Can you find cheap labor to install your floors, fix your drywall, or remodel your house? Oh, hell yes! These guys are everywhere. If you need a recommendation, I have 50 guys I had to fire, run off job sites, or block their number. But, they will quote you a low price, they can start today, and you will feel great about how you’re about to save some money.
I have hired these guys by mistake as they are tricky gangsters and professional liars, but their nonsense surfaces quickly. On several occasions, I have had to carry a gun when delivering final checks to their so-called residences while my wife tracked my location so she would know where to send the cops in case something happened. I have also had to take my address off my checks to hide my residence from potential burglary.
Why am I telling you this ugly side of construction? Because saving a dime will cost you Benjamins. Reputable contractors have weeded these guys out. We know who these guys are and would never send them to your house. We have learned the hard way who to trust. Once we find trustworthy guys, we hang on to them at all costs, and they do cost more.
A homeowner has little chance of knowing who these guys are. They do not have a Google review, most don’t have a driver’s license, and they are professional liars. If I had a quarter for every time I have been fooled by a druggy, I could replace some of the tools they have stolen.
Here is what you should expect if you read this and still think you’ll save a few bucks by hiring cheap, sketchy labor.
The thief is a smooth talker and makes you feel comfortable with him being left unattended in your home. He will request access to your garage to back his beater truck in the driveway, which is full of unkept stolen tools. He might finish the job, but it will take twice as long as you expected. He will ask for more than you agreed and justify it by pointing out the difficulty you both knew about before the job started. Days or weeks later, you’ll notice a valuable item missing. Usually, this will be tools, but it could be golf clubs, garden tools, jewelry, or anything that can be sold. The job will end with subpar quality, twice as long, and over budget. It will cost much more than hiring a reputable company from the beginning.
Perhaps the most common of the drug addict tradesmen. This guy will always ask for money before he is done. He will tell you something about his truck needing mechanical work so he can get back to your house the following day. He’ll ask for $500 of the money due so he can buy an alternator that evening and be back tomorrow. You’ll never see him again. When you find someone to finish the job, there will be issues with the work the druggy did that will have to be fixed, and you’ll be 100% over budget and timeline.
The Functional Addict
I use “functional” loosely as they might function in a typical environment but not performing complex trades. These jokers will take many breaks. You will find them in their truck every hour or two. They will be shooting up, snorting lines, or smoking meth. They think they are getting away with this, and it’s not noticeable, but it’s like the trashman banging your dumpster in his trash truck like he’s trying to get all the bubble gum off the bottom. The functional addict will take three times as long as he confirmed and cannot go three days without taking a draw from you for work partially done. His work will also be subpar as he is always baked out of his mind.
But you still hire the crackhead so you can save money…. great! Some of the best jobs we get are coming behind these junkies and cleaning up their mess. You’ll end up paying 2-3x more than you expected by the time you pay them, replace stolen items, and paying us. If you want to save money, go with a reputable company from the begining.