I received the directory of contractors the other day, and had to laugh when I read the Durafoam blurb.
I called to get an estimate on recoating my roof. I was informed by Adam at Durafoam that they would not come out unless they could do some "service repair." I couldn't believe it.
I'd be interested in anyone else's experience with this company in terms of getting quotes for recoating. And I'm sure Marty wants to keep abreast of how the Eichler Network member companies are servicing their Eichler Network customers.
IMHO, it is extremely shortsighted for a company not to do the easy "get your foot in the door" things like quoting and recoating. After all, if some other company treats you well in those smaller jobs/requests, aren't you more likely to go to them for the bigger jobs? That's certainly the way I hand out my business--if the money is how they determine how to treat you, them I have no confidence in their ethics.
That's not to say a company can't draw the line at profitable and unprofitable work. But if they are unable to help you, they would be wise to offer you a referral to someone who can. Even helping you that little extra will pay off big time when you have something larger that needs to be done. At the very least, it will stave people sharing negative opinions of them.
Here's our story: Able Roofing was considered one of several Eichler prime roofers - - until they imploded last year. The sellers had Able re-roofed about 3 years ago, and when we bought the house last year, Able wanted a $350 warranty "transfer" fee; we declined but it's bad that we don't have anyone standing behind the remainder of the warranty period on a $15K job. My neighbor has sunk $21K in her roof with the Able firm since last year, and it's still unfinished.
Another laugher: have you seen ads for Eichler kitchen & bathroom re-models - $25K starting for a kitchen and $15K for a bathroom - - my new job doesn't come with stock options to pay for it.
Another sign of the times: another neighbor had added 500sf to his Eichler, and he did a lot of the work. While on the checkout line at Home Despot, he has been approached several times by shoppers asking him whether he can work for them (thinking he's a contractor) - - few contractors want to do "small jobs" anymore - - there's plenty of money to be made in medium size jobs at inflated prices.
Able Roofing was one of the people in the directory I called for an estimate on repairing my roof two or three years ago. They came out to look and said they would call back. They never did. When I called them, they still didn't get back to me. There was another instance where I called a service (can't remember what) that I could use. The number listed in the directory turned out to be some kind of number regarding accessing pornography. I just don't get it.
re durafoam, I personally had a good experience with them last October / Novemeber when they put a new foam roof on over some really beat up old T&G (by previous owner). They were pretty good about following up and making sure they did everything Randy said they would.
the only thing I can imagine in your situation is that they would want to make sure the roof is in good shape before they recoated it, since the recoat would (I'm assuming) come with its own warranty? I could see that they would not want to be held liable for problems that a recoating alone would not fix.
Anyways, I dont remember who Adam is, but he is not giving you good service try talking to Randy Feriante, the owner. He seems like a good guy.
The downside about foam roofs is that it is very hard to find people who work on them. Also, so many go out of business. Part of the estimate process is looking at the roof and seeing what would have to be done to make sure the roofer can give a warranty. This was the first time I ever experienced a roofer stating they would not give an estimate.
I did retain Sierra to do the roofing, but they did the job last week, even though I told them I thought it was going to rain, and now I'm facing the prospect of them having to recoat the recoat. The whole job was compromised by the rain. I had white paint coming out of my drain pipes, and they told me it just a particular area and they would fix that. To top it off, they wanted to come out today and do the job. I told them I wouldn't let them to it until the weather warmed up and there was no possibility of rain. I insisted on a recoat (haven't paid them anything but the deposit), and, hopefully, I won't have a problem with them about this. They assured me they would make it right.
In response to the contractor bashing remarks made by the person writing this quote
few contractors want to do "small jobs" anymore - - there's plenty of money to be made in medium size jobs at inflated prices.
If you want a contractor to have insurance; including liability, employer's liability, Workers' Comp (I pay $63 for every $100 in payroll for an apprentice carpenter with no claims in the 5 years that I've been covered, plus payroll taxes, benefits etc.) plus overhead to run the business (including leases, utilities, advertising, equipment, vehicle expenses, bonds, city business taxes, better business bureau fees administrative fees, and on and on) plus the fact that the prevailing wage in this area is higher than N.Y. city or Anchorage, AK, plus the fact that reputable and fair contractors like myself will be inclined to favor the owner if there is a lack of clarification of project costs on items in the agreement not specifically excluded, plus the fact that there must be some profit factored in there some where, I agree that the prices are inflated; but not by the person with whom you are dealing.
If building costs are troubling you, take comfort in the fact that the property that you are sitting in is worth (on the average) than more per square foot than most decent flats in Mid-Town Manhattan (without the crime and horrible weather in the wintertime).
Also, in Sunnyvale the average price per SQ/FT ranges for $250-$450; and building costs are average $200-$400; (better if you are building savvy and manage you own project).
As far as Generalizing about contractors, I work very diligently to be fair to owners make many sacrifices to make sure that every owner with whom I contract has a better quality of life as a result of the efforts of my work as well as those of my employees, as do the contractors with whom I sub contract work. If people want to propagate negative stereo types and be critical of contractors who are responsible for this medium of information (website and publications) to continue to exist for the benefit of everyone who owns or has interest in Eichlers, please consider other perspectives or all facts, and make sure the information you write has merit before displaying it for public scrutiny. Without these companies, this resource that you often refer to would not exist, period. Of course if you have a problem or a poor experience such as the person who started this thread or some of the Able roofing fallout homeowners, it is a great help to post on this website (or to the Eichler Network publishing staff directly) so that if one person is not acting in a professional or responsible manner, the issue can be corrected or people can be steered to alternative solutions.
This resource was created initially to allow Eichler owners a place to find experienced professionals to help with the care of these unique homes. Prior to the creation of the Eichler Network many people had hired builders and performed woefully sub standard work in an effort to keep out the rain and cold of these homes, (and do "updating" about which many horrified writers have posted); now Eichler Owners and enthusiasts have place to refer to at least get good direction, if not solutions, to the tricky design and building problems associated with these homes.
Everyone who owns a home has the ability to learn how to make improvements themselves, (there is no shortage of building materials and information on how to do it yourself in the library and internet), but if you are like me, perhaps you don't have the time and need to delegate these tasks to professionals.
There are plenty of tradespersons out in the world that have tools and experience, but many are not encumbered with all the costs of doing business, because of the lack of steps taken that are necessary to do the work legally (and file taxes). Also, you, as the owner, have no or little recourse when one of these guys working out of the back of their trucks' causes you to be cited for unpermitted work, having the workmanship fail due to no quality control, or worse, damages or destroys your property. So, any person owning a home (that is worth the same as a small castle in the South of France) may seem reasonable to want to protect their investment.
I personally hire subs all the time and don't like writing the checks (and, yes, sometimes, long for the pre-dot com boom days to return) but I am also cognizant of the fact that that is the reality of living here,
and I could not imagine living anywhere else. :wink:
Oh, and by the way, this year, we have worked on projects ranging from $45-$450,000.
NDobbie- I am very sorry that you had that experience, perhaps they were ridiculously busy, or the guy was in a bad mood, or maybe he did not believe re-coating is necessary without repair. In any event, email me directly, and I'd be happy to ask them if they have a "minimum" service call charge.
I appreciate your comments and as a small business person I appreciate some of the problems you encounter.
I also understand the point of view of a contractor who feels that small jobs are not worth the time. In my experience small jobs seem to take as long as large jobs by the time you get into them but you can't charge alot for them because they are "small".
When we had our landscaping quoted on the contractor spent alot of time researching and bid it several ways for us. Of course he got the job because I felt that if he put that much effort into the bidding process he would put alot of attention to doing the job right and he did.
I actually had other contractors ask me where I lived and when I said Sunnyvale they said "we don't do work in Sunnyvale, only in Atherton". I guess only the people in Atherton have the money for "big jobs".
I wonder what the "price per square foot" is in Atherton?
I spoke to many roofers and almost everyone told me foam roofing is junk that why so many of them go out of business so they dont have to cover the warranty.
Of all the horrible things I have heard about foam roofing, I would say that most of it is true. No body knows better than we do. We have removed and replaced between 300,000 and half million square feet of misery from local buildings in the last 23 years.
There are two places to never cut corners in life; Foam Roofing and Cosmetic Surgery. Either way, you end up looking pretty bad.