Avoid the Following Contractors

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Posted by: from Calgary
10/30/2008 at 12:51:29 PM

Talon Contracting

Arc Construction

Bragg Creek Construction

We found all three of these contractors throught this website and all three showed up for an initial meeting to discuss the projects (kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and basement). We only received a full estimate from Talon after two weeks of nagging. And what we got was not complete or accurate. A promise to fix the estimate has not come to fruition.

Bragg Creek contacted us once with a rough estimate over the phone for the bathrooms and we have heard nothing else since.

Arc has yet to send us an estimate of any kind.

It has now been well over 3 months since our initial contacts with these contractors. None of them show any interest in actually obtaining our business. They were all polite and courteous when they showed up in July, but the disappearing act has soured us to the point that we will no longer hire them regardless of the estimate should any ever arrive (I'm doubting it). All in all, this has been a waste of my time and patience and I don't recommend anyone bother with Talon, Arc, or Bragg Creek.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time11/4/2008 at 4:11:55 PM

Hi Jamie my name is Michael from Abba's Service and there might be a reason why they have not responded to you. One thing is it is slander to talk about companies that did not do any work for you yet. Maybe they where busy or something like that. You are right they should have told you they don't want the job though. 3 months is a long time.

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time11/11/2008 at 8:20:01 PM

Hi Jamie. From the amount of work you require and the fact that 3 seperate contractors made the effort to come and see the job and didn't seem interested in providing you with an quote tells me that either they felt you were not serious about the project or your budget may have been unrealisitc for the size of the job. It is difficult to say why they did not follow through with a quote. They most certainly should have informed you that they were not interested in doing the work for you so that you may have pursued alternate contracting companies. By the way 1 - 2 weeks for a detailed and accurate quote should you ever receive one is not outragious. There is actually alot of work and calculating materials and labour involved in putting together a quote. In any case good luck with your project.

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Bill from Dr. Reno in Toronto
Date/Time11/11/2008 at 11:32:04 PM

I have to agree with Shawn. There is some reason three companies did not reply.

There has to be a trust and comfort level on both ends - the client and the contractor.

Jamie, I'm not saying this is the case with you, but some potential clients seem to be a little demanding and impatient right from the beginning. This may be their form of protection from all the stories of crooked contractors. However, some contractors may walk away from a potential job thinking that the client may be too difficult to deal with once the project is underway.

Maybe the fit wasn't right. Keep requesting quotes, I'm sure you'll find a contractor that will come through for you.

I do agree that they should have called.

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Jamie in Calgary
Date/Time11/12/2008 at 9:04:13 AM

Interesting. So I'm a slanderer and unrealistic. Unbelievable. Circle the wagons boys.

First of all, I fail to see how I'm slandering anyone since I made no comments on their actual renovating skills. The point was I never had a chance to see their work.

Secondly, and I suppose this is almost pointless in writing since I'll be expected to say such things, but our expectations and budget were quite open. In fact, we were asking for advice and input from the contractors since they're the experienced professionals and we'd never done such elaborate renovations before. We made it clear right from the start that our budget was not fixed in stone and that we'd adjust it based on the estimates we received. We wanted a quote for the entire suite of jobs and if it proved too much, then we'd adjust accordingly by perhaps dropping one of the rooms. We even told each contractor that we were working on a very accomodating schedule and that there was no rush to do the work immediately or by any set time. Perhaps that was a mistake since we still hoped to have estimates in a reasonable timeframe so we could at least make a decision.

Quite frankly, if these or any contractors will only price guaranteed jobs, then why do we bother with this charade of estimation? You wouldn't walk in to Rona or Canadian Tire and just buy stuff with no prices posted anywhere. And if there was truly insecurity about our intentions, then at least have the courtesy to say so and move on rather than just leave us hanging.

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time11/12/2008 at 1:15:34 PM

Jamie, my intention was not to offend or isult you in anyway, I apologize if you took it as such. From your point of view originally posted you were puzzeled by the disinterest of these 3 contractors and I was suggesting possibilities of why. I do not know you, I do not know what your budget was or what your demeanor was like during your meetings. This message board is here to discuss various situations and offer advice, insight and possible solutions to a problem. I am the last person to stick up for the poor ethics of contractors in any capacity I assure you of that. As far as other contractors behaviour or business practices go - I can only offer opinion as I do not know these companies and do not operate my own company that way. Finding the right contractor can be tough, and you are quite right in not wanting to deal with these guys. From the sound of it you were quite accomodating and flexible on both price and timelines, I suppose these guys were busy and simply not interested. If their customer service is any indication of their workmanship than they have done you a favour. You as the customer are entitled to and should expect nothing less than a smooth and painless renovation from start to finish. I wish you the best of luck on your search, be patient and selective.

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Date/Time11/12/2008 at 6:46:03 PM

Hi Jamie- Shawn is absolutely right. If this is the way these companies treat potential clients, you're better off without them. I don't know your location, but in Ontario there is about 300 contractors for every 1 person AND people still complain about contractors not returning calls or showing up. Be patient & keep looking- you will eventually find a contractor who will work with you rather than against you. Good luck to you.

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Bill from Dr. Reno in Toronto
Date/Time11/13/2008 at 9:51:03 AM

Hello Jamie,

If you took any offense to my post. My apologies. Not my intentions.

Another reason that these companies may not have replied back could be the fact that they were intimidated by the scope of work. I DON'T KNOW THESE COMPANIES AND AM NOT SAYING THAT THEY COULD NOT DO THE WORK - JUST OFFERING ADVICE. However, I have seen this in the past where "handymen" will advertise and then go out to see a project and just not call the client back to give them a quote....the reason.....they don't know how to quote it, don't know how to build it properly and don't want to let the potential client know this. I know quite a few "handymen" and "contractors" (I've had a pint or two with the guys over the years) and I know this happens all the time.

To all "handymen" and "contractors" out there:

If you find yourself with a potential job and you feel that you may not be able to complete the job properly, then let the client know that this is not your area of expertise and that you can recommend a reputable contractor that can do the job. This way, the client is not wasting time waiting for a quote, you will build respect with the client and recommended contractor, and you could probably work with the contractor on the particular job in the scope of work that you are comfortable with. This way everyone wins. And the handymen can learn as they work with a qualified contractor.

Jamie, Talon, Arc, Bragg. I'm not saying that this is the case with your situation.

Just offering some advice.

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Bill from Dr. Reno in Toronto
Date/Time11/13/2008 at 10:19:01 AM

Hey all,

Just a funny observation.......

How come no posts from the companies involved?

I'm actually becoming very curious to know why these guys did not get back with a quote or even call.

Jamie, do not take any of this personally. You seem to be a fair person that wants some detailed numbers, information and a qualified company to build what you need.

It also seems to me that the companies posting on this topic are just offering different reasons as to why these companies have not come back to you with a detailed quote.

None of us really know the reason. Maybe we'll see a post from one of the companies with an explanation.

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Date/Time11/28/2008 at 12:09:31 PM

To Jamie and all of my fellow contractors!!

Regardless why and how and because, the customer is unhappy to the point that this note was posted. You all gave good points but after all said and done, this is why people always talk bad about contractors, look Mike Holmes has made a great career for this reason and what it all comes down to is that everyone that can hold a hammer and a saw can call themselves a contractor and go out and represent our trade. It is time that the city or province monitor this and force people to be licensed before they can start a contracting company. The customer in many cases is always right!!!!!!!

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time1/1/2009 at 4:54:02 PM

Hi jamie I just thought you should be a little more careful with the companies that you are choosing at this time. One of the biggest problems for quality contractors is people don't seem to like the money we charge.

Example is a quality contractor might charge $15,000 to do a job and a DIY guy might charge $10,000 there is a difference.

The bottom line is you are looking for a quality contractor that would like to do this job for you! The companies that are posting on this for you that are trying to help all have good points. We are email and posts types that seem to have the same beliefs. Maybe you should have one of us come and take a look at your job. I do no that I am busy trying to put all my clients in a row for the next year and I would be happy to bid on your job. There it is a company that is willing to step up to the plate for you! I will give you an estimate and I will get back to you. The only reason I am doing things this way is nobody has said that they would take a look. You can email me directly at

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Date/Time1/28/2009 at 4:29:57 PM


I have been in the business many years, and yes there are many contractors who will just not get back to you and that is wrong. If I am not interested I will let people know. If I am running late, I will let you know. I do not know these contractors and I am not one to judge given the amount of information submitted. Although, I will say this, in defense to all those great contractors out there.Hhow many times do you receive a thank-you for your time out, the time you spent writing up estimates ( sometimes days and hours on end) a second or even a 3rd trip back to review and discuss proposed plans and in the end you get nothing from it much less an acknowledgment, a courtesy call or an e-mail. It comes down to money for most people, and if you go with the lowest, you will get what you pay for. If a contractor comes out and has been completely professional and responds in a timely fashion, please respond either way. There is nothing worse than follow up calls and e-mails and months later you might get lucky with a return call. Also, the urgency placed on contractors to submit a quote is at times over the top, especially when some people are no where ready to do anything and are simply fishing for numbers and ideas. I apologize if I have offended anyone, however I believe I do speak for many of us that do really do our best in this business.

All the best.

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Blueprint Contracting in High River
Date/Time2/26/2009 at 3:14:36 PM

Treat people how YOU like to be treated.

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Chris in Vancouver
Date/Time1/2/2011 at 4:27:24 PM

Wow, some people are very unaware of the law. You have opened yourself up to be sued for slander BIGTIME here, you are very lucky these individuals haven't come across this post, personally I would be taking legal action against you in this case.

My opinion, three different contractors come, no replies-the problem is not with them, it's with you. Either your budget is not realistic, or you come across as someone not desirable to work for.

However they should have communicated that they could not/were not interested in the work,

however, educate yourself on the law before you go name blabbing people blaming them, and opening up yourself for a lawsuit.

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