Yesterday, we took a quick trip to a couple of tile and granite suppliers to check prices once again, now that we're getting closer to needing them. We quickly realized we really need to sign up a fabricator (granite) and installer (tile).
We found a place we weren't familiar with, an outfit called Bay Stone Depot. We actually liked the people there, the selection, and prices much better than Bedrosians.
Since we didn't yet have the labor to go with the material we were looking at, we looked at the selection of business cards available at Bay Stone. The gal there pointed us to a few contractors she recommends.
After we left there, we called four of them, leaving four messages. We started getting callbacks later in the day, setting up appointment times for the next day, a Saturday.
Saturday (today) came, and we expected three tile installers to come by, one at nine, the next at noon, and the last at three. The first showed up at ten, the next showed up at 1:45, and the last showed up at half past four.
All. Three. Were. Late.
I'm not sure how to judge that, but it meant out entire Saturday was spent waiting for these guys.
What is it with the incredible speed at which contractors can cash checks?
Every week, we drop a large bundle on our general. He takes it home at the end of the day, and by mid-next-day, it's already cleared the account. That's less than 24 hours!
Recently, we made a second payment to another sub. Wrote him a check at morning, maybe 9AM and handed it to him. By 10:30, my bank is calling me to verify the validity of the check. Holy cats, 90 minutes? The only thing I can think of is he went down to my bank and tried to actually cash it. I didn't think anyone does that anymore.
Now if we switch the discussion on how quickly they can get their job done, well, that's a study in opposites.
There was one surprise that I got from one of our contractors, and it came in the form of a comment he made some time later.
We were discussing some things that fell off the scope of work; in other words, there were some items to do or tasks to complete that we later decided we didn't want done.
When bringing them up with the contractor, he remarked that basically the contract locks in the bottom line price, and if the scope shrinks, the price will not adjust. However, it doesn't work the same way in the other direction, which is plainly addressed in a section called Extras or Change Orders.
One piece of advice I'm giving to myself for the proverbial Next Time is that just as the contractor has a provision protecting him from taking on additional work, the client should have a section that protects them from paying for something that doesn't get done.