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Spreadsheet Delight

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Well, maybe not delight.  I mean, spreadsheets aren't exactly exciting are they?  Unless you're an accountant I suppose.  Then they may float your boat I guess.  Perhaps I should have said 'Spreadsheet Satisfaction'?

We have various free sites here in the UK where you can find Trades People.  The one I tend to use is 'My Builder'.  It's simple and straightforward to use, allows you to 'shortlist' up to 5 people for each job you post, the Traders have been verified, and you can read feedback about them.  Plus the Traders responses which is only fair imo.  Most importantly, the three Tradesmen I've used through the site since moving here, have all been good.  It's time to crack on with the work on Base Camp as far as possible but Peetee is not going to be able to get here to work for some time.  For obvious reasons I'm not calling on The Ex Worker[?] Friend.  Hence I listed some jobs on 'My Builder' to enable me to find more local contacts. 
Ordinarily when you want a job doing if you don't already have a suitable contact and/or recommendations from friends, you obtain three or four quotes then choose which suits you based on price AND how competent the individual/company seems to be.  However I have a lot of jobs that need doing plus I'm looking to future projects too.  So I listed a number of jobs, including one that I designed to draw out 'Handyman' types.  A further useful feature of the 'My Builder' site is anyone who responds to your job request has already included information about what work they can cover, what training/qualifications they have, and so on.  

Although I have a pretty good memory, juggling so much information regarding people I haven't met, for so many different jobs, all in one go, is a tall order.  So I started a spreadsheet listing their names and what they claimed to cover.  Book two covers what I want doing and what they quote if invited to do so.   I would add in a 'gut feeling' section because often I just get a 'vibe' about someone and I'm generally right.  However, I remember my 'gut feel' about people even if I don't recall everything about them.  Besides, if I get a bad feeling, I'll just cross them off anyway.  I've had bad feelings about two trades people since I've been here [neither of them came from 'My Builder'] and in both cases I was correct.  One potential workman is already on the border line and I haven't even met him yet!  What I'm really aiming for is a handful of people I trust to do a good job at a reasonable price, to cover all eventualities.  It cuts both ways of course.  Traders want to know that anyone they do a job for isn't going to try and stiff them.  Anyone on my list of trusted preferred traders will find I don't mess them about, I'm upfront, and most important of all, I pay immediately when a job is satisfactorily completed.   

Peetee is currently working on an outside job.  Weather looks bad in the area next Thursday so he may be able to get here for a day.  That's not enough time to do any work on Base Camp but it does mean potentially he could come with me to view other properties.  He's been in the building trade over 40 years - he doesn't miss much.  With all his experience, he pretty much picks up anything a surveyor will notice.  They charge more per survey than he'll charge me for a day.  During which he'll drive me round various properties and give me his view on each of them.  So today I've been going through my list of 'saved properties'.  I eliminated any that are now 'under offer'.  That took me to 11 potential properties.  So I drew up yet another spreadsheet.  Cost, agent, size of kitchen, bathroom, smallest bedroom, garden, distance to train station and so on.  Plus notes such as 'off road parking' or 'garage'.  From the sublime to the ridiculous, I landed up with two.  I may add in one or two of the discarded ones on a 'gut feel' basis.  After all, I may as well make the most of Peetee while he's here. 

On the subject of which, I don't want him to just 'tell me' his opinion.  I want to tell him what I notice with regards to any house we look at.  Then he can say what he thinks.  I can't learn 40 + years of experience in one day, or even 40 days.  But I can hopefully at least start to learn what to look out for and the real major pitfalls.  If he's able to make it that is.  And if I can get the viewings booked in.  It's actually quite a sellers market right now and some Estate Agents are not being entirely helpful to buyers.  I'm clocking all that too.  Sooner or later it will switch and it will be the steadier, more reliable agents that I turn to.  Not the total chancers.  I don't need a spreadsheet for that though.  When it comes to how people or companies behave, I smile as I compute it all and store it away for future use.

I don't need a spreadsheet for cooking/using stuff up either - I guess that's my area of 40+ years experience.  Bits and bobs of veg needed using plus some milk so I made a veggie lasagne today.   emoticon

Bright blessings
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I have not found myself to be that good a judge of people that I hire to do work. I need some things done but because of the virus do not really trust having people come to do the work now.
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    32 days ago
    Thatis so funny that you mentioned trusting your gut..I was going to suggest that after yesterday’s blog about the agents.
    33 days ago
    You are soooooo organized! That's awesome. That would be wonderful if your friend could help you out looking @ properties w/you.

    Wishing you luck!

    33 days ago
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