Shawn Levy from Arrow Contracting. I am extremely frustrated with the amount of customers I have encounted who have been taken in one way or another by unprofessional contractors. Because of these dishonest companies, our industry is being labeled as incompetant, unreliable theives. This is so disturbing to me as a honest businessman. Myself and my guys put all of ourselves into every job we do, and we truly take pride in our work and our sincere desire to make our customers happy. Myself and many like me have been busting our butts for many years, never walking off a job even if I was losing money, working hard long hours, sacrificing time with our families to build our businesses only to be grouped in with these bad companies. I enjoy seeing a job completed to perfection. I enjoy taking something ugly, damaged or old and making it new and beautiful. I take pride in knowing that I made someone happy because of my work and they received quality for their money. I have built my customer base on trust and preformance, and reliability. To all of those homeowners out there who have had a bad experience, on behalf of all of us honest, hardworking contractors, I would like to apologize to you and re assure you all that we are not all the same!
Amen brother. Finally someone is talking about what i've been saying for years. Unfortunately I feel it is always about how much money homeowner needs to spend. There is a always a line being drawn between what the job is actually going to cost to get it done correctly, and what point the customer says thats it. A reputable company won't do the work for less than what it's worth( and why would we) Where a not so qualified company does work to stay working. I've seen it all in 20 years. Legislation must be changed, where you can't just open a contracting company because you own a hammer drill. There must be some education, or insurance. Some third party to say you are good and you are bad. Keep hammering away my friend, let your customers do the selling for you.....
I agree 100%. I have been fraing homes for a long time and have recently started doing renos. When I first started framing I was concerned that I may not know enough to do it on m own. However one day I went to look at another ramers house next door and it made my house look like windsor castle. I was upset that with the boom, everyone and their dog who had framed for 6 months thought they could build a house. Eventually things got bad enough that builders were warry of most framers. As a superintendant of a building company for the first half of this year I've seen terrible work. I believe in free enterprise so I believe anyone should have the right to own a company. It is just unfortunate that some are starting companies with dollar signs in their eyes without really knowing what they are doing. I believe there is no limit to how much one can learn about our industry. I'd imagin all of us learn something new quite often but at least we have the background and experience to do a job well done.
Just an example of a bad job. We had a contractor install exhaust fans for 2 bathrooms. The goon connected a single plastic pipe to exhaust both through the roof. Guess what, in less than a year the plastic pipes were frozen with ice forming and water leaking from the exhaust. We got the whole thing replaced with metal piping and insulation but an additional cost through another contractor.
If you are interested in knowing the Contractor to avaoid him let me know.
Shawn, you are completly right, every day people is getting more scared with this mike mouse companies. I just want to say to those bad contractors, so call. If you don't care for your client or your company reputation, you have to stop now and look for something else to do for living. You guys are ruin the bussines for companies who truly care and take pride about their work.
As a consumer with some but generally little knowledge about major building projects, it is hard to know who to trust and what is good or bad.
I've done a fair bit of research on my own to try and determine beyond even reference and license checks whether a contractor sounds credible. However, it has been difficult for me to find what I need to know in one place.
I'm wondering if Handy Canadian could be a place where we could start putting together a library of sorts about what is proper building technique and especially building code requirements.
As an example, during a recent contractor search, we encountered contractors that sound very credible, but when asked a few key questions, lose that credibility.
Two of the folks we met suggested that they would have to run ducts down to the floor of our basement to vent properly, however I know from my research that you can't vent warm air in a basement to the floor because warm air rises. The only way you can is to force it with a fan, however that would add another electrical component that then has maintenance and breakdown potential. Also, by doing that, you increase the load on your HVAC which can disrupt the air flow in the entire house, or at least the basement. I'm not even sure whether it meets code or not, but logically it doesn't pass the sniff test.
I thought it might be an idea to come up with this kind of library with Handy Canadian as a hub of sorts so that potential customers like me could get the answers they need with a broad perspective of input from contractors like yourselves since there are always slight differences of opinion on certain things.
Also, as a voice from the consumer side, I for one know that there are good guys out there and that a select few are giving the bad name, however it is hard to find the good ones in an efficient and easy way.
GUYS THIS A FREE COUNTRY FIRST , SECCOND THERE IS ALLOT OF COMPETITION THIRD THERE ARE GOOD APPLES AND BAD APPLES AS WELL
IF THERE ARE NOT BAD APPLES HOW DO YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THEM?????
YOU GUYS ARE ONLY TALKING - NO ANY SPECIFIC ACTION PROPOSED
I PROPOSE THIS.. ASSIDE FROM FEEDBACK THAT SOONER or later will expose those CHEAP bad guys ,, to make on your websites or even here to propose to be created a page with pictures and videous from BAD JOBS with names of the contractor done this job???take a look at my web site . I already have a category called ""STUCCO DISASTERS""
My sister was sold by a company here in Victoria, Landeca. They have excellent carpenters but the project management was so amateurish and so unprofessional that they were tens of thousands of dollars over budget and weeks over time, which was never once communicated to my sister and only showed up at point of invoicing. I cannot submit a review warning others about them because they are not listed as a contractor on the HandyCanadian site. This seems to be an oversight. It would be good, I think, to have a board where people post their experiences and reviews of any contractor. It would be helpful to us other consumers.
On Friday June 10, 2011, I Fidel Castro Ammar signed a landscaping work agreement with Green Sod Landscaping Company (Jason Friesen). At which time I provided him (Jason) with a personal cheque in the amount of $1779.50, for complete landscaping work at 16912-79 street (Corner Lot) Edmonton, Alberta. The landscaping work was originally suppose too start on June 15, 2011, weather permitting. In the City of Edmonton we have experienced an incredible amount of rain fall over the next 12 weeks; however there was a total of 22 dry weather days in that period, no work was done on my property. After a total of 25 emails and 20 or more text messages back and forth, between Jason Friesen and myself. I was left with the impression that Mr. Friesen was intending to immediately return my deposit of $1779.50, as indicated on my last text message received on Saturday August 27, 2011. I have since lost all contact with Jason Friesen from Green Sod Landscaping and his cell phone is no longer in service.
I couldn't agree more. We have one of those unreputable sorts in my neck of the woods making us all look bad. His name is Aaron Vega (aka The House Doctor). Probably more apt to call this crook The House Mortician. Get it? He probably doesn't. Too busy bilking 85 year old ladies to take the time to comprend such a dig. So yeah, we need some overseeing commission/board beyond the ineffective BBB. Suggestions?
No doubt there are always some bad apples...
To avoid, all you an do is:
1. work with referred customers/contractors
2. have a solid contract
3. be careful about all the paperwork and agreements.
4. for any oral agreements, try making amends to the written contract as soon as possible.
last but not the least, trust each other and be patient, most of the bad examples are cases of hurt ego, lack of communication and/or just bad luck and bad timing.
Best of luck!
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