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Bad workmanship

Discussion in 'DIY Disasters' started by Eccles, 17 Nov 2019.

  1. Eccles

    Eccles

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    Having done some property renovation and recently moved in to a fresh property (not new) with the usual list of faults not spotted by a "surveyor" (what a joke that profession is). I thought I would comment on some of the dreadful reports elsewhere in the forum. Why is it that time and again we see/hear of workmanship which is obviously faulty and has to be rectified often at a much later date. It seems to me that quite a few so called professionals are not professional at all in the true meaning of that word. Just to be clear, as was explained to me in those far off days when I began my professional training, a professional is a person who loves to get the job done right irrespective of how long it takes or what money is involved. I give just two rectifications at my now not quite so new house which were done by so called professionals but which I have had to rectify by way of example:- 1. The double glazed patio door was not closing properly - I could see daylight through the seals at the bottom. I dissembled the hinges, greased the adjusting cams and rotated them into the correct position. This door would have been fitted by a "professional" in the first place who could not be bothered to do the job properly! 2. In the smallest bedroom an addittional socket had been installed which I was slightly suspicious of. I removed the cover plate to discover that a) it was not in the ring and b) it was running off the upstairs lighting circuit! How on earth so called professionals can do these things is beyond me but it keeps happening, is there no honesty and professionalism left in the construction trades?
     
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  3. ReJect

    ReJect

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    I agree that there is mostly inferior work being done in the building trade.
    Reasons for it are numerous,

    No proper training now,
    Usually little if any Professional inspection of work,
    Sometimes wages not enough for time needed to do a job properly, so everything thrown in,
    Stupid qualifications that have little if any actual skill gain,
    (Qualifications and membership to ‘approved’ bodies cost a lot of money and often prevent the little guy from continuing)
    Customers who expect everything to be done immediately and/or to a low cost.
    Customers that have no clue about quality work and are easy prey to unscrupulous trades people.
     
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  4. Eccles

    Eccles

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    Yeah I guess you are right Reject which is very sad when one considers that this country once had an unsurpassed reputation for quality work - look at some of our historic houses. I suppose it would be almost impossible to find a plasterer these days who could reproduce the decorative work on the ceilings of some of those places. Really it's becoming a national scandal and no-one in authority is doing anything about it, E.g. Grenfell Tower which to my mind was deliberately turned into a fire hazard. I mean if you decided to have your own house fitted with a cladding in order to make it warmer (not a bad idea), one of the first things you would ask would be "Is this material fireproof?"
     
  5. catlad

    catlad

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    It would be insisted on by the bco.
     
  6. bobasd

    bobasd

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    you dont have to go out into the bad bad world to find bad workmanship - just consider some of the from laughable to dangerous advice thats given on here.
    these internet forums seem to attract nut cases, even self called skilled nut cases who seem to think a bit of googling & urban mythology will do for advising on just about anything.
     
  7. Notch7

    Notch7

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    I dont think the training is as good as it used to be. Once trainees would do City and Guilds and do a proper apprenticeship working for a bigger company.

    Over the years Ive interviewed and employed quite a few apprentices to do joinery. The skills learnt in college are out of touch with modern techniques. I had one guy come with an arched head sash he had made - it was made in spruce because thats all the college could afford and it had been made with a hand router. He wasnt allowed to use the colleges planing machines -he was only allowed to watch (deemed too dangerous for students). The guy was totally unprepared for working in a jounery shop.

    The NVQs for site carpentry dont reflect modern practices. Site carpenters routinely use chop saws, track saws, festool domino machines, DA sanders with vacuum extraction - these are the skills site carpenters should come out of college with. Teach them how to use a track saw to shoot a door into a frame. Teaching kids to use a hand plane to shoot a door in is pointless.

    I feel sorry for customers, its so hard to find good tradesmen - they are there and thefe are plenty around, but most are so busy they dont advertise - the building trade works on networking and in a small town they all know each other. Builders over time form a great team of subbies they use on their jobs - and thats how they get great work done and quickly. A private customer wont get access to that without contacts.
     
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  8. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    There is a growing skill gap in this country in many, many different areas. My worry is that we don't equip schools and colleges well enough to train the next generation of skilled people, nor do we make it appealing enough.

    I remember in school only 15 years ago there were people my age who had no interest in academia but who were interested in bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, etc. The facilities we had were cr*p -- the school was a '60s build and we had to rely on decades-old equipment and tools. I know some went off to do well in those trades (especially as upholstery/furniture is big in our area), but it surely failed most of them.

    The same goes for people wanting to go into professions like nursing. My partner is a nurse, but if she was offered it again now she would not do it. It's £9,250 a year most places to study to be a nurse. There's no bursary anymore and you work full time during placement hours with no pay. No wonder we're 20,000-odd short!

    We have concentrated on building a paper economy which relies almost entirely on people moving money around for a fee.
     
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  9. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    Excellent posts, it's clear we need to invest in people doing skilled work from a young age with the best equipment and teachers, not hammering down the wages for unskilled work delivering pizza and whatnot. People can be proud of doing a good day making something and can improve over time in a proper skilled job. I think all the training should be free whether you want to be a nurse or a sparky.
     
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  11. opps

    opps

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    I am not convinced that the problems are solely related to vocational training.

    I studied economics and geography at uni rather than a C&G in decorating. I consider myself to be a very good decorator, or rather that, I am methodical and provide a high quality of finish. If I am uncertain about which product is best suited to a given task, I research it and defer to others (not blindly accepting the first answer I receive).

    I personally think that a major part of the problem is that; a) customers often can't tell the difference between a quality finish and a poor one and are often overly price-centric, and b) the web has made it (too) easy to find tradesmen without any proper way of verifying how good they are. Many of those "finda tradesman" sites are a race to the bottom. Tradesman A will charge the same day rate as tradesman B but cut as many corners as possible to give the customer the impression that they are cheaper. They don't rely upon regular work from the same customer and thus don't give a toss about how the longevity of their work.

    By way of an example, my GF and I haven't been getting on particularly well of late. She has recently taken to using those Checka type sites. I suspect that is her way of "proving" that she doesn't "need" me to fix this or that. Unfortunately all bar one of the tradesmen has been crap (IMO) and I am the sucker that has to sort things out further down the line. Tilers who can't be bothered to seal plaster before tiling, and who chip tile corners. Painters who spray new internal doors but don't bother priming bare edges and who leave each door with dry spray all over one side of each door. Carpenters who leave locks and letter boxes at jaunty angles.

    Sorry, I am not suggesting that all tradesmen on those kind of sites are dodgy, but as a professional myself, I have only met a few over the years that I would be happy to recommend. That is a hit rate of about 2% compared to (up to) 20% for other tradesmen that I have met on site that were recommended to the home owner by friends or other tradesmen.
     
  12. John D v2.0

    John D v2.0

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    sorry to hear that, I hope things get better! best piece of advice my grandad gave is relationships are hard, both people have to work at them.
     
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  13. EddieM

    EddieM

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    Surely as you said above, you are not a professional decorator ?
     
  14. bobasd

    bobasd

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    a retired relation of mine worked his last years as an instructor in a government place called a "Skill Centre".
    where apparently just about anybody above apprenticeship age was allowed to enrol on a 6 months full time skills training
    course, such as office worker or joiner or engineer etc.

    the trainee's were paid, and the emphasis was on awarding City & Guilds craft level certs.
    because the emphasis was on C&G results for further Govt funding, very little attention was paid to day to day skills
    such as apprentices would learn in their first year with a skilled person.
    so when these certified people arrived on site they were almost useless.

    these centres apparently closed down some time ago so i believe - anyone know if they were all over the UK or only in certain areas?

    not that that many arrived on site - the dropout rate was high.
    he claims that Skill Centre studies showed that very few post trainee's were actually in that line of work 18 months later.
    he didn't know why this was the case?

    both of us agreed that full time paid work and days at college ie. a traditional apprenticeship, was the best way forward until something better comes up.
    but thats only happening for the few - often teenagers from family firms etc.
    the ones who really need wages & stability - the poor and the kids from disturbed backgrounds etc dont get a look in for lots of reasons.
    these are the kinds of issues that governments should be constantly, urgently looking in to, all the time not now and again.
    no children left behind.
     
  15. opps

    opps

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    I have been decorating for over 30 years, decorating accounts for 90% of my income. I think that entitles me to call myself a professional decorator.

    Are you seriously suggesting that one can only call themselves a professional (in any given field) if they have a bit of paper saying that they passed some kind of test when they were in their late teens?

    Whilst I recall seeing your name when you have posted here on DIYNOT, I cannot recall what you do for a living. Unfortunately, your decision to prevent others from looking at your profile means that I still have no idea. Feel free to look through my profile and highlight any decorating advice that I have offered that is incorrect. The inference that I draw from your post is that I, as someone who doesn't have a C&G in decorating, must by definition be unqualified, it should therefore be a fairly trivial task for you to expose me as a charlatan.
     
  16. EddieM

    EddieM

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    No offense intended, but as you point out you are unqualified, doesn't make a bad person or indeed bad decorator, indeed for all I know you could be absolutely top drawer. You are however you look at it unqualified, it's the same as saying (in terms of qualifications) "I've been doing domestic electrics for 30 years, but I'm not qualified" That's an example BTW I don't do domestic electrical work. FWIW I work in IT, and yep you guessed it... I am unqualified.
     
  17. EddieM

    EddieM

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    I didn't know my profile was private, wouldn't have helped anyway, it doesn't say anything.
     
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