Previous Post (Part 1): Physically, Mentally, Emotionally Surviving Being Scammed
Yes! He can build my addition so that I would have a bedroom that didn’t require climbing a ladder to get to it.
We discussed the layout of the footprint for the foundation, then measured and measured again at the site of the future addition. I wanted a small walkway between the shop and house cabins, with a small bedroom off of the walkway. No problem, he says. For keeping the air flow (I do not have air conditioning) and having the beautiful outside view from the living area of my cabin, I wanted the exterior wall of the addition to be just before the window so that the window could remain. And in the walkway I wanted a closet for the freezer that was currently located out in the open in the shop. Those were my requirements. Would he give me a quote? No, he never does. He calls them estimates, but always in the past with the small jobs he has done for me, he has been on or close to the estimate. He gave me the estimate and said it still depended on how I wanted the “trim”, what kind of floors, etc. Talking to others, for the size, it was a reasonable estimate. And, most importantly, I had enough in savings, stocks, and credit card limits to easily cover the estimate plus a “just in case” extra amount.
So the addition will be under construction. I happily get busy buying the supplies (lumber, nails, adhesive – take note that he glues A LOT – and other construction materials) that he needs. Some I could order and they would be delivered, but much I had to go get in the “nearby” (an hour away) city. And he could (and did) start in first week of June. His estimate of seven weeks meant that I would have a bedroom by early August. So I would for sure have my bedroom before my birthday in September. He assured me many times (even seven weeks later) that the addition would be finished way before my birthday.
The first task was excavating and then putting the forms down for the concrete foundation. I live on a ridge where most of the land is made of chert, so this is not an easy task. As he worked on his first day, I continued with my daily chores – herb gardens (planting and weeding), my herb shop (making tinctures, taking and packaging orders, etc.), taking care of my dog and cat, and laundry, maintenance, etc. – and searching and ordering supplies. So I was not paying that much attention to the construction going on. The site isn’t located such that it is easily visible. That is until the next day when I happened to go into the shop’s screened-in porch that gave a full view of where the addition was located. At first my mind could not register what I was seeing. It just looked strange. Then I realized that the excavation and forms were completed, but the footprint was greatly enlarged – a little over 200 square feet over what it was supposed to be – almost twice larger than what I had set in my requirements that he agreed to. I pointed it out to him and he looked at it and acted surprised. He profusely apologized, saying he would redo it to what it was supposed to be. Thinking of the time lost in getting the addition done, I asked about the estimate he gave toward the cost of the materials. He assured me that he had used the dimensions he had made for this larger footprint. He told me what I wanted to hear, but I worried… And now I wasn’t getting a small bedroom that I had planned on…. And now that the deed was done, I would have to factor this new size into ordering materials.
June ended up being a very rainy month. Almost like clockwork the rains came every afternoon. His big diesel van/truck that was his mobile shop would stay parked on my land with him inside waiting for the rain to end. He did not get much done in the mornings since he always followed the same routine every day no matter what. He would arrive between 6:30 and 7 every morning. Then it took around an hour every morning for him to setup equipment and bring out the supplies he needed to use. But first he had to respond to the dog, who would become excited upon his arrival because he knew he would get lots of attention, including a lengthy rubdown. Then it was the cat’s turn. She had quickly fallen in love with him, expecting first thing attention just like the dog, but also enticing him to give her attention throughout the day. Whenever she came near him, he stopped what he was doing and would entertain her. At 9 o’clock on the nose he stopped working to have his 15 minute coffee and pie break. At 11:00 it was time for his half hour lunch. At 1 pm was his 15 minute cake and tea break. Between 2:30 and 3:00 in the afternoon he started packing up everything back into the van/truck. Except on Mondays when for personal reasons he always had to leave at 2 pm which meant he was packing up around 1 pm.
And I was oblivious to what this all meant…