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htabbas 12-10-2011 06:43 AM

Contractors and cleanliness
After 6 months of extension/remodeling, I pretty much have worked with contractors from all trades: exterminators, duct work, electrician, plumbers, builders, roofers, garage door guys, kitchen guys, bathroom guys, insulation guys, you name it.

I found out that they usually try to clean the area where you can see, like in your living rooms etc. But when they work in your attic or crawlspace where they think you would never check, they would leave behind a lot of stuffs. I do check occasionally though and guess what I found? A lot of trash and a lot of tools. Half used tapes, product boxes, packaging, half cut electric wires, duct parts, connectors.... I have spent a lot of time cleaning out what they should have done. And I collected a lot of tools: an electric drill, couple of li-ion batteries, several hammers, a lot of screw drivers (one of them was retrieved from the inside the HVAC register!!), several tape measures, caulk guns, etc. I really don't understand why they can't have a bit more courtesy.

joecaption 12-10-2011 07:12 AM

Welcome to the real world, as an owner of a constrution company I can testify to what your going through and can tell you any boss has told the employees at least a hundred times to pick up after there self and to never leave a job until all tools have been account for.
Since they did not have too pay for the tools, they could careless. I've even taken the price of a new tool out of there pay check and they still loose stuff.
A few loose wire tails left in an attic or crawl space is one thing, but I've had electritions come in and leave all the boxes lights and ceiling fan come in and all the plastic packages switch plates come in laying on the floor where ever they happen to be working. Even though there was a dumpster right outside the door. People that have no more pride in there work then that are not invited back.

oh'mike 12-10-2011 07:25 AM

That can happen---but it's really not that common---I never had any slobs on my jobs--(more than once)

I won't tolerate it and make it clear with any subs that clean up and disposal must be included in their bid-- On additions and large jobs (back when I did that sort of work) I would hire a clean up/helper to save the expense of paying crafts mans wages for janitorial work.

What did you agree to---did you pay for clean up? Or just assume that was included?

oh'mike 12-10-2011 07:37 AM

In 20 plus years of doing remodeling--I have found only two pair of channel locks--one stud finder--a prybar and a folding work light---

Your 'crew' sound like a real bunch of 'losers'--

BigJim 12-10-2011 08:08 AM

My main subs would clean up after their selves but I had a brick crew I could not get them to us the johnny on the job, the dumpster was right beside it but they would us the dumpster. They didn't do but one brick job, the sad part was they were really good. The main thing I had trouble with is guys peeing in the bathtubs. I put a sign in the tubs, we don't pee on you check, don't pee in our tub.

No matter how good a sub cleaned up, I still had to hire clean up crews, it was just part of the job.

oh'mike 12-10-2011 08:28 AM

Yuck----they should have used the sump pit:laughing:

I did a basement for a fellow once--He got his own drywall crew---

He was shocked when the hangers left all the scraps on the floor and broken sheets---hundreds of pounds of junk---

Never asked about clean up---I had to tell him--there are THREE trades involved--Hangers--tapers--and scrappers---he just didn't know about the scrappers.

That explained why his guy was cheaper than my guy:whistling2:

RTRCon 12-10-2011 08:31 AM


The main thing I had trouble with is guys peeing in the bathtubs. I put a sign in the tubs, we don't pee on you check, don't pee in our tub.

Years ago i was trimming a builders own personal home. He had some arguement about money with the drywallers.. They peeed in most of the HVAC vents. Couldnt get rid of the smell and had to replace a bunch of it..

oh'mike 12-10-2011 08:41 AM

Funnest one I heard of--office remodel for an obnoxious owner----

The hvac installers tapped the bathroom exhaust into the air vent over the owners desk---

Ironlight 12-10-2011 09:30 AM

I've had pretty good luck with the subs that I've hired, acting as my own GC. But I tend to look for older guys who are established tradesmen and have obvious pride in their work process as well as their work product. I've found that younger guys often haven't developed the same habits even if they work hard and do good work.

The only tool I recall having found over the years, other than a few stray screwdrivers and pliers, was a Hitachi 18v battery. Called the guy and let him know but he never came back for it. Sorta odd as those things aren't cheap.

Gymschu 12-10-2011 09:39 AM

I'm a painter and had to do some minor drywall repairs for a Landlord on a rental house. He told me there were several buckets of mud in the garage that I could use to patch the walls. This is in the summer with temps around 95 degrees. I open the first bucket.......filled to the brim with human waste.....I open the 2nd, same thing......every frickin bucket was filled to the top with sh**! All were "honey" buckets. Ended up being the guy who did most of the carpentry work for the LL. At the time, there was no plumbing in the house, but, there was a store less than a block away with a restroom. I never opened a bucket of "used" mud ever again.

BigJim 12-10-2011 09:39 AM


Originally Posted by RTRCon (Post 790319)
Years ago i was trimming a builders own personal home. He had some arguement about money with the drywallers.. They peeed in most of the HVAC vents. Couldnt get rid of the smell and had to replace a bunch of it..

That would have been the one to break the camel's back, it would have been time to open up a good ole can of whoop a..:thumbsup:

DrHicks 12-10-2011 09:47 AM

They paved the street in front of my house this summer. A couple days later, when I went to mow, I found an almost new 35' Fat Max tap measure sitting on the boulevard. I guess I'm okay with that.

biggles 12-10-2011 09:58 AM

you make out with the tools left and the lead guy asks where that favorite tale measure or cutting sheers or has a dead power pack on a drill and asks where the others...that guy is a gonner... lead guys hate it when there tools are used and left behind by i don't give a SH** helpers or guys they don't like to work with....companies don't replace hand tools:whistling2:

Bud Cline 12-10-2011 10:53 AM

Years ago I did (quick) tile jobs for the big developers in the Plano Texas area and it wasn't unusual to go into a new home to do some tile and find more than one person had crapped in the bathtub. It happened all the time. The builder had one Porta Potty on every block that was being developed and still they used the tubs. Peed in the shower bases and crapped in the tubs.

rusty baker 12-10-2011 11:00 AM

Having done flooring for almost 40 years, we are supposed to be the last trade in (like that ever happens). The trades that leave the biggest mess are the drywallers and electricians. Many times I've had the electricians come in after I had installed pad and just throw their trash (wire clippings, paper from outlet covers) all over the pad. At least the drywall mess is a one-time cleanup before I start.

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