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chscl_gw

Outside contractor (painter) using bathroom

chscl
8 years ago

Not sure if this is the right place ask but wanted to get a range of opinions....
We are having the exterior of our home painted along with some landscaping work all done by the same contractor . The job is expected to last about a week and half. What is the bathroom etiquette when it comes to contractors that are doing work outside? I was thinking I would offer them use of our guest bathroom they would just need to cover their muddy shoes with booties. But hubby seems to feel differently, he thinks they will just go do their business when they are on lunch or break and he doesn't want them trekking inside the house with the mud , dirt and paint . It's nothing personal against the contractors, he's just an anal clean freak like that!
I'm just not sure it's a good idea to not offer the bathroom ... Maybe I will just not offer and wait until they ask in which case then I will let them ? Do outside contractors usually expect to use a bathroom inside someone home?
Thanks for any opinions!

Comments (125)

  • GreenDesigns
    8 years ago

    I think many of you that think that your landscaper or roofer don't pee in your bushes would have a heart attack if you realized that that was exactly what was going on. It can be done pretty discretely. Or, a giant Big Gulp cup inside the cab of the truck. And your bushes will still have their fertilizer dumped on them. There's going to be a way to accomplish the needs of Nature, even if you aren't accomodating about allowing that to happen. If you have an objection to that, then provide facilities.

  • snoonyb
    8 years ago

    "That about sums it up, this thread can now be over with!"

    Not so fast.

    Looks like the level is about a 1/2" below the rim.

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  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    8 years ago

    C'mon, let's take this thread to the 150 post limit. We're almost there.

  • sdello
    8 years ago

    Ok Tre here's another post. I'm an engineer that does field work at a variety of locations. I recently did a project at a small hydro-electric facility (single turbine originally constructed to support a small manufacturing company) and located adjacent to a dammed river. The manufacturing facility had been closed and demolished and a power company now owns and operates the turbine to supply power to the few local residential consumers. the point is that the only building in the area owned by the power company (my client) was the turbine building and control room. There is no bathroom facilities in the building as it is not typically a manned station. When nature called my client told me there was a gas station/donut shop right down the street. My project was one days filed work. We had a crew of 6-8 people on site. It was not worth trucking a port-a-john to the site and everyone survived. This to me is SOP.

    Also, I had my house re-roofed and there was a crew again of about 6-8 guys. They were onsite for 2-3 days. I was home at the time and certainly would've let them use the facilities if they asked. They never did.

    There is a small strip mall down the street from me and they went out for lunch. I suspect they are instructed to take care of themselves without asking/inconveniencing the homeowner. The issue was never discussed during negotiations and it wasn't an issue during the job either.

  • bossyvossy
    8 years ago

    I don't understand the need for debate. It seems crystal clear that the contractor s/b 100% responsible for workers' comfort, including restroom facilities, breaks, etc. I always address the issue as part of contract terms. If contractor passes cost on to me as part of job costs, that seems fair. Think about it, contractor has much better chance of getting a good rate on porta potty as he would need one daily, not to mention he would b in better position to know the better PP suppliers. Me as a once a yr user, not so much

  • vedazu
    8 years ago

    Okay, let's add another.
    It never would occur to me to worry about a contractor's employees' bodily functions for something like landscaping or roofing or even exterior painting--they come and go without much interaction with me. But, if they ask to use the toilet, of course I say yes! I recently had two workers here servicing the pool for a relatively short time. One young man used the bathroom at least three times....obviously, he was in difficulties and would not be able to make it to the local 7-11. Life--and our guts-- happens, and in my very long experience, I have never had one issue or problem with people in the trades having access to my house. So what if they leave a muddy footprint on your floor. If they have to go over carpeting, drag out a couple of old beach towels or something. None of this is difficult.

  • greg_2010
    8 years ago

    There are so many instances when clients come onto this board complaining that their contractor did something one way when they assumed it would be done another way. The typical response (rightfully so) is "You shouldn't have assumed. What was in the contract?".

    This is one instance where I think that it's in the contractor's best interest to specify these requirements in the contract or take your chances and deal with the situation as it arises. Don't just assume and then get angry if the house is locked.

  • energy_rater_la
    8 years ago

    once upon a time gw locked threads at 100 posts...

    interesting to see how long the threads can go now...
    if the minisplit thread is any indication it is into infinity!

    back in my construction days...I knew every air conditioned
    public bathroom in the area where I worked. which ones were
    were single toilet, which ones had big sinks.
    my favorite was the equipment rental bathroom...2 a/c supplies
    huge sink & single toilet. bliss on a hot summer day when
    you have to cool off enough to slide those jeans down
    to take a leak.

    I've never had a homeowner not offer to let me
    use the restroom at their house. of course I take
    pains to leave no sign having been there.

    but I do know contractors who do gross things
    like use the toilet & not flush to show their contempt
    for the client (worker not co owner), insulators who
    do nasty things in walls etc. y'all have heard the
    stories.

    the homeowner trusts me to do the job right
    and I like them...or wouldn't take the job in most
    cases. so in return for their trust...I don't rifle through
    closets or medicine cabinets & do the best job
    for them that I am capable of at that time.

    its a two way street in imo.

  • mdln
    8 years ago

    WARNING - photo may be offensive to some.

    So I was strong a defender of letting workers use bathroom facilities and what do I find.....

    Treb: contribution (? pun) to getting to 150.

    This post was edited by mdln on Fri, Sep 19, 14 at 11:30

  • snoonyb
    8 years ago

    I've, over time, worked with a house mover/remodeler, who the first action he took, was to remove the toilet.
    His "crew" were primarily from the "south central" neighborhood, and hand a tendency to be consumed with any newspaper.

    Sequentially.

  • sdello
    8 years ago

    did someone spill orange juice next to the sink?....Wait a minute.... Oh God! that's nasty.

  • Vertise
    8 years ago

    Mdln, see? Now did you deserve that?

    The quandry becomes how to handle things in the future. I had always offered my bathroom without hesitation. The last people I had here were slobs, so quite disrespectful and obviously unappreciative of having a clean and convenient bathroom to use.

    I saw a friend's powder room turn into what looked like a gas station john, in a very expensive home, and a few others that have experienced floors and toilets peed on too much (and stained), saying they were not used to people like this. Not only is it filthy disgusting rude of anyone to do this to someone else's home and property but now my "facilities" are fresh and new and I don't want my new grout stained! You just don't know the habits or attitudes of strangers in your home.

    I do think some of these people hate their jobs and customers and are jealous of people with money to spend so act out like this. Having someone like that working in your house is uncomfortable at best. After reading these various threads, things are far worse and than I could ever have imagined and I am not feeling the hospitality I have in the past, which is too bad for everyone involved.


  • mdln
    8 years ago

    Will be asking builder for new toilet seats (that I will install) after everything is done & everyone is gone.

    Feel like putting up a sign (remember the thread about tampons, toilets & signs). Maybe I should use this picture with a large red universal ''no'' symbol.

    There is a porta-potty right next to the house (within 4 feet), that GC put there before any workers were on scene.

  • Junie
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Great question. I wasn't sure how this was handled when I first started hiring professionals for work on my property. I make a bathroom available to workers. When they first arrive I tell them it's available and I show them where it is. I don't make them ask. My bathroom is near the back door which is convenient, so I tell them to let themselves in. They seem grateful for the courtesy. Also I have a big ice chest full, I mean full of ice cold bottles of water. These guys and gals drink up the water. I put in juice drinks too and snacks, but they seem to mainly go for the water. (I haven't hired for winter jobs yet, I'll probably do a hot drink and water.) These simple courtesies get you off to a great start with the crew. Smiles all around. You are being considerate and they appreciate it.

  • millworkman
    6 years ago

    But this is a two year old post, why dig it up Junie?

  • endlessremodel
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    These posts fall into two main groups:

    1. Men who want to regard themselves as equals to the homeowners whose homes they are working on, and

    2. People, invariably women, who don't want to clean up yet another foul mess left behind by some guy who has neither couth nor respect for the home he is working on.

    (Sorry, but this is a strictly male problem. You won't find anyone complaining about the mess a woman left behind in a bathroom.)

    the day a man is on his hands and knees wiping up another man's urine from the baseboards of his home is the day he will join group 2. This is not a question of valuing the contractor's worth as a human being, or valuing the work they are doing, it's a matter of invasion of privacy and simply not wanting to clean up someone else's nasty mess in your own home.

    As as for the question of why go to an old post: the post may be old but the problem is ongoing.

    What is the solution? One possibility is tell them up front where they may relieve themselves, which is not inside the house. They have no right to insist.

  • greg_2015
    6 years ago

    As as for the question of why go to an old post: the post may be old but the problem is ongoing.

    But you haven't added anything to the conversation that hasn't already been said. So why dredge it up?!?

    The sexist comments that you made were addressed way up the thread. Women are equal to men when it comes to being disgusting. If you didn't know that, then you've never had a job where you've had to clean public toilets. People can be disgusting when it comes to using something that they don't have to clean themselves. Gender isn't a factor.

  • morz8 - Washington Coast
    6 years ago

    Really, endless? I don't consider myself superior to any of the tradespeople I've hired. I wish I knew half what my electrician does, and he's wonderful about explaining things to me.

    Most adult men I know are fairly well housebroken and don't leave a 'nasty mess'. They go, flush, wash their hands and I do keep a roll of paper towels on the guest bath vanity they may use - or they may use the guest hand towels, up to them.

    Those housebroken men even include the HVAC man who came, apologetically late, with an upset stomach and definitely needed the facilities. It was cold, and I was without heat which he knew or may not have reported to work not feeling well. He left with my home warm, and did not leave a mess, nasty or otherwise.

  • SaltiDawg
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Some amount of classless sexist rhetoric going around.

    I've seen men that were slobs and I've seen women that were slobs.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    6 years ago

    It's only sexism when men do it.

  • endlessremodel
    6 years ago

    Wow. Unaware of hornet's nest here.

    In short, after a painter (interior job) used my bathroom, without asking, it looked like the photo posted above, plus walls, floor, baseboards, toilet paper dispenser and even the shower wall. I was very angry that on top of the thousands I was paying for the job, I also incurred maid duties. I don't ever want to be in that situation again and was looking for a tactful way to say that my home is not a public restroom.

    I see that some here have been tracking this thread for THREE YEARS. Hmmm. This will be my last post on the subject. My takeaway is that this is a surprisingly delicate subject and I will reflect on a delicate way to handle it in the future. And ...not visit this site again for it has more nasty attitudes than helpful ones. For those who empathize, thanks for your understanding of an unpleasant and difficult situation. Peace. Out.

  • greg_2015
    6 years ago

    We aren't tracking this thread. When you make a comment on an old thread, it comes to the top of the forum so that everyone sees it again. And if you've previously commented on a thread, the site notifies you if there's an update.

    It's commonly frowned upon in ALL forums (not just this site's forum) to resurrect an old thread for no good reason. It's called internet etiquette.

    If you weren't aware that this was a topic that people feel strongly one way or the other on, then you obviously didn't even read this whole thread before you posted your comment. That's another breach of internet etiquette.

  • SaltiDawg
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Solution for male contractors. Come up with your own for female contractors.

  • PRO
    Mint tile Minneapolis
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    its getting hot in here.....

  • PRO
    Dream Home Finishers
    6 years ago

    Ok, the easiest answer is tell the contractor that you want them to provide a porta potty during the work period. You don't have to worry about them getting your house dirty. You wont have to smell their b.m.'s and its the least hassle for everyone. As a contractor I hate using other peoples restrooms, but when the job budget is too tight or the home owner insists, you go with it. I don't want to be in your home as much as you don't want me their either.

    pay the extra cost for the porta potty its easier

  • Pyewacket
    6 years ago

    You don't have to let them in to use the bathroom - but if you don't, you must pay for a porta potty. Keeping in mind those things do get quite fragrant.

    It is simple human decency. If you don't want "them" in your house for whatever reason, pay for a porta potty. Or expect the contractor to charge you extra to pay for one.

    I cannot fathom why this is even an issue. Where do you expect them to go if not in your bathroom or in a porta potty? In your bushes? Behind a tree? Yes, there WILL be feces on your shoes if that's the route chosen, LOL!

    And no, telling them to drive to a 7-11 or gas station is NOT acceptable. Those facilities are there for the use of their customers, not your workmen.

    I have never had a workman leave a mess in my bathroom in over 50 years. And for the person who wanted to replace their toilet seats after the workmen dribbled on them - I guess you never never ever use public restrooms, eh? Because they often get a lot worse use than that.

  • hbomb123
    5 years ago

    I just had a small crew build a deck on my house. I had opened up my back studio bathroom to them for the first half of the job and their treatment of the space was nuts. They threw poop in the trash bin, left mud and urine all over, and flooded the floor. I talked about it with their boss and she said that she would tell them to not use it again. They would do what they normally do and go to the taco shop up the street. I guess they didn't. At the end of the job our dog found a pit of human waste in the corner of our small property. We are horrified, but also feel very bad that they felt they had no choice and had to poop ina random spot in the yard. I'm just not clear on the etiquette. I didn't want to disrespect this crew who did great work building our deck, but I took the poop pit as a big FU.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    hbomb123:


    In Mexico, you don't flush toilet paper; it'll clog up the septic system as there isn't enough water. So Mexicans have a habit of throwing poop in the trash bin. I was shocked the first time I saw this, but it's cultural, not an affront to you.


    Stop hiring illegal aliens to unfairly steal American jobs and your poop problem will disappear.

  • SaltiDawg
    5 years ago

    What a moronic conclusion.

    Stop hiring bigots and the nation will improve.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    SaltiDawg:

    There is no bigotry in facts. I've been to Mexico and was told not to flush toilet paper. I've been to public bathrooms in the southwestern United States and have seen the poo paper in the waste basket. If anything, my remarks are anti-bigotry; I'm excusing the behavior.

    I will never apologize for insisting my government defend my nation's borders from all threats, military and economic.

  • megan_h14368
    5 years ago

    I'm a woman and ran across this forum as I am looking to get some work done on my roof which will be an all-day job and I was thinking of offering inside bathroom access. If I do, based on reading some of the comments, I'll need to set some ground rules. But I don't expect any problems. The way I look at it is we all have bodily function needs and these workers should not be denied access to a bathroom if they ask. If they are able to hold it that would be great, but I'm sure that it can get very uncomfortable. I really don't expect someone to not have to pee the entire time they are here and that's why it would be nice to have bathroom access. (And, maybe I'm just being unfair on this one, but the one thing that would be nice is if they are able to hold in a #2 for off-site). But the bottom line is that these workers should be able to relieve themselves without having to hold it in all day.

    Also, I read one of the comments of using a large cup in the truck to pee into. Is that often done? If that can be done discreetly then I'm all for that.


  • _sophiewheeler
    5 years ago

    So, you'd be OK spending all day sweating outdoors working in your yard for instance, and being told to pee in a cup instead of into a toilet? Because not all contractors are male. But they are all human. If you cannot bear to have them in your home, furnish a portajohn, or have the contractor supply one and pay for it in the quote. Period. End of sentence.

  • Embothrium
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Hispanic workers aren't all automatically undocumented. They do often appear after construction and maintenance firms are hired because they are willing to work for what contractors - and their customers - want to pay.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    "They do often appear after construction and maintenance firms are hired because they are willing to work for what contractors - and their customers - want to pay."


    Embothrium:


    Thanks so much for making my point. When you're under constant threat of deportation, you can't very well negotiate for better pay, safety standards, or God forbid, a clean place to pee can you?


    I would have liked to have paid $58,99 for my van but I paid $26,000.00 for it.

  • PRO
    Lori Dennis, Inc.
    5 years ago

    On our construction sites, we typically provide a porto potty for our crew.

  • megan_h14368
    5 years ago

    I had posted a few days ago about roof work and inside bathroom access. I did grant bathroom access and the workers were very appreciative. They kept it clean, and there were no issues.

    I did want to apologize for my last sentence in that post (as Sophie pointed out). I was just surprised at one of the previous comments that mentioned urinating into a cup inside their work vehicle as a way to relieve a full bladder. I can see (guys) doing this if there are no bathrooms to use and I was curious to know how often this happens. As mentioned, we all have bathroom needs and I didn't want these guys holding it in all day because they didn't have access to a toilet.

  • sdello
    5 years ago

    I doubt the cup thing happens very often. My experience is that, either you find a nearby bush/tree to water or you drive to nearby business i.e. gas station, fast food place, etc. and use the facilities.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "My experience is that, either you find a nearby bush/tree to water or you drive to nearby business i.e. gas station, fast food place, etc. and use the facilities."

    Yeah, because that's what your doctor, lawyer, and postman do. Right.

    Lowly tradspersons. Who do they think they are fer chissakes?

  • greg_2015
    5 years ago

    Yeah, because that's what your doctor, lawyer, and postman do. Right.

    You let your postman walk into your house and use your bathroom? Wow, you're much nicer than me. Does he have a key so that he can let himself in when you aren't there? ;)

    Apples and oranges.

    I'm pretty sure all sides of the argument have been presented here. Let's let the thread die instead of just repeating the same thing over and over again.

  • sdello
    5 years ago

    JC, LLC

    I'm not sure where you're going with that response.

    Where I live doctors and lawyers don't come to the house and I expect have facilities at their office. I also believe that postmen in my suburban area probably do use a fast-food restaurant or gas station and doubt that they carry a "cup" in their truck/mail van.

    Megan said she could envision males using a cup inside their work vehicles and wondered how often they do. My response (as a male engineer that has done field work) is simply that I haven't encountered anyone that relieves himself in a work vehicle in lieu of the other options.

    Not sure where your "lowly tradesperson" comment is coming from.

  • SaltiDawg
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    "I will never apologize for insisting my government defend my nation's borders from all threats, military and economic."

    This post from the same person that based on a new poster describingconditions in their bath as left by trades persons concluded:

    a) The persons that messed up were "Mexican."

    b) The "Mexicans" were "illegal aliens."

    I served our Country for Twenty-Four years in the Military and unfortunately that results in "people" possessing the right to make moronic and bigoted statements, without any basis in fact what so ever.

    This was a thread about allowing trades-persons to use the residential facilities.

  • Elena
    5 years ago

    I agree that the workers are human and should be treated with dignity and respect just like any other human being however, this is the responsibility of the contractor to have a bathroom accessible and/or some arrangements made as to not inconvenience the homeowner (the client) to have to open up their private home for contractors to use their bathroom. this is a cost of doing business.

  • thatsmuchbetter
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    lot of grasping at straws here, racial and otherwise. By the 3rd or 4th day on the job you are gonna know if you like the homeowner and if they truly respect you and only then will you decide if you wanna spray a little on the baseboard or perhaps leave a brown handprint on the side of the sink. This could happen in any demographic. Treat your crew well and end with a clean pooper pretty simple.

  • Christine G
    5 years ago

    I'm quite frankly floored by people at their "assumptions".
    QUESTION to those so sanctimonious....
    If someone asked to use your MASTER Bathroom, would you???

    It's not about not being "decent" by not wanting some stranger in the place where you bathe and keep your feminine essentials and medications.


    That's all FINE and good for those of you who have a Powder Room, maybe on the main floor or by a kitchen... but what about for those of us who only have ONE bathroom?

    YES, believe it or not, houses like that DO exist.
    I rent a house and they had to have contractors here to do work.
    I was floored and totally uncomfortable with the fact that the first day on the job, a young helper asked to use the bathroom within 10 minutes of getting to the job and then was in there for literally 15 minutes... really???
    He couldn't do that business before he got to the job?

    Got over it in a minute... but then, second day, again, same helper asked to use my main bathroom right before going to lunch... and is in there again, 10 minutes to do his number 2? He couldn't go during lunch? If it were hours after lunch? Hey, we're human... Or if this were a rural area.... But, I'm literally less than a mile from a main strip of Malls and restaurants and gas stations. They even head to Home Depot at least once a day during the job, which is 1 mile away and also go for an hour lunch.

    NO, I'm not inhospitable and indecent, but my Bathroom where I bathe is an intimate place. Stop lynching the people who think workers should be just a little considerate about it at least.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    I asked a lady to use her bathroom yesterday. A lady with five kids, infant to 15, said no, that all were "under construction". I should have packed up my tools and left, but I went outside and pissed on the foundation of her shed.

  • SaltiDawg
    5 years ago

    And YOU wonder why someone might think you were a classless "person?"

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    SaltiDawg:

    I charge by the hour. I promise you, some customers don't want to let you use their bathroom and they damn sure don't want to pay for a half an hour ride to the gas station and back. They want it both ways and can't have it.

    I don't know how much experience you have peeing outside, but you better look for cover, hence the shed. Especially when there's a 15-year-old girl on site.

  • thatsmuchbetter
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    News Break:

    Florida Contractor arrested for public indecency involving a minor...

    be careful out there in the trenches, maybe just wear a catheder bag. Problem solved + you can wee while your conversing.

  • SaltiDawg
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    Two classless buffoons performing public indecency/expoure and tying to justify breaking the law. So it's OK if a child does not see it? Incredible.

    Must be a Florida thing. Porto-potties not available.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    5 years ago

    "Porto-potties not available."

    Correct. That's the problem. Customers don't want to let you use their bathroom, don't want to pay for your time when you leave to use one, and don't want to pay for a porta-potty either. That's why I should have packed up my tools and left.


    What about the problem of contractors using customers electricity? Shouldn't a responsible contractor have a generator in his truck? It hardly seems fair that the homeowner should have to provide that.

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