Where I worked today and will finish tomorrow, the homeowners had an existing bathroom redone and updated – new tile, tub, cabinets, granite countertops, lighting, towel bars, etc., and had the old mirror and medicine cabinet removed.

In photo #1, the mirror has been pulled off the wall, leaving behind the black tar that holds it against the wall.  Glass guys are great at tearing mirrors off the wall, ripping up the Sheetrock, and leaving black goo everywhere.  But they never bother to fix the mess, forcing the homeowner to hire someone else to do repairs.  Black tar is villainous, because it will bleed through wallpaper (and paint, too).  So it need careful attention and intelligent treatment before the new paper can go up.

In the second and third pictures, you can see some of the “repairs” the workmen did to the walls, including the area where they yanked out the medicine cabinet and patched in some new Sheetrock.  Hey, guys, didn’t your boss tell you that you’re supposed to SAND the mud SMOOTH once it’s dry?  You’re also supposed to REMOVE THE OLD WALLPAPER before you do your patching.

The fourth shot, OK, this is a little petty, but, gee, guys, PUT ALL FOUR SCREWS in the switch plate cover.  And if you drop one or lose one, you should have a stash of extras in your tool box.   At least the switches line up properly inside the cover, and it all sits flush with the wall, and is plumb, too.

Last photo – can you see that the previous paper hanger put the paper over the textured wall?  This allows bumps to show through the paper.

And I didn’t take a picture of the 5/8″ gap between the granite backsplash and the wall.  A little caulk, or even some shims or wood spacers, would have filled this in.

I hate seeing work like this, because I feel like the contractor and workmen are either lazy or unskilled or simply don’t give a flip, and took advantage of the homeowners.  The poor homeowners don’t have a clue what good work is supposed to look like, so they don’t know that they’ve been left with a mess.

Regarding the poorly floated areas, often the workmen tell the homeowner, “The wallpaper will cover it.”  NOT TRUE!  Wallpaper doesn’t hide bumps and gouges… Wallpaper ACCENTUATES these defects.

Then again, with the two new recessed can lights, each fitted with a 15 watt bulb – yes, a total of THIRTY WATTS  for the entire bathroom – there’s little chance the homeowners will ever see ANYthing in THIS bathroom!

So far, Day 1, this job has been a lot more work than I expected (or bid for).  I had to remove the old wallpaper, and then skim-float the walls to make a smooth base for the new paper.  I also had to skim float over the crappily-patched areas done by the contractor, as well as dig out the tar behind the mirror and refloat that wall.

It’s going well, though, and once I’m done, the walls will be nice and smooth and sound and stain-free, providing a super base for the new wallpaper.

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