As a contractor, more specifically a painting contractor, nothing pisses me off more than contractors. Here’s why, I would venture to say that roughly 70% of my customers have told me horror stories that they’ve experienced, and on top of that I have personally witnessed other trades people on job sites in which I am amazed they don’t get their asses kicked. There are a lot of quality contractors out there but you really have to weed through all the snakes to find them.
The trades are heavily regulated, but there is little to no policing in my opinion. Living in California we have the CSLB that is suppose to watch over the industry, but just like most other institutions in this state it is completely broken. So we’re left with a bucket load of unlicensed contractors that can out bid us because they aren’t paying to be licensed, bonded, or insured; and on top of that those of us who care about our customers and the quality of our work also have to battle for our reputations due to the poor attitudes and dismal quality that so many contractors bring to the table.
I’ve heard about contractors that are never on time, don’t even show up on the days they say they will, take a bit of money up front never to return, smoke on the job site, bring their dogs to the job site without asking the permission of the property owner, don’t know how to pull their pants up, smell like crap, always try to tack on additional costs above and beyond the estimate, horrible quality, negative attitude, won’t go back and fix something that needs it once the job is done, don’t return phone calls, and don’t even provide estimates after looking at a job.
Are you kidding me? I wasn’t as aware of all this until I had my own business and I was the one dealing directly with the customers. The stories are embarrassing and frustrating. So to all you contractors out there, step up and do something toward bettering the reputation of the trades. Turn in unlicensed activity, educate our customers, and run your business with integrity. There is nothing more important than building the relationship with your customers and maintaining that over time, stay in touch and prove yourself to them. I can’t tell you how many past customers have turned in to present day friends.
- NYC Sting House: Avoid Unlicensed Contractors (abcnews.go.com)
- Choosing the Right Contractors (homeloans.org)
- More than 100 unlicensed contractors arrested (abclocal.go.com)
Beth Fillerup says
Love your banner design!
I’ve been in the building biz for more years than I care to admit, and I agree that there are lots of unscrupulous contractors, perhaps even more than their biz owner counterparts we see in other industries. I appreciate your call to action and I’d add that for persons hiring a contractor, it’s critical to make sure they are licensed and that they also hire licensed subs. Doing your homework up front will definitely be to your benefit in the long run. Contractors who are associated with a professional organization, such as the Associated General Contractors or SLO Green Build, is also a good way to find credible, reputable professionals.
Thanks for the response, and I agree. A more educated consumer is definitely important, I just wish the people in the trades would take more pride in what they do and how they operate. It’s a shame so many consumers get burned and that the powers that be don’t have the resources to follow up quicker/ better with reports of shady and/ or unlicensed contractors. Thanks again Beth.