:> :> I've made arrangements to have my water main replaced by a licensed
:> :> plumbing contractor in CA. I just met him last night and the work isn't
:> :> going to start for a week, so I can back out of this if I call him today
:> :> or tomorrow easily enough. I have another decent bid and I could go with
:> :> them (a pretty large company).
:> :> I just looked up his license and he's a sole owner and it says "This
:> :> license is exempt from having workers compensation insurance; they
:> :> certified that they have no employees at this time."
:> :> He said he'd try to hire a tough competent guy to help with the
:> :> trenching. What happens if that guy is hurt on the job? Am I going to be
:> :> liable?
:> :You would be, yes.
:> :Have the plumber hire a sub and provide the necessary proofs of
:> :insurance. Or, hire a general laborer from a temp employment agency
:> :(some of them specialize in construction help). Then the temp agency
:> :has the necessary workmen's comp covered. Still get proof.
:> I just talked to the plumber and he said he would do just that. Problem
:> is he didn't answer my call for almost 24 hours, so I'd called the other
:> bidder and made arrangements with him instead. It's $100 more, but I
:> know he's properly insured and he will also start the work tomorrow
:> instead of in 6 days. Either one would do the same job using the same
:> materials, as I make out from conversations with them.
:Three things, Dan.
:- The difference between $2200 and $2399 is two hundred bucks, not one
Right, that was a typo and I didn't notice it until I'd already sent it.
I thought it a bit silly to correct it with a followup, but I will here
since you mention it, and it is a valid point. I meant to type $2300.
:- Contracting businesses may pay their employees, if any, by the hour,
:but the business itself is run by the day. The return phone call did
:not come 24 hours later, it came the next day. Unless there is an
:emergency a next day call is perfectly acceptable in just about
:everybody's book. The guy is also a sole proprietor which may increase
:or decrease his response time depending on how busy he is and what
:juggling he has to do that day.
:- You've probably burnt a bridge with that sole proprietor. Giving the
:job to another guy because the first guy returned your call the next
:day would be considered capricious by many, and he might not appreciate
:what he considers to be your wasting his time.
You're right, of course. When I first called him he called me back
within about 5 minutes. We had a verbal understanding that I might call
him within a day to cancel the job. Thus when I called him 24 hours
later and said I had something to ask him, I thought the fact that he
didn't return my call for almost another full day somewhat strange. He
knew I had another good bid. People in this thread said that with my
lack of a basic homeowner's policy I should be "extremely cautious."
Also, I feel that the plumbing company that I'm currently dealing with
has treated me rather well. Free inspection with camera, considerably
underbid the competitors and fixed a very problematical clogged drain
for free. Their bid was only $100 more than the sole proprietor, who was
evidently uninsured. I didn't feel good cancelling either, to be
truthful. Sometimes you can't win. My water main is broken and I'm
prevailing upon my neighbors and using their water. It's coming through
a couple of hoses and I'm wondering about how safe it is to drink.
I tried to be politic with the sole proprietor, and not burn my bridges.
Look, we never even signed a bid. It was so informal and the work was to
begin more than a week later. The man's busy, and he wasn't put out
beyond coming over and looking and talking to me at length about the
proposed job. On top of that, he lives close by so his travel wasn't
much. I don't think he will refuse to consider me for future work. He
doesn't seem like that kind of guy. Still I realize that cancelling the
job without having talked to him first doesn't leave me at the top of
his list of favorite potential customers.