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Discussion Starter #1
I drive two long hours and get to the job site, measure the moisture in the floor, find it is too stinking high, and have to pull off the job. The builder has a moisture meter. Why didn't he use the stupid thang. There was no heat in the house, there were doors missing, they had just got done painting the day before and guess what, I had a wood delivery scheduled for the morning to boot. The contractor knew all this, but wants to stay on schedule. Well how the heck can I keep him on schedule if he doesn't do his part? I can't. So, in turn he screws my calendar up so now I have to work late hours and weekends just to make the dummy happy. In the mean time I suffer, my family suffers and all my other clients suffer just because of this one guy. It's not like he doesn't know about all this moisture stuff...I mean I've been doing floors for the guy for the past what...6 years. Every job is the same with him.

Well, this is the last one. I had to take a ferry to and from the job...not to mention the high price of gas these days. And the guy has the nerve to get me to sign one of these stupid contractor agreements which total restrict my legal rights as a business owner...no I didn't sign it. It's some stupid insurance requirement that basically takes all my rights to collect deliquent moneys from the home owner if the contractor refuses to pay me...and it requires me to carry a million dollar policy on my work and my vehicles. I have the insurance but I'm not signing.

Man! Can't we just work together. Come on. Why can't these guys follow simple instructions. Turn the heat on, set up fans, dry the house, 6 mil plastic in the crawl space, insulated floor...easy...all this before we start.

How am I supposed to fit this guy back in my October calendar? Another guy did the same thing last Saturday. I was scheduled to last coat. Walked in on the job, the floor was masked off wall to wall. The counter tops were not installed (poured concrete counters) fireplace hearth was not finished, and the place was a dump. I pulled off and now how can he expect to have priority if he doesn't do his part. Oh, sure have the floor guy pull the paper. Yeah? Well who's gonna pay me to remove it? So, I pull of and let the builder do his part and reschedule. In the meantime I could really use that money that's tied up in that job.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh yeah one of these guys said, "We're gonna have to find a way to get you a new truck". Well then, stop trying to get me to cut you deals all the time and pay me what I ask. And stop screwing with my calendar. And stop making me have all these dry runs with out being willing to pay me for them. On a two hour dry run, I really have a 4 hour dry run wich cost me nearly a whole tank of gas in my truck plus for him 18 bucks for the ferry. So he cost me over $100 plus screwing around time teaching him all over again why I cannot install the floor when the OSB has exceded the moisture tollerance for hardwood application. :eek:
 

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Put a clause in your bid stating that if he is not ready when scheduled that you will charge him a fee ... then charge it! Eventually they'll get the point. You could have spent that time actually making money!
 

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hauoli63 said:
Put a clause in your bid stating that if he is not ready when scheduled that you will charge him a fee ... then charge it! Eventually they'll get the point. You could have spent that time actually making money!
Yeah, Amen to that! Make it a hefty fee too. There are tons of time management books that break out how, and you know this Donedat, that 4hrs. lost "here" translates in reality to one or two days "there" in lost production.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah I figure at least about $240 for that day. Totally screwed me up. Even today. I'm dead in the water today cause I scheduled him for today. I have work tomorrow, but couldn't move anyone around. So, now I got to squeeze both of these guys into someone else's time. :eek: :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Meanwhile we do paper work, tune up the vehicles, organize the garage, take phone calls personally, and get ready for tomorrow.
 

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Donedat, no offense but did you ever consider you might be your own worst enemy? Did you ever consider these guys are always manipulating you because you can be manipulated so easily?


The contractor knew all this, but wants to stay on schedule. Well how the heck can I keep him on schedule if he doesn't do his part? I can't. So, in turn he screws my calendar up so now I have to work late hours and weekends just to make the dummy happy.
What can you do? You can bump him to the back of your schedule and move somebody else up to fill in his time now. If you discussed these issues with him ahead of time, the only conversation left is telling him you'll be back in December. You kill two birds with one stone, you teach him to get his act together and you make somebody else very happy because their job is getting done ahead of schedule. That's a win/win for you, instead of you bending over backwards to keep a bonehead on schedule who is just laughing at you anyways with his contractor buddies about the dumb ass flooring guy who was bitching at my job site today, but who I still got to do what I wanted.

Well, in the very least I hope you enjoy the extra money you are making for working weekends for him. I'm sure he understood when you explained to him about because of his screw up the only way to keep him on HIS schedule is for you to work weekends, and you do know that my weekend rates are double right?

How did he like signing the change order you gave him at that time with the new hefty fees in it?

Man! Can't we just work together. Come on. Why can't these guys follow simple instructions. Turn the heat on, set up fans, dry the house, 6 mil plastic in the crawl space, insulated floor...easy...all this before we start.
No offense, but don't you realize there are little incentives for guys like this to have to follow simple instructions because there are no consequences as long as their are guys like you to fix it for them and eat it with a smile. If there were consequences they would make the changes required don't you think?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Good points Mike. I'll have to make those changes on the next job.

This one he has already paid out money which I cannot reimburse. And I'm really not that passive as you might think I am. There are contractors that I won't work for period. This is because I don't have time to screw around with them always trying to get me to drop my prices so they can by there next new truck or vacation.

I'm really trying to set up my business as just that...a business. I never sign things that jeperdize that autonomy. They call me as a professional and I charge them accordingly. The only reason I keep doing business with this guy is that we started our businesses at the same time. Lame excuse but I've been his friend in business for several years. I thought that relationship was over this summer when he tried to get me to sign a contractor agreement (made up by his insurance company). I told him no...but he still called me to his job.

You're right. He uses me cause I'm nice to him and I just buck-up and get the job done even if it costs me an extra thousand. That's right...I loose about a grand every time I do work for him. But, what he doesn't know is that I mark up my prices just for him and just call it throw away money.

Doesn't help my calendar though.
 

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I prefer not to work for contractors at all. Dirty jobsites, workers crwling all over, poor moisture conditions, always want a contractor discount, has to be done yesterday, they never stay on schedule, and theres no pretty housewife telling you how good you are. Strickly residential here and stay plenty busy with no advertising.
 

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Flooring should be one of, if not, the last items in. Here, a general rule of thumb is; If the A/C isn't working, the floor is not 'working' either.
 

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Just to add a note..if carpet is being layed..no ac. if its cold..turn the heat on. carpet must be warm to be installed correctly. even with a power stretcher.seen it lots of times. walk into a house full of wrinkles and bubbles.Installers had the air kicken to keep cool in the summer. winter came and the house inside got warmer than it was when the rug was installed.heat makes things expaned.rug is no different.stretch it when its as hot as it will ever be in the house and it will never come loose.
 

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All you need is 65 degrees and a pole stretcher. Heck even a crab is better. I grew up in the floor biz. The guy who trained me said a stretcher was for when you mis-cut the carpet. I can't believe how many helpers I told "If it don't hurt, you're not doing it right." Yet I always had the vague sense that something wasn't quite right.

About 5 years ago I said F it and bought me a Crain Junior. It sucked at first. The retailer, whoever it was, was forever complaining about how slow I worked; but I stuck with it and adapted and got much faster than I was on that first job. I blew a chunk of wallboard out once and tore a couple of seams; but those experiences just made me better.

At this point I stretch about 80% as fast as I used to kick. The lug up/set up/adjust time still hurts; but that's what the helper does while I'm burning seams. I should also point out that it takes the average helper about a week to be able to stretch in the average room alone, as long as I'm there to answer his questions and keep him moving in the right direction. That's much faster than the learning time needed for getting skilled enough with a kicker to get you a year.

Oh yeah and that nagging pain you have in your back/neck/knees, That goes away too. I feel better after work nowadays than I did 10 years ago.

Oh yeah again. Its been a touch slow here. I went to see a retailer the other day. We talked for just a few seconds when he asked to go take a look at my truck:eek: So out we went and he peeked in the back window and noticed that the crappy looking plywood box I rigged up over my right wheel well contained a power stretcher and had an Oreck vacuum strapped on top. Even though the rest of my 9 year old truck looked like a bomb went off inside, that was the end of the interview. I put in 140 yards of Fabrica for him a couple of days later.
 

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all i have to say is---contractors are the last people on my list to work for.they do not apreciate good work and are gone on payday.
 
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