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Old 11-17-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,764 posts, read 827,220 times
Reputation: 1804
Default Contractor Came to Door...

Hi all,

A general contractor came to me door the other day. He said he had done some work on the house about two years ago. I explained that it was for the previous family, but would be willing to learn more about their business.

I asked him to send me a proposal for two home improvement projects. He continued to try to get me to commit to cleaning the gutters that day after I told him I was not interested since the leaves are still falling (and I have a "forest" in the backyard).

I asked the guy how long the company had been in business and he responded "We are accredited with the BBB." Okay, but that doesn't answer my question and what consumer trusts the BBB? They are paid by business owners. Whose interest are they going to truly protect?

This morning I received the following email...

We propose to remove existing carpet, lay vapor barrier, prep, and then install hardwood flooring in place of carpet. We will then sand and stain existing hardwood floor. Price will be at $9.50 per sq ft. Material is not included.

We also propose to clean all gutters around house including down spouts and install 4" solid gutter cover by amerimax for $600 this week or $750 after one week from original proposal. Material is included.

Thank you for your business and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.


There was no company name, contact name or anything other than what I copied above. I have never seen such an unprofessional proposal in my life. Is this typical?

My first reaction is that the company would not be knocking on doors if they were any good, but I know times are tough so I'm overlooking that one. I also don't like the "strong arm" tactic of raising the price if I don't decide this week especially when next week is a holiday.

What is your opinion about this response? I know I could just decline to move forward, but I really need to understand how business works out here so I can make an informed decision when I search for contractors. How do I start to find reputable companies here? Word-of-mouth is not helpful because we don't know most of our neighbors and the few who speak haven't been here that long, themselves.

Where do I begin?

TIA!
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:15 AM
 
8,256 posts, read 14,711,720 times
Reputation: 2836
The alarm bells are ringing.

DO NOT PROCEED WITH THIS CONTRACTOR.

They might not be who they claim to be and may be unlicensed.

You should initiate contact, not them. Many scams work this way. Quite a few take the deposit and run.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:19 AM
WDJ
 
269 posts, read 346,397 times
Reputation: 202
I can't really answer too much on how the contracting business works out here, but in terms of searching for contractors, I've found this forum to be helpful as well as asking my neighborhood email distro. My neighborhood association also had a list of recommended contractors with comments from people.

That response does sound somewhat fishy to me, especially the price jacking part. Usually, I like to get quotes from 3-4 contractors, and sometimes they'll lower their quotes a little bit to compete with each other.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
10,185 posts, read 16,500,636 times
Reputation: 5718
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnfan View Post
The alarm bells are ringing.

DO NOT PROCEED WITH THIS CONTRACTOR.

They might not be who they claim to be and may be unlicensed.

You should initiate contact, not them. Many scams work this way. Quite a few take the deposit and run.
I agree. Too many red flags.

Putting down hardwoods is an art...you want someone who is knowledgable and who can show you his work through a website or give you references that you can actually speak with.

Vicki
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:31 AM
Status: "Support your Local Moderator!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Cary, NC
18,938 posts, read 28,304,879 times
Reputation: 15627
Quote:
Originally Posted by saturnfan View Post
The alarm bells are ringing.

DO NOT PROCEED WITH THIS CONTRACTOR.

They might not be who they claim to be and may be unlicensed.

You should initiate contact, not them. Many scams work this way. Quite a few take the deposit and run.
Quote:
Originally Posted by VickiR View Post
I agree. Too many red flags.

Putting down hardwoods is an art...you want someone who is knowledgable and who can show you his work through a website or give you references that you can actually speak with.

Vicki
Ditto and Ditto.

Not too many guys specializing in gutter cleaning moonlight as hardwood floor installers.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Holly Springs
3,478 posts, read 5,506,373 times
Reputation: 2257
RUN...ok well, it is your own house, SLAM THE DOOR! There are plenty of reputable contractors recommended here on this forum. IMO, skip the gutter guards anyway. You can pay someone to clean them for about 10 years at that price.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:54 AM
 
19 posts, read 18,018 times
Reputation: 36
Agreed, red flags everywhere.

I have read during my house hunting research that sometimes contractors will attempt to get money from you by claiming that the previous owner owed them for work done to the property. Did you purchase any kind of insurance when you bought the property to protect against such a thing? I forget what it's called right off.

And seconded that you should be the one to initiate contact with a contractor and not vice versa.

My .02$
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:09 AM
 
151 posts, read 254,509 times
Reputation: 141
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjd07 View Post
We propose to remove existing carpet, lay vapor barrier, prep, and then install hardwood flooring in place of carpet. We will then sand and stain existing hardwood floor. Price will be at $9.50 per sq ft. Material is not included.
!

We're building a new house, and our flooring contractor installed standard oak hardwood floors with a design in our 'octagon' room for $4.80 per sq ft. and this included labor and materials. He's waay overpriced.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:28 AM
Status: "Never have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
22,725 posts, read 14,320,073 times
Reputation: 28228
I NEVER give money or business to anybody who comes cold to my door----Except Girl Scouts selling cookies....
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:30 AM
 
11,151 posts, read 8,921,563 times
Reputation: 18522
Yes, ask for recommendations here, or check sites such as AngiesList. I'd be very wary of anyone who came to my door, unsolicited.
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