Words of Wisdom

Youth is wasted on the young.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Where Do I Start With The Dysfunctional Paving Company?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the dysfunctional family are whirling themselves up a dust storm of trouble.

For anyone unfamiliar with our set-up, we have No 2 Son (quite possibly on the Autistic Spectrum) living with us, The Baby Angel (my only progeny), also living with us, and No 1 Son, recovering drug addict and tormentor of his bro, back with us for an undetermined length of time, having been forcibly ejected 5 years ago and now here for a 'holiday'.

Himself also has two ex step children from his relationship with the mother of Small Boy (a child who no longer speaks to me and is stirring himself up a mess of trouble over at his mother's place where he has been wagging school and handing up no work despite changing schools at his request, having had an assessment last year which showed he has a dyslexic profile and having had a Support Plan put in place. But I digress).

One of the stepchildren, I'll call him Lance, is a reasonably skilled young man who quit school at 16, because he could, and has tried a variety of jobs over the last 7 years most of which he tossed in because they required him to get out of bed before midday. Recently he has decided to start up a little business himself, doing landscaping. Himself, out of the goodness of his heart, asked him to quote on the paving of our yard.

Does this have disaster written all over it or what?
He came over initially, took measurements and sold Himself on these pavers >. He then went away to do his 'calculations'.

Three weeks later, Himself told me to look for other quotes. He also told his ex that Lance hadn't got back to us so we were looking elsewhere and lo and behold, there was Lance on a Friday afternoon, with his quote. It was for $7000. A further few measurements were taken,  we discussed the direction of laying the pavers, the placement of some beds to break up the corridor like appearance of the patio and off he went to finalise the quote. It came in at $13,000!!! When queried about the sudden jump in price he replied,
"Oh, well the first time I forgot to include labour costs."

Are the alarm bells now ringing loudly??

Himself was keen to give them a go. He had also assigned the task of building garden beds and levels on one side of the new retaining wall, to No 2 Son.

This photo was taken at the end of January, after No 1 Son had weeded out a stubborn shrub and No 2 Son had thus been shamed into weeding out a slightly smaller but no less gnarly nandina. The quote was in, the job was scoped....everything was set to go. The pavers arrived on the 28th of February.

As of yesterday, this was the progress.

The general work hours seem to be 11.30am til 12.30pm followed by a two hour lunch followed by an arbitrary hour, or not, afterwards....followed by knocking off at 3pm.

There has been some discussion over the slope of the area. The lads want to lay most of the pavers horizontally across the corridor with a vertical row running parallel to the roof-line of the house, draining any rainwater into the basin under the tap (see first photo). I have mentioned to them that it is illegal to run storm water into a sewage drain (not to mention the fact that I do not want a row of vertical pavers dissecting the already narrow patio!) but have heard no response. I see no reason why the patio cannot slope towards the retaining wall, and if a drain is necessary, an in ground channel could be laid along the wall to take run off toward the storm water drain over near the pool equipment. Anyway, whatever they do with it....it better not be contrary to building regs!!!! >:-( I feel this battle is one we still need to have. Himself has a limited knowledge of all this sort of thing and as a result feels quite resentful that I wish to have a say in it. It's a man thing.

So as the days grow short and the working hours of our 'contractors' grow even shorter, I am left wondering whether we will have to engage some professional pavers to rescue us from the mess these two renegades may possibly leave us in! The whole thing needs to tie in with the pergola (commencement date 22nd April) and the BA's 18th birthday which we hope to hold on the 11th May. Fingers crossed.

Oh well, we always have this......


Mid Sis said...

Professionals - straight away - do not pass go - you know that it is the only sensible thing to do! X

sinead said...

I have to agree with Mid Sis! yes it would be nice to give him a go, but it will end in tears. Has he ever laid pavers before??

BrightenedBoy said...

First of all, your backyard is beautiful. As for the family dynamics, there's so much going on there and I'm not really sure what to say.

While it's great that Lance is trying to go into business for himself, he shouldn't feel that he can take advantage of your connection. The price itself sounds about right (my father sells deck plans for a construction company and Lance's price is comparable to what my father's people would charge), the wait time is excessive. You should have you husband sit them down for a serious chat and tell them you're going to reduce the compensation if they can't get something done more quickly. This sounds like it's dragging on way too much.

As for Son No. 2, I'd advise being gentle. I have a cousin whom we think is on the autistic spectrum, and a lot of the inconsiderate things he does are genuine oversights.

Wishing you luck.

Arizaphale said...

Thanks BB. Good to know the price isn't a rip off. Himself DID sit them down for a serious chat and hence things have speeded up..... and then slowed down again. After all, it was nearly 30C today.....and their preferred work hours (between 11 and 3) seem to be the hottest of the day (awwwwwwwwwwwww).
Genuine oversights?....possibly.....still doesn't explain the lack of work ethic :-)

dawn marie giegerich said...

I think I'm going to need a chart or graph or something to figure out the family situation, something visual.

Arizaphale said...

When I got married, I drew a family tree for the BA to explain the relationships between Himself and all his children/step children. She looked at it for about a minute and then said,"Don't you and Himself have ANY more children Mummy."

Little sis said...

As my mother says "always get three quotes!" And never employ unreliable step kids with non existent work ethic (well she hasn't said that in exactly those words but I know she d agree ;-) ! X