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Discussion Starter #1
You guys have been a big help.
Its nice to hear other opinions when they do not have "a dog in the race".
This just got me thinking, from a recent comment from one of the posters, tanking Lefty and myself for some information.....

I hear comments like this all of the time, not only from this site, but at least 3-4 others plus the people who contact me directly through my website or by PM, so I perceive myself to have the same personality and method of dealing with consumer issues the same way I do in these forums as I do in person.

So I Ask.....?

How Come When I Don't Have A Dog In The Race, I Am An Expert, But When I Am Competing Against Other Cheaper And Less Qualified Contractors, My Information Seems To Fall On Dead Ears?

I guess that I am just venting and frustrated that I lost a recent job that I had every single warm fuzzy feeling that you could get as far as being the best choice candidate for their roofing work, but they still chose someone else who just started their business just over one year ago.

Money wasn't an issue either, since the roof was going to get paid for by their insurance company.

Thats all.....

Ed
 

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the Musigician
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maybe they had no idea who was best and eenie-meenie-mienie-moed their decision?

DM
 

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Just like an adjuster told us........."maybe you aren't giving them enough". I guarantee you, that money was involved.

Good luck Ed, You are seeing what I've been talking about for years.
 

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Ed, you are not alone in this. I am not a roofer, I only have a "Handyman" type business to keep me busy since I retired. I have lost jobs that I know I was the low bidder on, only to find out later (this is still a small enough town to find out) that the one who got the job was the fourth cousin to someone who knew someone else and got paid much higher than I had bid. I actually had the pleasure of being called back by one potential customer who wanted me to correct an improperly installed door (a $600 door) after I had lost the bid to do the job. I did go over and look at the poor work, and informed the potential customer that I "Would NOT" take this job- -Period! I informed the potential customer that I did not need work so bad that I would go behind one of my competitors who had outbid me and straighten up his work. I'll probably never hear from this lost customer again, that's fine. I'm just that way. :wink: Thanks, David
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just like an adjuster told us........."maybe you aren't giving them enough". I guarantee you, that money was involved.

Good luck Ed, You are seeing what I've been talking about for years.
I am sure that you are right.

I bet that they are not paying their own deductible now.

But, they will pay for it in the long or short run.

Ed
 

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deductible....haha that's nothing

After the storm last year we had weekend warriors out bidding jobs for $80 a square labor (off and on included). Insurance was paying $300+. HO's were making more on the job than the hack doing it. I am really hoping for alot of repair work.
 

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hahaha... when i seen the title of this thread i was like...

How i feel about that comment is the same as i fell about helping on the internet in general.
- The anonymity from a username.
- Not geting anything in return - so peoples words can hold more value.
Both of those comments can have just the opposite felling too :)

When you bid a job the home owner will have in the back of there mind - does he want to do this cause it will kick the cost up alittle more... Is he low balling because he needs work - if he needs work, maybe hes not too good at what hes doing, etc..

Like i said in the thread you grabbed the quote from, there are (where) three people who i narrowed the job down to. I pretty much ruled out extending the eave but still wanted to talk with the guy to get his input, maybe he would have an idea which would work.
Even after telling him - if you notch the new extended rafters there will only be 1-3/4 of meat in there, he said it would be ok (maybe he is correct... after notching the rafter the 2x4 which they will be resting on would fill the void and bring back alittle streanth, atleast downword)... But he was pushing for the extra work (which will run an extra $2,000 (money is coming form a "home improvement loan" and two grand is not that much considering what i have save from doing a chunk of the work myself)). So as a home owner its hard for me to fell good about what he has to offer, special since i know alittle about framing. One of the first "roofers" i met with was talking all kinds of crazy stuff, then when the conversation swung my way and he found out i was the one who framed the small addition here, he just had a blank look on his face. What he was saying where not flat-out-lies, but you could tell he was pushing to get the job (and he was two of the lowest bids).


I hate money becuase of the desicions it creates for people.
A complete honest person who needs to feed their family might go out on a limb with little regete for the people who will be harmed by their actions. So if you offer your help, ideas and information and know you will not get anything in return (except self gradifaction), personlay, i think that persons words are more honest and hold more value.


On your end...
Do you know if is was fully their decision (the home owners), or did the insurance company push them because some bean counter somewhere could manipulate the numbers to give reason to raise peoples rates ?

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To answer your original question Ed.........maybe it's that some people just hate to be told they are wrong, or think if you do the talking, you are taking advantage of them.

It's just like in Poker........most of the fools never want to lay their hand down, just because their ego gets in the way, along with their curiosity.

Anyone can be the guy "who don't have a dog in the race", and call the other guy a hack.

Everyone says they do the best work, even homeowners doing their own.......it's all in the eye of the beholder. Good for one person, but not the other. Probability says the are both wrong in the end. :)
 

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For what it's worth, I posted a thread a few days ago about a low-pitch roof job. It turns out that I'm going to have to do it myself. But I don't want to do it, I just feel I have to. I called five different contractors to get bids on doing it, and I'm not using any of them.

Contractor #1. Has a fantastic reputation around here. Everyone says to use them. I called to make an appointment for an estimate. Couldn't get someone out for 10 days to even look at it. That seemed odd but, hey, they are good, so I waited. Ten days. On the day of the appointment, nobody had come two hours after the time we had settled on. I called the office. "Oh, um, yeah, he can't make it because we are so busy. Can we reschedule for a week from now?" Oh, um, yeah, NO. You don't keep your appointment and you want me to wait another week? Just for the bid? I could expect even more delays when it comes time to do the work. Reputation may be great, but customer service is important too.

Contractor #2. I get the owner on the phone and describe the project. He says "I can do that for $3,500." He's never seen my house or my roof. I mention that it's a 300 square foot area, so I don't need a GOLD roof, I need a ROLLED roof. He's firm on $3,500. I'm not working with an outfit that would estimate without seeing it. He's not quoting me the price on MY roof, he's quoting a charge he wants for showing up anywhere for a day.

Contractor #3. Looks at the roof and says he can do it for $900. Well, that's a good price, but I priced out the MATERIALS at a roofing supply company (not the home center, a proper GAF/Certainteed dealer) for me to do it myself. Price of materials: $950. Unless he steals the materials there is no chance he can do the job for that. Either he'll hit me for higher costs at the end or he'll use sub-par materials and workmanship. Price isn't everything, and because I researched it, I know better.

Contractor #4. Reasonable price, $2,000. Reasonable time frame. When I ask questions about the materials he'll use and his method, i.e. will he use flashing under the clapboard, run the material under it, try to caulk, etc. he acts offended and mentions that if I knew his business why do I need him, he's been in this business for 20 years, he can't stand it when people read something on the internet and think they know his business. He may be good, but if he won't answer my questions, regardless of how silly he thinks they are, he's not touching my house.

Contractor #5. Runs TV ads. I see his ad on the placemat at the diner where we eat on Sundays. Ads in the paper. See his trucks everywhere. Call the number during business hours and get the answering machine. Leave a message. Nothing. Call again, leave another message (during business hours.) No response. That was five days ago. I'm guessing he doesn't want my business.

So it isn't always as easy as being the best bid or being the best man for the job. Am I unreasonable, for a job that I'm going to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on, to expect:
1. Timely response to my inquiry and an estimate in a timely fashion
2. An honest estimate based on the needs of my job
3. An estimate based on the real cost of good materials, not a low-bid job that can't possibly be for good quality work
4. To be treated as a customer whose business is valued, not that you are doing me a favor to even show up
5. At least a call back to say you are booked and can't take the job

I'm not saying Ed did any of these things, but for me, but I rejected all of one of the above not based on how well a job they'd do, but on how I was treated and how they conducted themselves as businessmen. I'll just do it myself.

Therefore, as a homeowner and customer, it isn't just price and experience that determines who I'll use for any particular job.
 

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Ed I had the same thing when I worked for a company building & selling computers
Many times the salesman would write up the build order & costs
Then I would end up talking to the customer
I'd then talk to them & review what they were ordering & ask what they were doing
In many cases they ended up buying something based on my recommendation
This despite the fact that the saleman had tried to get them to buy it

We dealt with Unix systems & specialty drivers etc - quite a while ago
At one point I even asked one person who had visited the store on a reg basis why he believed me & not the salesman
"Because you're not trying to sell me something"

Strange because I worked for the same company & sales were sales
It reminded me of the car saleman that would go talk to the boss to get a better deal
One computer system I sold was $13k...the guy knew what he wanted & had already researched everything. Took me maybe 10 minutes to write up the sale. Salesman were not available (lunch?), they were a little upset to find out I had made a big sale while they were out :laughing:

Maybe some homeowners are intimidated by the info presented
Maybe some do not understand the importance of the details of roofing
Having my 1st house (1905) with multiple leaks & 5 layers of shingling may have given me a skewed opinion of how important a roof is.
Waking up to water dripping on your face is not fun
 

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"Maybe some do not understand the importance of the details of roofing"




That is the number 1 thing! IMO

Most figure a roof is a roof, especially in storm areas. Pick out a color and away they go.


Referring to the puter talk..........most ordinary people buy a loaded computer because they have no idea what they want and have no interest in researching about it. They know they want a picture player and the internet thingy for ebay. Same with a roof.......you know, them Arch shingles......how much????? who do I write the check to?

Many more questions should be asked in either situation.

Myself, I thought I knew what I wanted in a computer, but didn't get exactly what I wanted....maybe next time.
 

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Hi,

Some people are cheap. After we educate them they can take a cheap guy and give him orders on what to do. The cheap guy will probably do the extras for free just to get the job.

Most people here do not say thank you either. Just take the information and use it.

No difference Ed. Here we know we will not get paid.
Perceptions, Perceptions, Perceptions.
Such is life.
 

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Ed, it's just a fact of life. I read her comment when she posted and got a chuckle then, from the irony of it all. You have the experience and knowledge down, proving that in all your answers here. You can look at someones work and spot mistakes or future problems, that just jump off the page at you. I've seen and heard people talk the talk... yet their work is sub-standard.They think they can do it, because they have. Not knowing their work is garbage to a true professional. Some people like their ears tickled, not really thinking about the mechanics. Others are just about money. You should be glad that all your work ever done has your personal name on it. Your standards are the best there is, better than minimum code requires and meeting or exceeding manufacturer's recommendations. I'm in the same boat, I fully understand.
Cheer up! That job may not have worked out after all. There is another one - just around the corner. Don't lower your standards. Be safe, G
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ed, it's just a fact of life. I read her comment when she posted and got a chuckle then, from the irony of it all. You have the experience and knowledge down, proving that in all your answers here. You can look at someones work and spot mistakes or future problems, that just jump off the page at you. I've seen and heard people talk the talk... yet their work is sub-standard.They think they can do it, because they have. Not knowing their work is garbage to a true professional. Some people like their ears tickled, not really thinking about the mechanics. Others are just about money. You should be glad that all your work ever done has your personal name on it. Your standards are the best there is, better than minimum code requires and meeting or exceeding manufacturer's recommendations. I'm in the same boat, I fully understand.
Cheer up! That job may not have worked out after all. There is another one - just around the corner. Don't lower your standards. Be safe, G
Thats what I keep on telling myself.

I present very well, but this year has been more frustrating, because many do not want to meet for an appoinment and just want it e-mailed.

I can't show all of the products that we use in comparison to what the more commonly used ones are that way, so, if I don't meet and go through everything, the only thing they see out of proposals is a price, which is NOT the only difference.

Ed
 

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So the e-mails are a problem. So impersonal. I haven't been over to Contractor Talk for quite a while, is anyone there discussing a solution to this? Are you meeting with the prospective customer at all? Or just bottom-feeding phone shoppers? I think the customer may feel that with the economy as such, all pros are lowering prices to get the work and all the work is equivalent.

I know some have videos on their web sites, but do any give a CD with their proposal? You could list your product and benefits against others, briefly. Show some pics and a short tutorial about roofs in general. Explain problem areas and proper procedures against such. Compare the warranties on different products you use- apples to apples. Attic ventilation, flashing, etc. Pics of bad roofs- before and after, briefly explaining the solutions.
Maybe at the end, really personalize it with a software program that roofs in color, using their own house picture. Even without before mentioned, basic info from a general file, burned on a CD, given or mailed, to watch rather than read, would interest me. Any interest in giving Saturday bids, taking a weekday off? I'm sure that has been discussed. Thinking out loud.

Be safe, G
 
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