As we neared the finish line on our house, we noticed that progress had really stalled. Of course finish work takes a lot of time, so we weren't overly surprised at first. But since we only visited the project on weekends, it started to become obvious that there wasn't a lot of progress. And we were having trouble connecting with our contractor.
Finally, Richard went to check the project during the middle of the week and our contractor Joe was on site, working alone. After some prodding and questioning, he learned the full story.
Evidently, Joe had started to run out of money quite a bit earlier. He didn't want to tell anyone and just kept plugging away. So, he let his workers go and was trying to finish up the last of the work single handedly. At this point, he was already in the process of declaring bankruptcy and had lost his house. And the experience had obviously taken a toll. He had decided this was not the right career choice and wanted to go back to school and get an engineering degree. But he was trying to honor his commitment to us and complete the house.
We tried to do what we could to help. Richard worked with him to see which sub contractors hadn't been paid and we took care of that. And we worked with Joe over the next few weeks, to get the last few punch list items taken care of - so he could start the school semester.
And the lessons learned from this? Well, we knew we took a risk when we started with a contractor that had never done a project like this before. And we're still grateful that he was so conscientious and didn't just disappear from the job, like some of the stories we've heard from other people. We ended up with a house that's well built and we love. But I'm also glad that we've teamed up with Waterhouse Builders for all of our regular SoPo Cottage projects!