Lots of times comments like that come from people who've pissed
off their contractors and they won't come any more, or they pick
the one that's many magnitudes cheaper than the rest, and wonder
why they get ripped off. Sometimes they wouldn't know how to
hire a contractor and have never done so, but listen to the
horror stories in the bars and flophouses they frequent.
Well, in my instance, often time people simply do not show up, there
is no ripoff, as such. I agree with a guy to do work X for Y dollars,
wait for him, he does not show up. A very normal occurrence. I would
say this is more typical than having him actually show up.
Calgary, AB, Canada...
First contract I called (first number I found) had to reschedule his
appointment a number of times and always called to reschedule the day AFTER
he was supposed to show up.
Had a plumber come in and do some simple work. I asked for a rough estimate
because I know that costs can change during the work. We chatted while he
worked and seemed nice enough. I also asked him about some other work I was
plannnig to do later. When we were done I paid in cash and paid extra since
he did a great job. Tried to get him to come back for the second job and
he'd always promise to call back after checking his schedule, but never did.
After the third try to get a date set up I decided it wasn't worth the
effort and did it myself.
The company the built my house installed windows poorly, crooked door
frames, cracked/leaking foundation, etc. Trying to get them to repair the
problems has been a nightmare. At this point I'm just going to purchase a 20
foot long banner and hang it near their showhomes - "Before you buy an XXXX
home, come ask about the home they built for me!"
Took over a year to find someone who wanted to build my 24'x32' three car
garage and that was before we even touched on the subject of costs.
It seems like ALL the contractors to be found are hacks - and arrogant ones
All the trades are having a BIG problem finding workers. It is getting to
the point if a company can find someone that just shows up everyday he will
keep his job! The shop I work for has a constant add running for workers,
skilled or otherwise, I believe the add has been running steady for over 2
years! We can not get anyone to walk through the door to apply for a job, so
how the hell can you hire anyone!? Our shop is not alone, it is typical of
most of the trade people I talk to.
Nobody wants to get their hands dirty anymore. Everyone wants to drive a
desk, or just collect unemployment!
Horse hockey, some of the most demanding dirty jobs have waiting lists
to get hired. But the pay is high enough to compensate for it. If
someone can't get employees they are not paying enough. If they can't
make money when they pay enough the business is not needed and should be
shut down. I believe we call this the free enterprise system, and it
Fine, believe what you want!
Did you miss the part where I have seen it in ALL trades in our area?
I had a company ask me if I wanted a job with them. It would have meant a
move for my family, do I was not interested. The starting pay was 1-1/2
times union scale! Techs with a few years of experiance were getting paid 2X
union scale, still short on help. Bigger city, same problem, hard to find
Check out you local tech school, ask them what enrollment is compared to
twenty years ago. Less people getting into the trades all the time.
When I went to tech twenty+ years ago the program had room for 40 students,
and turned away students because the class was filled. Now they have a hard
time filling the program with 20 students!
At some wage level would you have been interested?
Techs with a few years of experiance were getting paid 2X
Bigger city = higher living costs.
Lets see a couple of years tech school + a few years starvation wages as
an apprentice and you are a tradesman. Four years of school and an a law
degree and you are talking real money. Now I wouldn't mind living in a
world short of lawyers, can't say the same about plumbers.
Not sure you are right about this. Law school requires 4 years college plus
before 3 years law school and good jobs are scarce when you first get out.
Old story of a lawyer calling a plumber to fix a toilet. Took 15 minutes to
fix and plumber announces it will be $150. Lawyer says that makes $600 per
hour. I only charge $250 an hour and I'm a lawyer. Plumber says, well I
used to be a lawyer too.....
He is half way there!
Now if he can pound a nail he may be on to something!!
I know a couple of brothers that work for a high end home builder. Some of
the finish work they do is unbelieveable. They make pretty good money too.
Your kid should try to go into finish work. Anyone can bang tubafours
Yeah...that's what I've been telling him. I think he understands, but he's
15, so my advice is currently of little value. :-) However, if his favorite
band did a song about finish work being preferable to house framing, he'd
take the advice very seriously.
I spoke with a guy I know who teaches carpentry at BOCES. For the Rochester
NY area, he said $40k isn't out of line for people who do routine stuff like
installing nice bannisters & mantles, and 50-60k for people who do the
really interesting stuff, like attached/built in bookcases, or covering
entire walls with really fancy moulding & trimwork. Television stuff, in
Yep, I was a white collar worker for 25 years before modern distribution
made my job obsolete. I'm covered with grease now and happy as a clam.
Make more money too, but then I am the only employee.
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