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Old 02-27-2021, 12:17 PM
 
Location: NYC / NJ Metro Area
113 posts, read 202,653 times
Reputation: 103

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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?
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:22 PM
 
4,280 posts, read 1,452,281 times
Reputation: 3637
Demand and in many areas the public screwed themselves hiring as cheap as possible thus enabling those contractors that are incompetent, cut corners, lazy, rush, slops, don't care etc. If you can't find recommendations you trust at least check for license or diy.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:40 PM
 
Location: planet earth
8,626 posts, read 4,092,304 times
Reputation: 19434
Try NextDoor.
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Old 02-27-2021, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Rochester, WA
9,820 posts, read 6,597,995 times
Reputation: 26804
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.
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:26 PM
 
9,009 posts, read 11,711,385 times
Reputation: 17861
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fountainrunner View Post
It's wintertime, it's not like it's even the busy season.
COVID = busy season for all good contractors. Most are overloaded with work. I'm in the queue for dormer/window work, but I won't expect anything until late spring/ early summer. At least he told me to expect it to take a long time.
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
14,931 posts, read 36,657,506 times
Reputation: 15342
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.
^^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.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
4,123 posts, read 2,242,249 times
Reputation: 11097
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.
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Old 02-28-2021, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,851 posts, read 21,368,578 times
Reputation: 10476
I suspect - as with anything to do with real estate and houses - everything is entirely based on location. On our island, there's a huge amount of high end houses being built and that's sucking up a lot of the various workers. We're waiting for the excavator to show up and he was supposed to have been here on the 1st. But, well, maybe he just didn't specify which 1st he was gonna show up on? If he arrives the day after tomorrow it will only be one month late, so that isn't too bad, I suppose.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:51 AM
 
Location: Vermont
4,266 posts, read 1,631,279 times
Reputation: 7157
My opinion on this, in my own area, is that all the 'good' contractors are continually busy with word of mouth referrals from people in fairly 'affluent' areas and they stick with people who have the $$ to pay them for their skills.

With three notable exceptions, we have problems with every single person who has done work in our home.

Good luck.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Cary, NC
38,750 posts, read 67,068,993 times
Reputation: 39503
I agree... The really good ones have more work than they can handle.
It has always been that way.
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