Apologies for another short absence - our lives became completely encased in DIY for a while there. We had a big family BBQ on Sunday and have spent every second of the last four/ five weeks trying to get the flat finished. When I completed my last post, I was just getting ready to write that the company we had hired to help with the builders work, The Handyman Can were just about finished. The guys had been hired to build a big store cupboard in the bathroom, shelve the hall cupboard and build a pantry in the old bed recess in the kitchen - basically tons of storage. As I wrote the last post they had battered through the work very quickly and we were reasonably pleased with how it had turned out. They completed builders work only and all decoration and filling was completed by us.
There were a few very minor issues, due, I think, to it taking longer than they had originally planned and the last days of work being a bit rushed. To their credit though, when we pointed out that there were elements we were not happy with (missing shelves/ wonky door/ lumpy wall), they duly got on with fixing them without any grumbling.
We found the men themselves to be very friendly, pretty conscientious with their work and they left the flat in a reasonably tidy state each night before going home. Their boss Andrew, also genuinely seemed to want to make sure we got a good job and was willing to make adjustments to things we were not happy with. Obviously it wasn't completed to the same standard as if we been able to take the time to do it ourselves but it was done well and in well less than half the time it would have taken us to do. In saying that though, it still did take them about four days longer to complete than they had originally advised and it did cost slightly more than first quoted but we felt it was a fair enough as the pantry's sliding door was more complicated than they had first realised. Despite the delay and cost increase we got something pretty close to what we had planned, the guys had done a good job and we were happy with the result. As with any handy man is a good idea to set in stone the standard that you expect work to be finished to and if possible have some drawings and written description of the work to be done and timescale agreed prior to anyone starting.
All of the above I had written weeks ago - the reason we held off posting however was because we then decided to get Handyman Can, to do two further projects; fitting a new bath and shower and re-plastering our back bedroom where there had been a lot of water damage. These unfortunately took longer to complete than originally planned and were not quite as smooth as the first jobs. This might partly have been because we were not around the flat during the day as much with the second series of work to give our comment or might have been due to Handyman Can trying to squeeze our project in amongst an already busy period. We had to repeatedly point out items - ie that they'd got paint on our sockets, light switch and floor in the back bedroom. They also painted the back wall to quickly after patching with plaster and the water stain kept coming through. Eventually it was time for the bbq and all work had to stop and we had to move all the furnitue back in so the stain was never fully resolved.
EDIT: Having reviewed the work a few days later - after our big BBQ was over we noticed a few things that were not quite right - we discovered that the shower screen has actually been fitted upside down and that there is a lot of silicon spillage on the bath and that the bath panel kinks out at the bottom - not the standard we'd expected and we were a bit disapointed we eventually decided for quickness to just fix it ourselves so I'll be taking the bath to bits and again and refitting. While I'd still say that we would use Handyman Can for future projects, we would definetly be making very clear from the outset that the quality of finishing would have to be a lot better.
The Handyman Can (0141 419 0851) are one of the better contractors we've had work for us and overall they did a pretty good job but we'd be interested to hear from you guys about your handyman tales. Who has had good contractors and who has had bad ones? Nearly everyone we speak to has lots of disaster stories and very few positive outcomes.
Add your comments below and maybe we can create a list of southside skills/ handymen to use and a list of those to avoid.
We had grand plans for completing lots of DIY with Ann moving in here to Queens Park but quite quickly realised that we wouldn't have the time to do everything that we really wanted too so instead we opted for DDIY (Don't Do It Yourself). But then that gave us the problem of who to hire, we looked for names through the yellow pages and had a wee search on the Internet to try and find reviews of their services.
Its always a bit worrying hiring to do work to your flat, I think everyone has fears that whoever they hire will either A) rip them off, B) make a huge mess or C) do a terrible job. you hear too many scare stories - my friend hired someone to fit his bathroom recently and in the end had to hire another company to come in and fix the butchers job the first lot did.
Its also quite a strange relationship with the workers - they are amongst the few people who get invited into your house despite the fact you don't actually know them.
Ideally you would only hire in people who came with a personal recommendation from a friend or a company with lots of positive reviews on the net but after having a good search I couldn't really find a huge number of Southside Handymen with many reviews (good or bad) and all our friends workmen had been rubbish.
In the end we chose four firms and asked each to pop round to discuss our ideas and provide us with full quotes. This was very useful as it not only helped us to cement our ideas - (though we had produced full drawings to explain exactly what we wanted anyway) but it was good way to get to meet the people interested in carrying out the work and allowed us to get a feel for what they were like and whether we felt we could trust them. I find its quite good to get them chatting about themselves and about things other than their previous works first as it gives you a better idea of what they are really like.
One guy turned up nearly two hours late with no explanation which gave him a bit of a black mark to start with and one guy decided to go into lots of detail about a recent job where the woman had tried not to pay him his full bill so he'd gone round and ripped out her toilet - again a black mark for him. After chatting with all the people and having looked at all the quotes, we decided to go with The Handyman Can (0141 419 0851), based in the Southside and who, although they weren't the cheapest quote, we felt we could trust they would ensure we got a good job.
The Handyman Can was the only one of the four who called us following our initial meeting to ask questions about what we were planning and to confirm the details about how exactly we wanted it all to look and that all boded well for a good attention to detail.
Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week - we've been busy painting, packing and moving heavy boxes down lots of stairs and then up even more stairs. I am moving over to Queens Park and we're going to be renting out my flat in Cessnock, so if anyone is interested or knows of anyone looking to rent a two bedroom flat, in the Southside, let us know.
Welcome to the Southside Happenings site, documenting our adventures, things to do, places to see, and other information on the Southside of Glasgow.
documenting our adventures,
I am not sure how you would categorise this site, it’s not a ‘what’s on guide’ …it’s just some interesting stories about what we’re doing, or planning to do, in the Southside of Glasgow. [Now and again we might stray across the river, don’t hold it against us].
documenting our adventures,
Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this, it may give you an idea of what to do on your next day off, night out, or maybe just something to read during your tea break.
documenting our adventures, things to do
Please feel free to add your comments, suggestions or tell us we’re completely wrong. If you know of an interesting event or a place worth a visit, feel free to get in touch with us.