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Question DetailsAsked on 6/14/2011

How Do You Get A Contractor To Bid On Your Project?

We have some window, dry rot, and some siding work to be done. We've contacted 6 general contractors to bid on our work. All 6 came out to look at the job, but only 2 have actually bid on the job. And of course, the two that bid we were not impressed with. We were nice, polite, etc, but we did ask them some questions like: How long is this going to take you, When can you start, and Will you allow a time frame clause in your contract? The only thing I can think of that might have turned these contractors off was the time frame clause. I made it clear that we would allow them as much time as they needed, plus additional time. We just want some assurance that this job will get done. Can anyone PLEASE shed some light as to why the seemingly good contractors will not bid on our job? Thanks so much!

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8 Answers

0
Votes

This may sound cynical, but if you asked the estimator those questions, your savvy questions may have scared off shysters. OR maybe you need to wait a few weeks for a response from busy reputable contractors. Sometimes playing dumb is beneficial until a written bid and the contract is presented for your review.

Have you considered contacting a reputable licensed handyman via neighbor's recommendations?

Answered 7 years ago by tessa89

0
Votes

It sounds like you are asking all the right questions. There might be some stickiness in regard to the time clause issue, and in light of your saying you "just want to have some assurance that this job will get done" and that you have no real time frame, I'd suggest leaving that question out.

Who knows why people don't come back with bids? Maybe they already have enough work. Maybe you remind them of someone they hated in the second grade. Maybe they're insane. Maybe their parole was revoked after they visited your house. You will never know why people don't do what you expect them to do. It wastes their time and yours when they come to give an estimate on work they aren't going to do, and it's a perplexing thing. I've had it happen to me too.

But you are asking all the right questions, so full steam ahead. In my experience the best way to make sure the job will get done is to be clear about expectations and don't pay the contractor up front. Check references if you want, but the contractor is only going to give references from people who really like him. I think it's essential to be there to watch the contractor work if at all possible. He is a stranger in your house, after all.

Check the List, round up some more contractors, and when your energy level has rebounded try again. Let us know what happens.


Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

0
Votes

Krobo3. your A-L screen name doesnt state where you live, but 8 GMT is Pacific time zone. Surely you realize real estate values have taken a tumble/ That alone causes homeowners to seek upgrading their homes. Thus reputable contatcors are in demand.

The fix-it repairs you mentioned aren't big bucks,. contact your state's contractors licensing board & your city/county business licence agency for a list of small contractors or a handyman

If you know the siding Mfg, conrtact the company; maybe it's under warranty or recall

Answered 7 years ago by tessa89

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Votes

If you asked any/all of these contractors to come out on their own free will, without pay to come and look at your home problems, this is the start of 90% of the problem.

A paid estimate will guarantee that you understand that time is money, NOTHING is free. That includes the fuel burned coming to your home,

the time spent there wondering if they'll get lucky enough to get the job because you're the cheapest.

I give phone estimates only to members. That's it. Don't ask me to come to your home to "evaluate" me and your problem when I'm telling

you it's NOT necessary to see your situation. The list proves my running track history on an ongoing basis.

It kills me when I have as many reports as I do, somebody calls me up and acts like I'm this evil villan that is going to screw them at the first chance. Nevermind my reports. :scoffs:

These are the ones that I tell them my arm just fell off or I just fell down a set of steps and can't do the job. I just don't need to deal with those who try to take of my time without compensation.

Hopefully those of you who read this who are consumers who spend on an ongoing basis with service providers...

realize that there are some of us that know we do good work for others, proof is in the pudding and we purposely skip the tire kickers in the

customer base. It's quite easy to do since the phone is always ringing for the next potential customer that won't make that same mistake of

wanting something for nothing.

Hopefully I'm wrong in your case and you "did" pay for the estimate....but if history is any guide, most don't.

Service providers could spend 3 hours a day looking at people's problems and how they'd fix it....that's just not good economical sense if

you're a legit business that understands that when the wheels are turnin', money is burnin'.

Answered 7 years ago by RK44

0
Votes

I agree with the last statement . I get calls for an estimate and the second question is if it will be free. I ask the caller if he goes to work for free. I understand the homeowner on the other site. There is a stranger coming to your house and he wants to sell his service and he wants some money to do that. Truth is, speaking for myself , I spent over 26 years in the Heating and Plumbing field, 20 years of that in Germany( so please forgive me for missspellings) I had to learn a lot and still do and I can not give that and my time and my gas away for free. I know our company is not the cheap one so if the customer is not willing to pay for an estimate I dont think he would select us anyway. Quality is connected to price. I am always amazed that people wont complain about a Doctors bill, Lawyer etc or at least not as often as they do about ours. It mighthave something to do how people in this country see a trademan. And yes I know some bad Plumbers and I am ashamed they work in this field but some of us are good honest people .

Now why do some guys come out and do not get back to the customer? I am not sure. It is a waste of time for both parties. Sometimes they might get very busy and might even forget about it.

I thing this forum can help to find good contractors and protect the consumer a little more.

Have a great 2008!!!

Mario

Answered 7 years ago by Masterplumber

0
Votes

Okay fine.YOU only give phone estimates.

But these 6 people CHOSE to come out to this person's house knowing the deal. It was understood up front that they were being asked to drive to a home, review the work to be done and then give an estimate. There were no surprises on the contractors end. If they, like you, felt that their time was worth money, they should have, like you, offered a phone estimate or explained they only did paid estimates. They did not.

So your BOLD vitriol about the abuse of people who blithely want free estimates is unwarranted. If a contractor does not want to give a free estimate... don't say you'll show up and give one!



Answered 7 years ago by Jennalynn

0
Votes

[quote user="Jennalynn"]

Okay fine.YOU only give phone estimates.

But these 6 people CHOSE to come out to this person's house knowing the deal. It was understood up front that they were being asked to drive to a home, review the work to be done and then give an estimate. There were no surprises on the contractors end. If they, like you, felt that their time was worth money, they should have, like you, offered a phone estimate or explained they only did paid estimates. They did not.

So your BOLD vitriol about the abuse of people who blithely want free estimates is unwarranted. If a contractor does not want to give a free estimate... don't say you'll show up and give one!



[/quote]



So, you joined a website to give an opinion of my opinion to help shed light to the OP's genuine question. Nice.

You missed the boat and the boat ramp when you feel inclined to give me flack for my work practice. I'm pointing

specifically to the thread starter that IF she gathered these estimates, wasting 6 people's time and 6 vehicles all

burning fuel, there's why some people shed away from this situation. It's a wasteful property owner with the only

intention of keeping their pocket closely guarded, nevermind that the service provider is out their time and money.

I've solved the problem with this, you're commenting on my fix. I'd rather not have the phone ring at all than having

someone hustle me for my knowledge and time. It takes away from family and I don't do it to my customers.

Answered 7 years ago by RK44

0
Votes

This may sound cynical, but if you asked the estimator those questions, your savvy questions may have scared off shysters. OR maybe you need to wait a few weeks for a response from busy reputable contractors. Sometimes playing dumb is beneficial until a written bid and the contract is presented for your review.

Have you considered contacting a reputable licened handyman?

Answered 7 years ago by tessa89




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