Monday, March 11, 2013

Renovation rant

So for something completely off topic, here is my rant.  We are slowly trying to fix our house up, while it is in good structural condition it desperately needs several remodels.  Our place was built in the late 1800's/early 1900's and some of the updates that have been done have been headscratchers.  We have had the entire plumbing/pressure tank/water softener redone, had an on-demand water tank installed, had a wood stove installed and replaced some light fixtures.  Next on our list was the kitchen/hallway/bath flooring.  This is the story of that.

I contracted with the Home Depot to rip up my old floor and put a new one down because the old for was horrible.  It was cheap stick-on vinyl tiles from at least the 90's and they were cracked, peeling and broken and we finally had 5 full tiles come up so it was time for a change.  The process was supposed to be easy.  It should have been a sign when it took over an hour to pay for everything (not pick things out, just pay for it) because the flooring guy didn't know how to do set things up.  I paid for it on the 14th of Feb.  The installer would come out, do a quick inspection, schedule to rip out the old floor and subfloor, install a new underlayment and put down the vinyl.  Easy peasy.

On the 19th they came out and did the inspection, the guy said it looked like the subfloor would need to come out and he would do the underlayment, no problem.  They finally scheduled the install on the 26th.  On the 26th they came out and ripped out the tile squares and subfloor.  After they ripped it out he called me downstairs and said we had a problem.  The original floor is the 1900 barn wood floor that we suspected it was.  The bad part was it was extremely unlevel and he couldn't put the underlayment down.  There is a spot over a support beam that is up to 1/2" higher than the rest of the floor.  Several of the boards are also knotty and uneven, up to 1/8" unlevel.  Since he was contracted with the Home Depot, the Home Depot would require a new subfloor/underlayment to be level.  Since there was no way they could make the floor level, they wouldn't put down the subfloor or underlayment and I had to find someone else to do that.  The installers cleaned up, threw the waste in my dumpster (grrrr!!!) and left.

On the 27th I had someone come in and put down a new subfloor and while there is still a quite noticeable hump by the support beam, the floor is pretty level now.  I called the installers back the morning of the 27th and they said they couldn't come back out until the 4th.  Of course not.  The intsallers came back on the 4th and said while the new subfloor install wasn't spectacular, they at least don't have to put down this new underlayment.  I asked them a couple of questions and one of them was about the base molding we have, they said they would be laying the vinyl to the base molding, not under it, and then putting quarter round molding against the base molding.

I told them that was unacceptable and started pulling the base molding off myself.  The guy must have recognized the anger level I had and said he would take the base molding off so the vinyl would go to the wall.  In the end the vinyl was down, he put the base molding back on (no charge!), threw more trash in my dumpster and said I could contact the Home Depot the next day for a refund of the installation charges of the underlayment and quarter round molding they didn't end up using.  He also said to wait 2 days before putting anything heavy on the vinyl so the glue could set.

The next day the Home Depot said the refund was ready but since I was returning the quarter round molding, they would just wait until I could bring the materials in on the 7th and they would refund everything then.  Okay, fine, I told them I would be in Thurs night.  I went in Thurs night and spent 45 minutes waiting for them to try to figure it out and they couldn't.  Because there was a materials refund plus an installation refund, no one could get the refund right and they wanted to try to refund me only $600 instead of the $800 I was due.  ARGH!

Home Depot said to come back on the 8th and they would make sure it was ready, I said I would go at lunch.  We went home and put the house back together, what happens?  The fridge wrinkled the vinyl in 3 places and there is a small tear (that doesn't go all the way through) in the vinyl.  

I went to the Home Depot last Fri at lunch and they did have my full refund ready, thankfully. I asked them about a warranty claim, when we first chose the flooring, before it was purchased, the flooring lady said the warranty covered any kind of rip or tear, even from appliances.  The customer service lady I had been dealing with said she would look into it, I forwarded her some pics of the damage and we left.  I got the call a few hours later and low and behold the Home Depot will not cover the damage because it was due to appliance installation and "that isn't covered".  I informed her I had been told it was and she said we may have been told wrong but that they would email me the warranty info as well as instructions on how to fix the damage ourselves.

That was it.  I told her I would never, ever use the Home Depot "Professional Installation" service again, it was ridiculous that there was a rip in my brand new floor that I have waited almost three weeks for and to have a good day.  

Now just have to find time to cut up my new floor to put this new 3x2 foot section of flooring down to fix these wrinkles/tear.  It has been a miserable, miserable experience.  I didn't have a stove for almost 2 weeks.  I still don't have the half bath back.  Do not recommend!


  1. Oh wow!! That sucks!! I'm glad my dad and husband can do that stuff for me.... sorry you had such a terrible experience. I hope you are able to fix it and that you don't ever have to deal with them again!

  2. Egads, that sounds miserable. Grr!