I worked for a family owned builder as a designer. Believe me when I say this, the builder is in hell and you are there with him. For me it is a typical process of humans building things. (and making mistakes) Sadly you are at the stage where the more you push to get things finished from them the more harried the workers get (and are bullied) and the more errors occur. You are doing all the right things by managing the end of this build and advocating for yourself. Insert yourself into this project as part of the team. You know the workers strength and weaknesses and you yourself are very good at seeing both the details and bigger picture. I applaud you in how far you've gotten. The end is in sight. Now tell yourself, instead of I shouldn't have to do this, I am damn good at managing this and here's what needs to be done to keep moving forward. Cheers!
Hang in there- I wish I had some nugget of advice, but at this stage of my life, if someone were to tell me that their reno went smoothly and wrapped up more or less on schedule, I’d never trust anything else they ever said.
Nancy, thank you for always keeping it real. I needed a drink just reading about this! We are just starting the process to remodel our home in Tavira and I’m already increasing the budget line for wine. Wishing you and Denise the best on this last leg of your remodel adventure 🙏😩
we too are in the process of rebuilding two old homes on one lot. I came from the construction and real estate industry in the US and believe I have realistic expectations of the process. I asked for referrals from many people before I chose our builder and interviewed 14 before we started with one. Hopefully I culled out the worst of the issues but I do know that this is Portugal and I need to expect delays. My builder told me he could do the job in 4 months once he started. I spontaniously broke out in a response of "No way" He responded with "He couldnt do it any faster". I told him I expected 6 to 8 months. Secretly I expected more like a year for everthing on both houses but didnt share that with him. So far, they are doing well. He has 4 or 5 projects going and I believe struggles with keeping good guys on the job. Our two main workers in the demo stage are from Brazille and we enjoy them very much. We live in Caldas and May seems to be a month of holidays and festivals. Thus short work weeks. We started in April and hope to have one of the homes ready to move into this fall. We will see. It is Portugal. To be honest, it isnt much different in the US. When I was the general contractor on our last project, I had to fire a few crews and restart. Nancie Koerber
We’ve been worried apparently not in vain😝Seriously, sorry for the work stoppage
this to shall pass.
Denise keep hitting that pickle ball !!!
How wretched!!!! I am sending you hugs and I am sending your workers a kick in the pants.
Holy Smokes, and pass me a beer. I remember when an unskilled sub would show up at our renovation project, without the necessary tools, to do his work. I was so glad to see someone I would go to my garage and give him what he needed and supervise him for the day. Please don't let them go past July, becaues we all know what happens in August! Now go and buy Denise something nice. :-).
Nancy, I feel your pain. This is part of the reason to have bought not to have the enzyme problems or brain damage.
Answers to your questions:
Bullet 1 - probably not
Bullet 2- probably not
Bullet 3- probably none
Bullet 4- probably so
Bullet 5- probably day one if he has any intuition
Bullet 6- probably not
Bullet 7- probably so
Wow Nancy this is powerful. Too trusting or too arrogant? A bit of both? Arrogance is too strong, has an attitude of superiority, in my eyes. And you don’t come across that way. And yet what jumps to me in your piece is our human need for control and the need to believe in the word and reliability of others in places and moments unfamiliar. Yes humor helps and watch for the liver, too high a cost😉 💐
Hang in there Nance,
This too shall pass. Just verified that I want a move in ready place when we get there.
Maybe you could have re-purposed the cement mixer? Ha. Ugh, so sorry you are having these troubles. I'm back in Madeira now and some friends of mine were supposed to move into their new build condo last August, and it looks like it may not even be ready by this August.
No Nancy, I do not think you sound whiny at all. it must be a really really difficult time for you both and I am sorry this has occurred. I have absolutely no experience of building in this country however it sounds like a nightmare and should be a warning to all we expats to think very carefully before making a decision to build or renovate here . We are living in VRSA also and look forward to meeting you once your build is finished. I have no doubt given how thorough you are, it will be just perfect . Catherine
I think if we ever move to Portugal, finding a turnkey property might be our best choice. I don’t think my blood pressure could cope with the stress you describe. Someday in the future, I hope you are able to relax in your new home and let this time be a distant if awful memory.
Since I'm older than 70, I probably won't have the chance to experience your frustration in building or renovation--can't get mortgage and can't pay all up front, but I do feel your pain. I lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 20+ years and am VERY familiar with the mañana (or amanha) mentality. As a single woman in a very macho area, just getting someone to work on a leaky roof was a total exercise in frustration.
I particularly loved the caption under one of your photos, showing the stranded cement mixer and the fact that you had to uninstall a newly installed door to get it out!!! You say "oi", I say "ai caramba".
Holy moly. I could feel my blood pressure rising as I read this.