To wonder why workmen dont want to do work anymore?

(48 Posts)
2pinklines Sat 29-Jun-13 19:29:25

Is it just us, or is this happening elsewhere too, so far this year we've had workmen turn up to do various jobs (rendering exterior of house, plastering rooms etc) they come, they measure, they say they will get back to us with a quote, few weeks later we havent heard from them, so i end up chasing them and feel like a stalker for just trying to find out how much i have to pay them.

Just the past few weeks, weve had gardeners come so far 4 people have been out, its a big job lots of clearing soil, laying turf and paving etc so something they would make a bit of money from iyswim, 4 people, not 1 bleeding quote. 1 i even rung back this week to say id still not heard off him, i know it was the same man who came out, he pretended it wasnt and that he would have to get in touch with his office - i would of believed him if he hadnt already told us he worked from home hmm

I just dont get it, i hear from people that there waiting for big jobs and dont want to do little things in the meantime, but surely a jobs better than nothing??

frogwatcher42 Sat 29-Jun-13 19:36:19

In certain areas I don't think there is a shortage of work for builders, gardeners etc. Certainly round here it is a real struggle to get somebody for any job - we wanted extension built, roof work done, garden done, new drive, carpenter to make internal doors and fit kitchen, a plumber to do a load of work - and struggled to get any of it done. We ended up bodging some ourselves and most is still outstanding two years later. I occasionally go through another round of phone calls, but still nobody turns up, or comes and then says 'too big a job' or 'too small a job' or quote will be in post but it isn't.

Everybody round here says the same so I take great comfort that it isn't just us!. The gardeners are all busy, cleaners all busy (not that I can afford a cleaner but know they are as I have been asked if I am willing to take on no end of cleaning jobs at £10 - £15 per hour cash as there are none available !!).

LimitedEditionLady Sat 29-Jun-13 19:46:00

Same here,i wanted a plasterer,took me six weeks if chasing to get one to come back.Wanted a outdoor building demolishing and paving,big job really and the guys didnt turn up so had to split it into two small jobs.

Hobbes8 Sat 29-Jun-13 19:47:51

I think it's a bad time of year to get builders. I've heard they like to do lucrative work like extensions and loft conversions over the summer when the weather is good, and things like plastering, kitchen fitting in the winter. Doesn't help when you're trying to get the garden done though.

DrDumbass Sat 29-Jun-13 20:36:46

I had the same trying to find a carpet cleaner....it was exhausting.

stella1w Sat 29-Jun-13 21:25:19

Just this week was messed around by gardener who failed to turn up to quote 3 times. Another who did turn up quoted 345 for weeding, pruning, mowing a garden smaller than a tennis court!

2pinklines Sat 29-Jun-13 21:33:51

I do feel better knowing that its not just us then, most of the work on our house weve had to do ourselves just because its exhausting trying to find someone to do the most simplest of things.

Looks like dp and his dad will be doing our garden then, its not for want of trying to give them a break and find someone but nobody will return my calls with a quote and im past caring now, its a shame cos im sure there are some people out there who are willing to work, but the majority just cant be bothered!

redwellybluewelly Sat 29-Jun-13 21:45:36

Christ yes.
We bought a house and garden requiring a lot of work, we're months behind renovation schedule purely due to people never giving us a quote despite coming round and measuring etc.

We have now managed to find a carpenter, plasterer, electrician and roofer all of whom are superb and although expensive are good - we found all via word or mouth rather than yellow pages. We've tried three gardeners and all have failed to quote leaving us without a safe outdoor space for our DDs. I'm hoping we can make a slow start ourselves.

madkittens Sun 30-Jun-13 11:34:41

and I thought it was just us!

had a nightmare getting a plasterer in - we used one about 18 months ago on our front room who did a great job and was really nice etc. Rang him and he agreed to come over and quote for skimming a bedroom but then he kept letting us down when he was supposed to be coming over to quote we didn't even bother chasing him when he didn't turn up for the 3rd time (and no he didn't even ring with some excuse)

Just gave up and eventually found someone else - it is really tiresome though. Why can't tradesmen be honest and say I've got enough work on so I can't be arsed to come and quote!

Littlereddog Sun 30-Jun-13 12:36:03

This is also my experience in The Netherlands....in fact, burst into tears a few evenings ago because of frustration!

picnicbasketcase Sun 30-Jun-13 12:37:59

We had the same thing while trying to get the roof mended - we had two companies come and look, give a quote, agree to do it and then not turn up. confused

WetDog Sun 30-Jun-13 12:43:04

It's not just you, we had the same. Wanted some trees cut back in the garden. Just could not get anyone to do it.

Chap quoted us, said he'd come on the weekend, we cancelled plans to go away.

He didn't even turn up - DP called him and left a message saying we weren't impressed and he could have at least let us know.

We had a lame ass text message back saying he was ill in bed and that his wife was supposed to call us. Cock. More like he was having a bbq on one of the only sunny days so far and he couldn't be arsed.

Finally got a friend of a friend to do it.

CaptainRex Sun 30-Jun-13 12:47:32

We are having the same problem with plumbers, were recommended 4, rang them all for quotes, 1 had moved without updating his number, the second I left a message and he never returned my call, 2 responded and visited for a quote.

Of those 2, only one has given us a written quote, the second said he would after a chase up call but now a month later still hasnt. The first with quote I need to get an extra quote and hasnt returned my two answer phone messages

I too am dispairing of getting a working shower sad

LastTangoInDevonshire Sun 30-Jun-13 13:00:53

My son, 28, wants to change career. I keep telling him to become a plumber and do lots and lots of the smaller jobs - he may not make a fortune, but would be forever popular!!

HabbaDabbaDoo Sun 30-Jun-13 13:07:23

House building is in a healthy state at the mo. So a few solid months of work will always trump what you are offering.

Vickibee Sun 30-Jun-13 13:08:58

perhaps it is a regional thing - we have no trouble finding tradesman but my DH is a decorator and knows loads of people.

RoseFlowerFairy Sun 30-Jun-13 13:12:02

I have had this problem with gardeners in the past, they don't show up.

redwellybluewelly Sun 30-Jun-13 14:17:44

Apparently its to do with a lot of people renovating or extending (I.e. improving their house rather than move) so lots and lots of work about at the moment.

Still. Doesn't get my garden done.

MorganMummy Sun 30-Jun-13 14:22:26

Exactly the same here and is why we haven't got anywhere with the huge amounts we need doing to the house.

I'm really relieved by this thread though as I tend to blame myself for being ineffectual!

quoteunquote Sun 30-Jun-13 14:54:41

grin

Never had the problem myself.

You may of more luck if you ask for day rates , ask to be put on the slot in list, and build up a good relationship with good trades,

I can have any trade to a location in 20 min, which is why clients use us as their property maintenance team, as well as their contractors for builds and renovation.

DadOnIce Sun 30-Jun-13 14:58:47

It used to happen all the time when the economy was good and they had more jobs than they could handle. Didn't surprise me then.

It astonishes me that it still happens now. You'd think in the current climate that people would be falling over themselves for work.

fluffyraggies Sun 30-Jun-13 15:13:50

DH is a builder. I am reading this thread thinking - hmm, very occasionally he's guilty of sometimes taking for ever to get to someone with a quote after going round to view the job. (So long that it is a surprise they are still waiting for it when he does give the quote blush)

It's not good practice, i know, and he always feels bad when he's guilty of this. I'm trying to think of the different reasons - perfect honesty -

1. He is literally so busy, if it's summer, that it gets forgotten. As soon as Spring arrives loads of people walk into their back garden and decide they want X done, ring a builder or gardener. (and want it done yesterday so that it's in time for so and so's BBQ, or whatever).

2. The customer has mentioned a price they are expecting to pay (often a family member who is an expert at these things has told them how much to expect to pay) which is unrealistically low. Causes DH to be reluctant to give a quote which he feels is going to be a waste of time.

3. We're a suspicion it's for insurance purposes. ie no hope of actually getting the job.

4. It's a job which goes against DHs advice. ie re-point a wall which is on the point of collapse, rather than pay out to repair it properly.

Or, very honestly:

5. It's a shitty little job and it's a customer who has form for adding bits on thinking they'll be thrown in for free.

6. The customer wants the pricing done in separate sections then wish to pick and choose what's done and when - meaning DH ends up doing a days work for half a days pay.

I'll leave it at that .... but these are all real examples from over the years grin

quoteunquote Sun 30-Jun-13 15:47:09

You'd think in the current climate that people would be falling over themselves for work

They are,

but as fluffy points out it is not as simple as that,

It makes me laugh when I get a call from someone expecting me to quote for a bathroom, instantly and detailed, then expect it done in the next few months, I would have to have a major cancellation to fit it in, in the next 18 months,

if you do find someone who can do it instantly you have to ask why they are available.

RoseFlowerFairy Sun 30-Jun-13 15:48:01

Fluffy, so when is the best time to get trades around to quote then? Autumn?

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 30-Jun-13 15:49:12

I think my DH (formerly an electrician) would agree with your DH fluffyraggies.

- too many 'customers' wanting free advice so that their BiL/uncle/neighbour can do the job illegally for less
- too many 'customers' calling out for a complete rewire which then turns into just having the oven installed
- too many 'customers' who thought that a room could be rewired without moving anything in the room (yup had them!)
- too many 'customers' who received quotes, acted all enthusiastic then went silent.

DH was an extremely good electrician who was honest, punctual and inexpensive. For some reason customers dont want that. He has ceased trading.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now