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Don
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1,322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
whats your take on this?
in the past 9 years i have worked and subbed for a few paper contractors and they did owe me money and i seen it coming from a mile away as they knew nutting on how construction works or how to even run a business.

but lately i been super frustrated as employees are really hard to get and any good ones don't want to do the work no more because of guys like this.
now you would think these paper contractors are underbidding, but they are making way more than you would expect.

now its not my business what someone charges, that's what they feel they deserve and they got a contract signed, then good for you. as long as you have my money incorporated.

now we have sites like "homestars" where you can review a person. now you have to pay to be on that site in order to get a review. so i dont mind to pay for the company's that are not listed.

whats your take on report a "contractor" from a employee / trades view ?
 

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Contractor of the Month
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26,075 Posts
whats your take on this?
in the past 9 years i have worked and subbed for a few paper contractors and they did owe me money and i seen it coming from a mile away as they knew nutting on how construction works or how to even run a business.

but lately i been super frustrated as employees are really hard to get and any good ones don't want to do the work no more because of guys like this.
now you would think these paper contractors are underbidding, but they are making way more than you would expect.

now its not my business what someone charges, that's what they feel they deserve and they got a contract signed, then good for you. as long as you have my money incorporated.

now we have sites like "homestars" where you can review a person. now you have to pay to be on that site in order to get a review. so i dont mind to pay for the company's that are not listed.

whats your take on report a "contractor" from a employee / trades view ?
Try hiring smokers.
 

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The Dude
Joined
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2,019 Posts
whats your take on this?
in the past 9 years i have worked and subbed for a few paper contractors and they did owe me money and i seen it coming from a mile away as they knew nutting on how construction works or how to even run a business.

but lately i been super frustrated as employees are really hard to get and any good ones don't want to do the work no more because of guys like this.
now you would think these paper contractors are underbidding, but they are making way more than you would expect.

now its not my business what someone charges, that's what they feel they deserve and they got a contract signed, then good for you. as long as you have my money incorporated.

now we have sites like "homestars" where you can review a person. now you have to pay to be on that site in order to get a review. so i dont mind to pay for the company's that are not listed.

whats your take on report a "contractor" from a employee / trades view ?
Most - not ALL, are cheapskate slick willies. Give them a fair price, and they act shocked and butthurt. "Ohhhh my butt!!! That's too high! I can't pay that, I won't make any money!". They take advantage of guys that need the work, and laugh all the way to the bank. When they don't pay up - they get a whole new round of laughs. They don't care if the job is done right and will last, as long as it's shiny long enough for the check to clear.

In reality, most of these guys could pay fairly, and still make good money (IF they knew anything about construction that is) - but they are the "get rich quick" scheme type of guys.

They don't know jack about construction, they get an idea somewhere along the line that they can make a killing, and expect guys to work for beer money.

I don't feel bad AT ALL when these guys fvck something up, or something bites them in the rear (think: slipshod deck collapses during party, injuries and lawsuits) and go belly up. Usually it's pretty shocking to them, although it's hard to believe that even they would be dumb enough to not see it coming.
 

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The Dude
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2,019 Posts
To continue with the theme of previous responses:

Try bringing a cooler full of beer! Or try not working for those d-bags, it's easier to go broke at home.

If a paper contractor has work and it's needed, I might give it a whirl. At the first sign that there MIGHT be a red flag - I run like Forest Gump.
 

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I'm a Mac
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5,487 Posts
A corporation shield usually protects these guys for the wrong reasons. Ontario has no 'licensing' to give consumers any faith or comfort level that they are dealing with someone with any knowledge.

Let's be honest, in Ontario, if you can open a bank account, have a phone and are able to answer it, you can be in business for yourself. There is no threshold to be passed, anyone can get a business license (if you area even requires it), Workers Comp and HST applications are approved immediately (government never says no to taking money), liability insurance is not required on most projects, and even when it is, 1 in 10 ask for proof.

Personally I don't believe in reviews. We are Canadians, very few people complain, and even fewer write rave reviews to compliment you. If you do look at reviews, and the guy has many compliments and one bad one, well, chances are the bad one is normally the customer themselves being unreasonable.

There is nothing wrong with paper contractors, all the big boys are paper contractors, they have nothing in-house, maybe a foreman, they rely on the subs to do their jobs properly, the one issue that applies is the old apples to apples comparison. That is where a paper contractor fails if he has no construction knowledge. My pricing is based on the services and materials we provide and when I get beat out on a job, which happens a lot, it is normally because I have included items that the lower priced competitor has not and the paper contractor misses it.

This is usually why I don't bother trying to sell myself after the quote if the customer or paper contractor comes back immediately and says I am too expensive…it tells me they have not read the quote…so why would I want to work for them, let them learn the hard way.

Ever bid commercial or large residential projects? They supply not only the plans, but also a spec book and a scope of work, that eliminates the need for comparison to whats included and whats not. You do decks? Your paper contractor wants a price for a deck, does anyone talk about where the spoils are going, is there filter cloth and gravel under the deck, is there flashing being installed behind the ledger?

Ontario is slowly improving, but has a long way to go, as do most provinces and states.
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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1,332 Posts
yup, we had one of those go bankrupt here in the last two weeks. Ecowest - they would do pretty much anything, and when they went down, they kept everyone's money.

I spoke with one of the local business men who is familiar with the story (it's also reported in the local press) he was telling me that Ecowest was taking deposits from home owners up until the 23rd hour. They knew they were going down, but kept taking deposits anyway. They are over 2 million in debt.

The other question is why was the bank allowing a company that was only 7 years old get so far in debt?

One local lumber yard got stung for 80k. The owners of Ecowest have also filed for personal bankruptcy.

They had a deal set up with the Toronto Dominion bank where folks could make loan arrangements to cover the cost of the reno's.

What no one knew however was that there was a small clause in the contract where Ecowest got ALL of the money up front, even before the work had begun.

People still have to pay back their loans, although the bank did put out a statement saying something like "we will work with home owners" or some platitude like that.

Ecowest's owners have/had six vehicles, all leased.

The police are now investigating, possible fraud charges coming.

British Columbia is the same as Ontario, no requirement to be licenced by the Province. Heck most trades guys don't even have a business licence.

So now just try to get a materials depost after Ecowest went down. A slick salesman, and a neglectful bank - and everyone else pays.

BTW the Toronto Dominion Bank reported a profit of 1.62 Billion last quarter.

sigh. If I was a drinking man I'd go get drunk LOL

Maybe tonight after work.
 
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