Mutter here. Mutter there. Mutter everywhere.
Why not do something about it?
Shower Make-Over With Cash Left-over: How A Service Provider Converted My Four-Star Review To A Five
Tax season is in the horizon. For someone who snags refund year after year, this season is almost like a holiday.
I know, you savvy investors are laughing at fools like us who overpay Uncle Sam and jumping at the thought of a refund. But, hey, it’s one of those things that you receive as a lump sum like you’re being awarded for doing your part as a good citizen of your country. I like to think I’m doing my country a favor by overpaying and receiving it back at the end of the year.
But who would want to spend that tax refund in a home renovation? Wouldn’t it be nice to travel or splurge on things you normally would not spend money on?
However, if you’re a homemaker with a shower like this: Look closely at the picture please…
…And waste hours scrubbing grout that would not come off no matter the chemical, organic or synthetic, you pour on it— I tell you, a shower renovation is my dream vacation.
But I don’t want to pour dollars into such a small part of the house. Remodeling can cost between 10-15 grand. So I thought of those semi-remodels. Bath fitters. Heard of this?
When I got one of their guys to come and show me an estimate. Whoa! Still way over my budget at 7 grand. I don’t sleep in my shower, you know, nor spend hours in it. I have a small body surface area to scrub which does not amount to more than 10 minutes of bath time (and having to clean a shower stall for more than that time doesn’t make sense either).
And this stall is a small area.
There gotta be something out there more long-lasting than my DIY efforts at grouting which only served me a year of fairly acceptable shower.
One day, I got this Home Magazine, (yes, those that clutter your mailboxes) from the rubble of my study and saw my perfect affordable alternative. And it won’t even cost me more than 2 grand ($1,895.00 to be exact). And I got that quote over the phone with just the measurements of the shower.
Refinish, that’s what they call it.
Miracle Method is the name of the company.
Too bad the … discount coupon expired. I could have shaved even more off the price.
This very enthusiastic guy, Luis came to our house, assessed the area, showed me the options for colors (I can finally have it in glossy paper white rather than the current off-white color and black spots!) and read each risks and benefits that I had to sign.
Then he rubs his palms and says, with a sparkle in his eyes, “Time to have some fun.”
I’ve never seen a worker get so excited about his job. If only all workers had that attitude, this world would be a fantastic place to live in.
After three days (unfortunately, it took him almost the whole day just removing my sloppy grout, and prepping the shower stall), I was ecstatic to have my shower back.
I did not have to wait for my tax refund to afford this shower makeover— it cost me so much less than all the other options.
I got to choose my color.
No more re-grouting and tooth-brushing with its 5-year warranty.
Only 3 minutes of spraying with cleaner and wipe off with cloth. (I have to confess it’s been a month since the refinish and I had not felt the need to clean the shower. It’s still white as snow!)
I pay the price as they quoted, no surprises.
The smell of fresh paint lasted for a day although Luis vented it out and that helped.
My Solution: I left the bathroom vent on overnight and also used a venting fan in my bedroom and that took care of it.
There were some tiny white marks on my hard wood, although I saw how diligent Luis had been in installing those protective coverings to protect the floor.
My Solution: Murphy’s oil took care of it and my floor is all good.
These cons, I can easily shrug off because of the positive attitude of the worker.
Perhaps that’s the most important lesson in this shower makeover for you businessmen out there.
Establish a good rapport with your client and customer, disclose everything that can go wrong and what you intend to do to avoid it, and we can easily overlook the cons and rave about the pros.
Would I recommend them? Of course. The worker’s attitude easily compensated for the cons I enumerated (which otherwise would have garnered a four-star).
That’s why I am giving this a five star.
Five Months After...
You know how it is when you’re excited about something and you turn a blind eye to everything else?
That first date with a guy who seems to read your mind and completes your sentence? Boy, did you not hear the snort when he laughed then. You thought that sounded cute, but now ten years down the wedding aisle, the snort simply grates your nerve like a clunky car.
Or that dream kitchen in a house so big you probably need ten maids to clean yet you say yes to the house anyway? And now you curse each time your little bundles of joy leave all their toys in every vacant area they find.
So I decided to revisit my bathroom remodeling project. Am I still happy?
Come to think of it, I haven’t cleaned that shower stall for more than a month now and it still looked the same as the photo above.
But I noticed that the longer I would wait to clean it, the more noticeable the white spots would appear when I finally spray EZ bathroom cleaner, which Luis recommended to keep the coat intact.
At first, I freaked out upon seeing the spots, and realized later, these were the clean areas against the soap-scummed surface. So it would take me more than the promised “wipe-it-off-in-a-minute” deal written on the label of the cleaner.
I also noted that the surface was not as smooth as it looked. There were some “sandy” lumps on the tiles.
But hey, I could easily overlook this just because of the small price I had to pay vs. the hours I shaved off cleaning that shower stall.
So after five months, what’s my rating? Objectively, a 4.5 star. But you know what, what’s 0.5 between a worker who loved his job and a customer? The happy attitude of that guy still made me more forgiving. So yeah, subjectively, I’d still give it 5 stars.
Quality is in the eyes of the beholder.