In the last 20 years there has been a noticeable loss of standards on the part of various contractors. It has always been customary that a contractor attempts to get as much money as he can for as little work as possible. Whatever happened to ethics and honesty? The circle of respectable contractors that I can use is getting ever smaller as those that I consider admirable die out or leave the construction industry for pastures new.
It seems to me that the level of expertise has dropped to such a low that we are not expecting even reasonable workmanship any-more. Gone are the days when you could expect a contractor to work extended hours to finish his work, leaving him free to get onto something else, either on the same contract or another. And if you try to mention that his workmanship may need some attention then you have a full blown row on your hands.
First hand experience of bad work!
I have just finished a project where we have had to ask the boss of the building firm to leave because we found that his standard of workmanship was so poor that it was becoming ridiculous. All of the normal tricks of encouragement and coaxing were attempted…but still there was no response apart from aggression and an arrogance. When it came to a final standoff the client and I were adamant that his workmanship was so far below par that we did not want him to continue.
Trapped between a concerned client and a very antagonistic contractor I managed to broker a deal whereby the contractor should leave the snagging work to his very competent labourers to complete. This was accepted and with a bit of juggling with the remaining funds, we had a deal.
How I found a solution
I had deliberately broken down the schedule of works to make each stage of the job distinct, hoping that would demonstrate an emphasis on standards and quality, which can be a point of contention. What a joke…these guys literally just used it as a tea cup coaster. I lost count of the times that I scolded them for their poor preparation and communication but all to no avail. Imagine my horror to find wonky plastering in a new extension and door frames put in on an angle. I can honestly say that I have never seen such poor workmanship and I hope I never do again.
The overriding problem has been coming at us for the last two decades, slowly but surely the skill base has been moving away from the construction industry across all of the trades and those left are either very good or very bad and it is becoming ever more difficult to find the good ones. Once upon a time I would send out four or five requests to tender and would receive probably four returns. Now I send out ten requests and maybe receive two or three returns, sometimes only one.
Unless, we as a society do not start valuing our vocational trades as fully as the graduate classes and push for better training and outcomes and unless we begin to show due regard to those who possess such talents, we are going to end up in catastrophe. It seems that the desire to make as much money as can be made in as short a time as possible, has limited training and as such we have ended up with a raft of poorly trained sub-contractors with a poor work ethic and almost completely devoid of any form of respect either for themselves, or for others.
The reason I established Property Perfect Solutions Limited was to safeguard homeowners from the poorly trained, badly organised and often arrogant building contractors. The above situation resulted in the homeowner receiving the quality build that they deserved and paid for. Through water tight contracts, constant quality control checks and a well-managed build I resolved the situation quickly and efficiently completing the project within the agreed time scale and budget.
Property Perfect Solutions Limited offer full or partial project management packages to ensure your project runs as smoothly as possible to the highest quality and satisfaction for all our clients.