U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-28-2021, 07:54 AM
 
6,731 posts, read 3,153,294 times
Reputation: 12811

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fountainrunner View Post
I'm at the stage of the home buying process where I need to find a reliable contractor and it just might be the hardest part. I do not understand why it is this hard to find a contractor who is reliable, honest, and hardworking. I can't think of a more unprofessional group of people who actually hold a license. I just don't get it. It's wintertime, it's not like it's even the busy season. Any tips on locating a good one beyond asking family and friends?
NextDoor is a good resource. A lot of people give reviews spontaneously if they have good experiences. Of course you can also ask for recommendations. While right now might not be the time to hire people to do exterior work like siding, painting, and roofing, people can focus on interior work. FWIW, I live in a neighborhood that has a lot of new houses coming up (it is a tear down situation, so each buyer hires her own), and most are still making progress despite the winter. The guy across the street from me and the guy behind him are doing extensive renovations and are working on the interiors now.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-28-2021, 10:39 AM
 
4,929 posts, read 3,094,624 times
Reputation: 3753
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fountainrunner View Post
I'm at the stage of the home buying process where I need to find a reliable contractor and it just might be the hardest part. I do not understand why it is this hard to find a contractor who is reliable, honest, and hardworking. I can't think of a more unprofessional group of people who actually hold a license. I just don't get it. It's wintertime, it's not like it's even the busy season. Any tips on locating a good one beyond asking family and friends?

Contractors, handyman, plumbers, electricians ect. It really doesn't matter. Quality work at a reasonable price is hard to find. Those who are skilled, honest and reliable are usually busy all the time.

They can also pick and choose where/when they want to work.

As was recommend above I would search the Next-door website in your area. I own 6 rental properties and am always looking for good vendors.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 12:21 PM
 
12,627 posts, read 14,832,992 times
Reputation: 18906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
^^This.^^

We have a nationwide contractor shortage that isn't getting any better. 80% of construction companies can't find the workers they need.

1) They are aging out.
2) Millenials and Gen Z aren't interested in those jobs
3) Many, many contractors left for other jobs during the recession.
4) Immigrants can be hired, but we have issues with the number of work visas allowed and then language issues.

All of this means, you need to get into a contractor's queue, wait a long time, and then pay them a high sum. Going into the trades is great money right now. Hard work, but good money.
Work comes in:
FAST
CHEAP
GOOD

Pick any two!

Good contractors are booked out regardless of season. Guys that can start tomorrow usually are available for a reason (they aren't good). I have a neighbor that hires a Spanish handy man because his work is cheap. I would find his work level acceptable on rental properties, not any where near acceptable for my personal home.

The internet and reality TV shows have made homeowners unreasonable. They believe you can rehab a whole house for 25K in 30 days because a flip show did it on TV. They look on Amazon to find all the materials can be basically had for cost online (cutting the contractor out of any margin). Then they get upset when nobody shows up to actually do the work.

Just finished a decent job for a homeowner (22K+). Made it work with his holiday deadline. They called back looking for another project to be done, it involved electrical work/permit. It was priced straight forward and the electrical was priced by an electrician as time and materials plus permit fees.

Homeowner called back, said he was holding another quote that cut the margin we had by 60% AND included the electrical work as part of the proposal. Personally I think he was "fishing," thinking he was going to be able to get us to match the 2nd quote. We stood firm on the price quoted and questioned how someone was going to do the electrical for free and get a permit without being an electrician? Homeowner says, not sure how that was going to work but he was looking to save money, just spent a bunch of money, etc.

We told him to take the lower quote and have a nice day. Why? We are extremely busy, essentially have more work than we can do if we worked 7 days a week! It became a waste of time, you are asking for a no margin job and comparing quotes with unlicensed/un-permitted work. Guy was stunned and knew he was either lying about the 2nd quote/price or knew the work would be subpar. Not apples to apples work.

If they called Monday saying you have the job at your original quote we would decline the job.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 02:16 PM
 
248 posts, read 85,307 times
Reputation: 761
+1 for Nextdoor

We were putting in a shed this summer and our city code required a 4" slab plus 24" deep ratwall around the perimeter. It was more than I wanted to take on myself so we started calling concrete companies. Most were booked solid, the 2 we got to come out for estimates both said it was much smaller job than they normally do. The pricing was basically "we don't really want this job, but if you're willing to pay $$$ we'll do it".

Posted on Nextdoor and someone recommended a guy who lives in our sub. Had been a concrete worker for years and recently started up his own business. Was willing to do the smaller jobs the big companies didn't really want. Did a great job and for a fraction of what the others quoted us. Really worked out well.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
1,956 posts, read 894,370 times
Reputation: 4353
I'm unfamiliar with NextDoor, so thank you for that info.

Houzz.com is another resource, which is free to join. The benefit is you can see pics of the work the company has done, some have vids, as well & read reviews.

Good luck with your new home.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 05:00 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,843 posts, read 19,353,176 times
Reputation: 8154
Quote:
Originally Posted by adjusterjack View Post
The best contractor is one that you don't pay anything to until the job is completed to your satisfaction.

Pay them anything up front and it'll be hell trying to get them back to your job.

Have them scope out the job, give you a list of materials, you buy the materials and have them delivered to your property. Then pay the contractor for his labor when the work is completed.
Good contractors don't need to accept crummy terms from a customer because they are busy and have a wait list. They'll probably require half up front. But I do agree don't pay the entire amount up front. However, yes, the contract may be fine with the customer buying the materials in lieu of down payment.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 06:44 PM
Status: "WE Can Do Better!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
37,220 posts, read 64,615,827 times
Reputation: 37329
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Hoffman View Post
Good contractors don't need to accept crummy terms from a customer because they are busy and have a wait list. They'll probably require half up front. But I do agree don't pay the entire amount up front. However, yes, the contract may be fine with the customer buying the materials in lieu of down payment.
Yup.
Assuming a job takes more than a few weeks...
Using the contractor as the bank to fund the project usually doesn't save the consumer money. Contractor has bills, payroll, etc, to cover during the project.
Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, HVAC guys. They all want to be paid at time of service.
Hourly employees want to be paid weekly.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 07:03 PM
 
8,863 posts, read 5,047,758 times
Reputation: 23909
One of the problems we have around here is it seems the contractors want to get their entire year's profit in just a couple of jobs. we had a very good contractor that had done several jobs for us who recently retired. He wasn't cheap, but he was good. When we talked to him for recommendations since he was now retired, he had none that were willing to take on smaller remodeling jobs. They all wanted big, whole house jobs where they only had to take a couple jobs a year and could take winter off. In fact one of his reasons for retiring was he could no longer get the subs to come out.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2021, 07:31 PM
 
5,344 posts, read 3,806,367 times
Reputation: 7470
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post
Not sure why you don't want to ask family and friends. They're the best source for good referrals. Also your Real Estate agent... I hate to toot our own horn but I think we do have opportunity to know who the good and bad contractors are!

I think there is a general shortage, nationwide, in skilled tradespeople.

For decades we've been discouraging the trades and telling young people to get college degrees which often leave them saddled with debt.

I think we've also made it very difficult for legitimate skilled tradesmen to stay in business.

I do hope we turn it around soon! Many of the good ones are aging out of the business and taking their knowledge with them.
Great post! For decades now the American media has stigmatized the trades and encouraged everyone to attend college even when college is not the best choice for the particular young person. Now we have shortages of good tradespeople (severe in some areas and specialties) which enables the remaining people working in the trades to get away whatever kind of behavior they want. I am not sure how we go about restoring a balance but it needs to happen.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Yesterday, 07:14 AM
 
6,796 posts, read 7,821,952 times
Reputation: 17916
Check with local suppliers...generally not the big box stores like HD or Lowes. If you have a plumbing supply store or a real lumber yard, they will tell you who does good work (and pays their bills) . Being businesslike is part of the process. The good ones understand that. Get on their list for your job and when your time comes around, they will dedicate their resources to your project until it is finished to your satisfaction.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top