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Unread 10-26-2011, 08:04 PM   #16
ceramictec
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I never give estimates on the spot unless its a back splash.
I do usually get them to the customer in an email in 2-3 days.

if you wait over a week and dont hear anything the project might be too big for them.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 08:13 PM   #17
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As a self employed person, I know I appreciate when a customer rattles the cage and reminds me to get my collect the last bits of information for a quote.

Maybe 2 weeks at the longer side of things.


When I meet a client for the first time I always ask when they want the job completed. If its not in my time frame I'll let the potential customer know right away. Not all contractors will do that.


Just sayin.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 08:30 PM   #18
Toddman
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Kimmi, for me it might take 4 or 5 days to get you a quote on a job like that this time of year.
When things are slower it would be sooner. I email detailed quotes explaining everything that
will be done, exact materials that will be used, how payments will be handled, and reaffirm any
special details that we talked about.
As far as how long the job should take goes......I'm a one man show, and if you're talking removing vinyl
and carpet, any slab prep work, use of an underlayment maybe, that could take me 3 weeks.
Obviously sooner with a larger crew.
As far as picking a contractor... Remember you're not only buying the finished product, but the whole process as well.
A good contractor should have a list of more than just 2 people to call for references. Use your gut feeling about people as well.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 08:31 PM   #19
Kimmi5207
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Thanks. I'm thinking I need to move on. It's been 5 business days since the contractor came out to the house. I have been holding off committing to another contractor because I wanted to get this quote back.

He knows I'm serious because I had samples of the tile when he came out, and indicated that I wanted the work done next month, around Thanksgiving, when I will be off work. He indicated it would be no problem. He is the co-owner of the company and has a crew, so not a one man shop.

My gut instict is telling me to go with the 1st contractor who I've been holding off on responding to-I did tell him it would be about a week before I got back to him, that I had someone else coming out to give me a quote. I felt more comfortable with the first contractor, like I could trust him, and he offers a 2 year guarantee of his work and has been in business (a legal business) for 15 years, with good reviews and a good BBB rating. And he is the uncle of a friend of over 25 years, so no disappearing on me. He was patient with my list of questions I asked him, and followed up with a phone call the day after he sent his quote to make sure I received it and to ask if I had any more questions (which he patiently answered). His specialty is tile restoration, but he also does new installs. I know his price is a fair price. He was late to our appointment, but he called beforehand to let me know, and when he arrived I could tell he had most likely come from a job site. His bid quote was a bit general though (I'm an accountant so I like details). Prior to working with him, I would want to make sure the specifics were documented, such as the pattern, grout size, which rooms get which tile,etc. I did express that to him, so he knows.

The one I'm waiting for a quote from didn't want to offer a warranty of his work, and wanted 50% down, 50% at completion. He also has a legit company, but I don't like the lack of communication and 50% at the start of the job seemed a lot, since I'm providing the tile. Seemed more advanced/flashy (with his ipad with all his photos etc). He was knowledgeable though - I asked plenty of questions based on all the research I've done on this site, and he answered all my questions to my satisfaction. He arrived 15 min early for our appt which was nice.

The 3rd person called me back after over a week claiming he had just received my voicemail on his cell phone...... We previously had email communication which also took him days to respond to, but I realize that not everyone sits at their computer all day, they are out in the field working.

The 1st one was a personal recommendation, the last 2 were from internet searching for local companies with reviews (many companies have no reviews or want you to purchase your tile from them).

Well, looks like I know what I need to do. Especially reading what I just wrote above. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being rash by dismissing contractor # 2. I'm so worried about spending all this money and ending up with one of the tile nightmares I wrote about in my July posting. I may try one other company. Time is ticking though, if I plan to do this next month.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 08:47 PM   #20
CarpenterLearningTile
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Kimmi , I'm not a tile contractor but I am a homeowner.
I wouldn't give 50% down unless I was
paying directly to the lumber yard or other supplier, for materials delivered to my home.
If you are supplying the tile, something could be shaky if he needs 50% down.
40% when he's 50% complete might cover your losses if he disappears.
Only my opinion.
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Unread 10-26-2011, 11:58 PM   #21
MarkTarkus
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I personally won't start any job without 50% down unless it's a 1-2 day small thing. I'm taking a risk just as the people hiring me are. Nobody ever complains about it but most of my customers are referred to me from past clients also.

If you trust them, give them half down if they ask for it. If you don't trust them, don't hire them.

Go with your gut I'd say and ask lots of questions.

Last edited by MarkTarkus; 10-27-2011 at 12:03 AM.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 04:58 AM   #22
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Quote:
The one I'm waiting for a quote from didn't want to offer a warranty of his work
Deal breaker for me. Of course, I am aware that some folks offer a lifetime warranty then disappear. However, an established local business should offer a warranty that you can count on.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 05:43 AM   #23
Levi the Tile Guy
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Go with the guy you trust for sure.

I do charge a 33% down payment though. I don't like customers to provide anything except for tile though
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Unread 10-27-2011, 06:23 AM   #24
Chad Deiter Company
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Here in Cali the deposit can't be over 10% or a $1000 whichever is less.

Obviously I think it's the homeowners
Choice. Some want to pay me in full before I start and I don't really care for that.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 08:13 AM   #25
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Sorry, I dont mean to throw a wrench in here, or ruffle any feathers, but I'm a little shocked at some of these quote turnaround times. Anything longer than 24 hours is too long in my opinion. 5 days? Thats ridiculous. It screams, this guy doesnt really care if he gets the job or not. Tiling is a service, just like any other service. Can you emagine taking your car into the shop and waiting 5 days for a quote? Its not what I enjoy, but unfortunately we live in a "I want it right now" world and you have got to be more responsive than the next guy.

As to quote presentation, I believe it should always be in person or by phone. There are always client questions and concerns to be answered. Part of selling the job is, explaining whats going to be done, what its going to cost and why your the best person to do it. Its not just handing somebody a number by email. I dont care how detailed your quote on paper is. The more face time you have with the client, the more they will trust you, to be the one, working in their home and not, the guy they met at a George Lopez concert. The only time I email a quote is after Ive presented it over the phone and I wasnt there to hand them a copy. Now, maybe you've been in business forever, living on your good reputation and have plenty of business, thats great. If your not enjoying any of the above and your taking 5 days to get somebody a quote, then you are absolutely killing your business.

Damn, where are my blood pressure pills?
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Unread 10-27-2011, 09:52 AM   #26
Toddman
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Ed, I'll respond to that after I get home home from work tonight, after I stop off and pick up some materials for next week's job, go to the customer's house and look at and confirm some details before the job starts. After I help the kids with homework and goof around with them and help get them to bed. After I type up an invoice for the job I'll finish on Friday. After I enter in the receipts from the last job I finished, so the books are up to date.
If a 24 hr turn around works for you... that's great. But there's a lot of factors that I don't thinks you've considered. Some have to drive an hour or so just to get to the job, so to go back to give the bid is just not efficient. For me (and a lot of others) the sales presentation takes place at the initial meeting. I don't just walk in, take measurements and leave. If they need a bid in 24 hrs then they're not my type of customer. Most people understand and appreciate when someone is busy. I'm up front with them about when I'll get them their bid. So don't be too quick to say that we're "killing our business" if we're not getting bids out in 24 hrs. My next opening is the 1st week in Jan. and i've got a pretty firm committment for a job in March. For me, that's much better than last year.
Like I said If that works for you, that's great. But everybody's business, customer base, and home life are different.
Put those blood pressure pills away buddy.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 11:11 AM   #27
Shpedly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmi
I felt more comfortable with the first contractor, like I could trust him, and he offers a 2 year guarantee of his work and has been in business (a legal business) for 15 years, with good reviews and a good BBB rating. He was patient with my list of questions I asked him, and followed up with a phone call the day after he sent his quote to make sure I received it and to ask if I had any more questions (which he patiently answered).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmi
He was late to our appointment, but he called beforehand to let me know
Ok, thats 1 guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmi
The 3rd person called me back after over a week claiming he had just received my voicemail on his cell phone...... We previously had email communication which also took him days to respond to
Thats another guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimmi
The one I'm waiting for a quote from didn't want to offer a warranty of his work, and wanted 50% down, 50% at completion. He also has a legit company, but I don't like the lack of communication and 50%
And thats the last guy. Lets guess who Kimmi is going to hire here? My guess is, it would be the guy who was the most responsive with the best communication. It also wouldnt surprise me in the least if he came in with the highest price.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 12:17 PM   #28
Shpedly
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Todd, That is fantastic that you are that busy. You obviously are doing a great job. If I was that busy, I would have to get some kind of helper or even just a gopher kid and raise my prices to afford him. You make your money expertly installing tile, not running to the supply house, mixing thinset or cleaning trowels etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd
But there's a lot of factors that I don't thinks you've considered. Some have to drive an hour or so just to get to the job, so to go back to give the bid is just not efficient.
Not saying you have to go back and present in person. If its an hour away, the phone is fine. What about a laptop and a portable printer? You can knock out the quote right there, just like insurance adjusters do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd
If they need a bid in 24 hrs then they're not my type of customer. Most people understand and appreciate when someone is busy.
Not sure why you would say, "not my type of customer". Yes, most people understand that you are busy and it might be a month before they can get the work done. They do not understand 5 days to even get a quote. They do not understand phone calls or emails not returned in a timely manner.

Hey, not trying to tell you or anybody else how to run their business. You are obviously doing great. This is what gets my blood boiling: I hear guys bitch and moan, that they have no job, or not enough work and then I see how they operate. I'm like dumbfounded. Heres an example from just yesterday. Gal wants kitchen tiled, recommended guy comes out, takes measurement. Doesnt get back with quote. "Oh, I didnt write down the measurement, so I have to come back" he says. That was 2 weeks ago. Gal just wants it done period. I could go in there tonight, measure, give a quote for double and she would jump on it. The only reason I dont, is because this idiot is a friend of mine.
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Unread 10-27-2011, 12:29 PM   #29
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we alway's address any inquires immediately they come in !! we live in a fast-food society and people have been conditioned to want answer's straight-away
so we try to respond as fast as possible !!!the early-bird always get's the worm
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Unread 10-27-2011, 01:10 PM   #30
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I work in an entirely different world than you tile pros, but if I were putting a piece of work out for bids (quotes), I must allow the bidder sufficient time to prepare the bid, and the same amount of time for each bidder. These would be fixed-price bids, so it is in my and my bidders best interest to get them right. Asking for an over-night bid may get me something with so many exclusions and exemptions (cost and availability of a specified product, for example) that the bid is becomes useless for competative evaluation.

For a homeowner, the amount of time they are willing to wait for a bid is up to them, but they should consider that the earlier quotes may come with a time limit attached. That first quote should be good for 30 days, but there again, price and availability of specified materials could gum that up.
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