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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
the following was ripped from buildingonline.com I tought you may find it as interesting as I do:

SURVEY REVEALS TOP 3 COMPLAINTS ABOUT REMODELING CONTRACTORS
04/14/2004
A new survey finds that the top three complaints about contractors from respondents who had used an outside contractor in their homes within the last few years were:
-- Not showing up when they say they will.
-- Jobs that take longer than expected to complete.
-- Waiting a long time for work to be scheduled.

The survey was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of the SCOTT® Rags in a Box business.

As for pet peeves, the biggest ones reported by this group were:

-- Not cleaning up after the work is finished.
-- The mess and the dust.
-- The invasion of "personal space."

Respondents who had hired contractors were also asked to describe how they felt when contractors were in their homes. While one third said it didn't bother them to have workers around, 17 percent reported feeling like they had to stay home all the time to protect their possessions from theft. Thirteen percent said they felt "creepy" with strangers roaming all over the house, and nine percent said they wished they could leave for vacation and come back when it was over. Six percent reported feeling like they were living in a demolition zone.

Overcoming Objections
How can home improvement contractors improve their image? One way, according to 8 in 10 respondents, would be for them to wear gloves, shoe mitts, disposable coveralls and provide their own clean-up products, such as drop cloths, pre-moistened hand wipes or disposable towels that remove dirt, dust and paint.


Despite these concerns most people will still need outside contractors because they don't have either the time or skills to do many home improvement jobs themselves. Nearly half of those who had hired contractors said they did so because of their own lack of skills, while one quarter cited lack of time. There were gender differences here with women more likely to select lack of skills and men lack of time. Overall impressions of the final outcome of a job by an outside contractor were largely positive, with close to half saying it generally met but did not exceed expectations. Nearly a quarter said it usually exceeded expectations. Only a small number said jobs rarely met expectations or boasted that they could have done the work better themselves. Ten percent reported feeling relieved not to have to do the work and 7 percent said they were happy the job was over, but wondered how they would pay the bill.

Top Jobs
The jobs most likely to be turned over to a contractor were: additions or renovations, followed by outside work -- such as roofing, gutters or siding, electrical work, window replacement, carpeting or flooring, plumbing, and kitchen or bathroom remodeling. The two home improvement jobs people were most likely to do themselves were painting and wallpapering. Saving money was the main reason people said they would undertake a home improvement job themselves. Next was pride and satisfaction in doing the job themselves.

Relying on Word of Mouth
Despite a proliferation of circulars, flyers and Yellow Pages ads, the vast majority of respondents (81 percent) said they would be most likely to hire contractors based on recommendations from neighbors, friends or relatives. No other referral source came close. More than half the respondents reported checking references all or most of the time.

Survey Methodology
The national telephone survey of 1,013 adults over the age of 18 was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of SCOTT® Rags in a Box. It was undertaken from March 11-14, 2004. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent for results based on all 1,013 respondents and plus or minus 5 percent for results based on the 397 respondents who had a contractor do work in their homes with the last few years.
 

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Grumpy, don't you find some of the opinions unrealistic?
If I could remodel a home with no workers, no dust or noise, no suprises, no invasion of personal space, on quote and on time, I would make Bill Gates look like a pauper. It's just not real life.
My personal poll is that wealthier people are more educated, easier to explain things to and don't have unrealistic expectations. Why? Because they have been through the process multiple times and understand it. My biggest problems occur with first and second homeowners. They have usually saved for a few years to engage a project and during the demo you find termites, rot or mold and all of the sudden their budget is shot. It's always my fault too.
I did an interesting job once for a lady that was allergic to everything. Every day we would seal her into one part of her condo with visqueen, blue tape and wet towels. Every night we would wipe everything down and leave it virtually dust free. Repeat next day. I told her that she was going to pay mucho and she did. I actually overbid the job and I found out later that no one else would touch her. That was 5 yrs. ago and she sends me referals all of the time, she also just bought a house and wants me to do all of the interior work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually I agreed with everyting they said. While Yes I said to myself "dust can't be helped" I agree it is a major consumer compalaint. The point wasn't what's real life, but just the consumers perceptions of real life... and remember

perception is reality.

Clean job sites? My business cards brag of that. Why? because I know it is a major concern and we take extra precautions to make sure the sites stay clean. Your never going to pick up ever speck, but that's the salesman's job to explain. Communication is key. I just thought this would help us all better communicate. We pride ourselves on clean jobsites and I inspect each and everyone of my jobs before I work up the bill.
 

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A few years back, one of our crews myself included and guilty were involved in a minor rehab that consisted of removing walls and relocating to increase kitchen area. The homeowners lived in the basement mother in law type apartment during the project. The lady owned a small cleaning company and on a daily basis would sneak up in the area after the day ended and we felt the elves had come in.
As the contract stated that a daily and final cleanup was to happen. She was wonderful and since that day. I call her almost on a daily basis and give her an address and the following mornings the elves have been here is what our crews giggle about and she is cheap 40 to 50 per clean and 100 on a final. Thus I have only heard "your people left a mess" twice in years both were my fault over keys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ron that's a brilliant idea as I have several times thought of hiring landscapers to come out the day after we finish a roof job to do a final cleanup to gather those last specks of dust we some times miss.
 

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I would agreee with Teet on the fact that the wealthy seem to complain alot less than my major hastle customer's (new home buyers).
New home buyers tend to be first or second home buyers and their expectations are off the charts. I don't mind them complaining everytime I try to set them straight on what to expect, cause another store will say the same, and if the other store caters to unrealistic expectations like (no seam in the carpet will be visible) or (nothing will stain this carpet) or (laminate floors will not scratch) or (the installer will do tons of extra work for free), then so be it, they can have the client for all I care.
I wish I was a contractor, cause I find it real easy to blow away the competition with superior customer service, and a professional look, and being clean.
All it would take is a good attitude and a responsible attitude, clean persona, be well organized, and all around nice person with respect.
It sounds like alot to ask, but if a contractor has all this (and it must come naturally) then word of mouth would give him way too much business to handle.
 

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I gotta say, we have had only one complaint on debris left at a job in the time I have been with the company. The guy that complained, stated we "left shingle pieces all over the place" We sent someone out, the guy pointed out one 1" diameter piece that had fallen on the top of his fence post....and a peice about the same size in a flower bed.

I had a bathroom redone this last winter, it was quite a mess, BUT, I looked for the end result not the road to get there, and it was all good.
 

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I am kind of a contractor, but I don't actually do the work.
What I should have said was "installer".
 

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DAily clean ups are a real problem with the company I'm with. Every job I come on that is not mine I have to strap on the safety harnesses just to get over the piles. Not being the top dog all I can do is recommend that it get picked up or have my cub help me. Which never happens because I refuse to clean up others messes. I leave my sites clean daily. And on fridays I shut everything down early to make sure that the entire job gets picked up and swept. And if I get an earfull from Big Daddy about a mess on a job that is not mine I tell him, It's not my mess and I have to pictures to prove it. Yes, I bring a camera to work. With the tricky things that all these dentist offices that we build want for soffits, I take pictures of it for a personal scrapbook, and if there is a huge mess, yes I snap one or two of those. C.Y.A. if you know what I mean.
 

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1st I'll tell you the 3 most customer complaints I get:
-Is there anyway we can get the price on this bid lower?
-How much less will it be if I buy the paint. (Dutch Boy-7.99 Gallon-Menard's)
-For the amount of time it took you, you should be charging me less.

For the cleanup, I do all of my own. But I meant a guy who started his own construction clean up business, and he is making money hand over fist. From cleaning up after sewer cleaners, builders, roorers, and so on, hes made quite a name for himself.
 

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flooring top complaints:

"why is the seam visible?"
easily fixed by informing the client that no seam is invisible...
"but my other carpet didn't show a seam!"
well, your other carpet that existed in the home was a more expensive plush, and that helps, plus it was matted and crushed, that helps hide it too, plus you didn't even know where the seams were, and now you do.

"My vinyl is hard to clean and I paid alot of money!"
well, stop using **** and span, and Simple green to wash your floors! they ruin the finish.

"my wood scratches!"
what wood doesn't?

"My carpet is showing wear!"
Even concrete will show wear in time..

"My berber carpet snagged and is ruined by my great dane!"
Get a smaller dog, and trim the nails sooner than when they look like Freddie Kruger, and next time don't buy a loop carpet.

I don't run into these because they are easy to avoid thru qualifying and informing.
 

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Top 5 complaints from one woman 7 years ago.

"Why can't you start at 5 in the morning when my husband leaves for work!"

5 the next morning: "Can't any one get any sleep around here!"

An hour later: "You droped a shingle on my botanical flower garden!" A twig 4 inces tall sticking out of the dirt.

A few hours later: "Don't you ever call my kids little maggots again!" They wouldn't stop climbing in my dumpster.

Finnishing up the next day: I'll move my car off your caps when I get dam good and ready."

While collecting the check: "I can't believe it took you so long to do my simple roof."
24 sq, 12/12 pitch, three off, re sheet in 1/2 osb, new conventional 25 yr on......2 days.

That beeouch was a joy to work for.

Bob
 

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When I start Ron, I always do what it takes to finnish, just ask my ex wives.

The fella's seemed to think that customer was wanting the same thing.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Informing is key. "Mr. and Mrs. home owner, we are a very very clean roofing company. While you may have seen your neighbors having their roofs done and cleanign their shingles out of your yard for weeks, that's not us. Construction is a dirty job. I can not guarantee we will get every piece of old shingle but what I can guarantee is we will do a better job than most, and we will try very very hard to pick up every piece. This is accomplished with multiple inspections."


Why didn't you tell her in advance how long it would take Bob? "Mr & Mrs. home owner, a job like this isn't very large but because of the slope there is alot of saftey requirements that will slow us down a bit. Your job will probablyt ake 2-3 days to complete."
 

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I didn't have to tell her how long. When I sold the job she told me I couldn't do it in a week. I had to remind her of that statement on the last day.

She was just an ungreatful Beeouch.

Her husband told me from day one to just ignore her. (In private) He didn't want to hear her chit either.

Bob
 

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Ha! I have had that...the husband whispering in my ear "just put up with her, at least it's only for a few days and not the rest of your life."
 
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