Return PolishForums LIVE   /   Archives [3]
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Real Estate  % width 66

Construction (Poland Vrs where you are from)


OP SeanBM  
17 Nov 2008 /  #31
They always know everything and tell you that its better their way and they are right.

Is this men in general or specifically Poles? ;)

You know if you measure something in Inches or centimetres, you get a bigger number using centimetres, this i think is their main problem.
z_darius  
17 Nov 2008 /  #32
So I see they have you converted to the old, out of date feet system for rooms?

It's just practical. All building materials use imperial units. It's much easier to think about room height as 8 feet instead of 2438.4 mm. For rough carpentry 1/8" is plenty precise. For fine woodworking I settle for 1/64". In metric there is just too many of those little lines on the tape measure :)

When I was first asked to help out with construction estimates I had no idea what an inch was, or a cinder block for that matter. It also takes some getting used to dividing things, such as 3/4" into two 3/8", 5/16" and such. After all those years though I can eyeball measurements in SAE much better than in metric.

If you want to know something really messed up, I grew up in Ireland mostly and I am the generation that everything changed for.
I do rooms in metres but people in feet.
I do potatoes in Kilos, sugar in pounds and people in stone.
I still do miles even though everything around me has changed.
And I am happy to use centimetres or inches but it is better to stick to one.

I have similar issues with some units. I can understand only metric temperature. I'm ok with inches and pounds though.

That's why Poles who come to the US to work in construction always screw up. They cannot figure out inches.

Bullcrap. There is nothing to figure out. A number is a number, and in fact most Polish tradesmen are aware of inches since they are still using them in Poland for plumbing measurements.

You tell them over and over again and they still don't get it, waste their time trying to convert into metric, then wondering why the windows fell out.

You really have no clue what you're talking about, do you? I've supervised construction workers in NY, and I never saw issues you describe. In fact I can compare them to those awesome "craftsmen" who built the shacks of Brooklyn and some areas of Queens. To demolish an average 2 or 3 story house they used a hammer and a 2 by 4. Knocked one brick in, wedged the 2 by 4 in the hole, pryed and ran. The house went down. Then they were ready to build it the way houses were meant to build - to last.
OP SeanBM  
17 Nov 2008 /  #33
I think the only units of measurement that I know that is completly wacky is Fahrenheit to centigrade. I only ever use centigrade but I have spoken to people who use Fahrenheit and it is loopy.
koziolek  
17 Nov 2008 /  #34
People who still use Fahrenheit are either crazy or American. Sometimes both.

It was created with some degree of logic. The problem was that Mr. Fahrenheit started playing with salt in his water temperature analysis. I think he should have used alcohol. Maybe he did that as well.
Shawn_H  
17 Nov 2008 /  #35
People who still use Fahrenheit are either crazy or American.

Old Canadians use it as well.
z_darius  
17 Nov 2008 /  #36
t was created with some degree of logic.

Wasn't the only logic F's use of the lowest (at the time) recorded temp somewhere in Holland as the base for 0 Degrees F?
koziolek  
17 Nov 2008 /  #37
Old Canadians use it as well.

So do ancient Britons in a pathetic attempt to indoctrinate the young. If I hear anyone tell me anything in Fahrenheit, I just start going "La la la la I can't hear you la la..."

Long live metric! SI units rule ok!

Wasn't the only logic F's use of the lowest (at the time) recorded temp somewhere in Holland as the base for 0 Degrees F?

I thought it was the freezing point of water with a load of salt in it. Not sure though.
z_darius  
17 Nov 2008 /  #38
I thought it was the freezing point of water with a load of salt in it. Not sure though.

I checked.
You are correct, it's got to do with some salt (chlorine).
I was wrong.
urszula  
17 Nov 2008 /  #39
People who still use Fahrenheit are either crazy or American. Sometimes both.

I hate C. Never could get used to weather in Poland being in the 20's while here the 20's is freezing.
Fahrenheit is much better.
polishgirltx  
17 Nov 2008 /  #40
koziolek:

People who still use Fahrenheit are either crazy or American. Sometimes both.

I hate C. Never could get used to weather in Poland being in the 20's while here the 20's is freezing.
Fahrenheit is much better.

wow....i didn't realize that people might hate or love F and C... some things are meant to be taken as they are...
urszula  
17 Nov 2008 /  #41
You really have no clue what you're talking about, do you?

Actually I do. My brother owns a construction company and hired some Poles who claimed they know everything. Well, they couldn't figure out the measuring tape for one and tried to convert it to metric wasting time. Then they were suppose to nail 2x4's to the baseboard and they didn't measure it right so the 4x8 sheet didn't fit. Then they screwed up the closet putting screws in wrong spot and snd the dpoors were drooping. Then the sheetrock, fascia board, you name it, they screwed up the whole thing. So I do know what I'm talking about because I've seen it.
OP SeanBM  
18 Nov 2008 /  #42
some Poles who claimed they know everything.

It sounds like they were cowboys to be honest.
It would take a special kind of egit, not be able to read a measuring tape, it is clearly marked.
I would not blame all Poles for this incompetence.

I personally know some professionals builders here who have worked in America and I am very satisfied with his work.
Actually he is the easiest person to work with here for me because he can see things in Polish (concrete) terms and American (Wooden) terms, so we can discuss the best material for job.
sledz  
18 Nov 2008 /  #43
So I do know what I'm talking about because I've seen it.

I`ve seen it also, In Chicago Polish construction workers have a bad reputation for shoddy work. Most of them think they know everything and if they cant understand something then it must be wrong.

I have worked on many jobsites where we had to go back and correct mistakes.
OP SeanBM  
18 Nov 2008 /  #44
Well, they couldn't figure out the measuring tape

By "they" do you mean all Polish builders or these particular men who worked with your brother once?. I presume they worked for your brother once because nobody would continue work with such cowboys.

A difference should be made clear.
I cringe every time i hear the word "THEY" or "THEM".

I have worked on many jobsites where we had to go back and correct mistakes.

I have worked with unskilled men from many countries who pretended they were trades men ha ha ha.

I would just like to point out one horrible thing that happens to many immigrants.
Forced immigration due to financial reasons need to work as soon as possible and do lie about their abilities.
Outside Victoria station in London there are gangs of Polish people waiting each morning for the chance to obtain work.
A van will pull up and ask "who here is a plumber, carpenter, painter etc.?" everyone will raise their hand because they are desperate.

This is an illegal practise.
I am led to believe something similar in the U.S happens with Mexicans.

There are many horror stories connected to these people who have fallen on hard times or perhaps have never known a good time.




I speak from an Irish perspective, it was very similar for us in London.
In some ways better because of the language and in other ways worse because of the war.

It would break your heart what goes on.

I think I am a bit serious on here these days, hmmm.
sledz  
18 Nov 2008 /  #45
Polish people waiting each morning for the chance to obtain work.
A van will pull up and ask "who here is a plumber, carpenter, painter etc.?" everyone will raise their hand because they are desperate.
This is an illegal practise.
I am led to believe something similar in the U.S happens with Mexicans.

Yeah theres a place here like that you can find guys, Polish are there also.

I have worked with unskilled men from many countries who pretended they were trades men ha ha ha.

I think some of the best Bricklayers and Painters are Polish
Where do you guys think I learned all my Polish swear words at :)

There are many horror stories connected to these people who have fallen on hard times or perhaps have never known a good time.

Theres alot of people losing thier jobs and homes right now and new ones are hard to find.. I hope things get better.
z_darius  
18 Nov 2008 /  #46
Actually I do. My brother owns a construction company and hired some Poles who claimed they know everything. Well, they couldn't figure out the measuring tape for one and tried to convert it to metric wasting time.

Urszula,

this is how it works in construction:

You don't ask people what they can do, you ask them to show you. In many cases all it takes is see a guy grab a hammer and you see right away if he ever had a hammer in his hand. Put them on the scaffolding for just a couple hours and you'll know exactly what to expect. If your brother can't spot a fraud from an experienced construction worker then... well.. the frauds seem smarter than one might think, eh?

I met plenty of the types you describe too, but they were construction workers only in the sense that someone was desperate enough to hire them. Otherwise these were students, bureaucrats, waiters, history teachers etc, who came to the US to make a quick buck and go back.

A true construction worker from Poland (or any other country for that matter) won't fiddle with conversions and such. They work with the material and tools handed to them, and they do a damn fine job.
osiol  
18 Nov 2008 /  #47
.i didn't realize that people might hate or love F and C

I'm not sure about love or hate, but I certainly don't have feelings to each of these to the same degree.

I'm quite amused when people measure things in more than one scale at the same time.

It's 1 metre and 2 inches - I've heard someone say this when they were building some furniture. I'm not sure about these days, but certainly in the past, it was normal to buy wood that was measured in metric for width and length, but fractions of an inch for thickness.
z_darius  
18 Nov 2008 /  #48
I'm quite amused when people measure things in more than one scale at the same time.

It's not unusual for plumbers in Poland. Pipe lengths will be metric but diameters are in inches or fractions of inches.
osiol  
18 Nov 2008 /  #49
Didn't Napoleon have something to do with spreading the metric system around Europe, and that's why Britain and America (especially America) were much slower on the uptake? The roots of the metric system (and of the system of SI units) lead us back to 17th century France. The idea of a metric system of units of measurement were not entirely new then - there was an English chap before that, maybe some others whose ideas never quite caught on.

At one time, pretty much every country had its own system of weights and measures. Thankfully, we live in a world where measurements have an international language of sorts.

Do any old-fashioned Polish units survive to this day?
z_darius  
18 Nov 2008 /  #50
Do any old-fashioned Polish units survive to this day?

Mostly in old proverbs I think:

Nudy na pudy (very boring, something to the effect of boredom by the pound)
OP SeanBM  
1 Dec 2008 /  #51
I am going to post photos of things in Polish houses.
This is the two pin sockets.
These photos will make more sence when I have posted a few, I hope.



z_darius  
1 Dec 2008 /  #52
his is the two pin sockets.

I sure remember those, and how ridiculously they were designed.

I was wondering though whether the main issue with those boxes (always moving, or falling out) had to do with the mostly solid brick/concrete in which they had to be installed.
OP SeanBM  
1 Dec 2008 /  #53
had to do with the mostly solid brick/concrete in which they had to be installed.

Well it is because they are not screwed together but have an overly complicated "harpoon" on the inside of the socket that opens up inside the hole in the wall.

With constant pulling out of a plug, I don't know how they thought these things could last.

Someone take a photo of the cold tap/ hot tap or the carpet in the bathroom and post it here.

This photo shows the back of the socket/light switch.
The pencil is pointing at one of the "harpoon's" teeth.
I think the elastic-band is to stop the teeth from going all over the place?



OP SeanBM  
4 Jan 2009 /  #54
Poland has a very different philosophy when it comes to building houses.
In Ireland we put walls around the houses, so the garden is most blocked from the path but you can see straight into the living room, where people are watching telly or whatever.

Here the houses tend to have a kind of chicken wire fence, exposing the whole garden but you can not see into the houses.

I find here that although people like growing vegetables and gardening in general they do not pay much attention to the ground works. I will try to explain myself, take the average four story block of flats built during communism, not the prettiest but grapes grow very well here and having a bit of arched trestle at the front would do wonders to the whole building.

I know it is a matter of money and a lot of these blocks need to be insulated and in some cases new electrics and plumbing, so ground works is not a priority but I just thought it worth a mention.

Here is a close up of log houses in Zakopane.
Notice the sawdust is used to fill the gaps in a very ornamental way, really beautiful.









ladykangaroo  
4 Jan 2009 /  #55
carpet in the bathroom

I always have one, I had one in Poland and it's the same here. And it's the best thing possible, especially when it comes together with a decent size bath and equally decent size bookshelf :)

The only thing is it should not be permanently attached to the floor, more a rug than a carpet. Otherwise it gets truly disgusting, I agree on that point.

Did anyone mention the windows? First: you won't see single glazing in Poland (the winters...). Secondly: the windows are supposed to be easily open, all parts. No awning windows (especially the type which opens 20-30 cm max), very rarely you can find single hung window where only the top (or bottom) part can slide. And the window should never ever open outwards (unless you got some bungler builder working for you). The reason is simple: try to clean the window of fourth floor apartment if it opens to the outside of the building :)

cold tap/ hot tap

Fortunately I was lucky enough to find a place with standard taps, but that reminds me of this spectacular invention :D
OP SeanBM  
24 Jan 2009 /  #56
spectacular invention

I used that for most of my childhood :D
I had forgotten about those ;)

-------------------------------------------------------

Here is the standard grey finish you get when buying a new build in Poland.
You have to get someone to finish the rest yourself or do it yourself.
This is a flat in Krakow.
There were a couple of problem.
I refused to except it, on behalf of someone else,
until they moved the socket in the last picture,
away from under the water pipe.
And the interior doors were not hung, as was stated in the contract.

I think this might be interesting for people who are not used to the grey shell.
The developer will fit it out but at twice the price of the going rate.

Just something of note, in the photo of the bathroom, the hot water metre is there on the left, it sends a radio signal to another metre clock in the common use hall, so people do not have to trample into your place to take a reading.







OP SeanBM  
28 Jan 2009 /  #57
Hopefully you'll be able to see the wooden slates tongue and groove, on the roof of this church.
Common enough here in the country side and looks wonderful, although I do not know about maintainance or how it is treated? (crude oil at a guess?)



OP SeanBM  
4 Feb 2009 /  #58
Somebody asked me about insulating houses here.

So a lot of people use 10-15 centimetres of Styrofoam, glued to the brick and pinned with a plastic mushroom thing.
Then mesh and a few skims over the Styrofoam. (skims may have colour in them to avoid painting later).
When finished and you knock the outside of a building it gives a hollow sound.









osiol  
4 Feb 2009 /  #59
I live in a maisonette at the end of a short terrace. Every building in the road looks almost identical, something I don't particularly like about much housing in the UK. When I moved in, there was carpet in the bathroom. I threw that away pretty quickly. Most of the hot and cold taps are seperate. Kitchen and bathroom light switches are pull-cord operated rather than plastic switch. The washing machine is in the kitchen. There is no basement, and the water pipes run under the floorboards. Fairly typical.

I like the way so many streets in Poland seem to have houses, every one of which is different. I also like washing machines NOT being in kitchens. Bathrooms seem like fairly sensible places for washing clothes to me. I don't mind not having a basement. Here in the UK, they are not usually considered to be a good thing, possibly a throwback to the days of cholera epidemics and radon pollution as well as just stinky rotty things.

Metric measurements make so much more sense than old fashioned Imperial units and so on.
OP SeanBM  
4 Feb 2009 /  #60
I like the way so many streets in Poland seem to have houses, every one of which is different.

I think every single person who has come to visit me from 'the old country' Ireland, has made this observation and the consensus is that it is nicer to have individual houses rather than millions of houses the exact same in row after row of estates.

Which is all very well and good, considering what people are used to.
The only thing is it is cheaper and more efficient to build estates and for the developer to finish the apartment off i.e. the developer can buy 1000 toilets in bulk for cheaper than the buyer can buy one.

But it is a thing that all of the ex-communist countries have in common, the grey shell apartment, which you need to finish yourself.
I have heard a few theories on this one, all rubbish but the one I like the most is that during communism, everyone got the same, so now people can express their individuality. Load of rubbish, of course as we all go to the same shops, just some of us have better taste than others.

pull-cord operated rather than plastic switch.

I did not understand the reference to a plastic switch.
I personally do not mind a pull cord switch, maybe it is just the novelty that I have not seen them in so long.

Archives - 2005-2009 / Real Estate / Construction (Poland Vrs where you are from)Archived