Question: I recently called a home improvement contractor from an ad that I had seen in the Yellow Pages. He refused to come out unless both my wife and I were home. When the contractor finally did get to our house for the appointment (an hour late), he spent over four hours.
During that time, he drew a sketch of the project and was able to give me a firm price quote within a matter of two or three hours. When I told him that I wanted to shop around, he continued to pressure me and would not leave. He actually got very angry when I finally demanded that he leave our house (after midnight).
Answer: This used to be very common in the "old days," but now there are so many laws protecting consumers that most contractors are no longer as insistent on making one-stop sales.
The salesman was working from a price book that usually includes mark-ups that are on the high side because they forgive estimating errors. You should always interview at least three contractors before entering into a contract. You should also get specifics on the quality of the products that are going into the home-improvement project and you certainly want to take time to read the contract carefully, including the fine print.