While living for the past 22 years here in the Philippines on a fixed income I’ve learned to keep a separate discretionary fund to cover purchases beyond the normal monthly nut. Our monthly expenditures are water and electric the Cell Phone and internet plans with Globe and food. Plus gas for the car and occasionally gas for the generator and most important going out once or twice a week with friends.
I have an Australian friend Bill and his wife living up the road and they are renovating a house, not to live in but to flip for a profit. They have done a very nice job and the house is a 4 bedroom 4 bath large and roomy place, with a new roof plus the outside walls are tile. Yada-yada you get the picture…
When they redid the kitchen they installed marble counter tops and believe they look nice. But herein is where my store really begins. Bill and I were sitting on his roomy terrace and Lori (Bill’s wife) took Mayang on a tour. When our house was built I was out to sea most of the time and never got a chance to work on the kitchen, what never would have happened was the use of regular tile as a counter top like they used to do in the 1960’s.
For the next 15 years Mayang was happy, with the way it looked until that tour. Mahal did you see the counters in the kitchen?
Bill looked at me and mumbled (Yer screwed mate) I had already figured that out, even with my rum blurred vision.
Being that I had funds in the discretionary budget and I have never liked the original design of our kitchen the next day we talked about it and I said, go canvas a price foe everything (All-in-all) installed, one time expenditure, with the no hidden cost price.
The next day Jhun arrives in a new monster pickup truck with the engine snorkel attached on the side. I explained that it never floods on the mountain, he hesitated and started laughing. Juhn and his wife own the business of installing granite or marble counter tops and are the only ball game in town.
Here is where he impressed me, he measured everything at least three times and each time bounced it against what he wrote down, that was my first time in the Philippines to see that, as a matter of fact, that he didn’t just eyeball it and guess kinda impressed me.
So I said: “Jhun you follow the state side way, to measure twice and cut once!” He asked me if he could write that down and make a sign for his shop wall. I said yes since I heard it from Dave and Pete on that TV show “Flipping Boston”
The estimate with new kitchen sink and fixtures in total is Php 54,000.00 (Approx. $1,200.00) the new sink is required because it is recessed under the granite counter for that seamless look. (Jhun/s wife said that) I said yes, as my wife stood there in absolute shock surprised that I so quickly agreed. I also watch Scott and Aimee on Flipping Las Vegas and in the states I learned it would cost between, $2,500.00 to $5,000.00 for less square feet of material. I’ve learned more from those two shows than I ever did watching Bob Vila years ago.
One week the counters are being cut and the following Monday they demo my old tile top and install the granite. Or so goes the “Plan”.
Change two modifications # six. No one showed up Monday, Boss (Juhn) was in court, now I hoped it wasn’t because he took down payments and never came back again. But Tuesday at lunch the crew showed up with Granite slabs ¾ inch thick pre cut but to be finished on site and all tools required (Except what they borrowed from me.) then they immediately sat down under my tent and ate lunch. But they did unload the truck first.
The rest of the day was spent smashing out all the antiquated tile counter tops, and generally messing up Mayang’s kitchen. Dust was everywhere; I moved to the second deck, turned on the Air/Con and went to sleep. Wednesday morning the real dust commenced, my gray car was covered in fine white Granit dust and because of the bags of cement stacked beside it, it could not be washed.
Thursday the job should be finished but due to the court delay we are going into Saturday, with no promise of it being done then. But since no one told me to “Please Wait” I’ll let it play out on its own. Besides it was a set contract and Juhn was paying his workers. Take another nap.
But if you ever want to know inconvenience, take your kitchen apart and find out what a pain that can be.
More dust today, and the work is slowly moving on. My Saturday deadline to submit to Bob Martin at LiP HQ fast approaches and a thought hit me. (Light Bulb Moment) I still need to sum up the Omar the tent maker adventure, so next week I’ll just do an article closing out the last few projects and the rain report. Do you get a glimpse of how my brain works?
But like the Saturday morning movie serials when you were a kid that would clutching and hanging at the edge of the seat waiting for the cliff hanger ending….Wait until next week’s episode, and you’ll be disappointed once again.