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How clean should a contractor be?

AndyG

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Extremely.

It is a sign of respect and professionalism- clients don’t always know quality, but they know what clean looks like -

My advice - never stop cleaning as you remodel.
F16B0F50-D929-4B51-B1A4-684D09195918.jpeg


87929240-75DF-4DD3-A9FA-49BED6C4DF24.jpeg
 

Daryl

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Wish I had a guy like you here in my hometown in California. Just had a contractor remodel my master bathroom and it’s been a disaster since day one. 23K for a 5x12 room. I had to clean up after them every day! They constantly tracked out onto my carpet. The contractors here are scary.
 
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AndyG

AndyG

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Wish I had a guy like you here in my hometown in California. Just had a contractor remodel my master bathroom and it’s been a disaster since day one. 23K for a 5x12 room. I had to clean up after them every day! They constantly tracked out onto my carpet. The people here are scary.

It is the same all over Bro. We have been so busy filling the offices we forgot to teach people to build them.

It is why I do it- because they don’t. So easy to differentiate yourself in this line of work. Show up, be clean, communicate, communicate, and be transparent. Involve the client in decisions if they need that- it is their home and their money.
 

rhanna

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Reminds me of the house we moved into in Kansas. We had hardwood floors installed throughout the upstairs which came out perfect. The master bath had carpet on the floor which we hated. I ended up with a couple of guys installing tile after the hardwood floors were done. All of this work was done before we moved in so I went over to the house to check out the work one night and they had pulled all the carpet and left it on the brand new hardwood floors. I was pissed since you aren't supposed to put area rugs on new hardwood for at least a couple of weeks let alone old carpet.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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I don't know if this is above or below average but I swept this out of just 4 main floor of my house-in-progress last week so I could power wash the concrete without all of this ending up on my face.

PXL_20220730_185349698.jpg


I'm not too worked up about the scraps, but the food and drink containers irritate me. Yet, there's no trash can on site so what are they supposed to do? I thought about putting one out there but no idea if they'd use it. And since none of the subs clean up after themselves, the GC has a line item on the budget for me to pay someone else to come in and do it.
 

sab

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I thought about putting one out there but no idea if they'd use it.
My neighbors finally built their dream house on their 42 acres last year (they bought the place about 10 years ago and lived in the double-wide left by the previous owner). The subs kept throwing their trash on the ground because the GC wouldn't provide a dumpster, and it would blow all over their property. The wife got some trash cans and put them in numerous locations, and then, through an English-to-Spanish interpretor, asked them nicely to use them. She said none ever threw a single piece of trash in them. She would go pick up after them every day, which was easy since they lived on site. We couldn't believe how absolutely non-caring they were about the wishes of the people ultimately paying their wages. Just more evidence that this country is a disgrace these days.
 
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Ocho

on a diet..
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I don't know if this is above or below average but I swept this out of just 4 main floor of my house-in-progress last week so I could power wash the concrete without all of this ending up on my face.

View attachment 348243

I'm not too worked up about the scraps, but the food and drink containers irritate me. Yet, there's no trash can on site so what are they supposed to do? I thought about putting one out there but no idea if they'd use it. And since none of the subs clean up after themselves, the GC has a line item on the budget for me to pay someone else to come in and do it.

wow.. if one of my 8 supers ever allowed any of our own guys or any sub leave any of that crap laying around even for a day they'd be in deep shit with me.
 

DaveC

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100% agreed. When looking to hire a contractor, I always look at how they keep their rig and tools/gear and what their crew looks like (cleanliness, upkeep of equipment, etc.). Do they show up on time, communicate clearly what to expect and how the process will work? Funny; it's kind of like buying a car, boat, motorcycle, etc. from a private party - the condition of the item and the place it's kept will tell you most of what you need to know about the item itself - or in the case of a contractor, about how they run their outfit.
 

rancholago

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It seems so simple, clean up after your self, show up to work every day on time, and communicate with the owner. Start the job when you say you will, and finish it as scheduled on schedule.

We just had our house painted, talked to the painting contracter, told him what we wanted done, a day later he emailed me a quote, emailed right back, "looks good" "we are ready to pick the colors and get started as soon as it fits in your schedule. Let us know when you can start, we are ready! This was in April, that was the last we heard from him, I called weekly, then monthly, did not hear one word from him. The neighbor was getting his house painted, i went by and talked to the guy painting over next door and told him my story, he says no problem ill come by this afternoon or tomorrow morning, a week later he comes by and gives me a quote. I tell him about the first painter and I want to give him "one more" call, just cause i felt i should. The next day the first painter calls and says he will start tomorrow..... thats the first we hear from him for 3 months. So we went with the first guy and he does a great job, cleans up after himself, so if he would just communicate a little he would be a great contractor that I could tell everyone how great he was, but now, i dont know, we were ready to go with another contractor, and I supose it would not have bothered him at all if we did.
 

freedom_in_4low

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It seems so simple, clean up after your self, show up to work every day on time, and communicate with the owner. Start the job when you say you will, and finish it as scheduled on schedule.

We just had our house painted, talked to the painting contracter, told him what we wanted done, a day later he emailed me a quote, emailed right back, "looks good" "we are ready to pick the colors and get started as soon as it fits in your schedule. Let us know when you can start, we are ready! This was in April, that was the last we heard from him, I called weekly, then monthly, did not hear one word from him. The neighbor was getting his house painted, i went by and talked to the guy painting over next door and told him my story, he says no problem ill come by this afternoon or tomorrow morning, a week later he comes by and gives me a quote. I tell him about the first painter and I want to give him "one more" call, just cause i felt i should. The next day the first painter calls and says he will start tomorrow..... thats the first we hear from him for 3 months. So we went with the first guy and he does a great job, cleans up after himself, so if he would just communicate a little he would be a great contractor that I could tell everyone how great he was, but now, i dont know, we were ready to go with another contractor, and I supose it would not have bothered him at all if we did.

communication would be my biggest gripe with our GC. I have no worries that we'll end up with a well-built house without corners cut, but communication...sheesh. She doesn't volunteer info pretty much ever, I have to pull everything out of her like an interrogation. I'll send her 4 questions/comments and she'll respond to 2-3 of them and I have to be persistent to the point of feeling like I'm being annoying to get the rest. Whenever I want anything truly custom, I have to go straight to the sub (which I'm sure doesn't sit well with the GC) or else the message doesn't all make it through.

Example 1 - electricians were roughing in. I wanted an extra light in the part of a closet under the stairs and a 50A/240V run through the wall right next to the meter, and my wife wanted another 240V drop outside our master bedroom just in case we want a hot tub some day (I can't even imagine right now, it's been over 100 for a month). I sent GC the message. A couple days later I see two wires run out there. Catch the electrician on site a few days later and ask why 2. He had got the message about the light and the hot tub, had no idea what I was talking about for the 240V next to the meter. Those two wires were for the AC outdoor units.

Example 2 - upstairs we have a loft area with an opening to the living room below, to add some more natural light from that direction. I plan to build railing out of steel, matching the railing around the stairs, to cross that opening. Framers framed in a half-wall. I told GC what I wanted to do about 4x over 3 weeks while the framers were working, and it never got removed, but I wasn't in a hurry because I didn't want it wide open for somebody to fall through (10' ceiling plus a 16" beam) and hurt themselves...figured I'd come in and do it before drywall went up. Electricians show up for rough-in and pull a wire through it, so then they had to come out and replace that wire. I came out and removed the framing on my own and just nailed some scraps across the opening for safety purposes.

PXL_20220716_224002817.jpg
 

rhanna

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I don't know if this is above or below average but I swept this out of just 4 main floor of my house-in-progress last week so I could power wash the concrete without all of this ending up on my face.

View attachment 348243

I'm not too worked up about the scraps, but the food and drink containers irritate me. Yet, there's no trash can on site so what are they supposed to do? I thought about putting one out there but no idea if they'd use it. And since none of the subs clean up after themselves, the GC has a line item on the budget for me to pay someone else to come in and do it.

That's a lot of trash. I guess eventually they would pick some of that up to finish the house. It annoys me more when the builder leaves trash in the lawn and the landscapers just go right over the top of all that crap. I dug up a decent amount of concrete that was next to the driveway where the grass kept dying. Rented a trench machine to help lay downspout drainage pipes and I cut through an extremely heavy duty wire/extension cord. Scared the crap out of me thinking I just cut through a live wire knocking out mine or my neighbors power. Tested to see if it was live and buried it back. I finally felt ok with it given how shallow the wire was and so close to my exterior wall. I had called 811 before I started and I already knew where most if not all the wires and pipes were laid because I saw them installed.
 
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freedom_in_4low

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That's a lot of trash. I guess eventually they would pick some of that up to finish the house. It annoys me more when the builder leaves trash in the lawn and the landscapers just go right over the top of all that crap. I dug up a decent amount of concrete that was next to the driveway where the grass kept dying. Rented a trench machine to help lay downspout drainage pipes and I cut through an extremely heavy duty wire/extension cord. Scared the crap out of me thinking I just cut through a live wire knocking out mine or my neighbors power. Tested to see if it was live and buried it back. I finally felt ok with it given how shallow the wire was and so close to my exterior wall. I had called 811 before I started and I already knew where most if not all the wires and pipes were laid because I saw them installed.

for sure. I had a big mount of concrete in front of the house that they dumped after the final foundation pour that I wondered would ever go away, but they did bust it up and haul it off when they cleaned up the framing scraps outside. I grabbed some pieces and made a stack behind the house so I have something to build a workbench with but most of that stuff I let go and it was too much for me to handle on my own. They came with forks on a skid steer and loaded it into a dump truck.

The framers did do some cleaning inside, at least most of the lumber scraps. But they certainly didn't sweep any of the sawdust out. And every sub since then has just left everything on the floor.
 
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AndyG

AndyG

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I don't know if this is above or below average but I swept this out of just 4 main floor of my house-in-progress last week so I could power wash the concrete without all of this ending up on my face.

View attachment 348243

I'm not too worked up about the scraps, but the food and drink containers irritate me. Yet, there's no trash can on site so what are they supposed to do? I thought about putting one out there but no idea if they'd use it. And since none of the subs clean up after themselves, the GC has a line item on the budget for me to pay someone else to come in and do it.
What they need or some rubbermaid garbage cans- That makes it easy to get scraps to the dumpster

Really food needs to go in bagged containers and be gotten offsite and the next thing you have to worry about is how cigarettes are being handled and someone starting a fire

What really happens is things just get out of control

The next thing you know something gets down and air-conditioning duct or who knows- Plus you can do a better job if you get clutter out of your way-

Construction work is hard mentally and physically and for some reason guys don’t seem to realize that they can approach a little bit differently and it might go a little bit better-
 

Zorba

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Our GC was good about cleanup on our MBR extension project. The subs, not so much. The GC had to clean up after some of them. My main gripe was how fucking S-L-O-W it was to get this 150 sq ft. addition DONE. Communications were piss poor most of the time, but got somewhat better when I found out that the one guy was trying to text me - hardly an acceptable method to do business as far as I'm concerned.

Absolutely ZERO project planning, they wouldn't even THINK about getting people/material together for the "next" phase before the current one was complete. So we'd wait 2 or 3 weeks - like we did between framing and insulation, then another week or so for the sheetrock sub to show up. Then there was the whole fiasco with the closet door that should have been ordered at contract signing, instead it wasn't ordered until it was needed which screwed everything up because it never showed up and they ended up having to order it from somebody else and wait yet another couple of weeks for it to arrive. Apparently, they've never heard of a Goddamned Gantt chart or even a Venn diagram!
 
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AndyG

AndyG

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Our GC was good about cleanup on our MBR extension project. The subs, not so much. The GC had to clean up after some of them. My main gripe was how fucking S-L-O-W it was to get this 150 sq ft. addition DONE. Communications were piss poor most of the time, but got somewhat better when I found out that the one guy was trying to text me - hardly an acceptable method to do business as far as I'm concerned.

Absolutely ZERO project planning, they wouldn't even THINK about getting people/material together for the "next" phase before the current one was complete. So we'd wait 2 or 3 weeks - like we did between framing and insulation, then another week or so for the sheetrock sub to show up. Then there was the whole fiasco with the closet door that should have been ordered at contract signing, instead it wasn't ordered until it was needed which screwed everything up because it never showed up and they ended up having to order it from somebody else and wait yet another couple of weeks for it to arrive. Apparently, they've never heard of a Goddamned Gantt chart or even a Venn diagram!

I told a customer the other day the most contractors send a dumpster than about three days later some guys do demolition then a Carpenter shows up about a week later then subs look at work and come back two weeks later and this rocks on and eats an enormous amount of time- The job doesn’t get momentum and details get lost- When you’re moving fast enough you’re thinking about that closet door because you know it’s coming-

You don’t have to rush anything to do what I’m talking about- As a matter of fact what I’m talking about prevents you from having to rush later because you’re behind schedule.
 
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Zorba

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I told a customer the other day the most contractors send a dumpster than about three days later some guys do demolition then a Carpenter shows up about a week later then subs look at work and come back two weeks later and this rocks on and eats an enormous amount of time- The job doesn’t get momentum and details get lost- When you’re moving fast enough you’re thinking about that closet door because you know it’s coming-

You don’t have to rush anything to do what I’m talking about- As a matter of fact what I’m talking about prevents you from having to rush later because you’re behind schedule.
We were told it would take 60-90 days. It took 7 months from contract signing to final inspection. The last month was spent in multiple attempts to get the concrete sub-floor level with existing. The final result was "ok" from a gross standpoint, but was still a bit "lumpy" where I had to double and even triple up on the underlayment in select spots for the laminate floor. Still not optimal by any means, but I was so tired of dealing with this that I just let it go. The rest of the job was done quite well, even if the masonry sub was a bit out of square...
 

InOmaha

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We had our bathroom remodeled and a sub left a large pile of tile at our place. Nice, new, and in boxes. I thought is was for our project, but after they finished tile work I checked our receipts and we hadn't bought it.

I called up the company one day and they ran out right away to pick it up. I hope I didn't delay someone else's project by the month or two it was in my garage.
 

freedom_in_4low

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Our GC was good about cleanup on our MBR extension project. The subs, not so much. The GC had to clean up after some of them. My main gripe was how fucking S-L-O-W it was to get this 150 sq ft. addition DONE. Communications were piss poor most of the time, but got somewhat better when I found out that the one guy was trying to text me - hardly an acceptable method to do business as far as I'm concerned.

Absolutely ZERO project planning, they wouldn't even THINK about getting people/material together for the "next" phase before the current one was complete. So we'd wait 2 or 3 weeks - like we did between framing and insulation, then another week or so for the sheetrock sub to show up. Then there was the whole fiasco with the closet door that should have been ordered at contract signing, instead it wasn't ordered until it was needed which screwed everything up because it never showed up and they ended up having to order it from somebody else and wait yet another couple of weeks for it to arrive. Apparently, they've never heard of a Goddamned Gantt chart or even a Venn diagram!

Our plumbers came and did some work last Tuesday. I don't know if they've been out yesterday or today but as of this Tuesday it had been one week and they hadn't been back. I'm kinda thinking it's because the GC didn't get the upstairs tub/shower surround ordered and now they're waiting on it before they come back and finish. I don't have high hopes that when they finally come back, they'll remember any of what I told them about placement for the master shower valves or the propane stub for the grill out back.
 
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AndyG

AndyG

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Our plumbers came and did some work last Tuesday. I don't know if they've been out yesterday or today but as of Tuesday it had been one week and they hadn't been back. I'm kinda thinking it's because the GC didn't get the upstairs tub/shower surround ordered and now they're waiting on it before they come back and finish. I don't have high hopes that when they finally come back, they'll remember any of what I told them about placement for the master shower valves or the propane stub for the grill out back.

Exactly- What creates a lot of the problems you see in the other posts above is a disjointed effort.
 
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TRE3TOP

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Wish I had a guy like you here in my hometown in California. Just had a contractor remodel my master bathroom and it’s been a disaster since day one. 23K for a 5x12 room. I had to clean up after them every day! They constantly tracked out onto my carpet. The contractors here are scary.

Did you say anything to them? Or just pick up after them and be upset about it?