AIBU to ask if tradesmen are so busy...

(24 Posts)
fedupbutfine Sat 23-Aug-14 10:34:11

...they don't need any extra work?

I need some small jobs doing in my house at the moment. I have saved them up and there is a long list, probably about a day's worth of work. I e-mailed this long list to 5 'handymen' who advertise locally saying 'no job too small'. 8 days later, only one has got back to me. Of the other 4, none of them have sent a holding e-mail, or phoned me and left a message if I haven't answered or even had an automatic response 'I am on holiday' e-mail.

At the same time, I need some old furniture and a couple of mattresses removing. Again, I have e-mailed 5 local businesses who claim 'no job too small' in the rubbish removal/house clearance section of the yellow pages. Only one has got back to me.

Is this how it is today? Do people not want the work? I am a single, working parent with a total lack of personal will when it comes to doing DIY stuff. I am therefore potentially a long-term customer, more than willing to pay the going rate to get jobs done. I live in the north, in an area generally considered 'deprived' with no shortage of tradesmen advertising so why are people not biting my hand off for work?

HeySoulSister Sat 23-Aug-14 10:38:44

Most of these handymen do it on the side, next to full time jobs

chubbyhez Sat 23-Aug-14 10:41:08

I hate handyman set ups, Jack of all trades masters of none. They aren't tradesmen. Just chancers.

fedupbutfine Sat 23-Aug-14 10:41:36

which is fine...but does that stop them responding for 8 days?

MamaPain Sat 23-Aug-14 10:41:48

I don't know, I don't live in your area.

I do know that at the moment (summer time) the tradespeople I know are all rushed off their feet as most people seem to save up these kind of maintenance jobs until summer. Often because there is more likely to be someone around as they are home with the children. Also it is the school holidays and especially now it has become so difficult to have holidays outside of the six weeks many people are away.

I use a couple of handymen and I know that they are solidly booked during this season. My brother runs his own business with quite a few plumbing staff and says this time of year they are so busy and work longer hours due to weather that they actually do more work than during frozen pipe season.

I would either try someone else as if they aren't keen enough get bad to you they don't care, or if you can't be bothered with the hassle go with the one who has got back to you and wait until he can fit you in.

BloodyUserName Sat 23-Aug-14 10:42:19

I've had exactly the same problem to be honest. I need lots of little jobs doing but no-one ever replies to messages, emails etc.

HeySoulSister Sat 23-Aug-14 10:43:59

What jobs do you all need doing?

BloodyUserName Sat 23-Aug-14 10:44:30

And this has been going on since winter.

MamaPain Sat 23-Aug-14 10:44:30

Also can I just add handymen aren't what I'd call tradesmen, they don't specialise in a trade it's normally just an additional thing they do to some other job and as pp said jack of all trades master of none. I know it's what you want and you don't need a specialist but because it's often not their main living they aren't too spectacular at it.

I'd put the time in and find one who is reliable and skilled.

chubbyhez Sat 23-Aug-14 10:44:48

Also, despite the no job to small tagline, small jobs are really annoying and often you'll be quoted over the odds to make up a day's wages and expenses for a proper tradesman.

Although handyman tend to undercut and scrape around doing shitty wee jobs.

icklekid Sat 23-Aug-14 10:46:03

Try calling rather than email - I always then know what time scale is. Always get response to voice mail but rarely email. ..

fedupbutfine Sat 23-Aug-14 10:47:06

to be fair, the one that contacted me knew what he was talking about, walked round the whole lot and gave me an itemised estimate. I will give him a try.

MrsCakesPrecognition Sat 23-Aug-14 10:51:15

Its the same with all the tradesmen and builders around here. My MIL always has work that needs doing but it is next to impossible to get people to respond to calls or emails. And if they do come round, they don't bother to quote.

chubbyhez Sat 23-Aug-14 10:51:31

My old boss got a handyman to do some shelving at my work. He charged by the day and funny enough it took him 3 days to do what would have took a joiner half a day, and didn't even do it well.

fedupbutfine Sat 23-Aug-14 10:53:35

despite the no job to small tagline, small jobs are really annoying and often you'll be quoted over the odds to make up a day's wages

which is why I have waited and lived with the small stuff so that there would be a good amount of work to go with.

What jobs do you all need doing?
some external painting (small area but I can't reach it), some lightbulb changing (inset lights in very high cielings I simply can't reach), changing a loo seat, fixing a drawer in the kitchen, getting the gas meter cupboard open 'cos it's stuck (and making sure it doesn't stick again), fixing a couple of framed pictures to the wall, putting a bed together....some other small stuff but it all adds up.

LiquidCosh Sat 23-Aug-14 10:53:56

Agreed OP, Any time I've needed work done in the past it seemed that no one wanted the jobs. They don't get back to you or tell you they're too busy when they do. It is very frustrating. I've started doing a lot of smaller things myself using tutorials online etc

MamaPain Sat 23-Aug-14 11:06:29

Those jobs are very small, I had thought you meant something more involved.

Anyway, regardless of size, you've had one response, if you're happy with his estimate, I'd go with him and send a short email to the others saying don't bother getting back to you, you've had a proper response from someone and will be using them.

googoodolly Sat 23-Aug-14 11:17:42

If someone's responded and given you an estimate you're happy with, what's the issue?

fedupbutfine Sat 23-Aug-14 11:28:10

the issue is I'd like to have had more than one estimate, as I would with any work done to the house. Not too much to ask? Apparently so!!!

It's odd isn't it. If someone is running a business, even a small one on the side, it pays to be professional surely (or do I expect far too much?). It's so short sighted of them not to reply because one day they may be desperate for the work and I for one wouldn't contact them again. I keep a note of all tradesmen/handymen/businesses that don't return calls or reply to emails and blacklist them. If they can't be bothered to return a phone call or email I don't want to line their pockets in the future. And if they are so unprofessional at that early stage what are they going to be like once hired? Plenty of those types around unfortunately and I can't understand it. I run a small business (sole trader) and I reply to emails within the day (unless I'm on holiday then I'll have an auto reply telling customers) and phone calls within hours. It's not hard and it gives a good impression.

WorraLiberty Sat 23-Aug-14 11:34:46

I know I'm old fashioned but I really don't get emailing and waiting 8 days etc

Perhaps I'm impatient but I just phone people and get an answer straight away.

googoodolly Sat 23-Aug-14 11:44:16

I think relying on e-mail is a bit dodgy. Most tradesman will have their phones on them all the time and will answer calls or voicemails/texts a lot more willingly than e-mails. If you want a fast response, why not just call them?

But, your jobs are very small and I have a feeling many of them aren't interested in such small jobs - they can earn more money painting someone's house for a day.

I need a new radiator installing in my lounge ( existing one gone as I had patio doors installed) so the radiator is going to be located elsewhere. I can't even get anyone to come give me a quote -its hardly a small job either at least a days work.

I also want a driveway paving over at least a £2k job I reckon but still can't get anyone interested enough to come over and give me a quote.

Just give up to be honest

peaz Sat 23-Aug-14 12:51:09

We needed a fair bit of work done on our house a few years ago, involving knocking two walls down, knocking a chimney breast down, new kitchen, flooring, bathroom, plastering throughout. We had about 4 tradespeople show up, out of twice that amount who we contacted. Of those 4, only two gave quotes. So it doesn't even make a difference if it's large job!

Sod's law that the tradesman we chose was a cowboy builder!

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