The value of supporting local business

Furthermore to the point of avoiding travellers…

A few weeks ago I wrote about the subject of travelling contractors and, to a lesser extent, door to door salesmen. The point I was trying to make was mostly something to the effect, “You should support your local community which in the end benefits you too.”

I fielded a phone call from a local resident of the Wetaskiwin area who claimed he had too many bad experiences with local contractors and only hired out of town companies.; it seems to me this fellow is being a bit too fussy and unrealistic. No job is ever perfect and the best of us make mistakes; it’s not whether a mistake is made, it’s how you handle it that counts It reminded me of a situation I watched unfold some years ago.

Before I went to college in 1993 I worked for a construction company in my hometown of Oyen. We did a little bit of everything, including building grain bins, adding layers to grain bins (a horrible, thankless job), home repair and roofing. We did a lot of roofing around Oyen.

It just so happens the owner of the company one morning said, “Well, it looks like we’re going to do some work for one of your wealthy relatives.” It turns out one of my relatives, needing some roofing work done on her home, decided to hire a door to door contractor rather than hire the company that her relative worked for.

Now, you must understand Oyen sits on the bald prairie. Out there, we call a windbreak of bushes a “forest.”Not only that, the darn wind just howls across those bare, fescue-adorned fields.

The reason we were going to repair my relative’s roof is that the company she hired didn’t know or care that Oyen got heavy wind virtually all year. When placing asphalt shingles, they must be tarred down or the wind will rip them off. And since asphalt shingles are nailed together when placed, a strong wind, in a minute or two, can rip half the roof off.

The travelling contractor didn’t tar the shingles. When the next strong wind rose, it ripped half the roof off and dropped them in the yard, near the curb and out in the street. My relative tried to contact the travelling contractor and, I’m told, the contractor, who’d moved on to greener pastures, said “You didn’t tell us to tar, so we didn’t tar. It’s your problem, not mine.”

So my relative called us to fix the problem. My boss let me know that he wasn’t going to cut a deal for my relative. He said she went with the out of town guy, who apparently was “cheaper” than us, he ripped her off, let her pay the price for it now.

The one thing I will say for the out of town guy is that he had some attractive shingles there. We only put on colours like dual brown or dual grey; he placed blue, white and grey shingles that matched the colour of her siding. It’s just too bad that half of them blew off.

We repaired the roof and my relative not only paid for the initial work, she apparently paid through the nose to get the original work repaired. If you think about it, she thought she was saving money, but ended up paying quite a bit more than a roof should have cost.

Live and learn.

Stu Salkeld is editor of The Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the newspaper.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Pink Shirt Day in Wetaskiwin

Community supports anti-bullying initiative

Update on Rose Country Inn Clean-Up

Debris from Rose Country Inn Fire

Leduc County votes to continue exploration of regional transit commission

Leduc County council voted to continue participation in the Regional Transit Services Commission

Wetaskiwin shelter will close early after assaults, other problems

Mayor Tyler Gandam said mental health, addictions overshadowing shelter’s purpose

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Alberta government asks court to stay judge’s order regarding oilsands decision

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Barbara Romaine gave Alberta 10 days to make a decision on the Rigel projec

Alberta must juggle sluggish economy, big deficits, lost jobs in upcoming budget

Premier Jason Kenney won last spring’s election on a promise to boost jobs, grow the economy

Calgary father convicted in toddler’s death from staph infection granted parole

Court heard that John was never seen by a doctor until the day before he died in November 2013

Premier, health minister announces first phase of Red Deer Hospital expansion

Alberta government is committing $100 million to begin expansion

Kenney warns cancelled energy projects stand in the way of Indigenous prosperity

Woodland Cree First Nation in northwest Alberta will receive a $187,688 grant

Most Read