Projects, projects, and more projects

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So, how do you know when you have too many irons in the fire? Is it that you just look at everything and can’t decide which is most important or where to start because they just all need to be done? Or is it that you look at everything and you just decide that you don’t know where to start and therefore just don nothing?

Currently, I have too many things going on that I can’t decide where to start, though there is a looking deadline of rain coming at the end of the week, so that dictates a little of the timeline.

Project one: I have a front yard that needs some attention. I have a hedge and a tree that need trimmed and some Sluggo (bait for slugs and snails) to put down. While these aren’t extremely time consuming and aren’t necessarily urgent, they are the final pieces to having the front yard cleaned up for the summer.

Project two: A garage sale purchase needs cleaned up and tested. The house gets exceptionally warm during hit weather, but there isn’t a heat pump to control the temp inside. So, while visiting a garage sale recently someone was selling a pretty decent portable AC unit for $25. It’s four years old and needs to be cleaned up. I had the guy run it before purchase and it appears to be operable, but it needs to be given some attention. Unfortunately, it won’t likely happen before the warmer weather this week.

Project three: The patio has been built in the back yard and a gazebo purchased. Spent most of the day yesterday working on putting wood sealant on it to further protect the wood into the future. Now the assembly of the gazebo needs to be done…a very time consuming task. Obviously, having it constructed before the weather comes in this weekend would be ideal as it would help to keep the water from hitting most of the wood. So, that seems to be the immediate winner of focus.

There are lots of other projects that needs to be done too, just none of those seem as pressing as these three.

When faced with a list of projects, how do you prioritize which ones get done first?

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)?