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Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

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  • Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

    Okay this might be kind of long so please read on.
    This happenend about 18 months ago, but I just came across the pics again today so thought I would share this.

    In 2008 we had major flooding in Cedar Rapids, we then had a lot of people come to town to try to get work on flood repairs. The city required that all workers, both local and new to town to get a certificate to work on flood damaged homes. Even as a license contractor I had to get this additional cert. but hey I did get the cool laminated badge
    This was not a lic. to contract, but just to be able to work in the area.

    So...I get a call from lady in a non flood area, she is adding master bathroom to upstairs bedroom, she hired "contractor" to do the plumbing. After the rough in was done, tub, shower and vanity were set, and he was paid (in cash as that is all he would take) she asks when he gets inspection

    He says is can't get ins. as he isn't lic. plumber......... turns out he was just certified to work on flood homes, she didn't understand the difference.

    She call the city and got one of our plumbing inspectors to come out, who helped her laboror to pull the tub, vanity and some flooring up to see what was roughed in. The attached pics are what he uncovered.

    First pic: 2- 1 1/2" lines under shower, you can see in pic 2, one for drain one for vent....the only vent for the bathroom. The 1 1/2" that 90's up, was up to vanity with tee picking up 2 lavs

    second pic: under the shower

    third pic: This line is perpidicular to first line, the wye was picking up the trap for the master tub

    fourth pic: this is the continuation of 2" from tub...there had been a 3" tee on its back for WC, then 3 x 2 bush in trunk for 2" to tub, lavs, shower........and of course the vent.

    Last pic: The lower santee is where he made his tie in. notice the existing 3" above it that now has reverse fall....

    so about now you are probably like me, I think this job couldn't get any worse than it is...........well that's what I get for thinking again.

    I put together a proposal, we have appointment set for 12:00 to meet and review proposal, she is pressed for time to get this done and so I block out the afternoon as she wants to get started right away.
    I get call at 11:15 that she can't make noon and changes to 4:00 pm.

    I show up at 4:00, she shows up at 4:20.
    we walk through every aspect of proposal and what it covers, signs contract mentions some other things she might want done, new kitchen faucet etc, I explain after the contract work is done we can discuss any further work in addition to the contract and we agree to 8:00am start time the next day. I obviously have the whole day blocked out for this job.

    get a call at 7:00am, I don't answer as I had a feeling it was her, she says she and kids were up late (last day of school) so could be wait a couple of days to get started, oh and can I bring another copy of the contract, she lost her copy (from the night before) and she has some questions about what all is included
    I give my self a few minutes to compose myself before calling.
    I let her know she needs to find another plumber, she has just cost me a day of work that I had set aside for her (after already missing our noon appointment) and has no respect for me or my expertise.
    i let her know she needs to show more respect for the next person she calls. She is asking someone to come to her house with all their experience/knowledge to fix a problem she created by hiring an unlicesed person, she needs to show up early for appointment....
    she says she doesn't want to lose me.....I let her know that has already happenend.

    So....i have no pics of the finished product
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

    She sounds like a nut.


    • #3
      Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

      my take is that she hired handy hack because he was CHEAP. you my friend are doing everything above board. which means you expect to be properly remunerated. one thing that i do when they lose the contract, i just take a new one that is marked up with misery money as in a 50% mark up. it's take it or leave it. you know if someone is going to get heartburn, it should be them not you. breid................


      • #4
        Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

        you cut your losses before you got in too deep

        right move you made.

        phoebe it is


        • #5
          Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

          Definitely not being trite. Sometimes that's just the way things go. I think you saved yourself grief!
          Time flies like an arrow.

          Fruit flies like a banana.


          • #6
            Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

            You did good getting out when you did. This person would have been nothing but trouble and you spotted that right up front. Hard to turn away work but this person would have made this job a nightmare.
            "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006



            1/20/2017 - The Beginning of a new Error


            • #7
              Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

              How fortunate that in this economy you can walk away from a signed contract. We have to be a bit more flexible.

              Once the customer signs that contract, that work is MINE. It's sink or swim here. Now I won't pander to their every whim but sometimes you have to swim through the Bermuda Triangle waters of bullsh!t to get the nut. In this business you deal with egomaniacs, sociopaths and ingrates every day. Sometimes, I think we specialize in those personalities

              Customers will always blow you off at the last minute. I've cancelled work on customers at the last minute because we've been short handed. They b!tch and moan about having taken the day off from work to be there when the work is done. It's just part of doing business in my book. But what do I know?...I'm a whore when it comes to plumbing.


              • #8
                Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

                That 2 days delay and extra copy of the contract=

                I'm shopping around and am trying to get out of this if I find something cheaper.



                • #9
                  Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

                  I lost 4 service calls from thursday to saturday, ranging from drain cleaning to stack replacement to toilet rebuild.

                  I gave pricing up front, explained what we charge per hour and let it be.

                  The pricing is customary with what I charge and I didn't do anything more than time on the phone, one email where I had to go to my website and find a collage of pictures showing exactly the work that they was wanting done.

                  No love lost, no serious "time" involved.

                  Guess what?

                  I work every week, just like you do. Stand on the compensation value that your time looking at plumbing work is a paid talent.

                  You just got stumped and that woman only cares if it drains...if there's hot water and it looks nice. Nothing else.
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos


                  • #10
                    Re: Unlicensed plumber + disrespectful homeowner

                    Just some comment on some of your posts:

                    As far as getting used to people blowing us off....this is the first, and most people in our region will not do that.
                    Most are very thankful when we show up, return phone calls, or call if we are behind schedule.

                    JC, I am sure she was not shopping around, that would take energy and she was the definition of LAZY.

                    As far as walking away from contract, I had in it that the home was to be available to us from 8am to 5 pm with start date also specified, she breached the contract by not allowing access.

                    I am not in disagreement with any comments, but I do think some regions have very different working conditions.