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Contractors in Lake havasu..... (Call out thread)

CoolCruzin

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So after all this ———
Who are these shady fucks that I shouldn’t hire ?
 

PlanB

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We have owned a house in Havasu for more than 20 years. Getting stuff done out there can be headache. The most recent issue for us has been with a wrought iron contractor. He started out good on our entryway, but then lagged and made mistakes on the three other gates we had him do on our property. You are actually lucky if someone even shows up to bid a job in our experience. You would think some of the guys, especially the younger ones, would want to make money. There is definitely a don't give a shit attitude out there.
 

BHC Vic

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By the way it most contractors in all places. Not just havasu
I agree. I had a hell of a week last week in norco dealing with a few. I’m just going to do everything myself.
 

CoolCruzin

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We had our front door replaced .(havasu)
Real nice door , glass design in the middle .
Nice wood paint .
Fit was great . Nice job . Door company recommended the guy .

Took three months - lol 🥴
 

Wedgy

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My B/ C54 is what I carry in CA.
Best of luck wethull. Your C54 Tile lic piggybacked onto a class B GC lic is a good way to go. Stay Strong in these uncertain times.

If pushing mud, or swinging a hammer ever sux too hard in Ca.

With that B lic you could always become an instructor for any Trade in a CTE setting, anywhere in Ca. Including welding. I rode that Pony with my C54 😆 for 11 years in the Sweetwater Union High Scool District. I subbed for both Sweetwater and Escondido UHSD, tormenting my Kid when I'd get a call for Orange Glen, his High School.

A Bachelors Degree would've pushed me into a 6 figure income. Full time teaching along with teaching the SD Tile Apprenticeship. 1999-2010

Things are good now, but a Ringer every week while Construction is in flames sure is nice.
 

wallnutz

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I have taken a crew of my painters out a few times to Havasu to paint friends houses. Every time I have been asked by neighbors to give them a bid. None of them have wanted to pay the extra cost of having the guys stay a couple of days and do their jobs. Good luck on the endeavor it always sounds good.
 

Hammer

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OK, that makes sense I wasn’t sure exactly what you were planning.

I know there’s one contractor that came into town hot and heavy and they seem to be doing OK at least from outward appearances, I think they were well-funded when they came in, I guess we’ll see if they’ll be here in another five years although like I said they appear to be doing well.
I lived in Havasu for about a year and a half maybe. Nobody who lives there wants to work. The ones that do are booked solid as mentioned in this thread.

I think we can bridge the gap between the two and gain some happy customers, at the same time the conglomerate isn’t relying on lake Havasu construction to pay the bills.

Quality control is the only thing I see that will need local oversight. Between RD, OD1 and host of others they live there we can have that covered.

I can also guarantee we could find a construction guy that retired in havasu that wouldn’t mind making a few bucks stopping by on occasion and sending pics or making sure everything is done to our expectations.


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Hammer

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I have taken a crew of my painters out a few times to Havasu to paint friends houses. Every time I have been asked by neighbors to give them a bid. None of them have wanted to pay the extra cost of having the guys stay a couple of days and do their jobs. Good luck on the endeavor it always sounds good.
The number is the number. The locals for the most part aren’t the customer base.

The SO CAL vacation home owners are the customer base. They are the ones expecting so cal quality work and reasonable timelines.

If it doesn’t pencil out. It doesn’t cost us anything as this isn’t a career move.


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DRYHEAT

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I lived in Havasu for about a year and a half maybe. Nobody who lives there wants to work. The ones that do are booked solid as mentioned in this thread.

I think we can bridge the gap between the two and gain some happy customers, at the same time the conglomerate isn’t relying on lake Havasu construction to pay the bills.

Quality control is the only thing I see that will need local oversight. Between RD, OD1 and host of others they live there we can have that covered.

I can also guarantee we could find a construction guy that retired in havasu that wouldn’t mind making a few bucks stopping by on occasion and sending pics or making sure everything is done to our expectations.


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I agree, hope it works out I’ve been so disillusioned over the years I usually hack and cobble my own shit together. 😂 It seems like every time I hire somebody I’m disappointed.
There are a few that I use but I really don’t like recommending anybody for anything anymore.

Within a half mile of my house there’s about four people getting pools built or that have had pools built in the last year and a half and none of them have been happy with their builder and how long it took and all are different builders.

There is a big problem with labor in this town, the Havasu flu is real.
 

Bobby V

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I lived in Havasu for about a year and a half maybe. Nobody who lives there wants to work. The ones that do are booked solid as mentioned in this thread.

I think we can bridge the gap between the two and gain some happy customers, at the same time the conglomerate isn’t relying on lake Havasu construction to pay the bills.

Quality control is the only thing I see that will need local oversight. Between RD, OD1 and host of others they live there we can have that covered.

I can also guarantee we could find a construction guy that retired in havasu that wouldn’t mind making a few bucks stopping by on occasion and sending pics or making sure everything is done to our expectations.


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Yep. I have a buddy that has been a GC in So Cal for over 40 years. He just retired and rented a house in Havasu and is building a new home in the Refuge using a Havasu GC. Waiting to see how this works out...
 

CSmith

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I'm not a GC so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I do however work in the construction field. It seems no matter what now a days its hard anywhere to find a quality person in general not only to just do the basics of showing up on time but that also have half a clue about anything construction related. The labor force is terrible in havasu. On the other side of things though the majority of people in havasu are either retired or vacationers from surrounding states and that is a 2nd home. I have seen people with there vacation home out here with rv garages and boats and diesel pushers parked inside of them chew contractors down on pricing and still expect CA finish and product. I use the saying you can pick two of the three, (Good, Fast, Cheap) cause you can't have all 3. Obviously you want it good and fast its not going to be cheap. You want it fast and cheap its not going to be good, etc. I know its anywhere and that's the name of the game in the construction field but I always go by if I want something done right I dont mind paying a little more and have a quality product. Moral of my long post is maybe the lowest bid isn't always the best.. Just my .02. Im a plumber that works as just another guy in the field. I just remember not to bite my finger nails...
 
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wallnutz

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The number is the number. The locals for the most part aren’t the customer base.

The SO CAL vacation home owners are the customer base. They are the ones expecting so cal quality work and reasonable timelines.

If it doesn’t pencil out. It doesn’t cost us anything as this isn’t a career move.


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Oops I forgot the so cal guys are the best, my bad lol.
 

HNL2LHC

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Here let me pour a little more lighter fluid on the flames. LOL

Things happen from time to time that out of a contractor‘s control. Some just go sideways and notthing that can be done about It. You know there are always jobs that go horribly wrong. Don’t forget the old adage ”no good deed goes unpunished”.

Here is my most recent job experience from hell....

5 months ago a new piece of glass was needed as the current one was broken. Not stocked locally so it needed to come from the mainland. Measurements taken and deposit given.

First supplier goes out of business 1 month lost
second supplier has a software glitch and 1.5 months lost there
Finally crate is on the water trucking company calls to find out where it was to be delivered. They were on the wrong insland. 2 weeks lost there.

So yesterday after all the time the glass was delivered and installed.

The kicker was that I was on the other side of the transaction. I was trying to help out a homeowner who more than kind through out the whole process. I never cashed his check because of what was going on. He even said to me a couple of times hey you haven’t cashed the check yet. I‘d reply once the work is completed I will cash it. Everything came out more expensive for many reasons. I ate that and moved on to the next job. Main concern is always that the homeowner is happy with our company and the end result. We typically go beyond the call to for the project.

Before I got back to my office the owner had tested me thanking for making it happen and remind me to cash his check. LOL. It is great to have all this behind me.

The key points that helped thins not go sideways was to keep the owner updated as needed. Reply to communication promptly and ensure that if anything goes wrong they are not out the $$$$.

I have one that a contractor is not finishing up the job and is owed a fair amount of $$$$$. I have been working with one sub and the owner for over a year. The sub is in so far over their head and never completed the project. The owner is done with the contractor and subs. So next week I get to go in with the new subs and find the path of solutions to make a happy homeowner.
 

HNL2LHC

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I have taken a crew of my painters out a few times to Havasu to paint friends houses. Every time I have been asked by neighbors to give them a bid. None of them have wanted to pay the extra cost of having the guys stay a couple of days and do their jobs. Good luck on the endeavor it always sounds good.
I might be totally wrong here....this is one thing that I see in Havasu. It is like Hawaii. Everyone wants it done cheap or they have a uncle or friend that will do it cheaper. I imagine bidding in Havasu is like chasing a turd down a flushing toilet. The winner is the one that gets to the bottom of the bidding war. No thanks!!!!

I try to vet out the owners and when they are talking that they are looking for the cheapest I thank them for the opportunity but tell them that I am not the right guy for the project.
 

wallnutz

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I might be totally wrong here....this is one thing that I see in Havasu. It is like Hawaii. Everyone wants it done cheap or they have a uncle or friend that will do it cheaper. I imagine bidding in Havasu is like chasing a turd down a flushing toilet. The winner is the one that gets to the bottom of the bidding war. No thanks!!!!

I try to vet out the owners and when they are talking that they are looking for the cheapest I thank them for the opportunity but tell them that I am not the right guy for the project.
You are right and it doesn’t matter if they live there full time or they have a vacation home. It’s been my experience people tend to spend more appropriately on their main residence than their vacation home. Havasu seems like it is home of the low bid, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. I have seen what people pay for stuff and kind of shake my head at some of it. But when it comes to pay for a job done right I have seen it go the other way too. I have a few friends that live there full time and a few that have get away houses there and they have shown me bids that are all over the place. We are talking a couple thousand dollars difference for the exact scope of work.

I’m not knocking Hammer at all and hope his idea works out for him. I’m sure like me that a few friends and friends of friends will hook him and his guys up and he will get work, but I wouldn’t hold my breath that a bunch of people will want to pay the extra cost for out of town workers.
 

FishSniper

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Right now it’s even harder to get stuff done in Havasu cause all the contractors pool builders etc are so busy. When we bought last year and I was looking to get some work done it was no issue getting calls back etc however once Covid hit they have all been swamped. We got lucky with a referral from the board on getting a rear garage door done on the RV garage and some block wall work done as our builder and a couple other referrals wouldn’t even return the call.
 

arch stanton

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So lets talk contractors and contracting, what is a contractors license ? its just legalized gambling!

From a contractor perspective you get asked for pricing and after hours of work putting together a bid after doing a take off on the plan and analyzing a soil report the contractor cannot get a return call to let him know how his price compared to the competition. Then 6 months latter the customer calls back to see if you can start next week because the the low bidder is to busy to do the job or is out of business or no longer has insurance and the kicker they want it done for the same price as the Bankrupt guy.

What I want is to see my competitors bid I don't really care to see who it is or the pricing I want to see their exclusions first I can usually find that they have excluded items that the customers asked for but the customer does not read or understand what the exclusions list means the second thing I want to see is the totals for all items in the bid for an example my take off showed 320' of retaining wall but my competitor only shows 280' in his bid and excludes the import of back fill, this is how low bidder makes money the legendary change order.

From another side I have rebuilt and flipped over 100 homes and rehabbed over 50 apartment units we started by hiring individual trades to do are jobs and while the price was lower the quality was lower and keeping the schedule was imposable the best description is it was like herding cats. The solution was to hire small general contractors that did some of the trades in house but also had a list of long term subs that we loyal and turned out timely quality work. The cost was more but more than made up for with less headaches and we could turn a house in 30 days.

For the most part small specialty contractors that do good quality work are going to get hooked up with GC's for most of their work and the guys that have the time to do small 1 time jobs are not as good or new or undependable its really tough to weed through the crap to find the pony
 

hallett21

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I think clients either “get it” or they don’t. And it’s a contractors job to help them see the difference between a quality job and a cheap one.

I blame HDTV and Fixer upper lol. Which my wife loves.

A solid construction project starts with a solid plan. Lately we are bidding plans that are “just good enough” to get stamped. I know this because the client tells me that lol.

So rather than spend the extra 1-10k on thorough drawings (project size depending) we’ll just figure it out in the field. Not sure if we is the client or us lol.

Then the next place to save money is who you hire. The guy that shows up in a newer truck, dressed like a professional with the appropriate equipment will always cost more than “we can do anything construction”.

But WCDAC says they’ll do the job for 5k and the professional says that the job will cost 15k. Well obviously the professional is making any extra 10k on the job right?

Everyone forgets that he is insured, pays workman’s comp, has quality maintained equipment to complete the job and takes pride is his work.

Not to mention the professional can see that your “affordable” plans are missing essential items that will cost extra just to get you a C of O.

Quality anything costs money. The biggest issue is when people demand quality for the lowest amount. It’s just not possible.


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hallett21

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So lets talk contractors and contracting, what is a contractors license ? its just legalized gambling!

From a contractor perspective you get asked for pricing and after hours of work putting together a bid after doing a take off on the plan and analyzing a soil report the contractor cannot get a return call to let him know how his price compared to the competition. Then 6 months latter the customer calls back to see if you can start next week because the the low bidder is to busy to do the job or is out of business or no longer has insurance and the kicker they want it done for the same price as the Bankrupt guy.

What I want is to see my competitors bid I don't really care to see who it is or the pricing I want to see their exclusions first I can usually find that they have excluded items that the customers asked for but the customer does not read or understand what the exclusions list means the second thing I want to see is the totals for all items in the bid for an example my take off showed 320' of retaining wall but my competitor only shows 280' in his bid and excludes the import of back fill, this is how low bidder makes money the legendary change order.

From another side I have rebuilt and flipped over 100 homes and rehabbed over 50 apartment units we started by hiring individual trades to do are jobs and while the price was lower the quality was lower and keeping the schedule was imposable the best description is it was like herding cats. The solution was to hire small general contractors that did some of the trades in house but also had a list of long term subs that we loyal and turned out timely quality work. The cost was more but more than made up for with less headaches and we could turn a house in 30 days.

For the most part small specialty contractors that do good quality work are going to get hooked up with GC's for most of their work and the guys that have the time to do small 1 time jobs are not as good or new or undependable its really tough to weed through the crap to find the pony
100% agree with everything you said. Only thing I disagree with is you seeing the competition’s bid. As far as I’m concerned it’s irrelevant because you complied a thorough bid for the entire job. Not one that has exclusions all over the place.

I know what you’re driving at. You could punch holes in the competition’s bid all day and show why it costs more.

I just think people either want it done right or they want it done cheap.

Edit. Everyone wants it done on time lol


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Flyinbowtie

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Hammer I know nothing of what you are planning, but I know small towns and know the BS that goes on in the trades, best friends are General Engineering contractors here are have been sine the bottom fell out of the timber industry 20 years ago. They quickly rose to the the top because they are honest and have reputation ob being straight shooters in the community. They are swamped going into winter and booked out through next year. They've gotten going doing jobs for the Feds, state and county and .gov agencies and are focusing on doing more work for those entities than private party stuff.
Roll in and build the rep of doing honest work on time, and even at a high end price you are going to have people beating a path to your door down there simply because they are tired of getting shafted. When you pay and get shafted you are willing to spend more and get the damn job done right, on time.
So I think, just based on what you have percolating here in this idea that you may be on to something that will be a win win for all involved.
Good Luck with this, Mike.
 

NicPaus

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I agree. I had a hell of a week last week in norco dealing with a few. I’m just going to do everything myself.
That's how I became a GC. My Dad got the stupid idea to start a development company on the side. Now I own a half million dollars worth of tools and equipment. The Joy's of working for people I could write a book Lol. I do have some of the best customers ever i will bend over backwards for. Every now and then I get a new customer that makes you question why.
 

2FORCEFULL

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this thread is why I stress not to do owner builder in havasu,..contractors that have been in business there have the better chance of getting stuff done as they have subs in place...new contractors come to havasu and get over whelmed with work and wanna set the word on fire with promises, only to find the hurdles, no help, no materials, havasu has worked on smaller profit percentage for years,...


big time contractors can't make the money they are used to doing concrete for 3 bucks a foot, pavers 5 bucks a foot, block walls 40 bucks a foot,.. I'm in the middle of a home build right not,... the reasons for the job not getting done are almost comical...

right now you can't get steel, lumber, and this last one...colored stucco,..LOL... I don't need the house done till spring, but it is paid for, and I did get in under the big price increase..

.the same home is a 100g's more to build then what I paid on our sabino home... is what it is, I have a build coming out of planning right now...I can't get a locked down price for the build, and I don't blame the contractors for not wanting to give a firm price..... what do you think happened to all the people that signed a contract for a custom home.... only to find lumber taking a 60% increse before they started framing..

so far, most all materials are coming up..."OUT OF STOCK" with no date of available...

I use Richard , affordable homes.... he's pulling his hair out right now trying to get things done, but, our new home is stucco'd and painted inside, and cabinets going in...so soon...big hold up with garage doors in havasu. it's taking over 3 mo. just to get the doors, and not sure if they are even in yet,... can't really blame the door company if they can't get doors.. So the house will get done, but a whole lot of less aggravation and stress by using a local contractor to handle the subs... and it's less money
 

2FORCEFULL

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So what i'm trying to say is this,.. havasu is one of the few place's where it's cheeper to hire a contractor to do the whole job at cost plus 10%, then it is to pay the subs 40% more and nevr get it done, or have no recorse when they mess it up.... most subs are going from job to job and still have money coming up to 30 days back,... so hey buddy, you have to fix that has the leverage of prior jobs not being paid till they do..

here's another thing,.. lets say you hire a sub, you give a big down to start the job..that is usually more than the profit on the job...now you have paid a draw.. lets say you are up to 75% of the contract......you say this,... fix this or tear it out,... guy say's ah ok,... and then you can't get him to come back....here's what happens... pre liens start coming... the suppliers start putting liens on you home as they have not been paid for materials delivered at your home, next come the labor liens for help not paid

most home owners do not know to pay direct to supplier's and to get lien release's... and to get labor releases from the contractors in exchange for project draws.......
 

2FORCEFULL

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I'm not a GC so take my opinion with a grain of salt. I do however work in the construction field. It seems no matter what now a days its hard anywhere to find a quality person in general not only to just do the basics of showing up on time but that also have half a clue about anything construction related. The labor force is terrible in havasu. On the other side of things though the majority of people in havasu are either retired or vacationers from surrounding states and that is a 2nd home. I have seen people with there vacation home out here with rv garages and boats and diesel pushers parked inside of them chew contractors down on pricing and still expect CA finish and product. I use the saying you can pick two of the three, (Good, Fast, Cheap) cause you can't have all 3. Obviously you want it good and fast its not going to be cheap. You want it fast and cheap its not going to be good, etc. I know its anywhere and that's the name of the game in the construction field but I always go by if I want something done right I dont mind paying a little more and have a quality product. Moral of my long post is maybe the lowest bid isn't always the best.. Just my .02. Im a plumber that works as just another guy in the field. I just remember not to bite my finger nails...
here's another problem,... most don't even know they are paying way more for way less...and don't know they are starting the job wrong, only to find out that it's a mess when it's done...so., unless you are experienced in the field, hire a general with a long time history of fair price and getting it done right...
 

2FORCEFULL

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Hammer I know nothing of what you are planning, but I know small towns and know the BS that goes on in the trades, best friends are General Engineering contractors here are have been sine the bottom fell out of the timber industry 20 years ago. They quickly rose to the the top because they are honest and have reputation ob being straight shooters in the community. They are swamped going into winter and booked out through next year. They've gotten going doing jobs for the Feds, state and county and .gov agencies and are focusing on doing more work for those entities than private party stuff.
Roll in and build the rep of doing honest work on time, and even at a high end price you are going to have people beating a path to your door down there simply because they are tired of getting shafted. When you pay and get shafted you are willing to spend more and get the damn job done right, on time.
So I think, just based on what you have percolating here in this idea that you may be on to something that will be a win win for all involved.
Good Luck with this, Mike.
here's the real problem in havasu, and most other places,.. you can't build anything if you can't get materials..with the shortage,.. materials will go out to local long time generals...sure, you can gather up a bunch of guys from cal, but when they find out they will be working for less and not having any work they will flee ....

the framer on my current build , framed the whole house by himself,... he had help lined up from vegas......they never showed ,.. hot as fuc out ,and the vegas guys were swampped at jobs in vegas that paid more money,..we got lucky that our lumber landed on site days before the first big increase..and the only way the framer could come out was to do it himself...he did say at the end... I"M DONE...no more of this bullshit
 

franky

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I have built about 45 houses in the 20 years I have been here and have never really had any schedule/trade issues save one retainer wall that took 5 weeks instead of 2. It is a little more testing lately because of delivery issues and how busy subs are but I have always treated them right and they treat me right. Communication is key. They know what I expect and I know what to expect. I have long time relations with trades and only go out of the circle when I need to. Building two now and had to switch plumbers and electricians because of scheduling issues but got solid recommendation before hand and they turned out to be solid. Now I have a couple more trades I can call on. Truth be told, I keep the traded informed well in advance any schedule problems and have a specific date I need them to show. I make sure i am ready that date and they get in and get out, no issues, no excuses.
 

YeahYeah01

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So lets talk contractors and contracting, what is a contractors license ? its just legalized gambling!

From a contractor perspective you get asked for pricing and after hours of work putting together a bid after doing a take off on the plan and analyzing a soil report the contractor cannot get a return call to let him know how his price compared to the competition. Then 6 months latter the customer calls back to see if you can start next week because the the low bidder is to busy to do the job or is out of business or no longer has insurance and the kicker they want it done for the same price as the Bankrupt guy.

What I want is to see my competitors bid I don't really care to see who it is or the pricing I want to see their exclusions first I can usually find that they have excluded items that the customers asked for but the customer does not read or understand what the exclusions list means the second thing I want to see is the totals for all items in the bid for an example my take off showed 320' of retaining wall but my competitor only shows 280' in his bid and excludes the import of back fill, this is how low bidder makes money the legendary change order.

From another side I have rebuilt and flipped over 100 homes and rehabbed over 50 apartment units we started by hiring individual trades to do are jobs and while the price was lower the quality was lower and keeping the schedule was imposable the best description is it was like herding cats. The solution was to hire small general contractors that did some of the trades in house but also had a list of long term subs that we loyal and turned out timely quality work. The cost was more but more than made up for with less headaches and we could turn a house in 30 days.

For the most part small specialty contractors that do good quality work are going to get hooked up with GC's for most of their work and the guys that have the time to do small 1 time jobs are not as good or new or undependable its really tough to weed through the crap to find the pony
Well said. I wish people would compare my bids side by side.
 

arch stanton

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Well said. I wish people would compare my bids side by side.
From what I have seen the general public does not know how to read or compare bids and there are some GC's that don't do it very well either. I have more experience in grading and below grade basements, slopes, shoring and what I see is everyone has problems seeing the 3 dimensional aspect of below grade work with the slope lay back and interference with the other trades and access. My scope of work is more complicated in bidding and in reading and understanding what it takes to do it safely and correctly. Not to be too insulting to the painting, flooring,roofing,contractors and the like but your bidding a 4000 sq/ft house reading and understanding your bids are easy enough for Joe average homeowner to understand.
 

YeahYeah01

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From what I have seen the general public does not know how to read or compare bids and there are some GC's that don't do it very well either. I have more experience in grading and below grade basements, slopes, shoring and what I see is everyone has problems seeing the 3 dimensional aspect of below grade work with the slope lay back and interference with the other trades and access. My scope of work is more complicated in bidding and in reading and understanding what it takes to do it safely and correctly. Not to be too insulting to the painting, flooring,roofing,contractors and the like but your bidding a 4000 sq/ft house reading and understanding your bids are easy enough for Joe average homeowner to understand.
Definitely understand.

I bid a lot of Asbestos and Abatement and Demolition projects. Residential, commercial, city, state and federal levels.

A lot of times I'll get a call saying I have X amount of sqft, how much? I rarely give anyone a per sqft price. Most people across almost any level no very little about Abatement and what it takes to do it the right way and there is difference on almost every job that effect the price.

Depending on the project my Containments cost me more to build then the actual removal.

The exclusion list can't get crazy for abatement and demo and I try to capture everything and use my experience to avoid change orders by being up front with the client since most specs are boiler plate and leave a huge potential for change orders.

At times is hard to secure new clients based on that mentality but once I get a larger client they tend to stick with me because I'm transparent and do what I can up front to budget correctly.
 

Mandelon

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I am a GC. 25 years. San Diego. Big companies have an advantage in their large scale. Very little companies that don't have much in the way of overhead have an advantage in their small scale. A lot of these little guys don't have insurance, don't pay workers comp, hell..some don't even make payroll tax payments and pay their guys under the table.

Being small to medium sized is tough I think. I carry all the insurance and payroll tax that Juan the landscaper doesn't pay. We have 12 to 24 guys typically. But I too hear how the gardener can do the new fence cheaper, plus his cousin knows how to tile so they can do the bath remodel. LOL
We all know how that turns out.

The phone has been ringing off the hook all year. We are booked up for a few months. It is true, I don't call back every single person. I just don't have time. If we were a bit slower, service would improve. But I am trying to keep my core group of customers happy. Mary Jones' laundry room remodel is a one time deal. The property manager who called before you gives me a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. So frankly, those customers are getting my attention.

I think many guys are like me.. overwhelmed with work and just trying to keep up. I don't really know how Havasu is... I couldn't handle the summer heat. I assume the crews just want to go party somewhere?

It is hard to find quality workers too. Someone is always trying to poach them away. Sometimes even our own customers! Work ethic isn't what is used to be.

Earlier this year my best framer died of a heart attach at 43. My long term painter retired, he was 70. My finish guy got new hips, new knees and a wrist operation. He has been out for nine months. He called yesterday and said he has prostate cancer. On Tuesday the helper of my best guy was killed in a traffic accident in Mexico. And someone sent me a news clip about a former kid who worked for us a while back was found dead at 36. F*ck 2020

Truly an Annus Horribilis.
 

Carlson-jet

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Maybe I'm wrong here but there is a difference between a bid and an estimate/quote.
Looking at another contractors estimate is ok imo somewhat. Looking at another contractors bid is a form of bid shilling and considered unethical and sometimes illegal.
It sounds like those words are being interchanged.

To the Guys getting their licenses in Cal. Please stay on top of all paperwork. If you pass the exam it says you understand a contract along with all other aspects of running a business and how to cover your ass if things go sideways.
On the flip side is the California franchise tax board. They are not friendly one bit. They have the right to asses a contractor on prior years work and will accuse anyone they want with cheating which you get to fight yourself or hire a lawyer. Then there is workmans comp. Ruthless mother Fockers without a doubt. Just remember it's not like showing up to a job site working for somebody else. When shit falls, it lands directly on the contractors head.

I want to add I got My license when I was only 20 and acted like I was 20 when it came to paper work if that means anything. LOL
My Friend that took the test the same day was 18. The things we learned over the next 7 years were priceless.
 
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arch stanton

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Definitely understand.

I bid a lot of Asbestos and Abatement and Demolition projects. Residential, commercial, city, state and federal levels.

A lot of times I'll get a call saying I have X amount of sqft, how much? I rarely give anyone a per sqft price. Most people across almost any level no very little about Abatement and what it takes to do it the right way and there is difference on almost every job that effect the price.

Depending on the project my Containments cost me more to build then the actual removal.

The exclusion list can't get crazy for abatement and demo and I try to capture everything and use my experience to avoid change orders by being up front with the client since most specs are boiler plate and leave a huge potential for change orders.

At times is hard to secure new clients based on that mentality but once I get a larger client they tend to stick with me because I'm transparent and do what I can up front to budget correctly.
I worked an Asbestos Abatement job at the VA Hospital in La Jolla I was brought in to manage an experienced crew I mainly did paperwork and keeping supplies on hand and monitoring neg air pressure. What a slow painstaking pain in the ass trying to do this in an occupied hospital, I would come in in the morning and my containment in the second floor overhead only reachable by maintenance elevator would be pulled down or cut by the on site maintenance crew so I hung game cameras and got them on camera without masks on in a contaminated area that ended a lot of hassle with management about us not keeping our neg air overnight I had been getting reamed in meetings for not meeting regulations. and your right the false work needed was a total pain and we broke lots of OHSA rules getting it built, your in a challenging business.
 

arch stanton

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Maybe I'm wrong here but there is a difference between a bid and an estimate/quote.
Looking at another contractors estimate is ok imo somewhat. Looking at another contractors bid is a form of bid shilling and considered unethical and sometimes illegal.
It sounds like those words are being interchanged.

To the Guys getting their licenses in Cal. Please stay on top of all paperwork. If you pass the exam it says you understand a contract along with all other aspects of running a business and how to cover your ass if things go sideways.
On the flip side is the California franchise tax board. They are not friendly one bit. They have the right to asses a contractor on prior years work and will accuse anyone they want with cheating which you get to fight yourself or hire a lawyer. Then there is workmans comp. Ruthless mother Fockers without a doubt. Just remember it's not like showing up to a job site working for somebody else. When shit falls, it lands directly on the contractors head.
Your probably right may be illegal to share bids but as I posted I don't want there name or pricing only there take off quantity and exclusions. an estimate in my book is I can do the job for 20K a bid has line item details of every thing in your scope of work.and I'm not asking before I have done a full bid I just like putting them on the table in front of the client and tearing my competitor up but sometimes my competitor has every thing included and just has a better price am fine with that and helps me be more competitive. I did have a long time customer about 20 years call me on a demo job and he had a way better price from another contractor than I could do, so I went by the job and watched to see what he did differently I thought he had a dump site I did not know about or a faster way to do the demo turns out he did not know what he was doing took the demo to the closest but most expensive dumpsite used the wrong trucks that did not have the capacity of mine and the actual breaking of the concrete he used smaller less productive equipment than me, called my customer latter to find out how job went from his perspective Mike said new guy lost his ass and took way longer than he bid so in January I have a contract for 26,000 sq ft of demo sometimes the new guy proves that the old guy knows what he's doing.
 

YeahYeah01

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I worked an Asbestos Abatement job at the VA Hospital in La Jolla I was brought in to manage an experienced crew I mainly did paperwork and keeping supplies on hand and monitoring neg air pressure. What a slow painstaking pain in the ass trying to do this in an occupied hospital, I would come in in the morning and my containment in the second floor overhead only reachable by maintenance elevator would be pulled down or cut by the on site maintenance crew so I hung game cameras and got them on camera without masks on in a contaminated area that ended a lot of hassle with management about us not keeping our neg air overnight I had been getting reamed in meetings for not meeting regulations. and your right the false work needed was a total pain and we broke lots of OHSA rules getting it built, your in a challenging business.
Great story.

I've done a ton of work in hospital settings and many other occupied sites. It's a PIA. Most other trades don't take it seriously but the general public will freak out once they see Asbestos signs. So a breach in the containment can be a nightmare. Especially with people suing for everything.

In a setting like you mentioned in sure you had a manometer so it's not like people won't notice the air pressure drop.
 

Ultra912

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I'm a concrete contractor and have been since the white man was doing the work. My wife and I are throwing around moving into our vacation home but my situation/challenge will be locating work before employing workers. Hard to find legals to place and finish concrete. My trucks, tractors and equipment are top notch in reference to the prior comment that that means higher prices. Currently doing multi family apartment projects as well as commercial including curb, gutter, storm drains, foundations and flatwork. Weird that this thread came up today after laying in bed this morning having the exact conversation. Not sure about LHC but SCal is experiencing a cement shortage that started in late August. I'm sure locating and employing experienced workers in the concrete business is very difficult in LHC due to the heat and low pricing by the locals. I have no issues where I am because finding insured concrete contractors is rather rare so doing the big jobs has limited contractors to compete with, at least where I am.
 

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arch stanton

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Great story.

I've done a ton of work in hospital settings and many other occupied sites. It's a PIA. Most other trades don't take it seriously but the general public will freak out once they see Asbestos signs. So a breach in the containment can be a nightmare. Especially with people suing for everything.

In a setting like you mentioned in sure you had a manometer so it's not like people won't notice the air pressure drop.
yes I had a manometer with a print out that showed what time I lost containment thats why I was getting an ass chewing in meetings with hospital management, I was on the right when you went in the main entrance on the ground floor even had part of the entry block can't get more in your face and in the way.
 

YeahYeah01

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yes I had a manometer with a print out that showed what time I lost containment thats why I was getting an ass chewing in meetings with hospital management, I was on the right when you went in the main entrance on the ground floor even had part of the entry block can't get more in your face and in the way.
Good call on the cameras!
 

2FORCEFULL

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I have built about 45 houses in the 20 years I have been here and have never really had any schedule/trade issues save one retainer wall that took 5 weeks instead of 2. It is a little more testing lately because of delivery issues and how busy subs are but I have always treated them right and they treat me right. Communication is key. They know what I expect and I know what to expect. I have long time relations with trades and only go out of the circle when I need to. Building two now and had to switch plumbers and electricians because of scheduling issues but got solid recommendation before hand and they turned out to be solid. Now I have a couple more trades I can call on. Truth be told, I keep the traded informed well in advance any schedule problems and have a specific date I need them to show. I make sure i am ready that date and they get in and get out, no issues, no excuses.
you build nice homes franky, and you also kept subs busy when work was slow, so you are the point I'm making, you know what you are doing, and know what you want, so it goes smooth,... dealing with home owners is a night mare most of the time... ah we changed our mind story...then there's the trying to collect when done...so naturaly , subs give contrators a better price,,, then when it's busy, price high to home owners and if they get it great,... if they don't ,who cares..
 

Keymyster

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BEWARE. If a guy comes to your house and his name is Randy Beckwith. Don't expect him to come back. He'll call you on the day he's supposed to be there and tell you he's running late and still never show.
 

Hammer

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You are right and it doesn’t matter if they live there full time or they have a vacation home. It’s been my experience people tend to spend more appropriately on their main residence than their vacation home. Havasu seems like it is home of the low bid, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. I have seen what people pay for stuff and kind of shake my head at some of it. But when it comes to pay for a job done right I have seen it go the other way too. I have a few friends that live there full time and a few that have get away houses there and they have shown me bids that are all over the place. We are talking a couple thousand dollars difference for the exact scope of work.

I’m not knocking Hammer at all and hope his idea works out for him. I’m sure like me that a few friends and friends of friends will hook him and his guys up and he will get work, but I wouldn’t hold my breath that a bunch of people will want to pay the extra cost for out of town workers.
The best part about this is... I already have a job and don’t NEED to work there. If people want it done great. If not they can deal with the shitty work and no shows they deal with..

EDIT:

2forcefull has valid points. Depending on what the contract reads, I’m sure certain customers would be willing to pay for materials to come from Vegas, Phoenix or even LA if they had too...



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