I have been getting quotes for several items of work that need done around my home. One item is getting my front sidewalk and steps replaced since the floods have been terribly hard on the them. After putting in my wooden front steps last summer – I did a short post back then – I knew it was just a matter of time until the concrete sidewalk and the steps to the public sidewalk would need to be replaced. And I did not even kid myself on this one – I am not capable of tearing out the concrete and pouring new.

After another flood in February of this year, I decided to finally move on the sidewalk and steps. I got one estimate early on for about $650.00. I wasn’t sure if that was in line or not, so I thought about it for a while. I then called three more places and got three more estimates.

Now, I have a problem with contractors who say they will do residential jobs and then really don’t want to do smaller residential jobs. Just tell; don’t waste my time by showing up, pretending to measure the work, and then sending me a quote for four times the amount of any of the other three.

Two of the additional quotes I got were pretty close in price with a range from $675.00 to $750.00. So that meant that all three of the first quotes to come in were close in price. But wow, when I opened the final quote, it was a whopping $3,080.00 – four times the amount of the highest quote. What that tells me is that the contractor either thinks he has a sucker on the line, or he doesn’t want to do the work and jacks the quote up so high that no sane person would accept it.

I opt for the latter. The quote not only was a joke but also was inaccurate in measurements. The person who came to measure my walk added a foot to the width of the sidewalk and two feet to the width of another part. All in all, I am really ticked at Signature Concrete personnel for pulling this stunt.

Of course I won’t use the company. I have been told this is a common practice that companies use if they just don’t want to do the work. I guess rather than tell you the job is just too small or too much of a hassle, they just waste your time looking over the potential job and then write a quote they know won’t be accepted.

Don’t waste my time. Just tell me you don’t want the work.

I guess you know who I won’t call again.


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Fort Wayne, Home Improvement, West Central Neighborhood and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Karen Till, Signature Concrete says:

    I am so sorry you feel that we wasted you time, that was not our intention in any way. However I think the rest of Fort Wayne needs to know more. The bid that you asked us to give was for A LOT more than just the sidewalk. When he met with you he spoke to you about the 4 ft sidewalk instead of 3ft. The bid also included some steps that was to be replaced and additional side walls on the step that was to be added. If you wanted a bid for the “sidewalk only” broken out seperately, you should have told him. If you did, then I am sorry that he did not catch it and it didn’t get bid that way. The sidewalk only would have been $660 which was at $5 per sq foot, which is very comparible to other contractors. Anytime steps and sidesteps are added on, the price greatly increases. Steps are very time consumming and consume much more in materials. I do believe that I speak for all contractors that when you receive a bid that is EXTREAMLY higher than any others received, there is usually a misintrepration or a miscommunication of information. I do wish that you would have called for a clarification. We do not mislead our customers intentionally, if a job is not something that we can do or dont want it, we tell them. Again, we are very sorry that you feel this way. Next time, I do hope that you contact the contractor for clarification before blasting them when it was NOT neccessary. We have many, many, many very satisified customers.

  2. Karen:

    I appreciate your attempt to explain what happened. Your bid was not comparable to the other contractors, and there was no misunderstanding. As I mentioned, the bids for the same requested work – sidewalk and steps – from THREE other contractors ranged from $650 to $750 as I noted in my article. Your company’s bid did not even come close. A bid that comes in four times higher for the exact same work is just ridiculous however you attempt to explain it.

    There was no misunderstanding, and there was no need for clarification. I received no call back to clarify anything I had requested. He knew what I wanted because I went over it with him, and the bid I received addressed the work I requested. Believe it or not, I did not just glance at it or toss it. I reviewed it and made sure I was looking at the same work bid from the other three contractors. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been so stunned.

    Same work – four times higher.

    I am not sure how you explain that – your response does not do that. And I am not quite sure where you are coming from when you say “Anytime steps and sidesteps are added on, the price greatly increases. Steps are very time consuming and consume much more in materials.”

    The other three contractors provided a bid on the exact same work. We are talking apples to apples here, not apples to oranges. Another thing you might consider is that what you are saying now is that if it had only been the sidewalk, it would have been $660. You are, in effect, then saying that the steps – all three of them with side trim – would have cost $2,390. I find that unbelievable. We are not talking about a grand staircase; we are talking about three small steps.

    Again, let me note that there was no reason for me to contact the contractor. The individual came to my home. I provided him the same information that I had given the other contractors, and your bid was four times higher for the exact same work.

    I have had this happen to me before, and what it usually means is that the job isn’t big enough, and the bid is usually being written to complete the request from the customer. I am not a novice when it comes to taking care of my home. I have lived here for 13 years and owned my home now for 7 years. I have my own workshop, and I do a lot of my own repairs and work, including major renovation. I am not just some single female homeowner who does not understand the ins and outs of home repair.

    In closing, let me repeat: your bid came in four times higher for the exact same work. I understand your desire to explain why this happened, but I really believe there isn’t much of an explanation other than the job just was too small. This is my opinion, and your explanation hasn’t changed my mind on that.

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