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MarkHP 07-16-2010 08:47 AM

Dangerous hiring a handyman to do a big job?
My mother, who I think is going senile, is about to hire a handyman to tear down a wall in the basement. He's also going to be messing with the electrical wiring too.

This house is about 60 years old with a 60 year old electrical system that was never, ever updated.

The biggest job that this guy has done for us is to build a small sectioned, wooden fence. The fence is not even very sturdy and he split more than one of the main supporting beams of the fence with his shoddy nailing job. I'll be posting up pictures of this in another post.

If he works on our house, would our homeowner's insurance cover it if the house collapses or burns down due to faulty wiring, etc.... during his work or years later?

This guy is definitely not insured, bonded, etc. His work car is a Toyota Camry and his wife drives him around....(he probably doesn't have a driver's license).

He will be tearing down walls, dismantling plumbing fixtures such as the the bathroom, and rewiring the electricals that's connected to whatever he's touches.

joed 07-16-2010 09:03 AM

Not only does your house insurance probably not cover this but You could be on the hook if he gets hurt while working at your house. He probably no compensation insurance.

MarkHP 07-16-2010 09:34 AM

Handyman fail? Review pictures please.
We hired a handyman to build this fence. The wood is split like this right after he finished it.

He tells us that he carefully picked the lumber in order to avoid this and it's not his fault? He was basically said the above like 5x with various methods of double talk and unfortunately my Vietnamese was not good enough to understand nor argue with him. Plus my mother was standing there all scared to question him (stupid Asian ways I know.)

What do you guys think?

Notice the pictures where all the nails & screws are sticking out. The fence isn't even sturdy. It's very difficult to open and close. I don't even use this side to go in & out anymore because of this and also because I'm scared to break the fence.

He charged about US$500 for this.

Thanks for any input. * CLick on the PICTURES to expand to full size *

DexterII 07-16-2010 09:35 AM

The guy is probably trying, but too many strikes against him, so go with your gut instinct, and find someone else. As noted, you and/or your mom could end up insuring him, rather than the other way around. Yes, his price is more than likely lower than anyone else's, but a legitimate contractor is going to have vehicle, insurance, and other legitimate expenses that this guy apparently does not. Don't go there.

MarkHP 07-16-2010 09:43 AM

Thanks for the input.

Please look at this other thread for pictures of the biggest thing he did for our house which was to build a wooden fence that looks like crap. His other works were pulling the weeds and cutting down some branches of an evergreen tree. Yet my mother thinks he's great and is going to entrust him with the foundations, electrical systems and plumbing of a 60 year old house.

kredman 07-16-2010 10:26 AM

Looks like it would be easy to make a bit more sturdy. Perhaps take off the hinges and place a piece of that runner between the picket and the post to strengthen that up.

gmhammes 07-16-2010 10:39 AM

In my experience building fences, PT wood will split or crack as i call it and that is nothing new. The pickets seem to look good, a lot of people have issues with them splitting as well. He obviously missed with the nail gun on the ring shank nail in the picture but probably didn't pull it out because he would have had to replce the picket.

My biggest concern would be, you mentioned it was unsturdy. High deep were the posts put into the ground? For a 4ft fence that small, anchored intot the brick, it should be pretty sturdy.

There are a few fence experts on here that could probably provide you more insight as i am just a diyer and did my own fence.

3 legged dog 07-16-2010 10:48 AM

That diagnal piece on your gate needs to go the other way or the gate will sag.

Giles 07-16-2010 11:00 AM

Hard for me to tell but the diagonal brace for the gate seems to be wrong.
If it is, it will allow the gate to sag even more. Hinges should be on the other end of gate.
It appears that the installer was in a hurry and had no experience with fence building.

Thurman 07-16-2010 06:05 PM

I'm going to throw my 2 worth in here. Why? I am in the business of being a "Household HandyMan". I have licenses in three (3) counties around where I live to cover my rear end. I carry insurance in case I cause damage to your property while I am on your property. I carry insurance to cover me in case I fall and get hurt while doing my job on your property, not as a result of your fault. I would not encourage anyone to hire someone to do work on their home, or on the property, which are not licensed, insured, and have experience in each trade involved in doing the job correctly. I do build custom fences at times. I agree that PT wood(s) will split at random when the boards want to. BUT, I am one that will go back to talk to the homeowner to asses the problem. Was it the wood, or where I placed a nail? I make my work right. I want repeat customers. From the info you posted: I would stop this man before he pulled into my driveway again and inform him that I have to find someone else to do this work. Just me, David

MJW 07-16-2010 07:24 PM

You get what you pay for, enough said.

jbfan 07-17-2010 09:26 AM

No way anyone would get into my mother's house without me being involved.
If you think she is a little senile, then you must protect her.

As for this guy not having insurance, forgetaboutit. He can work on someone else's house!

rustyjames 07-17-2010 10:16 AM

You're Mom's lucky (so far) that he hasn't got hurt yet (so far) on her property and sued her. And it's not looking like she's saving any money, judging by the workmanship in the pics. He's getting paid good money to learn.

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