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I...hate....contractors........

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  • I...hate....contractors........

    ok, going to edit this to : I hate MY experience with contractors (!)

    (don't want an assault of contractors .... honestly, this was only a rant, and I take responsibility for the situation of trusting people.....its just something I'm going thru and its been tough)


    so.so.so. tired of each and every time I trust, employ and take a chance on a contractor that it always starts out the same, with huge promises of product, professionalism and integrity....and ends up: no communication, a fight, and money already paid, and , and , and.

    I know its just the name of the game. But living in one area, and working with contractors in another (2 hrs away) and trying to coordinate visits, and be responsible for overseeing the work is TOUGH if they won't communicate! AAAAARRRRRGH.

    Ok. rant over. Good news: interlocking mats are in my run in! yay! and...(drum roll) for any of you who remember my first posts of the ghetto barn, (yes, still a ghetto barn)....it now has a NEW roof that is about 3-4 Ft (!) higher than the old one, and L and R hand sides of the top addition are in total clear plexiglass, and man that sucker is lit up like no tomorrow! Love that!

    Now, to get the install of the corian corner counter in the washrack, with cemented in cross tie posts on each corner, and then the entire area matted with the awaiting interlocking mats there, too!

    hope it won't be too long, or too much of a fight.....
    Last edited by ayrabz; Jan. 5, 2013, 04:01 PM.
    ayrabz
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
    --Jimmy Buffett

  • #2
    Contractors could say the same about the owners who don't pay. Or won't get plans drawn and their 'vision' of what they were getting is not what they got...so they don't want to pay. Or they want to buy all the materials but then don't get what they are told to get b/c they don't know what they are buying...or you get finished, haven't gotten paid, and now you won't get paid until you add a plug or a light way over there, on the other side of the now paved driveway, on the other side of the arena...with nothing to tie into for what feels like miles...for 50 bucks more, maybe

    I know it's hard. I do. We built this house and I hope I never have to do it again, but I'm married to a good contractor: the guy who shows up and works hard and does it right- and still every new customer is a gamble- will they pay? are they moderately sorta stable? Or are they going to wear a robe and nothing else, and drink beer and rant about their ex wives all day and scream on the phone at their lawyer? Yeah...the saw, sadly, cuts both ways

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      katarine: I'm sure your husband is the total exclusion to my experience. But...I can promise you...PROMISE YOU.....I've been through about 5 by now. Some electricians, some fencers, some barn builders, some general contractors, etc.....I'm not making this interjection on one experience.
      ALL of them paid. ALL of them paid on time or BEFORE they finished, because we TRUSTED them. No robes, no beer rants....just being a woman who has researched and found out a lot about wireing for barns, building of out buildings for horses, etc, trying to talk to men who were builders, but not horse savvy, who thought I was nutz. But guess what? they all wanted that job and that contract at first. THEN they got difficult when other jobs were calling....and mine wasn't finished. Nope....I've had enough to not be nice anymore.
      ayrabz
      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
      --Jimmy Buffett

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh I feel for you, I do= I've dog cussed my share as well. It's well and truly the most aggravating thing on the planet

        Comment


        • #5
          My husband will say the same thing about material suppliers.
          Since it is so hard to find a good contractor, he has learned to do everything himself. He has taken classes. Worked with professionals. He over builds everything and is meticulous to a fault.

          So a few years ago he built his dream garage. It's huge. It is finished on the outside but this winter he is working on the inside. He is doing the electrical right now. He and I have built interior walls and begun insulating. He had stock piled most of the materials over the past 5 years. I think we had insulation rolls that were 20 years old...

          Anyway, the stories I could tell you about the incompetance of electrical supply companies in this town. The past month he got so fed up that one day he threw all his materials in a trailer, slammed the door and swore he was done with it for good. He says "I don't need to call a contractor. All I need is for someone to sell me the stuff i need!"

          No one knows anything. No one wants to help. No one will call you back. Orders are late. Orders are wrong. One place doesn't apparently even have a listed phone number and he has to go down there if he wants to ask a question. Not in the white pages. Not in the yellow pages. He even went on their national website and tried to look it up. Address for the location, no phone. When he walked in he asked them how to find the number. It wasn't even on their printed receipts. The answer?

          "I dunno. People call here all the time."

          My boss moved here from Dallas 10 years ago. One day he asked me "How do you get any one to do any work in this town?"

          And they say business is down because of the economy... it's because your service SUCKS.

          When we want something done around here we hire Amish. It may not be pretty, and it may not be imaginative, but if you are willing to show them exactly what you want, they will bust their a$$ to do it for you.
          ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

          Comment


          • #6
            Wait... OP... you are putting a Corian counter in your wash rack?
            Do you have hot water too? Can I come live with you?

            ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

            Comment


            • #7
              I started building houses for a living in 1973. I depended on subcontractors for the first few houses for some things. It wasn't long before I ended up doing everything myself.

              I never wanted to work for other people, so I started with spec houses. During a couple of economy downturns, I got worried and built a house or two for other people. Those were the biggest mistakes. The worst client is one who doesn't know what they want, but that's not it.

              I never claimed to be a "contractor", and in fact avoid the title. I've built houses, and restored old houses for 40 years now with a driver's license. A contractors license might put me under the contractor label.
              www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Sadly Tom, you wouldn't get any but the worst kind of clients without a contractor's license around here. The county would be on your $#! in a hearbeat and then the homeowner could be in hot water. Biggest laugh of the century though was when we went to buy a house, during the inspection my HUSBAND discovered a "missing" foundation wall that just happened to be "covered up" by a plastic vapor barrier. Whew, that was close. It was then discovered that this had been a mobile home, demolished and new built around the frame, clearly without any permits.
                "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm with you ayrabz! I have only had one good experience with one contractor after remodeling two houses and a barn. I pay on time, once I paid a deposit up front. I have had them walk out on jobs, leave me with half done jobs, stop my project to do work for other people, lay tile in the wrong place, broken things and refused to fix or replace.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    see, after two major house renovation projects and a barn reno, i have had FANTASTIC experiences with many, many contractors who go above/beyond, who show up when they say they will, who work with us to fix problems and confront the many unexpected suprises that come with a 110yr old house and barn. I did have one dishonest stone countertop guy--but otherwise all good.

                    Wonder if it's a midwest/iowa thing -- it's a small market so reputation is EVERYthing and word travels fast. In a bigger market, even though i'm sure word-of-mouth counts, you can probably keep getting jobs just by advertising. We've gone back to the same contractors over and over, so I'm sure that helps too. They know us and that they can count on immediate payment, we're flexible/ unemotional when the house throws us a surprise, etc.

                    But I read stuff like this and man, it makes me grateful for the tradesmen and -women we hire. Don't give up hope, they're out there!!!!

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks all for the commiserating. And, HH...it's ALWAYS good to hear the impossible can and does still happen.
                      Tom: If ONLY (!) you were available ! You've helped far beyond any of the ACTUAL contractors in this on going journey...can't even imagine how wonderful your actual work is.
                      and Smart Alex: Yes, the corian counter is what is right now 'awaiting' finalizing....huge post holes for the cross ties dug in washrack area, now open for the past 13 days with no contractor returning....water collecting in them......SIGH. So, don't envy me TOO much! (and yeah, while it won't be hot water heater water, it will be a mounted on demand propane water heater in the outdoor matted washrack IF IT EVER HAPPENS!
                      ayrabz
                      "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                      --Jimmy Buffett

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I worked for an architect and it was my experience that my architect had a stable of truly reliable contractors. However, my architect was the one who got to deal with nutty owners, and run to the county, etc etc. I think more of his job was in people skills than in drawing plans and whatnot..
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                          Thanks all for the commiserating. And, HH...it's ALWAYS good to hear the impossible can and does still happen.
                          !
                          A pretty tight contract helps; one that spells out payment schedules for specific points of project completion , has a completion date with penalties for lateness or possible rewards an earlier competition .... also should spell out what is considered a weather delay event and how that effects the terms of the contract.


                          When I was a banking officer, at times we were used as a clearing house to to oversee a construction loan to insure the contractor had paid all sub-contractors and suppliers... there has been more than one lien placed on property by unpaid vendors that have surprised owners who thought all had been paid for. This process was more for the favor of the bank than the client as we needed an unencumbered title for loan documents.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            We have a good friend who is a general contractor and has been in charge when building our house, our barn, and a recent addition to the barn. He has good guys that work for him for the most part, but often said he spent a lot of time "babysitting" - I'm sure that refers both to subcontractors and home owners! But people often decide to be their own GC to save money, then complain about all the time and effort it takes...our guy really did earn his fee.

                            When we built my arena (outdoor), we kind of operated as the GC for the project, since no actual building was involved (not to cut our friend out, he just does buildings), and it was exhausting! The whole nail thing was enough to drive me to drink...you could plead, cajole, threaten, cry, and those guys just nod and smile and still leave nails everywhere. The day the concrete truck got a flat tire, I will admit I cheered. I spent hours out there with a magnet finding nails. Nails for an outdoor arena? We had to pour walls, and the forms are wood put together with nails. Then remove the forms and (apparently) fling all the nails willy nilly to give the homeowner something to do in the evening. I had nightmares about those nails...and dreams of torturing the nail-flingers...

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              signed contract listing items (even those not finished) check.
                              If it goes much longer, I suppose that will come in handy in small claims.
                              (but who wants to go thru that OR do that to someone....sigh.)
                              and, horsepoor: I hear you!!! I haven't found the nails, but this latest guy is a chain smoker. Me: You are more than welcome to smoke OUTSIDE barn. Him: I always pick up my butts on every site, you won't find any here, I'm good about that. Me: I appreciate that, but please, under no circumstances, do not smoke in barn. Yet, each time I witnessed him working there: smoking continued inside. Upon mentioning it again: he even commented that he smoked while working inside, and 'it was never a problem'.
                              Yeah. stick a fork in me. I'm done.
                              ayrabz
                              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                              --Jimmy Buffett

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Smokers...grr...the day I found cigarette butts littering my gravel turnaround, next to my barn, in our driest and windiest stretch of summer weather....I was ready to stop work and kick everybody out. My SO intervened, the guys onsite figured out it was one concrete delivery guy that was a buffoon in other ways (seriously, how they let him loose with a concrete truck, I have no idea)...so the concrete company was told he could not come back. Same guy had turned down the wrong drive, despite signs and cones and verbal directions, and hit my neighbor's garage while turning around. Maybe that's why he so desperately needed a smoke (or 10!)!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  overnight letter sent Friday and confirmed tracked receipt on Sat at 1:57 pm. Still no word, and no show on the job site. Getting ready for lawyer if no action by end of this week.
                                  ayrabz
                                  "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                  --Jimmy Buffett

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ayrabz View Post
                                    overnight letter sent Friday and confirmed tracked receipt on Sat at 1:57 pm. Still no word, and no show on the job site. Getting ready for lawyer if no action by end of this week.
                                    So sorry for all your troubles. I need to have some plumbing work done in the barn and am dreading trying to find someone that will actually do a decent job.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by horsepoor View Post
                                      When we built my arena (outdoor), we kind of operated as the GC for the project, since no actual building was involved (not to cut our friend out, he just does buildings), and it was exhausting! The whole nail thing was enough to drive me to drink...you could plead, cajole, threaten, cry, and those guys just nod and smile and still leave nails everywhere. The day the concrete truck got a flat tire, I will admit I cheered. I spent hours out there with a magnet finding nails. Nails for an outdoor arena? We had to pour walls, and the forms are wood put together with nails. Then remove the forms and (apparently) fling all the nails willy nilly to give the homeowner something to do in the evening. I had nightmares about those nails...and dreams of torturing the nail-flingers...
                                      OMG the nails.

                                      My father in law was our GC, and he was fabulous, but there's just a very casual attitude towards nails on a jobsite, it seems. The nails were only around our house, not around the horses, but *I* picked up hundreds if not thousands of nails myself... and sadly managed to pick up a nail in a tire for every vehicle we owned that year, another unexpected $1000 or so for the project...

                                      I am still finding the occasional nail, over a year later.
                                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        still not one word. TOTALLY fed up....drafting breach of contract letter and contacting lawyer. LOADED FOR BEAR.
                                        ayrabz
                                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                                        --Jimmy Buffett

                                        Comment

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