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Roger_Mellie

Fucking tradesmen

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Posted (edited)

I'm sure we've had this topic before...

I need some body work doing on my car, I've talked to 3 people:

Person 1: wouldn't repair the panels, said I'd have to bring the new or second hand panels which he would then spray/colour match and fit.  Price: 800-1000 + panels

Person 2: it's completely fucked mate, going to be a hell of a lot of work, you should be budgeting about 2k but I'm not sure how much work it will be and it could be a lot more

Person 3: Hmmm... Not in bad nick this. I can repair the panels, no need for new ones, cost will be £320

What the absolute fuck? How can 3 people in the same profession make such different assesments and quote such different prices?

Edited by Roger_Mellie

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Just now, Roger_Mellie said:

I'm sure we've had this topic before...

I need some body work doing on my car, I've talked to 3 people:

Person 1: wouldn't repair the panels, said I'd have to bring the new or second hand panels which he would then spray/colour match and fit.  Price: 800-1000 + panels

Person 2: it's completely fucked mate, going to be a hell of a lot of work, you should be budgeting about 2k but I'm not sure how much work it will be and it could be a lot more

Person 3: Hmmm... Not in bad nick this. I can repair the panels, no need for new ones, cost will be £320

What the absolute fuck?

Ask them if they do panel beating.

Then ask if they can use an English wheel.

Then what hammers and dollies they use.

If they know what you're talking about they're ok.

3 sounds the best bet.

 

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Posted (edited)

I think there may be others here who have different opinions on it but my feeling is that car bodywork is partly dark arts.

Option 1 sounds the most realistic I think. I've seen plenty of panel repairs that show after a while

** Edit - I thought Option5 would be along imminently, I'll bow to his better knowledge.

Edited by MrLibertyRedux
Addition

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2 hours ago, Option5 said:

Ask them if they do panel beating.

Then ask if they can use an English wheel.

Then what hammers and dollies they use.

If they know what you're talking about they're ok.

3 sounds the best bet.

 

I'm going with 3, small independent, came recommended. Let's see what kind of job he does. I was expecting the worst i.e. new panels required and a lot of work. Given he's quoted £320 he must think he can get it done in a day.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Option5 said:

Ask them if they do panel beating.

Then ask if they can use an English wheel.

Then what hammers and dollies they use.

If they know what you're talking about they're ok.

3 sounds the best bet.

 

Thanks for the English wheel tip btw, now watching videos of metal shaping on youtube, mainly Americans making panels for car restorations. Fascinating stuff, amazing what they can do with two opposing wheels.

Edited by Roger_Mellie

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Posted (edited)

I think it's actually the customers fault - they want it looking perfect, so anything less they won't pay. That's why it should cost £2K.

One time, someone tried to parallel park, and their front end smacked into my parked car. They must have floored it because the front and rear drivers side doors looked like a big boulder going into the side of it. I couldn't even open them properly.

I went and got a quote from the insurers - £2K, and this was 20 years ago. Had to be new OEM doors. They won't pay it as the car at the time was worth £200, even though I paid £1600. The insurers said I was had (thanks). It was my first car too (Ford Escort). Heart was broken. A life lesson being learned by a young punter.

They said if you can get it done for £200 they'll pay it. Come back to us. Your choice. I pay £1800 a year for insurance - WTF. 

I asked around, the cheapest was £500 and I supply the doors, which I had to try and seek out from a scrap yard. They were to remove the old doors and dispose of them. Then clean and paint the doors that I supplied. Too much work it seemed trying to traipse around scrap yards, so I said thanks, but I won't go ahead.

Got the £200 to write off the car, and bought something else. Banger Economics. I think what pisses or shocks people, is this has been "the normal", since forever. It's finding out about this "world" which is sobering.

 

Edited by 201p

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20 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

Yet another thread where the title is followed by immediate diappointment.

I was thinking the same, however I was glad that it wasn't going down THAT route! 

My car is looking cosmetically tatty these days, most of the money went into keeping it in fine fettle mechanically. 

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Posted (edited)

I've given up using tradesmen as far as I can avoid it.

I struggle to think of a time when I've paid someone to do something for me and not ended up disappointed and wishing I'd just done it myself.

I've never taken a car to a garage (just because cars are my thing and I don't need or want to) and the only time anyone touches any of my cars other than me is when I'm forced to let them at MOT. Then they fold the lips of the sills rather than raise it on the actual jacking points. 

For house stuff pretty much the only things I've had someone come in to do are:

1 - First fix electrics - new ring in a bathroom/utility refurb, because it needs to be signed off. He fucked it up as he didn't check that the socket he wanted to connect to was on a ring before he started. It was a spur. I got him to sign off what he'd done and reconfigured everything when he was gone.

2 - Boiler install - because it's gas so I'm not allowed, and I want the warranty. I piped everything up to within 2 feet of the boiler in its new location so all he had to do was put it on the wall and connect it up, then loop out the original hot water tank in the kitchen ceiling. He ended up ripping out loads of 22mm when I wasn't there and piping it up with 15mm primaries and didn't understand why I wasn't satisfied with that. I made him re-do it and put the 22mm back.

3 - Chimney cowl replacement. spinny thing banging and making noise, just replace it with something that doesn't. He turns up and fits a terracotta sailors cap. Er, I did say I have a gas fire didn't I? Aren't those things for redundant flues only? Nah mate, it's got holes in it to let the air out, it'll be fine. Well can you double check please, I don't want to die of CO poisoning. Ends up coming back the next day to fit the correct item.

4 - Plastering. Fuck that.

5 - Anything involving long ladders. Fuck that.

Virtually anything else I will just do myself to avoid the nervousness of waiting to be disappointed by the stupid or low quality shit that anyone I pay will do for me. If I have to buy new tools, fine.

My take on this is that (and this is going to sound really bad but whatever) is that the guys who are tradesmen are largely the guys at school who were decent lads, good work ethic but... just not particularly bright.

 

One thing I do often wonder about - Do rich people in £3m houses have to deal with this shit? If not, how do they find trademen who know what they're doing? Is there a secret rich people directory or something?

Edited by Boglet

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16 minutes ago, Boglet said:

I've given up using tradesmen as far as I can avoid it.

I struggle to think of a time when I've paid someone to do something for me and not ended up disappointed and wishing I'd just done it myself.

I've never taken a car to a garage (just because cars are my thing and I don't need or want to) and the only time anyone touches any of my cars other than me is when I'm forced to let them at MOT. Then they fold the lips of the sills rather than raise it on the actual jacking points. 

For house stuff pretty much the only things I've had someone come in to do are:

1 - First fix electrics - new ring in a bathroom/utility refurb, because it needs to be signed off. He fucked it up as he didn't check that the socket he wanted to connect to was on a ring before he started. It was a spur. I got him to sign off what he'd done and reconfigured everything when he was gone.

2 - Boiler install - because it's gas so I'm not allowed, and I want the warranty. I piped everything up to within 2 feet of the boiler in its new location so all he had to do was put it on the wall and connect it up, then loop out the original hot water tank in the kitchen ceiling. He ended up ripping out loads of 22mm when I wasn't there and piping it up with 15mm primaries and didn't understand why I wasn't satisfied with that. I made him re-do it and put the 22mm back.

3 - Chimney cowl replacement. spinny thing banging and making noise, just replace it with something that doesn't. He turns up and fits a terracotta sailors cap. Er, I did say I have a gas fire didn't I? Aren't those things for redundant flues only? Nah mate, it's got holes in it to let the air out, it'll be fine. Well can you double check please, I don't want to die of CO poisoning. Ends up coming back the next day to fit the correct item.

4 - Plastering. Fuck that.

5 - Anything involving long ladders. Fuck that.

Virtually anything else I will just do myself to avoid the nervousness of waiting to be disappointed by the stupid or low quality shit that anyone I pay will do for me. If I have to buy new tools, fine.

My take on this is that (and this is going to sound really bad but whatever) is that the guys who are tradesmen are largely the guys at school who were decent lads, good work ethic but... just not particularly bright.

 

One thing I do often wonder about - Do rich people in £3m houses have to deal with this shit? If not, how do they find trademen who know what they're doing? Is there a secret rich people directory or something?

I've wondered this too. When the queen has a door hung is it OK to leave it so it rubs on the carpet or the handle sticks slightly :D

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27 minutes ago, Boglet said:

One thing I do often wonder about - Do rich people in £3m houses have to deal with this shit? If not, how do they find trademen who know what they're doing? Is there a secret rich people directory or something?

Probably use the same building contractor over and over again.  The contractor gets the appropriate tradesman to do the job.  Contractors use the same tradesmen so don't employ or keep cowboys.

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Boglet said:

I've given up using tradesmen as far as I can avoid it.

I struggle to think of a time when I've paid someone to do something for me and not ended up disappointed and wishing I'd just done it myself.

I've never taken a car to a garage (just because cars are my thing and I don't need or want to) and the only time anyone touches any of my cars other than me is when I'm forced to let them at MOT. Then they fold the lips of the sills rather than raise it on the actual jacking points. 

For house stuff pretty much the only things I've had someone come in to do are:

1 - First fix electrics - new ring in a bathroom/utility refurb, because it needs to be signed off. He fucked it up as he didn't check that the socket he wanted to connect to was on a ring before he started. It was a spur. I got him to sign off what he'd done and reconfigured everything when he was gone.

2 - Boiler install - because it's gas so I'm not allowed, and I want the warranty. I piped everything up to within 2 feet of the boiler in its new location so all he had to do was put it on the wall and connect it up, then loop out the original hot water tank in the kitchen ceiling. He ended up ripping out loads of 22mm when I wasn't there and piping it up with 15mm primaries and didn't understand why I wasn't satisfied with that. I made him re-do it and put the 22mm back.

3 - Chimney cowl replacement. spinny thing banging and making noise, just replace it with something that doesn't. He turns up and fits a terracotta sailors cap. Er, I did say I have a gas fire didn't I? Aren't those things for redundant flues only? Nah mate, it's got holes in it to let the air out, it'll be fine. Well can you double check please, I don't want to die of CO poisoning. Ends up coming back the next day to fit the correct item.

4 - Plastering. Fuck that.

5 - Anything involving long ladders. Fuck that.

Virtually anything else I will just do myself to avoid the nervousness of waiting to be disappointed by the stupid or low quality shit that anyone I pay will do for me. If I have to buy new tools, fine.

My take on this is that (and this is going to sound really bad but whatever) is that the guys who are tradesmen are largely the guys at school who were decent lads, good work ethic but... just not particularly bright.

 

One thing I do often wonder about - Do rich people in £3m houses have to deal with this shit? If not, how do they find trademen who know what they're doing? Is there a secret rich people directory or something?

If I had the time I'd do most stuff myself. Had a downstairs WC re-fitted at the business premises recently, very rarely go in it so only noticed the sub-standard work a while after when I christened it myself. Tiles above and around the door have the appearance of being hacked at. The whole layout of the tiles is off with respect to the room requiring very odd cuts in corners/near the doorframe etc. which could have been avoided from the start with some thinking... Door not fit back properly so now scrapes across the flooring tiles. Extraction seemingly not working so stinks of piss. Off bounds at the moment until we sort the latter. I'm not brilliant but I wouldn't have been impressed with myself if that was my finish, I could have done a much better job so why can't "professionals".

Edited by SillyBilly

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1 hour ago, Boglet said:

My take on this is that (and this is going to sound really bad but whatever) is that the guys who are tradesmen are largely the guys at school who were decent lads, good work ethic but... just not particularly bright. 

Back when only 10% or so went to uni, those who were bright, willing to work but cared not for academia tended to go into the trades. 

Now that HE has been dumbed down and even the work shy can graduate, the majority of those going into the trades are of less than average intelligence.

What often happens is that people who really can't do diy have 'their guy' to do almost everything for them. He might not know exactly what he's doing sometimes although he will be smart enough to at least try not to fuck up.  

A guy I knew like that had blagged his way into doing central heating and if offered work he hadn't done before, his standard reply was 'I'll get back to you in a week.'

He would spend that week reading up on it and buttonholing anybody he knew that might have useful info. That first job would take him 4+ times longer than a regular tradesman. He always cared about doing a good job and kept getting work he wasn't qualified to do.

 

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Bricklayer/builder friend of mine, does mostly proper stonemasonry type work, reckons most "tradesmen" doing domestic jobs that don't need registered certs never even did any kind of apprenticeship and mainly started out as labourers who "picked up a bit" on the job.

He also turns down half the enquiries he gets as a lot of people will not pay for a quality job and expect it done for fuck all.

He has a waiting list.

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57 minutes ago, MrLibertyRedux said:

Bricklayer/builder friend of mine, does mostly proper stonemasonry type work, reckons most "tradesmen" doing domestic jobs that don't need registered certs never even did any kind of apprenticeship and mainly started out as labourers who "picked up a bit" on the job.

He also turns down half the enquiries he gets as a lot of people will not pay for a quality job and expect it done for fuck all.

He has a waiting list.

I think a lot of people pick it up on the job. You will need to be an electrician to check/certify wiring.

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3 hours ago, jm51 said:

Back when only 10% or so went to uni, those who were bright, willing to work but cared not for academia tended to go into the trades. 

Now that HE has been dumbed down and even the work shy can graduate, the majority of those going into the trades are of less than average intelligence.

I was in industry all my working life and for over 20 years on and off I was the senior guy that kept an eye on the apprentices. I used to see them all on a one-to-one basis each month.

The decline in quality of the raw material has been nothing short of staggering, and at the same time, their expectations and sense of entitlement has gone through the roof.

We were a top-end employer and apparently we got to choose from the good ones; I would not want to meet the shit.

As an aside, some of our apprentices - typically those from the 90's and very early 00's have done really well, they have gone to uni part-time and become people that it gave me great pleasure to call colleagues.

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Boglet said:

 

2 - Boiler install - because it's gas so I'm not allowed, and I want the warranty. I piped everything up to within 2 feet of the boiler in its new location so all he had to do was put it on the wall and connect it up, then loop out the original hot water tank in the kitchen ceiling. He ended up ripping out loads of 22mm when I wasn't there and piping it up with 15mm primaries and didn't understand why I wasn't satisfied with that. I made him re-do it and put the 22mm back.

3 - Chimney cowl replacement. spinny thing banging and making noise, just replace it with something that doesn't. He turns up and fits a terracotta sailors cap. Er, I did say I have a gas fire didn't I? Aren't those things for redundant flues only? Nah mate, it's got holes in it to let the air out, it'll be fine. Well can you double check please, I don't want to die of CO poisoning. Ends up coming back the next day to fit the correct item.

4 - Plastering. Fuck that.

5 - Anything involving long ladders. Fuck that.

Virtually anything else I will just do myself to avoid the nervousness of waiting to be disappointed by the stupid or low quality shit that anyone I pay will do for me. If I have to buy new tools, fine.

My take on this is that (and this is going to sound really bad but whatever) is that the guys who are tradesmen are largely the guys at school who were decent lads, good work ethic but... just not particularly bright.

There is a reason he did what he did.

The 22mm would have been installed for a vented system in order to maintain flow rate at the reduced, head, pressure.

A combi system is pressurised to mains pressure and at signigicantly greater pressure so can maintain a good flow rate through smaller bore pipe.

Also, when a vented system is converted to a pressurised system its not uncommon for leaks to spring due to the increased pressure.

Sounds like a thorough job he did.

I understand your suspicion but there is no money, scrap wise, in pulling out 22mm and replacing it with 15mm when you factor in the cost of new pipe and time.

 

The "Spark" was a fucking clown though.

Dead easy mistake not to make. Power down, do ring continuity test (make sure that the two sets of conductors in the MCB are a ring and not two radials) disconnect socket, stick seperate Wagos on all conductors and re-energise. If both lives are live its a ring, if ones dead its a radial.

You don't have much luck by the sounds of it.

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I don't understand why they use rings in the UK. On the continent everything is a spur from the fusebox. Oh yes, you've got the cable resistance but we're not talking about wiring up Downton Abbey but a typical UK shoebox.

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10 hours ago, Boglet said:

One thing I do often wonder about - Do rich people in £3m houses have to deal with this shit? If not, how do they find trademen who know what they're doing? Is there a secret rich people directory or something?

Yes there is, the ones who know what they are doing and dont have to put up with DIY specialists

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28 minutes ago, Dave Bloke said:

I don't understand why they use rings in the UK. On the continent everything is a spur from the fusebox. Oh yes, you've got the cable resistance but we're not talking about wiring up Downton Abbey but a typical UK shoebox.

Rings use less copper, therefore cheaper. Bear in mind how broke post war Britain was.

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Posted (edited)

I try very hard not to hire anyone to do anything, although due to having two very young kids and not having much spare time, I did hire a mobile mechanic to replace the coil springs on my daily driver, an old Golf.  Fucking useless.  Took him longer than it would have taken me, and he did more damage than he fixed.  I even had to lend him my strut spreading tool.  Brake fluid leaking after he hung the calipers by the hose. Drop link boots torn where he'd just used a windy gun to tighten the nuts and hadn't used anything to stop the ball turning.  Both instant MoT failures, so ended up sorting them out myself.  After bothering him daily for a week on the phone, refunded 20% of the cost.  Then a few weeks later both front wheel bearings were shot, because he'd not torqued the axle bolts up properly (250Nm + 180 degrees).  I have a big enough torque wrench and breaker bar to do it, this cunt obviously didn't.  The only good thing I could say is that he did actually change the coil springs.

If there's anyone, anywhere, who is available to do work for me and give the slightest shit about doing a good job, I'll pay.  But there doesn't seem to be, so I don't.

Edited by AWW
typo

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10 hours ago, MrLibertyRedux said:

Bricklayer/builder friend of mine, does mostly proper stonemasonry type work, reckons most "tradesmen" doing domestic jobs that don't need registered certs never even did any kind of apprenticeship and mainly started out as labourers who "picked up a bit" on the job.

He also turns down half the enquiries he gets as a lot of people will not pay for a quality job and expect it done for fuck all.

He has a waiting list.

I'm a real mason(!).  £lot a square metre , foundations, quality coins, and fill extra.  Pay it or eff off and settle for a farmer's wall!  And I'll probably tell you to eff off when building it because it's hard effing work which makes me grumpy.  Effing outlive your family though.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, GBDamo said:

There is a reason he did what he did.

The 22mm would have been installed for a vented system in order to maintain flow rate at the reduced, head, pressure.

A combi system is pressurised to mains pressure and at signigicantly greater pressure so can maintain a good flow rate through smaller bore pipe.

Also, when a vented system is converted to a pressurised system its not uncommon for leaks to spring due to the increased pressure.

Sounds like a thorough job he did.

I understand your suspicion but there is no money, scrap wise, in pulling out 22mm and replacing it with 15mm when you factor in the cost of new pipe and time.

 

Er, no.

You realise flow and pressure are 2 different things?

edit: Actually I think you're referring to the DHW where you'd have a point. I'm talking about the CH primaries. The flow and return to/from a 40kW boiler feeding 13 radiators. On 15mm primaries 9_9 

 

50 minutes ago, Bobthebuilder said:

Yes there is, the ones who know what they are doing and dont have to put up with DIY specialists

What?

Edited by Boglet

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