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  1. Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerDave View Post
    I can echo that sentiment for my own son back when he was coming out of high school and into his early college years. He went out seemingly days at a time filling out applications at all the "Now Hiring" places; grocery stores, dept stores, you name it, and he *never* heard back, not a decline, no "no thanks," no interview, nothing. Nothing. How did he finally land a job? By going to a job fair at OCCC one day and the manager of a store that was getting ready to open needed to staff up, and he hired him on the spot. He worked there off and on for about three or four years. But what if he hadn't happened to stumble onto that job fair??
    Purely anecdotal, but about a decade ago - during the recession - I was an assistant manager for a local fast food restaurant. Our turnover was relatively low, but corporate mandated that all stores kept the "Now Hiring" sign in the window. We got so, so many applications, all the time, and every time we were ready to hire one or two people, there was literally a stack of apps to shuffle through. As a result, the vast majority of our applicants never received a response from us - while we would inform applicants if we had positions available when they turned in an application, we just simply didn't have the time to go through and respond to each and every application. I suspect with today's low unemployment that this problem is exacerbated.

  2. #52

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    BTW, I just checked my first pay stub at the old Crosswinds Motel in 1976 when I was 16.

    I was paid $2.25 / hour which equates to $10.11 in 2019 money.

    I doubt you could find many who would do that job today for $10/hour. It was hard work (lawn, painting, and maintenance all outdoors) and all day Saturday and Sunday were required.
    ^^ I was doing landscaping in 1994 at $10 an hour. Hard, hot, and miserable work, especially during the summers. That's $16.54 in 2019 money. Same opinion. I can't imagine doing that now, when someone could work in an temperature controlled warehouse for about the same.

  3. #53

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTravellers View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    I try to do things by myself when I can, I also have a home warranty for everything inside the house that breaks, so I have to use whoever they choose to come out. But if it's not actually broken and just needs work, I have to find someone - water heater wasn't broken, but was so gunked up and old I didn't want to wait until it broke because with the home warranty, I'd report it, they'd assign it to someone, they'd get back to me a day later, then schedule something for who knows how far in the future (usually a few days), then it'd take them 2 days to fix it (one to come out and "diagnose", then they'd come back later to do the work), and we'd be without hot water all that time, so I just bit the bullet and got a new one with my bonus this year. I can't do a water heater by myself, so I need a plumber. I don't have the knowledge to "fix" my yard, so once I get that knowledge, I can do the work myself, but first I have to find someone with the knowledge.

    So for those that use companies with employees, how do you know that they're that kind of company? I went to Fox Brick's site and it looks like a place that isn't a one-man shop, but apparently it is (or pretty close). And why can't these people just say "can't do it right now, sorry"? I don't take on projects at my workplace if I don't have time to do them, why do they appear to be taking new customers if they aren't? It just engenders pissed-off-ness and no return calls and bad reviews.

    And if anybody asks me for a recommendation for a tradesman and I know one, I give it to them, it's on the tradesman to decline/accept new customers, IMO. I just don't understand this way of thinking, but then again, I'm an IT guy, not a tradesman, so maybe this is just the way they work.

    So off to Angie's List I go to find a chimney repair place...
    Let me know if you find a good chimney person. I need a cap on one of my houses chimneys. Angies list and the other home adviser are the ones that these Trades pay an advertisement fee to so they can get up higher on their list. That kind of makes me wonder about these services. Pretty sure when these Angie list types started they did not charge the trades to be on their list. Take with a grain of salt is all I'm saying.

  4. Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by OKCRT View Post
    Let me know if you find a good chimney person. I need a cap on one of my houses chimneys. Angies list and the other home adviser are the ones that these Trades pay an advertisement fee to so they can get up higher on their list. That kind of makes me wonder about these services. Pretty sure when these Angie list types started they did not charge the trades to be on their list. Take with a grain of salt is all I'm saying.
    Will do, I actually asked for a quote on Thumbtack instead of Angie's, will see if he gets back to me. Apparently Thumbtack shares some of your info with other "pros" on their site 'cos I got an unsolicited email from somebody, will have to check him out and see if he can do what I'm looking for.

  5. #55

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    From a lawn companies perspective:


  6. #56

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    The other company:


  7. Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    OK, here's my experience with Thumbtack and Angie's List - out of 3 quotes I requested on Thumbtack, nobody got back to me, and out of 2 quotes on Angie's List, only 1 got back to me. So I literally had the opposite experience of the guy above - he sent out quotes all the time and nobody responded, and I asked for quotes and only 1 responded. Two sides to every story.

  8. #58

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    TheTravellers has me on ignore but I have the same situation in Denver with home repair people. I think it's just part of the national shortage of people who are skilled in the trades. I've worked hard with my son to learn a lot of practical trade knowledge and it's already paid off for him getting a high school job at a hardware store. They love him because he can fix things and has knowledge of trade matters. He is actually considering trades as a career.

  9. #59

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Most electricians that I employ have a pecking order of jobs they like to work-industrial, commercial, then last residential.

    They'll tell you res is the most price sensitive, you deal with the highest # of crazy people, they are the least quality focused, and most likely to be slow to pay or skip paying at all.

    At least with electricians, the really high end talented guys, like working heavy industrial or oilfield. It's where the highest wages and most challenging work is.

    So on top of all the other issues, you're also facing that.

  10. #60

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    In this modern networking age, you have to go through a lot work to "sale yourself" to companies in addition to the college degree you earn. This is not much different than what a trades person has to do to get clients.

    The younger generations are slowly starting to figure out that college is not an 'easy' path to higher wages and a person in a trade can often make higher wages through same amount of effort someone in college does.

  11. Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerDave View Post
    And swimming pools, particularly in-ground ones, are a fading luxury I think. The best lesson I ever learned for *not* getting one was *growing up* with one. They're a nightmare of maintenance and support expense. Chemicals, cleaning, repairing, insuring, fixing, makes the "cost per dive" ridiculous. If I had so much money that I could literally tell a pool co to "make it ready" and throw a bunch of $$$ at it every month, maybe, but even then, the cost-to-benefit is awfully high. Real Estate folks will tell you that pools can actually be a detriment to a home's resale value because people don't want them. You couldn't pay me to put one in now. My mom mothballed her own pool years ago; covered it up and what she saves in chemicals, electricity, and related maintenance more than makes up for the cost of a nice, permanent cover.
    I'm not so sure about the fading part. I know several people in my circle that have put in new pools or bought homes with pools recently. But yeah I agree that they can be a PITA. I've had above-ground pools in the past and was at least somewhat familiar with the effort and costs involved before buying a home with a pool. On this in-ground pool, I can say that with it being a salt-water pool, the maintenance is much less of a hassle and I've found that I don't have to spend a ton of time or money on it. A little bit of TLC when opening and closing the pool goes a long way. Some of my friends pay to have their pools opened and closed professionally, but I like doing it myself. It's not difficult and only takes a few hours on a Saturday afternoon to accomplish.

    However, the electrical cost was a huge increase for me and was quite the wake-up call the first summer I owned it. When I bought the house my insurance agent, who is also a good friend of the family, gave me some good advice; he said to use the pool as often as you can, or you will begin to resent the time, money and effort it requires from you. He was so right. I curse it when things go wrong, but I really do enjoy it and use it frequently, typically from late May to early October.

    Having said that, once I reach retirement, I don't think I will want deal with the hassles of pool ownership in the same way I don't believe I'll want to have a large yard to care for. Downsizing is definitely in the plan for us eventually.

  12. #62

    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Pools are truly a PITA and it IMO is not worth the money, time & security you put into them. The thought of possibly waking up some morning to discover a child or grandchild has drown in your prized pool.

    Those of you who have them, great. There are benefits & rewards. When you get to the point where you can't maintain them to standards--it become the deciding factor to have it cover up or leave it as a potential death trap for anyone or anything.

  13. Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by Laramie View Post
    Pools are truly a PITA and it IMO is not worth the money, time & security you put into them. The thought of possibly waking up some morning to discover a child or grandchild has drown in your prized pool.

    Those of you who have them, great. There are benefits & rewards. When you get to the point where you can't maintain them to standards--it become the deciding factor to have it cover up or leave it as a potential death trap for anyone or anything.
    Yeah, I can imagine it's a worry for those with small kids. Ours are grown beyond that now, but I'm sure any future grandkids would be a worry as well. We do have a fence around the pool and use a safety cover in the winter. One of my friends has an old blind dog that has inadvertently stepped into his pool more than once, fortunately only on the steps. He's got a temporary fence up in his yard to control where the dog can go now. Access control is definitely something to consider.

  14. #64
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    Default Re: Why is it so hard to get a tradesman to do anything?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyShack View Post
    My wife and I are planning on pushing our son and hopefully the next couple of kids to be in the trades rather than going down the white-collar path.
    Wise choice. We have good Trade Schools in this state. Always going to be work for a Tradesman.

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