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camelia
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13 May 2012, 10:38 pm

I have had notoriously bad experiences with builders, GCs and the like. The anxiety of it all brings out the worst in me, often in front of the builder or on the phone. This has led to my getting f****d over several times.

Just me? Anyone else? How do you cope and manage hiring & being sane around contractors, especially after having been burned a few times?


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Your Aspie score: 163 of 200~
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 48 of 200


1000Knives
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13 May 2012, 11:37 pm

I learn to do everything I can myself, and know generally what's going on with a contractor, prices of materials, and generally the basics of the things they're doing are done, so they can't scam me. I also like to ask and sometimes help a little when they're doing things like that.

An example for me personally, here's an example. I went to a muffler shop, with a muffler I bought from home. The guy on the phone told me it'd probably be about $50, I told him on the phone I had to get pipe bent, too, and he still said "It'd probably be $50." So I came there with about $75, in case the pipe bend cost more. He puts my car on the lift and then is like "Yeah, you didn't tell me about this!" And he's a rather big very persuasive/assertive Jamaican guy. He then starts telling me "Yeah, I can't do it for less than $200." I just tell him "I don't have $200." He then keeps going down, he goes down to $100, I kept telling him I only got $75. At $100, I tell him just take it off the lift and I'll take it home and do it myself. He gets all pissed and is like "All right, fine!" And he keeps making fun of me the entire time the car is being worked on. Meanwhile, I stayed in the shop the whole time and watched it all, and even gave the muffler people some ideas on installing it, and I got the number for one of the guys who said his buddy has a welder and to contact him if I want any stuff done.

But that guy there at that shop, he tried to strong arm me, and even though I wasn't like particularly "assertive" and yelling at him or whatever, I still got what I wanted just because I insisted and knew what was going on. One lady at my apartment complex got scammed HARD by that guy's shop, though. She had like a 2009 Nissan Versa, and she went to get a new exhaust put on. They charged her $1000 for the exhaust. But here's the kicker, they put it on wrong. The muffler tip was different, and it was hitting the bumper. So what did they do? They left it like that, rattling around and melting her bumper, and I pointed that out to her. I also told her "oh, I just put a muffler on my Supra for $25 and like $10 in clamps." Which probably did ruin her day. Oops. So, the shop didn't even bother when shafting her a thousand bucks for a muffler, to put it on right. The shop imo, took advantage of her because she was a woman who knew nothing about cars. It probably was something relatively simple, like just a hole in the piping or something, that I myself would have fixed for not much money (like $20.)

My mother found a guy to build a room for my sister in the paper, and me and him got along great. My mom didn't like him, but I found him a totally honest contractor, the only problem was he took a long time, and my mother didn't like getting up to open the door for him, but he did a good job for damned near no money. $500, and materials probably ran him about....150-200 max? It was a great deal, but my mom was pissed it took about a week and a half to do, but for the money, you couldn't go wrong. He explained to me how to do a lot of that stuff, too, explained to me what he was doing, etc. The contractor imo had a lot of Aspie tendencies, very nice and reserved personality, and he used to be a computer programmer until he got laid off, he was in his late 50s. I thought he was cool, but my mother didn't like him because he took too long.

So you know, you can raise your social skills and get more assertive and blah blah, but the best solution is just to educate yourself. There's some things you can really save time and money by doing it yourself, but for other stuff, the more you know, the more you can shop around and not get ripped off. Knowledge, knowledge, knowledge. I know you might find it boring, but it saves you a lot of anxiety sometimes, especially if you're like me and don't really trust other people with things like that.



camelia
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13 May 2012, 11:49 pm

After going through hell with the renovators two years ago, I vowed never to hire another GC again. I had to do some wiring in a then unfinished studio. Got some quotes to the tune of several thousand (high voltage, and low voltage.. cat 5, alarm, ect). I said f**k it, I do not want to go through this again. I bought an NEC code book, some how-to books, and hired a local electrician to do some basic checking before each city inspection. I got everything I wanted and more, for a lot less money, did it myself, and did not have to deal with other human beings (aside from the inspector).

Some things I can't do on my own, like hanging sheetrock or gutters, or soffits. If I had more time I could do these things slowly and get them done OK.


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MBTI: INFP
Your Aspie score: 163 of 200~
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 48 of 200


1000Knives
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14 May 2012, 12:01 am

I understand, I deal with my "projects" not getting done myself sometimes due to business and other problems. So I get that. However, where there's a will, there's a way.

http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1260 ... 6595152802

One thing you can do, too, though this is hard as my friends all seemingly sit at home and play video games all day, that's what friends or for, to help you do hard things. Get some friends together to help, and there you go.

For finding contractors, though, basically find the one who's most "straight" with you, and up front. That's one of the few sorta social cues I know how to read, if people are being "straight" with me. Basically look for people who are the least cocky.

EDIT:
I think as a guy, I've been sorta conditioned to "just do it" with a lot of things. I pretty much try to do everything myself, it's just my thought process. You know, I wanna be that guy from Anthem who singlehandly discovers electricity and invents the lightbulb.



HK416N
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14 May 2012, 1:08 am

do it yerself! stuff is not so difficult.. give it a try.. read about first if its dangerstuff.. take time.. lotsa time..
when fixing yer car.. have nother car rdy to go buy s**t
100knife: supra! :)



BobinPgh
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14 May 2012, 1:09 am

I am on the other side of this with my sister. I have been handy around the house and she actually hires me for her house for some big things because I am the only "contractor" she gets who shows up, does the job, and doesn't get drunk. It takes longer, but I think it would be good if there were "Aspie" contractors.



piroflip
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14 May 2012, 1:49 am

camelia wrote:
I have had notoriously bad experiences with builders, GCs and the like. The anxiety of it all brings out the worst in me, often in front of the builder or on the phone. This has led to my getting f**** over several times.

Just me? Anyone else? How do you cope and manage hiring & being sane around contractors, especially after having been burned a few times?


I had builders in last summer after an upstairs water tank leaked and seaped into two bedrooms leading to a fair amount of damage. They left my house a mess whilst I was out at work and I made an official complaint. They had left the bathroom dirty, there was paint on the carpets, and cigarette ends on my front drive. As compensation the building firm arranged for several small (but expensive) jobs to be done around the house free of charge. So,,,,,,,,,it always pays to complain.