I have no idea if what we have experienced lately is a part of a greater phenomena, but we’ve had a lot of trouble with local contractors in the last six months.
For example, the guy who installed, and has maintained, our house guttering for the last 6 years, was also the guy who was doing our mowing. In the last 6 months, he’s been increasingly undependable, and has not cleaned our gutters since October, even though we paid in advance to have it done back that far.
We also just finished getting our house repainted, and even though we asked that the front door be painted to match the trim paint we selected, it did not happen.
I fully realize that Covid-19 has changed a lot of the rules of how contractors do jobs for private individuals, I am upset that we are having trouble getting contractors on the phone to discuss these problems.
We greatly prefer to give our business to local, even independent, contractors, for the specific reason of supporting local, self-employed businessmen. Not only do they usually care more about doing a good job, but they also are people it is easy to develop a personal long-standing relationship with.
Except that the rules seem to have changed, since the genesis of Covid-19. Since then, even the contractors we already had good relationships with have become difficult to get in touch with. They don’t answer their phones, and sometimes don’t even have voice-mail set up on their phones. Several of the ones we’ve worked with for years are now distracted by jobs they took on that have nothing to do with the businesses they were building, but that they needed to keep their bills paid.
It breaks my heart to do so, but I feel that I have no choice but to replace the contractors that have become unreliable with other contractors who will respond when we call them.
As a foot-note, we had our house painted last week. Our all-brick house is now a very light tan color with brick-red accents. That cost us $2000 US plus the cost of the paint, but we’re already seeing a return on the investment. Our HVAC system isn’t having to work as hard as before, in the job of keeping our home cool for the summer.