This doesn’t take to long to explain. When you are having a skilled trade done you can’t compare the price of the service like you do a fridge from Best Buy compared to Nebraska Furniture mart. That three hundred dollars you think you are saving by hiring the cheap concrete contractor will usually come back to haunt you…poor workmanship / durability, lien filed on your home because they didn’t pay for materials, didn’t finish the job.
So the moral is…if you want the cheapest price…you’ll get it for concrete in the Kansas City area….Just not from us;)
It seems…actually it’s true, it will rain everyday for a week here in Kansas City. Do you know what that means for contractors. They don’t get paid for the week because they didn’t get to work. If you’ve been waiting to get your concrete project done a week like this can set the concrete contractor back a good two weeks. They lost the week they didn’t get to work and then they have another week to get the planned work done (two weeks to catch up on one lost one).
I just want customers to understand this because contractors are more frusterated than you…they didn’t make a nickel when the weather dampens their plans, and its not like they were in Mexico on the beach…they were watching local on the 8’s all day. So when the sun shines don’t expect them to call you and show up at your doorstep…they have to pick up where they left off.
This is a great questions. With gas prices reaching “all time highs” everyday it obviously gets more and more expensive to drive all over town to give customers “free” estimates. Let me tell people something….they are not free. Estimates never have been. Someone has to pay for the gas and time it takes to do estimates. Contractors have built this in as part of their price of the job. With the prices of gas going up so does the price of the goods and SERVICES. Here are some things you as a homeowner can do to help or should consider.
- If your not serious about getting the work done ask for a number you can use for budgeting purposes. (I still would like to get in front of these people. As a contractor I always thought it was good to start working with people on their project from the earliest stage possible).
- Be patient. Don’t expect the contractor to drop everything to drive across town for your estimate. Everybody is trying to be a little more efficient.
- Be present for the appointment. This is one of my pet peeves. “Can you swing by and put the estimate in my mailbox?” If you can’t take 10 minutes out of your day to meet the contractor they won’t spend the time to drive across town (unless they are real hard up). Early on in my career we would do be willing to write something up and drop it off without seeing the customer. We never got one job by this, and most of the time the customer was unresponsive to any follow up. What a waste of time and money.
Kansas City isn’t that big of a place. Remember that the next time you have some work done by a contractor on your home, or if you are a contractor doing the work. The next time your out in public you might run into that person. Will you have the “glad to see you again” conversation, or the “that no paying/crappy contractor owes didn’t pay.”
I had this happen to me today. My former company had done a small job (resealed some concrete) for a guy that we had done a pool deck for a few years back. It was a maintenance job, and we are happy to do it since he was a past client and was great to work with in the past. With this being said we did the job for about 25% less than normal. Long story short he never paid us and was unresponsive to letters, calls, and emails. We didn’t know what kind of financial situation he was in, but we were willing to let him make a couple payments if needed. By the way the job was for around $800 and the house was a 750k dollar house. He had the money, but made up every b.s. excuse in the world. Whatever, nothing a lien wouldn’t solve. Months down the road he sold his home and we were paid by the title company on closing.
Nearly a year later, today as a matter of fact, I bumped into him at the health club. You could tell he felt like a jackass and even said he would have paid us if he knew it was “only going to be that much”. We did everything, but hire the Goodyear blimp to let him know.
The point is make sure that you can walk around town and not worry about running into people. This goes for both homeowners and contractors. All too often we hear people take little issues and blow them out of proportion without trying to sit down like adults and work through them. Remember…things happen on jobs and in peoples lives that can change the coarse of events rather quickly. Its best to sit down and talk about it than to rush off to file a lien or call your attorney. Its probably best that you hire or do the work for people you feel comfortable with in the first place. If you have a bad feeling it’s best to walk away.