You never know what is going to happen when completing a home improvement project for a client. This collection of stories ranges from spooky to silly and shows that anything goes when you’re on a job.
“I went out to do some painting on a home my partner and I had just finished, and the owners had already moved into. The lady of the house had left for work, and I was alone in the home. I proceeded to take an opened gallon can of paint—instead of just a small container—around touching up the woodwork in the carpeted living room.
The homeowners had a parrot in a cage at the opposite end of the room that was supposed to be locked, but the lady forgot to lock the bird in, as it usually has the run of the house. I was touching up the baseboard and turned back to the paint can to dip the brush to find the parrot with his beak in the gallon of paint. Surprised, I made a quick movement, and the parrot jumped back, pulling the entire can of paint over on the new carpet. I chased the parrot all over the house, making quite a scene—with feathers flying and both me and the bird squawking—before finally cornering and catching it. Let’s just say I was beside myself.
I got the parrot locked away and cleaned up what I could of the mess. When the homeowners returned, they were more than a little upset, accusing me of traumatizing their parrot and making it ill. Actually, I think I was the one who was traumatized!!! It’s been 14 years now, but I still tell friends about the episode and we have a laugh over that darned parrot.”
Chuck Daniels – Simpsonville, SC
Originally appeared here.
“At a jobsite one morning in late January, [my employee] Tom was surprised to see a 20-something male wearing a leather jacket exit the passenger side of my van. Tom asked what he wanted and the guy said he was with James Kitchens. He tried to chat with the guy as the mystery man moved toward the back of the van past Tom and into the open garage. I walked into the garage and asked what I could do for him. He leaned in and said, “Hide me.” Surprised, I said, “What?” He said, “Don’t tell anyone I’m here.” Then I remembered the sirens in the area no more than 30 minutes ago. Tom disappeared and we heard him let out a loud whistle to flag down the cops.
The perpetrator slid past me and ran into the client’s house. I followed him, grabbed him by his coat and tried to pull him back into the garage. He shed the coat and ran through the kitchen to the Florida room. I headed him off in the living room. At that time, a small army of police flooded in. Guns drawn, they yelled at everyone to raise their hands and get down on the floor. I dropped. Boots stepped over me and I heard a scuffle in the dining room. I remained motionless until I heard Tom tell me to get up. The police had cuffed the intruder and escorted him out.
We later learned that the guy was part of a gang who’d been stealing contractors’ equipment in Lancaster, Pa. Two of his accomplices were apprehended several hours before. He’d taken off in a stolen truck towing a trailer filled with stolen tools. One officer heard the APB, saw the vehicle, and gave chase into my client’s neighborhood. Police punctured his tires with a tack strip and he veered into the backyards, driving through six before abandoning the truck. Sneaking through the yards, he must have thought that he’d found new transportation when he saw my van. But unfortunately for him, I don’t leave my keys in the van.”
James Schell – James C. Schell Renovations
Originally appeared here.
“While enduring a kitchen renovation, Angela Misri tells her contractor she can’t find her cat in the house.
“She’s probably hiding somewhere,” Misri says as she prepares to leave to go to work.
Jorge, the contractor, replies: “You have to find the cat, or it will end up in your drywall and dead. I know you think I’m exaggerating, but it happens.”
While Misri and her husband, Jason, search for Darwin the cat, Jorge describes the time he was tiling up a bathroom and heard mewing coming from the wall. He says the contractors on that job had sealed the drywall, tiled and grouted before they realized the cat had sneaked in. The cat had been stuck inside the wall for at least two days, he says.
Meanwhile, Angela Misri continues her desperate search.
“We were looking everywhere for her when Jason dropped something, and it rolled into the subfloor, and he said, ‘You don’t think she could fit in there, do you?’” Angela Misri says.”
Originally appeard here.