Contractors In Your Home...How Do You Deal With Them?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Rich, May 30, 2019.

  1. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,717
    308
    Dec 28, 2007
    Yup. I'm in So Cal as well. Our builder put in wooden fencing (circa 2002) and the majority of it in the neighborhood still looked great. There were a few areas that needed replacing and maybe a few more that needed painting. The HOA certainly didn't maintain the fencing that well or it would have lasted even longer. Why they took it all out for this plastic junk is beyond me.
     
  2. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame

    1,754
    64
    Dec 1, 2006
    Los Gatos,...
    Go with friends recommendations. Don't believe anything you read on Yelp or Home Advisor, etc. We hired a company based on online recommendations. They were terrible. The people who came in didn't know what they were supposed to do and even after finding out didn't know how. My biggest regret is not firing them immediately after the first guy showed up to do some 2nd story work and his first question was, "Do you have a ladder I can borrow?" I have a whole list of things they didn't know how to do. If that happens, fire them STAT!

    Also, ALWAYS used a licensed contractor. My stepmom got sued because two unlicensed tile guys caught her house on fire cutting tiles. One of them got seriously burned. She got sued even though it was their fault.
     
  3. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    33,368
    1,324
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Must be a good story there...was she held liable for that?

    Rich
     
  4. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame

    1,754
    64
    Dec 1, 2006
    Los Gatos,...
    Most, if not all HOAs, will not treat the wood of a fence. They install the fence then let it rot over the next 5 years. If you put on a sealant and clear coat you get the beauty of the fence and it will last decades. Unless the fence is installed in dirt, but that's another issue.
     
  5. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

    3,960
    129
    Nov 20, 2004
    College...
    I recently moved into a house that had a deteriorated rail fence made of pressure treated lumber. It's structure is that there are 4.5" posts standing up to a height of about 42 inches, and they are mortised out at heights of 16 inches and 34 inches to accommodate 2x4 ends of rails, which are about eight feet long. Some of the rails are rectangular; others are split rails with the rounded side forward. The posts are all embedded in cement and three of them are broken at the base.

    I remember some 30 years ago, when so-called pressure treated lumber was becoming a popular product for outdoor use, that a lot of people were dissatisfied with its durability, but none of the people I talked to knew that there were different grades of that pressure treated lumber, depending on whether it was to be used for load bearing, or to endure ground contact. The manufacturers had codes, stamped on each piece, for how many pounds of Chromated Copper Arsenate they impregnated into each cubic foot of wood, and the customer was best served by selecting the preservative density suited to his usage.

    I just read the Wikipedia article on wood preservative and I see that this product fell out of favor with the EPA and so I would be hard pressed to find matching replacement parts at a lumber yard, but fortunately, the previous owner of the house left us with a stash of three such posts that are encased in premanufactured 10" diameter x 24" cement bases, so I will be doing some serious digging this week to make the swaps.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2019
  6. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame

    1,754
    64
    Dec 1, 2006
    Los Gatos,...
    Yes, she was held liable. It was a father-son tile team. They were replacing entry way tile. They used a saw inside the house to cut tile - no water cooling. The saw overheated and caught fire. The father tried to put out the fire and was badly burned. She ended up having to pay (through insurance) his medical bills because it happened in her house. They were not held liable for anything.
     
    Rich likes this.
  7. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,464
    1,394
    Nov 13, 2006
    Did she sue them for causing a fire in her house? If I had the money I’d have given her enough to take it to the Supreme Court before she had to give them a dime. That’s just wrong.
     
  8. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,464
    1,394
    Nov 13, 2006
    I’ve still never seen a wood fence look good after a year no matter how it’s sealed or anything else. Always needs constant attention to look good long term. And the vynal fences look good if they get ones with style. But plenty just look like a white painted wood fence to me.
     
  9. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,464
    1,394
    Nov 13, 2006
    I’m in Los Angeles too. And yeah what these people told her was ridiculous. They wanted her to spend way more than her budget and do fancy crap that she didn’t like.

    Personally I say make a house how you want it and be happy. If that guy loved his office cave cabinets so be it. And colors are to each his own as well. Better that than someone else doing your house for you then you don’t like it.

    There is a difference between guiding someone to find what they will like and telling them do it this way and like it. She had the latter.
     
  10. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,717
    308
    Dec 28, 2007
    Mind need a coat of paint in a few areas, and I did have to re-nail a piece that fell off the gate, but it definitely looked better then the plastic junk.
     
  11. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,717
    308
    Dec 28, 2007
    Not me lol... I like nicer stuff within a budget lol, but I'm not going to do stuff that's out there and hurt the resell value. I dunno, maybe I'm lucky that I have a middle of the road taste.
     
  12. dmspen

    dmspen Hall Of Fame

    1,754
    64
    Dec 1, 2006
    Los Gatos,...
    I agree. Her home insurance caved on paying them. Guess it was cheaper than going to court.
     
  13. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,717
    308
    Dec 28, 2007
    A co-worker of mine had some workers crawling around in his attic and one of them fell through and apparently contaminated the entire place with asbestos. It worked out for my co-worker though. He got a bunch of his stuff replaced for free by the insurance.
     
  14. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    33,368
    1,324
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    We've had contractors cause damage to our home a couple times. Both times it happened it was with contractors who had made sure I was aware they were "fully insured" before the work started. Fortunately, I've learned to give these guys as little as I can upfront and I took the cost of repairs out of the final payment. Now, after going thru this a couple times, I make sure they know I won't give them any more than the initial hit for materials until the job is completed to my satisfaction.

    I worked with contractors for years when I was working and we always covered them when injuries occurred on our property. I know OSHA held us responsible for any injuries that happened to contractors working for us. I have no idea how that works in a private residence but I'd assume the owner would have some responsibility.

    Rich
     
  15. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    33,368
    1,324
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Part of our fencing is picket fencing. Looks like painted wood. I tried maintaining the wooden fences we had, I painted them and sprayed them. Seems like you have to do that every year to keep up with them and that's not something I want to do. The vinyl fencing is common here and everybody is used to it. The only upkeep I have to do occasionally is power washing. And with as much fencing as we have that's an all day job.

    I've been looking at houses for a couple years in our area and I have yet to see a well kept wooden fence that isn't brand new. I find it hard to believe that folks that don't want to get their hands dirty are gonna maintain a wooden fence properly.

    Rich
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    33,368
    1,324
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    I have seen a lot of homes that made me wonder what the people that owned them were thinking. But, you're right, it's a personal choice. What bothered me most was the state of the homes. The deterioration of those homes. Some people buy a home and do nothing to it for years, that I don't get. Owning a home and not taking care of it baffles me.

    Rich
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    33,368
    1,324
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    Wasn't much out of pocket for her, huh? That's good. Going to court is a crapshoot. Something I avoid.

    Rich
     
  18. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,464
    1,394
    Nov 13, 2006
    Things like Paint colors and cabinets and such are trivial to me. Upkeep of infrastructure like plumbing and areas with water damage under sinks, and not remodeling and doing things wrong, like adding a shower that’s to small to turn around in, those are real issues to me. Paint whatever color makes you happy. Just don’t rewire the house and not put in a ceiling light. . (My pet peeve on houses is not having a hardwired light in a room to a switch).
     
  19. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

    2,717
    308
    Dec 28, 2007
    Repainting is a DIY or not THAT expensive if you hire a painter if you've got a lot of stuff to paint or doing something multi-color. I.e. I'd paint base and crown white semi or enamel and the walls something different. I'd hire a painter to do that I guess. Too much work. Not going to hire a painter to touch up walls obviously.

    Cabinets aren't trivial. Redoing a kitchen is 25k to 50k for nice cabinets even for a small kitchen.

    I put in recessed lights in my house and it was on special for like $300 a room back in 2002. I think the builder wanted 2 or 3 times that. The upstairs wasn't too bad, they only had to rip open the drywall in one room due to it having a sheer wall where the light switch was.

    I later added some more and in ceiling speakers to the living room. That guy turned my ceiling into swiss cheese.

    A lot of houses in so cal tend to have the crappy 1 piece plastic shower enclosure / bath tub. At some point, I priced out switching it to a real bath tub and tile and the guy said I pretty much had to gut the entire bathroom for that. That one was a bad call on my part, should have gone through the builder for that, but they would have still put in a crappy plastic tub. Still would have been able to put tile though. Probably could have specified which tub I wanted, but that builder gouged on anything custom.
     
  20. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    24,464
    1,394
    Nov 13, 2006
    To be clear I was referencing the office cabinets you where discussing. Anything bathroom or kitchen is not trivial. That falls in the infrastructure of the house as far as I am concerned. If it’s an older house and you mess with the kitchen you usually need to redo all its electrical and sometimes plumbing. It’s a can of worms.

    Your bathroom, yeah Might be easiest to gut it unless the vanity is really nice.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall