Even before the recent pandemic began to take over all our lives, finding a Contractor did not seem to be the easiest task to do.
Finding a “good” Contractor, some may say that it would have been easier to find a unicorn.
With the advent of decades of students being steered away from the trades, most Contractors had been increasingly put in a bind over the years, as not as many “newer generation” students had been entering the trades.
Enter the pandemic into the equation and things went from a dire situation to one of its own pandemic-like proportions.
Not only were Contractors facing their own challenges related to Covid – being able to manage the affects of the virus within their existing staff and Client base, working through virus-related supply change craziness, etc. – but many also suddenly faced actual staffing shortages with the ability to find new hires instantaneously going from overwhelmingly difficult to almost impossible.
Couple all of this with actual demand for Contractors being at an all-time high [on the residential side, because folks were home more than they have ever been home in recent history and were literally inventing home improvement projects (as they stared at their walls everyday) and on the commercial side, because many facilities worked to take advantage of a time period with people not around as often and their being able to concentrate and get things done in a more comfortable fashion than they typically would be able to] and the property improvement industry instantly had a huge issue on its hands.
Demand for Contractors was at an all-time high, supply for Contractors was at an all-time low – A PROBLEM INDEED!!
At almost two years into COVID taking a foothold on the United States, this phenomenon does not appear to be drastically improving.
Now when we say the word “Contractor”, this is a broad term and can be applied across the various trades (electricians, plumbers, painters, etc.) and also encompasses the quality of the individual Contractors across the board – good, bad, and in between.
The term “good Contractor” is certainly open to interpretation.
A phrase I often get a kick out of hearing is when someone asks a particular friend of mine for a Contractor referral.
He always responds: “Good, fast, and cheap. Pick two. I’ll be able to send you a Contractor that embodies two out of the three. Just not all three.”
In almost 30 years of being in the trades, I have never heard a more perfect way to describe what I have come to know the Contracting world to be.
Good, fast, and cheap – you can get two out of the three, just not all three – PERFECT!!
No matter what your definition of “good” is however, these days finding almost any Contractor – even those that simply only pass the mirror test (if you place a mirror under their nose and it fogs up, hence letting you know they are alive and real) can be an exercise of epic frustration.
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