By Tiar’a Literary & Illustration
Welcome to another installment of the stone, cold TRUTH. Disclaimer: This editorial series is not designed to point fingers and make accusations at any specific group, business, or individual. It is merely designed to expose information that has been and is readily collected and experienced to educate those who are not in the know.
For any of you who watched movies during the nineteen eighties, you may recall the comedy starring Tom Hanks titled, The Money Pit. The premise consisted of a married couple who find the supposed “dream home” for a “dream price”. Yet, said home is in extremely desperate need of repair and upgrades.
As the film’s riotous plot quickly unfolds, audiences witness Hanks’ character suffer a proverbial minefield nervous breakdown as his and his wife’s new home literally falls apart day by day, hour by hour – and all because he wanted to save a buck or two. However, it’s not the home falling to pieces that illuminates our article’s subject matter, rather, it’s the outlandish statements, and flat out lies told by Hanks’ construction contractor.
In The Money Pit, Hank’s construction contractor consistently tells the Hanks the repairs and home will be ready in “two weeks” – an infamous line we are certain many in the Coachella Valley have heard time and time again when it comes to construction projects.
A construction contractor cannot ever predict the future, only the Good Lord can do that. Nor can a construction contractor ever predict how long a job will take. Therefore, take everything you ever hear from a construction contractor with several large pinches of salt.
The stigma surrounding construction contractors is that they are Charletons, or con-men. Men who wear hard hats and whose bodies contain even harder hearts. Want sympathy, compassion, honesty, respect – do not look to a contractor.
A construction contractor is a man who holds a contractor’s license (one would hope) that gives him the right to give you a quote for a job, and who then has the right to hire the cheapest day laborers on the Home Depot block to slave away at the job he wrangled them in to accomplish. Many contractor’s “workers” are not on regular staff or payroll, are not licensed, and therefore work under the license of the construction contractor and under the table. Think about that. The heartless construction contractor exploits day laborers paying them five cents on the dollar, under the table (which is illegal) all so he can line his pockets with oodles of cash. Truthfully, day laborers are the talented unsung heroes. They are the ones who craft and get the job done. The construction contractor simply appears on site once-in-a-blue moon to steal worker’s accolades.
Does the construction contractor possess any real construction skills? For the most part, all construction contractors must hold some level of competency as it relates to construction – if they are to pass the test and obtain a license. But then again, a doctor can be called “doctor” even if he/she pass with a C grade.
Construction contractors should be a jack-of-all trades. Most, sadly are not. Remember, crooked construction contractors are some of the more nefarious business persons walking the Coachella Valley. On the other hand, there are construction contractors who have and who do plow their trade with dignity and honesty – and they do more than simply use these words as a slogan in ads and on their website. These honest contractors did learn all aspects of construction, and do abide by all governing rules and regulations.
In closing, if a contractor ever states that they “get the job done fast” move on to the next. If they ever state “two weeks” for a job’s completion, move on. If they have a revolving door or workers, move on. If they cannot and will not produce licensing documentation for workers, and/or a regular staff payroll listing those working on your job, move on. If they charge more than a fifty percent markup for supplies, move on. If they have more than one construction company, and/or if they have one company that claims to be proficient in all aspects of construction such as: build, landscaping, pools, lighting, painting, electrical etc., move on. Lastly, ask your contractor for receipts for every detail of the job. If you follow these simple steps, you may just find an honest contractor.
When in doubt, check online with the Department of Consumer Affairs California Contractors State License Board at www.cslb.ca.gov where you can find pertinent information concerning most legitimately registered construction companies.
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