Lee Dodson’s contractorside.com Mounts Survey To Check Pulse of Construction Industry For Contractors, Trades

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Lee Dodson, owner of contractorside.com, announces today the mounting of survey to reveal the true status of conditions experienced by men and women in the construction industry, the boots on the ground.

"The Contractor's To Do List"

The contractorside.com was created as a venue where the tradesperson can detail his or her experience, good or bad, so others in the trade could discover if a problem was on the horizon.

Lee Dodson, owner of contractorside.com, announces today the mounting of survey to reveal the true status of conditions experienced by men and women in the construction industry, the boots on the ground.

Asked why he was putting up the survey, Dodson replied "Nobody else is asking."

In a series of articles in the nationally recognized e-publication, The Brenner Brief, the writer clearly defines the disgraceful conditions under which "the people who can do things" currently ply their trades. In his first column, Dodson assails the lack of attention and of planning by the government to general construction. He calls it a lapse of judgment, which has largely ignored the fact that the average age of the skilled is now 57, and which now threatens very culture of America.

Dodson joins notables such as Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" and John Raztenberger of "Cheers" in calling out educators, unions, government programs for failing to train an entire generation of the working for jobs that are essential to the public, but the writer concentrates on the construction industry. He agrees with both men that too much emphasis is given on college, and not enough dedicated to basics of daily life, such as working and living environment, in other words, buildings, roads, and infrastructure.

The contractorside.com owner calls out the financial system as well, stating that the banks allowed sub-prime loans to raise construction prices drastically only to see the entire market collapse under a global recession. Dodson does not leave out governmental agencies. In his next column, he attacks unsupportable regulation, which drives up building costs by adding onerous rules, codes which began with good intention, but grew to the point of cost ineffective inhibitions.

Dodson will not stop there. His third article in the series will describe how courts, influenced by media and "consumerist" agencies, have developed a de facto bias against the construction industry in the general public, and this environment has led to a practice of continuing belief that trades-people are ripe for financial advantage taking. Small business has become so unattractive to the genuine producers that they see no reward for staying in the game.

Court is expensive, regulatory bodies have their own agendas, and the public believes construction is a means of larceny on the part of the trade. Dodson wants to hear these stories, but he also wants to see the data derived from the Survey.

To that end, six years’ past, Dodson went live with the contractorside.com in an effort to level the playing field for anyone in the trade. The website attained over a million responses in that time, but the owner wanted to broaden the appeal, so he finished off honoring all implied contracts and set about improving the site.

Dodson re-launched the site to provide a more robust platform for contractors and tradespersons to attain more control of the marketplace by airing both complaints and accolades for the people and business with which they deal on a daily basis. The site has space for videos, sound pieces, still photos for ease of access and for those who find writing a narrative less than easy.

The contractorside.com is a starting point for those in the trades to tell others their experience with a client, a business, an agency, even a politician, whether good, or not-so-good.

"The people in our line of work have taken it in the shorts from clients, courts, lawyers, government agencies, and lackluster performance by those in authority long enough. We are broke, weary of empty promises, edgy about the future," Dodson said. "We are proud people who work for a living, want to work for what we get, not afraid to tackle problems from which most would rather run. We ask for nothing but a job, something to build. We go home dirty, sweaty, and tired from a decent day’s work, and we get things done. This is not rocket science, but it is a career," Dodson stated as he mounted the survey to ask for answers from the boots on the building site, large or small.

During the last six years, Dodson notes, the construction industry suffered dire hardship as the economy plummeted. The industry’s normal share of economy until 2008 ran in the 23-26% range, today it is less than 8%, marginally up from 3% in 2009.

Contractors abandoned their small businesses at an alarming rate, preferring to change occupations or to take employment with major builders if possible. Latest information from California reveals a 5% license renewal rate, the average age of a contractor is 58.

The business, indeed, shrunk, and with the pullback many reliable clients have left the market. What is left, Dodson says, is a tough market that sees hard times in the building business as an opportunity to negotiate tough deals that leave the contractor taking cash-flow jobs with little or no profit.

"We’ve been the scapegoat of business long enough. Business won’t change until we take action by giving our side, taking the side of other independents, and slugging it out by taking the opposition to task. It’ll take courage to tell some of these stories, but anybody who pours concrete, sets steel, throws walls up has that grit."

The contractorside.com was created as a venue where the tradesperson can detail his or her experience, good or bad, so others in the trade could discover if a problem was on the horizon. They could find out how to work contracts, specifications to avoid said difficulty or to avoid the situation entirely.

"This website gives the trades a voice," Dodson stated flatly. "I’ve seen almost every building situation in my career from bad weather to clients fighting each other, but there’s nothing worse than not being paid. The tradesperson is the business, and if that person is damaged people are put out of work, bills don’t get paid, and that’s where we are right now. It’s time for the trade to blow the whistle on the anti-worker climate."

In some cases, the post is legally delicate, whistleblowers, and the like, so anonymous posts are accepted. All posts are edited before final approval by the company, and are referred back for edit if necessary, but most are posted expeditiously.

The contractorside.com is the answer to Yelp and other websites that can be critical of people or companies in the construction business to level the field for trades people with this resource.

Dodson spent forty-one years in the construction trade, has written many articles for trade magazines, has served as expert witness in court cases, and has acted as mediator in many construction related issues. He currently contributes to The Brenner Brief e-newspaper and has written and published two books, Infiltration, a fictional account of a terrorist attack in southern Arizona, and This Never Happened, a high desert murder mystery.

323-243-0404
vndk8r(at)gmail(dot)com
http://www.skoshitiger.com/
Twitter: skshtgr11

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Lee Dodson
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