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Hard to get good help anymore.


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I needed some electrical work done on my house last month so I searched the web and found a local guy who had a really nice professional looking website so I called him and told him what I wanted done and he gave me a ball park price but said he'd come by that evening and have a look. He showed up right on time and checked everything and made a list of what was needed and said he'd call in a couple days with an exact price.  I waited a week and when I hadn't heard from him I called him and he was all apologetic and said he just got so busy he hadn't had time to get my price figured out but he'd do it that evening and call me 1st thing in the morning.

Well, I never heard back from him again.

Earlier this week I decided I wanted a 30 foot tree taken down and my neighbor had a 30 foot tree plus a 50 footer that he wanted taken down. There's a tree cutter just a few miles from me who I've dealt with before and he's always been very reliable and does good work so I called him. He said he'd come by that evening and give us a price on the 3 trees. He never showed up but called 2 days later and said he'd gotten busy but would be here 1st thing in the morning which was yesterday.

He never showed up and I haven't heard back from him.

If someone doesn't want to do a job just say so and everything's good, but I hate when people say they'll be there and just don't show up and don't bother calling.

As for an electrician, I found a great guy who came when he said he would and he did an excellent job.

 

Edited by lew
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In the same proverbial boat, I need a new gas valve for my garage wall heater.  Not a difficult job, maybe 15 minutes.  Called one guy 3 times, ya ya, I'm coming, doesn't even answer the phone anymore.  I think they are all scamming CERB and don't want to work.

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Called a local young fellow about doing my driveway this winter, it's small 2 small car lengts deep, 2 car widths wide, and a path to my propane tank (about 40' long) $25.00 but if the snow is more than 3-4" then it would be more. Then he told me he already has 20 customers. Thats $500.00  a day, and I know this kid is collecting EI or whatever they are calling it these days. Why would anyone want a regular job?

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I've been in the service industry for better then 40 years now. Clients are now very demanding; I call it the Walmart syndrome. "I want it now and I want it cheep!" Not saying that's what you guys are wanting; but service providers are getting very cynical with people and that's wrong. I try and keep an open mind with all my clients and treat (deal with) them individually. Then I still get it wrong at times. Oh this person is cheep as hell; then they turn around and give me a free hand at bringing their vehicle back to be what it was or as close as it can be?  

All I'm saying is that a Lot of " want to be" self employed people don't understand what it takes to run a business and look after their clients. Like I said after all these years I still get it wrong at times?

Dan.  

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I hear yah Lew! Nothing I hate worse than doing someone else's job! Bell's burial supervisor promised me this 650' of phone line would be buried "the Wednesday after the long weekend". Guess I should have asked which, but didn't think I needed to considering that was the Thursday before the Canada Day long weekend! This 650' of lightning attractant has been lying on the ground for a week short of 5 months and cost us an alarm system from Lightning pulses during a storm 2 months ago. Bell won't pay for that either.... why am I not surprised. Couldn't plow snow with it lying there, so took care of it myself with a makeshift burial tool today.

 

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7 hours ago, LostAnotherOne said:

Make sure Lew they are insured if you do hire someone.  I used to do side projects but not worth the hassle.  Good luck

I think we'll do the trees ourselves now but thanks for the advice.

 

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6 hours ago, lew said:

I think we'll do the trees ourselves now but thanks for the advice.

 

if it was safer times and better weather, a chainsaw get together with other OFC'ers would have been a great way to fell those trees. Buck them up for the firepit. My chainsaw has been lonely this year too...

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5 hours ago, woodenboater said:

if it was safer times and better weather, a chainsaw get together with other OFC'ers would have been a great way to fell those trees. Buck them up for the firepit. My chainsaw has been lonely this year too...

Got a bunch of snow coming in tomorrow and that's probably the start of sloppy weather so we'll probably leave the trees till springtime now.

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20 years since I took my very, very early pension and moved from deep in the bowels of the big city to what country folk call the sticks. If I can find someone that can read the business end of a tape measure it is rare. You know the guy that says "It's 2 little ticky tickies past the big tickey, tickey." If anyone has handyman skills they are booked for months ahead of time. Ask those guys or gals if they have liability insurance they need a definition of liabilty. Because of my health and shot body I have to hire the pro's for anything but shoveling an inch of snow for 15 minutes now. And paying someone to do something I have been doing for 50 years, other than electrical, absolutly kills me, especially when I have to leave them be and keep my mouth shut, sometimes I can't help myself. To reach in my pocket is the real killer. I paid a guy on a Bob Cat $115.00 an hour for last Friday. 

On 11/20/2020 at 4:05 PM, Big Cliff said:

Called a local young fellow about doing my driveway this winter, it's small 2 small car lengts deep, 2 car widths wide, and a path to my propane tank (about 40' long) $25.00 but if the snow is more than 3-4" then it would be more. Then he told me he already has 20 customers. Thats $500.00  a day, and I know this kid is collecting EI or whatever they are calling it these days. Why would anyone want a regular job?

I hear you Big guy. But at least they are working rather than sitting on their arses collecting social assistance. My guy also charges 25 bucks. But it will hold 6 cars and he snow blows another 30 to the door and around the same to the shed. It takes him 10 minutes, maybe 10 minutes. I didn't need him once last year and only 3 times in 18'. We are protected by the woods to the north and big spruce SE of us. There can be 4' of snow at the entrance of the laneway at both ends and a few inches here, maybe. I know because I keep track. He wants a flat rate of $200.00 this year. It's all a gamble and a guess.  I'm going to gamble.

Edited by Old Ironmaker
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I hear you, but I also have some understanding for contractors this year. Its been a crazy year. Getting materials alone has been a huge issue, that takes up a lot of time for these guys. I don't think there is a contractor who is on schedule. Even quotes are hard to do, because pricing is rediculous. Its been a weird year for sure. Give these guys a bit of slack, they are busting their asses to keep everyone happy, and you know how that goes.....

Lew, if you need a hand with those trees, let me know. Im quite capable with a saw and felling trees. 

S. 

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1 hour ago, captpierre said:

Trades are swamped. Especially cottage country. 

But it only takes a minute to inform a customer about delays. It’s just decent. 

I paid $8.80 for a 2x4 8’ yesterday. 😳

Yes, it's nuts where the price of lumber has gone.

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8 hours ago, Sinker said:

 

Lew, if you need a hand with those trees, let me know. Im quite capable with a saw and felling trees. 

Thanks for the offer Shane but we're good now.

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A few years ago we wanted to get someone to come in and redo the landing pad at the bottom of our stairs

Multiple times the story was: Call Landscaper - describe problem, okay - will come and take a look and then we never heard back.  Finally one guy said your job is really small and its my busiest time - call me in March and it will be my first job of the year.  Sure enough he did the work and we were happy.

I cannot understand why any of the other companies (maybe 5) never said the same thing  - re hey, can't do it now or will never do it rather than say I am coming by X date and never show - just seems silly 

Andrew

 

 

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I had my basement done in 2018. Drew my own plans, not to scale but very close. Got  3 quotes and they were as different as night and day. We do this we do not do that.

I was going to do my own plumbing and move a water tank (with help of a master plumber/gas person and my own supplies) saved lots of labour and on my own time; new sewer lines, custom bathroom, water gas and fixture installation. . .I could have bought my own electrical supplies at almost cost, not.  I did decide and made my comments insurance  . . . Timeline was 6 weeks. He  did what was needed and if it was not what I wanted it got fixed right there. I wanted LED counter lights in another kitchen, NO problem  . . .  No charge, never a no charge :) , a small addition, generator hook up cost me $100 (a tip)  he did the box work. YET, a six week job went to 8 months. I had no care what was the hurry was just get it done, he never shut me out and any changes were done. I never agreed with him suppling what he had no idea on anything I wanted so we agreed, I would purchase kitchen/counter installed, flooring, bathroom fixtures and flooring, he installed. got these a great prices while I shopped and got quotes.  The project turned out amazing. We collaborated and agreed, he gave some and I did my own thing to find what I wanted at the right price, a nice project with no nightmares. We sat and had many espressos with home made goods my wife supplied while they worked. 

Just a happy ending. 


 

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We just finished the second reno here last fall, fimally. A 6 week reno took 11 months because I could not get reputable people here an hour from Hamilton.  I will not live long enough to pay back all the favours I got from contractors I know, actually some sons of former colleagues. Good contractors out this way are booked ahead of time for months.  Electrical and plumbling was a 4 tom 6 week wait. A good contractor isn't going to bring his crew out this way from Hamilton or Niagara when they can drive in minutes to a job and charge great money. Supply and demand, simple. That makes opportunity for fly by night guys that are quick to take money and slow to start let alone finish a job out here in the boonies. I once told a very high profile TV contractor who works on Holmes that a guy loses his job at the plant or wherever, throws a skill saw in the back of his family van clips a tape measure on his belt and sticks a pencil behind his ear and he is now a contractor. Ontario is very lax when it come to licensing "contractors". The consumer is thrown to the dogs, the dogs being fly by night so called contractors. People are sucked in because we are generally cheap, we want to pay a guy 20 bucks an hour rather than the 75 bucks an hour or more by a licensed contractor. But when it's time for us to be paid we want top dollar, when it's time to pay we want a deal. Ya get what ya pay for. 

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Albert, a kitchen in your basement??? You must be Italian. A buddy of mine who's wife is 50% Italian decent was having dinner with his 8 to 10 year old kids one evening. One of the kids was talking not so nicely about the "Italian" kid in her class. Barry was quick to point out that she is 1/4 Italian because Grand Ma is 100% Italian. She said "Come on Dad we aren't Italian because we don't have a kitchen in out basement." From the mouths of babes. 

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13 minutes ago, Old Ironmaker said:

People are sucked in because we are generally cheap, 

Please don't lump everyone into the same pot by calling us cheap and saying we get sucked in.  

I was happy with the price I was quoted and gladly paid it and was so happy with the outcome I gave him a $50 tip because that's the way I am....NOT cheap.

The reason I started this post was because two different people said they'd be happy to do the jobs I wanted and when they set a date they just never bothered to show up or even phone me. 

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1 minute ago, Old Ironmaker said:

I said generally. We want a deal unless it's our turn to get paid for what we do. Generally cheap doesn't include you lew.  Maybe I should have said frugal, sounds much nicer, but I do stand by what I said. 

 

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1 hour ago, Old Ironmaker said:

Albert, a kitchen in your basement??? You must be Italian. A buddy of mine who's wife is 50% Italian decent was having dinner with his 8 to 10 year old kids one evening. One of the kids was talking not so nicely about the "Italian" kid in her class. Barry was quick to point out that she is 1/4 Italian because Grand Ma is 100% Italian. She said "Come on Dad we aren't Italian because we don't have a kitchen in out basement." From the mouths of babes. 

Comes in very handy, she made three huge pizzas Saturday and they were all ready at the same time! Lots of room for a family get together no lugging food down stairs.

daughter that lives with has it all set up after she sold her house in Bowmanville.

 

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Albert, I grew up having a full size kitchen and dining room in the basement. Not just us, all my Zio and Zia's, compare and commare, cougino and cogina, amico and amici. The only relatives that didn't was my Nani and Nono in the USA. That home was old when I was born. It had field stones as foundation walls. I remember helping my Nono shovel coal into the furnace in the late 50's. More than 1 Communion and Cristening parties were held in our rec room and the coal fired BBQ's in the driveway cooking all the good stuff.  It's not as simple today.  For some reason they book banquant halls for 1 year olds birthday parties. ????? I know the reason. 

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4 hours ago, lew said:

 

I was happy with the price I was quoted and gladly paid it and was so happy with the outcome I gave him a $50 tip because that's the way I am....NOT cheap.

 

Lew, my reno took longer than “quoted” but it was done to my satisfaction. Our basement stairs were builder installed and painted grey. The stairs were capped with hardwood, riser and step. Matching the floor colour was no easy task, took him over a week to have stain custom blended.
Electrician was someone I worked with closely because of the generator hook up outside box. I gave  him and extra $100. When it was all done a close friend and also an electrical contractor came over and wanted to see the hook up, outside perfect, inside NOT, need to separate what circuits you want to run in a power outage.

he tasked me to find the lines and label them, I did. he put in a pony panel and transferred all of the lines. Cost: espresso home baled goods and a good conversation. I did his logo when he started his own company also at no cost. 

when I started the reno I could have picked electricians and other trades but having a lot of people come in it causes confusion and sometimes pisses off other trades. 
 

I have to do my roof next year and that scares me a bit. :(



 

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