Video: Gas Prices Hurting Contractors and Consumers

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Quentin Hydock


I don't want to stir up a hornet's nest, but I feel the need to comment as a consumer, and a contractor. I don't know what kind of work you're seeking bids for, or where you are getting the referrals for the contractors you call. But, I am very sure that if they are professionals with all the licensing, insurance, and other required trappings, they cannot make a living by collecting $25.00 bid fees. I couldn't, and I don't believe anyone else could either. So, lose that idea immediately. If I divide my bid price for labor by the hours required to do the work and it equals less than $50.00 an hour, I am not covering my costs to operate my business and spend those hours doing what I just did! To a properly licensed, insured contractor $25.00 WILL NOT cover the cost of the time spent getting to your location, talking to you, and preparing an estimate. The $25.00 is a token amount used to eliminate spending time on folks that do NOT do their homework researching contractor referrals and, instead, are using a scattergun approach to find the cheapest price for the work they want done. Excellent contractors do not want, nor do they need, to waste time doing bids for folks looking for cheap prices. Cheap prices can mean shortcutting work, materials, and may indicate sketchy legality. Contractors who care about staying busy will make sure their reputation in the market is exemplary. A great benefit of this is that the calls they get are from people that want that kind of businessman doing work for them. Would you feel better if a contractor offered to waive the fee if a contract was written for the work? I do not charge a bid fee, but the contractors I know of that do will let you know when they present their price that they will refund the the bid fee if the contract is signed and a deposit is received. If I had done my research and chosen a contractor based on personal referrals and reputation, I would welcome the $25.00 bid fee. It shows me they are too busy to waste time and money running after folks looking for the cheapest price, instead of the best work performed by a responsible, professional contractor who is busy because he has terrific referrals. To use the term "highway robbery" to refer to a bid fee is very unfair, as is inferring that one could make a living collecting them. If you want the work done cheap, there is a guy down at the intersection holding a sign saying that he needs work. Go get him. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a professional job done by a professional, research all the contractor referral sites on the web, talk to people who have had the same kind of work done, and be willing to pay a bid fee. The bid fee is a sign of a busy professional. Here's a secret about contracting: if you are busy you are doing a great job and getting referrals for it, and most of your customers have an idea when they call you that they want you to do the work. Instead of being resentful of bid fees, you should make a list of all the contractors charging one and base your research on them. Also, include the contractors you find while researching the best-of-the-best who do NOT charge a bid fee, and call them too.

cliff hansen


thats easy found those that give a free estimate if contactor charges 2.00 per hr more and is working 40 hours a week that would be enough to cover gas price.

calvin fails


well i would tell them would it be ok to give a free bid on what i need doing because i can"nt pay for it n u might not take the job n am out off money an i still have to find some one else to do the job thats hihgway robbery.



What I have found is that some contractors are asking for a fuel fee to give a bid on a job. That's unfair to the homeowner. If a $25 fee is charged and one gets three bids, the homeowner is already out $75 and two contractors went home with money in their pocket for simply giving a bid. A contractor could make some nice pocket money doing that!

I would not object to negotiating a fuel surcharge with the contractor that I select to do the job. That would be fair. But to charge a homeowner just to give a bid is ridiculous, in my opinion. What's to prevent a contractor from inflating his bid if he finds he doesn't want to do the work? Nothing! He takes the money and goes home.

Clarence Ollison


How do you use a drain machine? I have a slow running out side drain.



I agree with Mr. Hydock. Bid fees are usually nominal and credited back to the customer when a contract is signed and deposits have been collected. I can not tell you how many times "A contractors wife" has called to say she needs help because hubby is too busy"! Hubby is standing in the background laughing cause he has the "guy to do the work" but hasn't gotten to it yet. You as a contractor can give your best price, be fair honest and reliable but with the deck stacked against you, this is a no win situation and a complete waste of time. No one works for "FREE" and time is money, no matter how nice you are about it. There are costs involved.

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How to Get Rid of Springtails

One of the most effective ways to control springtails is to dry out the infested area. Springtails require a high-moisture environment to breed and thrive, living mostly off of algaes that grow in moist conditions. They will either leave the infested area or die out. If there is an infestation that cannot be controlled by drying out the infested area, use an appropriately labeled insecticide with a residual time These will typically be a liquid concentrate form, a wet-able powder form, or a dust product.  DO NOT APPLY UNTIL AREAS ARE DRY.  If area will not dry naturally, use Corn Starch to soak-up any lingering moisture and otherwise 'steer' any rain water or irrigation away from area.


Also, if there is a noticed springtail infestation around the perimeter of the structure, use the insecticide to do a barrier treatment and apply corn starch to reduce or eliminate moisture. Caulk and seal all cracks and crevices and inspect potted plants before they are brought into the house.


I would talk to your local lawn and garden supply store (or mill and feed) - NOT a box store or hardware store. There are also selective grass control chemicals. YOu can research this by Googling using search string      "Tall Fescue Control" - there are lots of articles by the USDA and individual state cooperative extension services.

There is a treatment called chlorsulfuron TFC (Tall Fescue Control) that will do this - it worked for me in western New York, but took 3 years to finish out all the tall fescue. It may now be limited to use by commercial applicators - pretty potent stuff. Can yellow bluegrass or make it phytosensitive, but our looked OK during treatment because the TFC was applied in the fall for best results, and our lawn was dormant till spring anyway.

Tall fescue can also be controlled by real short mowing, but only in areas where the bluegrass is dominant and really thrives so will eventually crowd out the trimmed fescue, but you may be too far north for that.