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Old 03-01-2021, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Columbia SC
11,829 posts, read 10,096,903 times
Reputation: 17385

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I am having two in home jobs done. Plantation shutters ($2.2K) and kitchen counter tops ($4K). Time quoted on each was 10 to 12 weeks out from each vendor. Primarily due to material shortage but also due to a lot of people having changes made to their homes after being cooped up in them, they want their homes better, more convenient, nicer, etc.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:17 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
20,102 posts, read 29,961,964 times
Reputation: 15947
I have a family member who is a retired GC. He is a nice stand up guy, exceptionally honest and did fantastic work. Learned from his dad and his work was always perfect.

He's also a "don't tell me what to do" type....that's why people go into that line of work. They want to make their own hours, rules, and so on and that includes making calls when they feel like it and not making calls when they don't. They usually start young and so never work somewhere that customer service is a priority, or if they did they think it's stupid. They know if you could do it yourself, you would, but you can't for whatever reason so you need them or someone like them. They also tend to be "live in the moment" types who think the gravy train will never end when times are good.

And a lot of them who are shady haven't caught up to how social media makes the world go round nowadays.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:32 PM
 
9,779 posts, read 9,479,120 times
Reputation: 21563
OP
What do you need done. It may be that the job is too small to attract any good contractor, as they have a lot of large jobs to pick and choose from. Many only take small and unprofitable jobs when there are no bigger jobs available.
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Old 03-01-2021, 04:44 PM
 
9,779 posts, read 9,479,120 times
Reputation: 21563
Question: Have you talked to a contractor and had them bid on the job

If you are calling trying to find a contractor and no one is interested in doing your job, you are not offering them something they want to take on, or you are trying to find a cheap contractor and there is no such thing today.

Today, good contractors want professional wages, just as a Computer engineer wants professional wages.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Henderson, NV
1,009 posts, read 762,892 times
Reputation: 2742
My Son-in-Law is a GC and is so busy with a flipper guy he has no time for jobs outside rehabilitation of flips. I get leads on work he would be all over a few years ago, but passes on now.

My friend who is a HS educator/administrator does decks and porches when he is off (especially during COVID). He has work lined up for months and people wait for him. He has a construction background and does good deck work. There was a lumber supply "crisis" in the COVID early days. He could not find deck lumber for weeks, and that froze his work queue for weeks.

I only take work on referral from a few trusted people. People hire me because they trust the person referring me--and I work hard to preserve that circle. There is no bad blood if I don't win a bid. I don't negotiate price because you can always find someone for less outside our little circle. You are paying for the relationship, reputation, and the work.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:24 AM
 
11,023 posts, read 8,964,321 times
Reputation: 9864
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?
Sellers start prepping their homes during the winter and securing the contractors. It is near the end of the low season for buyers. Soon, that will pick up. If you need someone to work on a home you've contracted, you're best to get a referral from the agent and then you will probably have to wait at least 2 months before they start. If you need a quick job with short response time, the agent can probably refer you a handyman to fix the items on the list before closing.

Most of the rest of your reply is perception. Since you don't use them regularly, you don't trust them. Some contractors will come to look at the job, try to upsell the project, and walk away if the job is too small.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
1,980 posts, read 897,847 times
Reputation: 4385
Quote:
Originally Posted by WVREDLEG View Post
I only take work on referral from a few trusted people. People hire me because they trust the person referring me--and I work hard to preserve that circle. There is no bad blood if I don't win a bid. I don't negotiate price because you can always find someone for less outside our little circle. You are paying for the relationship, reputation, and the work.
How to both sides protect themselves from unexpected delays? Due to material shortages/delays in receipt, do customers now ask contractors to purchase everything needed upfront before they sign a contract or have a clause in the contract that they'll cancel the job if materials aren't purchased immediately?
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
2,963 posts, read 1,142,777 times
Reputation: 7209
Having worked with contractors every day for years, I'd say they're overall a very mercenary bunch. Now I think they're really not all that different from any other business you interact with, but there's two factors that make it seem a lot worse:

(1) The trades have traditionally been under the influence of two anti-competitive forces - unions and organized crime. While that may or may not be the case for an individual contractor today, it has set a tone that is essentially very much "I'm doing you a favor by doing this job for you, so don't complain about how I do it or else". They're selling a service to you, and in their mind it's a seller's market. To this day most contractors I've dealt with hate competitive situations and some will walk almost instantly if they figure the customer is shopping around.



(2) These guys are rough around the edges. Blue collar guys who happen to run a business. So they're not nearly as adept at concealing the fact that they're trying to make a big fat profit at your cost as corporate entities with trained marketing, sales and customer service staff are. Consider that if a local contractor hires people for those roles, they tend to pay less than corporations and offer less chance for advancement..as a result they maybe get 3rd, 4th or 5th pick from the applicant pool.
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Old 03-02-2021, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in America
13,489 posts, read 12,308,184 times
Reputation: 23216
Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeinChina View Post
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.
Installing hardwood flooring isn't the easiest thing under the sun. You also need the right tools. Tools which aren't cheap and you need to know how to use them. I've installed hardwood flooring years ago and honestly it's worth it to pay a pro. My back and knees say nope never again. I also have other things to do. You're paying for that person's expertise and physical ability along with his tools.
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Old 03-02-2021, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
9,846 posts, read 19,357,145 times
Reputation: 8155
Quote:
Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
I am having two in home jobs done. Plantation shutters ($2.2K) and kitchen counter tops ($4K). Time quoted on each was 10 to 12 weeks out from each vendor. Primarily due to material shortage but also due to a lot of people having changes made to their homes after being cooped up in them, they want their homes better, more convenient, nicer, etc.
I just bought a new fridge from Lowes. It was in stock and could have taken it with me, but I have no hope of getting into the house and removing the old one on my own. 2 weeks to deliver. Not sure what the heck is going on, but I think we just don't have enough people wanting (or maybe more accurately, incentivized) to work right now.
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