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  1. #26
    What the what???
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    Sorry. Venting requires a change order. That's gonna cost extra.
    Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. - MLK

  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opus51569 View Post
    Sorry. Venting requires a change order. That's gonna cost extra.
    "of course we can change that. It'll cost less and finish up two weeks earlier than anticipated"
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  3. #28
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    When he finally shows up to finish the work....Shoot him......That'll learn him.
    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  4. #29
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    I've been avoiding this thread but am about half in the bag, so am stepping in to add to the melee.

    Christine, pick your fixtures and finishes before you commit.

    It'll help your budget and schedule.

    If you know on day one that the sparkle-matic shower dealie costs a months pay, you won't stop work for a week at the moment three trades intersect.

    Nooky, you should tell your guy that not notifying you on Friday was a massive inconvenience. No drama, just a straight up look, man, you made me waste a day off.

    Everyone else, construction attracts a wide variety of characters. Just like every other job.

    There's good ones, bad ones, lazy ones, special ones, and even some ******* ones.

    Happy everything, everyone.

  5. #30
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    ******* should read a$s hole.

  6. #31
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    John's already hand-written several pages of notes, indicating the requirements for each room, and expectations for the contractors. This includes the type of piping (new copper) and how it should be insulated (no gaps)......all exposed piping should be chrome with chrome covering.......instructions for the speedies (??).....

    I asked him what would happen if somebody didn't have his technical knowledge before renovations. "They'd get screwed," he said.

    It's a shame the business is like this, but there's a trillion variables requiring so many fields of expertise.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    John's already hand-written several pages of notes, indicating the requirements for each room, and expectations for the contractors. This includes the type of piping (new copper) and how it should be insulated (no gaps)......all exposed piping should be chrome with chrome covering.......instructions for the speedies (??).....

    I asked him what would happen if somebody didn't have his technical knowledge before renovations. "They'd get screwed," he said.

    It's a shame the business is like this, but there's a trillion variables requiring so many fields of expertise.
    Like anything, consumers are best served when they have done a certain amount of homework.

    And watching renovation shows isn't it.

  8. #33
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by nOOky View Post
    The guy doing the work has done work for us in the past,
    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    The first rule of hiring anybody to do anything is to check their references and reputation. This guy must be the brother-in-law of a friend or a member of your religious congregation (the two worst reasons to hire anyone)?
    I'm pretty sure nooky checked with himself before hiring the guy.

    Probably why he's pretty ticked given that he's used the guy before and thought he was good.
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  9. #34
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    I've literally never talked to anybody who has hired a building contractor who they were happy with. Every single one did substandard work, didn't follow plans, never finished the work, overcharged, didn't communicate, charged for work they didn't do, were grossly late (like one year +), or some combination of the above. And that includes projects ranging from small bathroom remodels to full house builds.

    I don't know what it is about the business, but it seems to be a troubled one. If (God forbid) I ever need to hire a contractor, I think I will pick the most expensive bid with the longest projected completion time. At least that one is at least trying to be honest.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    John's already hand-written several pages of notes, indicating the requirements for each room, and expectations for the contractors. This includes the type of piping (new copper) and how it should be insulated (no gaps)......all exposed piping should be chrome with chrome covering.......instructions for the speedies (??).....

    ........
    Really, copper... nothing wrong with PEX, and it is significantly cheaper, easier to work with and route in homes...

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealric View Post
    I've literally never talked to anybody who has hired a building contractor who they were happy with. Every single one did substandard work, didn't follow plans, never finished the work, overcharged, didn't communicate, charged for work they didn't do, were grossly late (like one year +), or some combination of the above. And that includes projects ranging from small bathroom remodels to full house builds.

    I don't know what it is about the business, but it seems to be a troubled one. If (God forbid) I ever need to hire a contractor, I think I will pick the most expensive bid with the longest projected completion time. At least that one is at least trying to be honest.
    A couple of thoughts--10ae is right--direct confrontation on the wasted day is good--although you are trying to re-educate someone who should have already figured it out--better to man up and tell the client that you were too optimistic and that you can't make it--full stop--before the day is wasted. (And on the contractor's side--there can be a world of hurt on their end that led to them not showing up, but it is still a fail if you don't call...)

    nealric--I do think there are good contractors out there, but there are also a lot of "bad" clients--by this I mean clients with selective hearing, incomplete understanding and/or inflated opinions of their own knowledge of the construction process--so that "overcharged" may be the thing the contractor mentioned at the beginning that "might" raise the price--that you the client have forgotten about. Substandard work (at least sometimes) is a perfectionist client vs technical reality (and I'm not talking about stupid substandard...)

    Anyways--there are always two sides to every story, so pick your contractor with care, make sure that the expectations, materials, finishes etc are all mutually understood--but still be ready for surprises, especially with renovations.

    And as far as it being a "troubled" industry, I think it is a combination of low barriers to entry, and customers who want professional work, but don't actually want to pay "professional" prices, so you get a lot of barely skilled crews of recent immigrants being run by exploitative crew bosses (at least around here) because that is the way you have a prayer of actually making money.
    Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things.
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  12. #37
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    Develope full set of plans & specs, hire only bonded contractors, hire a construction manager that isn't limp wristed, sign on the line. Do your work, know the real scope of the project including sub surface issues. Do this and you will have a good job.
    Don't, then don't whine about the conciquences.
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown View Post
    A couple of thoughts--10ae is right--direct confrontation on the wasted day is good--although you are trying to re-educate someone who should have already figured it out--better to man up and tell the client that you were too optimistic and that you can't make it--full stop--before the day is wasted. (And on the contractor's side--there can be a world of hurt on their end that led to them not showing up, but it is still a fail if you don't call...)

    nealric--I do think there are good contractors out there, but there are also a lot of "bad" clients--by this I mean clients with selective hearing, incomplete understanding and/or inflated opinions of their own knowledge of the construction process--so that "overcharged" may be the thing the contractor mentioned at the beginning that "might" raise the price--that you the client have forgotten about. Substandard work (at least sometimes) is a perfectionist client vs technical reality (and I'm not talking about stupid substandard...)

    Anyways--there are always two sides to every story, so pick your contractor with care, make sure that the expectations, materials, finishes etc are all mutually understood--but still be ready for surprises, especially with renovations.

    And as far as it being a "troubled" industry, I think it is a combination of low barriers to entry, and customers who want professional work, but don't actually want to pay "professional" prices, so you get a lot of barely skilled crews of recent immigrants being run by exploitative crew bosses (at least around here) because that is the way you have a prayer of actually making money.
    When I say "overcharged", I mean totally lowballed the estimate. It's one thing when the customer makes a bunch of change-orders that increases the price, it's another when the customer has ordered no material changes and the project comes in 50%+ over budget. I think a lot of that is due to issues with incentive alignment when cost-plus arrangements are used (which seems common). They have every incentive to lowball to reel the customer in and then collect on the back end.

    On substandard work, things I have observed were hardly perfectionist issues. A friend of mine had a house built that had a seriously leaky roof and leaky windows (as in the drywall was ruined after the first big rain storm). It took 3 attempts to actually get the place watertight. I also saw things like railings on second story balconies that had a solid 6 inches of flex such that they would very likely give way if someone leaned hard on them.

    Some of this may be regional. My understanding is that until recently, anybody who was a competent welder in Texas made big $$$ out in the oil fields. Anybody who was stuck welding railings on residential construction was probably too incompetent to do real welding.
    Last edited by nealric; 6 Days Ago at 09:31 AM.

  14. #39
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    CHEAP
    QUALITY
    FAST

    You can pick any two in construction and probably get it with a little due diligence into the guy you are hiring. You will never get all three and unfortunately that is what everybody wants these days.

    I lose jobs weekly to the lowball bidder. And then hear the horror stories like the ones from nealrc. Cheapskate owners are the very reason that poor contractors are in business and continue to stay in business.

  15. #40
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    I hope nOOky had a chance to talk with his contractor about the non-communication and got that issue squared away.

    I think there are great contractors, bad contractors, and every kind in between. The low barrier to entry, as mentioned above, coupled with clients who don't understand what they're getting in to with a remodeling project, I think account for the many negative stories. I'd advise people to not get discouraged. Of course I'm a building and remodeling project fan. Good project outcomes are possible, and they happen all the time. Those just don't get discussed as much. Realistic expectations and overly clear communication makes a world of difference. And face it, recommendations and references count for a lot. The skill set that a real pro brings to your project is a night and day difference. They aren't cheap, but they're reasonable. I was all set to do the door, window, and finish trim when we built, but had a recommended finish carpenter set our cabinets. I got a look at his work and decided to have him do all the finish trim because I could practice every day for 3 years and not be as good as he is. I wanted a "Wow!" factor when walking into our house, and that's what we got. We've been in the house over 6 years now and love it every day. But I digress . . .

    I mentioned in my previous post that our daughter and SIL had some remodeling work done on a home they bought last fall. Since the kids are busy with jobs and a toddler, my wife acted as the project manager. Besides, she's good at that sort of thing. Besides the heart attack that set the schedule back, one of the contractor's subs just didn't do good quality work. That could have really gone sideways, but we had a sit down with the contractor, and referring to the industry standard of "in a workmanlike manner" not being met with some drywall and texturing, we obtained cost adjustments for work that had to be done over. We felt kinda' bad, knowing that this was a low profit project, but the contractor hired the sub-par sub contractor, not us. So he had to eat that loss, and we were still able to part as friends when the project was finished.

    Good results are possible, and it's a heck of a lot of fun if you don't mind the temporary mess.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    Develope full set of plans & specs, hire only bonded contractors, hire a construction manager that isn't limp wristed, sign on the line. Do your work, know the real scope of the project including sub surface issues. Do this and you will have a good job.
    Don't, then don't whine about the conciquences.

    lol if only that worked every time, you're funny.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I'm pretty sure nooky checked with himself before hiring the guy.

    Probably why he's pretty ticked given that he's used the guy before and thought he was good.

    Pretty much. He was here working today. I came home early as we had a new riding mower delivered, and I wanted to be here. I don't know if I fully bought his excuse, but I think he knows 100% what the expectations are going forward.

    For the record we bought everything, right down to the grout and faucets, it was all sitting in the house waiting to be installed. I write things down and usually generate a diagram of desired finished product. I put checkboxes next to each item, and we went over it beforehand. He's pretty good normally, which is why we were unhappy. We have never been unhappy with the quality of his work, and we feel his costs are reasonable.

    From my days as a supervisor for 19 years I learned to write down everything, otherwise if you tell someone more than two things they simply don't remember everything you asked. It helps if they can check it off when completed.
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  18. #43
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    Do it yourself, that way you know who screwed it up

  19. #44
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    I can do some of the things myself, but I have more money than time. And from years of browsing the lounge I have learned to hire a professional. Plus I'd rather be out riding my bike.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  20. #45
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    So far so good on my little contract. After living with a single car port that I never got to use, we decided to construct a decent size two car garage. They started two weeks ago today. Pretty decent progress. They show up every day, on Saturdays too because the weather has been good I guess. Wiring gets done today. Last night, demo and before pics -Contractors, can I vent here a bit?-garage-3.jpgContractors, can I vent here a bit?-garage-2.jpgContractors, can I vent here a bit?-garage-1.jpg

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    So far so good on my little contract. After living with a single car port that I never got to use, we decided to construct a decent size two car garage. They started two weeks ago today. Pretty decent progress. They show up every day, on Saturdays too because the weather has been good I guess. Wiring gets done today. Last night, demo and before pics -
    That looks pretty sweet--good idea too, it will add value to the house.

    Any idea what size/type of beam over the garage opening to get that big a span?
    Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things.
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  22. #47
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    The garage looks good. We have a 1 1/2 and I'd like a new one but there are so many things we would like and only so much money...
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by paredown View Post
    That looks pretty sweet--good idea too, it will add value to the house.

    Any idea what size/type of beam over the garage opening to get that big a span?
    Maybe 8x8 -- I'll look tonight. It's 22' wide with one 18' door. I definitely didn't want a 2 door garage. Owned the house for 15 years and finally decided to do this. I'm really looking forward to getting in a car without scraping ice off the windshield, or burning my @ss on 1000 degree leather seats. Since I don't drive much, I can learn to live with always having the old car (I kinda like the van), but the second class parking space was getting old.

    The amazing part of this was the range in bids we got. We interviewed six contractors and got a $40k range in bids.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    AHA. This explains why John wants me to pick out everything for the bathroom and kitchen and be sure of it before we even get started. I'm not a fan of Pinterest, but the choices are fairly overwhelming. Suddenly makes sense why people pay for a designer!
    Are you talking about tile choices, overall design, hardware elements, or what?

    We had our main bathroom redone last year. Over time we'd found some pictures of bathrooms we liked and had a general idea, and already had a vanity ready to go. The hangup choosing what tile we wanted and dialing in the design. The contractor we were originally going through required us to go choose all tile, hardware, finishes, etc, before he'd generate a quote. They farmed out their tile install work, and so we met with a consulstant to go through what they had and come up with a design. She was great and allowed us to keep and use her sketches after we decided not to go with the original company.

    The installer we ended up going with had us purchase everything first. We used what we originally had picked out and sourced it all ourselves, along with every other piece of hardware. I don't think we would have been nearly as happy if we hadn't spent the time with that consultant at the first place and had already gone over all of the tiles with someone who knew what they were doing.

    For the rest of the hardware, we looked around for deals and chose things we thought would work out nicely. We're still super happy with how it turned out.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine View Post
    John's already hand-written several pages of notes, indicating the requirements for each room, and expectations for the contractors. This includes the type of piping (new copper) and how it should be insulated (no gaps)......all exposed piping should be chrome with chrome covering.......instructions for the speedies (??).....

    I asked him what would happen if somebody didn't have his technical knowledge before renovations. "They'd get screwed," he said.
    Sounds like what we did. I drew up several sketches on tile layout in different areas, heights and other dimensions, etc. We had to watch and still ended up with some weird tiles in a couple of spots, along with what seems to be screwup of basic bath tile work.

    If you're getting tile, make sure they put some sort of rubber or liquid membrane between the backer board and tile, and make sure they use caulk rather than grout on all intersections (wall-to-floor, wall-to-wall). Grrr.

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