A Tale of . . . Two Floors: It Was the Best Install, It Was the Worst Install

Industry Observer with RETIRED / State License is Inactive Inactive License Oregon

There's two posts I've read today inspired this one.

Connie Tebyani writes in her featured post: 

Trying To Save an Arm Might Surely Cost You a Leg

Christine Pappas writes another post:

Bamboo Floors Share Your Experience

Both posts are about flooring . . . flooring that, within a very short amount of time, needed MORE WORK TO CORRECT THE BAD INSTALL/BAD PRODUCT!

In Connie's post, the homeowners decided to go with the lowest bid on their flooring updates.  Unfortunately, they hired a "professional" that was anything but.  The price they "saved" by going with the lowest bid contractor who, according to the story, didn't even use a drop cloth, will cost -- for the damage and clean up.

In Christine's post, she doesn't write about going with the lowest bid.  Here she talks about a flooring product that seems (at least to me) to be other than what was promised.  The flooring is so bad in her home, that after only 4 months she is going to have it all yanked out, and replaced

Professionals -- and that includes contractors, doctors, lawyers, accountants, Realtors®, just about anyone we have to hire to do a job/perform a service for us . . . screw up.  When they do, not only is the cost of their mistake added on to what they were paid to do -- THE FIRST TIME, i.e., do the job right . . . but the cost of aggravation in trying to get the situation corrected is a WHOLE 'NOTHER ISSUE!

In both flooring posts . . . the costs to correct the improperly done job will be costly, time consuming and annoying to the home owners.  The went on good faith to have something done right, and it wasn't.

Connie's tale suggests that going with the lower bid might have been the reason for the schlocky workmanship. It wouldn't have mattered what they were paid -- the results would have been the same.  I think that contractor does schlocky work, period.

Christine's tale suggests that she might have purchased an inferior product.  Bamboo flooring is considered a very durable product.  And yet . . . it doesn't seem to be the case in her install.  I think she was sold an inferior product!

In both tales, the end results are the same:  The professionals made a whole lot of money, screwed/botched the job, and now the home owners are stuck with the end results.  Topping it off, they have to put on full battle regalia, and fight to get some sort of recompense.  Costing them, yet, more in the long run, adding anxiety and frustrations when all they wanted was new flooring . . . 

Sadly the "true costs" were never mentioned when they signed the contracts.

And that's why "Professionals" are insured, is it not?!? 


Good luck trying to file a claim.  I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES! 

Posted by



Carla Muss-Jacobs has RETIRED effective May 1, 2018

Representing Buyers in the Portland Metro Real Estate Market | Clackamas Multnomah and Washington Counties | Since 1999

Carla Muss-Jacobs, REALTOR®, ABR, CEBA, ePro
Principal Broker/Owner ~~ INACTIVE

Carla Muss-Jacobs' retirement became effective May 1, 2018

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Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Carla, I seem to remember Debbie Gartner posting on bamboo and there are different types.  Depending on origin, some of the bamboo is not nearly as durable as you'd expect.  On the surface, sounds like the contractor didn't know or understand their wood source.

Dec 14, 2010 09:45 AM #1
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Hi Carla...just arriving home and exhausted...ironically, I just came from a customer who needs repair work from a shoddy job.  The painter brought me in.  This happens too often.

Before getting into details, here's the important take-aways:  1) Hire a contractor you can trust, 2) check references, 3) get multiple estimates...don't just go w/ the lowest, but pick based on who's price seems fair and who you trust the most. 

Also, BTW, insurance does not cover any of this stuff.  If it's a faulty product the manufacturer pays (supposedly for material and labor associated with it).  However, it's next to impossible to get this to happen and manufacturers protect themselves extremely well.  Some are much better at helping the customer and standing behind their product.  Faulty labor needs to be covered by the contractor and this comes out of their pocket.  So, if you have honest contractor, you are in good shape; if you don't, well then it's basically your problem.  If you hire a licensed and insured contractor, this issue is less likely to occur, but it still isn't covered under their insurance.  Insurance doesn't cover faulty labor...it covers things like other damage that occurs (e.g. if you bang into a pipe and cause major flood) or workman's comp if someone gets hurt.  This is a generalization I'm making, but for the most part, it's true.

I have to read Connie's.  Christine's sounds like she got poor advice on what type of bamboo to buy.  I never sell the stained bamboo as they scratch and dent super easily.  I love the regular bamboo and it seems to hold up very well provided you have good brand.  Hard to say if she also got faulty product on top of that.

Sorry for such a long response.  I think your post is right on - try to hire the right person/company.  If you don't, the lowest cost is not truly the lowest cost.

Dec 14, 2010 01:30 PM #2
Kathryn Maguire
GreatNorfolkHomes.com (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

The lowest cost is not always the best...very true.  References  are critical. And there are a lot of "handymen" who have entered this profession only recently because they have lost their jobs.  They don't always have the background needed to do a quality job.

Dec 15, 2010 12:04 AM #3
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