Non-responsive contractors

Question Icon
Posted by: from Pierrefonds
7/9/2011 at 9:56:25 AM

Why is it, that the "majority" of contractors that I have contacted are not responsive? Most have not even called or e-mailed me back--either they have no work ethics, or don't care unless it's a project they think they is worth their effort? How do they stay in business this way?

I had a similar problem last year with a basement floor project, and ended up doing it myself with the help of friends--needless to say, I am disappointed and surprised at this behaviour. I am always polite, and specific--does that scare them away, or is this today's new way of doing business? Sad, if you ask me.

User Icon
Date/Time7/9/2011 at 10:42:07 AM

Hi Bill! Yes I agree that common curtesy is gone by the way side. At least a response of some sort would be appreciated. I do that for my customers and potential customers it just good manners. Seems the good manners approach and customer service has gone to the way side. However, I am sure that there is some good contractors like me that still have your best interest at heart. good luck.

Brent Smith

User Icon
Bill in Pierrefonds
Date/Time7/10/2011 at 9:32:03 AM

I hope you are correct, because so far, I am still waiting. I run a small home business, and clients always compliment me on my customer service--to me, that's one of the most important things, and helps lead to orders. It also worked for me for many years when I handled sales for the companies I used to work for, and helped make those outfits more successful. I call it common sense.

Keeping my fingers crossed.....

User Icon
Dave from 360renos in Navan
Date/Time7/10/2011 at 11:27:02 AM

Good morning Bill,

Very unacceptable that a business you have contacted does not take the time to respond to your inquiries. Amazing how an owner would let the reputation of their business slip so easily!

You'll certainly know which businesses not to move forward with.

Oh and as a contractor I love it when a home owner is specific about their needs for their project. It clears up any ambiguity.



User Icon
Bill in Pierrefonds
Date/Time7/10/2011 at 11:42:22 AM

Thanks Dave--I am venting my frustration here, but appreciate the understanding. I prepared complete specs and drawings (since I have worked in the architectural field as a draftsman) and thought that would make it easier, and yet it did not. Having seen so many things done incorrectly over the years, it's important to prepare proper documents for all parties involved. Watch TV shows like Mike Holmes, and you get worried even more, although I know some of that is show business too!

User Icon
Pidy in Windsor
Date/Time7/13/2011 at 12:04:50 AM

Hi Bill

When I read your post here, I couldnt help laughing because the following attatched is my response in another thread. I wrote it before I read your post. I did yet find the reasons. But keep in mind that they are not stupid. So what is wrong with you?


Hi Brent

Thank you for sharing your experience with me. It is really encouraging. The job is valued

beteeen 25K to 35K at least. It takes at most 2 months to be done. I saw several general contractors. only one show his interest. The others didnt even bother to call me back.

I worry that I have to end up with begging them to do job for me and pay them a fat bonus.

Is it common sense that general contractors show like that?

Thank you

User Icon
Bill in Pierrefonds
Date/Time7/13/2011 at 9:48:12 AM

If it's me, the only thing I can think of is that my specs and drawings are scaring contractors off. If that's the case, they are not the type of outfits I would hire in any event. I did finally hear back from one GC who called and apologized for being so slow to get back to me and is now ready to quote and review. But, he says he'll call me back last evening to set up an appointment with me, and never did. In the meantime, 3 weeks have passed since he visited and I am no further ahead. I've had two responses from this web site, but one is not qualified, whereas the other just e-mailed and wants to set up a meeting.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed and please wish me good luck, as the way it's going, this job may end up being put off until next spring!

User Icon
Pidy in Windsor
Date/Time7/14/2011 at 12:50:08 AM

Hi Bill

Thank you for the humours response. It seems that you start to plan a project roughly at same time as me.

Before I read your response, I plan to draw a professional floor plan and electrical plan and 3D with help of my friends who has architecture major. It made me do this that one of GC charge more than $5900 for so-call architecture drawing. However, I am hesitated

to show the professional drawing to GC after reading your response.

I definitly wish you good luck in searching GC and hope that you come here to share your progress and experience on your project.

User Icon
Bill in Pierrefonds
Date/Time7/14/2011 at 8:39:33 AM

Pidy, you are most welcome.

I will definitely post the outcome of my project here so that others can benefit from anything I learn through the experience, and maybe I will even be able to recommend a method that will not lead to madness! LOL!

So far it has taught me that nothing goes as it should--not very useful, but a fact all the same.

I did get my roof re-done last week, and the good thing about roofers is that they specialize, and so it's easier to get them to quote and be competitive with each other. Now if I can only find some General Contractors who would be as eager to take my money as the roofers are, i might actually get some where!



User Icon
Raymond from Raynovation RB in Waterloo
Date/Time8/17/2011 at 10:47:28 AM

Hello Bill,

I see it's been a while since your last post. I'm new to this site, and have been trying to catch up to some of the posts. Have you had any luck finding someone yet? If not, I'd be happy to take a look at your plans and see what you have in mind.




User Icon
Bill in Pierrefonds
Date/Time8/17/2011 at 3:33:49 PM

I've only had one quote so far--and I cannot act on that. So sure, I'd have no problem with having somebody else quoting.

User Icon
Raymond from Raynovation RB in Waterloo
Date/Time8/19/2011 at 1:23:37 PM

I haven't seen your project on the site but if you give me a shout at 514 688 5256 we can discusss generally what your looking for and go from there.


User Icon
Pavel from Lutcor Homes Inc in Kelowna
Date/Time9/8/2011 at 12:58:08 AM


As a GC myself I have a few rules I go by when I make a decision about whether or not I'll take on a job.

It certainly helps that you have done a lot of "leg work" and that you have specs and drawings complete but....

#1. What is your budget and is your budget in line with what the marketplace is offering.

#2. I always ask for 100% of material cost up front. Or if its a big project a deposit of 25% of the budget total. Are you meeting your potential contractors needs?

#3. Your Budget may have to be more flexible to attract Contractors.

#4. Is my potential client easy to work with or does he call his lawyer right away?

In the end, if a contractor feels that there may be even the slightest chance they may end up losing money they will never answer you.

Bottom line, its probably about the money.


User Icon
Bill in Pierrefonds
Date/Time9/8/2011 at 6:07:39 PM

Budget or prices cannot or down payments never discussed--pretty tough when people don't have the decency to return phone calls and/or e-mails!!!!

I am open to discuss and negotiate, but again: NON-RESPONSIVE contractors makes this impossible. I am flexible, and understand the business better than the average Joe.

I worked as an architectural draftsman for 10 years before going into mechanical design.

Making things easy for the contractors was a priority on my agenda, but if I leave a message, and you can't even return a phone call????!!!!!!

I'm sorry, that's poor business practice, and likewise to not respond to e-mail inquiries!!!

Thanks for trying to guide me, but that's not the problem--it seems good old fashion business etiquette is severely lacking today.....and that's not at my end! I am self-employed and if I treated my clients like I got treated, I'd have been out of business before I started!



Search the TrustedPros directory and discover the best contractors in your area.

Find your home service pro
Great renovations start with a great contractor.

Since 2004, TrustedPros has been helping homeowners find the right contractor for their home improvements and repairs.

Post Your Project

Within hours you'll be comparing offers from top-rated professionals. It's free to post and you're under no obligation to hire.

Trustedpros Inc. does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, safety, legality or usefulness of any Content, or Whether Content is Current and up-to-date, and TrustedPros Inc. Shall have no liability whatsoever with respect to your use or reliance upon any content or for content being removed or otherwise ceasing to be available. Please refer to the terms and conditions of use of this websites for more details.

Get Free Estimates

Post your project and compare offers from top-rated pros.