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So who knows a good school for general carpentry, electrical, plumbing and building skills?

Because I'm convinced that going to school and learning all these things would take less time and aggravation than waiting for effing service firms that lie about when they are going to show up for appointments, assuming that I can get appointments in the first place.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
firecat
Jan. 11th, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
And how many companies did you have to call to get 8 appointments? 80?

I did end up finding a good bathroom contractor, but we didn't get any additional full estimates, only half-assed estimates from a couple of other places. So who knows how much I overspent. They did an excellent job, though, so I don't really mind in that case.

I don't have the physical stamina to do most of this work myself any more, sadly. But for basic electrical work - did you learn how to install GFCI outlets?
karenkay
Jan. 12th, 2005 09:30 am (UTC)
Do you have the Home Depot CD-ROM? I can't remember what it's called, something like 1-2-3. There's a book and a CD-ROM, but I don't think they come together. Anyway, I use the CD-ROM to explain how stuff works. I haven't done a GFCI outlet, but I've read about doing them. There's also some useful stuff online.

The only thing I've done is install a ceiling fan, which was hairy enough. (I also have a fear of heights.) But the electrical part was a snap. Wire nuts rule.
kightp
Jan. 12th, 2005 12:01 am (UTC)
While I recognize the voice of frustration when I hear it, if you really want to learn those things you might check around and see if Habitat for Humanity is doing any building in your vicinity. I have a friend who spent a summer volunteering for them and then went on to build an addition to her own house, pretty much single-handedly, with the skills she'd learned building a house for somebody else.

In the meantime, empathy. Even in a town small enough where everyone knows all the tradesmen, some of them can't be bothered to keep appointments and still manage to stay in business somehow.
firecat
Jan. 12th, 2005 01:18 am (UTC)
That's a good suggestion. Several of my friends/sweeties have talked about volunteering for them.
leandra333
Jan. 12th, 2005 12:13 am (UTC)
I worked for contractors for about 15 years and I can tell you that there are a lot of them that are um, unprofessional, to say the least. I think I've already thrown some MAS your way previously so I'll just shut up now. Good luck and let me know if I can help.
firecat
Jan. 12th, 2005 01:19 am (UTC)
I don't remember the MAS. :-( If you feel like repeating it, please do.
vixter
Jan. 12th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC)
I , too have always wondered if you could
just show up at Habitat for Humanity builds and learn by doing right there.

And I have a local landscape irrigation guy I won't recommend. Late, messy,
watering the paths, over budget, etc. But he was the only one who showed up for an appointment at all. Now we muddle though the sprinkler system ourselves.

There is probably some stuff at community colleges. But there are so many. I think CSM and Foothill have horticultural stuff. But I don't know of any offhand that have construction trade skills.
porcinea
Jan. 12th, 2005 04:48 am (UTC)
Home Depot publishes a darned good book. We use it for our around-the-house plumbing, etc., repairs.
nex0s
Jan. 12th, 2005 04:51 am (UTC)
ask around for people's recommendations. and once you find someone you like, as *them* for recommendations.

the contractor who did my apt in NYC was *marvelous*. we've recommended him everywhere, and plan to keep using him until the day he is so well off that we can no longer afford him.

n.
punkmom
Jan. 12th, 2005 07:04 am (UTC)
San Jose City College has a set of classes that I have considered. Check your local community college.
the_siobhan
Jan. 12th, 2005 11:18 am (UTC)
Maybe hunt around and see if you can find something like a Homeservice Club in the US?

Sounds like there's definitely a market for one if you know anybody looking to be an entrapaneurs. A lot of the time it's not that people with skills are lazy or irresponsable, it's that they're disorganized.
firecat
Jan. 12th, 2005 05:18 pm (UTC)
Around here there is http://www.handymanconnection.com for small jobs. They've always shown up when promised and done a good job.

As for disorganized, I might expect a sole proprietor to be disorganized, but I think companies with multiple employees should have enough of a handle on organization to call me when their service person is running late, and to keep appointments they make, barring unusual circumstances.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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