If you remember way back in January I was tasked with finding a siding specialist to update the siding on our house, a project I was just giddy about. Armed with a decent budget, visions of beautiful exteriors, and a pretty good gameplan of what I wanted – I set out to find a ‘siding guy’ so that I could, in turn, fall in love with my house all over again. I was dreaming of glorious before and after blog pictures – a total overhaul of our house… And I wouldn’t have to lift a finger. THIS is how you renovate, I told myself.
Fast forward two months and I’m no better off. In fact, I’m worse off if you consider my downtrodden attitude toward the whole thing. At least in the beginning ignorance was bliss. Now…now I’m just flailing in the wind. And I’m pissed about it.
Here is a quick recap of what I ran into when given the simple (hahaha) task of finding a contractor.
The Non Responders
These are the contractors who simply refuse to call you back. Ever. I swear there’s a real and measurable statistic out there predicting the number of messages left verses the number of people who will actually follow up. And I’d bet the ratio is low. Like one in ten. I don’t understand this – I’M TRYING TO GIVE YOU PEOPLE MONEY!
The Disappearing Acts
These guys are real head-scratchers. We found tile-genius Sterling (who I loved) through a GC named Joe. Joe was a good guy, ran a legitimate company, and had hooked us up with my man Sterling. His crew has also done a bunch of ongoing projects for my mom. So yea, I thought I was in, I thought I had a guy. Five unreturned voicemails later I gave up. What gives?! We did a good project together! I paid promptly! We had no issues! And I’M TRYING TO GIVE YOU EVEN MORE MONEY!
The High Guys
These guys aren’t actually joint-smoking hippies, but in order to digest their quote (I finally got someone to come out!) I perhaps should have been high myself. Whenever you are getting an estimate on a project you have SOME idea of what a reasonable price range should be. This guy legitimately tripled (!!) my highest number. TRIPLED! Ian said it best when he asked if I emailed him a response of “LOL.” I’m sorry dude, but I DON’T HAVE THAT MUCH MONEY!
The Low Ballers
And it’s not that I’m a cheapskate either (my husband will attest to that) I’m fine paying good money for good services. A lot of times you get what you pay for and I want my siding to actually stay attached to my house. I don’t think this guy’s quote would cover the cost of the nails to keep it all on! Clearly there was a misunderstanding. And his super sketchy beater van with half-peeled off advertising isn’t motivating me to figure our our differences. Thanks, but I’ll keep my money.
The Legitimate Crazies
This guy. Ohhhh this guy. First, he refused to meet with me. Whaaat?! Yea, he just wanted to drive past our house and then snail mail us a quote. A drive-by estimate…that should have been my first red flag. Other tip-offs came when no one ever answered the office number and when he finally did call me back it was from the middle of a home and garden show just to tell me he was busy. “And I do like 300 of these jobs a year.” Really? You know there’s only like 365 days in a year, right? He also neglected to tell me the product he quoted me for. He couldn’t find my quote and he just kept asking me to sign it and mail it in – we’ll figure out the details later. Oh and I’m the project in Monroeville, right? No – no I’m not.
The Guy on the Street
After the crazy contractor I started to give up. For my own sanity, I shelved the siding project for a bit to focus on other things in my life, like this baby I’m going to have in a few weeks. But there I was in a lamaze class just this past weekend sitting around in a circle of strangers introducing ourselves…and whaddayaknow – a contractor is in my class. He seemed mentally stable, like he could operate a calculator, and he’d be forced to respond to someone standing in his face. Yes, I absolutely chased him down after class and about ripped his card from his pocket. “My wife is due in three weeks.” Yea yea, and I’m due in five, but do you THINK maaaaaabe you might be able to squeeze us in before then?!?! PLEASE, PLEASE – I WANT TO GIVE SOMEONE THIS MONEY!
…I’ll let you all know how it goes!