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Old 09-28-2013, 08:14 AM   #1
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I Feel Sorry For Homeowners


I'm in the building trades. I designed and built our house and have done practically everything on the house since then. Exceptions are installing an AC condenser - no problems there, replacing the furnace - I almost threw them out of the house!, replacing the roof - other than not doing a good job cleaning up I'm okay, and now doing a stone veneer on either side of the garage door - some stones fell off, much of the rest is not level.

So the hired help is batting around .500. And we're not playing baseball.

If this what happens to someone in the trades, I can only imagine how bad it is for the average homeowner. I can see why Angie's List is successful.

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Old 09-28-2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Angie's List is a con. You get the same odds of finding a good contractor as anybody else, plus you get to pay Angie a monthly fee for essentially nothing. Gullible people are why it appears successful.

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Old 09-28-2013, 11:27 AM   #3
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After a contractor gets listed on there, they get solicited for money for a more prominent spot.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:25 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
After a contractor gets listed on there, they get solicited for money for a more prominent spot.
And they make up names and give themselves good reviews.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #5
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Like all trades ---the best ones are known and respected by the other trades-----

That is your best source for finding subs--

Painters know the good drywall and trim guys---

Framers can tell you about the best concrete workers---

You see how this works----when I need a new sub--I ask another contractor or go to the supply houses and get names----Mike-----
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:11 PM   #6
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I've had extensive experience with 4 homes. My parent's place built in the 1970's is solid as a rock. My ranch-style built in the 1960's had good bones, just neglected. A townhome built in the 1990's which was falling apart as I rented it and now my current home which is a second-hand house(i'm the 2nd owner) in a cookie-cutter development. It was approximately 10 years old at the time so I figured any major issues would have been found and resolved by then. Boy was i wrong. Just search for threads I started.

my HVAC is severely unbalanced with doors blowing open or getting sucked shut and hot rooms/cold rooms depending on the season, i had to replace the entire front half of my house essentially, tons of stupid and hack-job-just-get-it-done-quick-to-keep-it-cheap type of moves.

My wife and I want to have our "final" house custom built in several years when we save up enough and I'm not looking forward to the hand-holding to get it done right versus right-now. Finding that perfect house in a cookie-cutter development is next to impossible. For one at least in PA you are not allowed on the premises without an invite as you technically don't own it until the house is complete. I therefore could not walk through to find things or make slight modifications myself. Secondly, most developers want it built for as cheap as possible and would rather pay to fix any issues that *may* be discovered during the warranty period. Ugh.

so yes, I agree that homeowners have a rough ride
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:57 PM   #7
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Yes, homeowners have a rough ride.

I have a rough ride whenever I buy practically anything:

Telephone service
computer stuff
automotive
medical
dental

Most people have a "go-to person" for their car. It could be a family member or friend who is automotively inclined. Same for confusers.

At least with a house, if you are buying one you can look at it a few times and bring your friends and inspectors.

I have built several, but never had one built. I would say get comfortable with your builder first. I have given a lot of advice to people having their own built (they always say they are the builders) and they rarely take the advice, then later it comes back to haunt them.

I guess one thing we can all agree on is that it will be one of your largest expenditures in life. If you get screwed on a few automotive repairs, that is one thing. But if you make a bad decision on a house, it can be big trouble.
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Old 09-29-2013, 04:17 AM   #8
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I Feel Sorry For Homeowners


Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Like all trades ---the best ones are known and respected by the other trades-----

That is your best source for finding subs--

Painters know the good drywall and trim guys---

Framers can tell you about the best concrete workers---

You see how this works----when I need a new sub--I ask another contractor or go to the supply houses and get names----Mike-----
Gents....that is gospel right there......
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:09 AM   #9
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That's so true Mike.
One of my many jobs in the past was to help out a customer that set up spec. modular homes. He did about 6 a year.
He insisted on hiring all the subs at first and of course always picked the lowest bidder.
He would send me out to install the foundation plates and would almost always find the foundation was off in some way.
One had one run that was 2, ft. to long.
6" out of level in a 75' long wall.
Corners all ready cracking.

The siding guys would show up and cut all the siding to long or to short and end up having to come back and do it all over because of all the issues.
He had another crew that was supposed to do things like build the decks or add on the garages.
None past code inspection, no 5/8" fire rock in an attached garage.
Sheathing was sitting high enough on the wall you could see the rim joist. No step flashing between the house and the garage, they had just nailed the truss right through the vinyl siding and filled the gaps with roofing tar.
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Old 09-29-2013, 05:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty baker View Post
After a contractor gets listed on there, they get solicited for money for a more prominent spot.

a lot, I have had countless phone calls, snail mail and e-mail from these blood suckers
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:27 AM   #11
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Sounds like the high bids got the job.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:29 AM   #12
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Gents....that is gospel right there......
One contractor knowing another contractor or a half dozen contractors doesn't help the home owner which was the subject in question.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairview View Post
One contractor knowing another contractor or a half dozen contractors doesn't help the home owner which was the subject in question.
If I'm a drywall hanger, I know what framers I want to follow.
If I'm a drywall taper I know the good hangers.
If I'm a painter I know the good tapers.
If I'm a framer I know the good General Contractors.
If i'm a stone mason I know the good concrete guys.
Do you see where this is going?
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:47 AM   #14
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Many tradesmen are happy to share the names of good subs with a homeowner----

The only time I hesitate is with a problem customer---you see,it goes both ways---

I won't send a good guy on a wild goose chase ---I need to have my subs glad that I sent them a referral----
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Old 09-29-2013, 08:42 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ToolSeeker View Post
If I'm a drywall hanger, I know what framers I want to follow.
If I'm a drywall taper I know the good hangers.
If I'm a painter I know the good tapers.
If I'm a framer I know the good General Contractors.
If i'm a stone mason I know the good concrete guys.
Do you see where this is going?
Yes, I see where this is going, back to the same scenario.

Let's say the home owner knows no one so a yellow page search begins to find someone to repair a rotted porch for instance. He/she finds a contractor listed and he has a BBB OK because any or all references were by another home owner that didn't have a clue either as to good or poor work practices.

This contractor has a brother in-law that can do a portion of the work and a cousin with a wheelbarrow that does any concrete work needed. Do you see where this is going? These types of deals are on the local news weekly and sometimes daily.

I sure hope the OP finds an answer because there are thousands of home owners the need it too.

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