mrtripoli on Tue, 10/23/2012 - 09:28
I'm a general contractor working in the SF Bay Area and need a new flooring contractor. I'd rather not use Yelp or Angie's List since they tell me nothing about how the contractor works within the context of a larger building team and if they are reliable in the context of a professional relationship. Also, honestly, I think they're both largely BS.
I need someone who will do a small repair job now and be responsive and professional as a member of my larger team in the future. They must be licensed, insured, etc. This is the only hole in my team: the plumber, electrician, drywaller, etc. are all top notch. You can stop here and provide your input or read the abbreviated sob story below for more background.
A little background: I'm finishing a large Victorian remodel and have had real problems with flooring contractors. Without too much details, the first was hired by the homeowner (first mistake) and they really botched things. I brought out mine to fix their work (recoating a black painted floor) and they botched it by not checking if the water based coating was compatible with the paint. It wasn't and they spent all sorts of time trying to make it work, thus messing things up further. It was NOT the usual crew I've seen on my jobs before and thy were not supervised by my contact, the owner. They tried to cover up their mistakes and disappeared. When I called out the owner, he tried to blame the compatibility issue on me ("you're the floor guy! If I knew this stuff why would I call you?" I said). He said he couldn't do anything about it and promptly walked out, cutting his losses and leaving a mess, right in front of the client! Sure made me look good.
Next was the referral I got from a colleague. They determined that the whole thing needed to be redone, and I agreed. They were fine, and the job was completed satisfactorily. As the punch list was being completed, I (yes me, I'll admit it) scuffed the floor a bit. I've been trying to get them out for over a month to do the touch up, about a 2'x4' area that just needs scuffing and coating, maybe an hours work. They're busy, etc., and they kept putting me off and now don't even return my calls. Bigger fish to fry I guess. I'd do it myself but clear coating over the black surface is fussy and the clients want a flooring pro to do it and I don't blame them.
I know what you're thinking: "who is this jerk and how does he manage to burn through subs like that?" I'd think the same thing, but that's rally not the case. My subs and I are all friends and have great personal and professional relationships. I respect and take care of them and they do the same for me.
So i repeat: I need someone who will do a small repair job now and be responsive and professional as a member of my larger team. With everyone getting busy again I understand that everyone is pressed, but that's when you find out who's the real pro that gives a damn and who isn't. If you only return my calls for larger profitable jobs but leave me in the lurch for service and repair work, I won't be calling in the future. I do little favors for my subs when they're in a bind and I expect the same in return.
All the best and thanks in advance