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Old 06-19-2014, 10:12 AM
 
1,863 posts, read 3,513,437 times
Reputation: 2666

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I've been trying to have a wall knocked out since February. Half of the companies don't call me back after they figure out it's just one wall. Others charge twice as much as the average cost because they don't want the work. I called one independent contractor, but he didn't seem 100% confident about what the job entails (it's a support wall with multiple air vents and electrical). One company with renovation information and galleries of completed work on their website said they are no longer doing renovations, and they only do that when the housing market goes down since they also build homes (Then take it off your friggin' website).
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Asheville, NC
12,433 posts, read 29,339,138 times
Reputation: 5207
I know this thread is old but I am experiencing the same thing. I never thought is would be this difficult to find a good contractor. No shows, taking forever to finish the job and increasing the original bid are big issues. Getting someone to do an estimate is the first hurdle. This part isn't usually that hard. It's once you hire the contractor, it all starts to fall apart. smh If they do show up, they work for 3-4 hours day and they are done for the day. Recently, I signed a detailed quote with the cost of the job. The contractor did half the work and bailed because he underbid the job. Keep in mind, this was just for labor. He got paid daily but did ended up getting a couple hundred more for the part he did. Now we have to get someone else to finish the other half. The work he did was good and he showed up and worked a full day. Tried to work it out but he declined.

I hired an electrician, who started the work, to hook a mobile home up for power. The wires in the breaker box were messed up from the previous owner. It was quite obvious when looking at it and that it needed repair. I also requested to have (2) 220 outlets replaced for the stove and dryer that were missing. He gave me a fixed price to do all this stuff. He got through a good part of the job and he tells me he wants me to pay and additional $450 to swap out the breaker box and I would need to pay for the additional wire for the 220's because it was missing. You think this would have all been checked when he gave the cost to do it. The new thing is the placement of the meter box outside. I talked about this before any work started. I asked if the box needs to mounted on a pole. He told me no, laws have changed and it can be mounted on the double wide. I read the code book and I was getting something different. I offered to give him a copy of the book and he declined. He mounted it on the home. I had to call the inspector for something else and just happened to ask about it. He said it can be mounted on the home only if the home is brand new and it came that way by the manufacturer. Long story, short, it needs to be moved onto a pole. Now, he wants me to pay for the additional wire needed to move it. (his mistake) This is going on for a month now. For a week he ignored my calls because I refused to pay an additional $450 for a breaker box. I did offer to pay for the breaker box, which I know cost about $80 but he was caught in a lie so he said forget it. I offered to pay for the 220 wire as well. This electrician was referred by a friend.

I will say the septic guys were very professional and did what they said they would do. Showed up, did the work in a timely manor and the price was the same at the end as well.

This is my rant. It's hard to find good contractors. If you do, hang onto them.
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Old 09-26-2018, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Floribama
18,118 posts, read 37,053,383 times
Reputation: 17494
I have requested estimates from SIX different people to replace some rotten window sills, two of them said they had broken bones and couldn’t work, and the other four just never showed up.
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:07 AM
 
8,232 posts, read 12,946,151 times
Reputation: 11193
Just a sympathy post. Having lots of trouble with this myself
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:58 AM
 
Location: broke leftist craphole Illizuela
10,126 posts, read 15,459,999 times
Reputation: 19363
Yea my mother just wound up letting the house go to pot because she could not get a contractor to show up or quote reasonable rates. Replace some rotten facia board $800 for 1-2hours work (more than a brain surgeon), few damaged shingles $1000, blow some insulation in attic don't show up diy...
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
9,823 posts, read 6,604,690 times
Reputation: 26808
For far too long, we have insulted and failed to appreciate the skilled trades, canceled shop class, hired anyone who would work for less or under the table, and told kids that the only worthwhile path to success is college and a degree.

It's really not a surprise that there are few really good smart, business-savvy contractors out there.

We don't want to pay them what we expect to make just sitting behind a desk.

Quote:
$800 for 1-2hours work (more than a brain surgeon)
Really? Seen any bills from brain surgeons lately?

Be willing to pay good people what they're worth, and there are still good contractors out there. But I do think we ought to rethink what we've done to high schools... bring back Home Economics, wood shop, auto shop, electricity, and other introductions to life skills we all had, our parents all had, and youth of today are missing.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Virginia
7,563 posts, read 3,923,817 times
Reputation: 19809
I've been extremely lucky with my contractors, I guess. I just had a guy refinish the floors in my new house. He started the job one day after he quoted the price, plus he did additional work (threaded in some boards in a bad spot, put in extra shoe molding under the hot water baseboards) at no extra cost. (BTW, this guy literally works 7 days a week, so he's not sitting around waiting for a job.) My heating and A/C guys showed up on time and are swapping out my stove plug for free (doesn't fit the W/D I installed in the kitchen.) Sometimes I have to wait on a contractor to fit me into his busy schedule, like the gutter guy who will not be there for a month. But hey, he does good work, so he's worth the wait. He's also extremely reasonable, which also makes it worthwhile to me. I only use people I've used for years or else people who are recommended by people I've used for years. It makes the process pretty foolproof. I haven't had a no-show or a bad job so far (knock on wood.) Heck, even the FIOS guy showed up on the minute for installation.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
13,337 posts, read 4,370,719 times
Reputation: 27891
Just a chiming in "kind of" rant --

This is what irks me so much about so many of the younger generation not going into skilled trades. There are PLENTY of areas that are "begging" for skilled contractors. Believe me, I would not mind at all paying premium rates for good workers who do the work they are paid to do well, show up on time, finish on time, and come in with a final price within 10 percent of the estimate! (And I would rather pay twice as much for a professional with at least five years of experience than having to deal with people who don't speak English fluently.)
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Old 09-29-2018, 07:29 PM
 
2,759 posts, read 1,402,553 times
Reputation: 4975
Quote:
Originally Posted by katharsis View Post
And I would rather pay twice as much for a professional with at least five years of experience than having to deal with people who don't speak English fluently.

Omigosh, yes, this ^^^^^^ for sure!

And it has nothing to do with racism (before anyone brings that into the discussion) but simply that I want to feel confident that my side of the conversation is being sufficiently understood.

Case in point: The landscape/lawn service that does my weekly cut is owned by a nice fellow who charges me a reasonable rate ($30) and his crew shows up every Thursday (or Friday if it rains.) They are dependable. However, the owner speaks very little English and his crew speak none. I speak no Spanish. There have been several instances during the past 3 years that I've used them when I wanted to get an estimate for additional work (removing some shrubs, clearing out a flower bed, etc) and was unable to because of the language barrier. I even tried sending them a snail mail letter hoping that someone in the household might translate it into Spanish. Nothing. Another example: I tried to tell the crew to NOT string-trim a stand of red-flagged poison ivy after it had been treated, because I didn't want the leaf bits flying everywhere and ending up on other plants nearby that might be touched. I tried as hard as I could with words and gestures and the fellow seemed to understand, even saying, "si, si, poison, okay". So what happens? The following week I see him weedwhacking it as usual even though the red flag was still there.

His crew also won't cut the lawn at all if there are any workmen (other trades) whose truck happens to park in our driveway. So the lawn goes uncut for a week or more because they only do certain neighborhoods on certain days. I cannot get through to them via English that they should ask the other workmen to move their truck so that they can get the riding mower in. The last time this happened, some of the other workmen were Latino and so it wasn't a case of "they won't understand me". It's just so frustrating and I never had this problem with any other service because at least the other owners understood and spoke English.

Sorry, had to vent.
Now back to our regularly scheduled thread, LOL
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Old 09-29-2018, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
11,913 posts, read 10,690,535 times
Reputation: 19840
Quote:
Originally Posted by beckycat View Post
I know this thread is old but I am experiencing the same thing. I never thought is would be this difficult to find a good contractor. No shows, taking forever to finish the job and increasing the original bid are big issues. Getting someone to do an estimate is the first hurdle. This part isn't usually that hard. It's once you hire the contractor, it all starts to fall apart. smh If they do show up, they work for 3-4 hours day and they are done for the day. Recently, I signed a detailed quote with the cost of the job. The contractor did half the work and bailed because he underbid the job. Keep in mind, this was just for labor. He got paid daily but did ended up getting a couple hundred more for the part he did. Now we have to get someone else to finish the other half. The work he did was good and he showed up and worked a full day. Tried to work it out but he declined.

I hired an electrician, who started the work, to hook a mobile home up for power. The wires in the breaker box were messed up from the previous owner. It was quite obvious when looking at it and that it needed repair. I also requested to have (2) 220 outlets replaced for the stove and dryer that were missing. He gave me a fixed price to do all this stuff. He got through a good part of the job and he tells me he wants me to pay and additional $450 to swap out the breaker box and I would need to pay for the additional wire for the 220's because it was missing. You think this would have all been checked when he gave the cost to do it. The new thing is the placement of the meter box outside. I talked about this before any work started. I asked if the box needs to mounted on a pole. He told me no, laws have changed and it can be mounted on the double wide. I read the code book and I was getting something different. I offered to give him a copy of the book and he declined. He mounted it on the home. I had to call the inspector for something else and just happened to ask about it. He said it can be mounted on the home only if the home is brand new and it came that way by the manufacturer. Long story, short, it needs to be moved onto a pole. Now, he wants me to pay for the additional wire needed to move it. (his mistake) This is going on for a month now. For a week he ignored my calls because I refused to pay an additional $450 for a breaker box. I did offer to pay for the breaker box, which I know cost about $80 but he was caught in a lie so he said forget it. I offered to pay for the 220 wire as well. This electrician was referred by a friend.

I will say the septic guys were very professional and did what they said they would do. Showed up, did the work in a timely manor and the price was the same at the end as well.

This is my rant. It's hard to find good contractors. If you do, hang onto them.
You seem to have a couple of different problems here.

One is a series of contractors who seem inept and don’t know code. Did you check to see I’d they were licensed? Not understanding basic electrical code is quite concerning.

The second issue is one of additional scope. If a legitimate error is made, or something is discovered that could not have been reasonably anticipated, then it is reasonable for you to lay more money for the job.

Who would have reasonably anticipated that the wire for the 220 was missing? That is a reasonable change. Additional charges to replace a panel are suspect, as that is something that the electrician should have been able to reasonably quote based upon an initial site visit.
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