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, I consider this season a holiday.
I know, you savvy investors are laughing at fools like us, who overpay Uncle Sam and jump at the thought of a refund. But, hey, you don't get a lump sum everyday. I'd like to think I’m doing my country a favor by overpaying my tax and receiving it back at the end of the year.
But who would want to spend that tax refund on a home renovation? Wouldn’t it be nice to travel or splurge it on things?
However, if you’re a homemaker with a shower like this (look closely at the picture please)…
…and you waste hours scrubbing grout that would not come off no matter what chemical, organic or synthetic, you pour on it— I tell you, a shower renovation is a dream vacation.
But I didn’t want to spend much money for such a small space.
Remodeling can cost between 10-15 grand. So I thought of those semi-remodels.
Heard of it?
When I got one of their guys to come and show me an estimate, I did a double take. Seven grand! Whoa. It was still way over my budget.
I don’t sleep in my shower, you know, nor spend hours in it. I have a small body surface area, which does not require 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's gotta be something more long-lasting out there than my DIY efforts at grouting.
One day, I picked up this Home Magazine, (yes, those that clutter your mailboxes) from the rubble of my study table and saw my perfect affordable alternative. And it won’t even cost me more than 2 grand ($1,895.00 to be exact). I got that quote over the phone by giving 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 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, “Time to have some fun.”
I’ve never seen a worker sparkle with excitement 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 to remove my sloppy grout and prep 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 and with a 5-year warranty at that.
I got to choose my color.
No more re-grouting and tooth-brushing.
Cleaning entails only three minutes of spraying with cleaner and wiping off with cloth. I have to confess it’s been a month since the refinishing and I had not felt the need to clean the shower. It’s still white as snow!
I paid the price as quoted. No surprises.
The smell of fresh paint lasted for a day, although Luis vented out the scent through the window and that helped.
My Solution: I left the bathroom vent on overnight and also used a venting fan in my bedroom. That took care of the smell.
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. My floor is all good.
I can easily shrug off these cons 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?
Like 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 said "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 could find.
So I decided to revisit my bathroom remodeling project. Am I still happy?
Come to think of it, when I haven’t cleaned that shower stall for more than a month, it still looked the same as the photo above.
But I noticed that the longer I waited to clean it, the more noticeable the white spots appeared when I sprayed the 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 these things, given the price I paid and 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 loves his job and a happy customer?
The happy attitude of that guy made me more forgiving. So yeah, subjectively, I’d still give it 5 stars.
Quality is in the eyes of the beholder.
Two years after, I got a surprise in my email. Luis announced that he was now the proud owner of the company and renamed it Fort Worth Refinishing! I’m happy for the guy. He found his passion and owned it. That is truly inspiring.
As for my shower, it’s still the same but I may need to have the grout replaced. Maybe time to call on Luis.