A lot of the successful contractors do that.
One boss I had said to take the check, it ends the shopping.
There is nothing worse then booking out workers and sub contractors for a job and find that the customer went with someone else. Been there, done that. It puts a big hole in your revenues when you are not on the job installing.
Personally on a remodel job, I wouldn't block out the time without a contract and deposit.
And I don't care about what local law says about it. They don't worry about making my house payment, I do.
What kind of guarantees do others have in their workplace?
Would you work for someone if they didn't promise some sort of employment, or do you wait for a phone call to come in?
You can check their rating with the BBB