EDITOR, The Tribune.
I have been trying to find a reliable, qualified person to fix our roof since hurricane Michael. We called the Labour board to find out what is the going rate for a qualified worker and we were told they have no guideline, it is up to us and the worker.
I am a woman in my 60s and I have no idea what to pay, without a labour guideline on the cost for repair workers, we have experienced, even the inexperienced worker expecting anything from 15 to 100 plus dollars per hour.
Also the lack of requirement for a licence, the bad work that is done and no one to inspect and approve the work done.
As we cannot climb onto our roof to see first hand what had been done, I can tell you by the number of bowls and buckets I had to place in my home during our end of this storm, tells me, the work was not done properly.
I had a contractor that gave me an estimate for $1600.00 to patch one hole on my second story side – $800.00 for materials and $800.00 for labour. I ended up buying the materials myself, which came to $200.00, saving $600.00.
I had a man doing some other work for me and he went on the roof and told me this was not an $800 job, maybe $200 at the most. I settled with the roofer for $300, it took him around two hours to do the job, so I saved $1,100 on a job that wasn’t even done properly as the next rain, I had the same leak. After having another person fix my roof, it was discovered the hole had never been patched!
I am asking the government to now place a cap on what can be charged. Let the public know what to pay per hour and have the proper inspections done before the contractor gets paid.
These workers should be licenced, because most of these workers that call themselves builders don’t even have any tools!
We need to know they are licenced and qualified to do the work. This needs regulations and fast. The public needs more protection from the government.
Any carpenter’s helper claims he knows what he is doing and passes himself off as a qualified builder. He does not want to work by the hour or day, he wants a contract for the entire job. Even though he doesn’t have a truck or tools.
With the devastation in Abaco and Freeport we will be needing hundreds of qualified carpenters, masons, etc, this could be the proper time for the government to place regulations on this industry protecting all Bahamians.
September 9, 2019.