Blog / Worst Contractor Stories

August 17, 2018

We’ve all had that one job that makes us shudder in horror. Did someone knock over a paint can, spilling paint all over a newly cured floor? Or was a piece of furniture moved, scratching the floor in the process? Here’s a few stories from our contest that are definitely lessons learned! Thank you to everyone who submitted stories to our Worst Contractor Stories giveaway.

Congratulations to our winner! This contractor received $2000 in Trimaco jobsite protection products! Thanks again to everyone who participated and helped make this contest a success. Stay tuned for our next contest!

Winner’s Story

While I have countless stories of spilled paint, scratched floors and overspray on surfaces (which have all led us to use products such as Trimaco Carpet Film, Cling Cover, FloorShell, etc.) there is one that is my worst contractor story. It will always deeply, deeply haunt me, haha!

I was working on a 3,200 square feet repaint and was spraying primer to cover up nicotine stains. I had my sprayer set up to a fresh 5 gallon downstairs on top of Rosin Paper. Spraying alone, While upstairs, I foolishly tugged on the hose and heard a crash. Rushing downstairs with the sprayer still running, I came to find my sprayer knocked over and 5 gallons of Kilz primer spilled all over the floor. Everywhere. In the moment of trying to pick it all up the Rosin Paper ripped. The paint kept spreading, and the air was full of overspray and paint smell. The living room was a mixture of white paint and pieces of red paper everywhere.

I cannot explain the moment but it was truly worse than one can imagine. My frantic rushing resulted in the paint reaching the nearby staircase, ceiling fans and everything that was improperly protected.

The major problem was under the rosin were hardwood floors. The primer seeped through the paper, completely leaked through where the paper ripped. It got all over the floor as well as in the grooves. Cleaning the hardwood floors and surrounding area took me 82 hours. Yes, I vividly remember how long it took. And it haunts me to this day.

Lesson Learned.

Not only does this attest to how important properly masking off surfaces is, but it really proves how using improper products (in this case Rosin Paper) for the job does not hold up to potential disasters. If I had used either the X-Board or FloorShell I would have re-set up my sprayer and continued working.

FloorShell Spill Block

This contractor story may not be as good as other people’s, or other stories I have, but this is one that will always haunt me, and I remember it every single time I put down a proper floor protector and feel a sense of peace of mind during the entire job’s duration.

Runner Up #1

Well, it was a simple job, remove ceramic tile and replace it with new in the master bath. I got the main area done using a diamond head grinder to get the mortar up. Next was the toilet, a small 3’x3′ area, no big deal. Ba bomp baaam… as I was getting under the toilet the grinder kicked, before I could release the trigger, the grinder hit my knee (I was wearing knee pads), but the damage was done. I suffered a 5 inch gash about an inch to an inch and a half wide and 24 hours in the hospital.

The worst part isn’t the gash or surgery (my knee is in perfect shape today), but it was my business partner going behind me and cleaning up the carnage. I never noticed in the moment, but that little toilet suffered the worst.

Runner Up #2

Ladder Painting

3 years ago I was outside and just secured the ladder to paint a 1st floor dormer window. I was telling my employee how important it is to secure the ladder, of course. As I got to the top of the ladder with the kettle full of paint, the ladder slipped away from under me. My life went into slow motion as I looked for somewhere to grab hold of but no such luck. I went straight down off the roof and onto a solid brick driveway very conscious of the fact that I needed to land feet first or risk serious injury.

I hit the floor feet first and my whole skeleton shook as I connected with the ground. I then proceeded to fall backwards and whacked my head on the driveway. Once I gained composure and managed to stand up I saw the window, the roof, the brick driveway and a brand new X5 BMW were all covered in mahogany oil based wood stain! And to top it all off the car was bought on CCTV which I haven’t been able to watch to this day. My body and head starts hurting just thinking about what happened.

Runner Up #3

Damaged Wood

We were fixing a hairline crack in the ceiling right before final turnover when we saw that the floor was getting scratched. It was supposed to be a simple fix, so flooring protection wasn’t laid down while workers were in the unit. The flooring guys went in and replaced the damaged floor boards and we were ready for completion sign-off when the worst happened.

A heat pump in the unit above broke and flooded the unit, there was so much water that it flooded units 10 floors below. The units had to be roped off, re-protected, Gyp. board, baseboards, flooring, cabinets, ceilings and wall tile all had to be removed down to the studs, dried out, and replaced. What a mess!

Share your stories with us!

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories to our Worst Contractor Stories giveaway. Have a worst contractor story of your own? Feel free to share with us below!

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