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Old 03-04-2021, 02:36 PM
Location: Somewhere in America
13,506 posts, read 12,327,382 times
Reputation: 23250


Originally Posted by Brandon Hoffman View Post
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.
In October we ordered a stove and fridge from Home Depot. Neither one was in stock at Lowe's. We weren't even able to order them at Lowe's. We waited 3 and 3.5 weeks for delivery. They have limited crews and high demand. People have been doing a lot of upgrades to their homes during the last year. Our delivery guys weren't even from Home Depot like they were in the past. These guys were from a moving company an hour away.
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Old 03-05-2021, 06:46 AM
Location: Coastal Georgia
41,438 posts, read 51,305,755 times
Reputation: 71790
My daughter was getting bids on an addition last year. They are in a historic district, so needed contractors who are experienced with jumping through the hoops. Although it will be an over $100k project, several said they were too busy with bigger jobs.

It has taken until now to get a contractor they trust to give them a firm bid.
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Old 03-05-2021, 07:06 AM
1,770 posts, read 1,433,777 times
Reputation: 4099
Youtube videos can be your friend. As for contractors, close about half of the colleges in the country, and turn them into trade schools.
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Old 03-05-2021, 08:47 AM
Location: Henderson, NV
1,019 posts, read 766,176 times
Reputation: 2773
Originally Posted by A.Typical.Girl View Post
How to both sides protect themselves from unexpected delays?
An unexpected delay is by definition, unexpected--so you really cannot hedge against lost time. A week of rainstorms will limit certain outdoor projects. Both sides have to ride out the delay. Large contracts often have performance goals and penalties to motivate on time completion. Those clauses are typically well insulated against acts of nature, supply and labor shortages. But a residential remodel or improvement? Your best bet is referral so you are dealing with someone with a reputation for timely work.
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Old 03-05-2021, 04:10 PM
Location: Palm Harbor, FL
2,003 posts, read 907,634 times
Reputation: 4421
Originally Posted by bagster View Post
Youtube videos can be your friend. As for contractors, close about half of the colleges in the country, and turn them into trade schools.
Especially now, trades can grant a very high income... I know independent contractors who earn upwards of $1/2-M/yr. But, it is a great feeling to fix something, rather than have to toss it. In fact, I fixed toilets on my own by watching vids. Of course, it wasn't a major job, but I'm glad to have saved the plumber fee$ & weeks of waiting for him to show up.

When I was small, my mum bought a non-working Falcon for $50 & put it in the backyard. During summer, my 4 older brothers (ages 11-16) took the entire engine apart & put it back together. I'll never forget that there was a pile of parts they didn't use cuz they forgot where they went, so they tossed them in the trunk. They didn't use vids or books or have a mechanic to advise... just their own OTJ experience.

Still, the car worked & my oldest brother drove it around all the time. They did that project so they could learn how to take care of their own cars, when old enough to own & also, they obviously liked doing it.

Their summer seems like a more rich pursuit than being stuck in a room playing vid games all day. Honestly, I wished I were old enough to have been on their crew, but I was too small.
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Old 03-06-2021, 01:23 PM
5,940 posts, read 6,039,505 times
Reputation: 7102
OP, I can definitely relate.

I have asked around but it is almost impossible to get a referral. The one or two that I got did not work out.

I have asked around online. NextDoor, I got nothing. I joined a bunch of neighborhood FB groups but many of them just have the same contractors and handymen posting over and over again.

Some contractors never call back. Some say they will get back to us and either don't or take forever just to give a quote. One or two canceled, said they would reschedule, then didn't.

Originally Posted by simplechamp View Post
+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.
I had a similar experience. I have a finished basement but I am looking to update a few things. Nothing fancy, since it's a basement. I got two VERY high quotes (one with a very long project timeline) and I don't think they really want the job. One had something listed like "$4500 for demolition of wall." Keep in mind this is not a real wall---this is just a thin piece of plywood (smaller than 6x6) that can be knocked down in about 5-10 minutes because it is just covering something else.

I actually have quite a few projects in the house to do so this year or next year, so if someone did a good job, they would have a big project coming. But, what can you do. It is frustrating, no doubt.

Even trying to get a plumber (separate from the rest of the basement work), of the three, one never called back, one gave a quote that indicated clearly they didn't know what we were asking for (it was too low), and one came by and told us he would give us a few quotes based on a few different things. I still haven't heard from him. So, back to the drawing board, again...
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Old 03-06-2021, 03:19 PM
1,055 posts, read 838,861 times
Reputation: 1453
Originally Posted by ss20ts View Post
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.
You can rent just about any tools or equipment you need for most jobs at Home Depot.

You have other things to do, or don't want to do the physical work yourself, I can understand. The world is changing and many people are looking online how to do projects instead of waiting months to have some difficult to deal with contractor and his team do the job for thousands of dollars for you.
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Old Today, 08:47 AM
1,164 posts, read 1,330,191 times
Reputation: 1544
In my area, similar problems as other have mentioned:

1) Most of the contractors are 50-60+ and rapidly aging out of their professions. The younger guys that are good go into the union trades and work on large scale commercial or industrial projects. The guys that are left, a lot of them around builders and just do new home construction, or full-home remodels.

2) A lot of guys are so busy, the really don't want to do small 1-2 day jobs, so they end up throwing some astronomical price out there that is more appropriate for a 3-5 day job

3) Customer service skills / coordination isn't a lot of these guys' strength, particularly the 1-2 man ones. You know the ones that never answer their phone, or if they do the are usually driving around in their truck/van. You give them something to remember like a phone number or an address and you know they don't write down or forget it. I prefer to deal with ones that at least have an administrative assistant or an office gal to handle scheduling/payments/questions. These ones may be good with their trade, but terrible at running a business

4) Some since they know they are busy, don't do estimates or business development. They basically take jobs, then just go get the next one when they are done with the one prior. They are so busy and in such demand

5) The ones that have too many jobs and have a bunch of "in-progress" jobs instead of finishing one and going on to the next. I had a crew that thought it was ok to basically use my garage and backyard and their storage unit for weeks, and finally I told them get your ladders and crap out of here if you are done. Don't come by here and use my garage as your staging area for materials and equipment for other nearby jobs.

I was fortunate enough to find a good electrician, its actually a grandfather-grandsons team. The grandpa is about 75 does the work on the panel and stuff that doesn't evolve a lot of ladders or crawling around. His grandsons in their 20s do all the ladder work and stuff. They are good dudes. The father of the boys, son of the owner he does the big commercial jobs, and lets the others do the small residential stuff. I won't do any electrical myself if it involves going into the panel.

I've reroofed my garage and shed by myself, but hired to do the house - too steep & high-up, and too much
Hired out some wooden siding/carpentry work since all the window sills had rotted out and needed replacement
Hired out house painters
Hired out replacing HVAC systems - furnance, AC, water heater
Trying to get a concrete guy out to replace the sidewalk and end of the driveway.
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