choosing a contractor

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Topic Author
brandy
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:45 pm

choosing a contractor

Post by brandy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:53 pm

How do you choose a contractor? Before I had the roof put on, I believed that the painting came before the roof. I had a few painters here, one (A) insisted that the roof came first. I got estimates from the others, but "A" never sent me one, and I got no response to my couple of calls. That was sad, because I had decided before he left that if his estimate was competitive, I would hire him. I felt he was honest, he made some suggestions that would save me money, and pushed me to get the roof done first. He was business-like, but easy going, I was comfortable with him.

I cancelled other painting estimate appointments to get the roof on. I rescheduled one appointment, and made two others, didn't even try “A” again since I never heard from him. The rescheduled one called to cancel, and suggested “A”. I told the woman my story, and said A would not come again. Well, he did, yesterday, because of THEIR intervention. He left an estimate just shy of 3K, and said that included a $400 discount. I asked why, he said because I like you.

Today another estimator (B) was here and explained their process in greater detail (maybe I'm learning how to understand what they're saying) . He, too, left an estimate. B's price was about $200 more, but with a couple of discounts, his total price is about $300 less. He brought with him a pamphlet with information related to their business and to interaction between them and clients. He was very business-like, very “stiff”. He did seem to loosen up a tiny bit part way through our meeting.

I was not as comfortable with him. I am not especially assertive, and that may be needed at some point.

Another estimator will be here in the morning. I expect the price will be similar. This company has also been in business for several years.

I have not yet read reviews on any of them, but that will be part of what I do.

When all is somewhat similar, how do you decide on the contractor? I think I would get a good job from either of them. If I had to choose between A and B right now, I would include a coin toss...

chessknt
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Re: choosing a contractor

Post by chessknt » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:02 pm

I would think if one of the contractors has shown that they are not responsive that would be a red flag unless the job is expected to be completed in one day and there is a bonded insurance company you can file a claim against if there is a problem they don't respond to.

Topic Author
brandy
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:45 pm

Re: choosing a contractor

Post by brandy » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:09 pm

I agree re the red flag. You're right. "B" said this job may take up to 4 days, in part due to the prep work. His pamphlet includes licensing info, bond info, and both insurances. Both are listed with the registrar of contractors here.

Scrapr
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Re: choosing a contractor

Post by Scrapr » Thu Jul 11, 2019 11:27 pm

You know i would not rule out "A". This is his busy time of the year. Many trades are back of the envelope guys that have not figured out how to run a business. Doesn't mean the work is sub par. You like him. It speaks volumes that the other company reco him. That means a lot. Truly.Then he sucked it up and called you back. That means he knows he messed up and came back anyway.That shows a lot of inner strength. That is an uncomfortable conversation for him.But he did it. Maybe ask him up front if there are going to be any issues on the job.And just have a conversation with him about his business life. His struggles. Get a better feel for him

If he says I had 2 crews quit & go to a different company that tells you something.If he says I had to start 3 crews off in different parts of the City that says a whole different thing. Most trades are up at 5:00 am lining out the day,picking up supplies and starting crews. It would not be unusual for them to finish around 9:00 pm. Iknow...not your problem. But the days can be long and stuff happens

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Sandtrap
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Re: choosing a contractor

Post by Sandtrap » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:32 am

Hire the contractor that is the most reputable, professional, organized, and follows through when he says he's going to.
You want the best written contract, best project, on time, with the best results, for a "reasonable price" (not always the lowest), from a licensed insured contractor.

Give the above, it is secondary if the contractor's personality is not as amiable as you would like. It's a business relationship.

On the basis of all this: pick A or B or C or D.

j
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lthenderson
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Location: Iowa

Re: choosing a contractor

Post by lthenderson » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:37 am

I've gone an entirely different route. I start by asking around among trusted acquaintances who they've used and liked. Then I ask that person to quote it and if reasonable, shake hands on the spot.

I used to try the multiple quote thing but gave up on it. Here in very rural America it was darn near impossible to get multiple quotes and if you did, getting them grouped up so that you can get back to one of the earlier quotes in a timely manner was even more difficult. I spent three years trying to quote my house addition project and got exactly two quotes about a year apart from each other.

Topic Author
brandy
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Re: choosing a contractor

Post by brandy » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:07 pm

I've chosen my painter, he starts tomorrow, Wed. Maybe: looks seriously like rain.
question:
Do I call the others who bid and tell them and what do I say? Thank you for your time, I'm calling to let you know I chose someone else.

Or do I not call them?

renue74
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Re: choosing a contractor

Post by renue74 » Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:19 pm

brandy wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:07 pm
I've chosen my painter, he starts tomorrow, Wed. Maybe: looks seriously like rain.
question:
Do I call the others who bid and tell them and what do I say? Thank you for your time, I'm calling to let you know I chose someone else.

Or do I not call them?
Don't call. They aren't waiting by the phone for your project. Tell them if they only follow back up, which is rare these days.

phxjcc
Posts: 378
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Re: choosing a contractor

Post by phxjcc » Tue Jul 16, 2019 8:47 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:32 am
Hire the contractor that is the most reputable, professional, organized, and follows through when he says he's going to.
You want the best written contract, best project, on time, with the best results, for a "reasonable price" (not always the lowest), from a licensed insured contractor.

Give the above, it is secondary if the contractor's personality is not as amiable as you would like. It's a business relationship.

On the basis of all this: pick A or B or C or D.

j
The above cannot be overstated.
I have used people that I liked that were poor workers, shoddy workmanship, ddid not show up, etc.

I have also used ones that said hello at 9 and goodbye at 5, that were great.

You don't want a friend, you want a service vendor that understands that you are the client.

Topic Author
brandy
Posts: 379
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:45 pm

Re: choosing a contractor

Post by brandy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:18 pm

My house is prepped for painting now, and the painting is to be finished tomorrow--Friday 7-19.
I paid 1/2 down, the rest to be paid when the job is finished, presumably tomorrow. I called the contractor late this afternoon to let him know I hadn't seen all the work yet, but there are two areas that need addressed, both gutters, both in front. The sky can now be seen between the gutter on the carport and the facia (not previously) and on the west end of the porch, gutter bent and out of shape.
Just realized as I type this it is not the painters to repair, it's the roofers.
QUESTIONS:
What's the proper procedure: call the roofer now--they replaced the facia and re-attached the gutters. Roofer rep should be out to check it in a few weeks--we're in monsoon season now, but haven't yet had rain.
Does the gutter get fixed before the painters do their thing (they are not painting gutters, only facia)
The roofer is licensed/bonded/insured, good local rep, in business here for a long time--80's, I think. How soon should I reasonably expect him to come and repair these? Of course I had the gutter put over the carport to channel water to a downspout, the separation now means not all the water is going into the gutter, but instead down the facia...
What else do I need to know?
What steps and what order, how soon?

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