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Contractors

Postby Coffee » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:25 am

Contractors can be some of the most frustrating workers you will ever come across. You could include handyman in this topic, too. We almost all have to hire a contractor once in a while. By the way, this is NOT aimed at anyone on this "Forum." If a person is a contractor and abides by an agreement, all is well and good. The customer ought to always follow the agreement, too.
Why is it a contractor will make a promise and then not keep it? He knows your roof leaks and he took your money to get roof paint for the roof and now a year has gone by and your roof still leaks. He tells you he "might" get to it this fall, or he "probably" will do it this fall. Again, he made the agreement a year ago. He had good references and he did satisfactory work in the past for you. Now it is obvious he is putting other jobs before yours and doesn't give a rat's you know what that your roof leaks, or that you are of a certain age.
"YouTube" is usually educational. I've looked at some about contractors. One contractor gives pep talks to those in the trade, motivational speeches, like, don't ever give up, and DO WHAT YOU PROMISED. Then there was a video on "youtube" about a crooked contractor who hired three contractors and ended up with a free building. The really crooked one let the three contractors finish the landscaping prep. site work, and the building itself, and then sued the three contractors and got a free building.
Makes one wonder if the government ought to run the whole house construction and maintenance industry. Makes one wonder if private enterprise is the best way to keep a roof over our heads. It is known the world has larger problems right now. Some Labor Day thinking 8-)
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Re: Contractors

Postby mowmud » Mon Sep 07, 2020 2:16 pm

This is why I like to do my own work. Some people like to make promises that they don't keep.
One of my pieces of fascia blew off in the wind and I keep on forgetting to go back and reinstall it. I did my own siding. Wind howls up here. I'm happy with what I did. Siding is easy.
If you are like me and don't like to hire a company, I'd say hire an older individual. Offer some ground support, you probably get the job done at half the price. Any future problems would most likely be covered, as a good person wants to keep their name clean. This is why I don't hire out. I work for friends and family only. I do get called for flashing jobs. They are basically impossible to screw up.
Give me a sheet of copper... and tell me what you want.
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Re: Contractors

Postby mowmud » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:38 pm

I have a gripe about my own work. Well, not so much a gripe. About my chimney that has been in about 12 years.
It is a Metelbestos or Selkirk, they are similar, can't remember what I bought. Any how the chimney tubing itself is still in pristine condition. My problem is with the support that holds the pipe.
There are two kinds. One that supports when you go straight through the roof and the other, like mine, go through the basement wall and has a support mounted to the outside basement wall to hold the weight. My problem is with that.
I was planning on burning tonight so I went out and gave the chimney a good final look over and discovered that the galvanized metal support was quite rusted. Enough so I don't feel good about using it.
Its not a costly repair. I just gotta either disassemble the chimney piece by piece or figure out a way to lift it about 2 inches and hold it there so I can replace the plate. I can make a new plate on a sheet metal brake, no problem there. I just really don't want to take the chimney apart. Ughh. Its always something.
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Re: Contractors

Postby mowmud » Sat Sep 12, 2020 6:39 pm

Well I got that fixed. A day late and a dollar short.
The wife started shopping around ... on the internet this morning. Cheapest thing to be found was a brand new kit. I improvised. Rebuilt it with material twice the size of stock. I was able to support the chimney without taking it all the way apart. All outside stuff is good, but I haven't reassembled the pipes on the inside. No problems foreseen with that... and its not cold tonight. So no rush, I'm tuckered out. Cutting a round hole in plate stock is not easy with a 4 1/2" grinder.
Did an oil change on the white Jeep, finished moving the cut wood to the splitting pile, ordered my next load. Stacked the wood clogging up the way.

Went to the transfer station, early morning Saturday, got the doggone 3 wheeler running again.
Wheeler didn't take long, just had to pull start it 30 feet or so. Its been about 7 years since I got a good ride. The 3 wheeler is my topper on the day. Its been a long time since I had a smile on my face.
I love my 3 wheelers. Good times.
Neighbor kid, who has a 4-wheeler, stopped across the road, walked over and said 'I didn't know that thing runs, I thought it was junk."
If it was junk... it wouldn't be occupying space in my driveway. I invited him over for just a low speed cruise around my digs. First and second gear. He thought he had hills over at his folks place... Now he knows a bit more.
I didn't show him the knarly trails as he is still getting certain shifting skills in order. Ain't to much flat land around my place.
His machines brakes are not up to par. Once his Pops gets back from the reserves, I'll teach them how to adjust brakes. I don't feel right about visiting a younger wife with children, and teaching them about things. I call him 'Pops', but in reality, I think he maybe 28-32.

With the wheelers, I'll tell them what I think needs to be done, but I don't like being the sole resource. Common knowledge has to play a part... I don't think thats up to me to teach.
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Re: Contractors

Postby Coffee » Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:40 pm

Well, howdy, I stopped by for the first time in days, and you folks are here. Thought I'd been shown the door for bringing up politics. Was wondering how long it would be before the door would open again- 2 weeks? A whole month? I see what happened down below. Was looking at countryvisits (home board) some. Trying to follow the news, so to speak.
I've thought about the situation and the last 7 months or so have been pretty difficult for many people. So I'm cooling off about this contractor thing. Mowmud, I like to do my own work, too, when I can.
The sky should have been sort of blue here the last 2 days, but due to forest fires out West, the sky has been gray.
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Re: Contractors

Postby mowmud » Tue Sep 15, 2020 6:29 am

Them wildfires are scary crazy. I went out a few mornings ago. Smelt smoke on the air. Strolled up to the top of the hill, I get about a 270* view, nobody in the windward direction had a chimney smoking.
Do you think we could smell the smoke from the wildfires all the way up here?
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Re: Contractors

Postby Coffee » Tue Sep 15, 2020 7:14 pm

Yes, mowmud, I certainly think you could smell the smoke from the Western wildfires where you live. ABC evening news tonight showed the Empire State building with the sky shaded about like we have had here. A map last evening on tv showed even heavier areas of wildfires smoke North of us, in Canada, that is, thicker smoke in Canada than we have in Wisconsin. By the way, think about the Sahara dust that travelled across the Atlantic Ocean to Texas.
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Re: Contractors

Postby mowmud » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:05 pm

mowmud wrote:Well I got that fixed. A day late and a dollar short.
The wife started shopping around ... on the internet this morning. Cheapest thing to be found was a brand new kit. I improvised. Rebuilt it with material twice the size of stock. I was able to support the chimney without taking it all the way apart. All outside stuff is good, but I haven't reassembled the pipes on the inside. No problems foreseen with that... and its not cold tonight. So no rush, I'm tuckered out. Cutting a round hole in plate stock is not easy with a 4 1/2" grinder.
Did an oil change on the white Jeep, finished moving the cut wood to the splitting pile, ordered my next load. Stacked the wood clogging up the way.

Went to the transfer station, early morning Saturday, got the doggone 3 wheeler running again.
Wheeler didn't take long, just had to pull start it 30 feet or so. Its been about 7 years since I got a good ride. The 3 wheeler is my topper on the day. Its been a long time since I had a smile on my face.
I love my 3 wheelers. Good times.
Neighbor kid, who has a 4-wheeler, stopped across the road, walked over and said 'I didn't know that thing runs, I thought it was junk."
If it was junk... it wouldn't be occupying space in my driveway. I invited him over for just a low speed cruise around my digs. First and second gear. He thought he had hills over at his folks place... Now he knows a bit more.
I didn't show him the knarly trails as he is still getting certain shifting skills in order. Ain't to much flat land around my place.
His machines brakes are not up to par. Once his Pops gets back from the reserves, I'll teach them how to adjust brakes. I don't feel right about visiting a younger wife with children, and teaching them about things. I call him 'Pops', but in reality, I think he maybe 28-32.

With the wheelers, I'll tell them what I think needs to be done, but I don't like being the sole resource. Common knowledge has to play a part... I don't think thats up to me to teach.

Just to elaborate on this post a bit, if they call me or a emergency, I'll be there. Outside of that, I don't want to impose myself upon them. Folks around here are pretty good at keeping to themselves. We've been practicing social distancing since before they had to teach people how to do it.
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Re: Contractors

Postby Bkeepr » Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:05 pm

Going back to contractors, like Mowmud, I usually do my own work. But yesterday I saw a team of the most professional contractors working at my Mom's house and I was completely impressed.

They were a tree service. She had one large tree she wanted taken down, and the stump removed, two large trees she wanted severely trimmed, and some bushes/hedges trimmed. At 93, she doesn't tolerate shoddy work or hold her tongue, so I was a little aprehensive although these guys were very highly rated. They came in with an estimate quite a bit lower than she expected, and actually a hundred bucks cheaper than the fly-by-night guy who offered to do it a little at a time over several weeks.

Well, the came in with a crew, excellent equipment, and the work was choreographed beautifully. I figured it was an all-day job, well they came and went in 4 1/2 hours, and 45 minutes of that was a lunch break. The cleaned up everything-- my German-born fastidious mother was tickled-- and there wasn't a stray twig in the lawn, sidewalk, or gutters when they left. They were polite to her and me, and friendly. I'll recommend them to anybody, and in fact I am seeing if they'll come out my way and drop a problem tree I've been studying for a couple of years.

Hardest working bunch of guys I've seen in a long time, and clearly loving their jobs. And not a one was American-born, but they sure knew how to work. I wish all Contractors were like them.
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Re: Contractors

Postby Coffee » Sat Sep 19, 2020 7:22 pm

Yes, Bkeepr, we have some really good tree service guys around here. They aren't exactly cheap, but they're honest and hard-working. They have the bucket truck, ropes, work as team, and clean up pretty well when they're done. When I first came out here, there was one huge old red oak, West of the house. It was plenty tall, maybe the tallest tree in the yard. I'd guess it was about 60 feet from the house and leaned to the North a bit. I didn't want to cut the tree down, or have somebody else do it, but one guy who felled trees remarked to me, a wind could twist that tree and make it fall toward the house. So I decided the tree had to go. The guys who cut it down were locals. One guy went up in the bucket and cut off the high limbs. Then he cut the tree at the base so the trunk fell to the North. When the tree fell, he calmly stepped back just three feet, about. I'd have probably retreated fifteen feet, in case it kicked back. This guy said, we cut trees this big all the time. He also mentioned, any time we go up in the bucket, it's dangerous. Now he has gone out of the tree trimming/ cutting business and does logging, as I understand it. I've had to have several trees taken down here and never had any problems with tree service contractors.
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Re: Contractors

Postby mowmud » Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:15 pm

This is a really good video. A little long, 46 minutes or so. This kid is a bit arrogant. He is working for himself though. He's got the spirit. He'll tell what he intends to do, then does it. Fixing up his great grandparents house. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAM9o4R ... heCornstar

Thought the name was a little off when I first seen it, but I gave it a chance. Been a long time since I seen a person going down a ladder forwards.

I roofed, a lot. When you do it everyday, you get to the point you don't have to have your hands on the ladder. Unless the wind is blowing. Well worth watching.
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Re: Contractors

Postby Coffee » Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:01 pm

I watched the work in progress and cleaning out the basement which was full of clutter. My reaction was, Cole the Cornstar has probably got a never-ending job with that house and farm. Oh, he gets half the new siding on and runs out of money. You're right, mowmud, he does have the spirit.
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