Q - My friends used a company to remodel their home so when I wanted to upgrade my house I called them too.

They came out and gave a quote, which due to changes in my desires and the 'supply chain' were changed several times. The process was long and drawn out - at one point I missed a deadline for a sale they were running - and several quotes have floated back and forth.

I am starting to get really angry with them because quite a bit of time has gone by and we cannot reach a deal - but I know they are a good company.

What should I do?

Lillian in Smyrna

A - You should start over with a different company.

Here are my reasons:

- You are going into a home remodel project that should make you feel happy. Do you really want every moment of it to be spent with people you are combative with? Are you really comfortable writing them a big check?

- You will be permanently suspicious of them. For example if something changes down the road and they have to charge you more money, are you going to be comfortable with that?

Probably not. You will suspect them of over-charging you to make up for something else no doubt.

- You are getting hints from them that they don't want to do business with you. The longer and more drawn out this becomes the more I would imagine, they don't want your job.

They probably have other 'happy' jobs going on and would rather spend time on them.

Here is a telling point for me… If a company is going to, say, give me a free sink for re-doing my kitchen, then pull it off the table due to passing a 'due date' to get the deal signed, they don't really want my business - especially if we are in talks about the job as the due date passes.

If you don't think for one second that if I would commit to that original kitchen job down the road that they wouldn't throw the sink deal back in, then you are wrong.

I would bet you they would throw in the free sink a year from now for the right deal.

So chalk it up to experience. Settle down, and interview some more companies. You now have a better feel for what you want and what it will cost which will make you a better customer for the next good contractor.

One more note here, and allow me to put on my builder hat for a moment. A builder doesn't want to work in an adversarial relationship any more than you do. They want to do good work for people who they enjoy.

It goes both ways. I often see great builder/client relationships end up with the client getting more than they expected because of the great relationship with the contractor.

Try going at it from that angle. See if you don't have an enjoyable experience and most importantly, enjoy your new re-model work!