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Am I Wrong?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by mike_v_s, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. I needed a new roof put on my house. My community and the surrounding areas were hit pretty hard by the hurricane and there is a lot of talk of lost jobs, the economy going in the crapper, etc. With these two points in mind, I decided to hire a local guy (3 streets over) to replace the roof. I had felt pretty good about my money staying in the area and doing my part to get the area going again.

    The crew just showed up. They are subcontractors. From out-of-state. I'm a little annoyed both with myself for not asking the obvious (there is really too much work to be done here to guarantee that the local companies can handle it all alone). I'm also a little annoyed with the owner because his signs all push the "local company" angle. Am I being unrealistically selfish in wanting the my money to stay in the area?

  2. I live in a relatively poor county and try to spend as much money as possible with local people. No, you are not wrong in my book. I would be upset also. OTOH, there is so much work to be done between Lake Charles and Mobile that I would think anybody with a hammer could get work.

    Keep a close eye on the workmanship. I work in a commercial construction related field and my wife does also. We have found that in our area there are very few residential contractors that can be given a job and be trusted to do it correctly if we don't inspect every aspect every day before they can hide their screwups. Hey, last year we had a well recommended concrete "contractor" take our garage plans and build a box 2 feet out of the ground instead of installing the stem wall in the ground! He didn't know what a benchmark was and apparently didn't realize that stem walls go in the ground!
  3. Watch them like a hawk, every step of the way. Preferrably at a gunpoint. Otherwise if they make a mistake, and its easier to do so, they'll likely cover it up rather than fix it.

    They've got likely millions of roofs to do, as soon as possible, they'll be in a hurry and tempted to cut corners as it is. If they're from out of town, there's no accountability, they aren't going to ever see you again. And maybe they ARE people displaced by the storms, and don't have any freaking idea what they're doing...

    And no, you're not wrong, you were trying to help the community, local people needing work, that guy took advantage of that, misrepresented who was doing the work. He lied about that, that makes him untrustworthy in my book. If he's not honest about that, something so easily verified, how much easier it will be to lie about warranty issues later if the roof leaks, covering that (or making up an excuse about why it isn't covered).

    At least he lives down the street though, you do have someone to contact in case of problems later. Better than a totally out of state crew.

  4. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    I tend to disagree, He represented himself as a "Local Company" and he is. He is using out of state labor. The profit on the job is still going to the local company. The sub contractor is making his money but so is the General Contractor (if he estimated and qouted the job correctly). If he represented himself as a Local Company using a 100% local workforce then he is wrong for using out of state subs but if he advertised as a local company then he is.

    As someone else has said, with the amount of work the south has in front of them anyone who wants to work should be able to do so easily.

    Watch them closely, the sub is there to make money and the faster they get done the more money they make, which ALWAYS leads to corner cutting. Good Luck.
  5. There was no real misrepresentation, just no real disclosure, either. I'm more irritated with myself for not asking. I understand the volume of work to be done is phenomenal and that sub contracting work is a necessity....

    I guess i should just quit bitching. Everyone needs a living.

  6. I learned long ago. Really thought it was corny, but it holds true.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  7. mwm70


    Oct 27, 2004
    Actually you might be better off with the sub, He probably has an experienced crew that travels regularly and you will get a good job.

    I would not want Harry handyman that is out of work and has never done roofing before on my roof learning how. Especially not after what you all have endured.
  8. yes

  9. Thanks. I've already admitted this is a possibility but,for sake of argument, why do you think so? (I must have missed your explanation in your response).

  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    NPR had a story on this today...looks like the small/local guy is being #$%@%ed by the bigger guys due to their government contracts. Subcontracting work is going to people from outside the area and the local people who are hurting for the work are stuck without any.
  11. That's kinda my point. Normally, I'd be all for whoever making money as long as the quality/price meets standards. But in this particular situation, the area needs the money badly. I'd have liked to know that my money helped that effort. But again, no point complaining. There is too large a demand to handle the work with 100% local business.


  12. well, you see... it was the first word that came to my head when i saw the title of your thread :)


    Chips :bassist:
  13. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Well, console yourself in the fact that:

    Some of the profit went to the local company.
    Which supports the owner, his extended family, the bookkeeper, the accountant and the estimator.

    Some of the money went for materials to a local building
    supplier who has workers, pays local taxes and supports
    similar workers.

    A bit went to the crew, which since they don't live locally,
    spend a fair amount on lodging in Hotels or rooming houses,
    and some on food in the grocery and convenience stores.
    And some at the pub when work is over.
    Some goes to the IRS, which sends it to the Fed which sends
    it to Congress which is sending a lot back right now.

    So, how much is really at issue here? When it is all said and
    done, not much.

    Your real problem is material quality and labor quality.
    You want good quality shingles fastened securely
    at your place.

    I did my own roof last time. I 'storm nailed' the sucker,
    6, not 3, American made nails hand nailed into American
    made Bird 30 year shingles. No staples, no staple guns,
    no Chinese roofing nails with weak heads. This took me
    a whole summer though. Couldn't do that today.

    When Hurricane Bob came, I did not lose 1 shingle off the

    But it is a good roof.
  14. so everyone but the owner is from out of state?

    i can see why you would be unhappy if he was using his being a local as a selling point. if you can't trust him to be an ethical business man, you can't really trust him at all.