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Stories from the Sales Frontlines

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  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    "Might be Richard's zip code..."

    Not this Richard. I enjoy nice things, but a $14K bath tub would be at the bottom of my list, and probably not even on my list.

    Richard
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    Whether to paint kitchen cabinets depends on the style home that you own. If it's Victorian, Tudor, or Old Cape Cod---all with some age, then they can really look nice. When we owned an 1890 Victorian, we painted them for the look. In a newer home, I wouldn't recommend it. You are correct about the stain. It's very hard to achieve a fresh, new look with previously stained cabinets. I've seen it done a few times, but it takes many hours of sanding, staining, sanding, and staining, etc. It's not for the DIYs; it takes a real professional finisher to make it right.

    Richard
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    We had a whirlpool tub in the upstairs bath in our last house. We had that house for three years and used the tub perhaps twice. Three months after we sold the house, the new owners heard a loud crash in the middle of the night. The whirlpool tub had a long standing leak that we knew nothing about. The leak rotted the floor and finally the tub came crashing through the ceiling to the family roon floor below. Naturally, the new owner sued his house inspector for damages. The owner did win a sizeable settlement.

    Three months after that, the house began sinking. It reached the point that the owners couldn't open the patio doors. It grew worse until the bottom step to the front door disappeared beneath the earth. The walls began to get bad cracks and the kitchen and bathrooms suffered severe cracks in all of the floor tiles. One morning there was a loud moaning noise. The oversized two car garage sank over a foot. Finally, a geologist was called in to survey the problem. An underground stream leading to the creek beside our house had decided to reactivate itself. The stream ran under the house. Who knew? The cost of repair: $30K to jack up the house and do repairs; $20K to block off the stream and redirect it; $50K to repair walls ,put in new tile flooring, repair wiring and plumbing, etc. There's nothing like having to get a $100K second mortgage.

    The worst tragedy came six months later. The poor owner lost his job due to down sizing. He and his wife just walked away from the house. Three years later, the house is still on the market. Everyone has heard the stories and no one will touch it. Of our 14 houses, it was our favorite---absolutely beautiful home in every way. We felt so sorry for the young couple and their three teenage children. They returned to Michigan to live with his parents. If we hadn't decided to retire and move away, we would have been faced with this terrible problem. Life works in very strange ways.

    Richard
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    "The guy who wouldn't drive 60 minutes to the Mercedes dealer."

    You are correct. I wouldn't drive 60 minutes to have the oil changed in a Mercedes. I WOULD drive 90 minutes to have the oil changed in a Rolls Royce. As I see it, there is just no comparison.

    My father used to smoke nothing but Camel cigarettes. He agreed with the slogan "Walk a mile for a Camel".

    Richard
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    "But what has this got to do with Republicans or Dan Quail."

    That would be "Quayle" followed by a question mark. Republican Dan Quayle, on a visit to an elementary school, corrected a child by telling him to add an "e"---as you did. Unfortunately, the media was there to tape this. Though I always found Dan Quayle to be a decent guy, he was forever making a faux pas of some sort in public.

    Richard
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    "I can screw it up at least as good as they can..."

    I can screw it up worse than they can. Now I need a new wireless router. I'll buy it but I sure as hell won't plug it in myself. :P

    Richard
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,948
    I just hooked up a new one yesterday. It was exceptionally easy to do. the instructions are pictograms, and the plugs/wires are color coded. And if you have one in place already, you skip half the steps!

    plug in wires and power plug in the order instructed, and at the end, put in a CD, click "ok", and you are done.

    oh, you do have to enter a network name and access password, but a smart guy like you ca probably handle that!

    I got a netgear (model 6400) and it has been great so far.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,948
    once I get the estimates to do a full gut job, and my heart stops palpitating, I may give the stain job a shot. It is not that much of an investment so if we hate it, can always replace them anyway. So, probably worth a shot.

    and the current color is pretty grungy, and we really need a new floor, and i won't put that in if I don't plan to keep the cabinets as long as the house.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,770
    Like Richard said, I am in the plumbing supply business. I'm actually 4th generation.

    Brand power is amazing. Kohler products are gorgeous, but they are expensive garbage. Back in the day Kohler used to make very high quality, long lasting products. Nowadays they spend most of their money on marketing & pretty.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    >The leak rotted the floor and finally the tub came crashing through the ceiling to the family roon floor below.

    That sounds like the animations of what can happen due to structure problems on Holmes on Homes, an HGTV show on Sunday nights. It's my Saturday Night Live substitute. I love that show. Mike Holmes is always amazed at what's behind the surface when he tears into repairing something simple: it becomes difficult.

    I like the show even more since I tore into my most recent home demolition , errr, I mean remodeling. Our family room has a fireplace with brick over that whole width of the room up to a mantle which stretchs the whole width. Above that was paneling to the ceiling. I always liked the paneling but decided, after a decade or so of my wife's urging, to remove paneling and paint the wallboard to match the rest of the room.

    I tore into the paneling and there was indeed drywall behind. I got to the middle of the wall and there was naked brick from the fireplace's flue with no drywall. The drywall had been torn away, probably to chase a leak. Of course the leak would have been from the crown on top or at the roof contact with the brick of the chimney--not in the family room level. But they hadn't put the drywall back. A day long project had just turned into a week.

    So I asked my long time friend from KY who had been in the remodeling business to come help me patch in the large drywall piece. He also brought and left his power sander with vacuum for me to smooth the drywall compound. He applied an initial special compound and then I did two more leveling coats of standard compound. He also left me a power planer and sander to resurface the large wood mantle timber.

    A friend in need is a friend indeed.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,371
    >It is not that much of an investment so if we hate it, can always replace them anyway. So, probably worth a shot.

    Take your kitchen layout to a good designer and see what extra features and special cabinet types he/she can add into your current layout. Our designer gained us lots of extra cabinet space to enlarge storage compared to the original design of the home.

    Then after seeing what extra features are available, you might want to make the big step now. My wife loves the rollout shelves in certain cabinets, the extra vertical slot for storing cookie trays and other narrow equipment, and the glass doors on some of the overhead cabinets.

    We too looked at painting the original, quality upgraded cabinets that were in the house when built. But decided to go full redo. I tore everything out, replumbed the sink to move it over a couple of feet and upgraded and moved my electrical for the stove, microwave, refrigerator adding undercabinet and above cabinet lighting controlled by a wall switch.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,673
    The house we live in was built by my parents in 1974; the builders were first rate, but it needed updating. We started with the kitchen- tearing out all the cabinets and knocking down the load bearing wall between the kitchen and family room. It was a lot of work, but at least I was able to upgrade my home theater to 7.1 and run decent wiring to each wall-mounted speaker.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    I'll buy it but I sure as hell won't plug it in myself.

    I don't think plugging in is your problem... it's unplugging that gets you into trouble. ;)
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,411
    Though I always found Dan Quayle to be a decent guy, he was forever making a faux pas of some sort in public.

    Well, I don't always make faux pas in public....just sometimes.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,411
    It grew worse until the bottom step to the front door disappeared beneath the earth. The walls began to get bad cracks and the kitchen and bathrooms suffered severe cracks in all of the floor tiles.

    Remind me, no matter how beautiful it might be, never to buy a used house or a car from you. The houses seem to self destruct, and the cars either fall apart or have mud and dog c---- all over them. :P

    By the way, how is the new little dog doing...did he get house trained and has he settled down?

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,308
    I travel a lot, for both business and pleasure. As such, I rent a lot of cars. I can honestly say that over the course of probably the last 5 years, the change in quality and engineering in the American models, as well as the foreign budget models (thinking Kia and Hyundai) has been dramatic.

    Probably the rental that stands out most was a Kia Soul which I rented about 5-6 months ago. I see new ones advertised in the newspaper routinely for $12K (discounted). So, they're about the least expensive cars I've seen currently. The quality of the materials, while not Honda or Cadillac grade, was certainly more than I had any expectation it would be. Plus, being a rental with over 10K miles on the odo, it was still rattle free. It handled relatively well, drove smooth, and was rather "zippy". In all, if I needed a cheap runabout, I would actually consider buying one.

    On the opposite end of that spectrum, I just finished turning in as a rental.....a Chevy Impala. This example was almost new (less than 4K miles). As soon as I shut the front door (which sounded like "tin can slammed against tin can", literally, I knew this was not going to be a good experience.

    Message to the General, if you're truly trying to build better cars, start right here....your Impala. Tell the accountants to take a month off while you re-engineer it and buy parts to use with it. You'll be doing yourself a huge favor.

    While I'm certain that it's a base model, as rental companies tend to buy those to rent, it was clear that maybe if Chevy would have invested, or I dunno, maybe another $20 upgrading materials, the experience would have been much better. Dials and buttons wallowed in their slots. There was absolutely no sense they were engineered, manufactured or installed correctly (probably because they weren't).

    Understand that my previous Tahoe had a very similar center stack, and that it cost probably 2.5x-3x more than the Impala, so I was relatively familiar with the controls, but these seemed inordinately complex and confusing (this coming from an Acura owner, to boot). Would it have cost that much more money to make the power windows one touch down/up? Especially for Chevy's flagship sedan?

    Did they actually test drive this vehicle before telling their dealers this was a good car? It took minute steering corrections to a whole new level.....steering was disconcerting, to the point where it was a chore to keep the car in its lane. It wasn't the tires (although those could have been improved too). It was the way they engineered the suspension.

    In fairness, the car was quiet inside (when it wasn't rattling). And, the engine was smooth. It had a lot of room. That's where it starts and ends, though. I could say the same thing about the $12K Kia, which I'd prefer over the Impala.....by a large margin.

    End of rant short of that will be the very last Impala I will ever rent. Even with huge discounts, I can't see anyone actually liking this car enough to buy it. Guess I'm wrong, and obviously in the minority. There are a lot of them on the road. Maybe they're all rentals.
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    "...how is the new little dog doing..."

    I suppose that you have noticed that I never mention the dog. The new (a year old) little (now at 60 pounds) has been a great disappointment. I say this coming from two people who love dogs very much. Coco finally got house trained---took forever. That is the extent of his successful training. We spent eight weeks in puppy school---total disaster; he learned nothing and resisted all training. His jumping, biting, and licking is terrible. He spent two weeks with a special trainer who had experience with difficult dogs. She said that he was the most stubborn and strong willed dog that she had ever seen. No good results there. You can't even pet him or enjoy him. We have given up. He is on the adoption list with the agency where we bought him. i feed him each morning and he goes out to our large back yard for the day. He has destroyed the back yard---deep holes dug all over the yard, flowers ruined, shrubs torn apart, etc. He ate the cable wires attached to the house and dug up the irrigation wires. I had the irrigation wires encased in PVC pipes, and moved the cable wires to a new location. We bring him in at dinner time. He eats, plays with only one toy that he likes, and goes to bed for the night. That's the routine. If we go out of town, the boarding place can't wait for us to pick him up when we return. Our vet believes that there is a real psychological problem with Coco. It's been a tough and sad experience. Perhaps it is us at our age, but we've always had success with dogs. After this, I doubt that we will ever get another one. When and if he gets adopted, we will have a major bill to get the back yard back in place. We can't take him out in public. It takes too much strength to control him on the leash. We would never have him put down. We'll just have to find the right person who will adopt him.

    Richard
  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    LOL! You may have a point there.

    Richard
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    Message to the General, if you're truly trying to build better cars, start right here....your Impala.

    In all fairness the Impala is one of the last cars of the "old GM" It is based on an old platform (W body circa 1988) and uses pushrod V6s. It is largely a rental/fleet unit. It isn't a particularly bad car, but the smaller Malibu surpasses it in many ways. It will be phased out soon, from what I have read.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • 604doc604doc Posts: 182
    While in Nebraska last week, my rental car was a Ford Fusion SEL.

    It was actually a very nice car. It had all the bells and whistles except leather, and it was a bit anemic, so I assume it had a 4 cylinder engine.

    It had Sirius radio activated, which I have in my own car, so that was a nice bonus. I didn't play around with the Ford Sync system very much, but getting my phone to couple with the bluetooth was quick and easy. I didn't upload my phone book for obvious reasons, so I never made a call, but did receive a few. Worked really well.

    The ride was a little soft for my taste, but the steering felt just right, not too loose, and not too twitchy.

    The dual climate control worked well, although I didn't see a switch that would allow the driver to control both sides at once. It may have been there though.

    The interior was nice. Fit and finish was good, and the plastic on the dash and door panels, etc., were soft and seemed to be decent quality.

    If I was in the market for a sedan, I would seriously consider one of these. I saw one that said "sport" on the back, so I assume they make one with firmer suspension and a 6 cylinder.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    I've remodeled at least 5 bathrooms and built (from scratch) 5.5 of them. During one of the remodels, a kitchen/bath guy recommended a Jaclo shower head. Expensive, but it's the best one I ever had, and I bought one for each of the 5 full baths constructed. The other one, I took from place to place each time I moved and left the new owners a fairly cheap one. :)

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,308
    The other one, I took from place to place each time I moved and left the new owners a fairly cheap one.

    I can hear the new owners now....."But Martha, wasn't there a shower head in the shower when we looked at the house? What's this garden hose nozzle doing in the shower?"
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,897
    Oh no, I wouldn't want to be accused of bait & switch! I changed out the fixture before each place went on the market and just toughed it out. I didn't put on the $5 shower head, but I didn't leave my $200+ one either.

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  • graphicguygraphicguy SW OhioPosts: 7,308
    tjc and 604....maybe my memory isn't that good. But, I certainly don't remember platforms from the late '80s handling as poorly as the new Impala. It was like it already had work bushings, but it was almost new.

    If it's merely a rental product these days, then so be it. There was certainly plenty of them at Enterprise. And, it looked like my hotel parking lot was filled with them. So, you're probably right....they're relegated to rental fleets.

    It just seems that not so long ago, Chevy was putting a small block V8 in it to resurrect the vaunted SS models.

    If nothing else, there was no torque steer. Then again, there wasn't enough power available to induce torque steer, either.
  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 5,025
    edited April 2011
    But, I certainly don't remember platforms from the late '80s handling as poorly as the new Impala

    I guess it depends on how the suspension is setup. In rental fleets I've driven plenty of Impalas and didnt really feel they were too bad in the handling department. The Grand Prix on the same platform always felt a little firmer than the Impala,

    Of course, I could be a bad judge, I usually drive floaty cars and curse my current ride for being too firm.

    1999 Chevy S10 / 2004 Merc Grand Marquis / 2012 Buick LaCrosse

  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    I know that this will surprise you, but I've had success over the years with Delta fixtures. They always looked nice and could be purchased at a good price. I know that they are not highly recommended, but we never had a problem with them in any of our houses. Then again, our average stay in each house was only 3-4 years. That could explain the lack of problems.

    Richard
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,411
    Even with huge discounts, I can't see anyone actually liking this car enough to buy it

    Your experience is exactly the same as mine regarding the Impala. Even when it was new it was an old model, way behind it's time.

    It is too bad GM didn't make the new Pontiac G6 (I think) into an Impala and just dropped this dog. It is exactly everything that was wrong with GM, no money for research, parts made as cheaply as possible, a company ruled by accountants, a company trying to make a car for a very low price.

    There is no joy in driving one of these numb and dumb beasts. As noted later, the Fusion is really an example of a nice car for a reasonable price.

    I guess Impalas make cheap rental cars and taxis, maybe even police cars still. But, it probably doesn't do to much good for GMs reputation to sell these cars as rentals. Tarnishes the whole line.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,385
    You are thinking the G8 and you are right on that. Would make an excellent Impala and put the current one out of its misery.

    Richard - you move too much! I'd go crazy moving that often. Of course some of that is that I've got a household of 6 vs two people....
  • driver100driver100 Burlington, ON 7 mo/Tampa FL 5 moPosts: 12,411
    The new (a year old) little (now at 60 pounds) has been a great disappointment

    That is really unfortunate. With all your teaching ability if you can't teach poor Coco anything then it looks pretty hopeless.

    Sounds like Coco is a candidate for "The Dog Whisperer", he does work miracles.

    That sounds like a terrible experience, especially because you both love dogs so much. We haven't seen our dog for a week now and we miss her so much. But, if I went through what you have I wouldn't be able to wait for someone who wants to adopt Coco.

    Remind me not to buy any cars, homes and now I'll have to add dogs from you. You could leave him in your will to fezo though....he'll take pretty well anything...even a potato from Ireland.

    2012 535ix 2013 Audi A4 2013 Passat

  • sterlingdogsterlingdog North CarolinaPosts: 6,983
    Well, there is one good thing about moving every 3-4 years. You keep neat closets and you don't hold on to needless junk.

    Richard
This discussion has been closed.