The question everyone always asks me when I talk with them is, “When will your house be finished?” and the answer has become, “When it is finished!” Honestly, building a house is never something I wanted to do – everyone I ever talked to who had been through the experience said they would never do it again. But surprisingly, it was the door God opened for me and I stepped out in faith believing it was part of His plan for reasons I didn’t fully understand. I still believe that, but it has not been easy. I have been at odds with my builder since he became unhappy with me over choosing a cabinet maker that was not one of his own suppliers. I still do not regret that decision, because so far the cabinets, doors, etc. are the best part of my home! But sadly, things continued to go south with my builder over other issues, some of which also involve other people in my development and let’s just say none of us are happy with him at the moment. My latest personal issue was a horribly done tile job, even by Ecuadorian standards. Rather than pick out a new tile for the third time (because mine was discontinued and there was not enough to totally redo the job as some people recommended) I elected to buy what was left and hire someone else to repair the most glaring issues and live with the rest – thank heavens God has healed me of my previously inherited perfectionism!
But I always believe things happen for a reason and several good things have come from this. One is that I always feel if my trouble can keep someone else from having a bad experience, it is not wasted, and suffice it to say the rest of the people in my development will not be using our builder to do their tile work! But the biggest benefit I gained from it is meeting Jordan. When I told my friend Hernan (mentioned in this post) about the issues with my builder and the potential need to find someone who could finish some additional things outside of my contract that I was originally going to hire my builder to do, he said he knew the perfect guy. Jordan and his family are from Canada and have lived in Ecuador 2 1/2 years. He has extensive contractor experience, speaks fluent Spanish, is a hard worker, charges very reasonable prices, is knowledgeable about just about everything, has great connections and is just an all around awesome guy! After consulting with him, I elected not only to have him correct my tile work (and he did a great job, especially considering what he had to work with), but he will also do my fence, rooftop pergola, driveway, extra cistern and several other items. He also has a flare for knowing the little extra things that can be done without much cost or effort to make things nicer looking, more efficient, longer lasting, etc. He is truly a God-send and if it took a bad tile job to find him, it was worth it because he will save me more money and do a better job on these things in the long run than I could have ever hoped to get from my builder, plus he is a great resource for anything I might need done in the future (and of course, all the other people currently building in my development now want to use him too!)
Today my kitchen cabinets were being installed by my wonderful maestro, Don Pedro, and his hard working crew from Salinas. At this point, there are really only a few odds and ends for my builder to complete – light and bathroom fixtures, porches, rooftop deck finish, final coat of paint, etc. I will meet with him this Friday and hopefully come away with a plan for things to be completed some time next month. The one thing we are both in full agreement on is that we want to finish my house and be through with each other as soon as possible!
Below are a few pictures to enjoy of the latest progress (the doors were installed last month, but I’m including those pictures as well):