The Snowball Effect

Remember this old proverb?

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Of course, this proverb is meant to show that small actions can result in big consequences.  Don’t I know it!

All I wanted was a new dishwasher.  Was that too much to ask?  We’ve been researching them for quite awhile and waiting for sales, and we finally purchased a Bosch with all the bells and whistles.  You can stand right next to it and hardly know it is on.  We bought it from a large chain store who uses subcontractors to install their appliances.  The installer came two weeks ago, installed my lovely new dishwasher, said, “You’re good to go,” and left.    That night we loaded it up and ran it.  We were able to watch a television show with it two feet away, and we didn’t even hear it.  So far so good.

The next day a friend came over, sat at my kitchen table, and remarked, “You have such beautiful floors.”  As she said this, I glanced down and saw a dark discoloration at the ends of several planks.  I had no idea what it was.  I tried to think if I had used any unusual cleaner last time I washed them, but I knew I hadn’t.  My husband came home a little while later and noticed the discoloration immediately.

“What’s this?”  he asked.  When I told him I had no idea, he lifted up the long gel mat that I keep along the edge of the sink and the dishwasher, and the discoloration was even worse.  

“Aaarrrggggghhhhh! The dishwasher!” we yelled in tandem.  The dishwasher had obviously leaked, but instead of flooding the top of the floor where we would have seen it and dealt with it immediately, the water went under the floor boards because the dishwasher sits on the concrete slab a little below the edge of the floor.  The damage even extended into our dining room.

The fiasco is the result of the installer connecting the wrong end of the drain hose to the dishwasher.  He did not read each end of the hose which clearly says, “Dishwasher end” and “Garbage disposal end.”  Since those ends are not quite the same size, the installer had to force the connection from the dishwasher into a hose that was too small, thereby compromising the integrity of the hose.

Rather than giving you every gory detailed of what transpired after that, we will fast-forward to what is happening now.  The floor repair man came yesterday, assessed the situation and gave us the bad news. Because the entire downstairs is hardwood bamboo, we can’t just refinish the kitchen floor since it flows seamlessly into the dining room and family room.  So the entire downstairs floors will have to be refinished.  That requires moving all the furniture out.  To move all the furniture out requires me to empty all my dishes and other items from all my drawers, my china cabinet, curio, etc.  I will have to box them up as there is nowhere to put them.  It will be like moving all over again.  The piano has to be moved which will result in it needing another tuning.  We will have to go out to eat for a week and a half as we will not have our kitchen.  I will be a prisoner upstairs for a week and a half because I do not like to leave the house to strangers as they do their work.

Yes, the installer’s insurance will cover the cost of refinishing the floors (and the bill is a doozy!), but lost time and inconvenience is never covered.  And all that had to be done for this to be avoided is for the installer to read what was written on the end of the hose.  I just wanted a new dishwasher.  Was that too much to ask?

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About Coming East

I am a writer, wife, mother, and grandmother who thinks you're never too old until you're dead. My inspiration is Grandma Moses who became a successful artist in her late 70's. If I don't do something pretty soon, though, I'll have to find someone older for inspiration.
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42 Responses to The Snowball Effect

  1. What a bummer! But think of the end result, hopefully that will make you feel a little better. It will be nice if you have a time machine so you can fast forward to a week and half when everything is done and all your furniture is in!

    • Coming East says:

      We’re still having “discussions” with the installer about the insurance claim, so we haven’t even been able to schedule the work, Shanghai. Hopefully, their won’t be a problem, but I’m getting kind of worried.

  2. Leah says:

    How incredibly frustrating! So sorry for this. At least the guy’s insurance is paying for the floors and you’re not. But still, very annoying!

    • Coming East says:

      Yes, Leah, it is terribly annoying. Such a small thing will cause so much disruption, and it didn’t have to happen. But, on the bright side, I love my new dishwasher!

  3. Amy says:

    Moving furniture, piano away and packing dishes, china and many other items are just too much to endure. Would you consider taking a week vacation in SAT, Susan? Your chauffeur will be on call…

  4. Shary Hover says:

    How terrible! It’s so hard to find people who will do a good job on home projects. I think that’s one of the hardest things about moving… losing trusted resources for everything from home repairs to doctors. I hope the people who refinish your floors will be professional and will do the work right.

    • Coming East says:

      We got their name off Angie’s List, Amy, so we think they will do a good job. We still have to submit the bids to the installer’s insurance agent. Hope their is no arguing.

  5. ugh, sorry for your disaster!

    …this is why they should teach more poetry in the schools. 😉

  6. winsomebella says:

    Wow. What a blow. I hope from this point on the process goes smoothly!

    • Coming East says:

      Thanks, Bella. Mew got a second opinion this morning, and this man said he would advise replacing the entire downstairs floor. We haven’t gotten the estimate for that, but I’m sure it will be a doozy.

  7. Mark says:

    We think you should come and stay with us!

  8. This is not what I needed to read right now, just starting to remodel ! Hope your ordeal is resolved for good….

  9. pattisj says:

    I am so sorry to hear about this, Susan. I guess this is why my hubby insists on doing any installation work he can. It may take him a lot longer to get it done, but we know it’s right when he’s finished.

  10. Feeling for you, I’ve had too many dealings with idiots and bodgers. At least you can get it covered by insurance and at least they haven’t put up a fight about it. 🙂

    • Coming East says:

      I hope there won’t be a fight about it, Eye. We just got the estimate last night. We get a second one tomorrow and then we send them to the insurance company. Hopefully, they won’t balk.

  11. That’s the kind of thing that will make any homeowner insane. I hate to hear that the installer was so careless! I’m glad they’re at least paying for the work on the floor. I hope they withdrew the charges for installation, too. And I think THEY should have to move all your stuff… but they’d probably break it.

    • Coming East says:

      We already had free delivery and installation, so that wasn’t an issue, SC. And the floor people will move the furniture, but I have to remove and pack up everything that is inside and on top of the furniture. My dining room buffet and hutch is full of heavy pottery and dishes, my teapot and eggcup collection, etc. that’s going to be a bear to remove. These floors ogre only five years old, so they don’t even need refinishing yet.

  12. Dor says:

    Isn’t there something about “Murphy’s Law…?” What a terrible situation. I can only imagine how furious you must be. The only good parts of this story are getting to eat out for a week and a quiet dishwasher. We have a nice guest room if you need to escape.

  13. Oh how awful! I hate it when I trust someone to do work in the house and wind up with an issue like yours for a reason as sophisticated as “not reading the directions.” I wish we could all get on line and virtually help you pack and move things.

  14. Oh my! I am so sorry. I hope the repairs go quickly, smoothly and most of all correctly!!! We once had a year where we wandered into an appliance store to “look”. We looked at stoves and the beginning of the week of Thanksgiving I came home from work and made some banana bread. Two hours later it was still not baked. My husband came in and I told him I either needed a new stove or I should put our turkey for Thanksgiving in the oven right then. We went to pick out a new stove. While we were there we looked at washer and dryers… yep a couple months later we were picking out new ones to replace the dead ones. You would think we would have learned, but while there we looked at refrigerators… When we went to pick out our new fridge we both picked it out and basically put blinders on and ran to the car. Hope this is an isolated incident and it goes by quickly. Blog on your restaurant choices so we can all live vicariously through you! Sending hugs your way…

    • Coming East says:

      Oh, I like the restaurant blog idea, DAF. That’s a fun idea if I can think if a good angle.

      • You are so clever, I am certain you will be able to take us on a culinary tour while you wait for your floors. I am so sorry this happened. We had to replace our dishwasher last summer, but fortunately the water was just standing about an inch deep on my kitchen hardwoods. It dried nicely with no damage as I was in the middle of the puddles drying as quickly as it was coming out. Hope this all works well for you.

      • Coming East says:

        At least we will have beautiful, newly refinished floors when this is all over, DAF.

  15. Margie says:

    Wow, that really was a big mistake on the part of the installer!
    We have been doing a whole house reno (for about 10 years) and we do most of the work ourselves, mainly because we don’t want to have to fix the screw-ups of tradesmen who really don’t care how the job is done!

  16. Again I ask. How do folks stay in business? I am so sorry. This is a huge change of plans. The cost, scheduling, relocating and effort.

  17. Oh my, I’m sorry you have to go through this. At least it’s covered by the insurance and perhaps it’s a good opportunity to try out some new restaurants!

  18. Al says:

    This is every homeowners nightmare! Thank goodness you have blogging to vent out your frustrations. Wish we were there already, you could have lived with us for the duration.

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