The past few years have certainly been a wild ride for the contractors of New Jersey. Like many of us, the events over the past couple of years have changed the landscape for them in ways they never imagined possible.

It also hasn't been that easy for those of us who were counting on them to take care of our home projects that we were forced to put off. And without that work to go around, many of our general and subcontractors took a hit.

I fall among many of those who were forced to hold off on home projects and construction due to the pandemic. We had a home addition planned going back to 2019 and had hoped to break ground in 2020.

But after March of that year, many of our plans were forced to go hold. Not to mention the astronomical surge in lumber costs made our hopes of somehow getting this addition done fade away.

We're still hoping on moving forward, but are being forced to wait it out a little longer. Even material delays have become a problem.

Construction workers build a new home
Joe Raedle, Getty Images
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When we realized we couldn't move forward with our full addition, we decided the time was right to redo our kitchen. We ordered our cabinets back in July of 2021 but the order ended up being delayed until April of 2022.

As of this writing, our kitchen project is almost complete. And I have to say, despite all the stories we typically hear about contractors, our experience has been nothing but positive for the most part.

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And that's the part I want to focus on here. We're constantly hearing about how contractors are screwing over homeowners one way or another, which includes those in New Jersey.

But you know what? Those situations are far and few between. We only paint all contractors with a broad brush because it's the negative stories that stand out to us.

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tombaky, ThinkStock
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You never hear of how well a project turned out, mainly because if it's done well, there's not much to report on.

With that said, I wanted to give a shout-out to all those good contractors out there who take care of us on every project we call them for.

Monmouth Ocean Region Realtors
Monmouth Ocean Region Realtors
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Our kitchen project is one example of everything going in the right direction. And to call it a remodel is an understatement. It's a kitchen overhaul that required an interior wall to come down.

Right from the start, our general contractor has been nothing but upfront about the process and has been on schedule for the most part, minus a couple of small setbacks that were beyond his control.

construction demolition rubble
Getty Stock / ThinkStock
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The demo person tore everything out in just two days, and couldn't have been any kinder. We actually learned that we both knew someone I once worked with and actually bonded as two fathers just trying to make it work in this state.

The plumbers and electricians were also very professional, and the drywall person was nothing but courteous.

plumber with tool belt standing in bathroom
ronstik
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The tile person was also great, and, much like the demo guy, we spoke about parent life. The only difference was, that his kids were grown up and moved out. Still, getting to know these people on such a personal level while they did their work was certainly not expected.

I also learned from talking to them about how incredibly stretched they are. Having only one person on a job site is not uncommon for many projects anymore as there arent' many people to do the work.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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It's unfortunate since having people in the trades is so important. We really could use more like the contractors we had come to our house.

But this part is also two-fold, as work for many subcontractors is light. Another unfortunate consequence of the pandemic.

Les Cunliffe
Les Cunliffe
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Our project isn't completely done yet, but so far, my expectations for what to expect have been blown away by complete positivity, and I thought it was important to share that with you as well.

Yes, we did have some minor setbacks since the project started, but when it comes to the people, it's been nothing short of fantastic.

Roofer builder worker
Olgasun
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Now yes, there are some people who went through some bad experiences with contractors, and it's a shame those bad eggs are sprinkled into what's otherwise a very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly group of people.

It's like any industry if you think about it. There will always be those that make everyone look bad, and it's simply not fair to those who do everything right.

So does the Boardwalk. (Craig Allen photo)
So does the Boardwalk. (Craig Allen photo)
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So to all of the contractors here in New Jersey, here's a shoutout for all of you. You deserve recognition for all the hard work you do every day.

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