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Old 08-21-2013, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,406,730 times
Reputation: 15677

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
I can relate to your frustration in many ways.

There have been times I called an electrician or a carpenter and they just don't show up or keep on postponing appointments and so on. They act so serenely independent and as if they are doing you a favor..
These highly skilled independent folks are fitting us in. They have more work than they can handle and are juggling several or more big jobs at once. Our relatively smaller jobs (even our big jobs) are not going to make or break their business. They have enough. However, they are always looking for fill-ins just to keep going. My builder son was able to do my roof in a down time in March, during a weeklong thaw. If I had tried to get him a month or two later, forget it.

 
Old 08-21-2013, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
7,004 posts, read 7,576,841 times
Reputation: 16409
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
May I ask what a reasonable price is - per hour - for carpentry, etc?

I need a deck rebuild and wonder what it might cost, though of course the NE charges more for everything.
He's never quoted a "rate" just what he charges to do a particular job. Job #1: put on a new storm door - $100 but he also, as a side job, got his chainsaw and cut up a large tree limb that had fallen - just because it was there and shouldn't be and fixed a wobbly faucet - all for that same price.

This time: Install hot water heater was quoted as $150 but he also cut down 11 oak doors (bottoms) plus fixed another wobbly sink. When asked what I owned him he said $150 - the original quote w/o the doors, sink and other small things. I gave him $200 and felt like I was cheating him. He said "You have to eat" and I said so do you. Next time he will finish my long list and I didn't feel a need to ask the price
 
Old 08-21-2013, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Edina, MN, USA
7,004 posts, read 7,576,841 times
Reputation: 16409
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
These highly skilled independent folks are fitting us in. They have more work than they can handle and are juggling several or more big jobs at once. Our relatively smaller jobs (even our big jobs) are not going to make or break their business. They have enough. However, they are always looking for fill-ins just to keep going. My builder son was able to do my roof in a down time in March, during a weeklong thaw. If I had tried to get him a month or two later, forget it.
What's this - mama bear defending her cub? I'll bet if your son wasn't in the business you wouldn't be so understanding.
 
Old 08-21-2013, 11:59 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
1,174 posts, read 1,040,003 times
Reputation: 1036
The dogs found four kittens in the backyard this afternoon. Going to take them to vet in the morning. Will have to find a home for two of them. City only allows 4 adult pets to one household.

One month ago, I got the phone call that changed the world I live in forever. Been taking one day at a time. I'll always wonder what happened to my son. He was such a happy little boy. He had a plan to get his life together. He was having some issues with his ex. I kept trying to reassure him that judges don't like to change custody/child support orders.
 
Old 08-22-2013, 01:29 AM
 
10,990 posts, read 8,418,945 times
Reputation: 17714
Quote:
Originally Posted by BJW50 View Post
One month ago, I got the phone call that changed the world I live in forever. Been taking one day at a time. I'll always wonder what happened to my son. He was such a happy little boy. He had a plan to get his life together. He was having some issues with his ex. I kept trying to reassure him that judges don't like to change custody/child support orders.
No answers, no platitudes, I'm just another parent who is sorry as heck you have to deal with this.Such is life, we all roll the dice when we bring our children into this world.
Hope you don't take this the wrong way, but it warms my heart to read that he was a happy little boy. He had that, you had a part in giving it to him, and that's more than a lot of little boys have. There's nothing wrong with your wondering what happened; your wondering can be a blessing or a curse, reading your posts leads me to believe it's a blessing, in other words you loved him the best you know how, and that your heart is broken is a testimony to how much you loved him. If he didn't fully know that then, surely he knows that now. Of this i'm sure - he is at Peace and he wishes only Peace to you.
 
Old 08-22-2013, 08:55 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 68,244,406 times
Reputation: 22468
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clark Park View Post
I can relate to your frustration in many ways.

There have been times I called an electrician or a carpenter and they just don't show up or keep on postponing appointments and so on. They act so serenely independent and as if they are doing you a favor.

Right now I'm dealing with a roofer that I hired before and have confidence in his work and appreciate that he is very competitive in his pricing ... but I have to treat him with kid gloves by agreeing to re-schedule his appointments and coax and cajole him to do a job.
I am so sorry you have experienced these same issues, Clark!

I called an electrician for a garbage disposal removal/attachment of new unit and to hang a chandelier . . . I ended up spending nearly $300 just for the installation of those 2 items. He had told me both jobs would probably take him around 1 to 1 1/2 hours total and cost would be around $150. His assistant stepped on the chandelier and damaged 3 of the "arms" - which I tried to reposition - but they are still warped. He didn't have the parts on his truck (even tho I discussed all this with him and said - if you don't have the parts, I can go pick them up or pay you to get them before you get here).

Anyway, I ended up paying much more than I would have had I gotten someone else to do it and am not pleased w/ the chandelier situation AT ALL. I will have it taken down and worked on (warped arms) and repositioned (it is high up in a 2nd story loft area that can't be reached except by ladder). I should have waited for my regular electrician, but he was booked for weeks into the future.

I interviewed 5 roofers and didn't feel good about any of them except the one I finally hired. He was a jewel and it almost makes up for all the disappointments working with others (on other projects) to have my roof done exactly as I wanted it and without the hassle of worrying about materials being used, process, etc. Plus he stuck to his estimate.

I hate to say it -- but around here -- the "popular" handymen and contractors act a lot like DIVAS!!! And they want to treat me like the "little woman" without any brains or concept of the process. But I do my research and know what I am talking about when specifying materials, for example. It was a real relief to find a roofer who respected my wishes, got the materials I wanted, and didn't try to cheat me on price or on quality, showed up the minute the weather broke!, cleaned up daily, and provided a beautiful product.

But that is very hard to find!!! I don't get what the "not showing up" is all about. And the "not calling me back" . . . if they don't want to do the job, why don't they simply tell me that up front?
 
Old 08-22-2013, 09:06 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 68,244,406 times
Reputation: 22468
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
May I ask what a reasonable price is - per hour - for carpentry, etc?

I need a deck rebuild and wonder what it might cost, though of course the NE charges more for everything.
I didn't notice this post earlier or would have tried to answer!

I would think your rates would be similar to Charlotte's. The cheapest I have found a carpenter in Charlotte is $25/hour. But on something like a deck, I would have them do a bid on the project, and I personally would buy all the materials myself, so that the estimate would be for labor only. But that's just me. Most companies that build decks and other outdoor structures (and there are a lot out there) want to do a package deal - they provide a turnkey job - so it is a flat price, according to your specific deck plan and the materials you choose.

My neighbors and friends in Charlotte do it that way, but I have found I can literally save thousands of dollars by getting the materials myself. That has entailed going onto lumberyards and picking out my own wood and then having it delivered to my site. Not everyone wants to work with a client on that basis! However, I have built nearly a dozen decks over the years, at various of our homes, and I know what materials I want specified, how I want the construction done.

So ask around. When we moved to Charlotte, I wanted to expand our decking immediately, so I contacted 3 of the turnkey companies for estimates on a deck that was only 10 x 10. The lowest estimate was $8500. Needless to say, I didn't give them the job. I acted as contractor later, specified high end materials (stainless screws, for ex) and did a 12 x 12 for under $4000.
 
Old 08-22-2013, 09:15 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 68,244,406 times
Reputation: 22468
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
These highly skilled independent folks are fitting us in. They have more work than they can handle and are juggling several or more big jobs at once. Our relatively smaller jobs (even our big jobs) are not going to make or break their business. They have enough. However, they are always looking for fill-ins just to keep going. My builder son was able to do my roof in a down time in March, during a weeklong thaw. If I had tried to get him a month or two later, forget it.
That is certainly not the situation here where I live. The last two carpenters I had here to do estimates (and who never even called back with an estimate! and didn't return my calls) flat out told me they were currently unemployed. They take off the winter up here and were not going to be called back as part of their regular "crew" til mid-April. So in March, I thought - okay - we can get some of this stuff finished up around here, including opening a wall between two rooms, finishing that off, building a new closet, framing for a door for the closet, hanging a door, etc.

They just didn't really want to go to work! I was told by one of the old-timers here that the guys often are on unemployment, laid off status (whatever) and drawing a paycheck even when not working. I don't know if that is accurate or not.

The regular crews here often don't tell you that they are not going to work on Fridays and or Mondays. They take off time to go fishing, for example. This is a lifestyle here and although I think that is wonderful - enjoy life! - if you are not aware of this upfront, it can be maddening.

So maybe everyone is really booked up where you live (and it probably is a very different situation than here in laid back small town semi-rural mountain country) . . . but that is not the case where I am living.

In Charlotte, they will flat out tell me they simply don't want to take on small jobs. It took me a while to figure out that for small jobs, it was best to go through handyman companies. I dealt with three handymen who had their own small operation and the work was substandard in all cases. But with the handyman company, the workers were all skilled and most were returning vets who actually had skills and wanted to work.
 
Old 08-22-2013, 09:32 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 68,244,406 times
Reputation: 22468
Quote:
Originally Posted by BJW50 View Post
The dogs found four kittens in the backyard this afternoon. Going to take them to vet in the morning. Will have to find a home for two of them. City only allows 4 adult pets to one household.

One month ago, I got the phone call that changed the world I live in forever. Been taking one day at a time. I'll always wonder what happened to my son. He was such a happy little boy. He had a plan to get his life together. He was having some issues with his ex. I kept trying to reassure him that judges don't like to change custody/child support orders.
I hope you can find homes for the kittens! We are having such an issue with over flowing animal shelters here in NC . . . folks need to spay and neuter!

Like others, I want to offer some comforting words but honestly don't know what that would be. The loss of a child is so unimaginable . . . I think what you said about "one day at a time" must surely be the only way to go on. Every day, dealing with the questions, wondering about things . . . and trying to cope with the loss (I am not even sure what that means, tho - how do we cope with this magnitude of a loss? Not like there is any real answer to that). So it seems - one day at a time is the approach.

Carole Burnette has written a book about losing her daughter, Carrie, at age 38. She was on Tavis Smiley last night but the interview was not that revealing as to how Carole coped with the loss of her daughter. So I looked up an earlier interview online. Here is an excerpt:

After the initial shock and anger and sadness, you get into a zone. The shock is gone of course after 11 years, one has to cope. After I kind of got over the shock I realized that Carrie would want me to continue and not be obsessed with the past and what happened, but to remember the good things and she’s still in my heart, so I learned to cope. No, you never get over it but you put one foot ahead of another one.[LEFT]
Link to article:

QA: Carol Burnett traces daughter's untimely death from cancer in 'Carrie and Me' | Fox News


[/LEFT]
 
Old 08-22-2013, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,406,730 times
Reputation: 15677
Wow, Ani, a difference between regions! Here the contractors, carpenters, driveway "guys," even those who haul trash are out straight. I know this because of the networking here and my son tells me he can hardly get hired temp help in his house building, as these young guys and gals are running around between jobs. They can just about command their price. This is also the time of year when people get rid of stuff and need haulers. Try to line someone up for that! It's like getting a doctors appt, weeks out! Almost all of the cordwood suppliers sold out back in May. They will only have green wood now. Any seasoned will cost a bundle. I guess the summer here is more "urgent" in terms of services because fall and winter come earlier than down south. You never know when the snow is gonna fly here! (I have "fond" memories of the October Surprise two years ago, when the blizzard knocked out power for over a week). Oh, and forget trying to find a new snow blower or generator after Sept 15!
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