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The Worst & Crookedest Contractors


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I was just wondering which group of contractors is the worst (in terms of quality of work, professionalism, etc.) and which is the crookedest in everyone's local area.

In my little corner of the world there's no contest. As long as roofers remain what they are now, no other group has a chance at these titles. The general philosophy seems to be "I can pop a chalk line and drive a roofing tack, and that's all I need to know." I doubt if many have ever read a single set of installation specs. I can write uncaulked / exposed nails in the report before I leave the house, no matter who did it, where it is, or how expensive it is.

Most of the handful of calls I've had from previous clients about problems related to my inspection have been when roofers were called out for some reason and they've told the clients the roof was shot. In almost all cases they claim hail damage (extremely rare here).

I just had one of these little partys. Not one but two roofers (the second was called for an opinion because of what the first said) told my client the roof had a lot of hail damage and was worn out. When the lady of the house asked the second for a ballpark figure he told her it would run $10,000 or more (1600+ sq. ft., no chimney, no valleys, near-perfect rectangle). Talk about shameless.

So who wins the dubious distinctions where you live?

Brian G.

I'll Do It For Half Price! [:-mischie

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Chimney Sweeps!

A call to clean a perfect terra cotta lined brick chimney results in:

“Your chimney flue liner has gaps and is unsafe. I have to report this to the local Fire Marshall. You need a four thousand dollar religning right now, or your house will be condemned.â€

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The local basement waterproofers. New or old, all basements need one of these systems; knock out concrete basement floor around the interior perimeter, replace the perf pipe, (because builder used wrong kind),install pea stone and new miracle pipe, line the interior basement walls with ridgid plastic panels, install new high powered sump pump, regrade around exterior, etc.. And if you don't do this you are going to die from black mold!!! $8,000 down and balance on completion the day after tommorrow! As a special bonus, we will clean your gutters and install downspout extensions. Sign at the X. Thank you.

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I agree with all of the above. I would also like to add that HVAC installers are pretty high up on my list of consistently bad installation jobs. Calculations, ASHRA Standards, installation manuals, codes, energy loads,etc., we don't need to do that stuff. We just measure the house and we know how to do it. Don't worry about it.

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Hmmm,

Interesting that nobody said plumbers, because some of the most egregious violations of framing and structures I've seen have been committed by plumbers who don't bother to ask anyone whether cutting this member or that is okay.

That said, Jim has a point and it was a plumber, David Yates, who started a sort of feeding frenzy of home inspectors at Contractor Magazine back in April. The letters to the editor after that article have pretty much marked us as a bunch of rip-off artists and incompetent nincompoops.

The following month, he followed it with a second article entitled "How To Become A Certified Home Inspector" which, wouldn't you know, brought out the specter of the NACHI online "qualification" test again. To give the guy credit, he did talk to some other folks who, sort of, straightened him out, but I don't think they changed his overall opinion of the business and it only seemed to stoke the fires in the June issue.

Strangely, that second article is not online in the Contractor Mag online archives.

If you're interested in reading the article and responding go to the link below. Just remember that much of what you say there will probably be scoffed at.

Seems to me, we could do our profession a whole lot of good if we married up with the major organizations of the other trades and got them to provide training to this trade and help develop standardized protocols for inspections.

There I go again with my unrealistic yammering. Here's the link:

http://www.contractormag.com/articles/c ... lumnid=396

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I really meant the trades, but there's no doubt we have more than our fair share of liars, thieves, and incompetents. It's a cruel fact that best way to do well fast in our end of the pool is to do lousy inspections, not good ones.

And hell, if we're going to include home inspectors let's not leave out the AHJ's. How many horror stories have been published in recent years about the gaping holes in that social net.

I notice one of NACHI's online inspector seach machines has an ad right by that article. Ironic.

Brian G.

Improve the Profession...Shoot a Buckethead Today [:-cowboy]

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The sloppiest I've seen around here are the HVAC guys, espectially the retrofits, probably because the crawl/attics are places nobody goes much to check on performance.

Then there are the vinyl siding guys, whose prices tend to be surprising. We finance! I know one guy in an old, 1800 SF or so 1 storey frame house who was given a siding and cornice price of $100,000!

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Hi,

$12,000? Well, that's about 12 times what I think the minimum home inspection should cost, but a whole lot more than I think the maximum should cost.

Ironic isn't it? Most would accuse the guy of preying on the weak, but the law prohibits inspectors from getting together and agreeing on what's fair compensation for themselves while at the same time a fair fee to charge. Consequently, low-ballers, fly-by-nights and predators like the guy Jim mentioned, pick up a good chunk of the work and continue to sully the reputation of the profession.

Then again, there's fellows like Jerry Peck who charge by the hour, take their time and do a really thorough - some might say excessively long - inspection of 2 or 3 days and collect a decent fee for it. It'd be nice if the public began clamoring for that type of inspection and was willing to pay the fee for it.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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This just in from the desk of the Baird Associates vice-president's office of information correction. The figure for the routine inspection fee was $1200, not $12000.

I know that if we charged like lawyers that would still just be a morning's billing but it's a bit excessive for our area.

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