At the end of my rope with plumbers, or LACK of....

pirulaDecember 16, 2005

Hi Guys:

I don't know anyone over in plumbing so I'm posting this here. It's basically just a gripe, but I'm hoping any of you in Northern Virginia/DC area may have a good plumber for me?

We have called, no kidding, at least TWELVE different plumbing companies, after doing research. One in particular seemed great. Came right away, gave us an estimate, then stopped returning calls when we tried to APPROVE the estimate and start work. This is a kitchen and THREE bathrooms. You would think these guy would be interested. The others either don't return calls, don't work in our area (okay fine), don't do remodels (okay fine), or expect us to stay home the entire day twiddling our thumbs just so they can come and charge us for an estimate (up yours).

HELP! I'm usually SUCH a nice person, but I'm really annoyed. DH is in the INDUSTRY for pete's sake and it's not helping in the least. I know they're busy but MAN!!! Every other industry is busy too, this is the ONLY one we've had problems with.

Okay, I feel better now.


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We went through the same thing--my husband ended up doing it all himself. He was cheaper and actually showed up! : )

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 12:31PM
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We have a really great plumber. His company is Gaske Plumbing, and he is the father of my kids' classmates. He helped us out in a pinch (he's the owner) and both DH and I think his price was more than fair. Plus he was very respectful of our home and he's very polite. Not sure if he'll travel to VA, but it's worth a try. Here's his info (sorry, I can't remember his first name, but if you tell him you heard about him from another parent at Peter Pan, he'll be more accomodating).
Gaske Plumbing & Heating 4615 Benson Ave Baltimore MD 21227-1410 tel;410-247-6963- Howard County

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Ivette-- Get in line and take a number. For whatever reason, right now, alot of people seem to be having a hard time lining up plumbers and electricians (atleast ones that are worth a damn). I don't understand it either-- I mean, yes, we're all busy (ALL building trades), but lately, things are beginning to wind down. Early last spring, I was pretty much booked all the way into september. Now, I'm booked only till the end of march. The least they can do is return the calls, and why they don't I don't know, but I know alot of people having that same difficulty. Maybe it's because they figure that most of the work they do you have to be certified for, or you won't be able to pull a permit, so they can afford to wait. I don't know. But for whatever reason, this is rampant on a national level.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 2:11PM
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Poor Ivette! Don't you feel as if you're waving cash at passing traffic on a busy corner shouting, "Plumbers! Take my money!" and no one will even slow down?

Maybe you could put an ad in the paper-

"Available immediately- solvent homeowner, good credit history, for reliable plumber desiring contract employment in pleasant atmosphere. Payment terms negotiable, cash or check."

Good luck. I feel that way about painters.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 2:25PM
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LOL! Oh thanks you guys for making feel better and not like such a LOOOOOOSER because no one will work with me!!!

ProudMamma: we will definitely call your guy and see if he works in our area. And we will definitely mention Peter Pan (and Tinkerbell if that's what it takes!).

Bill: It's ridiculous!! and ya know....I'll be about ready for tile in March. I don't suppose you'll be around here???? Perhaps a forum gettogether in VA and you come? huh? huh? huh??

dktrahan: my husband is prepared to do it himself, but we really want to PAY someone to just do it and get it over with. DH is already doing so much of the work as it is, we were hoping to save time and effort here. I guess we'll see.

Thanks guy!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 4:30PM
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Ivette, if I wasn't already booked for March, I'd seriously consider it, just to meet you and your husband. Unfortunately, I've got a major project that's guaranteed to bring me enough work to where I'll be looking to expand. That lumber company/ home building supply showroom I spoke of in my logo thread will be starting up the first or second week of march, and from what I'm told, it'll keep me busy till mid to late april.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 4:57PM
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Poor dear! I call the whole thing "when money's not enough." Don't give up yet. All these plumbers are fat this month from people who want it done for the holidays. It'll get pretty sad and penniless in January.

Does Joel want to do-it-himself? Maybe Jeff can come up and help him for a day...???

I think you need some grits.

Bill, can I come and work for you???

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 5:42PM
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Oh Ivette, sooo discouraging~isn't it?. Could you call your town's plumbing inspector and ask for some recommendations? S/he may know of plumbers that you can count on. Also, perhaps there's a larger type plumbing co in your area, they may be a bit more expensive but at least has the manpower? Hang in there, honey!

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:18PM
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Well!! On the positive side, I just opened my three just arrived boxes from Home Annex and I am in faucet HEAVEN!!! What was in them you ask? My beautiful, have dreamed of them all my life, Barber Wilsons exposed thermostatic shower and the exposed bath filler with hand shower for our claw foot tub!!!

OMG, they are so incredibly beautiful!! I just couldn't be happier.

Now, if only I could just find a plumber!!!!!



    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:13PM
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I work in a village hall and we're not allowed to give out recommendations for contractors, plumbers, electricians or any of the trades.

Maybe it's different in other towns, though.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 9:38PM
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Pamela-- Can you work 50 hours straight time per week for a slave driver of a boss? :-)

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 10:13PM
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I have my kneepads on and my thermos of espresso ready to go.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 1:15AM
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LOL, it's Peter Pan Learning Center :-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 5:33AM
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Ivette, I so know what you're going through, except I don't have a husband in the business. My hitherto trustworthy, friendly GC just ditched me with no explanation after we'd had reservations since March for October for a Master Bath/Master Bedroom/Second bedroom remodel (the main reason I can think of relates to the fact that he'd bragged on our last two meetings about the incredibly high-end work he was doing for other people--lovely). And most (not all) plumbers/electricians who are really good don't want to work directly for homeowners--their time is already spoken for by contractors.

One idea: Is there an Angie's list or Craigslist in your town? I've been able to find some possibilities from there who seem pretty good (from discussions/references/portfolios, but haven't made any final decisions yet) and just looking to find side work or are almost retired and don't want to be working full time...

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 1:38PM
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Pamela-- Funny you should say expresso-- when I lived in south Florida I did alot of mall stores at night, after all the other workers had gone home, so there was no worry about my work getting trampled while still fresh. Every evening, I'd stop at the convenience store right by the mall and pick up a full sized cup of what's called cafe Cubano (basically the same thing), and man, that stuff was like liquid cocaine!! I'd be like Ricochet Rabbit until the crack of dawn the next day!! LOL

BTW-- it's startin to look like we just might be able to do this, so get ready to strap those knee pads on!! :-)

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 2:09PM
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Oh Cafe Cubano, or cafe con leche, is something I miss *so* much from New York. OH man it was so good and a lot less expensive than Starbucks.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 2:24PM
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heh heh. Did you all know I am of Cuban descent? Grew up with the stuff. Family came over in 59. Smelled a rat... Met and married here in the U.S. and the rest is history.

We'll probably end up either using the plumber his contracting company uses (we may have his boss call because this dufus doesn't seem to realize that he isn't returning calls to his biggest client). OR he'll do it himself. We'll see. It's just so frustrating.

Thanks for the friendly ear!

Again, on the plus side, I finalized my recessed lighting order today. And while I was at the lighting shop I found some really cool little lights for my powder room and they weren't even expensive and WAY less than what I was planning to do. It's going to be rather daring. We'll see what you guys think of it when it's all done (in about ninety years).


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 4:22PM
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Can't wait to see the powder room, Ivette ~ sounds intriguing-lol!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 7:27PM
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Yeah-- me neither!!


    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:30PM
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My hat is off to you for keeping the minute details straight on THREE baths and a kitchen simultaneously. We can only seem to do remodeling sequentially around our schedules which drives our friends nuts. The Sistine Chapel was finished in less time, they are fond of saying!

Let's see - Pamela tiling in Maine, Bill plumbing in VA - I think this is the beginning of an East Coast mobile consortium of talent.

Good luck, Ivette. Around here, you cannot get anything done in December - it is like the whole area shuts down and celebrates a long holiday, just before they all go to Florida for the rest of the winter. Hoping you'll have a breakthrough soon!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 11:13AM
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Anna-- CLose-- I was talking about tiling down in Va.-- if we can work out the scheduling. :-)

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 12:08PM
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being a member of a church in a historic neighborhood has much more advantages than the obivious ones. we are people from all walk of lifes, but to many of our advantages are members who are skilled tradespersons, many who advertise their businesses on the back of the weekly church bullitin.
carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywall, wallpaper, roofers, concrete and brick masons, chimney sweeps, anything an old house owner, or any home owner could dream of (or be blessed with, so to speak).
i have used these services and i'll tell you now, a church member of who you see every week in church (or in the case of me, maybe every other week?) probaby will be less apt to mess with your mind than a choice out of the phone book, especially when you watch their kids on the playground or head up their kids scout troop. if they don't show up, or do poor work, you had better believe people WILL TALK.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 12:27PM
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My husband is a plumbing contractor in Northern Virginia ... and we're booked up until the middle of January ... busy time for all of us! Have you tried

    Bookmark   December 18, 2005 at 8:01PM
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How's it going? Did you get started yet?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:15AM
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Hi Allison! Do you mean me? You're sweet to ask....

The above was finished years ago, but no we're still not finished. The basement has taken forever. But we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The guest bathroom down there is practically finished, just a little thing or two. The guest bedroom just needs a bed and decorating. We're almost done with the painting in the rest of the basement/library. So almost! I'll post pics when we're done!

Hope you're well...

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 11:07AM
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lol I looked at month/day but not year. Glad things moved along!

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:22PM
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ha! I am too!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 4:38PM
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