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Old 03-01-2021, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
2,110 posts, read 1,079,030 times
Reputation: 5232

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Holbrook View Post

For decades we've been discouraging the trades and telling young people to get college degrees which often leave them saddled with debt.
Exactly--and it's not getting any better. Schools have cut shop class (one of the most useful classes I took) and Mike Rowe says it gets harder every year to give away his scholarships for bright young people to study a trade. Why parents still think it's a good idea to raise a kid who knows nothing at 18 but how to take tests and play with a ball is unclear to me.
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Virginia
7,025 posts, read 3,454,580 times
Reputation: 18285
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
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.
Not always, if you're a long-term, steady customer. My electrician did some work for me several weeks ago and then some more work a week ago. He still has to come back and finish up another project when the weather is decent and his emergency workload isn't so overwhelmed. He said to just take care of the whole bill at the end. We go way back so he knows he can trust me, and I can trust him to finish up as well.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,843 posts, read 19,355,176 times
Reputation: 8154
Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
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.
Supply and demand. We don't have enough quality contractors to cover the workload so they charge a premium these days.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:56 AM
Status: "WE Can Do Better!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
37,227 posts, read 64,627,649 times
Reputation: 37339
And...

Contractors ask, "Why are homeowners so hard to deal with?"

Yeah. They do. For sure.
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,747 posts, read 35,709,396 times
Reputation: 14663
Quote:
Originally Posted by City Guy997S View Post
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.
I'm not saying they shouldn't charge a high sum. It is simply supply and demand. All of the good contractors have a long queue, and they don't have to deal with difficult people. So that means if you want cheaper labor you are working with inexperienced or newer contractors or contractors that have been in the business but are launching their own company. They will often give good rates while they build their business. To me that is the sweet spot. Experienced contractors that just started their own business.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:33 AM
 
1,051 posts, read 835,855 times
Reputation: 1448
Best thing to do is do it yourself and learn on Youtube, as long as the job isn't too complicated. Plumbing and electrical I would hire a professional, but flooring, painting, finishing a basement among other jobs can all be done by yourself if you have the time and patience to learn.

Of course if your an older people it might be tough physically.

Labor costs for installation or most jobs in the U.S. are crazy expensive. We recently received a quote for hard wood flooring installation in 1600 sq feet and the material cost was around 8k and the installation was almost 10K. That's 10 grand for one guy to do 5 days of work. That's a crazy amount of money.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:27 PM
 
6,695 posts, read 5,288,270 times
Reputation: 8419
I have heard this same thing for over 25 years now, lol.

People will always complain about contractors, people will always say there is a shortage, complain about quality, etc.
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Old 03-01-2021, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,747 posts, read 35,709,396 times
Reputation: 14663
Quote:
Originally Posted by k350 View Post
I have heard this same thing for over 25 years now, lol.

People will always complain about contractors, people will always say there is a shortage, complain about quality, etc.
Before the recession, there was not a shortage in my area. I would have several contractors to choose from for small repair work. Now it is a 2-3-month wait.

But yes, people way to pay contractors barely above minimum wage to come to fix something, they don't want to do themselves. Then balk when someone doesn't want to destroy their back and knees for that amount. The going rate for a handyman type out here is $65-$90 an hour.
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Old 03-01-2021, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
1,966 posts, read 895,799 times
Reputation: 4372
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJaquish View Post
And...

Contractors ask, "Why are homeowners so hard to deal with?"

Yeah. They do. For sure.
Especially now. A friend is a contractor in Denver. He's always had a good rep & is well known. Lately, he's said all jobs are hard & several homeowners are mad at him, mainly due to Covid cutbacks affecting so many industries... delays in shipping/receiving materials, custom made fixtures taking double/triple the time, suddenly out of stock merchandise with no firm date as to when it will be available again.

Many homeowners are unhappy to have to settle for delays or 2nd choice in designs/materials... understandable given what they pay. It's worse now with Covid, but like any other industry, there can be unhappiness on both sides.
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,828 posts, read 10,093,177 times
Reputation: 17385
Quote:
Originally Posted by City Guy997S View Post
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.
Sometimes a customer has to be fired.
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