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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??

Jojobump1986 Sun 30-Jun-13 16:11:52

We had a gardener come round & quote for some work at the end of March. He was going to start mid-May. We're still waiting. hmm First one job was taking longer than expected, then another customer added a few extra bits for him to do, his dad died so he took some time off fair enough, one job 'had a deadline' so had to be moved up the list... I'm really fed up now. The whole point of getting him in was so we could get the garden in a usable state for DS1 so I wouldn't have to traipse up to the park with him while heavily pregnant/with a newborn. DS2 is now 3 weeks old & I'm over the worst of the post-pregnancy issues but had to send DS1 to stay with my parents so I could recover. I wouldn't have had to send him away if I'd had a conveniently close outdoor area for him to run around in.

We were assured just over a week ago that he'd be ready to start in 2-3 weeks... just like he has been for the last 8 weeks... We've not heard anything about it since then. DH had wanted to be around when they started just to double check they knew what we wanted but since he's been off for his paternity leave he'll be too busy for that now & I'll have to deal with them which will aggravate my anxiety issues while looking after 2 young children, one of whom will be v excited by their tools & want to 'help'! <Sigh>

RoseFlowerFairy Sun 30-Jun-13 16:40:13

I have to say in the past when we have used decorators, kitchen installers and various other trades, there does seem to be a larger than normal number of berevements going on hmm

FeckOffCup Sun 30-Jun-13 16:49:50

We are having the same problem, can't find a decorator to come out, it's not a difficult job to paper one wall and paint the rest of the room. Have left messages with 2 decorators and spoken to a third and not one has got back to me to come out and look at the room and quote us for it.

fluffyraggies Sun 30-Jun-13 17:17:21

Rose i think for a builder spring and summer is the busiest time, because lots of people are wanting their garden jobs done asap., as well as the usual indoor jobs.

I'd say in Autumn things tail off a bit, yes. If it's an outdoor job then obviously it is going to be effected by the temperature and the rain, but it's often perfectly doable.

knackeredmother Sun 30-Jun-13 17:45:04

My dh is a plumber and sometimes will not follow up on quotes for all the reasons fluffyraggies says. He also won't do work when someone has tried to do it themselves first then calls him in to fix it- almost always a guarantee of not wanting to pay his prices, job taking three times longer than first though due to initial customer efforts and customer often won't trust his judgement and wants to help out with the job to save money.

quoteunquote Sun 30-Jun-13 20:52:12

anytime is good to get a quote, estimate,opening meeting,

what you have to get your head around is when your job will fit in, and how they will fit it in,

jobs go over as clients often add to the list, if you were having a new extension and the builder told you couldn't have velux windows added because he had another job to go to, it would be very annoying,

We don't ever lie to a client, we update them frequently so they know when we are coming, communication is key, if the client is not able to be flexible then some trades will lie for ease.

but I do have to point out this thread is making me very stabby,

To wonder why workmen dont want to do work anymore?

I am female, well I have given birth quite a few times, so I am pretty sure I am, no signs of a penis,

I have spent over twenty years hearing irritating sexist nonsense because I am a female in a male dominated profession,

there is nothing on a construction site I can not do, I have to be able to do everything better than anyone else or I would never of been able to tell others how to do it, or show how I want things done,

I now have on my books female plumbers, decorators, plasters, stone masons, electricians,labours, tree surgeons, lots of gardeners , which is great as I have spent decades on my own,

Nothing to you, but it is irksome, and especially from people who should know better. wink

Mirage Sun 30-Jun-13 21:01:59

I'm a gardener and have never failed to quote or turn up when asked.However,I've been trying to get my roof repaired for months,only a small job,but my mum and dad's and sister's roofs all need work and we are all within 1 mile of each other.We said that one of us could be able to be available at any time for the work to be done and arrange access to the other properties,but no joy.

Mind you,I've heard of 3 tradesmen recently who can't get anyone reliable to work for them,people just don't turn up or decide that it is too wet/cold/much like hard work to come back the next day.Consequently they can't take on new projects because of lack of help.I was like this shock,especially when you constantly hear about high unemployment.

Vickibee Mon 01-Jul-13 11:04:26

if you are near South Yorks I am sure my Dh would be more than happy to come out and take alook ar your decorating?
He always says no job is too small because when you do a top job it may lead to other work and recommendations

MarmaladeTwatkins Mon 01-Jul-13 11:41:55


I've lost count of the number of workmen who cba to do the work they quoted on. I started a thread on it a couple of years ago and got told by many builder's wives MNers that I was obviously a cow and that's why they didn't get in touch or I looked like I'd be too much hassle to deal with.


handcream Mon 01-Jul-13 21:36:05

I think there are too many people complaining about the 'recession' and being unable to even work a diary.

If you are just too busy just say you cannot fit anything in over the next few months!

Stop stringing people along with fibs about being unwell or such like.

Its rife around here as well.

FeckOffCup Mon 01-Jul-13 21:50:48

Vickibee thanks but not the right area for me I'm afraid.

jaabaar Tue 02-Jul-13 01:25:56

Exactly the very sane here. Big garden job. Fences, shed, redoing whole patio. Trying to get quotes since March! !

Got one quote abd called back for sone clarifications. Geeeeeezzz it seemed we comited a crime.

jaabaar Tue 02-Jul-13 01:32:41

Sorry for all the typos!

2pinklines Tue 02-Jul-13 07:15:41

haha i cant believe the amount of people who are in the same boat as us, for what its worth weve been asking about the garden getting done since lat november, so weve tried most of the seasons, doesnt change the fact they just dont get back in touch with us, whoever it is weve tried.

Its not a crime to come and look at something nd say i could probably fit you in in a few months but at the moment im absolutely chocka, id probably
a. respect you for being honest, and
b. think wel hes so busy he must be good and worth waiting for.

Instead they dont bother to get back in touch so i think well hes obviously just a timewaster and then share my opinion with anyone who asks for reccomendations in the future, which cant be god for his business. I dont know how anyone makes a living out of lying to people.

raisah Tue 02-Jul-13 07:19:00

We had thw same problems trying to find an electrician to correct the bad wiring in our house after we bought it. Some clever soul decided to box in a live wire centimetres from where I drilled a hole for the curtain pole!

Only afterwards did a colleague mention that her dh was an electrican who was looking for work. Is there any way of matching up the mnetters who need workmen/women with mnetters who have trades people as family members?!! Dilemma sorted. Lots of thteads here about unemployed people, we could help each other out.

Roshbegosh Tue 02-Jul-13 07:24:40

I think we are lucky in North London with all the Polish and other Eastern European tradesmen. I get recommendations locally first, wouldn't risk just anyone coming in my house but even if there has to be a delay for a job they have been good and reliable and all certified safe etc.
Is it the English work man disease?
Oh, and they don't suck at their teeth and say things are impossible because they can't be arsed.

Greydog Tue 02-Jul-13 07:33:45

I've got a brilliant all round tradesman. Trouble is, he's so good that you have to catch him when you can! You won't see him for months, then he turns up. This doesn't bother me as he's worth waiting for.

Meglet Tue 02-Jul-13 07:35:32

I've had better luck looking for tradespeople via our local trading standards. Hampshire has a 'buy with confidence' page which lists reliable businesses. It's less hassle for quotes and they've also been honest when they can't do it. If they do the job all I have to do is leave a review on their website.

I don't touch other 'recommended tradespeople' sites with a barge pole as they pay to get listed on there.

MsAverage Tue 02-Jul-13 07:39:49

Yes, this is the part anti-immigrant rhetoric which keeps amusing me - "Poles flooded the job market with cheap labour, hurting the most vulnerable - the workmen". Where is that? Can I personally see the evidence just for, say, 3-4 month to finish with everything in the house?

2pinklines Tue 02-Jul-13 07:48:55

Msaverage grin

Its so true though, my neighbour wanted a loft conversion, she refused to have polish coming to do it as she didnt think there work would be up to scratch, instead she paid over £500 for a botched up staircase put into her spare room and the loft converted which is now damp and freezing cold as the heating wasnt connected properly.

2 doors down had the same loft conversion, they had 2 polish guys who came in to do it, were quicker, cheaper, left all building and electric certificates for less than other neighbour and left an amazing job well done, extended the original staircase, put in a skylight, looks fabulous, if only i could get their number but the neighbours have now moved sad

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 02-Jul-13 10:15:22

As a cleaner, I find my phone rings in spurts.

I often get calls on Wednesdays frome people wanting their houses deep cleaned on Friday for guests coming on Saturday. I'm booked solid on Fridays with weekly customers!

handcream Tue 02-Jul-13 10:45:45

I put a thread out a few months ago regarding getting someone to come out and give a quote. Neither turned up until I chased. One eventually arrived, said it could be done at a weekend (fine with me!) and would send me a quote. Never heard from him again....I was severely told off on the thread...

A few said I had put the tradesman off and must be a horrible person. I rang the company and asked them to come and quote for some work. That was it. They never even met me....

I think some people just like to pretend that we are still in a recession etc etc. I dont believe we are. I can only dream of a job where I pick and choose what I want to do and if I dont like the sound of something rather than being professional you mess people around!!

Why are so many trades so flaky. You get your diary out, you tell people when you can do it (there or thereabouts - most people can accept that!)

If you cannot do within say 2 months - BLOOMING WELL SAY SO AND STOP LYING....

JacqueslePeacock Tue 02-Jul-13 11:02:26

Gosh, I thought I was the only one having this problem. How reassuring that it's not something about me!

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