Episode 15: Event Venue Construction

In early 2014 we finished the renovation of the Serendipity cabin.

We actually had to move it from its original location just further down the riverside to give it some privacy and to allow space for our event venue.

After the move, we elevated the cabin over a new foundation and added a bathroom.  Then renovated the interior by taking out some trusses and creating a cathedral ceiling that really opened up that room.

It took about six months to finish the renovation and lots of gray hairs.  It is very hard to find good builders in Wilkes County when you are new to the area. So you come across some bad ones in the process.  I will call this one the”Banana Buider” or BB for the short version of his name.

He was nice enough at the beginning, coming in his banana van that his construction worker was driving. We did wonder why he was never drove his van, or was driven by someone else on days his trusted worker was not with him.

Well, over the course of time we found out he had a DWI and lost his Driver’s License…that probably should have been a clue but we did not find this out at the beginning of the project.  He billed us punctually every Friday at 4 pm like clockwork.

After a while we noticed that the job did not progress at the speed  my husband and I anticipated.

We decided to pay closer attention and I would stop by the job site every now and then during the work day.  We also noticed his trusted worker (JC) was doing the majority of the work, he kept busy at all times.

On a cold December day, I had not seen the workers as they worked inside the cabin so I decided to check on how they were doing.  When I entered the cabin, I saw JC working on the ceiling, and BB was seated at a make-shift table and on a 10 Gallon paint pail.  He obviously was working on paperwork, and not my own as it was not Friday billing time. He was working on his other jobs, by the reaction he had upon my entering the cabin and catching him at it.

I approached his worker and asked him some questions about work to establish if BB was actually doing any work. That is when I got an ear-full of dissatisfaction from JC. Apparently he had worked on his own until someone stole his van filled with all his tools. He could not afford to replace them all so he decided to work with BB. He was unhappy because he was doing most of the work and felt he was not being paid enough.

During the remodeling of the cabin, we also hired a two-person construction crew to build a retaining wall along the riverbank to secure it. They started work in January and on pay day they would make comments about how slowly the cabin remodel work was and realized we were not the only ones that had noticed it. After observing BB very closely we decided to let him go, and JC opted to stay on the job and finish it Which he did in March of 2014.

When the retaining wall project was completed we asked JC to join that work crew and start on the next project: the construction of our outdoor event venue. By then the architect had finished the design and we could get started.

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