Wednesday, April 14, 2010

How to Find a Contractor

Project 15 - Day 31

We are in the process of a mini kitchen make-over. Per our usual MO we are taking much longer than most for the size of the project. We began in December with the first consultation and it is now April. Refaced (and beautiful) cabinets is all that has been accomplished to date. But this is how we operate, four months to do a 2 week job.

The current phase entails selecting and installing new countertops. Thus far we have received quotes from 4 contractors (shouldn't 4 quotes be enough) and last week we were on a mission to find one final counter-top installer who would provide just one more quote for our enormous kitchen project. ( Yes, indeed there was sarcasm in that last statement. It is commonly referred to as Dougin it around these parts.)

We left the island early and pointed the car north towards Naples. En route we stumbled across a kitchen showroom not on our list. A whiplash inducing turn into the parking lot placed us smack dab in front of a wall of granite. A nice, young man approached and asked if he could be of service. Being the independent souls that we are we declined his offer of help and began wandering through the maze of granite slabs.

Eventually we found something we liked and ended up sitting across a desk from the nice young man. The Kid produced a tatered sketch from his pocket and asked if he would be willing to provide a quote based on our measurements. The nice young man agreed (unheard of). About this time I realized that "The Kid" is about as good at math as I am and his drawing was a bit off. He had drawn a counter bar where none exists. (How do you live in a house for 11 years and fail to notice?) The nice young man found it quite humorous and we all had a good chuckle.

But here's the deal, the notable part of our "office time" had little to do with talk of granite installation or pricing and everything to do with the photograph of the nice young man's family sitting prominantly on his desk. We commented on his beautiful wife and children. The young man beamed and launched into a tribut to his "soccer player" and his "princess." It was all quite endearing.

After some additional pleasantries a quote was produced. One that we found attractive. We made arrangements for him to drive to Marco the next morning and take some proper measurements. We would then weigh our options (more Dougin it) and make a decision next week.

And then this happened:
As we were exiting the building the nice young man's face lit up as a car slid into the parking lot. We learned it was his wife & children. They visit him a couple of times a week for lunch. (How sweet is that?) "Please, meet my family" he said. We were then properly introduced to the nice young man's lovely wife and adorable children. (All of the cute and beautiful variety.) We engaged in some additional small talk before finally making it to our car. Once inside, The Kid sighed and said "oh hell, let's just hire him."

And that's how it's done. After weeks of interviewing counter top contractors, agonizing over price and dependability, a decision is made based on driving aimlessly and meeting the sweet family of a nice young man.

Work has already been completed. Pictures will follow, eventually.

And because I can't post without a photo here is a totally unrelated one of the scene outside of our hotel this week.

The Line-Up


Audrey said...

LOVE this story. We are in the middle of a kitchen "face-lift" that started in February - and will probably continue until next February (and that's being optomistic!). Often my decision making simply results in being worn down and just getting the decision over with. Meeting a nice young man and his family sounds like reasonable enough criteria to me!

Audrey said...

Oh yeah - awesome car shot!

Tim Logan said...

You guys are awesome. I have sold for years by taking around pictures of my beautiful wife and children. I now do it by taking around pictures of the beautiful grandchildren. By the way I have heard about that counter guy in the news. He has a button he pushes and the woman and the kids show up when each of his customers are leaving. It works ever time!!!!!!
Love you guys,

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Both your post and the comments. I love this story, too. The cars picture isn't so unrelated, actually, especially if you've ever bought a car on an insane whim unrelated to research or reason.