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What is a paycheck worth?

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  • What is a paycheck worth?

    I have been working with a contractor for a little over a month now. In that time I have seen nothing but shoddy work.
    He has done three 'mold mitigation' jobs. They were a joke. No protection for employees, little or no removal of effected sheet rock and little or no spraying of effected studs. Compounded by little or no mitigation of water issues.
    On a roof replacement where the decking was completely covered with black mold and the 12" decking was bowed in many places.... the home owner had purchased new plywood for the install to replace the moldy decking. My employer only replaced 3 sheets and loaded the remaining plywood on his truck. He then sent me up into the attic crawlspace to spray for mold... I was given a dust mask, a gallon of mold spray and a spray bottle one would use to apply Windex while cleaning windows. While up there I could see that the bowing moldy plywood had not been cleaned or removed; it looked as if there had been a fire in the attic. Later while cleaning and repairing the gutters I was on the roof. It was spongy and there were several areas where the roofers had used silicone to glue the shingles down. The home owner had previously installed 2, 10" turbo vents to assist with air flow... the roofer installed shingles over the roof penetrations. The roof caps were installed backwards.... and the plywood at the peak of the roof was not cut back to allow proper venting. A two week old roof looked as if it was 20+ years old. Shingles were peeling back and there were obvious dips and valleys in the roof because the old decking had not been replaced.
    I do plumbing and electrical work and it's sickening to be told to cut corners and ignore safety. I have had to fight with my employer to get work done up to code. I am currently looking for new employment because of this. I'm just amazed that this man is still in business. He does shoddy work and then tells the customer it's because or something else. Typically you would address an issue or tell the home owner about an issue before proceeding with a job or during the initial inspection of the job. But when you can use the customers ignorance... like with the roofing job mentioned above. When the shingles started curling up he had a laborer install rocks on the roof to hold them down. "The shingles are cold so we are installing rocks to help form them to the roof." Was what he told the home owner. This in Mid August when we were seeing mid 80's temps and the shingles would easily reach 100F
    I was installing new light fixtures in a home my employer was doing 'mold removal'. When we started my foreman cut a 18"x18" hole in the sheet rock... there was fur growing on the back of the sheet rock ~1" thick black mold. He then put the piece back in and screwed it in place. They then did some mud work, primed and painted the room. There was no mold removal or chemicals used. The sheet rock and insulation was not removed nor were the studs and clapboards sprayed nor was the moisture problem taken care of... aside from installing a vent fan in the adjoining bathroom. The baseboard heating was covered in mold but none of it was cleaned.
    What should I do? Is there a way to report this or have the mans business licence revoked. When I bring up issues I'm told they were addressed or will be and not to worry. I know full well it is not the case and it really bothers me that he has so little concern for the health and safety or people. This man has been in business for 40 years and I can't see how.
    Even his own families safety is of little concern to him. He called me one day saying it was an emergency; his hot water tank wouldn't light. When I got there it was clear it was a botched install. A union on a natural gas line feeding the hot water tank was leaking gas. He had used Teflon take and pipe dope preventing a good seal. The stove pipe coming off the hot water tank was pitched down at a 20 degree angle... the top of the water tank was scorched from the hot gasses back up. the Hot water tank sat on the uneven concrete slab with a 2"x4" piece of concrete to keep it level. The furnace had no connected air intake, only an 8" hole in the side...Because of the negative pressure exhaust gas from the hot water tank and furnace and the natural gas was being sucked into the house. If the house was not so poorly insulated they would be dead. The furnace has no emergency shutoff switch. There are 2 splices for the feed supplying power to the furnace with no junction box. One splice by the furnace and another in the floor joists connected to knob and tube wire.
    I often wonder about the henchmen in the movies. Why would the henchmen do such things? Some of the people I've worked with could never find employment because their work is so shoddy or is it just because of the drug testing? Other guys don't have a clue as to what their doing and some just don't care because they don't feel their are any real ramifications to what they are doing.
    I know I have to get another job but that contractor can't be allowed to rob people and risk their health and safety. Never in all the years of working in commercial and residential construction have I seen anything like this..and there is more
    Fear is the mother of all gods. Nature does all things spontainiosly by herself without their meddling.

  • #2
    Re: What is a paycheck worth?

    BBB will look at him if you provide them with examples of safety or fraud. Same with the local contracting licencing authority.

    I have worked blue collar my whole life for many different types of contractors, as both a prime and a sub.

    I have the same feeling and cannot and will not put my name on a job that is finished sub par or where corners have been cut. By doing so it kept my name clean and allowed me to progress in my career to bigger and better jobs.

    Your best bet is just to leave that company and find somewhere else to work.

    I'd be very careful going after your past employers as it will not only tarnish your own work but may ostracize you to the local contracting community.


    • #3
      Re: What is a paycheck worth?

      My father owns and operates a fairly large contracting company and I can tell you from personal experience in construction(especially when undergoing bigger projects), that safety should always be the top priority of the person that is running the operation. Also, there should be STRICT rules on safety, i.e if you take your hard hat off a certain % of your salary will be cut(1-5% shouldnt be much).

      I don't know how it is in the states, but where im from when an accident happens on a construction site, the whole company gets put under heavy scrutiny to make sure it wasnt the companies fault.

      Other than that, i rly dont know what else to tell you because I am not familiar with construction laws in the states.




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