Estimate on the estimate?

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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)?

In the gutter

photo of roof while raining

Photo by Adrien Olichon on Pexels.com

Actually, the title is a lie because it has nothing to do with being in the gutter and everything to do with not being in the gutter.

Good service is hard to come by these days. That seems to be a common cry from and about all sorts of industries. People just don’t get the service they deserve or expect (I realize in a “me first” society what you deserve and what you expect may be two different things). First and foremost, you expect that people will be honest. Next, you expect that they will do their best to make sure your experience is great so that you recommend them. What you deserve is the best treatment possible with honesty and integrity, without you having to demand that minimum.

Anyway, there is an issue with one of the gutters on the house. It needs to be replaced because it has literally rotted from gunk sitting in it. This is partially due to my neglect and partially due to the fact that it was shoddily repaired about 5 years ago (again by me, who is/was and inexperienced gutter repairman). Because of the way I repaired it, it was difficult to clean and it didn’t drain correctly which allowed it to collect debris and then just cause the metal of the gutter to rust and break. Yeah, I didn’t do my duty on that one.

So, it has come time for a professional to get the job done right. I didn’t expect that I would get someone out the minute I called and I accounted for some delay in getting the repair done. I realize that they likely have other jobs they are doing. However, I didn’t expect that one company would tell me that it would be two weeks before they could come out to do an estimate and another company to tell me a price over the phone (it’s not a big job, just 26′ of straight gutter) and tell me he would fit it in between jobs.

So, I cancelled the estimate from the company with estimate delay and went with the company who said they would be out between jobs…only now it has been two weeks and still no one has come to fix the gutter. And guess what? It’s now the rainy season (I mean, come on, when is it not in WA?) and the rains are running down the roof, going straight through the broken gutter, and promptly flooding the yard.

Thanks gutter, dude. Thanks a lot.