The one time I hired someone ...

old_house_j_i_mMarch 11, 2012

From reading so many of these posts I gather that most of you, lie me, do all the work yourself on your old house.

This past Winter we decided that with so many irons int eh fire, and not much time on our hands, wed hire a carpenter to rebuild a door surround that has been leaking for a while.

Rather than restate all the horror that happened, here's a link to the story and pictures.

Have any of you ever hired someone only to have to redo their work yourself ? I tell you - I will certainly think 4 times about hiring someone, ever again, to work on my old house.

Here is a link that might be useful: Joshua Shively House

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old_house_j_i_m

* should have said "...most of you, LIKE me, ..."

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 5:13PM
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lucille

It sounds like it was an awful experience. I'm thinking that you helped all of us learn something here- when one starts arguing with an employee and they clearly do not appear to understand one's point of view (perhaps because there IS a lot of 'caulk rescue' in some modern building) then that is the time to part ways. Here, he stayed too long.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 7:26PM
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kashka_kat

OMG - Im still suffering PTSD from some of my mistakes in hiring people that werent all that good at what they do.

It is traumatic when you trust someone to come in your house and they proceed to either goof it up .... or try to browbeat you into doing it THEIR way (ie the cheap and lazy route). Your house is supposed to be a refuge!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 12:42PM
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old_house_j_i_m

Thanks for the comments - I guess that since I cant undo hiring this fellow, knowing that I am not alone makes it less crushing to my ego.

It's horrible that there are people out there like this. Kasha, you are right, your home IS your refuge. We all should be more cautious, I guess, but how can you tell if they are disreputable when your neighbors highly recommend them ? (Thats a rhetorical question) caution caution caution - and not being afraid to part ways, as you say, Lucille, early in the process, before too much damage can be done.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 2:03PM
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lucille

I think that there is a new company out there which to me, is every bit as important is some of the big companies we all depend on to exist. I'm talking about Angie's List. I know, they are new.

`But there have been scandals reported lately on how good reviews online are paid for. On AL, you have to put your real name on every review, and that helps keep it real. And a review by one person even if it is your neighbor may not be representative but if 25 people say a company is good (or bad) and give details, you might could get a better idea of the caliber of worker you are considering hiring.

I joined about the time I bought this old house and knew I had to have some help (I can't put on a roof) and had several really glowing reviews to write, but had two where I gave the companies an 'F'.

It does cost to join, but to me, after having been done wrong, it was almost as if the money I spent was a gift to my fellow man to warn them away from what I had experienced.

OK, I know this has been a bit of a soapbox so I apologize. But although I was good at what I did prior to my retiring (I was a nurse) I was completely clueless in how to choose help when I needed it. That's not a failing on my part, I have been a hardworking and conscientious person, I just didn't know how to hire someone.

So, anyway, I';m not affiliated with them in any way, but I'm just saying, there are people there who tell you the real deal on how their repairs went down. Good, and bad.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 7:51PM
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old_house_j_i_m

I have heard about Angies List - I checked them out once. I was a little dismayed that you have to pay to be a member - but I guess that helps deter the vindictive or self promoting types.

Sadly, the man we hired was HIGHLY recommended by our own neighbor. HE has been (and still is) working for them for nearly 2 years, now. These neighbors are also our friends, so we totally trusted them. Sadly, I think my idea of perfect and their idea or perfect are vastly different.

I really think the biggest lessons learned were to watch tehm no matter how many times they tell you to leave them alone, and 2. to fire them the minute they cant do it correctly (after giving them clear directions and a chance to fix it.) Ill have no problem telling the next contractor, if there ever is one, to leave.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:37PM
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lucille

I agree, you have to trust yourself and how you feel, not how your neighbor feels about him, and certainly not how he characterizes himself.
I keep having to remind myself that no matter how old I am (I'm a senior) there's always more to learn about life and generally, the lessons aren't cheap.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:41PM
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CEFreeman

I cannot yet name a person hired to do work here who has not absolutely screwed me. I include my STBX GC husband in that.

I am having my roof redone (different reasons and parts) for the 3rd time. I will have to have my porch ceiling rebuilt because 1) it was crappy to start with and 2) the gutters I had put on caused water to back up and rot the porch.

I even paid a local company, Thompson Creek, for a year to get this life time warranty. For 5 years I had no gutters and just collected what I could in drywall buckets to water the garden. I LOVE my new gutters. However...

THE 1st rainstorm had water coming down behind the gutters. Each time I called, it took 3 - 5 weeks to get someone out there. Finally, after 6 months of porch rotting, they decided their gutters are not the cause of my issues. Ironically, they cited a gutter leak on my patio ceiling. I don't have a leak and not only do I not have a patio, I don't have one with a ceiling. They've completely disregarded their warranty and I have to get a lawyer. I tend bar and teach yoga. Let me jump on that.

But if it's not one thing it's another. The guy who rebuilt my barn hasn't finished in 2 years. Things are starting to warp and come apart. Before this began, I hired him to rebuild my collapsing back porch (so I could have my gutters put on). Now 8 months later, the joists are twisting, there are no joist hangers and this very flat roof is held on by nails where I can see space between the joist and the house. The fascia isn't bolted to the house. The support posts are 4x4 vs 4x6s.

And he's gone with the money I'd given him to rebuild a back deck area. Sadly it was all timed that I didn't know what was going wrong.

But my point in all this rant is that you're far from alone. I was home for all of this. I learned that lesson long ago. Sadly, I also trusted and believed contracts meant something.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 12:54AM
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lucille

I'm putting on my own gutters soon.
I would have them in small claims court had those things happened to me.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 11:35PM
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CEFreeman

Lucille, it's a possibility.
In the meanwhile, on my yoga teacher and waitress income, lawyers remain an elusive option.
So what you would have done, and what I'd like to do might be the same, what I can do remains another.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:34AM
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old_house_j_i_m

CEF - what a shame. My toubles are nothing in comparison. if there are any legal clinics in your area you may want to call them, They may not take your case, but might pass you on to someone who would do pro bono work.

Interestingly, there are a lot of lawyers out there who want to do good deeds. Keep looking. It doesnt cost anything to call and ask. Also, if there is a law school within 300 miles of you, call and ask if there is a public service requirement, or if you can speak with a public service counselor. No, the students cant do the work unsupervised, but the school has connections.

Best of luck - thanks for sharing your lesson with us all ..

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:29PM
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lucille

CEF,
I do not give online legal advice for particular situations, as an attorney it is unethical for me to do so for people who are not clients.
However, many lawyers these days will give you a free 30 minute office consult, listening to your situation and proposing solutions, you might look into that, and as well, the clinics mentioned above. Remember that there are timelines involved, so advice sooner can be crucial.
Many people do not realize that small claims court involves only a small filing fee, (for instance, in my area I believe it is $35) and that no lawyers are necessary. The small claims court in your area will have, usually online, a detailed account of how to access the small claims system. It is deliberately made to be user friendly. I'm not saying that it is the answer for you, but you could look at the online info.
Good luck.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 4:44AM
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CEFreeman

Well, folks.
I really appreciate the encouragement.

Considering it took them 6 months to come back finally with the "screw off " email, I am certain time is becoming more important.

I didn't even know I was dealing with a sub, and now, from their insurance company (whom TC called, not the sub) I hear the sub might not have even been insured with them at the time. I'm getting more and more overwhelmed.

I'll follow up with the suggestions here. I was considering the local news station of 7 on Your Side. They tend to love a company putting it to the little person. Goodness knows I have a sob story that soap operas wouldn't take! [LOL]

I'll let you all know how it shakes down.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:39AM
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CEFreeman

Just thought I'd let you know a roofer is coming over Saturday to document damage, photoing damage, attempted fixes that are horribly evident (white caulk on dark gray shingles), and write me up what he's doing, why, and what the causes of the damage are.

So I've got my first step in my documentation.

Christine

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 11:37AM
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