Misadventures with a Drywall Contractor, Part 1: Getting Started

Ok, so I’ve been in the process of building out my basement for a little over a year. Ok more like a year and a half. I’ve done 95% of it myself, but when it came down to doing the mudding and taping, I thought it best to leave that up to someone who knows what they’re doing. Much in construction can be forgiven in the later stages, but the mud/tape job will be visible forever. Furthermore, we had initially decided to forgo drywalling the ceiling, but a last minute change prompted us to add this to the drywall contracting bid. I had in mind to spend about $1000 for the mud/tape, and figured (based on previous estimates of doing the entire drywall job) that the ceiling drywall would about double that. At this point, it was worth it to me to have the project finished and done right.

I went through the drill of calling contractors from Angie’s List to come out and bid on the job. I started with the guys that previously bid on the entire drywall job. I liked one guy in particular, Rick of New Life Home Improvements in Bayside, because not only did he compliment my work (always feels nice), but he seemed competent and completed the estimate on the spot. I liked that. I hate the waiting game. I had one other guy quote as well, but his quote came in at over $4000. Guy #3 never called back, and I wanted to get going. Guy #1, Rick, bid the job at $1800 and gave a timeline of 4-5 days. On Thursday, 10/7 we said, “go.” I gave him the deposit of $600 and we agreed on a start date of 10/20. He was finishing up another job, and I had a bit of construction to do to prepare (furring the ceiling and framing a soffit), so the two week lead time was good.

There was much cheering and excitement.

To my pleasant surprise I received a call the following Monday morning. A supplier had sent the wrong showerpan for his other job, so if I wanted, he could start the following day. I just went with my gut and said, sure, I can get all my construction done in a day (ha ha). The race was on. (Anna would later inform me that this was a bad decision). I busted my butt all day and well into the night building, and clearing rooms to get the space ready.  I didn’t get everything done that I needed to, but I figured I’d just stay one step ahead.

I was excited! It was time to finish this basement ….

… to be continued

Edit: Now on to Part 2

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