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I want to replace the counter top and sink in my kitchen

The contractors I've contacted disappear once they learn that this is an apartment in downtown with no parking.

Any ideas?

Thank you.

Neighborhoods: 

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Comments

any legit contractor has commercial plates which enables them to park pretty much wherever they want. if you have been turned down by people who don’t have commercial plates you should count your blessings that you didn’t work with them.

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There's hardly any construction going on in the city and there are plenty of Commercial spots with no time restrictions all over downtown.

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Legit contractors charge more then the guys working under the radar. And the good guys have so much work it's really hard to get them to even quote on small jobs.

This isn't to imply the topic poster had tried to hire unlicensed contractors, just explaining that it's particularity hard to find good people right now. And the people who are easy to find, you don't necessarily want.

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well about contractors being overloaded lately.

Its true. The pandemic started a huge construction boom. Everything from new decks to new additions.

The two contractors I use are so busy, I'm often being juggled with other jobs. I've had more half work done lately because the contractor was triple booked.

And when contractors look at jobs... small job like a sink vs an addition. You will focus on the addition because its more money (and keeps way more people working).

I'd try to look at handyman services or someone who isn't a "construction guy". Handyman services are good for this, small jobs. Jobs like this where its almost something the homeowner can do (yes you could do this yourself), handyman services are great for. They don't shy away from the small jobs.

I usually send people to PANN when they ask. They are pricey but the annoyance factor is gone. They show up on time. They finish the job, and detail everything they did. Like a pro SHOULD do.

I'd also check out Home Depot services too (if you're getting your stuff from Home Depot). Again their home services department is meant for smaller jobs like this. And since they are backed by the Home Depot name, you may have less issues.

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Handymen services can be good. I've used House Doctors of Andover and had good experiences out in the burbs. I believe they have a Boston franchise too.

HD/Lowe's is hit or miss. They subcontract everything so it's a roll of the dice.

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I have no personal experience with them, but I've heard lots of anecdotal reports, including some from friends, of very bad experiences with contractors booked through Home Depot or similar companies. No, Home Depot will not stand up for you if you have any disputes with the contractor.

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Legit contractors have commercial plates that let them park wherever they want in any available legal space.

Some of the downtown neighborhoods are 100% parked up; there are simply no available spaces. So they have to arrange with the homeowner to shuffle cars, or schedule work only on street sweeping days, to grab a space right after the street sweeper passes through, or otherwise go through contortions to park. Many contractors just don’t want to deal with the hassle; that doesn’t mean they aren’t legit. Those contractors who have figured out how to deal with it charge a premium.

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Just let them know how close you live to a T station or a bike lane.

I'm sure they will be right over.

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The last handyman I had come to my condo took the T so what is your point again?

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in that palace?

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Commercial plates do not provide an exemption from parking regulations. For example, you can only park in a "resident only" zone for three hours with commercial plates. And you can't just double park for hours while you are working.

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Even commercial builders and repair people are being victimized by Karen and her 311 Brigade because it is a residential zone, or some other issue. If your contractor, plumber, electrician can't find a place where they can easily access their tools and supplies they may pass you over. The city 311 system is rife with this kind of stuff. And making matters worse even if the vehicle is there on legit business and is working, some of them are getting tickets for illegal parking.

So yeah, .... I see where being downtown with no parking, or anyplace with no parking, is going to be a nightmare to get help.

Case point... The carpet cleaning people were in nearby at an apartment building. He parked in the resident lot so he could stretch his hoses in from the truck where the necessary mechanics were. Someone came home unexpectedly early and wanted "their space." They could have parked nearby easily for a while but made a stink. Police came, lots of talking. The carpet guy had to pack up and leave and wound up coming back a different day. I am making an educated guess that the resident having the cleaning done didn't get any slack on the cost of them to return a second time.

I really feel bad for the nice cleaning lady that services a nearby condo unit. She parks a block away and hikes in with 2 pails, sponges, detergents, a mop and drags a vacuum behind her.

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I wish most neighborhoods had enough spaces for nonresidents so you could park only a block away for stuff like this. Or allowed nonresidents to pay to park in a resident space for a few hours. I honestly don’t know how you’re supposed to get to these places if you’re carrying too much stuff to take on the T, unless you park illegally.

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We have a democratic process that we use to establish the rules for sharing public resources such as street parking spaces. Some might have wanted contractors with commercial plates to be allowed to park all day. Some might have wanted no nonresident parking for anybody. Some might have wanted nonresident parking by special permit only. Some might want to abolish resident-only zones. The point is that everybody got heard, and the resulting compromise was established.

Once the rules have been agreed to, someone asking others to follow them, or asking the city to enforce them, is not in any sense a “Karen” who is “harassing” contractors. The rule is 3 hours. Don’t like it? Lobby for a change. But don’t get all butt-hurt when someone calls you out for helping yourself to something that’s not yours by right.

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About 10 years ago, Somerville decided to impose permit rules on the 1/3 of streets that were unrestricted.

It was not at all a democratic process. There was a whole lot of opposition, from residents as well as aldermen, but an unelected board made the decision and there was nothing that could be done.

Never mind the voices of nonresidents, who aren't represented at all in city government even though they have the most to lose under this scheme.

And resident permit parking is, by definition, helping yourself to something that isn't yours.

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The “unelected board” was appointed by a democratically elected government. The elected government has the ultimate authority over city streets and can eventually overrule the board’s decision. And, the streets are owned by the citizens of Somerville; nonresidents don’t own them and aren’t entitled to have any say in how they are used.

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Give the nice cleaning lady a lift and shut up.

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You want my resident spot? Pay my rent.

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If you're using a residential sticker to park on the street.. you are NOT paying rent for that spot. That rent you pay is for where you live, which goes to your landlord. None of that rent money is going to the city that is providing that parking spot.

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.

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Resident LOT.

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In reality, commercial plates = carte blanche to do whatever you want. Resident, hydrants, street cleaning, whatever.

Source: Head out to my neighborhood and walk around for a bit.

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Nonsense. BTD loves ticketing commercial plates and even state agencies. They get to show that they're writing tickets, and businesses & bureaucracies are likely to pay because cost of doing business and they're just rolling it over to someone else.

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No parking signs spanning 3 houses JUST popped up on my street for tomorrow and Wednesday. Less than 24 hours notice AND there is no record of those permits in the city database, only one for the development directly across the street. There has also been a commercial van parked in the same resident spot (not a special permitted spot) all day today with no ticket.

Devs and most contractors do whatever they want in this city, don’t @ me on this.

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If they ghost on you over parking, what would it be like if they took the job and they ghosted you for weeks.

Have you tried to ask on the old people's dating service.. erm I mean NextDoor. If you post in your neighborhood, others may have contractors that they have used before and don't mind the parking issue.

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They can also get a occupancy permit. Relatively cheap. Small job= Short job. Should only be a day or two. Even if it’s a week I think price comes out to just over 100 bucks. Not bad.

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You can’t get an occupancy permit just because you want a convenient parking space near the job site. There needs to be a bona fide need for access to the truck throughout the day. “I need my tools” doesn’t officially cut it under the rules, you’re technically supposed to unload your tools in the AM, and go park elsewhere. In practice, I haven’t heard of the city giving contractors a hard time over permit spaces unless the abuse is flagrant and of long duration.

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What!!! You never heard of contact paper???
Do it yourself and have fun as well as a 1950s kitchen vibe...

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A friend of mine was a very specific skill contractor no plate. He would just roll the parking tickets into the customer bill. It was pretty high end so wasn't much on top of the bill. The point is to offer to pay the tickets, or the daily parking garage bill since it's the price of doing business on their end.
Or get Lowes/HomeDepot to do the work and arrange the contractors.

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We called a contractor about renovating a small bathroom. He said he would call us in September 2021 about doing the job September 2022. Good luck. You may consider DIY.

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We used them recently for a small move, but there are other “small job” categories. Contractors are generally loath to do small jobs, but you might find a handyman who is willing and able.

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A company that sells stone countertops might be a good way go. They do much of the work for the countertop. A plumber might be able to install the sink if you purchase the sink separately.

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Tile company installed my counter and sink. Just needed a plumber for faucet installation

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Seconded. A stone/countertop fabricator will be in and out in a matter of hours and probably hook you up with their own plumber as needed.

I did a full gut reno and the countertop was replaced, in the middle of a blizzard, before I was done watching a movie.

I won't recommend the place for other reasons, but it's more likely you're getting ghosted by general contractors because it's a tiny job.

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If the issue really is just parking, then offer to apply for a moving permit for the day they do the work. That way they'll have reserved space right outside your front door.

Also how does it work between the curb and your kitchen? How long are your countertops? If they have to carry an 8-foot slab of granite up three flights of stairs, that can be a dealbreaker. If you can tolerate seams and they can chop up the counters into smaller lengths, that helps.

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If you're in a condo that's got a management company, check with them. They might have some contractors they can recommend who know the building's logistical limitations. Or they might have someone who can do it.

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I mentioned some work I had done to a friend in So Boston. She asked about the contractors, who I have used for multiple projects. I checked with the contractors and they asked me not to give their contract information for a referral.

Boston is too much of a hassle for small jobs. Not just parking but tickets were cited; permits and inspections were mentioned as well in addition to a list of profanities too extensive to post here.

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Is like a visit from the pope. They don't want anything to do with small jobs either. The electrician i got after the first one I had just wouldn't show up is getting a bit hassle from ISD.

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I got a contractor to do the work long before the pandemic took hold, but I spent 30% of a considerable bill on wasted effort. Getting someone who can do the work will probably mean getting someone who hasn't really figured out how to manage some contractors. (A full fledged drug addict with a state plumbers license who the state won't sanction, etc.).

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Empathy appreciated, but not useful.

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We got our counter from them and they wrangled the contractor as part of the purchase price. Quality was fine.

https://www.bostonbuildingresources.com/

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Thank you.

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I had sort of good luck with Olympia Marble & Granite (still cut the sink hole 3 mms too small).

Power Plumbing is pretty quick.

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Buck Jones LLC has been fantastic for small jobs but sometimes it just takes as long as it takes. He never had an issue with my location in Eastie though.

If you Google him his FB page comes right up.

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