Friday, January 14, 2011

Fun with painters - the rest of the story

So after day 1 ended quite successfully, things quickly started to go downhill. I decided to spend the following night on the couch in the living room (which did cause some discussions with my brothers who wanted to watch TV in the morning while I wanted to sleep in but that was settled peacefully). Mostly I ignored the painters until they packed up. Any tidyness had gone down the drain. White paint smears on everything they had touched with their dirty hands (inner window brass handles, my wood mobile I forgot to take off,...), paint drips on about everything (exterior sill, stool,...). Especially funny as one inner is painted red.
We decided not to complain (well my parents did, I would have made a big fuss) but try to remove any excess paint. Oh, and the painters told us one of them (who usually stays at the shop and paints casements) was sick so they weren't sure how long it'd take them to finish. Oh, and they left the blue paint again!

That was Tuesday. Wednesday was a public holiday and COLD. Believe me, it makes a HUGE difference whether there's one pane of glass between you and the freezing outdoors or two! While the heat was running it wasn't that bad, but as soon as the thermostat went into night temp setting it got cold fast.

Thursday they promised to get the casements by 2:30PM. They arrived more than half an hour early and started to unload the casements. Guess what? The WC window was sparkling white! We told them to take it right back, this time WITH the can of blue paint. Another day with only one toilet... while the window was tarped this one was quite uncomfortably cold, so we didn't use it.

First thing we saw was them traing to figure out which window went where. I mean my mom had TOLD them to label each casement since none of them actually match! No, they knew better (they did label them but couldn't make any sense of the labels when they came back).

Then they noticed one broken pane in the bay window and broke another one there trying to hang a casement.

First highlight of the day was when they walked into the living room where my brothers were watching TV and wanted to rehang the windows. The guy had to come within 2 feet of the window to realise none were missing (since they never painted those!)!!!

Second one was even better, I'll try to give you as accurate a translation of their German dialogue as possible.

"What's up?" (muttered)
"Another problem!"
"What's it?"
"Doesn't go all the way in!" (too much paint on the hinges, he was already cleaning them with a screwdriver before the discussion started)
"Then do something!"
"I already AM!"

Perhaps it doesn't really show that well in writing, but it was hilarious! Those painters most definitely weren't the brightest bulbs in the pack!

Also note that I was mildly pissed to find they had replaced one slightly cracked pane of original wavy glass (happened when I cleaned it, for no apparent reason) with new smooth glass without asking... ah well, even if I had complained they wouldn't have understood.

Then they tried to call the glass shop for the two broken panes... no answer. So Friday became a pretty unlikely done date. In the end they returned the WC window (finally blue!) on Friday (maybe we should have told them you need to thin that brand of acrylic paint to avoid brush marks... it looks pretty bad but at least it's blue now) and the two broken ones on Tuesday. *sigh*

Oh and about the hardware I painstakingly cleaned before they started... some of it had paint smeared on again (accidentally) whereas they painstakingly removed and stripped all the ugly new aluminum hardware on some of the windows...

That experience kind of supports my sarcastic theory that in Austria only those flat out too stupid for secondary education take up the trades. Not too promising...