Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finding a contractor is like dating

Among the many other things we are doing now, we are trying to find a chimney person to inspect our chimney and give an estimate on repairs and possibly a chimney liner. I called a few places, and arranged for 2 estimates. One scheduled one tomorrow from 12-2. The other said "they'd just stop by and leave an estimate." (Odd, I thought, but it's their business). Well, the second person calls back a few hours later and says "I want to come by on Thursday (tomorrow) 12-2.

I like to space things out a bit. It just doesn't seem right to have 2 here at the same time. Of course, a contractor should know that a homeowner will call a couple places, but it still seems shady to confront them with it. Dating is the same- you might go on a date here and there with a few different people, but I don't know how much each person would want to know there's someone else. When I was dating, I was always uncomfortable going out with muliple people at once-even if it was just a first or second date. Contracting is no different. I've been burned too in the contracting world by contractors who promise to stop by, or give an estimate, or countless other promised. Hence, the need for calling multiple contractors.

What's the best way to handle this? I opted to just come clean and explain I have another estimate at the same time. I was just a bit flustered and both chimney people wanting the exact same time, what are the odds?

I suppose I should have just scheduled them at different times. This can either work out well-competiting for business etc., or both can just walk away.

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