CONTRACTORS: Do they target women or do they pull the same ruses on men?

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Many stereotypes about women are correct.
Why do we need to learn the job?
Why do we need to get several estimates?
Because the stereotype on contractors are true.
RicodJour wrote:

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MRS. CLEAN wrote:

Some. Maybe. For some women.

You don't.

Because it's the prudent thing to do when you don't have a contractor that you can trust - and that also trusts you.

You should be aware that such a crappy attitude about ALL contractors, and feeling put upon because of your gender in such situations, that your attitude comes through loud and clear. In other words, I'd add five hundred to the price of a small job because you'd be a pain in the ass to work with. And frankly, I'd probably never even get back to you or I'd give your number to the worst contractor I knew.
Building a relationship with a contractor is only important if you intend to use them again. And if they would ever work with you again. Think about it.
R
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RicodJour wrote:

Then how do you explain the "official" super-double-secret calendar for contractors I recently saw?
It had no Mondays on it.
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MRS. CLEAN wrote:

It isn't stereotypes of women so much as that women in general have a totally different life experience. Few of them have the 'fix-it' background to be knowledgeable about the building trades. As for the 'How much':
I won't sign a contract on a 'cost plus' basis if it includes labor as part of the cost - that is opening the door to a raid on your pocket book. Now if it is 'cost plus a perecentage of material costs' that is a different matter.
I prefer contracts on the 'total cost' so I know exactly what I will be paying. Of course I expect the contractor to build in a fudge factor and I may pay more than a 'cost plus' but...
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

I don't follow your logic. A cost plus arrangement is only a good idea if you have a contractor you know, have worked with before, and you trust. Labor is a cost to the contractor. Labor can be the biggest variable. Most contractors wouldn't have the foggiest idea of how to do a cost plus on materials only with a fixed labor cost. How can materials be an unknown and the labor be known? That makes no sense.

I think what you're looking to do is to have a cost plus arrangement, including labor, and have an upset or not-to-exceed price capping your risk. The standard arrangement is to have a bonus for the contractor if he brings the project in under the cap. In other words, he'd get more money for working fewer hours, and that money is in his pocket not the labor crew.
Google around a little bit, you'll definitely find a better way of writing your contracts that won't alienate contractors.
R
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Not just for women though. Unless you are well aware of who you are dealing with, proceed with caution. I'm getting estimates on a siding job. Large old building, more than the typical house. I'm getting at least three quotes. So far, one is $35,000, next is $48,000, and another is $89,000. How do you decide? All of these companies have been in business for 20+ years, so you figure they know what is involved.
My guess is the cheapest does not realize the complexity, the highest is over allowing for little problems that will come up. The middle price, I'm just not sure about. If two were close, I'd decide on the basis of who I thought would be the better contractor. Give or take a thousand dollars is not much on a job of that magnitude. But a difference of over 200% makes you wonder just who is right.
Another factor is the time to quote. One took a week, one took over two weeks and two visits, another took less than four hours. Does that determine who is the most interested or the most competent?
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Mrs Clean is, in fact, correct. If you check with the BBB and other consumer organizations, certain classes of businesses generate many time more complaints than others.
Cell phone companies, cable companies and contractors are ranked amongst the worst.
Fast food outlets are ranked among the best. Despite the crap quality of the burgers, consumers seem to feel that they get good and consistent value :-)
Contractors do get a bad rap and perhaps that's unfair to the really good ones. But, for the group as a whole, the bad rap is justified by the hard data.
--
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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I'd put it this way:
99% of contractors give the others a bad name.
Mrs. Clean
Malcolm Hoar wrote:

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says...

I'd put it this way:
If you have problems with 99% of just about anything, the problem is with you.
Banty
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Banty wrote:

LOL
I'd also put it with way:
99% of attorneys give the others a bad name.
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Am I the only one who thinks Mrs. C is just trying to pick a fight lately? Same with her rant about laying tile. No advice asked for or needed -- apparently just needs to vent and insult as many trades and genders as she can while she's at it.
Jo Ann
Banty wrote:

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LOL
I am collecting antedoctal evidence, but it appears there is objective evidence to support my experiences.
Regards, Mrs. Clean
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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says...

What - one person mentions that BBB shows a lot of contractor complaints? Nothing about what number panned out to be real issues, what the total number of jobs was, if customer expectations were in line with reality, or anything like that?
Oh yeah - you heard what you want to hear, one poster had something on that order; you're set.
I, and others, have told you some approaches to get *good* folks working for you. I think you've also pretty much let on that your expectations may be out of line.
But you'd rather believe your 99% number and strut around and laugh about it. I mean, certainly there's room for reasonable complaints and concerns about this, but not like you're doing here.
OK, whatever, whatever floats your boat, but you're being a crotchety jerk about this and and probably getting your jollies pulling our chains a bit. And any credibility you had is going down the toilet.
Banty
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wrote:

Pretty much. We sneak up on everyone we can.

Nope. The dumbest are the contractors themselves. Be better off as a civil servant with a whopping great, indexed pension.
Ken
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote:

I think I figured out Mrs. C's requirement.....
she wants the job done in the fashion of the typical high bidder but at a cost of the low bid.
Mrs. C you can have the job done
fast, cheap or good ......pick two
this rule holds true pretty much all of the time
unless you are extremely lucky, then you might get all three
cheers Bob
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On Tue, 14 Nov 2006 20:13:11 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@nospam.tnx wrote:

Until the fund is robbed blind and then abandoned for a "newer, better pension" - later to be plundered....
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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This kind of ties in with my post about craftmen being thieves,
I explain to all my customers how I bill : I use a basic rate book with the various pay scales for each trade, show them the rate, briefly explain my overhead and profit mark ups and work involved for a particular project. I invite them to ask questions, etc I have been in business for only 4+ years and I am looking to add my 3rd employee. I am booking projects for next May. I feel good about my work and sleep well at night. I have no idea how other contractors in my city or any others work/conduct business but the practice I have developed seems to be working well. Strangely enough I have gotten referrals because, as the customer said, I called back and showed up when I said I would.
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it is great to hear of your level of satisfaction. it is a great measure of success. remember to continue your attentive salesmanship and performance with each customer. an excellect contractor i know suffered mentally for quite awhile after the first weasel screwed him on payment. you will achieve continued recommendations with follow up visit and periodic phone calls or christmas cards. [for roofers, santa claus cards come to mind.] while we were here we saw your ____ needed repair and took care of that for you. when the contractor shows up bringing coffee and donuts to the homeowner 20 minutes early and vacuums every splinter out of the driveway at the end of each day, he'll have a happy customer for life.
srazor wrote:

various pay scales for each trade, show them the rate, briefly explain my overhead and profit mark ups and work involved for a particular project. I invite them to ask questions, etc I have been in business for only 4+ years and I am looking to add my 3rd employee. I am booking projects for next May. I feel good about my work and sleep well at night. I have no idea how other contractors in my city or any others work/conduct business but the practice I have developed seems to be working well. Strangely enough I have gotten referrals because, as the customer said, I called back and showed up when I said I would.
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MRS. CLEAN wrote:

This thread got me wondering if anyone can offer comments about whether any seriously useful contractor selection help can be gotten from Angie's List?
http://www.angieslist.com/AngiesList /
Jeff
--
Jeffry Wisnia
(W1BSV + Brass Rat \'57 EE)
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wrote:

Are all customers liars?
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