Saturday, October 3, 2009

Battling construction crooks

One of the more interesting shows which screens on the Living Channel is "Holmes on Homes" which features Canadian guru builder Mike Holmes, who in each episode, with his crew, fixes up shoddy and dangerous renovation jobs done by bad tradespeople.
In the book he says that there are three types of tradespeople - the good (about 20%), the bad (about 70%, the ones who don't know or care enough) and the ugly (10%, the ones who are out to swindle you, taking your money and running). It's probable that these ratios apply everywhere. In New Zealand, the website is a starting point to see who fits in which category, but the general principles in the book are applicable.

The book also contains a lot of helpful information on how things should be done when it comes to the various aspects involved in building and renovating. Much is specifically relevent to Canada (and the USA) and less relevent here because of a different climate, different materials on the market, different building codes and some different terminology (e.g. drywall = plasterboard, thinset = tile adhesive), but again general principles apply. This first book was published in Canada 2 years ago, and was followed by an equally useful manual on pre-purchase inspections of houses (don't just reply on what a house inspector tells you, like all occupations there are good and bad ones there too).

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