Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 42

Thread: Now know why I do it myself.

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    7,548
    Yikes, I must know the only respectable contractor in the country. He has reasonable rates, comes when he says, finds good prices on materials (charges me only what it costs him), works efficiently and does top notch work, personally comes and supervises when he hires subcontractors, and completes by the time he says (often under budget). He is happy to have me work along side of him and lowers the cost accordingly if it saves him time. He is in fact extremely busy and I sometimes have to wait to get on the schedule but if he says he will be there on a certain date I can count on it.

    JKJ

  2. #17
    When I was in high school and college I worked for my grandpa, who was a contract painter. He had been in business for 35 years when I started with him, and retired after 45 years. He was the most expensive painter in town, and he only worked 5 hours a day by that time (they worked 7 to 6 for the first 30 years), and he had a waiting list a year long. He only bid jobs for people he wanted to work for too. But he would always tell them up front how much the job would cost, when he would start and how long it would take. And he was always right on.

    It shouldn't be that hard. Be polite, be professional, show up when you say you will and do the work you contracted for. My dad was a big believer in that, and as a general contractor he always stuck to his estimates and time tables. If his subs didn't, then they never got work from him again. But the subs he could rely on got a lot of work - 3 to 4 houses a year for like 30 years.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Posts
    818
    We had an unusual knock at our door. We live in a housing area that is posted "No soliciting". There were two young men, one in college, one a senior in highschool, or so they said, and they were soliciting painting work for a well know paint company. We needed our porch entrance painted, so we asked them to bid. They said they were in an apprentice program and were learning the business. They took our information and said someone else would quote on the price. The whole thing seemed a little odd to me, but we went along.

    A couple weeks later someone from a painting company called and asked if I had time to answer a few questions. I hate talking of the phone so I said, no, just come over and give me a quote and that he already had all the information. He told me it looked like I just wanted the porch entrance painted. I said yes, and he told me it was too small a job and hung up.

    I'll probably just go ahead and do it myself.
    Life's too short to use old sandpaper.

  4. #19
    I've had good experience with contractors. I found them from references from friends. I was talking with one of them and he told me his "secret" to success:

    1. Show up when you say you will.
    2. Do good work.
    3. Clean up every day and especially when you finish.

    He has a waiting list. He has subs that he works with and I've gotten to know several of them. They are reliable and do good work, also. I'm especially friendly with the plumber because I dislike plumbing work and I've had several plumbing projects in this house - not problems but changes.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #20
    I've been trying to find a dustless sandblasting company to act interested in sandblasting the steel hull of our 50' houseboat. Left messages with 3 local companies, 2 never bothered calling back, the one that did 'had too much work in front of me'... I told him any date in 2018 would work. Then he got put off that it's up on blocks, 'I won't have room for the hose'. Yeah you will, I've seen the video's. Then he told me he'd talk to someone else he knew to see if HE could do it sooner. Never heard from him, or HE either. No response to my calls or emails. Pretty frustrating to have a $6 grand budget and nobody wants it...
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3,383
    A couple years ago I replaced my water heater. It was 10 years old and getting rusty. I figured it would fail in next year or two, and when it failed I wouldn't be able to get a plumber for several weeks and he would ultimately charge 50% more because I was desperate. (I have replaced them myself in the past, but am getting a bit old for that...)

    I would like to replace my bathroom fan, but it would require some ceiling patching and there is little chance of finding someone to do that.

    It is a very sad situation.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    51
    For the most part you are employing the unemployable. It should be no suprise when they act like what they are.

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    3,383
    Quote Originally Posted by John Cole View Post
    For the most part you are employing the unemployable. It should be no suprise when they act like what they are.
    A few years back I found a guy who did everything. He gave written prices, showed up on time, did good work, and honored his quote. When I tried to get him for a second job I found he had taken a job as an apartment maintenance man. Oh I was angry; but I guess you are right.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    189
    My wife and I stumbled onto a guy almost 30 years ago when we were looking to put a sun room on the back of our house. He did a nice job at a fair price, so we asked for a bid on the next project a year or so later, and the next project after that, and the next after that.

    I never told him, but we stopped bothering with multiple bids after the third project - there wasn't really any point. Besides the sun room, over the years, he re-sided and re-roofed the house, remodeled the kitchen, remodeled two bathrooms, replaced all of the interior doors and trim, and finished part of the basement. Projects ranged from $300 to $30,000. Always did what he said he'd do, when he said he'd do it (we always paid what we agreed to pay, when we had agreed to pay it).

    The time we asked him to quote new siding for the house, I also asked him to quote a new overhead door for the garage. He told me he'd be happy to give me a quote, but he was just going to sub the work out to Overhead Door Company - it would be their door, and their guys would install it - and I'd be better off dealing with them directly. He left me a brochure of their products.

    I'm getting ready to subdivide the basement in our new house so I'll have a dedicated shop area. Guess who I'm gonna call?

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Wade Lippman View Post
    A couple years ago I replaced my water heater. It was 10 years old and getting rusty. I figured it would fail in next year or two, and when it failed I wouldn't be able to get a plumber for several weeks and he would ultimately charge 50% more because I was desperate. (I have replaced them myself in the past, but am getting a bit old for that...)

    I would like to replace my bathroom fan, but it would require some ceiling patching and there is little chance of finding someone to do that.

    It is a very sad situation.
    I'll tell a little story on myself.

    One afternoon, I came home and there was water coming out of my garage. Checked and the water heater was leaking. So I turned the water off at the heater and drained it so it wouldn't keep leaking. Told my wife that I'd replace it tomorrow (it was getting dark).

    She starts complaining that she wants to take a hot shower in the morning. So I go rent a truck and go to Lowes and buy a replacement water heater. Come back, do the plumbing and get the heater operational.

    Tell my wife that she's spoiled rotten having a husband who will replace a water heated at 9 o'clock at night so she can take a hot shower in the morning.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
    Posts
    306
    There is a guy I met from my kids school who is a fine carpenter from Ireland. We became friends and I hired him to work on a deck balcony build and soon an interior remodel. He charges 50 bucks an hour and is worth every penny. He misses out on a lot of jobs because he won’t cut corners and is an absolute perfectionist. We work together well and our skill sets compliment one another well. I feel pretty lucky.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    4,399
    Have a zero turn mower with an oil leak. Stopped the first week of January to make arrangements for pick up and repair. almost 8 weeks later have not picked up. I have been planing to buy a new bigger ZTR. Guess who I will not go to? If they are 8 weeks out in January how long for a repair in June ???
    Have to go to plan B I guess.
    Not my week to get things done.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati Ohio
    Posts
    4,399
    I went through this last fall too.
    I had a leak in the roof. Called one local guy who agreed to come right out. Never showed, Called and left message. No call back. Contacted through his web site, gave my address, cell and home number, Nothing. This guy has 90, 5 star Google reviews. No negatives and I cant get him to return my call. ????
    The roofer that did show up to fix the leak, I also gave him a siding job, new gutters and gutter toppers.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    444
    I have a friend who is a construction contractor. He's told me stories. One that sticks is a former classmate of mine who returned to our home town after a long stint with Saudi Aramco overseas with a pile of money in his bank account. He and his wife spent 2 months in talks with the contractor - over a dozen meetings, plus prints, etc. - to design a half million dollar house. The couple got the final estimate and prints, walked out and hired a building manager to subcontract out all the work to lowest bidders. So, since he had no contract to show or his work, my friend sent the couple a bill for design and engineering services. They never paid. And this was been two parties whose families had known each other for decades.

    On the other hand, same guy did a remodel for my wife and I. Didn't charge for the design service, and when the final product came in substantially over his estimate, we settled the bill in a ten minute conversation in which he got less than his billed rate for labor, but I had to spring for somewhat more than I'd hoped. If I recall correctly, about 2/3 of the "pain" was in his pocket.

    A real standup guy, in other words.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,067
    My GC friend works on a cost-plus basis. Client pays actual cost for materials and subcontracts and the GC gets a reasonable percentage...about 20%. That covers him for fluctuation due to "surprises", etc., and he progress bills larger projects at about 20% increments rather than the typical 25-50% up front with balance minus 10% at completion and final 10% after punch list is cleared.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •