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Unread 09-11-2007, 10:18 PM   #1
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need help hiring a contractor

I'm struggling with the decision on who to hire to do some flooring in my house and wanted to look to you guys for some help. I live in the Phoenix area and have about 1000 sq ft of tile to be ripped up and replaced. It seems like everyone I've talked to has some sort of issue that makes me hesitatant to hire them. What should I be looking at when I hire a tile contractor (other than price)? Referals? Registrar of Contractors? BBB? I can't afford to pay the absolute best guy in town the absolute highest price in town (even if it's worth it), but I'm not lookin to low ball someone and get a p!ss-poor job in exchange.

So far I've had 4 guys come look at the works.
1. does it as side work, has no lic/bond/ins and wanted more than every one of the licensed guys (by a lot too!).
2 & 3. have valid and clean licenses per the registrar, but only for about the last 6 months. Both spoke of many years experience- but really there is no way to verify this.
4. has 2 licenses listed with the ROC- 1 valid and 1 suspended, and he sat at my table while writing an estimate and told unbelieveable "you shoulda seen me" stories. Not really looking for a tile guy who makes up stories- if he's lying about random stuff- how can I count on him?

I have a 5th guy coming over tomorrow who sounds good in theory, but I have some questions on him too. He has 22 years of license history, but came in about $1000 less than everyone else for demo. He was a little higher on install, but would come in about the same as everyone else for total price. He also told me the job would only take about 2 days which seems incredibly fast considering it's 2 bathrooms, a hall, a laundry room, pantry, master closet, hall closet, kitchen, living room and family room. I guess I'll hear what he has to say tomorrow.

Anyway... any advice/horror stories/referrals etc would be appreciated. I really can't afford to redo this so I want to make sure it is done right the first time. Thanks everyone!!

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Unread 09-11-2007, 10:30 PM   #2
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A thousand sq. ft. to be ripped out, re-tiled, set & grouted in two days??

I kinda thought Superman was dead? Even if he has a crew of 5 or 6 good people working on it...I just can't see it. Too much work in too little time. Got furniture or appliances to move and replace? He would be doing well to rip the floor in a day...with good help. That's to say nothing about scraping the concrete to an acceptable flatness, loading the trash and removing it. Then, he's expecting to tile and grout the job in one day? No way this is gonna happen. Depending on a tile setter's expertise and assistance, I would look at 5-7 days~~~with no hidden surprises.

“I came, I saw, she conquered."
The original Latin seems to have been garbled.”
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Unread 09-11-2007, 10:45 PM   #3
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Lazarus, Thanks for the lightning fast response. I guess I omitted the fact that he's going to do the demo with a bulldozer, throw the trash in my pool, and use nuclear heat (nucular to you Bush supporters) to dry the thinset and grout. He said that there's an outside chance of all of our possessions turning to dust from the fission, but for that price, can we say no?
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Unread 09-12-2007, 12:30 AM   #4
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Lemme ask you something instead: Do you have any interest in doing the work yourself and using us to help you through this project?

Tonto Goldstein... but my friends call me Bubba

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Unread 09-12-2007, 06:24 AM   #5
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Rob, go to tile-assn.com, Its the National tile contractors assoc. thay have a list of contractors in your area, generally speaking these contractors are ones that are dedicated to the trade, use professional practices, usually not one night stands. Hope that helps.

John Mullett Tile
Lockport NY
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Unread 09-12-2007, 06:34 AM   #6
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I know theres at least 1 good tile man out there because John B, Shaughnn and I spent a day with him in Kansas City........He was quite young but second generation and had a good grasp not only of Tilework, but how you STAY in business.
Perhaps John or Shaughnn have contact Information for him, I know I do not.

I do know he worked with a fairly Large operation..........Have you considered checking with the Local Union SHop???
You might be surprised and get Qualified Journeymen Setters for Less than some of the Bids youve seen........cant hurt to check!!
TIP YOUR TILE MAN, His Retirement plan is not nearly as lucrative as yours and his waning years will be far more painful to boot.
He gives much so you can have a Beautiful Home!!
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Unread 09-12-2007, 03:27 PM   #7
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I would love to do the work myself, and it's INCREDIBLE that you guys are so willing to share your knowledge and time here, but with my schedule I would never get it done. I think the only thing that would be finished is my marriage. I am working full time and going to school full time, so my time off is Sundays. That would take months and more patience than I have. Thanks though... saving the money sure would be great!!

I checked out that website and plan to call a couple of those guys in a couple hours when I have a few minutes to kill.

I am open for referrals so if someone has the name of the guy from the KC gathering I'm open to calling him.

And as an update, the guy who said he can do it in 2 days... I called him and cancelled the estimate appt this morning. Every time I spoke with him he spent half of our conversation complaining that I live 35 miles from him and that with gas and traffic it's going to be a headache geting here. He was pushing for me to commit to a contract today and a few hundred dollars deposit to show that I'm serious. This coming from a guy who knows that I have already purchased the tile. I think that's a pretty good indication that I'm serious! I'm not promising my work to someone just because they're willing to drive 40 minutes to get here.

Anyway.... thanks for the help!! It's very stressful picking someone to do a large project like this that will make or break my house. I'll be hiring someone in the next day or so, but if you wanna shoot me a name of someone I'll definitely give them a shout. THANKS!!!!
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