WTF in America

Old Mar 22nd 2015, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Jsmth321
Sad story. Makes you never want to hire a contractor, had they never hired him they would probably still be alive.
The most reliable way to keep your home free of contactors is to arrange for one to show up.
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Old Mar 22nd 2015, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Nutek
The most reliable way to keep your home free of contactors is to arrange for one to show up.
I wish I could.
Last Wednesday I called 2 remodeling contractors and 5 painters, asking them to come round to give me an estimate for some work. Only one has even replied so far. This is to replace a contractor who came, quoted for a job, agreed terms, then disappeared. I guess business must be too good at the moment...
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Old Mar 22nd 2015, 11:46 pm
  #2343  
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Default Re: WTF in America

I am really surprised to read this. I thought that only happened here! In fact I have said quite a few times this would never happen in the US. Looks like it's a global problem with builders.
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Old Mar 22nd 2015, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
I wish I could.
Last Wednesday I called 2 remodeling contractors and 5 painters, asking them to come round to give me an estimate for some work. Only one has even replied so far. This is to replace a contractor who came, quoted for a job, agreed terms, then disappeared. I guess business must be too good at the moment...
We have only ever managed to get one, ever, that actually did what he said he would.

"Contractor" seems to be a contraction of "Useless unreliable unqualified feckless lazy incompetent no-show bastard."
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 12:52 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by WJS
I am really surprised to read this. I thought that only happened here! In fact I have said quite a few times this would never happen in the US. Looks like it's a global problem with builders.
I think there is a common perception that everything works and customer service is fantastic in the US. Personally I find some things are better, some things are worse. It is certainly not the utopia some expect to find.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 12:58 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Nutek
We have only ever managed to get one, ever, that actually did what he said he would.

"Contractor" seems to be a contraction of "Useless unreliable unqualified feckless lazy incompetent no-show bastard."
We have a great general building contractor that has done a few projects for us over the years, including a large patio cover, screen room, outdoor bathroom, sauna/steamroom, concrete pad for extending our driveway/parking. I have had no problem recomending him to friends, many of whom have used him and all have been very happy. He's a straight talking "salt of the earth" type who does what he says he will. I haven't heard a single complaint about him. Unfortunately he is getting on, looking at retiring and passing the business over to his son who, well, lets just say he doesn't have the same approach or focus as his dad.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 1:02 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Yorkieabroad
...... This is to replace a contractor who came, quoted for a job, agreed terms, then disappeared. .....
Mrs P often experiences the same problem.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 1:35 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Pulaski
Mrs P often experiences the same problem.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 4:12 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

I assume contractor means builder in UK terms? I've been gone too long!

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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 4:14 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by WJS
I assume contractor means builder in UK terms? I've been gone too long!

Pulaski.
No, even in the UK a contractor is someone you contract to do any sort of job..
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 4:25 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Duh, I don't get it! Don't you contract with a builder in the UK?


I lived in the UK for many years but we sold up and moved to our second home here in France two years ago. We have had work done on both but I now get confused between UK English, American English and French.

Perhaps a contractor is what is called here in France a maitre d'oeuvre, someone that contracts and manages the builder, plumber etc..?
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 4:47 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by WJS
...... Perhaps a contractor is what is called here in France a maitre d'oeuvre, someone that contracts and manages the builder, plumber etc..?
In the US that would be a "licensed general contractor", who the customer signs the contract with. The licensed general contractor (and his employees) may then do all, some, or none of the work himself, and he subcontracts the rest to specialists such as framers, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, roofers, etc. The customer only pays the licensed general contractor.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 5:29 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Thank you Pulaski. We had a serious problem with a general contractor here in France when we started some work years ago so after this we started dealing directly with builders for further work (called artisans here in France which is a joke in most cases!) to say it has been difficult is an understatement. Had a few problems in the UK but not nearly as bad as here.

Always thought that in the US it would never be like this here and a million times better so really disappointed it may just be a thousand times better.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 5:36 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by WJS
Thank you Pulaski. We had a serious problem with a general contractor here in France when we started some work years ago so after this we started dealing directly with builders for further work (called artisans here in France which is a joke in most cases!) to say it has been difficult is an understatement. Had a few problems in the UK but not nearly as bad as here.

Always thought that in the US it would never be like this here and a million times better so really disappointed it may just be a thousand times better.
To be clear, there is nothing to stop you contracting directly with the specialist trades, up to and including building your own house, acting as your own general contractor, which is what one of our neighbors did. He built before we moved here, so I don't know what he did himself, but to look at the house as a whole, there is nothing to show that it wasn't built by a licensed general contractor, and I suspect that he subcontracted almost everything.

Also states usually set a maximum contract value that is allowed without the involvement of a licensed contractor (doesn't have to be a "general" contractor). ..... In other words you can't hire an odd job man to build an extension on your home.

Last edited by Pulaski; Mar 23rd 2015 at 5:53 am.
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Old Mar 23rd 2015, 5:59 am
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Default Re: WTF in America

Originally Posted by Nutek
We have only ever managed to get one, ever, that actually did what he said he would.

"Contractor" seems to be a contraction of "Useless unreliable unqualified feckless lazy incompetent no-show bastard."
'Naked Gun' quote:

How could you do something so vicious?

It was easy my dear. You forget, I spent two years as a building contractor.
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