Mess with my marble…


Today, the electricians returned to complete the work so we could pass our second inspection, which is scheduled for this Wednesday. I worked from home to let them in.

We haven’t been huge fans of these electricians, despite finding them on the normally reliable Brownstoner forums. They have left big messes, and their work is pretty sloppy. (Luckily, husband is handy enough to recognize when their work sucks. He has had to clean some of it up. Which is annoying because we paid these guys MANY thousands of dollars to re-wire the floor.)

When we failed our inspection and had to push back the rest of our renovation, I was so crushed. So I was already grumpy that the electricians had to come back today. First, the guy rings the doorbell of our tenants 15 times in a row when he arrives, despite my asking them to just call me. (Because our doorbell is broken thanks to their sloppy work! Their doorbell fix included putting electrical tape on some wires and leaving to hang in an entryway so that anybody over “5’2” would be clotheslined by live wires.) Ok, fine, I’m annoyed, but whatever.

Husband had laid out red rosin paper over our carerra marble countertops, which are still curing from being sealed over the weekend. Electrician sets up, then proceeds to leave and come back several times — each time leaving our front door open, so our cat could just run away — and takes a long, loud phone call on speaker phone. (I’m working in the same room. Kill me now.) He also has to unscrew every single outlet on the floor, which makes a lot of racket while I’m on conference calls.

But the kicker is when he says he has to move his car, and I walk over to the window to swat my cat away from wires. I look down, and the red paper is SOAKING wet like something had been spilled ALL over it. I freak out, start rolling up the paper without interrupting his electrical wires everywhere, and begin vacuuming up all the dust and drywall.

When he gets back and sees me frantically cleaning up, he casually says, “Oh, I spilled some black tea. It’s just black tea.” BLACK TEA? That is one of the biggest stainers out there. If he had just spilled it and we cleaned it up right away, I would have been annoyed, but it probably would have been OK. But I calculated that he let it seep into the countertops for AT LEAST ONE HOUR, given the timing of his food run. I look down, and see an upside down cup in a soaking wet bag making a puddle on our brand new hardwood floors too.

So then he tries to get a soaking wet towel and mop it up, and I told him to STEP AWAY FROM THE COUNTERS, while I lightly tried to clean the surface. What’s left… a one-inch wide, TWO-FOOT-LONG discoloration that you can see when the light hits it in the right spot, right on the edge. Naturally, I’ve completely lost my shit by now, but I can’t fire this guy on the spot because we need to pass our electrical inspection so I can get his company out of my life FOREVER.

Then the guy’s boss shows up about an hour later, and I pull him over to show him the spot and talk about how unbelievably unprofessional they are. The boss says, “It’s an accident. People spill things all the time.” Yes, but it’s a common courtesy to clean it up right away, and not let it soak into a counter FOR AN HOUR. When I point this out, he says he doesn’t see anything, and I make him look in the light, he says he’ll replace the counters. Well, if this can’t be fixed, he BETTER replace the counter or pay to have it re-honed. When I tell him these are marble counters and can’t be messed with, he was like, “Oh, I didn’t know they were special.” OK – because you’ve never seen carerra marble in all of brownstone Brooklyn? Or because you regularly spill liquids that stain all over customers’ brand new stone counters and let them soak in for hours?

This was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back. When the inspector was here, there were high-voltage live wires in the basement discovered. Right over the fuse boxes. Imagine if somebody had accidentally touched those. (And I am PREGNANT. More on that later.) Also, none of the outlets had ground wires.

At first, we were annoyed that the inspector was being such a hard ass. But now we’re relieved. Imagine if the inspector was more laid back, and these guys just left our house in this condition? I guess I’d have nicer countertops! But maybe a house burned to the ground.

And don’t worry, we’ll be sharing the names of this company as soon as our inspection is signed off on. Until then, they shall be known as “those who shall not be named,” like Voldemort.

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