You Get What You Pay For

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Posted by: from North York
11/28/2008 at 1:15:24 PM

Without sounding as I am blaming anyone but I must comment on many of these posting and say that " If the price is too good to be real" there is something wrong... In many cases the contractors are not really contractors and only handy guys, without license and or insurance, however they still get work because of their prices. Real contractors are more then willing to provide home owners with appropriate paperwork for their company and if the prices quoted are a bit high, its because of the overheads that we have over the plain handymen out there. There are lots of good handy guys and they are limited to the scope which they can handle. I have many people contact me for custom homes and they come with the idea of costs almost half of what they should be. YES they will find someone that will take that project but remember it will not be a finished house by the time the money runs out...... Homeowners should know that paying a little extra for a good job is really no a big thing when you consider it is for the single biggest investment that you have, your house.!!!!

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time12/2/2008 at 3:32:59 PM

Hi my name is Michael Keel from Abba's Service and I can not agree with you more. People don't understand what they are getting for there money! The real companies like us suffer because of it. We are a home renovation specialists and I get the same problems you do. Keywords in any search engine and you will see what I mean. I stay busy but it's hard selling a job after these guy's have been there. Put keywords in google yahoo or msn and you will see what I mean. quality home renovation specialists!

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Date/Time12/2/2008 at 5:29:21 PM


There is a sign on the wall in my office and it says" The aggravation and stress caused by poor workmanship and poor materials last far longer than the sweetness of the lowest price."

Yes these "handymen" are out there and there is a certain amount of the public will get suckered into buying from these types only to find that they have paid more than it would have cost with a qualified contractor in the first place. All you can really do is put together a portfolio and do a good job on every project you do.


Aline General Contractors Ltd.

Barrie, Ontario

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Date/Time12/3/2008 at 6:30:55 PM

Well said John.

Better brace yourselves though, folks- cause the way this economy is headed, we're all in for a major shitstorm. Like I said before, every time there is a large lay-off or closure- which is happening on a daily basis now- there are another 50 "contractors" & "handymen" hitting the streets, lowballing everything and f***ing things up so bad that a lot of people become 'contractor shy'. And this will eventually affect us all.

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Date/Time12/3/2008 at 10:29:50 PM

John, Bill you are right, and I agree with Bill on the new so called contractors and handymen coming on board. I was talking to a guy today that " So Called Custom Builder" and he is pricing houses at $90/sqft. Can you beleive that?? So here we go......

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Tamburro Home Renovations in Courtice
Date/Time12/8/2008 at 10:01:56 AM

hi everyone my name is Phil from Tamburro Home Renovations .. i am new to this site but not new to the renovation business ,,, i agree with everyone on here ,,, U Pay Cheap! U Get Cheap ! its really true, i have quoted many people looking to get jobs done, and all they were looking for were cheap deals ??? i remember going to see these jobs and then because of my pricing, i didn't get the job, why cause they're are cheaper people on here that don't care and just price anything and then i get the callbacks ... happened to me already 10x where homeowners get it done and then try to call me back to fix it ??? hehehehehehe ... the more u tell people that buying cheap, u get cheap work done , the more they do it anyways ... i know that our economy is going downwards but a renovation does not cost cheap ... i remember having to go see a plumbing job, and it was a bigg leakage problem and flooding and the customer wanted to pay $50.00 to fix it .... and then u have the contractors who charge cheaper including the materials and they get the cheapest and sometimes broken materials installed and the homeowners don't ask for receipts at all ... WHY? well i charge my jobs without materials ???

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time12/10/2008 at 7:58:44 AM

I agree with all of you! Cheaper is not always better.....and that is true not only with contracting but with most things. Trying to take the cheap way out usually ends up costing far more than doing it properly the first time. We have had so many so-called contractors under-bidding the same jobs. The customer always comes back and says I like you but why is this/that guy cheaper than you? I try to explain that there are many reasons why someone else may be able to bring in the job cheaper....none of them good. Materials cost, labour costs, and bottom line is we are here to make money and if there is no money in it, then we may as well sit home. We as skilled and responsible contractors have knowledge and expertise. Our skill is a valuable one and I hope that those of us who are exceptional at what we do will be able to stand out amongst all of these fly-by-nights and theives.

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Colleen in Surrey
Date/Time12/14/2008 at 10:30:03 PM

I am Colleen of Skystone Decorating and when I exsplain to my clients why it costs what it does & why we should hire certian trades & what needs to be done - they are almost always fine with it. especially since most of the homes I have done makeovers & Renos on in the last 2 years I am fixing the "handymans" work or some unskilled builder who when I asked my one client- whos new home was a total nightmare, who her builder was -she replied " In the wind". So since I have basically been redoing rooms that had been done badly they are paying for it twice.

I just have to come up with ideas so they can have the look they had wanted in the first place,

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Brad Ivany in Georgetown
Date/Time1/18/2009 at 12:47:47 AM

I agree that we are all suffering somewhat over the last few years because of fly by night contractors who are semi skilled and can operate for much less then the rest of us. I can not say that there are not good uninsured contractors out there either however we are really feeling the pinch just as the everyday consumer feels in tough times when money is tight and it only seems to them for the moment to save as much money as possible.

Yes, none of us can do a million dollar project for a quarter of the cost of course but I think in tough times we can all pull together and be a little more flexible. Bad contractors are simply that, they are greedy and the dollar always come before the customer at the same time we all have to make a living...a two sided coin i`d say.

Brad K. Ivany

Tradesmen Contracting

416 436 8303

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Rick in Reaboro
Date/Time1/24/2009 at 3:39:53 PM

This situation is a problem in almost every area of business. There is always someone cheaper.

There is a certain amount of profit that a business must make. There is a certain amount of costs that a busness has.

Materials of the same quality should cost similar amounts. If there is a difference, there is a problem.

People with the same skill set and the same experience cost similar amounts. If there is a difference there is a problem.

Generally a very low price means that something is amiss. The same goes for a high price.

Get enough quotes to find out what the job should cost. Get quotes that separates labour and materials if you can. Research material cost separately with material suppliers.

Then check licenses, tax numbers, and references. Then pick the person who makes you feel the warmest and fuzziest.

This is advice for picking a lawyer, a mechanic, a computer specialist, and even a contractor. It works because busness if math. If you charge too much, no one hires you. If you charge too little, you go broke. If you are a crook, eventually someone will get you.

I was once told that if you pay peanuts, you get monkees.

Take care,


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Date/Time1/26/2009 at 3:14:26 PM

as a contractor we have cost attacted to being being insured, liablities...etc.

this is not a fill in job for us ....its what we do.

people have to get wise to this we do answer are phones to people with a problem.

the problem is anybody that can hold a hammer can say what every they want as we have no standard or licenceing protocals that need to be met to be a contractor....something we as contractors should really look at.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time2/17/2009 at 3:14:14 PM

Well depending on the work you are doing you do need a license. I can be honest with you I pay $1000.00 every year for the licenses I have and not to even scratching the surface when it comes to insurance. WSIB. payroll taxes,and lets not forget the big A! Advertising. Websites, article writing. at least I get payed for those. Answering questions by the millions. listen to the people customer complaints. Charity work and I can go on for ever. I guess some of the problems I bring on myself because of my good nature. But I also found out the hard way that people will take advantage of that also! My best advise is something I heard the day from a handy man type guy. He told me he charges $25.00 for every estimate he does. In a year what he had made from just that was enough to make a living. I thought about it to and if good contractors all started to charge for estimates then the bad ones would slip by side for a while. People will understand that you must be good to charge a fee just to get an estimate and I will tell you. I charged 4 people yesterday and I could not belive it works. You also will get rid of the price shopper's out there. I told the people that email me they can pay by credit card and it was payable in advance and not one of them refused. I also explained to them if they use my company That there money would be refunded back to them. Try it. It will a least cover your gas. and If they are paying you for being there you have a better chance of getting the job! So fare i sold 2-4. It could be because of my reputation though. Some thing to think about!

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Monarch Roofing and Siding Ltd in Morinville
Date/Time2/23/2009 at 2:06:24 PM

I sit here reading these posts of home owners contractors from hell,how sad that these things still are happening,and only if there were better policies in place to rid the public of these cut throaters.Our prices for services are where they are for one simple reason,we do the job right period.....We spend tens of thousands on advertizing and info packages to homeowners so they can make proper decisions,so if cheap is what you want that is exactly what you will get,and good luck in getting them back to honour any warranty issues.Yes we have quite the year coming up to deal with,as more and more fly by night companies are formed. So ladies and gentlemen get ready to dig your heels in and not loose focus.Hoping you all, a good year in 2009!

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Monarch Roofing and Siding Ltd in Morinville
Date/Time2/23/2009 at 2:52:37 PM

Paul Domoslai from Monarch Roofing and Siding Ltd.Just another note we all have a responsibility as company owners to not allow ourselves to be pulled down to these over night contractors level like they say "cream always rises to the top".Pricing this year will be very challenging,at the same time the reputable contactors will still be around ten years from now and they wont.

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Abba's Service in Huntsville
Date/Time3/17/2009 at 10:46:56 PM

Good comments Paul I agree with you and it is getting a little boring sometimes. In fact customers will still need us good guy's to clean all this mess of if the idiots up latter the plan is always to survive untill then for everybody I hope. I am not that old but I am ready to retire 45 I have made my share over the years and invested a lot wiser than most. There will be a lot of money to get after the smoke clears and jobs get better for people once again I plan on retiring before that so I wish you all the best. My kid will get the business at least he knows how I like things and what I expect from him. I also told him that I will take it back if he screws up my retirement. Fishing this summer will be sweet. And I will be passing some names on for him not to worry guy's he has been doing this type of work as my main man for over 10 years. But he needs to learn about talking to people. I wash his mouth with soap first!

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Kevin in Stettler
Date/Time6/1/2011 at 4:26:44 PM

It's too bad that Paul Domoslai of Monarch Roofing and Siding won't stand behind his work. I've been trying for almost a year to have him finish a job on my roof, but after five chances of being lied to that he's going to come and do the job he was paid to do, I'm starting to think he might be a frigging liar. Sometimes, you may not actually get what you pay for - especially if you hire Monarch Roofing and Siding.

Paul - I'll happily take this back the day you come and do the job. But I'm not holding my breath.

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