M and I are endeavoring to get some work done on our home, specifically replacing the pool deck, RV driveway, and pouring an additional concrete pad that connects the two. As we envision it, the end result will be a large concrete area where we can (1) park cars behind the fence, and (2) have a functional outdoor space for socializing and entertaining. We live in California and our winters are typically mild. We could put a firepit onto the expanded pool deck and comfortably enjoy the outdoor space right now.

This has been a planned project since we purchased our home 3 years ago. In 2013 we did the pool resurfacing, and 2015 is the year for the concrete extension. We have received our first estimate and would like to get 2 or 3 more from other contractors before making a decision. We were at the large local home show in January and made contact with several contractors, but I have yet to get a single one to return my phone calls in the 2 weeks since.


This project is not a tiny or small job. If they said “hey, we’re swamped and booked out for 3 weeks, can I call you back mid-February” I would have understood and been okay with it. But what I get it voice mail and no call back. Or I get someone on the phone who asks me to text my information and they will call me back, which I do and then … crickets. It’s giving me a complex.

So I am starting again from scratch and calling a new batch of concrete guys and landscape contractors in hopes of better results. I really wanted to get this work done by the end of March, yet I cannot even get estimates scheduled for February. Ugh. I think my expectations are too lofty. Either that or the local economy for concrete and landscaping contractors is far better than I realized.

4 thoughts on “Stress – unreturned calls edition

    1. It seems crazy to me as well. Of course, as soon as we sign a contract with someone I’ll be swamped with phone calls and emails from those I have tried to reach thus far.

  1. Welcome to the nightmare of General Contractors. Around here anyone can slap a sign on his truck and call himself a GC or any type of handyman service. There is no licensing and regulating so you really have to do your due diligence.

    Plus these types also never respond to calls in a timely fashion. I swear if some guy/gal who had the knowledge and skills to do these kinds of jobs and would just develop phone/emails skills and communicate in a timely fashion they’d be booked for YEARS at a time….which is what happened with 1 set of contractors we used once. We should have booked them for “not even considered future projects” back when they did a hardwood floor for us once back in 2010(I think it was 2010).
    The average around here is to call 6 prospects and 2 call you back and come round to inspect the job and only 1 of those call back with a quote……1 if you are lucky!lol

    The thing around here which we hate is IF you find someone to agree to take the project that when it comes time to show up and start the job, they send someone else! Yes, the subcontract the job out to someone who know NOTHING about and they never tell you they will do this.
    At that point you are just so happy to have someone…ANYONE! there to do the work that you just acquiesce. This can go either way though…..1 time the subs sent to build our deck were AWESOME but the idiots he subbed our den flooring job out to were subpar.

    I am so NOT looking forward to getting more work done on this house in order to sell it in 2 or so years.
    Just from the aggravation standpoint we are considering just not doing the work(it’s nothing vital, just cosmetic mostly)and lowering the price/giving back cash so they can have it done. sigh

    1. Since I am actually in a business that requires a licensing, insurance, etc., I check out the status of their license and insurance even before calling, and even than I have 50/50 chance of hearing back from them. Today I feel fortunate, in that I am 2/2 in connecting with an actual person. First one was with the actual owner, and I could hear the jackhammers in the distance. Second one was with his wife, who apparently handles the bookkeeping and phones, and since hubby was out on a jobsite, she said it would be late afternoon or this evening before he could get back to me. PERFECT!

      What I don’t really get is why they spend the major money to have a booth at the biggest (and most expensive) home and garden show in the area, only to exhibit such piss-poor customer service skills. Ugh. I feel as if I am shortening my life trying to get this one job completed.

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