turn Out? (Part 3)

Because I’m super obnoxious:

Part One is HERE

Part Two is HERE

The only thing holding me up with part 3 was cleaning the bathroom so I could take after pictures.  So. Yeah.



After 6 weeks of back and forth with the permit situation, we were ready for them to actually start working.

Half-Baked called and said that he needed to come, take measurements, and finalize our product choices.


::Doorbell rings::

In walks Half Baked and a new person.

My hopes rose immediately because after dealing with Half Baked there was no way this guy was worse.

First, Half Baked wanted to look at the bathroom.

I figured this was fair because he actually hadn’t seen it.  As we walked upstairs, I crossed my fingers that the gold would burn his eyes and Mr. Perfect would just HAVE to come back to us.

HB “So you want to replace the sink area and a new light fixture?”

Me: “Actually, we want two sinks and two light fixtures over them”

HB “Oh, really?”

In My Head:   AreYouFreakingKiddingMeDude.DidYouHitThePipeBeforeYouCameInHere?ThisWasAllWrittenDownByMr.Perfect.CANYOUEVENREAD?!?

Pause.  Deep Breath.

I told him about the shower area, floor, toilet, new cabinetry with TWO sinks, TWO new light fixtures >>CENTERED<< over those sinks.

I talked as he measured and mumbled to himself.

He was probably mumbling stuff like “What’s this number again?  How many inches equal a foot?”  But I couldn’t really hear him so I’m just guessing.

He then piped up and said “I’m not sure we’re going to be able to center the lights over the sinks”

“Oh, oh YES, you WILL.”

“We’ll do our best, if you want to add another sink, that’s going to include adding plumbing and I don’t know if it’s all going to be able to line up.  It’s going to be more work”

“Mr. Perfect said there was no problem doing this when he was here.  I’m SURE it’s written down as such.  I’ve lived in this house for 10 years with the other light fixture not centered on the sink.  You’ll do it and if you can’t?  You can just stop and I’ll find someone else who can.”

::table check::  I win.

With that, we go downstairs where his partner in dumb had stayed with my husband.

Johnny Half Baked and Obtuse Moron stumbled over their papers looking for stuff.  They struggled trying to find the products that we had already picked out.  It was embarrassing.  For them.

We asked about Mr. Perfect again. Why didn’t they just go over stuff with him?  He informed us that he was still on leave or maybe this time he said that he retired.  I don’t recall but that Obtuse Moron was there to learn the ropes and would take the place of Mr. Perfect in the company.  (I may have snickered)

(This is side info which will add even MORE so you can skip it if you want.  After all of this, I believe that Mr. Perfect either A) DID leave the company because once the father retired?  He didn’t want to deal with his pipe stoned son running this company into the ground.   OR that B) Half Baked let Mr. Perfect go because he had been with the company for many, many years and was probably a high paid employee and thought they could get Obtuse Moron up to par.    The worst part is that I’m SURE that Mr. Perfect would have got a % of the job that he won for the company and I’m also sure that Half Baked and Obtuse Moron took that % instead for more smoking pipes.)

We start going over the shower area.  He asked about what we wanted for the shower door as he opened the catalog filled with GOLD SLIDING DOORS.

::eyebrows raise::

“No, no, no……it’s written down.  We are going with a frameless shower door.  It’s written down.”

::Flip, paper, flip, looks, finds it::

“Oh, well a shower door like that is going to have to be custom made and the door company themselves has to come out to measure because it’s a very specific thing and that’s going to hold up the job”

It’s funny how THEIR time matters but our time not so much.

We want that door.

From time to time Obtuse Moron would ask Half Baked questions about the process and products.  They interacted like they were old college buddies.

I think it went like this:  

Once Half Baked inherited the company he said:

“Dude, my dad totally gave me this company doing like showers and stuff, you should totally come work for me.  We’re going to be dealing with PIPES MAN!”

We get to the sink products and he shows us a bunch of samples.

Ugly samples.  Every. Single. One of them.

“What is this material?” I ask

“It’s cultured marble”

“Um. No.  That is what I have now, it’s ugly.  I want an under mount sink.”

“Oh, I think you can do that with this”

“uhhhhh..I don’t think so.  Besides, it’s ugly.  Don’t you carry a product that’s not granite but a composite stone alternative like Silestone?”

“Oh, you want that?  I don’t think you can do an under mount sink with that”

“Yes you can”

“You sure?”

“Actually, yes, yes I am sure.  Would you like me to Google it for you?”

(Ok, here’s the deal.   I read DIY and watch HGTV like it’s my job.  Products?  I know them. K..n..o..w….t..h..e..m.   Don’t even try to tell me something when I KNOW what I’m talking about.  I’ve never smoked the pipe.  Ever)

He then calls “someone who knows more than them named anyone” on the phone to ask, in front of us, if what I was saying was true.

Not even kidding.

You should know that I’m not the best at hiding my facial expression.

Pretty sure my face looked like this while he was doing it:













We end this meeting with my husband and I looking at each other like “Did that just happen? And are we really going through with this?”

The only thing that we had any hopes for was the person actually doing the work.  We prayed that he would know what he was doing.

And he did.

Thank the bathroom gods!

I really liked SavedOurAss Mike.  He was a hard worker and really seemed to know what he was doing.    Anytime I had a question or concern, he was able to answer.  I was kind of surprised that Half Baked could even have such a great worker.

But you know what?  He didn’t.  SavedOurAss Mike didn’t even work for Half Baked’s company. He was hired as an outside contractor and actually had his OWN Company but had no jobs this particular week.

And you know what?  We were totally ok with that.

Did our bathroom end up perfect?  No.  Does any construction project end up perfect?  Doubtful.

In the end we found the permits paid off.  The electrician did not pass inspection because he used the wrong gage wire.  He had to pull his wires and re do them.  The plumbing also had two issues come up in inspections that had to be fixed.  And after many, many calls the plumbing did not technically pass final inspection.  Half Baked would not call us back.  I should probably report that to our city inspection office.  ::Rubs hands together::  We found out later that neither the electrician nor plumber had a certified license registered in our town.  Where Half Baked got the numbers for the permits, we don’t know but that explains why it took nearly 6 weeks for him to submit them.  Why did he want US to fill them out?  Apparently there is a loophole that if you are the owner of the house doing the work yourself, you don’t have to have a license.

Looking back what would we have done different?

We thought we did the right things.  We DID ask them relevant questions in the beginning.  We DID look them up in the Better Business Bureau and our Local Angie’s list.

If you can, find honest contractors.  Getting a personal recommendation would have been a good start as well.

And if you do end up with a Half Baked?

Stay strong and remember:  You’ll always win the table check.










I’m probably done writing for the year after this.

You’re welcome.

P.S.  My ass?   Fabulous in this new mirror.

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……

How to Pick a Crappy Contractor

Part One

I don’t do resolutions but I do make a yearly project list.

Our house is 19 years old so there is an endless list that makes me feel so………

We used to dream about Caribbean vacations and now we dream about dealing with this situation:

The gold. It hurts.


This picture was from the walkthrough when we purchased the house.

I don’t have a lot of pictures because it’s ugly.  Obviously.

We lived with this bathroom for many years until one day it started raining in our living room.   The nice  ::cough hot::  $100/hour plumber said that we needed a new drain gasket.  Go head, plumber man, and fix that, I’ll just be over hear having a cup of tea and not staring at your ass on the ladder.

So he did.

But the rain still fell.


Then the nice $100/ hour plumber man let us know that the not so fancy acrylic shower liner had cracks on the base and the whole thing needed to be replaced.


That sounds like a lot of $100/hours to me.

So we took a time out to think through this.

To remove the one piece shower liner required removing the gorgeous gold plated sliding doors.  Then there was no guarantee that the new base/tile/whatever would lineup with the existing tile and let’s not forget those awesome oak cabinets happening and we would really like two sinks and the light fixture doesn’t even line up with the one sink we do have and who sits and puts on makeup and oh my this tile is just gross and what is that strange hook next to the towel bar?  Did I already mention all the gold?

And that folks?  Is how home improvements SNOWBALL.

We decided instead of just doing the shower that we would just do the whole thing.

Not ourselves, of course.  Even I know my limits.

So we shopped for a contractor.

We invited 3 over one afternoon.  The same afternoon.  Noon, 1:00 and 2:00.

I sort of enjoyed the awkward as one left and one arrived.

The first one was tile man.  The man loved his tile.  Tile, tile, tile.  And his work was beautiful.  Did I also mention he hated me?  He did.  Really.  I think I never annoyed someone as much as I did him.  How?  Basically, I wanted a tile FREE bathroom.  I am not a fan of tile.  At all.  The grout, the lines, the cleaning.  Nope, no tile for this bathroom.  Pretty sure tile man left and reported me to some sort of  Tile Haters of America Association.

The second contractor was Mr. Affluent.  Now, I’m sure he worked on houses that were under 800K but my small bathroom is not exactly the kind where I’m going to put exotic African crystal towel bars and an ivory tusk toilet bowl.

The third one was Mr. Perfect.  Oh my, how I adored that man.  He knew what he was doing.  It was like he was the Encyclopedia of kick ass contractors.  He whipped his measuring tape out like a lasso.  He let numbers spill from his brain like the rain man.  He laughed at me and with me.   We found the company.  It was grand.

Until it wasn’t.

>>>>(Part Two- Picking a Crappy Contractor and the Signs you’re Getting Screwed)