How To Deal With A Very Slow Contractor

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    Ok so a friend just asked us how they can improve the contract time for some flood repair they are having done due to a burst water pipe. Their home is a single story house that is on a concrete slab. The plumbers are going to do the repair to the burst pipe under the slab and that should be completed in the next three days. After that they have to replace a large amount of flooring in their home and do some touchup repairs to their baseboards and other things.

    Because the home is on a slab they don’t have to worry about the first floor decking warping. They simply need to remove the existing flooring which consists of different materials and then replace it.

    The contractor is giving them a 60 day contract time to do this. Their home is approximately 1,700 square feet but not all areas have damage so they can expect to replace about a half of that material and then if they desire they could replace the entire flooring package in all the rooms to make it uniform.

    If you figure the contractor has other work then the lead time might be a week before they can show up but then after that the maximum time per room should be about a day for each room to be completed if they have a crew of about three guys. Total time might be 14 days maximum.

    When I heard the 60 day time I just knew this guy was getting screwed. There are only two excuses for this. Either the contractor has untrained workers that can not complete the work at a normal pace or they are leading out this job to increase the cost to the insurance. Either way the home owner is getting screwed because they have to deal with them for two months and probably longer.

    The materials they are quoting are normal stock materials. The primary part of the home is an engineered hardwood laminate. The kitchen and lead up hallway is one foot square beige tile. The bedrooms are carpeted but they may want to go to all hardwood to make the home uniform.

    The prep of the home should take a day for a professional crew. Most of the materials have already been removed by a water damage crew that is drying the house out with blowers. The materials such as tile and mastic is all new product so there is no asbestos problem that could extend the contract time.

    As you can see this contractor is gold bricking the project. That is when each brick installed in a wall costs as much as if it was Gold.

    If this guy went down to a home center or flooring center and asked them to install hardwood floors for him and they told the company that the home was empty but the floors needed to be leveled and prepped I would guess that they would get a quote of somewhere between three days and a week from start to end.


    What To Do About Slow Contractors

    The first thing you should do when dealing with contractors is understand how the work is normally completed. If this means you do a lot of internet searching or calling companies well out of your service area to get general ideas on their completion times then do it. Nothing is going to cause you any problems if you call a flooring company 500 miles away and tell them you are thinking about helping your mother inlaw get new floors and you need to know how long she will be out of the house or how they can work around her and what the total completion time is because you will have to take off work to go down and be with her. They will be happy to give you some general information about how they work. They will normally tell you that nothing is in stone until they come out and give you a quote in person but don’t worry about that just tell them you need general info so you can understand if its something you can even attempt.

    Know what you are getting into and this is why you should continuously update your knowledge about things like this if you are a home owner. When a neighbor gets a water heater replaced or a friend gets new cabinets in their kitchen ask them about the process and stop by and check it out if you can while the work is being done.

    When ever you can update your knowledge about these things take that time to do it. I also suggest that you read this website and hit youtube and see how projects are done and what you might expect.

    Once you know what is what you can deal with that contractor.

    If you are having the work done by a contractor the insurance company suggested you can always ask to have another quote. You are never stuck with just one contractor when dealing with your insurance. The work being performed and the insurance company should be independent of each other but maybe there is an agent that is getting abused by contractors so you need to stick up for yourself.

    Call their supervisor and explain the situation. Tell them you have already called other contractors or flooring companies and they have told you the completion time should be about 1/6th the time you were quoted and that you want better performance or you want them to use the contractors or business you found. You never know someone could be getting a kickback payoff to hire that contractor over and over and maybe they just have all the work so they have no time to come do your job.

    Final Note

    Many people just have no clue how long jobs should take.

    As you see in this case the biggest and hardest work being the plumbing repair will be done in just a couple days.

    What the home owner doesn’t understand is that an average crew can floor an entire home in under a week if they are doing it based on the job because they want to get in and out.

    However with insurance companies you just never know.

    But you can’t take this and expect to live with it. Any contractor that would take 60 days to do 14 days maximum work is going to do bad work in the end. And what I told this guy was I have built entire homes with a small crew and a handful of outside contractors from foundation to finished landscaping in the time this guy is quoting just to do flooring for a single level house. It is just wrong and you need to know this before you sign anything.


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