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Question DetailsAsked on 5/11/2011

Is there such a thing as reliable contractors?

I've searched Angie's list and I have a few in mind but I wanted to get some additional feed back from members in the Maryland area. I need painting, carpet removal, installation of hardwoods in the entire house and ceramic tile and spa tub installed in bath.My preference is to have one company handle all. Any advice and or suggestions is appreciated.

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3 Answers

0
Votes

The job I need done sounds similar; loads of work in a short amount of time. We started looking for people on December 29th. It's Jan. 21st and practically nothing has been done, but somehow we've spent a lot of money. Most of the people I've contacted via Angie's List have done one of the following:

1. Not return phone calls

2. Not showed up when promised

3. Give an outrageous verbal quote (i.e., $11K for an electrical job without any checking), and refuse to give a written quote.

From my phone log, I've called 179 contractors for electrical, hardwood floor, cabinetry, tiling, painting and plumbing. Out of all of those people, only 4 people returned my phone call immediately AND showed up on time. Those 4 were also the only ones who gave me a written bid. I gave on contractor from Angie's List a list of 11 items I needed done. He gave me a verbal quote of $14596 for 3 items and balked when I asked for a written estimate. He then spent 10 minutes trying to intimidate me into signing a contract right then and there.


We have until Feb. 1st to finish everything and I'm very disappointed in how long it's taken for some of these people to even return phone calls, if they do at all.

Answered 7 years ago by fabooj

0
Votes

Suggestion: Get an extra week.

Seriously, that is an ambitious list of to-do's and the trades/skills involved are pretty varied. Looks like you need one of two companies or people (I use both words as the same) both with advantages and disadvantates:

    a jack-of-all-trades sort of generalist. This person does many things well and even a few very well. I'd guess (s)he will use subs sparingly and mostly as a tool to leverage days 'n hours available. He or she is in high demand which may mean that you are in trouble if you need to start very soon. This peson will likely pay a great deal of attention to your needs BUT, that same trait may keep him or her from handling numerous jobs at the same time which makes it hard to start on your timetable.a larger generalist. This person has wide knowledge and uses a variety of sub-contractors who put his or her demands at the top of their list to stay in good with the general (especially deadlines). They run multiple jobs at the same time and oversee schedules and resolve conflicts. This person is great at execution but change or disruption is a problem since they are so tied to keeping the flow moving on multiple jobs.

Even though your subject line includes reasonable, I really didn't sense cost as an issue equal to the schedule and handing it to one focal point in your post. If you find either sort of business, expect their service to be at a premium if you demand both good work and adherence to your two-week timeframe.

Be sure any estimate includes costs for changes and penalties for missing any comittments (time or otherwise) and be darn sure that your agreement clearly indicates your need for time being a primary goal to be met.

Now that I've probably told you what you already know, I wish I was closer to Maryland so I could have a referral or two for you.

Are you working with a decorator? I have only done that once (I'm cheap) but I did find that she was in touch with people who could execute her recommendations almost flawlessly...after all, they were trying to protect their own and each other's reputations.

Are you looking for referral info that you didn't find on Angie's List up there or are you trying to broaden your search to avoid missing something?

Sorry I don't have magic in my keyboard. Good Luck!

Answered 7 years ago by Old Grouch

0
Votes

Why does it seem that the less time there is for something to be done, the more problems there will be with getting it done?

One or two of the Angies List folks have popped in from time to time to remind us of the little extras that each office tries to provide like finding someone when you can't find a listing for their particular service and helping with the "why doesn't anyone call back..." issue that is hitting you.

Might be time for a call to your office to see if there is anything they can do to help you find a contractor that does what you need AND is prompt about returning calls and paying attention to your needs.

Heck, they might even want to know about the ones who seem to be jerking you around. Things that make the list look unreliable make them look the same and their reputation is critial.

Good luck!

Answered 7 years ago by Old Grouch




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