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Find a Contractor - Dan H.

heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
design work is something I must be paid for. Therefore, it would seem impossible to give you an accurate quote without doing all of the work involved. It is certainly your right to march as many contractors through your project as you seem fit. After our first meeting, you would have a pretty good idea the price range for your project, the way you want it, will be. If you decide you want to work with my company, we can start the process. But for me to spend many hours doing all of the work to quote you an accurate price for free and have it shopped around is............well, not a good business practice.

I feel bad about your delima, since it would make the job of having you hire me become more difficult because you have already spent money for, it seems, nothing.


<A HREF="http://www.heatinghelp.com/getListed.cfm?id=103&Step=30">To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"</A>

The Radiant Whisperer

"The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."


  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490
    I wanted to share this with,

    and I asked Paul Shay for his permission, which he gave me. Paul's Find a Contractor ad was due for renewal and the computer sent him a notice. He emailed me and said that, yes, he did want to renew, and then he wrote this:

    "When we compare the dollar valve of sales with the dollar valve of advertizing your site is sitting right on top. (Please don't raise your rates) The yellow pages is sitting right on the bottom of course. And of course all the guys enjoy the cool kinds of corrective work that goes along
    with getting work from your site.

    This last job we did was for $7467. It included replacing a steam header that two other contractors had tried to do and couldn't get right. The usual suspects like quick vents, vapor stats, 1" fiberglas insulation on the overheads as well, and increasing the size of the take offs from 2" to 2
    1/2". I took the opportunity to teach one of my techs how to calculate the velocity of steam (if one should so choose to do so). He was pretty excited about it. I hope to have this job up on the website this summer."

    As you told me years ago, in the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is king. It's true."
    Retired and loving it.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,490

    can help you too.

    Just click on the hanging sign above to get listed.

    Get listed, get work.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Irene
    Irene Member Posts: 22
    I found and got taken

    I have learned so much from this site that when I decided to have some work done on my heating system, I used the "find a contractor feature". I wound up filing a report with the New York BBB about this character. Dan even tried to help get this resolved and the answer he gave Dan and the excuse he gave the BBB were not even the same. I am going to send the copy of his lame excuse to Dan to the investigator at the BBB so he can see how this person bends the truth. Unfortunatley after that experience I will be leary of using the find a contractor feature. It's a shame because I'm redoing two entire heeating systems in a brownstone and from what I have learned on this site would have paid someone pretty well.
  • Jackchips
    Jackchips Member Posts: 344
    That is sad

    what happened Irene but you know it can happen anywhere. You still have a better chance of getting a professional contractor from this site.

    The real lesson is you must still do the other things to ensure it doesn't happen again such as getting at least three quotes, getting references and most important-checking them.

    Good luck
  • Irene
    Irene Member Posts: 22

    The deal, at least in this area seems to be. They charge you to come out to give you the quote. They walk around saying Hmmm a lot, take your money and tell you they will fax or mail you the quote, then you never get a quote or hear from them again. You should check their references before they give you are quote??? I could of course try to get three quotes but what to do to prevent simply paying over and over for nothing. (I have already payed twice for no quote):) Seems to be a money making idea...
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Unfortunately, Irene, all the safeguards in the world

    can't keep the creeps completely out of our everyday life. Our company has an ad with Find a Contractor too. We, too, (And rightfully so!!!) charge a fee to come out and diagnose heating problems. However, at the end of the session, we hand you a report on what needs to be done and you hand us a check. If it is a more complex problem, we will mail it to you after we research it further, and you will give us a credit card over the phone. Find a Contractor will work very well - for both parties - in many cases. You seem to have had a bad experience, but please don't cast judgement on us legit folks. We deserve to get paid for knowledge. You should always call the references that are given. Whenever I haven't, I usually get screwed too! Good luck next time. Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Oh yeah got all wrapped up in defending us contractors..........

    Find A Contactor is - without question - THEE most effective advertising, we've EVER done. We get 95% of the enquiries that come from the ad. To the guy who says "please, don't raise your rates...." I hear ya, but, Dan could double it (don't worry, Dan ain't greedy), and it would still be a bargain. Mad Dog

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • October Home
    October Home Member Posts: 75

    Wouldn't it be great if Dan had a "Find a Home Inspector"?

  • jfox
    jfox Member Posts: 44
    I disagree about the references business

    A bad actor is not going to tell you about the people he's mistreated. Unless you can find out all of the jobs he has ever done, and check them, getting references is no protection at all.

    I think the real lesson is that trust is a two way street. Mad Dog's scenario below is the way it is supposed to work. When he delivers what he promised a person, that person delivers what she promised him.

    Eileen, when you do find someone who actually wants to upgrade your brownstone, if they ask for a 50% deposit I hope that alarms will go off in your head, and you take three deep breaths and speak these words:

    "I prefer to use a different payment schedule."

    Then hand them a paper that reads:

    "Payment Schedule:

    5% upon signing of contract, including estimate cost.

    100% of costs of materials upon delivery to job site if costs are known, 50% of list price of materials upon delivery to job site if costs are unknown.

    40%, 70% and 100% payments upon completion of the same amount of work.

    If required on long running jobs, progress payments at any point of completion are to be made."

    The details of this schedule are not what is important. What matters is that you actively represent your own intersts in every step of the process, in every conversation. in every written record. Create your own written records routinely. If a company responds positively then you have a very good prospect, if a company repsonds negatively then you should thank your lucky stars that they will never work on your property.

    IMHO, the ONLY protection from bad actors is to take control of the dynamics of the job, i. e. the money and the work, from the beginning. Be upfront about it and don't worry that you didn't learn how to be crook when you were young. You may be facing one now.

    Thanks, Dan, for letting different people speak. I hope a billion people read this and understand what I am trying to say.

  • chuck shaw
    chuck shaw Member Posts: 584
    It would be great

    But there is still only one I'd trust

    And she doesnt have an office on Cape Cod


    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Bad word of mouth

    Thanks to a poster at our Forum, I learned about a Web site that can be very damaging to one's reputation. Even if a contractor does everything right, it is impossible to predict how the customer will react. Maybe the customer has a built-in prejudice against the trade because of a past experience, or doesn't want to pay money for quality work or maybe they just didn't like the tech's attitude. They can use any excuse to damage a company's reputation.

    If you want some perfect examples, visit www.ripoffreport.com. It is eye-opening (and entertaining, too).

    Watch your back.
  • Irene
    Irene Member Posts: 22
    one more time

    Okay, I will give this one more shot. I will call you on Monday and see what happens...
  • October Home
    October Home Member Posts: 75

    That's one scary website!

  • Irene
    Irene Member Posts: 22
    I haven't given up completely

    Thanks for all the on and off line messages. John at Gateway, I will call your number on Monday. Everyone else, thanks. If you all were in my area I wouldn't have had this problems it seems. The really sad part is that I am not the only one in my neighborhood that can tell such stories. Anyone else who wants work in Brooklyn, send me your number. John may take one look and run screaming from my building...It is being awfully brave or just nice to offer to come all the way from New Jersey.
  • masterplumb
    masterplumb Member Posts: 93
    50% down

    So if I ask for 50% upon start of a job 25% upon completion of roughing and 25% upon finishing, that should set off red flags????? Come on...If I'm giving an estimate for a project, there is very little room to negotiate my terms of payments, if a customer tried to give me a different pay schedule, I would very politely say, that is not how we work our payment schedule, this is how we work our payment schedule. If they do not like the terms, that is fine, its their right to find another contractor, but it does not mean I AM A CROOK. Im not saying its always 50% to start, but it would be no less then 1/3,1/3,and 1/3. Are you a contractor? if so have you ever gotten stiffed? My terms of payment are not really negotiable. Chris
  • I kind of agree with Chris

    If a guy is expected to buy all of the materials to change out a boiler that failed during the heating season, and needs to be up and running in hours, and he needs to bring at least two other people, I don't think that a 50% deposit is unreasonable.

    I have a hard time with $50 at the signing, a thousand or so at ten o'clock, and again at four o'clock, and then final payment after dark when they finish cleaning up.

    There are many ways to price a job, and most are fair if there are no secrets going into it.

    Crook is a pretty strong word. You may negotiate a different way, but that makes neither party a crook.

    If you are an engineer making paper pictures, you would perhaps structure payment different than if you need to provide a truck with tools and thousands of dollars worth of stock at a customers house before any work begins.

  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I agree

    the customer does not dictate my payment terms, I do. I try to structure them so that both I and the customer stay even with costs and progress.

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Ten Four

    I agree, when we do a boiler change out I expect a payment to be made the moment the equipment arrives with us on the job. I don't need money up front to buy the stock and no good company should, but we are starting on good faith and so should the home owner.

    Final payment is upon satifactory completion of the job.

    With ALL necessary permits and inspections.


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  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083

    just make sure the point is made that we are talking about 1-2 day jobs. New construction or remodel/reno's need a deposit for me to start due to the scope and the length of the project.

    To Learn More About This Contractor, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Contractor"
  • Irene
    Irene Member Posts: 22
    I found out the real problem

    Just thought this was amusing. Some of you have heard the long version of my plumbing and heating woes, trust me I only told you half of the stories, some were just too bizarre to recount. I sent away to the city for a photo of my Brownstone, from the old tax records and guess what. It was originaly a plumbing and heating supply house. How's that for dead men revenge....
This discussion has been closed.