Our house sits on a lush 0.35 acre property just outside of Seattle. Getting a nice chunk of land was important to
us me as we were house hunting. The obvious downside of a good-sized backyard? Yard work. Check out our little plot of land….
It was clear when we bought the property that the owners had let mother nature run her course and that the surrounding shrubbery was choking off the useable yard space. Especially when you compare it to how the backyard looked a few years ago (following picture stolen off the FB page of the previous owner)…
This last week, a buddy of mine and I spent six hours with a 30 foot ladder and a ten foot pole saw limbing every tree, branch, and bush we could get to.
WE WERE MURDERING PLANTS!
The fruits of our labor are pictured below…
We were left with a massive pile of branches. A pile so big, I could no longer rent a 27′ Uhaul to dump them as I originally hoped. I was going to need to pay a company to come and remove the debris.
I hopped on Yelp and called one of the higher rated Tree Service companies in my city to come out and give me an estimate. That afternoon I had a guy show up, walk around the property and quoted me $1,000 for chipping and haul away service. I asked him how soon he could get to work and he promised they’d start bright and early the next morning.
I shook his hand and we had a deal.
The next morning comes and I set my handy-dandy security system up (facing our front yard) so I could check in on the work they were doing while I was away. But every time I checked in on the property, the workers were nowhere to be found. They didn’t end up arriving until 1pm, 20 minutes after I made it back home.
I was livid.
Before they could even park their truck I went outside and met with my contact, told him I was extremely frustrated that he wasn’t on site in the morning as promised, and said I was going to look for a different company to work with. (side note: he told me he was late because traffic court went longer than expected)
I fired him.
I’ve never fired anyone before. It was pretty awkward, but also kinda liberating.
That afternoon I had another company come out and give me a bid for the same work. Get this, their bid came in at $490. That’s 50% less what Mr. Sketchball was going to charge me!
I was so glad I got a second quote, and feel way better about this new company, but I’m also angry with myself for not automatically getting a few bids before I chose a company to work with.
I’m realizing I’m either dumb or impatient as I literally did this same thing a month ago with our kitchen counters; Agreed to work with a company, and then said no thanks the next day after realizing we were getting screwed.
Take it from me, ALWAYS GET A SECOND QUOTE when it comes to any type of home service or project. I’ve learned this the hard way twice now, hopefully there wont be a third time.
I got a few questions…
1) Have you used Yelp for hiring out contracting work before? Is it reliable? I feel burned.
2) You ever fired someone before?
3) You ever agreed to a bad deal before?