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All home improvement contractors must die

By robo_dev ·
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//begin rant 1.0//

Why is it that when you pay somebody to do work, they never do it right the first time? Is it a lack of education, poor genetics, lack of pre-natal care? Did their mother smoke (crack?) during the pregnancy?

Why does it fall on me, the homeowner, to educate the contractor about building codes, best practices, and common sense?

For example, right now I am getting the raised wood deck replaced on my house. I did LOTS of due dillgence, checked references, etc.

And yet....

I'm having to explain to them:

- why a 'temporary beam' to pass inspection is a bad idea
- why soil contact with wood is bad
- why 3/8" bolts are not code-compliant for guard-rail attachment
- why it's a bad idea to tap their ungrounded extension cord into the 30AMP service-disconnect for my AC unit.
- why joist hangers exist, and the startling news that there are even different size joist hangers for different sized joists...so therefore using a 8" hanger on a 10" joist is not correct.

Or why it's a bad idea to let one of the worker's 8 year old son roam unsupervised under the deck (on temporary supports) for three hours last Friday. (have that on CCTV footage)

Today I found they installed the posts in the ground, using only the (code minimum) 12" of concrete in the hole, the rest filled up with soil. Technically it 'meets code' but keep in mind the Southern US is second only to Hawaii for termites.

After a somewhat heated argument with the owner of the deck company, I have made the vow...never again hire anybody to do anything. I used to do it all myself, and I guess I need to get back to that again.

//end rant//

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Disagree

by dogknees In reply to Why you would bother with ...

Common sense would indicate that the person making the error accepts the cost of that error.

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That's your common sense

by AnsuGisalas In reply to Disagree

Mine too... but the salesmen see it differently

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Now that is exactly what happened

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to That's your common sense ...

In the Mainframe Days the salespeople sold what they had stocks of and then we had to make it work for the client.

Col

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But I need cables...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to That's your common sense ...

Sorry, we have printer paper... make it work!

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Reminds me of a 'M*A*S*H' episode.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to That's your common sense ...

Potter is dictating a letter to Radar, to be sent to the Supply section:

"We requested ****** thermometers; you sent spark plugs. They're useful but not interchangeable!"

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I remember

by seanferd In reply to That's your common sense ...

the Y2K fix-fest, too.

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It's something to look out for...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to This AM I had a real 'ani ...

the eyes of a contractor glazing over slightly when you describe how you want things done, pre-hire.
It's the look of "Uh-huh, uh-huh - well, I am the expert, here - but let the little laymen feel like they know shilt, I'll just do it my way after all".
They're "professionals" after all

It's a good idea to have them tell you back what you just said, they might not even remember it

This is what's different about German engineering: Germans don't look at the "meets code", they go for "what will work" and then add 20% more steel... if it doesn't call for steel, I think they add some, just in case, so careful of the pastries!

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Ah, here you go:

by CharlieSpencer In reply to It's something to look ou ...

The classic 'paint colors' scene from "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House". Wait for the punch line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZwOGVWqHAw

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Tell me about it...

by AnsuGisalas In reply to All home improvement cont ...

I had to tell contractors that no, if I asked that they glue a threshold to the tile floor to control (but not prevent) the natural movement of the parquet floor... then it wasn't "the same" to glue the threshold TO THE FLOORING, AND NOT TO THE TILE FLOOR. Needless to say the whole floor rose up in a nice arch... nothing was holding it down. It was two centimeters off the tiles at the centre.
I had to tell them they'd have to take it off and do it according to MY instructions, not according to their next "bright idea"... the "head" guy was absolutely fuming, since it was his "thinking" I was telling them to shove into the sunless.
And that was before I told them that, no, it would not be acceptable if they simply rip the threshold off the flooring, since that would tear off a substantial amount of the flooring surface and make it look like crap, forever.
The "head" guy was about to go out the door, smoke pouring out the ears.
But then I told him he'd made a mess, and he'd have to stay and fix it, and that fixing it would involve cutting the glue with a stanley blade... all of it

He was absolutely convinced my method wouldn't work, up until it was done.
After that he had nothing to say

I think it all had to do with penile insufficiency

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contractors are evil

by GSG In reply to All home improvement cont ...

Oh dear lord... He didn't know that wood + touching dirt = termites? And on the electricity thing, and tapping into the AC, that's how a roofer set my air conditioner on fire.

I needed to replace my deck 3 years ago, and there is no way I'm going to make it through next summer. When the house was originally built, they didn't sink the posts for the deck at all. They sort of almost leveled the ground, put a 6 x 6 concrete square on the ground, and set the post on top of that. They never sealed the deck either, so by the time I bought the house (2nd owner), the deck was already rotting.

When the idiot drove the car into my house, it was nothing but pure **** working with the contractor. I told him that I was a project manager and that I knew all of the tricks and excuses so quit pulling them on me. Something that should have taken 4 weeks took 4 freakin' months, and it only finished because I took over and started calling the sub-contractors myself.

Pure, unadulterated ****.

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