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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a customer on a new home we are building whose father in law built houses with his dad back in the 70's... well he comes by every evening and looks over our progress and ask but loads of questions. Then I have to argue with the HO about stuff because of what he tells him.

I don't mind answering some stuff but at times he will tell me how he would do it. I then refer to building codes. His response is we don't have building codes here. Granted we do not have code enforcement I still build to codes regardless and I tell him this, then that's another conversation.

I am going to talk to the HO in morning and tell him he has to let me do what im paid to do and tell his family that they have to let me work and leave me be but im unsure on how to bring this up and tell him without causing to much tension between me and the HO. how would you handle this professionally?
 

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I have a customer on a new home we are building whose father in law built houses with his dad back in the 70's... well he comes by every evening and looks over our progress and ask but loads of questions. Then I have to argue with the HO about stuff because of what he tells him.

I don't mind answering some stuff but at times he will tell me how he would do it. I then refer to building codes. His response is we don't have building codes here. Granted we do not have code enforcement I still build to codes regardless and I tell him this, then that's another conversation.

I am going to talk to the HO in morning and tell him he has to let me do what im paid to do and tell his family that they have to let me work and leave me be but im unsure on how to bring this up and tell him without causing to much tension between me and the HO. how would you handle this professionally?
Did you hire me or your FIL?

I am a professional contractor, and I am building to the scope of work I provided. I will deliver what I promised and what you are paying for. What your FILs scope would be I have no idea.
 

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What are the issues that are being brought up?
 

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Love me some Concrete
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Talk to HO, explain that it is taking time from the job to explain things and you understand that he means well but things have changed.

I was building a garage and the neighbor, retired, would come over everyday and slow things down. Was ok at first but then the questions and finally what "should" be done. I talked with HO, they were aware and when around they would come distract him from me but they always couldnt be around to provide cover. I told him numerous times that I didnt have time to chat but he wouldnt stop.

Started using loud power tools, fire up air compressor numerous times, using hose to "clean" stuff off. Or just jump into bobcat and start moving dirt. Do what you can, can be rough.
 

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Capra Aegagrus
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That's always a tough balancing act. It can help a bit if you at least appear to be too busy to pause and engage in chit-chat (which you should be anyway), but of course you have to be civil.

Bottom line though, you were hired as a professional who knows and adheres to currently accepted best building practices (right?), and you need to be free to do so. If the HO is at all reasonable, he probably already knows the FIL's tendencies in that respect.

A little straight shooting shouldn't be out of line. Just try to make sure it's one to one and when he's in a good mood. :thumbsup:
 

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I'd maybe plan to set aside a few minutes or longer with Dad on a casual basis.

Hell, maybe he wants to talk shop. Maybe he's a lonely know-it-all...whatever ....

But, if you get on his good side over a cup of coffee and talk shop, maybe you'll win an important ally.

Maybe he even has something to teach...who knows.
 

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"the Lonely- 'know It All'." Much more common then it's name suggests...:whistling
Often seen in Bars attempting to mate....

Some have even accused ME of LKIA status.:eek:

Start billing son in Law for FIL hand holding, watch FIL banned from work site during hours....VIP tour/briefing, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday....
Unintentionally, the FIL is LOWERING your work output, quality and timeliness, He is like another Obama regulation, reducing the GDP forever without any gain in safety or health benefits.

"accidentally" forward a copy of this post to the SIL....
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What are the issues that are being brought up?
just minor stuff... like we had a conversation about why the slab on porches and garage is sloped slightly away from the house... he didn't even notice until it was mentioned then I explained why and he made it clear that he didn't like that and didn't agree with it.

We have had several conversations about minor things such as deadwood and all that... the other day he couldn't understand why the brick man wasn't started yet, I told him we weren't ready and he argued that he could be laying brick already... the windows were just delivered today!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't think its loneliness... He has a full time job and a family at home, just stops by in evenings. I think he just wants to have his 2 bits in it and have a little say so. He has tried to get me to hire people he knows as subs instead of using my normal guys. Don't get me wrong he is a good guy and I have known him for years. I am still young (28) so I have to deal with people doubting me and people telling me how they have always done things all the time, im use to that, but I have to argue how we are going to build this house so its up to code and done right not how his grand daddy done it and to me that's unacceptable
 

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Tell him even if you don't have code enforcement there you as a contactor by law are still responsible for building to the national building code standard (or your local jurisdiction standard) and that requires a whole different way of doing things then they did back in the day. The processes, the timing of when certain things are done, just about everything is done a little different these days compared to just twenty years ago, due to changes in law and building codes. Tell him you're trained up in the modern way to build a house under the current circumstances that one has to be built in. Tell him you appreciate him trying to pass on some tricks of the trade from days gone by, but those days have gone by. Tell him he's welcome to join you and the son in law in the final walk through at completion.
 

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I say things like "Unfortunately we're not allowed to do that anymore." Or, "I wish I could but my insurance would have my ass." Put the burden on some invisible party that requires you to do things a certain way. I think it sounds better than trying to tell customers why their ideas or experiences are wrong or dangerous.
 

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Repair/Remodeling Tech.
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I say things like "Unfortunately we're not allowed to do that anymore." Or, "I wish I could but my insurance would have my ass." Put the burden on some invisible party that requires you to do things a certain way. I think it sounds better than trying to tell customers why their ideas or experiences are wrong or dangerous.
This mentality of "oh I hate to hurt someone's feelings" is getting out of hand, IMHO...just tell it like it is.

"You're slowing me down, your ideas and ways of doing things are outdated, and I'm not going to do it a different way than what I know is right just because you say so....I'm NOT...I promise you. So quit wasting your breath and my time and, coming soon, your son-in-law's money when I start charging him for my wasted time...and just keep your ideas to yourself. Different isn't always better or worse, it's just different."
 

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This mentality of "oh I hate to hurt someone's feelings" is getting out of hand, IMHO...just tell it like it is.

"You're slowing me down, your ideas and ways of doing things are outdated, and I'm not going to do it a different way than what I know is right just because you say so....I'm NOT...I promise you. So quit wasting your breath and my time and, coming soon, your son-in-law's money when I start charging him for my wasted time...and just keep your ideas to yourself. Different isn't always better or worse, it's just different."
Yeah, ummmm, that may be a bit harsh. Honest. I'll give you that. But, it may not be received all too well.
 

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I'm not saying I would give him that the first time he tried to give me "advice", but after several times of me trying to politely ignore him....some people don't understand subtle.
If I tell someone something twice, generally the second time is very blunt. IF there is a third time I could generally care less if it is well received or not.
 

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Tell the homeowner that you are in charge and make the decisions on right and wrong...explain thats why he hired you!....then tell him the FIN is frustrating you on this subject and that you no longer have time to battle with him....tell him you'd like all communication to be between You and the Homeowner......if the FIN shows up ignore him and tell him you dont have time to talk.

odds are the H.O. will understand.......ive had this issue before also....it got worse as the job went on and eventually i had to move on.....all that was left was the finish plumbing, so i let him hire someone else......i dont want to work for someone who hates me.....the FIN took over the project from the HO in my case.......it wasnt worth talking with the HO since the project was only down to the final $400.....the FIL wanted to renegotiate the contract and buy his own fixtures...that was the final straw for me...
 

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I'm The BOSS
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hand him an old code book, 1997 or so.

tell him he can have it.
but can't ask any more questions until he reads it cover to cover.

if he finish's it hand him the 2005 version... lol...
 

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This is any easy one man.

Just buy into any idea that is not ridiculous and make the project more lucrative.

" Yeah that sounds like a great idea to upgrade that. I'll get the change order written up once we confirm with the HO." Glad you stopped by."

And get him top reveal his best hunting and fishing spots to you too........................................... Well, at least it sounds good?

If you can't work that angle just get out the loudest, dustiest tools you have and make the site not as pleasant a place.:whistling
 

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This probably wouldn't get you the result you're want it but you could always start up the chain saw whenever you see him pull up and whenever he starts talking rev it. Be sure to look him straight in the eyes.

I would just tell the HO that you're going to need start charging a consulting fee whenever you're having to stop working because of him. I know a guy who works for a custom home builder who will charge $80.00/hr whenever a supervisor stops by and stops production.
 
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