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)?

Accountablity

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What are your thoughts about holding someone accountable?

Situation: Someone tells you that they will do something (or have something done, like a service) but it will involve several people for it to be seen through to completion. As the agreed upon service is unfolding, it is clear that its going to get screwed up because there are multiple people involved with several different parts to coordinate to make it happen.

What do you do at this point?

  1. Deal with the individual parts and let it play out, hoping it is done correctly.
  2. Go straight to the person who set the whole thing in motion and make sure they are coordinating the various pieces so the outcome is successful.
  3. Let it all go to crap and then hope it can clean it up after.

Being a planner, I think you know which way I would go here. But, I really want to know…what do you think is the best way to approach this?

Do you let the person who promised something hold on to that accountability, or do you take it on yourself?