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or are most builders sexist?

(29 Posts)
Binkyridesagain Tue 07-May-13 15:00:31

I am having an extension built, it is partially funded by our coucil, so I have no choice on who builds it.

To date I have had 5 contractors out to quote for the Job, only 1 out of the 5 has treated my like I have an ounce of intelligence, the rest have just seen the fact that I have breasts and treated me as though I have only 2 brain cells.

Todays contractors, these ones have been awarded the contract, have taken the piss. I know the plans upside down, inside out and back to front. I know the issues that the other builders have raised, I even know how to read the drawings the right fucking way round.(unlike the builders) Every time I attempted to answer their questions, I was ignored or their answer was so patronising, I was close to telling them to piss off.

Do all/most/only some builders think that because you have tits and a fanjo you can't possibly understand a MAN job? I can't believe that my experience is the norm. It isn't is it?

I hope they don't think they can treat me as a thicko for the next 10/20 weeks.

squoosh Tue 07-May-13 15:05:19

It hasn't been my experience that most builders are sexist but then I've only employed people that have been recommended to me.

Yours sound like wankers. I think a few polite but firm 'I'm in charge so you'd better listen to me pal' are in order.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 07-May-13 15:05:19

That is why you hire a designer. You talk to the designer, who takes you seriously, s/he talks to the patronising builders. Job done.

I worked on a building site as work experience as a teenager. When I was done my boss asked if he could 'buy a present, like a dress or something'. Bless him. I told him he could buy me a bottle of vodka and was sexist. Lightheartedly. He took it on the chin. It is a very male oriented profession.

Of course all builders are not DH is a builder as are his brothers ....none of them are sexist. DH is self employed - for a start, as the majority of the time he deals with the females he would never get any work. He isn't sexist anyway and I have never met a builder who is.

The people you have seen sound like tossers and would be tossers in any profession they are in.

noddyholder Tue 07-May-13 15:12:07

I work with builders and initially they sometimes are but they soon get the message that its my job and I am paying them. I tend to hang on to the good ones!Have had the same ones now for about 7 years and its great. Don't accept that patronising attitude they need yo more than you need them!

Binkyridesagain Tue 07-May-13 15:15:09

I'm glad to know that this isn't the norm. My DH knows very little about this build as he has been out at work when the contractors have been to price the job. He was home once and came out after I started dealing with it, obviously the man of the house had arrived so they could get technical with him and I became the hanger on, even when DH told them I was the person to deal with they still refered everything to him.

Sadly I can't get another builder to do the job, I am just hoping that the ones that will be on site have a better attitude to women.

captainmummy Tue 07-May-13 15:20:55

I've had loads of work done, and interviewed several builders each time. The ones who got th job were the ones who answered my questions, and looked me in the eye.
I didn't go with anyone who a) ignored my questions
b) answered my questions to my DH
c) talked down to me as if i didn't know what a bricklayer was,
d) assumed that it would be DH paying the bill (No, that would be ME!)

Don't stand for it. I assume you are paying for some of this build - let them know that. Keep asking the same questions/pointing out your opinions and preferences until they are the ones feeling stupid.

WorraLiberty Tue 07-May-13 15:27:23

It's not my experience

but why are you assuming it's because of your genitals that they seem to think you're thick?

noddyholder Tue 07-May-13 15:32:50

I have had loads of builders over the years ask where my dp is? Or speak to me in a different tone! They soon realise he has no knowledge or interest in design or construction and they stop it.

FasterStronger Tue 07-May-13 15:38:07

I read this title as 'Are most builders sexy?' and thought the ones I have met have been reasonably sexy...

then realised the actual title & thought not really.

maybe you are just not scaring them enough with the distant look in your eyes with your fancy-a-builder-fantasy.

andubelievedthat Tue 07-May-13 15:43:56

You seem to be over impressed that you have ,as you point out a fanjo and tits, ,so you claim to know the plans every way and then a bit more ,good for you .So can I read tech. drawings ,thou I do not get involved in construction ,(my partner does, he is a builder )get the monkey of your back ,ranting re how they "treat " you, is simply that, ranting.

noddyholder Tue 07-May-13 15:44:41


FasterStronger Tue 07-May-13 16:07:52

OP you need to assert yourself. you are the boss here. they might have forgotten that. you now need to remind them.

you need to make sure things go the way you want.

FruOla Tue 07-May-13 16:37:47

"That is why you hire a designer. You talk to the designer, who takes you seriously, s/he talks to the patronising builders. Job done."

Frankly I find that comment patronising and sexist. Why should the OP pay extra money for a .... ahem ... 'designer' <hollow laugh> simply to be a go-between, when she's perfectly capable of having a sensible conversation with the builder?

It's unfortunate that binky's builder has outdated attitudes. They are certainly not all like that.

fluffyraggies Tue 07-May-13 16:43:07

DH is a builder. He's not sexist.

He gets asked allot of daft questions by men and women alike, and knows if he wants the job he needs to be patient and make sure everyone knows and understands the work being carried out. I would think that is the sign of any decent person doing a job for a customer.

In my own experience it's always me dealing with any tradesmen that need to come to the house as DH is always at work. While i was with my XH I oversaw the build of our large loft conversion which took 9 blokes 17 weeks (and 8 lorry loads of Tate & Lyle wink ) to complete and they were always more than happy to go through the progress with me one to one at the end of each day without a hint of being patronising.

quoteunquote Tue 07-May-13 16:51:36


well according to MN, we start work too early, too late, have lunches, never stop, do work weekends, don't work weekends, charge too much, will do extras, won't do extras, finish work early, park in the way, steal, dishonest, lie, cheat, cheat the tax man, take cash in hand, watch football, every other generalisation possible,

if you try to pull anyone up on it, they ignore you,(looking over my glasses at a certain person who knows who she is)

Sorry you have had sexist people in your house, no idea where you live, but none of the ones that I work with, or work for me are, and I am certainly not.

there are twonks out there, if you all stopped employing them, then you would find that the nice ones, were more readily available,

one could argue that because people opt for the cheapest options(quotes), which are often achieved as something untoward is going on,

it's hardly surprising that they have other issues going on, he was probably the cheapest contractor, because, he paying peanuts to his labour, is cutting corners, has a dodge waste arrangement(large cost) he doesn't want you be involved as he doesn't want you to be aware of something, who's signing off the electrics? there will be something,

ask for a break down of order of works, that will soon give you an idea of what he is trying to distract from.

I wouldn't allow anyone to make a client feel the way you were made to feel, it would be totally self defeating as we rely on people being entirely happy with our service, that way we always have work, we are booked up for years ahead, I believe in making my clients really happy, then I don't have to price for work or advertise, all which takes time and money.

You are the client, if they don't take the time to communicate with you, then get someone who can.

Binkyridesagain Tue 07-May-13 17:15:12

Quote I have asked for a breakdown, I'm hoping that I will receive it on Monday.

The extension is being overseen by a property management company, so all the paperwork goes through them and I only have access if I need to sign something or make a big enough fuss. This is the second builder to 'start' work, the first one was sacked by the management company, 48hrs before they were due to start work, they were the cheapest quote and were producing substandard work.

Maybe because of this I am looking for problems, its taken 4 years to get to this point and the past 12 months have been one problem after another. Maybe they weren't being sexist, maybe they're just ignorant, I don't know anymore, anything to do with this build is just sending me doolally.

delboysfileofax Tue 07-May-13 17:19:33

Two options;
A) Build it yourself

B) Pay for it all yourself -then you can pick the builders you want

noddyholder Tue 07-May-13 17:23:29

You do have to find ones that suit you.

wonkylegs Tue 07-May-13 17:50:12

Most aren't , some are. Generally I find senior management and other professionals to be worse than the guys on the ground. It's still a hugely male orientated industry and is often not really 'service user' friendly if you aren't part of the industry.
I've worked in the construction industry for over 10yrs now and there are some idiots but generally they are a sound bunch. I've worked with hundreds of builders and I can count on one hand those who have offended me. Partially because I have thick skin but also because I won't tolerate it on my sites.
When I was pregnant with DS and in the middle of a job on site they guys were absolutely fab as well as hysterically panicky about making plans for what they would do if I suddenly went into labour. grin they all bought a mini high vis vest and hat as a welcome baby present, which is the only time I've cried on site ever.

TigerseyeMum Tue 07-May-13 18:01:10

Our old builders would never ask me questions they needed the answers to, they waited until my DH was home and I was out, then asked him he was not the one dealing with the renovations he had no clue and had to ring me to ask. Day after day, week after week this went on and they were told many times to liaise with me, but never did.

They once asked me to get an electrical part from a shop and spent ages saying 'are you sure you know what you have to buy?' and raising their eyebrows at DH, when we got to the shop I knew what we had to get and my DH had completely forgotten and would probably have come home without it....

My electrician however is lovely and explain everything to me. He's quite savvy though. I guess it's the luck of the draw.

captainmummy Tue 07-May-13 21:24:18

quote - my last extension i had3 lots of builders round to quote. One was my old builder, who does a good job at a fair price, but god does he talk. One was a nice-enough guy who talked to me reasonably enough. One was brought round by my plumber (who I've used for years) and answered my questions by replying to the plumber.

He was also twice as expensive as the other two. (who were within 2K of each other)

And worra - it's not just the OP who has noticed it. And it;s not a case of thinking your thick cos of your fanjo, it's a disinclination to deal with you because you don't have a cock or like football.

D0GWithAYoni Tue 07-May-13 21:28:42

My dh is a builder he isn't sexist at all. His dad otoh is also a builder and a sexist pig. Dh told me in horror one of his brothers said a woman he qas working for once (dha dad not dh) said something he didn't like and he tapped her on the nose in a telly off way. Fucking idiot.

captainmummy Tue 07-May-13 21:39:56

He tapped her on the nose shock!! I'd have broken a finger for that - and he'd have been off my site before he could turn around.

LessMissAbs Tue 07-May-13 21:46:27

I've done up, extended, rebuilt, etc many houses over the years. When I haven't done the work myself, I've employed builders. I don't give sexist builders work. Therefore sexist builders are stupid. This means they are too stupid to do the work properly.

Anyway, I seem to scare the more stupid/incompetent ones away. Quite a few dodgy ones out there. I've never employed any. Have just had a lovely loft conversion and extension completed without any hassles whatsoever.

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