• August 9, 2004

Stood Up By My Contractor

I hate it when my contractor doesn't show or call to cancel

Restoration Diary


I start having flash backs of junior high school. Is my house not cute enough? Is it not part of the cool house crowd? Did some high class-big cash house come my contractor’s way?

I woke up early and set out all their tools in the hopes that they would come, that today would be the day the BIG Backporch Rebuilding Project would commence.

My contractor and his team said they were coming but they have said that before. Many times. A few days later I’ll get the phone call, “Heather, I’m so sorry. Yes, this job we’re working on is taking longer than we thought but we’ll be there Thursday or maybe Friday. Ok, see you then. Monday for sure…”

The phone call is an advancement in our relationship. In the past they would just not show up or call for days, or even weeks. So, when I do get that call I bite my tongue and try not to sound annoyed. If I stay calm at least they stay in touch. I’m not exactly sure how we advanced to the phone call stage of our relationship but I don’t want to somehow blow it and regress back to the earlier no show/no call.

I’m hoping that soon we can advance to the calling the night before they don’t show stage. They have to know they aren’t coming and it is just as easy to call the night before as it is two days after they were scheduled to be here, right?

I wouldn’t put up with this type of behavior in any other area of my life, not even in the desperately insecure period of junior high school. But, if this is what it takes to hang onto a good and affordable contractor in Los Angeles, I’m game. Nevermind that I’ve cancelled lunch plans because they were supposed to be here and I’ll have to reschedule the plumber one more time.

I bring the tools back inside and stack them in the corner of my living room where they sit and wait for another day.

Comments { 4 }
  1. Stacy

    I love reading your blog, having just purchased a small bungalow for myself in Lexington, KY. Just had to comment because I’ve heard the same complaint from so many people lately – contractors not showing up and/or not calling to mention that they’re not going to show up. It seems like a recurring theme – and I think your method of dealing with it is the only way: stay calm and agreeable and eventually they’ll get to you and do the work you need. Good luck – your renovations looks gorgeous so far! You’ve inspired me to start stripping woodwork…

  2. 323-256-2223

    We have a 1911 STUCCOlow (formerly a bungalow) that still has alot of its integrity and charm…
    looking to take stucco off amongst other things but finding a design firm that can help us get started with concepts has been hard. any one out there have any suggestions for help in Los Angeles? email [email protected]! thanks!

  3. rebecca

    I just finished reading your blog on the contractor that wouldn’t show up for weeks. I’m a small remodeling contractor in the SF Bay area and am always amazed at contractors that run their businesses this way, HOW do they stay in business. Also read the following post from another person about contractors that don’t call or show up, again it’s those rotten contractors that make it hard for the rest of us.

    Have faith, (not the religious type) there are some contractors that do call and show up. I’m one of them…I always keep close contact and realistic schedules for my clients. Now I know why I haven’t had to advertise my business, word of mouth travels fast about a contractor that actually shows up, cleans up and finishes the project in a timely manner. Good luck, and too bad you don’t live in Oakland CA, I’d come over and give you a hand.

  4. Almost Angeleno

    Looks like no one has contributed comments to this thread since 2004.

    Well, with the current economy, you can be sure that there are PLENTY of contractors out there who will be showing up or at least calling.

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