I would like to respond to the Remodeler's Diary "Hey, We Subcontractors Have Some Beefs Too," (April 14).
The "Wise-Up Tips for Subs" is missing an additional item. No. 7 should be to ask when this prospective customer plans on beginning the project. If the customer gives a wishy-washy answer, it usually means that the project might not ever get started. Some people just want to know if a project is feasible and the cheapest job still might not be within the budget.
The other time-waster is estimation for the purpose of winding up a home purchase transaction. This estimate is typically procured to negotiate the sale price or to credit the escrow account. Here again, the contractor may never get the job regardless of his pricing and suggestions.
I am not the angry type and I can relate exactly to the purposes of these estimates. The service is absolutely necessary, but people must understand the foundation of this free service. If this service could be categorized more as consultation and the contractor compensated for such, we could all be much happier and more willing to help.
Most of the people I deal with are polite when I explain my problem with the abuse of the free estimating service. The group of abusers is very small as is the group of unreliable contractors portrayed in this section.
Nernberg is president of A&B;, a contracting corporation.