Two Steps Forward

That’s right folks–here at the Bunches’ household, we’re taking two steps forward.

Okay, so maybe not exactly those two steps.  But who doesn’t like a little throwback Paula every now and then?

Alright, let’s get real–we’re talking these two steps:

Can you believe it?!?!  For those of you that don’t remember, I wrote whined about our lack of stairs in my not-so-recent post about the completion of our patio.  Back in August.  Over TWO months ago.  Yeah–the project that Steve (our contractor) said would take two weeks has now officially taken THREE months.  Just to remind you, here’s where we started (described in more detail here):

Then, Steve made decent progress and we ended up here after a little over two weeks:

After multiple phone calls, texts, and pleadings, Steve finally showed up a month later and basically spent a whole day playing with bricks.  No seriously, he just brought some bricks, moved them around, stacked ‘em up, and sort of had himself a game of Lincoln logs bricks.

See what I mean?  And yeah–that happened in late September (when our sod and fence went in).  So finally over a month later, after calling in the big man Moose with some stern contractor-speak, Steve showed up last week and spent 5 days finishing the job he started.  So now to the afters (I just had to get some of my frustration out there–I mean, c’mon, 3 months?  I deserve some venting, but I’m trying to get to a better place and move on.  Trying.  Clearly not succeeding.):

The stairs are made of pressure-treated pine and are actually movable (so we can take them inside during the brutal Buffalo winters (although, truth be told, looks like Boston’s having a tougher winter so far than we are.  Not that I’m gloating or anything).

Steve also managed to finally finish all the brick work, including patching up the corner of the house . . .

And replacing all the jagged bricks along the back wall . . .

Is it perfect?  Not quite.  Is the grout a totally different color?  You betcha.  Three months after the project began, do we care?  Absolutely not.

We’re just glad it’s D-O-N-E.  Done, done, done.  He also laid all the bricks underneath the sliders and added a curved wooden threshold.

Overall, we’re just happy to have it finished and to be able to take two steps forward!  You knew it was coming.  Are you singing the song in your head yet?  You’re welcome.

One more time for good measure.  From the beginning . . .

To the end . . .

If you’re really paying attention, you’ll notice that we also took down the shutters surrounding the sliding door.  I wasn’t really feeling them.

So there you have it–finished patio.  Er, well, we still need to do a good power-washing, get a grill, some furniture, and maybe some accessories, but all that can be done next spring.  For now, we’re just happy to be done with Steve the contractor.  And don’t worry–we’ve learned some lessons, so at least we’re trying to take something positive out of it.  What was the biggest lesson?  Don’t pay ‘em ’til they’re done.  I know, I know–that one’s a no-brainer, but sometimes we get sucked into the whole being nice thing (okay, so mostly Mr. B gets sucked into that–he can’t help it, he’s just such a nice guy ya’ know).  So consider us educated.

Oh, and just to throw in one more little change.  Remember that scary-looking bird feeder (or death trap–we weren’t exactly sure which) that was on our huge tree in the backyard?  You can just see it in the far right of this picture:

Totally scary right?  Well, it’s gone!  Just one quick yank and it came right off.  Ta da!

Okay, so anyone else feel our contractor pain?  Please tell me we’re not alone out here.  Did you handle it yourselves?  Or did you, too, have to ask your father-in-law to step in and save the day?  Thanks Moose!

Paula and MC Cat image from here.

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