Home Improvement

F*** all these contractors

By May 18, 2019 17 Comments

I am sick of it. I read reviews, I get estimates, I interview them myself to look for BS, and I get ‘good’ people friends have recommended.

I always get screwed. Just had $3500 of Electrical remodeling done so my whole kitchen and laundry room have grounded recepticles and 6 can lights. It was a big job. A fair bit of crawlspace work. But I think $3500 was a fair price for an experienced electrician and his apprentice.

I get under the house and there are two unterminated wires still stapled to the joists that go back toward the breaker. God knows if they are hooked up or not. I hope not. One is a 220. A-holes just left them behind.

Then I touch a copper pipe in my basement and get shocked. I never got shocked before this work was done. Nothing serious, but it put me over the edge for this rant.

I texted with the guy, he’s like, oh sorry my apprentice must have forgotten to remove them. I’ll come back next week and remove them. Then I told him I got shocked and I said, what should I do? He says, “ground the copper pipe”.

No ****. Of course it needs grounded. So now what? Any advice on what to do next to get that grounded properly would be appreciated. Am I in any danger of getting shocked elsewhere? What about my appliances?

Inspection comes next week. I hope everything is ok.

And it’s not just these guys. What’s with all the contractors leaving their junk and trash behind when the do jobs. Had a plumber come out and do $2000 of plumbing under the kitchen and laundry room. They guy left 3 feet of old pipe he replaced. And all sorts of left overs and extra curricular short pipes.

Is this normal? Is this what contractors do to you? I am so fed up with this crappy work. I can do half these jobs myself, I just don’t have time and plumbing and electrical are not my wheelhouse. But Jesus I should just do it all.

Edit: I know there are a lot of good contractors on here who help us. Thank you. I’m just talking about these other dirtbags who seem to screw up half our work.

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  • baconatorhotdog says:

    With old final payment longer. I wait until I know I’ve checked everything out. Usually keep it at least a week. When I had my kitchen remodeled I kept it 3 weeks

  • CajunGrit says:

    Currently doing a huge renovation on my house and i feel exactly the same way about the guys i hired. I don’t know if I’m being too picky or what, but if i wanted things to be done half ass i wouldn’t have paid them to do it. I’d have just done it myself.

  • project-workaholic says:

    As a new Electrician in California, I was taught by one of the most conscientious masters I’ve met. I was trained to remove all trash from the work site, down to the last stripped piece of wire insulation, and to make every job look like artwork. I told him one time “Have you seen the work that other people are doing? You need to raise your prices.” To which he responded “I want to focus on doing good work and building good relationships, and the money will come.” I’ve built my business on this model, and put pride into every job we do. Find a perfectionist, we come with a steeper price tag than the next guy, but I have yet to have an unhappy customer. Your experience is what I have 90% of my customers complain about, and I’ve resolved to change that view in my county. So keep looking, the good ones are still out there, just in high demand and hard to find.

  • frostysbox says:

    I feel your pain. As a homeowner, I had the same problem. So many shitty people who just did AWFUL fucking work or no work at all. It was horrible. Then I married my husband and moved him from another state here and he started working for some contractors and I got an inside look on why this kind of shit happens.

    The basic reason this happens is because they quote you a price, and then they have someone else do the work, but that person isn’t getting 100% of the profit – they are getting X amount per hour, so they do shit work – they don’t care about the quality, because it’s not their name. They have no stake in the game so to speak.

    My husband got let go from one company for caring about results and not cutting corners (seriously), and left another because he was tired of seeing of all the corners cut and started his own where it’s just him doing the work. Things have been interesting. He’s doing great work, people are happy with the results, and the profit margins are GREAT, but it only works because HE is doing the work. He’s getting an okay amount of leads because we’re willing to take smaller jobs that big players aren’t which gets his name out there, which is awesome. Hopefully this can grow into something bigger.

    But I can’t imagine how contracting companies make it work. At all. It’s a system that’s set up to fail.

  • japroct says:

    As a contractor myself, you need to understand that in a lot of states ITS THE LAW that you leave the old pieces, parts, appliances, whatever in the posession of the homeowner. No shit, look it up. If I do your repairs and you want me to dispose of the old parts, it needs written into the contract. As far as the plumbing shocking you, I would say it was more the plumbers responsibility than the electricians. They probably disconnected the ground when replacing the pipes and never reconnected it. As far as leaving the old wiring in place goes, yes, the apprentice did a sloppy job. He should have removed all he could access then left it in your your posession to dispose of….unless stipulated differently in the contract of course….

  • Georgeofthebunghole says:

    I’ve been involved with both residential and commercial contractors and this is just how they are. That’s why I try to do everything myself. If I don’t know how to do something, I learn how. You’re lucky if it’s just small pipes and stuff. On new construction projects, I think most contractors make a game of seeing how much Gatorade bottles, cigarette packs and fast food garbage they can strew around the site.

  • acesfullcoop says:

    As a sub contractor, this baffles me. I assume since im mostly in higher end housing and we never see this. Well, except electricians, they always leave a mess. Saying that, homsowners arent always completely clear on what they want and people do make mistakes. And from experience, the apprentice can do a sloppy job on somthing that doesnt get caught and its embarassing on the off time that it does happen. With all that said, just call em up and have it fixed. Thats never a problem

  • SlimCharles76 says:

    I had a roofing crew leave me an attic that was 6-8 inches deep with busted up shingles/boards/etc from the tear off. I wasn’t using it for storage at the time but give me a f***in break, I don’t write checks for thousands of dollars so I can clean up after “professionals.” This was a highly rated group on Angie’s List and other places.

    Made the guy come back out and finish the cleanup. Couple weeks later I had a wall of water running down the side of my house as he had pinched my gutter with his ladder. Made him come back and fix that too. I find it helps to put in writing what the factual basis of your small claims complaint is going to be, and see if he wants to correct the issue before you file it. In my county small claims goes up to $25k so it will cover most disputes a homeowner might have with a shady or incompetent contractor.

  • ExPostRedemptore says:

    For what it’s worth I feel exactly the same way. I just finished rebuilding my “forever” house over nine months after firing the criminally incompetent general contractor. While I was able to get solid electrical and plumbing subcontractors I had hell with every other trade. People would lie about showing up to do an estimate, lie in their quotes, lie about material costs, lie about schedule, you name it. Because of this I did a tremendous amount of the work myself (which explains why it took nine months).

    In any case, I empathize with you OP. Best of luck to you!

  • caaarrrrllll says:

    Yeah dude. I hate/fear anybody else repairing my car, house or anything for this reason. Anybody use Angie’s list or something like that? All online reviews are glowing 5 stars or pissed off 1 stars.

  • kokofish says:

    I hired a drywaller last year, the dude cleaned out his mud by putting it down my laundry sink drain, but he didn’t clean it out of the basin or flush it all out. So now I’m stuck with a sink full of drywall mud and a backed up pipes. I’m still so pissed about it.

    We had so many issues with him through the whole process that I didn’t even bother calling him about it. I just wanted him gone. But accorded to Google I’m the only unsatisfied customer.

  • shelzmike says:

    This is the reason I DIY as much as I possibly can. Sure, there are good contractors around here but the thing is, they are quite honestly in the minority. That being said, another catch with these guys is because they are good, they are booked up solid and can’t hardly get any job done in a reasonable amount of time. For instance, there is a good seamless gutters contractor around here and this is clearly something I cant DIY without the equipment. The price is fair, but can’t do it for 6 weeks at a minimum . I get busy season and all but this is the norm for any job I can’t or don’t want to do around here. Time, cost, quality…pick 2. Still though I wish there were more just average fair and reasonable contractors out there instead of a few great ones and loads of crappy ones.

  • otiswrath says:

    I feel you. The issue is that there is so much construction work available that either companies hire idiots or everyone decent is already booked with cushy jobs so no one wants to do the rewire job that is crawling around under someone’s house.

  • ReyIsAPalpatine says:

    Uhhhhhh I know pipes are often grounded as a safety measure, but presumably if everything is working as intended they shouldnt be carrying any current… Right?

  • propita106 says:

    Not all contractors are bad…

    When we had solar installed, the electricians not only grounded the new system correctly—a decent ground is difficult to find in our dirt for some reason—they saw another wire that was supposed to be grounded but was loose, unrelated to their work, and ensured it was grounded.

    The city inspectors, both electrical and solar deemed it “an excellent install.”

  • DouglassFunny says:

    Just bought a home with a ton of renos and repairs. So far I’ve found a bunch of nails around the perimeter of the house(I assume from the roofers). My inspector noted that when the ducts were repaired they left a bunch of the old ducts in the attic as well as a their trash like Gatorade bottles.

    You’re shitty contractor if you leave a bunch of trash and debris behind. It’s sloppy, it’s lazy, and I question the quality of work if you can’t clean up after yourself.

  • moody330 says:

    Ohio masonry contractor, The people that can teach the younger generations are dying or retiring! The problems with the trades is only going to get worse. My biggest pet peeve is housekeeping, I drill it into their heads! But I will still show up on jobs that look like a bomb went off! Its a full time job!

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