Why you should not pay all up front

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Rusty

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He also got $5800. out of an old couple and never went back.
 

zannej

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They do that crap a LOT down here.
 

Flyover

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@Rusty and @zannej what happened? Can you say more about this? I see unevenness causing "waves" along the rim in the first photo, possible mismeasurement creating a small gap in the second photo. Am i seeing the right things?

What kinds of specific things would you warn to look out for either in hiring people or looking at their work?

If this happens more in some parts of the country than others, why is that?
 

Rusty

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@Rusty and @zannej what happened? Can you say more about this? I see unevenness causing "waves" along the rim in the first photo, possible mismeasurement creating a small gap in the second photo. Am i seeing the right things?

What kinds of specific things would you warn to look out for either in hiring people or looking at their work?

If this happens more in some parts of the country than others, why is that?
Always get references and never give more than 1/2 down and have a written contract.
 

Flyover

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My neighborhood full of 1970s houses butts up to a new development where just a few houses have gone up so far, and there's several more under construction but it's mostly empty still. I took the kids for a walk through there today and was appalled at how trashy the job sites are. Food wrappers, empty containers from construction materials/caulk/etc. just strewn around all over the place on the ground -- right next to the dumpsters!

In my mind, the state of the job site reflects the mentality of the workers. I would be pissed if I was having a house built and I pulled up and found trash all over my property, even if they promised to clean it up later. It speaks to me of people who just don't care. If you can't be bothered to walk 10 extra feet and dump your empty fast food cup in the huge red dumpster, why should I believe you're going to measure carefully, drive every nail in the proper place, be careful not to tear vapor barriers, and so on?

But then again I've never built a house. Is my mentality correct, or does workmanship have nothing to do with how workers conduct themselves on the job site?
 

zannej

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Flyover, it's more likely they didn't use straight boards-- used ones with very obvious bow in them, but also possible they cut some of the studs short.

What I was referencing was not the wavy walls, but the getting the $ up front and then not finishing the job. Sometimes they take the money and never start the job.

My best friend hired someone (a preacher) to remodel his bathroom. Gave him the $ up front. Guy did maybe 1/4" of the job-- BADLY-- and then never came back. He didn't put in a moisture barrier, he put drywall (not intended for use in damp areas) around a tub, he used iron nails that rusted, didn't caulk around anything, and then didn't do anything else. He like did maybe a sheet and a half of drywall and called it done. Mushrooms started growing out of the base of the wall.
 

Flyover

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Unbelievable! I guess there's scammers all over, in every industry, preying on people who are desperate or naive.

@zannej you said it happens a lot "down here" where you live. Why do you think it happens more there than other places?
 

zannej

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Unbelievable! I guess there's scammers all over, in every industry, preying on people who are desperate or naive.

@zannej you said it happens a lot "down here" where you live. Why do you think it happens more there than other places?
Rural Louisiana. A lot of contractors won't even have signed contracts. They literally do handshake deals instead. I was flabbergasted by that when the health inspector told me that it was very common to do a handshake deal and not have a written contract w/ itemized list of parts and labor. They looked at me like I had 3 heads for asking. I kept asking for a contract from the guy who did my new septic tank installation but he never did provide one. He did the work and asked for the $ after (but he did end up charging a few hundred more than he'd estimated). Inspector passed the work & it was done so we payed. His price matched the next-highest bid we got but that other contractor was booked up at the time.

It got particularly bad after hurricanes Rita and Katrina. New Orleans got hit with Katrina. My area got hit with Rita. There were shysters going through getting $ from desperate people to rebuild their homes and then leaving state.

Applebear (a member here who hasn't posted in a long time) had something similar happen to her. She took out a loan to get her house fixed, hired a guy, gave him the $, he came in and did demo-- cut a hole in her house on the side leaving it open, then never returned. He declared bankruptcy, left the state, set up a gofundme acting like some poor victimized businessman. People were sending him $ not realizing he scammed disabled ladies like April (Applebears real name).
 

Rusty

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When we would go to install flooring, there was always crap all over the floors. If we installed pad one day and went back to install carpet the next, there would be stuff all over the pad. I remember installing underlayment for vinyl and the painters spray painted the cabinets in the middle of it and ruined it all.
 

BuzzLOL

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Handshake deals with honorable workers and payers is common in rural areas... rural people are shocked to find in the Democrat run cities that workers don't do what they're paid to do, often just abscond with all the money, and the payers don't pay for work done, expect people to work for free and supply free materials, and that all spirals down into a real shiiite hole situation...
 

Spicoli43

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I had a contract deal once to get my Mom's deck replaced. It wasn't something that could wait, so I hired the guy and paid half up front. It took him a Month to show up, and that was only under legal threat. It was apparently the same "handshake" deal others have mentioned.

I was apprehensive, as the guy showed up in a car, had Baby smooth hands like he had never touched a hammer, and didn't look me in the eye. I guess the only reason I gave any money is I got a contract, but none of that matters if he skipped town. If the deck was "Okay, maybe has a few years left", then I would have done more DD.

His crew did an excellent job, but in the time I was there, I never saw him. Gave the rest of the money to the foreman.
 

Angie

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I once had a big porch built. I did it like a government subcontract. So much down, so much each of 2 or 3 milestones. And I went to the store and paid for the lumber, etc directly to the store. The builder did try to get 4 extra sheets of tin roofing, but I had only paid for 8 so the other 4 were not allowed to be taken by him to fix his back stoop roof. I called the store and had it picked up.
 

Rusty

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Is there more to this situation? I can see where it needs to be fixed, but why not remove the trusses to fix the Left, then fix the Right?
The way they talked, everything was beyond fixing.
 

zannej

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Buzz, it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with some people just being scumbags. I'm in a deeply Republican area & you can't trust a contractor worth crap around here. There are just people who know that our court system sucks & that small claims court will only let them recoup $5k if they win but they still have court fees & many people can't afford to pay them and a lot of people who should be retired are having to work at places like Walmart so they can't get time off for court to sue. These scumbags bank on people not trying to sue & some will leave the state. They also know local cops are absolutely worthless & won't investigate anything unless it was a family member, the mayor, or a church who got screwed over. Cops will just say it's a civil matter and leave-- even when something is actually stolen.

Rusty, it was probably one of those things where it would have taken more time/effort to pull what was bad and fix it up properly than to just gut it and rebuild from scratch. I'm willing to bet they used the wrong materials, wrong foundation (if any foundation) etc.
 

Spicoli43

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The way they talked, everything was beyond fixing.
That's too bad. When I had work done here, the contractors for my patio cover and concrete both had me come out to one of their customers' houses to see the work they did. I think that's the way it should be, and in return I told them to call me if they need to show off my property to a perspective client.

Do you know the victims? Did they file a lawsuit / Call the News investigation team etc.?
 

Rusty

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The local prosecutor refuses to do anything.
 

Rusty

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The old couple he took $5800 from got a lawyer, but he has nothing in his name. They also tried to file charges and had no luck.
 

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