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Would you hire day laborers from the Home Depot parking lot?
Old 11-04-2013, 07:05 AM   #1
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Would you hire day laborers from the Home Depot parking lot?

I need some help with the home renovations, I'm just running out of time on the weekends to get it all done. For basic demolition like removing cabinets, taking down wood paneling, and painting, is it realistic to hire some guys I see hanging out at the Home Depot parking lot?
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:17 AM   #2
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I've done it a few times, although not recently, mostly for outside work like tree planting and fence-building.

The only bad experience was when I picked some guys up later in the day near a convenience store. One of them had been drinking, and I didn't realize it until after I saw his work.
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:21 AM   #3
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Wow, I can think of a couple of dozen reasons not to but hey it's your place go for it.

You might get great workers but then again you know nothing about them, their work abilities, if you can even trust them around your family or property, seems like a chance not worth taking. Aren't there any licensed contractors that have insurance in your area?
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:39 AM   #4
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Might cost more, but for a lot of the work hire a handyman like from Professional Handyman Services from Mr. Handyman: Help for Hire if there is one in your area.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:02 AM   #5
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I've never hired people 'off the street' but I hope you do and report about it. I am a user of coach surfing and warm showers. I have hosted strangers in my home and have been hosted. I found that trusting people has worked out great so far. Do not why these folks do not have full time jobs when they want to work. But, given that they want to work and you have the opportunity to employ them, I hope you go for it.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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Why not try a service like labor ready? They will be bonded and insured and you can pay with credit.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:43 AM   #7
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To work at or around my home? Never.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:48 AM   #8
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I hire manual labor that I can directly supervise all the time. All of the lawn care, pure manual demo, simple and straightforward stuff that I simply cannot do by myself.

In my experience and in our area they are either limited English Latin people (probably undocumented) and folks coming from out of town looking for anything at all because where they were is simply flat.

I have excellent experiences with them. But I live in a very modest home in the middle of very affluent area, so the targets of opportunity are not me.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:48 AM   #9
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I'd go to somewhere like Habitat for Humanity and ask if they know of some guys that would be interested in day labor for you. When I worked for them, we had lots of guys that we could refer out for stuff like that, mostly older guys that couldn't keep up a steady job but were good for a week or so of work.
I live in a rural area, so I have only one trusted handyman and would never let anyone I didn't know personally out to our place. He is solid gold.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:56 AM   #10
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It always seem to happen indirectly. Even for bonded services (like our pool remodeler), the workers do not speak English and could have come from the Home Depot Labor pools since different ones showed up on different days.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:00 AM   #11
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I wouldn't bring a random, unknown person into my home.
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:07 AM   #12
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I do all the time with no problem.h They are generally decent hard working immigrants who are here to make a living to help their family back home. They are often victims of unscrupulous contractors who hire them and don't pay them. They standing in front of Lowe's to make a living not to hurt anyone.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:36 AM   #13
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Never. No reflection on the guys trying to make a buck out there, but I would not want to take the risk.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:23 AM   #14
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Why not try a service like labor ready? They will be bonded and insured and you can pay with credit.
We used to hire day labor in the sawmill like this. You never know who your going to get. Most of these folks(in this area) we're good workers. Many were homeless, some by choice, doesn't matter the majority were hard workers. You do have to be careful, one guy showed up and asked where he was. We told him he was there to w*ork, 'like h*ll I am' as he started walking away. Apparently the man had been drunk for a few days, and just came out of the fog.

I'd be reluctant to leave them with family, or in home but supervised outside, maybe.

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Old 11-04-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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Elizabeth Smart was abducted by the day laborer her parents hired to do some work around their house.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:28 AM   #16
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Why not try a service like labor ready? They will be bonded and insured and you can pay with credit.
I've used Labor Ready and it has worked out fine. You can't expect skilled labor, but since I've been there to supervise I haven't had any problems. I would never consider them for any finish work.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:31 AM   #17
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Have never done it, and probably never will.

I'm a "I'll research you on Yelp" kind of guy when it comes to any services I need done.

There was a guy knocking on doors in the neighborhood yesterday (I never answer) who was leaving fliers for a painting contractor. I threw it right in the garbage. Mainly because I'm a renter, and if I need painting done, I'll contact the property manager.

But also because I'm not hiring somebody by virtue of them leaving a flier on my door. If I need a painting contractor, I'm researching them on Yelp, getting referrals from people I know, etc.

It wouldn't even occur to me to hire somebody off the street to do work around my home. Even if it cost me three times as much to have a "professional" contractor do it.
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Old 11-04-2013, 11:31 AM   #18
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Bear in mind that when you hire an unlicensed contractor (at least in California) you are liable for the Workers Comp charges for the workers.
For this, and numerous other reasons, I wouldn't hire such people.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:00 PM   #19
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I had good luck building last addition with group I got referred to at HD. Never have hired a single person, but in this case needed someone to set trusses and do some eave trimming. Also did the roof on the whole house with guys of which only one spoke English.

Big risk you take is that if anyone gets hurt and they are not insured, it comes back to you; your insurance does not cover. At least that's the way I've heard how it goes. As I get older and more risk averse (as in me on ladders and unknowns climbing on my house) I tend more towards insured and licensed people for the stuff that scares me.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:37 PM   #20
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We hired a couple to help us with our house when we lived in NYC. Some of the nicest people we met during our time in the city.
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