Estimate on the estimate?

Photo by Marianne on Pexels.com

Working with contractors is a frustrating endeavor. Sometimes I wonder how some of these outfits stay in business since they apparently have a hard time following through with even the simplest part of the job – giving a potential customer an estimate or bid for a proposed project.

Now, maybe I am wrong (I have been know to do that once in a while) but I would think that these business would be falling all over themselves to line up jobs for the year. At the very least, get the estimate out there for consideration. Granted, not every potential client will choose them for varying reasons, but you can’t get a job if you don’t give the customer even the chance to consider you.

I am looking at having a concrete patio build off the back of the house (its not a small job) and I would like someone who knows what they heck they are doing rather than a few “weekend warriors” to tackle it with me. So, I have called about 17 different businesses in the landscaping to concrete categories. Of those calls, only 14 had the courtesy to call back, 11 came out to look at the project, and only 8 have submitted a bid for consideration.

Are these companies THAT busy that they just don’t need the work? Are they overwhelmed with job opportunities and can’t get the process started? I am confused as to why even the easy part is difficult to do.

I texted two of the businesses that came by to look at the job and said they would submit an estimate within a few days. Four days after they stopped by I asked for an estimated time on when they would get the estimate sent off to me. So, I asked for an estimate on the estimate. Only one has bothered to respond so far, and he has set his deadline for himself as “today.” I guess I’ll see.

Anyway, thought I would vent about a frustrating process I have been dealing with for over a month. I am hoping to have a decision made by the end of the week, so fingers crossed I get a couple more estimates to work with and compare.

Anyone else had a (or multiple) frustrating interaction with a contractor as of late? What has been your experience in the last year or so (setting aside that many couldn’t work for a short while because of “precautions” related to Covid-19)?

Noisy road

brown asphalt road beside lake

                                 If only my commute was this nice to look at.                                         Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

You probably don’t think about it much because you are driving and paying attention to the other drivers around you, which you should be. However, there is probably one thing you don’t notice you’re doing as a result of a noisy road.

The surface of the roadway is kind of an important thing when it comes to highways. I mean, it gets thousands and thousands of cars driving over it every day/week/month/year. It has to be durable, but also something that withstands heat, cold, weight, collisions, rain, etc. So, I am sure there is science behind why they do what they do when they make roads. But, really, I don’t care.

I just want a road that is smooth and quiet. Road noise should be a low hum that you really don’t notice unless something is wrong with the car. Instead, half of half of my commute is across 40+ year old concrete that has been worn down to the pebbles used to make it and it sounds like a jet engine starting up as you drive over it as high speeds.

Thus, I have to listen to the radio really loud. All to hear the traffic report. And if there is another person in the car, well, you just have to yell, even if they are just sitting right next to you. That is annoying.

What small things do you notice as you drive the same route and sit in the car for hours each day? Anything only you would notice and have to point out to others when they ride along with you?