I made a list of requirements for the contractors, demanding that they meet what I consider the most basic requirement that any professional contractor should be able to achieve, and when they read it, they were simply stunned into silence, because they have never been asked to step up to even the most basic requirements. In a way, maybe it’s not their fault because every place we go, be it a public place or a home, the average construction quality really is just as bad as what they’ve done in our home. That is the quality that the people in China appear to have no problem accepting. This is what happens when an entire society has no expectations and do not demand quality, even for themselves, let alone their service to others. It’s exactly this kind of mentality that leads to toxic foods and junk products.
Anyway, this is the list I gave the contractors:
1) All straight lines must be truly straight.
2) All caulking must be smooth, with no irregularly bumps, dirt, wood shaving, or other discolorations mixed in.
3) All gaps and holes must be filled in smoothly.
4) All corners must be straight and smooth, and not look like it was gnawed on by a dog.
5) All filled holes and gaps must be smooth, not full of lumps.
6) Anything filled by hand (glue, caulk, paint) must not be accidentally applied to or dripped onto surrounding areas.
7) Any shape or surface that’s supposed to be smooth must be smooth, with no deformation or bumpy surfaces.
8) All borders between various materials must be clean, attached properly with no gaps, and not crooked.
9) All moving parts (drawers, doors, knobs, switches) must operate smoothly and without glitches, and with perfect fitting.
10) There cannot be any scratches, dents, or scuffs on surfaces (mirrors, windows panes, sinks, doors, walls…etc)–we are paying for a finished home without accidental damages.
11) All Reworks must be done carefully to ensure that it’s done right, with proper precautionary steps such as taping edges down first, covering things with plastic sheets, using proper sized tools…etc. Any attempt to skip proper steps for the sake of rushing things will not be tolerated.