Recent comments

Re: Talk of Tighter Efficiency Standards for Ceiling Fans Stirs Up Washington

I inventoried the number of electric motors commonly used in my house. The number came to 36. According to my energy supplier, usage of these accounts for about 67% of my annual electric bill. (I didn't count motors that are rarely used.)

According to current industry claims, the technology already exists to cut electric motor consumption costs anywhere from 50% to 70%. However, it's rarely my choice to buy products which are inherently that efficient — they simply aren't available.

So, it's to my benefit that the DOE would push for higher efficiency standards. But this is not a "ME" issue!

This push is to OUR NATIONAL BENEFIT, and there's no logic in any contrary claim.

Re: Online Reviews Can Hurt Contractors and Homeowners

My presumptions would not be to cloud the contractor.

The lawsuit is probably very well founded, because the legal system has inherent penalties for filing actions that cannot be substantiated to a reasonable degree. It is therefore far more likely the contractor can show sincere attempts to please the homeowner before being slandered. Moreover, the contractor can probably establish a high degree of unreasonableness on the homeowner's part.

Given my 35-yrs of experience in this profession, I've seen a fair amount of questionable workmanship, but the general trend has become the outrageous behavior and actions of homeowners.

As safeguards, my contracts contain a "right to cure" clause and a provision for a homeowner's responsibility to inspect work in progress — either accepting or rejecting it, which is largely a subjective opinion. I keep communications open, frequent and in writing in order to make sure the homeowner is fully informed and pleased with the work results.

I do this because a growing number of clients believe they can cheat their contractors by raising false and/or exaggerated issues in order to get a discount on the final invoice. This is to say they can't be pleased no matter what. If I sense red flags flying I won't take the work to begin with, but this doesn't always work because that's the nature of deceit. Sometimes the red flags don't fly until it's too late.

I've often thought of developing a website that does the opposite of a contractors' referral list: one that warns contractors of nefarious homeowners.

p.s. Before anyone jumps in and presumes a lot of troubles on my end, not so fast. I've had very few problems that couldn't be resolved amicably and only one that led into court. I'll close by saying that single court case convinced me there's no such thing as the justice system, although the judgement was 100% on my side.

Good Luck to the Contractor!

Re: Just Right @ 144 sq.ft.

You built a 144-sf shed for $50,000? That's $347.22 per square foot! Looks very cool, wish it were mine, but sorry . . . I'm not impressed.