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Old 04-26-2019, 11:52 AM
 
3,247 posts, read 842,766 times
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My mother has called upon several tradespeople (via advertisements and word of mouth) to perform work after purchasing a family home (I say purchase because it was purchased from an estate / would have otherwise been split up among multiple heirs) for everything from roofing to lawn care to restoration, in an attempt to get the house in good repair.

The tradesmen and technicians from these companies (not linked in any way that I can tell) all do the same - they sound enthusiastic on the phone, then when they visit, we are told either the job is too big, too small, "they don't do that kind of work", their calendar is full for the foreseeable future, etc.

We aren't a square peg in the neighborhood, we keep the house clean, cars clean, and want our property to be neat just like everyone else's. Unless you count the fact that we're "d*** Yankees". But all money's green, right? Apparently not...
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:24 PM
 
317 posts, read 176,594 times
Reputation: 671
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
My mother has called upon several tradespeople (via advertisements and word of mouth) to perform work after purchasing a family home (I say purchase because it was purchased from an estate / would have otherwise been split up among multiple heirs) for everything from roofing to lawn care to restoration, in an attempt to get the house in good repair.

The tradesmen and technicians from these companies (not linked in any way that I can tell) all do the same - they sound enthusiastic on the phone, then when they visit, we are told either the job is too big, too small, "they don't do that kind of work", their calendar is full for the foreseeable future, etc.

We aren't a square peg in the neighborhood, we keep the house clean, cars clean, and want our property to be neat just like everyone else's. Unless you count the fact that we're "d*** Yankees". But all money's green, right? Apparently not...
It's spring, you and everyone else are calling for service professionals, so they're overwhelmed.

If they say "no" or tell you it's going to be a month until they can do it, they'll lose business. So they say "yes" and get to who they can get to.
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:01 PM
 
12 posts, read 4,545 times
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It might be that all of those things are true, or maybe they were trying to find a polite way of declining the work for some reason. When I worked in a garage we would often turn away work that we figured would end up costing us more than we would be able to charge, either for time, materials, or aggravation.

One guy aggressively questioned why it would take so long to change the thermostat on his Chevy Citation, when I told him it was because GM chopped the first two cylinders off a pretty decent V-8 and the thermostat ended up under the throttle body he insisted we were trying to gouge him.

Another guy who knew everything wanted us to use parts he would provide from a junkyard ("perfectly fine!" instead of new OEM parts and still expected the 30 day warranty..plus he wanted to be in the shop the entire time to watch us to make sure we weren't running the clock out for our time charge (which was a flat rate quote from the book).

Yet another guy didn't trust our diagnosis but insisted we do exactly the work he specified to fix his problem and still expected us to make good on it if it didn't resolve his issue.

Then there was the guy who we learned we had to charge double for everything he brought to us because he had tried to fix it himself, botched it, and then we had to spend extra time just getitng back to a known good working state before we could actually begin the repairs.

In other words, I'm sure that these guys want to work-- they showed up and considered it-- but something about it caused them to think this wouldn't be something they could tackle because of the skill or tools required, something you wouldn't be satisfied with for some reason, or some sort of issue with their scheduling that the job wouldn't fit somehow-- if the landscaping required the use of a bucket truck, for example, and theirs was in the shop, or it would have to be rented, or was already on another job, etc..

Don't take it personally, not everyone in the trades is right for every job and it may be that business is so good that they can afford to turn away work. Someone out there needs the job, just keep looking. Did you try Angie's List or other such resources?
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Old 04-26-2019, 01:31 PM
 
3,247 posts, read 842,766 times
Reputation: 3758
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrogers2005 View Post
It might be that all of those things are true, or maybe they were trying to find a polite way of declining the work for some reason. When I worked in a garage we would often turn away work that we figured would end up costing us more than we would be able to charge, either for time, materials, or aggravation.

One guy aggressively questioned why it would take so long to change the thermostat on his Chevy Citation, when I told him it was because GM chopped the first two cylinders off a pretty decent V-8 and the thermostat ended up under the throttle body he insisted we were trying to gouge him.

Another guy who knew everything wanted us to use parts he would provide from a junkyard ("perfectly fine!" instead of new OEM parts and still expected the 30 day warranty..plus he wanted to be in the shop the entire time to watch us to make sure we weren't running the clock out for our time charge (which was a flat rate quote from the book).

Yet another guy didn't trust our diagnosis but insisted we do exactly the work he specified to fix his problem and still expected us to make good on it if it didn't resolve his issue.

Then there was the guy who we learned we had to charge double for everything he brought to us because he had tried to fix it himself, botched it, and then we had to spend extra time just getitng back to a known good working state before we could actually begin the repairs.

In other words, I'm sure that these guys want to work-- they showed up and considered it-- but something about it caused them to think this wouldn't be something they could tackle because of the skill or tools required, something you wouldn't be satisfied with for some reason, or some sort of issue with their scheduling that the job wouldn't fit somehow-- if the landscaping required the use of a bucket truck, for example, and theirs was in the shop, or it would have to be rented, or was already on another job, etc..

Don't take it personally, not everyone in the trades is right for every job and it may be that business is so good that they can afford to turn away work. Someone out there needs the job, just keep looking. Did you try Angie's List or other such resources?
We haven't relented. I'll mention Angie's list to her.

Those are definitely cases where I'd be hesitant to begin a job. I'd hate to think that we even know enough about the work they do to come off as picky or micromanagers.

Unless these guys are literally looking for customers without a pulse, we're not assuming we get to tell these people "how" to do their job. We know what we'd like done. There could be a silver lining to this - maybe we're scaring off all the people who would normally try to scam someone out of a whole new roof instead of replacing a piece of flashing... oh, no! I'm that guy!
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:08 PM
 
5,882 posts, read 7,735,164 times
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I think a lot of people have this same issue including myself. At least you're getting people who actually say they don't want to do the job. I've had a bunch of people that have come out to give an estimate and still sound enthusiastic once they see the project, but then never actually provide the estimate or return calls. We've even flat out told people it was OK to say that you don't want the job, but I guess they would rather just disappear. Then of course several people/companies never even return the original voicemail to try to get an estimate in the first place.

Wait, did someone actually visit your home but then say their calendar was too full?
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Old 04-26-2019, 04:26 PM
 
3,247 posts, read 842,766 times
Reputation: 3758
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoPhils View Post
I think a lot of people have this same issue including myself. At least you're getting people who actually say they don't want to do the job. I've had a bunch of people that have come out to give an estimate and still sound enthusiastic once they see the project, but then never actually provide the estimate or return calls. We've even flat out told people it was OK to say that you don't want the job, but I guess they would rather just disappear. Then of course several people/companies never even return the original voicemail to try to get an estimate in the first place.

Wait, did someone actually visit your home but then say their calendar was too full?
In the case of water remediation after the crawlspace flooded (creek on the property) a company's rep agreed to dispatch, sent a tech for an estimate, tech showed up, looked around under the house, and then proceeded to hem and haw about how they've been busy with work from hurricane insurance claims and there was no prediction of when they'd be done.

What. The.
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Old 04-27-2019, 05:32 AM
 
Location: CHARLOTTE (REALLY)
163 posts, read 68,183 times
Reputation: 158
All of the replies are good answers. One possibility to consider is the zip code of the property. Regardless of the value of the home, some contractors just won't come out to certain zip codes. You are better off without them. They charge exorbitant prices for easy jobs.


Some won't come out unless it looks like it will be a high profit job. A few years ago, I called several contractors to get a price on rebuilding a raised garden bed that surrounds part of my house. I was open to suggestions. I was told by two landscapers flat out that they didn't service my zip code. ($350,000 house, 2500 square feet. Not exactly poverty level housing).


I got a few landscapers to come out after telling them that I was open to anything attractive. Two came out and quoted me outrageous prices. One quoted $5,000.00 for plain brick. Another quoted me about the same for cement block and a bit more for treated wood.


I asked around the neighborhood and got a guy who came out and replaced the old timbers for new for $600.00. He called me six months later to see if I was happy with his work. He called again a year later!


Bottom line: call, call, call. Get three estimates. Get referrals. When I moved to Charlotte thirty years ago, EVERYBODY flocked to the city for work, including handy men. Some of these guys walked off the job and didn't come back.


I am hearing about others who are experiencing the same thing now, and not too long ago, I contracted for a very small renovation. After three months and three holidays , the job wasn't finished. There are the fly-by-night guys and the ones whose work is overpriced. (They know that their quote is outrageous, but they figure that it's more profitable to produce many quotes until they get a bite).



If someone does come out to do work, check their work. I paid for plumbing work twenty five years ago only to find a year ago that I didn't get what I paid for. I found that out when I pad for a home inspection.



Again: call, call, call. Get three estimates. Get referrals. Don't go with the first guy that comes out.
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:06 AM
 
291 posts, read 57,765 times
Reputation: 361
Learn to explain what you need done in SPANISH!
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:52 PM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
21,961 posts, read 27,242,088 times
Reputation: 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by ddm2k View Post
My mother has called upon several tradespeople (via advertisements and word of mouth) to perform work after purchasing a family home (I say purchase because it was purchased from an estate / would have otherwise been split up among multiple heirs) for everything from roofing to lawn care to restoration, in an attempt to get the house in good repair.

The tradesmen and technicians from these companies (not linked in any way that I can tell) all do the same - they sound enthusiastic on the phone, then when they visit, we are told either the job is too big, too small, "they don't do that kind of work", their calendar is full for the foreseeable future, etc.

We aren't a square peg in the neighborhood, we keep the house clean, cars clean, and want our property to be neat just like everyone else's. Unless you count the fact that we're "d*** Yankees". But all money's green, right? Apparently not...
Have you considered going to your city hall and asking for recommendations at the zoning department?
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:10 PM
 
67 posts, read 83,815 times
Reputation: 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound_295 View Post
Have you considered going to your city hall and asking for recommendations at the zoning department?
Donít do this. Municipal government employees should not be giving out such recommendations. Additionally, the zoning department would typically not have this type of info. Rather, it would be the building inspection department.
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