House 3: Estimate Clarification

I got a response to my fax to the handyman requesting some clarification of his estimate. He was checking into whether or not he could move the car legally (since I don't have title to the car). This is similar to a situation I ran into on my last rehab, so I was pretty sure there would be no problems removing it. Just to be sure, I called the Phoenix Police Department to check. (My last property was in Glendale and the city code might be different in Phoenix.) Indeed, the car is treated as an abandoned vehicle on private property and therefore, the property owner can do what he wants with it. Technically, the towing company is supposed to contact the police department with the license plate number or the VIN number to see if the car has been reported stolen. However, that is not the responsibility of the property owner. Anyway, I passed this info on to the handyman.

As for the other issues:

- The removal of the shed, folding door, and door frame at the archway are included.

- He counted three windows that needed to be replaced, so I'll trust him on that.

- He will remove the cabinets and, if there is good drywall behind it, the wood paneling as well.

- He forgot to include the new toilet in the estimate wording, but it was included in his price.

And speaking of the price, he didn't lower it :-) He also rejected my request for dates and penalties / bonuses for late or early completion. According to him, he cannot schedule the work of his subcontractors and therefore can't make promises for them. If he were to do so, the state of Arizona would consider them employees of his company. He said he has spoken with all of them and they all agree to do their best to meet the 4 week schedule. A start date will be provided as soon as he receives my first payment, which I placed in the mail this morning.

I'm not sure I buy his argument about not being able to schedule the subcontractors. He doesn't really need to. He just has to tell them when he needs the work completed by. But I'm not going to push it. He claims his motivation to finish the job is his final payment.

The good news is that he is using subcontractors. That means it won't just be him working on the job, which means it should get done faster.


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