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Posted: 12/4/2007 6:30:46 PM EDT
Ok, I suppose I should thank you all. I mean, I have built a 1/4 mil a year repair and maintenance business on your shoddy workmanship. Still, though, it irks me. What makes so many of you think that just because you fixed a few things around your house, and went out and bought an 18V tool kit and some bid forms at Office Depot with your unimaginative business name stamped at the top, that all of a sudden you are a contractor? It's not that hard, you just have to CARE! Business, in my humble opinion, should not be about how many people you can get to pay you to install a window or door. It should be about building and keeping a good name for yourself, as you help people achieve their dreams.

I go to people's houses (and businesses) all day long, and when I:


  • call first

  • show up on time

  • explain the customer's options, and what I am going to do, in detail

  • fix or build the thing right the first time

  • clean up after myself

  • charge what I said I would charge



people are flabbergasted. This is just a shame. This should be the norm. If you only see being in business as dollar signs and checks, you will leave a bunch of burnt bridges behind you. If you would take the time to:


  • Listen to your customers, they will tell you everything you need to know to keep them happy

  • Research the materials and methods you use. Just because "people use thinset over sheet vinyl to set tile all the time" does NOT mean that it is the correct material for the job.

  • View everything you work on from the perspective of "Is this still going to look good in ten years or more?" I work on houses not only for the current owner of the house, but future owners, as well. When you put that trim up around that gable, and you don't prime those raw edges, because 'no one is ever going to see that,' guess what? I just got a trim job for next year. You are ripping people off. Do the shit right the first time.



then we would have a nation of houses, business and structures that were built to last, and we could use our collective resources designing plasma rifles like we should be doing, instead of rebuilding the same crap every generation. Look at the buildings in DC- that stuff was built before your great great great great grandfather was born, and still going strong. Did they have better technology? Better tools? No, they didn't even have silicone caulk! You know what the difference was? They gave a damn about what they were doing. I don't build a doghouse in my spare time but that I expect to pass it down to my kids.

In short, I should thank you for keeping me as busy as I can stand fixing your shortcuts-come-to-fruition, but I don't. You are giving us all a bad name, and you really need to get some work ethics and people skills. Or GTFO and get a job somewhere.

/rant
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 6:33:51 PM EDT
and most take forever.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 7:32:48 PM EDT
Good rant. I hate contractors. I've never had a single one get a job right. Ever. And I've paid top dollar for "top" contractors.

They don't think like normal people. Contractor non-logic: give me a free, expensive window upgrade but practically go apeshit when I want an extra piece of plywood in the service area of the basement AND flat out refuse to do it; give me a crazy price for something when you just don't want to do it; try to charge me twice the Home Depot price for material when it should be cheaper because you are getting the contractor price; actually tell me I'm lucky you even showed up (threw that guy right off the property, instantly); walk away from several $K because you were too stupid to finish $100 of punch list--it goes on forever.

Too bad you are in LA; could use you up here in NH.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 7:50:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2007 7:50:31 PM EDT by DuraToTheMax]

Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
Good rant. I hate contractors. I've never had a single one get a job right. Ever. And I've paid top dollar for "top" contractors.

They don't think like normal people. Contractor non-logic: give me a free, expensive window upgrade but practically go apeshit when I want an extra piece of plywood in the service area of the basement AND flat out refuse to do it; give me a crazy price for something when you just don't want to do it; try to charge me twice the Home Depot price for material when it should be cheaper because you are getting the contractor price; actually tell me I'm lucky you even showed up (threw that guy right off the property, instantly); walk away from several $K because you were too stupid to finish $100 of punch list--it goes on forever.

Too bad you are in LA; could use you up here in NH.


I'm a contractor. I've been in business 10 years and work by referral only.
We stay busy and the only bad experiences have come from bad customers, i.e. those that try to screw us from the getgo.

We DO think like normal people, we have to make a living and if you want extra work done, you will be charged for it fairly. Your bad experiences may have something to do with your not gathering references before hiring someone. There are many, at least around here that claim proficiency as a builder but very few can deliver.
It's up to the homeowner to use discretion when contracting, talk to friends who've had good experiences, then research more.

I prefer homeowners who are more involved in their projects to those that just take low bid.

In fact, I'm NEVER low bid.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 9:11:37 PM EDT
Quite frankly this is why I stopped all work for Ryland, Pulte, Centex and a few other big name house builders. I used to do install work for the interior trim and I would see things all day long that made me wonder how the house passed inspection at all. ceilings that would drop 4 inches in a 5 foot run and the super would bitch at me for them looking out of level. Drywall that looks like the Pacific in hurricane season, structural walls built 24 on center when the plans clearly show it needs to be 16, pre-made stairs that were set with 4 nails. The list goes on forever and I could no longer associate my name or my company name with the shoddy work.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 9:15:24 PM EDT
But, hey, as long as it has a good paint job, that's all that matters, right?
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 9:16:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By aa777888-2:
Good rant. I hate contractors. I've never had a single one get a job right. Ever. And I've paid top dollar for "top" contractors.

They don't think like normal people. Contractor non-logic: give me a free, expensive window upgrade but practically go apeshit when I want an extra piece of plywood in the service area of the basement AND flat out refuse to do it; give me a crazy price for something when you just don't want to do it; try to charge me twice the Home Depot price for material when it should be cheaper because you are getting the contractor price; actually tell me I'm lucky you even showed up (threw that guy right off the property, instantly); walk away from several $K because you were too stupid to finish $100 of punch list--it goes on forever.

Too bad you are in LA; could use you up here in NH.


Home Depot does not have a contractor price, BTW. Occaisionally they have 10% promotions, but they do not have any regular discount.
Link Posted: 12/4/2007 9:21:39 PM EDT
My friend once hired a carpenter who did a shitty job. When my friend warned him he was on thin ice over his crappy work, the contractor said he was going to go home and take it out on his kids

Great way to build a reputation on a small rural island.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 6:43:14 AM EDT
BFDC
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 5:31:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DuraToTheMax:

I'm a contractor. I've been in business 10 years and work by referral only.
We stay busy and the only bad experiences have come from bad customers, i.e. those that try to screw us from the getgo.

We DO think like normal people, we have to make a living and if you want extra work done, you will be charged for it fairly. Your bad experiences may have something to do with your not gathering references before hiring someone. There are many, at least around here that claim proficiency as a builder but very few can deliver.
It's up to the homeowner to use discretion when contracting, talk to friends who've had good experiences, then research more.

I prefer homeowners who are more involved in their projects to those that just take low bid.

In fact, I'm NEVER low bid.


I can't get contractors up here to give references. The problem may be that I'm middle class with middle class contracting jobs. I had a very high-end guy come in to do my deck who I managed to borrow from a rich friend of mine where he was doing phenomenal work. A gap-filler job for him. He sent his gap-filler crew, I guess, as the results were problematical to say the least

I can't win!

P.S. I didn't mean to say HD had contractor prices, but that my contractor should be buying material from a distributor at contractor prices.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 5:41:03 PM EDT
Dont blame the "contractors" blame the homeowners that hire people they shouldnt.



Link Posted: 12/5/2007 6:22:37 PM EDT
Hey I am a contractor
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 6:25:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 7:08:43 PM EDT by LE6920]

Originally Posted By ShingleMonkey:
Dont blame the "contractors" blame the homeowners that hire people they shouldnt.





What is that saying we always hear about policing your own?



I mean contractors running the bad apples out of business.
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 6:33:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/5/2007 6:35:55 PM EDT by ShingleMonkey]
huh?
Link Posted: 12/5/2007 6:42:56 PM EDT
Do you travel?

I had a painter that made a mess everywhere. I pointed it out and said the job was not done. He grabbed me by the collar and cocked a fist. It would have ended badly if he had hit me and the look on my face must have made that clear. He drove away driving on the grass to get around the UPS guy. Ironically, the UPS guy was delivering a gun that had been out for repair.

A tile guy did a good job for me, so I have him more work. The second job was VERY poor and need to be redone. I showed him the mistakes and he complained that he would have to start over. I was not sympathetic, and he offered to return my deposit check. I think he was truly shocked when I took the check and told him to pack up.


Link Posted: 12/5/2007 7:14:14 PM EDT
I built my own house, my barn, my shop, my parents house. My extended family ends up doing a lot of work ourselves, because there are so many "contractors" who just don't give a crap. Everyone who has looked at my foundation work has been in awe, and never seen better; I'm a freaking homeowner, and my foundations are better?

I still hire some stuff; I got a great roofer and plumber, and a decent stucco guy and drywaller. Interior floors and trim, paint, cabinets, and pretty much anything else that needs to be done right we do, 'cause you can't hire many good people at any price...
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