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Offline Untidy Shop

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Who are the most tidy trades
« on: November 21, 2013, 06:13 PM »



There have been recent threads regarding messy tool boxes and untidy painters etc,.

Well who are the generally tidy and messy trades. In my experience, electricians are the most tidy and organised, then follow cabinet makers and plumbers. The untidy are carpenters and plasterers. Painters can be anything!

These observations are based on the state of customers utes and trucks in the trades section of my part time employment, and my own direct involvement and employment of trades persons on an owner build.

Is this the nature of their work, the personality each trade attracts or climate? Take electricians, they have to be precise and get it right often the first time. But they generally are not exposed to climate conditions, except perhaps in a roof cavity during an Australian summer - then they want to know they have the correct tools with them!

And there are exceptions, the chippy who helped me with framing always ensured we cleaned up at the end of each day and tools were safely stored - be it in the back of his messy ute! In contrast my electricians ute was immaculatly organised.

Yes you may note my avatar name!

« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 06:25 PM by Untidy Shop (Stephen B) »
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Offline neilc

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2013, 06:26 PM »
The closer they are to 'finished' work, I think the cleaner they may be.  Not always, but the cleanest I have seen have been low voltage installers - alarm systems, data wiring, networking, etc.  Definitely, the least clean would be the concrete guys, the plaster guys, and in some cases the rough carpenters.  Cabinet installers tend to be pretty clean and organized in my experience.

Plumbers to me can go either way.  I've seen plumbers in homes that have no awareness of keeping things clean while others have shown up with plastic booties, large new plastic tarps, etc.

The cleanest tradesperson I've seen is a painter we use - no dust, no drips, everything covered and taped.  Even his drop clothes are clean.  His work is expensive, but you don't mind paying it when you see the care he takes on prep, painting and staying organized.

neil

Offline MahalaHomecraft

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2013, 06:47 PM »
What is a ute?

Things must be a little different down under... Most of the electricians I know are slobs.  Not that they don't keep their tools organized, but if I'm on a jobsite that hasn't yet reached the "clean" stage, it's never the electricians who care about about sweeping up
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Offline kmdwoodwork

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2013, 06:59 PM »
On site i would say that cabinet makers/ installers, low voltage guys and painters are the cleanest. Most electricians, plumbers and tile guys are the sloppiest i have been around, they leave a ton of small scraps around and they never have their own garbage bags, i can't tell you how many times i go back to a job that i left a fresh bag at and it is over flowing with junk from those trades.

As far as vehicles i would say cabinet makers/ installers, finish carpenters and landscapers have the most organized trailers and vans.

I am a organizing freak, i catch a lot of flak because of the condition of my trailer and my portion at a larger job site from other trades but my clients love the fact that everything is clean and organized.

Offline Peter Halle

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2013, 07:01 PM »
What is a ute?

Things must be a little different down under... Most of the electricians I know are slobs.  Not that they don't keep their tools organized, but if I'm on a jobsite that hasn't yet reached the "clean" stage, it's never the electricians who care about about sweeping up

A Ute is like the Chevy El Caminos of old here but smaller I believe.

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Offline land_kel

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2013, 07:07 PM »
Or as Joe Pesci would say " You know, a Yute".. My Cousin Vinnie...
Lots of stuff

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2013, 08:18 PM »
Or as Joe Pesci would say " You know, a Yute".. My Cousin Vinnie...


Yoooouuuuuutthhhsze



Seth
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 08:21 PM by SRSemenza »

Offline Untidy Shop

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2013, 08:19 PM »

Hi again,

Ute, an Australian slang for any panelled tray on two door small car based vehicle -

http://www.ford.com.au/commercial/new-falcon-ute/?searchid=ac05_FoA&gclid=CNP2v4Kc97oCFQHKpAodHgsAZw&pkw=%2Bfalcon+%2Bute&pmt=b


Now extended to use in reference to Toyota Hi Lux and similar light trucks/pick ups with and without tray.


http://www.toyota.com.au/hilux/range


Re concreters, I know of one who has no cement chips/scrage in his wheelbarrows as he cleans up often and of others who wear concrete on their clothing as a matter of pride that they work so hard.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 08:21 PM by Untidy Shop (Stephen B) »
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Offline Tinker

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2013, 08:23 PM »
I am a landscaper (Retired mason contractor) and in my experience as landscaper, the painters are, with all of their neatness inside of houses, are a royal pain outside.
They seem to think a wide open lawn is a reasonable area for cleaning brushes.  The shrubbery is a very neat place to dump used solvent.  Drain grates are very handy for emptying left over paint. i have learned to check "my" properties whenever the painters have finished their job and moved out.  When they start, I check with owners and/or painters to determine extent of their work and try to find out what materials they will be using so i know what materials i need to have on hand, or be able to locate to rescue grass and/or bushes.  there is almost always some spot that needs to be rescued.

When I was a mason, the roofers were the worst.  especially if it was a roof repair. I lost many an hour, or day repairing tires on my tractor/loader/backhoe as result of picking up nails.  those bigheaded roofing nails were like magnetic to the largest tires.  They never seemed to find the small tires on front.  Those were easy to fix.  It was always the big back tires that took two men to load onto a pickup, or equipment trailer, to take to tire shop.  That would waste a good half a day or more. i learned to do a very thoro search of the area within 20 feet of the house perimeter before bringing my machines onto the job where roofers were working.  I might spend a couple of hours to a half day checking the ground, more if there was lawn area instead of bare ground.
Tinker
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Offline Tinker

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2013, 08:34 PM »
>>>Re concreters, I know of one who has no cement chips/scrage in his wheelbarrows as he cleans up often and of others who wear concrete on their clothing as a matter of pride that they work so hard.<<<

When I was doing masonry, my tools were kept spotless. wheelbarrows spotless and oiled.
I wore white pants and white sweatshirts, or T-shirts so the cement did not show up so much.  [unsure]

Some masons would not take time at end of day to wash off their tools but would rather beat the cement off of their trowels in the morning before starting work.
I had trowels that started out as brick trowels and were still clean when they had worn down to pointing trowel size.
Tinker

Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Paul G

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2013, 08:54 PM »
I've known slobs and shipshape folks in every trade, it's a matter of the expectations of the boss, the standards they demand of themselves and employees and the culture they foster in their organization.
+1

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 08:57 PM »
The absolute worst I ever saw when I was a superintendent was a crew of subcontracted drywallers, most of whom had NO English language skills whatsoever.  They left their cut-offs, broken pieces and trash everywhere, despite there being a roll-off right outside the front door.  I've never seen such a mess.  What really drove me over the top was that one of more of them had relieved themselves (both #1 and #2) into the open ductwork rather than go to the port-a-potties we had on-site.  Needless to say, I had a very heated, direct and blunt conversation with the owner of the company that had subcontracted this crew, then reported the facts to my boss, the VP of the company I was working for who had the temerity to call me a liar.  That certainly didn't go over well, but I had digital pictures of the mess which I emailed to him with a very rude note about him questioning my veracity, cc: the owner of the company we both worked for.  The owner of the drywall firm was told by me and the owner of the company I worked for to get a crew out immediately to clean the premises thoroughly, including a hazmat team to clean and disinfect the ductwork or we would bring in a team and back-charge her.  It was the very last time we ever used her firm. 

« Last Edit: November 21, 2013, 09:00 PM by Sparktrician »
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Offline NYC Tiny Shop

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2013, 09:59 PM »
Isn't, perhaps, the correct question, "What are you? ...a slob, a neat-freak, or pragmatically in-between?" Years go, I worked with an electrician who's truck looked like a snake-pit.  I also worked for a central air condition man whose truck was immaculate, but personally was a slob in just about every way, possible.
 I hate to spend one second looking for a tool, so I put back everything where it goes.  I'm the same way at home...keys on the hook, toothbrush in the cup, wallet in my jacket top pocket.  My wife will tell you that I'm definetly not a neat-freak, but I'm not a slob.  In the book, "the Sacred Path of the Warrior," by Tibetan monk Chogyam Trunpa, he writes of your living space as being a reflection of yourself...we have all heard this before, somewhere.  For me the question is, " Is the way that I am working organized enough that I am efficient and enjoying my work, or is it causing me to waste time and adding to my frustration." If it is the latter, then I will address the issues and deal with them.  Another favorite philosopher, Lao Tsu, wrote in the Tao De Ching, "Do Nothing, But Leave Nothing Undone."

Offline NERemodeling

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2013, 10:53 PM »
As far as my most common subs go:

I swear my sheet rockers don't own a vac.. they pick up their scraps and throw them in the dumpster but that's where they stop, truck is kept organized

My electritian must not even know what a broom is, his work is great, straight, stapled nice, neat boxes.. his truck is so so but I don't know if he has ever picked up his drillings, wire cutoffs etc.

Plumber is actually pretty darn good on all accounts

Hvac and insulators, nothing to write home about but OK

Painters, awesome.. end of day tools are always on one drop cloth out of the way and everything g gets vaccumed. But his van is a disaster

John
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Offline Reiska

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2013, 02:56 AM »
When we gutted my current house the cleanest and most organized bloke by a mile was the wetspace contractor who meticulously cleaned every day after demo/build work and left the house spotless. Including the back yard.

The electricians were a good second thou they clearly didn't care jack about wire peel stubs on the floor.

Out carpenter was quite good and very efficient, but we had a deal that we do the cleanup ourselves so cant comment how good a job he would have done otherwise.

The painters were a mess (that would be me & my wife ;-)

But by far the worst was the plumber who turned up stinking of old booze and happily smashed his wrench through a finished & painted drywall while tightening the pipe connectors and repeatedly dinged other finished walls around the water divider while attaching the hoses. Took us three days to fix all the damage he caused in about two hours.
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Offline Tinker

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2013, 07:52 AM »
My very first job in construction was working for a plumber.  He was a neighbor and had learned that i was taking a shop class (I was a sophomore in HS) that included metal working.  He asked me if i knew how to sweat.  He knew i was an old hand at farming, so i figured he knew i had sweated a few times in my short life, so i gave my answer a little thought before i asked if sweating had anything to do with soldering.  I knew how to solder and he told me it was close to the same thing. 

I ended up helping him to repipe an older house (this was in 1946  I sill lay claim to being 39  ::)) I am somewhat claustrophobic and i hate spiders, so my first job, and the reason he wanted to know if i knew how to sweat, was working in a very tight crawl space.  He was to fat to squeeze into the space.  I was only about 125#s ringing wet and the space was so tight, i had to determine ahead whether i would be working on my back or laying on my tummy.  i could not turn over once in there.  i had to cut out pipes as there was no room to swing pipe wrenches.  We were replacing old black pipe with new copper.  the work was interesting enough that i was able to overcome my claustrophobia.  The spider webs and occasional spider crawling on my face or back were enough to make me appreciate my fear of tight places.  All i wanted to do was get out of there and was amazed at my own self control in such a situation. 

Later, as i continued working with the man on weekends, i discovered he was an alcohaulic and his truck was a mess.  He would leave me on jobs to go after "materials."  By the time 2 or 3 o'clock came around, i was sorry i had left my lunch in his truck.  i had run out of materials to work with, so ended up cleaning up the job.  I would sometimes get into cleaning areas of the houses where we had not even worked.  Cleaning up our own messes and extending into other areas of the house would help me to ignore the rumblings of a teenagers empty stomach.  (By the time i had hitch-hiked/walked back home, i would find i had another job to do before i could sit down to a hot meal.  I would have a call from the plumbers wife to "...PLEEZZZE find Ken."  I would end up calling my buddy and the two of us would make the rounds of all the bard we knew of as his hangouts.  That is another batch of experiences)

I learned a lot about plumbing, mostly by working alone, and almost as much as i learned about cleaning houses.  I have many stories about my days of working with an alcohaulic plumber and house cleaning in general.  Today, i don't particularly care about either job. I have worked at jobs that are known to be a whole lot dirtier than plumbing and housecleaning, but far more interesting for me.
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline RKA

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2013, 11:45 AM »
In my limited experience, the mason would qualify as the messiest (sorry Tinker).  He arrived on day 1 with no extension cord.  By the time I got my nice clean cord back, it was covered in concrete and dust.  The ivy around the work area was covered in stone dust and trampled to pretty much nothing, same for the grass.  I found concrete debris in the front yard and back yard (he was only supposed to be working in the back) and more debris in the woods behind the house.  When all was done and said, the steps weren't uniform in height.  I'd say at least 3 different heights due to inability to plan his work.  On top of all that, I got a call at 7:30 in the morning on a Sunday from the dogsitter.  There was a strange man at the front door asking if he could work.  "Yeah, that must be the mason.  Let him work, don't let him inside the house under and circumstances!  Yes, I know, he's very odd!".  After all that, he had the temerity to ask about the bigger job we had discussed in the front yard.  He was not invited to return.

Second place goes to the roofers.  The picture below says it all.  Didn't want the dog getting a nail in his paw, so I started to sweep the yard as a precaution, then kept going as it became clear they didn't do a good job cleaning up!  They got an earful, I lost 3 hours of my Saturday and had a sore back to show for it, the dog would have preferred that I spend the time playing with him.



I hate having contractors come to the house...seems if I'm not cleaning up after them, I'm finding deficiencies in their work (just a different kind of cleaning up I suppose).  But sometimes I can't be left to my own devices, as the first thing out the window is anything resembling a timetable. 
-Raj

Offline Paul G

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2013, 11:54 AM »
Was having wall to wall carpet installed the other day and made sure to check each step so they wouldn't "sweep anything under the carpet". Unfortunately that saying holds true too often with that trade, they figure you won't see all the junk. There was scraps of tack strips and nails laying around right before they were going to roll out the pad. Made them clean it all up and also again before rolling out the carpet. Consumer always beware.
+1

Offline jonny round boy

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2013, 11:59 AM »
In my experience (mainly kitchen fitting) plasterers are usually the worst for general mess.

Electricians are fairly tidy, but seem to be completely unable to see insulation once it's been removed from the cable. You find bits of it in every cupboard & drawer!

Plumbers tend to cause the most damage to the work you've just done - usually a massive burn mark in the side of the cabinet under the gas hob they've just connected up!

By far, the one with the messiest work area though is usually me, but I do generally have a darn good tidy up at the end of every day! [eek]
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Offline MahalaHomecraft

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2013, 12:05 PM »
There's the other end of the spectrum, too... I've worked with my father on and off for close to 20 years now.  He's always said "the Job's not done until it's cleaned up."  So if we're refinishing a basement, having cut out a wall, he'd expect me to sweep everything up and put away the sawzall before moving in to the next task.  Even though the next task involves making a lot more dust 3 feet away, and using the sawzall again.  Being "too neat" can be a huge waste of time.
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Offline NYC Tiny Shop

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Re: Who are the most tidy trades
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2013, 02:25 PM »
Yes, my dad, too. He would have me get the broom and sweep up after each day.  There was a pride in capping off the day with leaving the work area clean.