Are there ANY contractors who keep appointments?

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Is it tough being a genius?
What makes you conclude from my post that I would consider hiring anyone who wouldn't even show up for a bid? I merely stated that when and if this person does show up to give a bid, they will get a shot of truth serum.
BTW, I would say exactly, "Why would I hire someone so undependable they won't even show up for a bid?"
Steve
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wrote

Good heavens! Get off your high horse!
Maybe I didn't read the sarcasm you tried to imply in the OP. Maybe I thought you'd go with the guy if he did show up. Maybe I don't really care.
Your choice.
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No, they don't.
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This is Turtle.
Your a what a contractor calls a dry call. A dry call is just another phone number in the phone book looking for a price and the odds of getting it is next to nothing or just maybe get it. Your asking for a mircle to get something done.
Now research the contractors in the area and talk to everybody you know to get a grip on who the respectiable contractors are and pick the one mostly that you heard good responces from and then call him. Tell him up front that you are calling him only and wanted him to do the remodeling job for you did get some good words said about his work. Then say I am not calling a bunch of contractor for a bidding war but you are it on contractors and I want you to give me a price on the work and if I can afford it YOU will do the work. Now I want you to give me a reasoniable bid that would be concidered a reasoniable bid by any other contractor in town. If the bid is reasoniable and i can afford it, you will do the job. Now if you can't do it, Don't want to do it, or Not interested -- tell me now and I will try to find another contractor that will do the items and work I described to you.
Make it clear that he is doing the job if he is just reasoniable on pricing like any other contractor in town. this takes you out of the dry call people and put you in the good customer people. The Dry call people get the run around and get no where.
TURTLE
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EXCELLENT reply, Turtle.!!! I get so tired of losers calling every company in the phone book for free quotes and especially free information!
I hate customers if it wasn't for their money I would drop them all..
Rich
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And with this attitude I hope they all drop you.
If you went into a grocery store and there were no prices on any of the items, would you bother putting anything in your cart? Would you spend you time chasing someone down to ask prices?
I don't expect contractors to have a "menu" of services. I don't expect contractors to tell DYIers how to do it themselves. I don't expect to get an exact quote for free. What I do expect is to be able to spend 10-15 minutes discussing what I want and ballpark amount that it may cost and not to pay for that. If it sounds good then I'll pay for your time and move forward from there.
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This is Turtle.
NOOSE , your speaking about a grocery store and we are talking about the service business. Call up your local grocery store and tell them to get all their prices on the stuff in the store and bring it over to my house and I will see what I want to buy from you. Now this is a free estimate and if I don't like your prices i just send you on your way and call the next store to come see about what prices they have. Secret here NOOSER , No grocery store is coming to your house to discuss prices.
NOOSER , two totally different types of business which I see you do not understand.
TURTLE
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So it was a bad analogy... It was supposed to demonstrate that customers make their purchasing decisions based on information that they can only get from the person that they want to buy from.
What I get from this thread is that contractors expect everyone who calls to know exactly what they want, how much it will cost and what work is involved to get it done. Customers are expected to wait months before hearing back from their contractor if they are at all good in their trade. Contractors have no obligation to actually give their customers any idea of what their project may cost, any idea of how long it may take or even when the contractor will contact their customer to discuss the project, if they even bother getting back to their customer at all.
As I said in another post, I do not expect to get a detailed estimate for free. I don't expect to get more than 15 minutes of time with the contractor for free, and that when he has the time.
If I call a contractor and tell him "I'm looking at getting a 24'x32' garage, three door, with roofing and vinyl siding, no power or drywall. The pad is already poured" all I want to hear back is "That should be between $12,000 and $16,000 and take about 10 days to do. Right now we could start in about six weeks."... From that point I can decide whether I want to deal or keep looking. That shouldn't take more than a few minutes for someone to figure out.
Anyhow... the whole point for joining this thread was to post my experiences. I don't expect anything to change.
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The old rule of thumb is "get three quotes". If, and that is a big IF, you know the contractor, his reputation, and maybe did work with him, you don't need three quotes.
I have a plumber, electrician, welder that I can call and give them a job. I don't usually ask the price because I have a feel for it and I know they do good work, fast, and show up. Fair price and we pay them on time. Typical homeowner does not have that luxury.
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This is Turtle.
Just about every do it yourselfers will have to get 3 bids for they don't do business with any of the crafts and have to search green with no hint as to what prices are. I have a electrician , Plumber, and Carpentner and all three sub contract to me in my HVAC business and we have a business relationship already. The Do it yourselfers are just lost when tring to bid out a job for price is all they have to go by.
TURTLE
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The problem is that often you don't know what a reasonable price is, except by calling a few people and comparing prices. A while ago I needed to have my (street-to-house) water pipe replaced. Had one guy look at it and give me a quote for $2800, then after seeing the surprised look on my face he said $2500. I said I'd let him know. He called 10 minutes later from his car and said "I can do it for $2000, but you have to let me know today". That sounded like he was trying to rip me off, so at that point I decided I'd find a better price, or do the work myself if I couldn't find one. I called a few people from the yellow pages, and got estimates anywhere from $1100 to $4300 over the phone. Things like that tell me that some are just out to rip you off. In the end I had the guy who estimated $1100 over the phone come out to look at it, he showed up on time, stuck with the $1100 bid, was able to do the job the next day, and did a fine job. Needless to say, if I ever need anything else done, I'll call this guy. If anyone ever asks me if I know of a good plumber, I'll mention this guy.
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Last time I dealt with contractors was 2 years ago when I bought a new furnace and A/C.
Called 4 companies. They all came out when they were supposed to, and got back to me promptly with quotes.
Maybe you somehow project that you are not serious.
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sounds like it's probably considered too small a job by the local contractors to make money on, had a similar probelm getting a concrete driveway addition poured, called 4 contractors who said they would but never showed up and never called to reschedule
this form of communication is becoming more commonplace in the "modern" world, i.e. no communication or extremely poor communication
put it off for months then mentioned to a friend couldn't get it done
he knew a hungry concrete crew and got the job done in short order
keep trying till you find someone hungry enough, might help to get a friend who knows a contractor who can do it, then you might have some leverage ; )
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reading through other replies in this thread was interesting, and a few more thoughts came to mind
if you are not a corporation, you are competing with them to get talent, and talent tends to follow the money,,,in effect, corporations are making life extremely hard on individuals
secondly, with 5 years restoration under his belt, has your husband considered trying to tackle the job himself?
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Welcome to the world of remoldeling! In my last house I spent over $100,000 fixing the place up and had some good and some bad experiences. What you complain about is very common. I got so I would call 10 contractors knowing that maybe 3 or 4 just might call back and probably 2 would come by for a quote. Just keep plugging away. If they are flakes and don't show on time....forget about them...they will be flakes all the way through the project. Just don't get desparate and hire anyone. If they return your call, show on time and are licensed, bonded, insured and have no problems with the licensing board....you may have found a good one. Get a quote with a start and finish time "in writing" and only pay for materials in advance and make certain they are purchased by you directly and not the contractor because if they disappear, you can be liable for them. Good luck with your remodel!!.........Ross
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On 1/3/2005 10:08 PM US(ET), Kim took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

the fastest growing county in the state, they're all too busy building new $1,000,000+ homes. You might go over to Lowes or Home Depot and check out their counters and installation schedules. They may have local contractors that work exclusively for them.
--
Bill

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based on many experiences, the typical contractor:
has about a third grade education (in america we call this a 9th grade education). nonetheless, their way of doing things (taught to them when they were still young enough to learn, a process which has long since halted) is the ONLY way it will work, and any other way is just insane. questioning anything they say will result in immediate price doubling, or no callbacks.
has child support payments owed to two different women. its hard to think straight with two screaming women calling you all the time asking for the check. so if its near child support payment time they may have never got any of your messages. they're hiding from the phone.
would never DREAM of actually doing the job. they have plans to hire it out, under the table for 10 bucks an hour, to whichever alcoholic or college student answers the phone that week. when you finally do reach them you get some sort of 'well i told this other guy to call you back and schedule a time' answer.
has or had a coke problem.
fortunately, if you look hard enough you can find an atypical contractor. unfortunately this is a long process.
randy

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This gets to the crux of the problem. There just aren't enough contractors out there. Despite the fact that remodeling and construction are highly satisfying jobs most of the time, no one wants their children to grow up to be cowboys...er, contractors. Let them fix computers and networks and such.
The consequence is that there's no good contractor out there who doesn't have more business than he or she can handle. If it's a small contractor who swings a hammer during the day and does estimates during the evenings, it's especially hard to spend an hour with a potential client knowing that the likelihood of actually getting the work is slim or none.
And if the contractor wants to hire help, it will be VERY difficult to find someone who will show up for work on time every day and is willing to learn. And if the contractor does find someone who will show up, can read and do simple math, and is willing to learn, once that person is trained they either want to go in business for themselves or they get lured away by another contractor desperate for help.
Bottom line - this is not going to be an easy problem to solve. Home builders address it by building houses in a factory setting and trucking the work to a building site. A decline in the new housing market will direct more workers to remodeling. And as prices for quality work go up, more and more people will consider a contracting career.
But that's no help for the job you want to start next month.
--
Doug Boulter

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You're always going after that bottom bid, heh.
Banty
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xrongor says...

actually my statements are based on WORKING for contractors, not hiring them <g>
randy
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