90% of Contractors Suck

do not ever pay for work that isn’t done right and completed on time

what the Arc would have looked like if Noah had used a contractor

Stop letting contractors screw you over.  There is NO excuse for work that isn’t done right, finished on budget, and completed on time.  I’ve heard it again and again that some contractor totally fucked up a job, or charged far too much, or did work that didn’t need doing, left an utter mess behind them after they finished, caused far more damage than they were asked to come in and fix, never finished the job at all, didn’t do the job they were asked to do, or didn’t even turn up…..

This is not a new story for me, so why am I bothering to flog this comatose horse?  Well a couple of friends of mine, and another couple of nice people whose blogs I follow, have all had problems with contractors in the past few days.  In my expert opinion 90% of contractors of every ilk from decorators, to plumbers, to electricians, to garage mechanics, to moving men et al, are utterly useless, partly skilled, dishonest, lazy, misogynistic jerks.

So how to avoid being totally ripped off?

  • Do not hire a contractor based on somebody else’s unsupported recommendation.  Especially do not hire anyone recommended by another contractor; say your realtor.
  • Do not ever, ever hire a friend, or a friend of a friend, to do ANY work for you.
  • Do not ever hire a contractor without first having a totally clear picture of the work you want doing, when you want it done by, how much you are going to pay, and when.  If you don’t know any of this stuff, GO AWAY AND FIND OUT!
  • Do not ever hire a contractor who can’t show you a current copy of their appropriate certification, and customer references.  Check these out, and never just by making a phone call.
  • Do not hire a contractor who can’t give you a firm written quote, on a proper letter-head.  If possible get three quotes, (if it’s a big job then you must have at least two firm quotations)
  • Do not ever pay a contractor before they have started work, and never ever pay them in full until the work is completed to your satisfaction.  Agree stage payments if appropriate.  Go over everything your contractor has done with a fine tooth comb.  Your word is the final word!
  • Do not ever, ever allow an unsupervised contractor into your property. And, ensure they are watched over 100% of the time thereafter.
  • DO NOT hire day rate illegal aliens under any circumstances.  And don’t hire anyone who isn’t fluent in your language.
  • Learn some DIY stuff.  Learn a hell of a lot of DIY stuff.  It is always easier, cheaper, and better to do the job yourself than hire some utterly useless, partly skilled, dishonest, lazy, misogynistic jerk to do the work for you.  And if you have some idea about how to actually do a bit of say; decorating, then you are in a far better position to control your idiot contractor.
  • Finally; do not be a woman.  All contractors think women are easy marks.  If you are a woman then follow the suggestions above with the utmost regard.

This is your job, your money, your home, your safety.  If your plumber floods your home, your electrician sets fire to your home, or you home just blows up……  then ultimately it is YOUR fault.  Do not let ANYONE tell you how you should go about dealing with a contractor.  (except me)

Some say that they have had a really good contractor.  And that not all contractors are bad.  All I know is that anyone who says they have had one good contractor will also have had three utter disasters.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some decorators can’t even varnish a floor without making a mess of it

9 responses

  1. “”
    You made me laugh. Seeing as how you always have a well researched, and thought out advice, I think I really would take your advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From bitter experience of watching other people, (women), get into trouble with jerkwater contractors. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What do you think about the governments great house building craze, given that most of our offices and shops will no longer be used, and are ideal for conversion to dwellings for millions of people? The government seem to think that things will return to “normal” after Covid, but forget that the emptying of shops and especially offices was happening long before, due to the great increase in interpersonal IT.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s going to cost a great deal of money, effort, and time to get back to anything like ‘normality’. Repurposing offices and shops might be a good idea, but that will most likely happen organically, and not as a result of any great governmental initiatives.

      Like

  3. Don’t ever hire a friend? You can’t have very nice friends. The trouble with the British generally is that they don’t want to work, and the work that they do do they make it an art that that there is a limit to what they will do. For this they quote a lot of stupid rules and say “It is more than my jobs worth to do N”. If they can make things difficult for the next contractor down the line they will. The only people who will do anything outside the very narrow remit of the immediate task for you, ARE your friends.

    Like

    1. There is a difference between a friend doing you a favour, and friend who is also a contractor, and a contractor you make think of as a friend.
      Attacking the ‘British’ isn’t nice.

      Like

  4. I am a woman 🙂 And I know all of the above good advice.
    My contractor is great! Super honest and reliable. He has done all sorts of work for me. Everything is done properly exactly the way I want it for reasonable prices.
    It also helps to watch home reno programmes to learn the proper ways to fix or create. And ask the contractor what methods they will use to do the job. Make suggestions. If they insist it must be done their way only, interview someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mermaid. It helps that you’re a very wise woman, with just a touch of magic in the way you deal with your contractor.
      Your point about watching home renovation shows on TV is a really good one.
      And you’re right, it’s your money, your contractor works for you, not the other way around. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve learned quite a bit watching those shows! So even if I can’t do it myself, I know how it should be done. And I’ve learned basic plumbing and repairs from those shows so it saves me money. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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