Saturday, July 10

Update below!
We hired a pressure-washing company last week, to do the decks, the railings, the concrete pool surround, the walkways, steps and driveway. He came highly recommended by a good friend of mr. kenju's, and he has a contract with the largest shopping mall in town - so we thought he'd do a good job.

He did, to a point, but as far as time goes, he marches to a different drummer. He showed up two hours late the first day, two hours late the second day, not at all on the third and fourth days and while he has promised to be here Saturday morning at 10 a.m. - but I'm not holding my breath.

He and his helper did all the railings and the decks (which total 1800 square feet) on the first day, and the concrete areas the next day. I had asked about moving things before they came, and was told they "take care of it all." I did bring indoors some of my better ceramic frogs, but left the plants and crocks in place. Big mistake.

He sat the plants out of his way and then moved them back into place when he had completed that area - but - the foliage and pots were covered in crud from the deck washing. Maybe he will clean that up tomorrow, but I'm not (again) holding my breath. Of the seven crocks that sit on either side of the pool pump house (purely for decoration), five were moved and two were not. So when I tried to move them all into new positions, I uncovered two 8" diameter dark areas. Lovely.

It was the same in a couple of other places and out on the driveway, where I have a concrete planter that even I can move, they didn't move it and tried to clean around it - leaving darker areas that are very noticeable to me (even if mr. kenju can't see them.)

Having recommended this guy (after the first day) to a good friend of mine, I am thinking of rescinding that recommendation. She wants her house washed, and I am afraid this guy will ruin her foundation plants (as he did mine.) Well, I shouldn't say "ruined", but they look a lot worse for the wear and I will have to prune them back severely as soon as it is cooler. I couldn't bear the thought of standing, bending or crouching in this heat long enough to do all the pruning I need to.

Another "ruination" was the cover to our pool skimmer, which couldn't withstand the pressure washer. To be fair, it is almost 29 years old, so I'm sure it was brittle after all this time. It cracked in about 20 pieces. He has agreed to replace it; so I went looking for one Friday - and wonder of wonders - I found one just like it. It doesn't fit quite as snugly, but at least it covers the hole into the skimmer.

This guy is going to seal the railings and floor of the decks, and I am promised it will look terrific when he finishes. I sure hope so, because at this point, I am not sure it was worth all the frustration I have experienced. And mr. kenju is no help at all, because he is pre-dispositioned to think that all women are complainers (although he puts it a bit stronger than that.)

Update: The guy came back this morning about 11:30 am (only 90 minutes late) and finished the job, all but the sealant, which will be done next week (or so we are told). We haven't paid him a penny yet, so those of you who mentioned never paying in full - we don't either. In fact, we seldom pay anything in advance of a job like this one. The photo of the before and after is not our deck. Ours was dirtier than that and had plenty of mold and brown algae on it. It looks 99% better now, although some boards need to be replaced due to splintering, but that is not the pressure-washer's fault.

I am about 95% satisfied with him, and if I ever recommend him, I'll be sure to mention the problem I had with his timing. That won't matter to some people, who are only interested in the final result. I doubt he will give our names as references.....lol

14 comments:

Pat said...

I would be spitting with frustration too. I hope he redeems himself.

Gilly said...

Take no notice of Mr. Kenju! Your pressure man is not doing a good job, and you have every reason to complain. Loudly! Men would just sit on their backsides and let things happen around them at half cock, and never notice the circles left by unmoved pots. (And that is a metaphor for all badly done work!)

I'm just wondering how pressure washing firms will do in our area now there is a hosepipe ban? Can't see that hosepipes are any different from pressure hoses, which must use a huge amount of water?

LL Cool Joe said...

I find this often with work people, they tend to do the job they do well but at the expense of something else. So for example they may fit a bath beautifully, but chip the basin with the hammer while they are fitting the bath.

Arkansas Patti said...

Yikes, think I would call that friend and tell her to hold off for a while.
His not bothering to show up on time and not at all would tick me off besides his careless approach. Good luck

Grannymar said...

I feel your frustration about this.

When the final bill comes deduct something for the lateness and non shows. Why should you pay for his un-business like ways?

Tabor said...

I hope you live long enough to see this all done!

tiff said...

Sure hope you didn't prepay in full. Something should be held back for the issues.

But still, the effect of the washing looks smashing. (punny!)

srp said...

Yes, this sounds like a review for the Angie's List down there. I learned the hard way a long time ago that you NEVER pay in full ahead of time. Reputable firms for anything will either accept payment on completion or at least a small down payment and I emphasize the word "small".

Darlene said...

I would make him repair any damage, redo the missing spots, and apologize for being late before the final payment.

Olga said...

At least you were not doing the job yourself...because, believe me, it is a pain...although our deck required removing a painted finish that made for the hardest part. We do love the way it looks now, though, so it was worth it.

Star said...

It used to be a rule of thumb that a satisfied customer tells no one, but an unsatisfied customer tells 10 people. In the grocery biz anyway . That was before the internet. You have had the final say Judy.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

It really feels like the level of "caring" and "Pride In One's Work" is very very different than it once was. I don't know when that changed, but what use to be a given--you could count on someone doing a GREAT job, especially if recommended---Just doesn't exist anymore, with anything....!
It is so discouraging. I hope he comes through with the finishing touches, Judy.....

Joy Des Jardins said...

I'm thrilled you like what he did; but I totally understand your frustration about his tardiness...that drives me crazy too. I had the same problem with a guy a few years ago when we had some redecorating done. I hope the sealant gets finished soon.

NCmountainwoman said...

We just had our porches and decks done and thank goodness we had such excellent workers. Came on time, were meticulous in detail. I'm sorry your experience couldn't have been like that. Still...you will be delighted with the result.