Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner
21 - 40 of 56 Posts

·
Artist and not a curator
Joined
·
14,885 Posts
And pretty much any job you take on someone was there before you... it's all in how it's presented to the client... I don't care what was done and by whom, I want to know what you want to be done, and I'll layout for you what needs to be done, and treat it as a new job completely... if that means ripping out someone elses work to ensure code, etc., so be it... there's no grey area here...
Exactly. A lot of jobs you can show up to and just go, "Nah" and be done with it. Blue collar is very quickly becoming a hot commodity and it's time everyone starts being a little more vocal into what they will and won't accept.
 

·
Registered
GC
Joined
·
1,265 Posts
Leaving tools on any job is a major mistake. Going behind a hack to jack w/box store doors is a close 2nd. What if Johnny h/o decides to use your saw & cuts a few digits off. Or cranking on your drill & drives it through his palm





Mike
Way to much wasted time on setup and pack up. If it's a a day or two gig, sure, we pack it up every day. But on a project that's going to run months it simply eats to many hours.
 

·
Artist and not a curator
Joined
·
14,885 Posts
As far as the OP... You seem to know you're **** throughout your time and if you're here on CT, you care enough to pay attention to work after work. That says a lot.

We all have a few crazy people stories and warning signs not adhered to. It happens. Take the four hundo reminder and chalk it up as a mild success that you didn't get super burned. It gets rough when guys take it personally. It's business. Sucks but happens.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
30,057 Posts
My hands aren't allowed to leave any tools, ever. Load em up. When I was wearing bags the only house I left tools on was my own house.

Had a nice set of oil leather rooster bags stolen at lunch once before I got my occis when I was young. No Mas. Pack em up
 
  • Like
Reactions: smalpierre

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
We leave tools for the most part in occupied homes or lockable new construction. I have 20k coverage for stolen tools and it's very inexpensive. Rolling out and wrapping up everyday eats up a lot of time and I generally don't like doing it.

As far as fixing others work that is something I am known for. I am clear and concise, it's billed T&M and as soon as a red flag appears it is dealt to the point we leave or they get onboard. I also dictate how we remedy things or I won't take on the job. No money left? Not my problem my work is done to my standards.

It has gotten me some juicy jobs as their friends don't wanna pay twice like they did. On the flip side, you need to recognize when the contractor walked for a reason.
 

·
Capra Aegagrus
Remodeler
Joined
·
25,438 Posts
I only leave tools on a jobsite if I'm totally worn out and brain-dead at the end of a long day. I could probably count on my fingers the times I've done it. Outside of anything else, getting an emergency call when your stuff is sitting 20 miles away in the wrong direction just bites.

I could maybe see it if you have extra tools and a heavy-duty lockbox to stow them in. Of course, it takes just as long to stow them in the box as to pack 'em up and take them with you, so...
 

·
Registered
Unbuilder of Eyesores
Joined
·
1,824 Posts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,031 Posts
We leave tools for the most part in occupied homes or lockable new construction.
All it takes is that 1 time to put you out for a good while to go shopping to replace it or not. We are well insured, but well worth being organized to spool out & back up in a brief few minutes. That’s what helpers are for. Myself, I’m not risking losing thousands overnight just me. I’ve told the story of Johnny homeowner that used a friends saw on a job & cut pretty bad. I’m not taking that chance either. Again Joe, just me


Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,327 Posts
I'm 19 years into this industry and I more or less just learned the lesson that I don't touch other guys' work. Heard it on this forum a few years ago, but it didn't really sink in until just about last year: Say it with me now fellas,

"The last man that touches it, owns it"

Sounds like you went in cautious and didn't take much of a hit because of it. Good instincts. If all my tools were accounted for, I'd eat the four hundred and move the phuck on down the road to the next job. You aren't likely to get another dime just by asking, and the system for collecting it legally is weighted towards them at this point, because it would cost you more than you're owed (in time and money) to collect that money.

I used to think I could come in and be a savior; fix anything that some other Jack-off messed up. But it almost never works out and both sides end up disappointed. The only thing I'm good at is ripping the hack job out and doing it rightly from scratch.
I disagree, I have taken over many jobs where the other contractor was fired or just left, one of my best customers was one of them. I just did another one last month and will be going back to build a wine room. My best customers are ones who have been ripped off before. It all depends on how they got your name, finding out what thier expectations are, and inspection the work to know if it is salvageable. Never promise more than you can deliver. You have to be able to read the customer and that comes with experience and patience.
It has worked well for me almost 36 years now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
375 Posts
Mike I feel ya. There are times I leave the cordless stuff but take the batteries. I have so many backup tools I could get taken and still work the next day. I also work in houses they would never consider picking up a power tool let alone use it. Keep in mind there are only 3-4 of us and my guys do have a fair bit of their own tools.

If I ever man up and get a box truck probably a different story all together. Without 4wd I just don't see the value living in MA.
 

·
I own stock in FotoMat!
Joined
·
13,174 Posts
My dad was hit big with a theft right in his driveway. Submitted a detailed list, with costs, of what was stolen. Insurance paid him that number.

Two weeks later, a handful of small tools were recovered. By this time, he had purchased all the replacements. As soon as BigCo Insurance found out, they demanded reimbursement. So he's out $thousands.

And to add insult to injury, he was not allowed to retrieve his recovered tools from the po-po. They held onto them in case they wanted to press charges. Yep, the crumb-bum broke into at least 40 vehicles that night, made off with almost $250k of goods. But no charges.

After the statute of limitations expired, I went back to the police to demand them back. No such luck. They were all sold at auction and the funds deposited into the general fund. So he was totally screwed by the system.

This wasn't recent. It was in the 80's. And I've got a nickel that says things ain't changed one bit since then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,031 Posts
I have so many backup tools I could get taken and still work the next day
Same here, I work hard for em & nobody else will get em or use em outside of my hands. They bring some of their own, but they wouldn’t leave em either


I also work in houses they would never consider picking up a power tool let alone use it
Never know w/all the diy t.v. now. My buddy assumed the same


Mike
 

·
Registered
Builder/Podcaster
Joined
·
27 Posts
I’ve dealt with some grumpy cheapskates before but texting me at 5am to say they didn’t like my work, wouldn’t pay any more and my tools are on the front step was a new one for me.

I understand somewhat why they’re angry (and I should never have agreed to the last change of plan) but I explained to them in great detail via email and with in person demonstrations the downsides of trying to save the doors that were installed incorrectly by the last contractor and I thought they got it. Really I think I did pretty well getting the doors functioning but there’s only so much I can do when the mortise depths are all over the map, the Lowe’s particle jambs are dissolving as I work with them and the customer expects the gaps around the door to have less than 1/32 variation throughout.

Fortunately I was a little wary of this customer from the beginning, only agreed to four doors to start (and not re trimming and painting the entire house), got a proper contract signed and initialed and a full 50 percent up front so I’m eating less than $400 which is a pretty gentle lesson as far as the contractor school of hard knocks goes but still..
David,

This is a nightmare situation. I feel for you. No self respecting builder wants this crap. Many people have voiced their opinions about how to deal. I'm just going to say, in the future, be more emphatic about being right when they are wrong BEFORE. You're the professional, you have the experience. Spend a little more time thinking about how to explain to them how undoing work costs more than buying some new materials. Make them see your point of view politely, if they still don't like it and you don't necessarily need the work. Move on. You get a couple days off between jobs? Work on yourself. Work on your business. We can always work on that and there's never enough time for that.

Hopefully, you'll be laughing when you tell this story sooner than later bc, surely, one day you will! Rock on, man.
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
32,278 Posts
I always leave a tool on-site until completed, even if it's just a $3 HF hammer. Proof I'm not abandoning the job.

Cheap insurance I've never had to collect on.

If I'm behind and started doing things out if sequence on a remodel. I have so many tool s on site I need routinely, they're staying there. Last one of those I did it was the better part of 2 days with a helper and a moving van to get it all out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,856 Posts
I leave a fair bit of tools on the job overnight, usually load up the Festool stuff though. Time is the biggest factor.
Leaving tools on any job is a major mistake. Going behind a hack to jack w/box store doors is a close 2nd. What if Johnny h/o decides to use your saw & cuts a few digits off. Or cranking on your drill & drives it through his palm
On outside jobs I always chain all my ladders together in a stack. I usually get a response of "oh they will be fine" or "no one comes around here" , "their safe" etc.
Theft isn't the reason, its so Mr. homeowner doesn't try to use one!
 
21 - 40 of 56 Posts
Top