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More Guerilla Craigslist Responses

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:16 AM   #1
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Trade: Mechanical, Structural
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More Guerilla Craigslist Responses

Responding to the weird low dollar ads is kind of cathartic. Every now and then I get someone who really appreciates it.

I also got to thinking. Is it legal/legit/within the rules to recommend a pro to these folks? I'm not really soliciting. I'm giving them some free advice. If they respond back, I've started pointing them in a specific direction. Not sure if that's kosher.

And if I knew any of you from NJ, I'd recommend you.

Here are three more I sent (I'm trying to keep stuff confidential, and I'm not sure what the rules are here on the site, so I'm censoring as much as possible):

From: Oak Ridge Engineering
Sent: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 8:42 AM
To: '( removed )'
Subject: Need Garage Door Installed

Hi ( removed ),

I had an experience with my last garage door that you might want to be careful of. The original wood door was from 1963, and it was shot. I measured the opening for a new insulated metal door, and when I went to hang it, it didnít fit. Turns out the door panels actually fit like a glove, but the hardware (the metal strut and runners) on the original was modified way back when the house was built. And I couldnít use the original runner channel on the new door because the standards must have changed over the years. I spent the first day figuring out what didnít fit, and the second day modifying the metal, hanging the door, and adjusting. Pain in the butt. So if you find a guy to do it for $100, and he runs into trouble, be careful that he might get frustrated after 2 hours if thereís a fit problem and leaves your garage door components in a pile in your driveway, and the old door in another pile, and youíre left hanging with an open garage at the end of November (frozen pipes, animals, etc). It might be worth it to try looking at the instructions that came with the door and check dimensions before you get someone out there.

Regardless of how you go about it, make sure they are insured (make the statement ďI need a copy of your liability insurance certificate and your workerís comp policy numberĒ). If an unlicensed uninsured worker ever got injured on the property (cut his hand on the door, door drops on his head) and they didnít have workers comp insurance, you stand a fair chance of being named as a defendant in any lawsuit. Same thing with liability insurance. If he left the door open overnight and a pipe froze and burst or damaged property or injured someone else (dented a neighborís car, etc), and they didnít have liability insurance, youíd be on the hook as the guy that hired him. Plus the property insurance company probably wouldnít cover any claims or damages

Good luck, and Iíve hung doors myself, so if you do it yourself and get stuck give me a call.

(L'il 'ol me) PE (NJ)
Oak Ridge Engineering LLC
( removed )


Usually itís just the natural settling and rain wash-out that slowly settles the concrete sections (we call them ďpanelsĒ, fyi) in an uneven fashion.

Unfortunately Iím not in your neck of the woods, and we donít get involved unless we sub the work out to someone. We have a great company around here called the Concrete Chiropractor (http:// www. ). If youíre in Bucks County, heís about 25 miles from you. Iíve used them several times, and I always love the way it turns out. Last job they did was on my own house. They did the front and rear walks (90 feet total) in about 4 hours. Came out looking 100% beautiful, completely level (and I had some serious tripping hazards). Time before that they did a commercial side walk for us, and again it came out great, all done in one day. I highly recommend them.

Their web site has some great before and after pictures. If you donít go that route, and you get someone local, make sure they are insured (make the statement ďI need a copy of your liability insurance certificate and your workerís comp policy numberĒ). If an unlicensed worker ever got injured on your property and they didnít have workers comp insurance, you stand a fair chance of being named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Same thing with liability insurance. If he broke a gas line or damaged property or injured someone else (dented a neighborís car, etc), and they didnít have liability insurance, youíd be on the hook as the homeowner. Plus your homeownerís insurance company probably wouldnít cover any claims or damages.

Good luck!

(L'il 'ol me) PE (NJ)
Oak Ridge Engineering LLC
( removed )


From: ( removed ) [mailto: ( removed ) .com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 11:54 PM
Subject: RE: Concrete Apron Work

Sure, can you guys do both ?

Not sure if the reason is really do to a heave but then again I am no expert. It doesn't appear that
the ground underneath is missing or there are any voids, i am guess that that is what the grout would
do in that case.


To: gigs-*********[email protected]
Subject: Concrete Apron Work
Date: Sat, 22 Nov 2008 13:29:09 -0500

Just a tip Ė if your front walk slab is uneven and thatís whatís causing the trip hazards, itís much easier, cleaner, and cheaper to level them out with grout pumping. Two guys can do a 50 foot walk in a couple hours hours.

(L'il 'ol me) PE (NJ)
Oak Ridge Engineering LLC
( removed )

Sent: Monday, November 24, 2008 8:44 PM
To: 'gigs-************[email protected]'
Subject: Help with the fireplace

I see youíre already getting some wisenheimers responding to your ad. Try not to take it personally. There are a lot of folks in construction out of work trying to feed their families, and I'd get a little bent myself if the only leads I find are ones with low dollar compensation.

First thing I can help you with is the rates. Usually a chimney sweep specialist is the guy you want to call about this sort of thing. I have a chimney, and I get it checked once a year by a pro (because my insurer requires it). Usually itís about $100-200 for an inspection and a sweep. Itís part of the cost of being a homeowner. He gives me a list, and I do any repair work myself, so I make out in the end. Iíve repointed my brick and reflashed around the base a few times in my life, and Iíve installed one new cap, so I know the drill. Iíve also re-built my wood stove once, so I can say I have a solid do-it-yourself base of experience. However I never hesitate calling in a pro if itís something I have no experience with. Thatís always what Iíd recommend.

Second, we might be able to solve this through e-mail, without you spending anything. Is the problem with draft? Proper draft happens when you have a fire in the fireplace, and the smoke goes up and out the chimney. Improper draft is when your living room fills with smoke. If you have a smoke problem, the flue plate is either closed or partially closed, or you have a partial obstruction. Thereís usually a hand lever that will open and close it. Unfortunately the only way to check is to lie on your back and look up the chimney (wear some safety glasses and close your mouth to keep the dust out). Itís best to do this during the day, so you can see daylight and use it to check for other problems. Sometimes animals will take up residence in the chimney and prevent the flue plate from operating properly (or they cause the partial blockage). If your plate is stuck, your only option is look down the chimney with a powerful flashlight. If itís stuck, and you canít safely look down your chimney, call a pro. Also, donít spend too much time looking down your chimney (especially if itís from your furnace). Sometimes the air coming up is low in oxygen and high in CO2, and it can make you dizzy (bad thing for being on a roof). And partial blockages can also result from soot build up, which is very bad. That stuff can catch fire, and itís a bear to put out. I was a volunteer fireman for years, and chimney fires were always nasty suckers to put out. Thatís why calling in a chimney sweep once a year pays off.

Again, Iím no expert. I always recommend calling a pro. In your case a chimney sweep is the person you need to call. But you can do some checks yourself, and e-mail me if you have any questions.

(L'il 'ol me) PE (NJ)
Oak Ridge Engineering LLC
( removed )
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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Re: More Guerilla Craigslist Responses

I think everything you are doing is completely legit. If you were somehow benefitting from this, than maybe i wouldn't be saying that, but you are just trying to be nice and not let anyone get screwed. I'm sure your willingness to help comes across to alot of people, so if you recommend a pro to do the job, I'm sure alot of folks will see that as a convenience.


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