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Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!

 
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:06 PM   #1
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Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


every carpenter i hire seems to not know common carpentry skills .

the guy i have now
i pay steve $23 an hour .( been with me for 4 months now)
he has full van of tools .good power and hand tools .
pretty good carpenter. keeps job clean , works decent speed
putting down 4x4 p.t. beams on steel frames.
each run is 34 feet long
i wanted them bolted down tight .
then we would run 1x4`s on top of these perpendicular , and we would string line them straight , and shim where we need to .
i told him to string line them and make them straight.
he puts only the string up ,
i tell him " use gauge-blocks"
he looks at me in a way that said he didn`t know what i meant!
also . as we were putting the string and gauge blocks in place ,
i notice the 4x4`s were not bolted down tight ( they have 1/2 inch thru-bolts and nuts to hold them in place .
" steve . we cant run the string line one these beams if they`re not tight . you need to have them tightened all the way , so they don`t move "

steve says " ok" and then does it
but why am i showing a carpenter- who has done full bathrooms ,can do good tile work , electric , and plumbing , installed 120 feet of fencing . , t&g`ed the outside of a full house with before - common carpentry things ??

nice guy , pretty honest , but .......

reading a tape measure ?
i`d say 80% still have to hesitate( 5-10 seconds) and think if the measurement has to be in the 16th`s

i have so many of these stories with each hiring

its just amazing how much or how little each guy knows .
its too bad there isn`t true necessary certification for carpenters .
they all only know from the few jobs and bosses behind them , and from those few teachers .
and all us bosses/teachers has our own way of doing things . not necessarily the best way either .( because we are also a product of who taught us also.

this trade is just deteriorating

do you guys have this happen to you also?
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by woodspike View Post
every carpenter i hire seems to not know common carpentry skills .



the guy i have now

i pay steve $23 an hour .( been with me for 4 months now)

he has full van of tools .good power and hand tools .

pretty good carpenter. keeps job clean , works decent speed

putting down 4x4 p.t. beams on steel frames.

each run is 34 feet long

i wanted them bolted down tight .

then we would run 1x4`s on top of these perpendicular , and we would string line them straight , and shim where we need to .

i told him to string line them and make them straight.

he puts only the string up ,

i tell him " use gauge-blocks"

he looks at me in a way that said he didn`t know what i meant!

also . as we were putting the string and gauge blocks in place ,

i notice the 4x4`s were not bolted down tight ( they have 1/2 inch thru-bolts and nuts to hold them in place .

" steve . we cant run the string line one these beams if they`re not tight . you need to have them tightened all the way , so they don`t move "



steve says " ok" and then does it

but why am i showing a carpenter- who has done full bathrooms ,can do good tile work , electric , and plumbing , installed 120 feet of fencing . , t&g`ed the outside of a full house with before - common carpentry things ??



nice guy , pretty honest , but .......



reading a tape measure ?

i`d say 80% still have to hesitate( 5-10 seconds) and think if the measurement has to be in the 16th`s



i have so many of these stories with each hiring



its just amazing how much or how little each guy knows .

its too bad there isn`t true necessary certification for carpenters .

they all only know from the few jobs and bosses behind them , and from those few teachers .

and all us bosses/teachers has our own way of doing things . not necessarily the best way either .( because we are also a product of who taught us also.



this trade is just deteriorating



do you guys have this happen to you also?
Its terrible. ...

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Old 04-06-2020, 08:40 PM   #3
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Now might be a good time to find one though.
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Old 04-06-2020, 08:46 PM   #4
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Sometimes it's just the terminology. "guage/gage blocks" are more of a machinist/tool and die reference. Use the term "offset" maybe and use 2x4 so it's always 1 1/2" offset similar to "cutting a foot" when pulling long tape measurements. If he's only been with you for 4 months might just need to get your lingo down.
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Old 04-06-2020, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


I loved framing.

20 years

Around 300 different buildings total. Mostly residential but also a couple apartment complexes and a hotel.

Iíd jump back in tomorrow, but thereís no way to earn a living without hiring cheap labor. I had a hard time finding men worth anything. And when you find them, builders see only bottom line. They will go with the other guy if it saves then 25 cents per SF.

The line I really hate is when a builder goes with someone else and then two months later you run into him and he says he wishes he had went with me because of all the headaches he had and callbacks. That does me no good to hear that.

Until the pay rises from what it was in the early 90s then why be a framer.
We were hustling to get 2.75 to 3.50 per SF around Houston. I bet it ainít much more 20 years later. Gas was under a buck a gallon back then.
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Old 04-06-2020, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Most framers drive me nuts with the quality of work they do. Been on a few new houses , nothing flows right , things are not plumb, awning shed roofs not securely fastened to the building, lists goes on. Most of the time by the time I get to a house to work on the outside there is very little that can be changed. Always leave it to the next guy to figure out.
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:17 PM   #7
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bldbiz View Post
Sometimes it's just the terminology. "guage/gage blocks" are more of a machinist/tool and die reference. Use the term "offset" maybe and use 2x4 so it's always 1 1/2" offset similar to "cutting a foot" when pulling long tape measurements. If he's only been with you for 4 months might just need to get your lingo down.

Lingo is definitely a hurdle when working with new people. Many times I have had people give me a blank stare because of a different term. Tools too
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:20 PM   #8
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Her`e a g`uy a`t 23`$ per ho`ur would`nt be expected to no m`uch .
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Old 04-06-2020, 11:29 PM   #9
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


all a cross the construction industry th ere is a dire need for experienced people...in ALL facets...

med/large companies are looking for experienced project managers & estimators.

Experienced superintendents also seem to be at a premium.

then the actual trades guys...

it takes steady interesting work, with above average pay and more times than not some sort of perks/bennies to get quality guys.

$23/hr is laborer pay, & not a very experienced guy...
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:40 AM   #10
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


The line block thing, could be he never used gauge blocks before. I've seen it alot.

The measurement thing, no one ever taught him. Me, "How long does that need to be?" Carpenter, "36 and 5 little marks." Not kidding. I think that was the first day. I taught him after that.

I have the same problem, but I think it's worse. The pay doesn't matter. $23 in California vs. $23 in Missouri are completely different. It's what you get for your money or what you have to choose from.

Here's how I see it.
If I take a good look at my "competition", I will see 2 or 3 guys that came up through the ranks, like myself. Start young, as a laborer. Working with the older guys. Learning from them. As the years wen't by, I moved up the ladder.

The others who consider themselves "Contractors" didn't do this. For one reason or another, they couldn't find a job. Usually no one would hire them. Their work habits or personal habits always get in the way of working. So, they have a truck, and they have very basic skills. "Helped an uncle put on a roof once" type of experience. They start their business, not having climbed the experience ladder.

Just this week, I had a guy asking me questions about suspended ceiling. He said, "I watched like 3 videos on youtube and they just confused me."
This is his experience.

I agree. It's only getting worse. This trade is dying.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:59 AM   #11
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


23 or 43 ts still it's still terrible. I find that most don't stay on a job or with3a builder long enough to learn properly. It's like they learn just enough to talk chitt. I call them posers.


I make the guys watch Larry Haun, read jlc articles, etc and test them on it. Not because I'm a professional framer. Its to learn efficiency and to think just 2 maybe if I'm lucky 3 steps ahead. I'm not a not for profit there's only so much milk I can offer to drink. Ultimately its up to them to come and take it.


I'm working well until Corona shut down on a large commercial job. There international masonry outfit on site. Tremendous guys. Professional to the tee. There core crew here is about side go to guys and mostly between 53-63. There inspiring.

Obviously there union and tap into the pool but a lot of headaches. To the point were they'll hire 20 because 12 will show up regularly or something like that.

Its appears that most in trades have simply lost self respect, initiative. Its shows with there appearance, attidute, pride and performance.


Good luck to us all who give chitt and make it happen day in / day out.





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Old 04-07-2020, 06:59 AM   #12
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Its been my experience in 20+ years of business that less than 10% of new hires are worth keeping and retraining.
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Old 04-07-2020, 08:06 AM   #13
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


We contractors are also guilty of not training nearly as much as we should. There needs to be some off the clock classroom training as well as on the job training and that costs time and money. Many contractors gripe about their help, but won't invest the $$ in them to train.

You can get good work out of average people with proper leadership and training.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:16 AM   #14
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishindude View Post
We contractors are also guilty of not training nearly as much as we should. There needs to be some off the clock classroom training as well as on the job training and that costs time and money. Many contractors gripe about their help, but won't invest the $$ in them to train.

You can get good work out of average people with proper leadership and training.


Couldnít agree more.

Good help is expensive but good leadership is priceless.

My 12, 10, and 9 year olds can be quite productive. Itís my job to train them and position them to succeed.

After I cut the pieces for window trims, two of them pocket hole drilled them and one helped me assemble them as fast and as well as any laborer could.

If they are not productive, itís on me. I have to train them to be safe, be efficient, be productive, and to help their peers to do the same.

Same is true with adults.


Itís like Boomers complaining about MIllenials- last I checked, the boomers are the parents. Itís on them.


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Old 04-07-2020, 11:39 AM   #15
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishindude View Post
We contractors are also guilty of not training nearly as much as we should. There needs to be some off the clock classroom training as well as on the job training and that costs time and money. Many contractors gripe about their help, but won't invest the $$ in them to train.

You can get good work out of average people with proper leadership and training.
The art is in seeing the employee who will give the most back over 10 years, even if they require a year to really get on board. Prioritize attitude and general aptitude over current skill set.
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Old 04-07-2020, 03:43 PM   #16
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


^^^^^

Hire for character, train for skill.


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Old 04-07-2020, 03:49 PM   #17
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


You can be the best Damn Carpenter since Larry Haun, but if you don't have a good attitude and sense of humor you can't work for me.

A bad apple can run through a crew like a virus. Brings everyone down.


Mike.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:23 PM   #18
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


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You can be the best Damn Carpenter since Larry Haun, but if you don't have a good attitude and sense of humor you can't work for me.

A bad apple can run through a crew like a virus. Brings everyone down.


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I had a boss that told us, his core crew, if we don't like the new guy we can fire him if he isn't a good fit.

Got rid of a few guys that had attitude problems that way.
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Old 04-07-2020, 04:26 PM   #19
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


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Originally Posted by Youngin' View Post
I had a boss that told us, his core crew, if we don't like the new guy we can fire him if he isn't a good fit.

Got rid of a few guys that had attitude problems that way.

That's a huge moral booster to allow the crew to have a say.


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Old 04-07-2020, 10:09 PM   #20
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Re: Hiring Carpenters Is So Frustrating !!


No apprenticeship programs out there? We have a few here.

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