Home Depot Wants $100 to Measure Kitchen

Page 2 of 4  
mm wrote: ...

Well, it depends wholly on the business model of the contractor or business. Trust me, you're paying for it whether it's an upfront specified charge or buried in the proposal. It is a cost of doing business, true, but as someone else has already pointed out in order to remain in business one has to cover those costs in some fashion.
You can choose to only deal with businesses whose model is to make the cost invisible to you, but you're still paying. While you may feel good about "stiffing" the fella' who doesn't charge when he comes out, you can be pretty sure he'll think again next time you call and that the cost of window-shoppers is built into his fee schedule.
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

I know the cad drawing comes after from the computer. But what I was trying to say was that the $100 did not produce any kind of formal write up just a recording of the square feet in the flooring order department. The resulting number would have inflated the materials cost and the labor cost which at the time was $9 a square foot for boh.
We bought pergo at $2.50 a square foot and installed it ourselves using our own measurements and ordering 10% more.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dont bother with HomeDepot for any installation work. The measuring fee is a ripoff palin and simple. I paid them $35 for measuring to replace a front door. Guy game out, maybe five minutes and tape measure and disappeared- wouldnt tell me anything. Went to store to get "estimate" and of course they pull the "non standard installation" and want $650 labor to install door and of course I had to special order door for another $500. I ate the $35 and found a guy who did work for inlaws. He told me what size standard door to buy (nice fibreglass one $240) and installed for $300. He will be doing our back door this week and guess who's getting first bid when we redo main bath? Same with an electrician. I accidently cut wires in ceilng . Inlaws gave name and he came out and fixed wiring plus installed fan box for $120. REasonable to me. He will get called for any other elictrical work

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jun 24, 10:33 am, snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

Lucky for you that you have some in-laws, otherwise you wouldn't have a nifong clue how to locate a good contractor.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's not hard to find good contractors. Just ask neighbors and friends and cross off any sh***y ones that wont show up, cost too much, bad attitudes, etc. This is why I do as much as I can myself. If the chimney were lower I'd have put the cap up myself. Yeah I could replace a door but the nuisance factor makes the price I got reasonable to me.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
RicodJour wrote:

Rico,
Could you imagine the expression on this guy's face, when you asked him what his budget was for a kitchen, bath, or addition? LOL, I'd pay to see it! :o)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Just shows what ripoff artists most contractors are- 2/3 the cost of most jobs is labor. I will redo the 1/2 bath myself . If one of you jokers wanted the job you'd probably charge $5k or more. I know I can do it for under $1k- floor toilet sink and walls mirror so I will.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Nope. There's no up side to that. I don't know who the other guy is and whether he's competent or not. The odds that I'd create the same kitchen layout are entirely non-existent.
A guy I used to work with told me a story about a friend of his that had a carpet business. The guy got sick of having the exact scenario you described happen to him. Someone would take his written estimate, with room measurements, and shop it around. In other words this guy was doing the estimating work and people were taking advantage of him. Know how he fixed that? He started deducting 2' from every dimension on the written estimate. He actually had an owner call him up screaming that his measurements were wrong! The owner had given it to some other guy who never bothered checking the measurements, ordered the carpet, went to install it and...oops!
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

20 years ago, designed and sold kitchen remodels for Sears. They advertised free estimates and design. So most people would call us to come out, measure, and design the kitchen remodel. They expected drawings which they then took to Home Depot to order the cabinets. We got in the habit of making up a separate drawing for them that had no cabinet sizes on it and usually had one or more cabinets that weren't to scale so the Home Depot couldn't take off our drawings. On the other hand, I recently designed a kitchen remodel for my mother's basement kitchen. Simple, two walls, open ended so cabinets didn't have to fit within end walls. I tried to order cabinets from Home Depot and they flat out refused to order any cabinets until I had their man come out and measure. I tried to explain my credentials and the simplicity of the job but no way. It was their way or hit the road. Menard's had no problem with my measurements. Home Depot wouldn't order any cabinets even if I gave them the cabinet size numbers and said "Order It". They would however let me buy the in stock one design finished or unfinished cabinets they carried.
Tom G
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

That's a good idea and frankly, it's better than deducting two inches from each carpet measurment.

You know who caused this, of course? Home owner prima donnas and whiners who measured wrong and then weren't man enough to pay for their own mistakes.
Hmmm. Pot, kettle, black. I did that once myself. I was 24, and I measured for my mother's 2 or 3 book shelves and told the lumber yard a too short length, and found the mistake after they cut, and I let them cut them again without my paying for the first boards. Which they I'm sure had to sell at a loss.
I was just visiting from out of town and didn't have a saw to cut them with. I've regretted this ever since, and I would just buy all 4 or 6 shelves now, and take the short ones home with me when I left.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 21:19:35 -0700, RicodJour

In this case, I was just replacing the cabinets with the exact same sizes, but I don't blame you for saying no. I'm glad I asked and I'll assume everyone would tell me no.
It would still be only two estimating trips, one for the first guy, and one for you or whoever was actually going to do the job.

If he charged 100 dollars, or even 30 dollars for the estimate, he shouldn't have done that. But if it was free, and if the customer said he was going to get the job, ok. If it's in the middle somewhere, I can certainly see why he wanted to do it,....
Not the same thing at all, but when I was just a handy man, a friend of a friend hired me to put in a bit of wiring. She made it clear, no connecting to the fuse box in the basement of the apartment building (she owned one apartment that she wanted to rent.) Before she'd paid me everything, she started talking about my doing the run to the basement and connecting to the fuse box. I could have discussed it with her and said to her, "Just finish paying me for what I've done", but I was suspicious, so I took money to buy materials for the second part, that matched the amount she owed me for the first part, and then called and told her I was done. She took it pretty well, didn't yell at me or say anything bad to me. She might have said something to my friend, but nothing terrible, and he's far sneakier on his nice days than I am on my sneaky days, so he didn't think worse of me. (I finally got sick of him and his sneaky and selfish ways.)

Well, I'm sending a copy of this to an old girlfriend of mine, who might, even with the best of intenetions get an estimate from someone and later decide to go with someone else. She's also smart enough to probably double check the measurements, bur I'm reminding her and myself to definitely do so.
In fact even if there is no hanky-panky going on, it wouldn't hurt to double-check even a pro's meausurements. One doesn't want most of the hosue done only to find out there is no more of that color for sale, even if the carpet guy was going to pay for it.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I can't speak for anyone else. I'm sure you'd find people that would take your gladly take your guarantee (more on this later).
Whether the kitchen was a direct replacement or not, whether the layout was done yesterday or forty years ago, the odds are great that it could be improved upon.

I don't know of any carpet installer, painter or fairly "straightforward" trade that charges for estimates. There was an architect I knew - didn't really like his work or his ways - that would visit a client for the first time, then send them a contract in the mail. If the owner didn't sign it without any questions, he wouldn't answer their phone calls. It takes all types.

Effective, but I doubt either of you were happy with the way it turned out.

Guaranteed measurements are dangerous. If you guarantee a measurement to the wrong guy, and the measurements turn out to have some problems, the guy will take you to the cleaners. It's also dangerous for the contractor. An error in the measurement means lost time. The owner might just want to pay for the replacement cabinet, and ignore the contractor's lost time. Obviously the contractor would have other ideas.
Construction is all about risk. If you are not thoroughly and intimately familiar with construction, and all of the potential pitfalls, you'd be nuts to willingly assume more risk to get a slightly better price.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are a couple of problems with that. First, if I got back the written estimate from the carpet guy and it said my living room is 2' shorter than it really is, I'd notice, and eliminate that carpet guy from consideration, because I'd assume he is simply not competent to use a measure, and so would not want him anywhere near my house.
Second, in this age of the internet, I'd probably blog about him, by name, so that other people looking for a carpet guy would have a chance of finding out that he can't even measure right.
Producing incorrect work is generally a bad thing to do, regardless of whether it is on accident (because of incompetence) or on purpose (as part of some sort of plan to keep people from using your work without paying), because to the consumer of your work, the two cases are usually indistinguishable.
--
--Tim Smith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Wow, Scott. I have absolutely no idea where you came up with any of that. I never said that people shouldn't get bids and I never said that someone who bids more is a better provider (whatever that is). I also didn't say that more expensive equals better, although there is a definite correlation between cheap being shoddy. Read what I wrote again. Don't read into it, just read it.
A car is a commodity. You'll get the exact same car from any dealer. The work I do is not a commodity. I am the exclusive worldwide distributor of me and my work. Who else is supposed to determine how I run my business? You? Some supposed competitor contractor?
I am also not a salesman. You are, of course, absolutely right that word of mouth is the most effective advertising. I have a lot of experience and a lot of work that speaks volumes without me saying a word. That's why I haven't done any advertising in fifteen years. I'm not trying to grow into some huge company where I'll be counting beans and on the phone all day. I've found my niche, I've very happy with it and see no reason to change.
Since I am not a salesman and have no need to sell myself or my work I really don't have to deal with window shoppers. I'm sure that you'd agree that the sooner that two people come to an understanding the better. I am very clear from the beginning about everything I do.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I didn't mean this to be a personal attack on you so I apologize if it seemed that way. I was simply trying to point out some difference of opinions we apparently have.
Let me explain; Your statement "Since you brought up the 3-5 bids, where does that come from? Do you think that somehow gives you a better project or saves you money? It doesn't work that way." leads me to believe that you think a customer shouldn't shop around. (and BTW, if you look up provider in any dictionary, you'll find it means something to the effect of someone that provides a service ;-). You also said "My work is far above the norm and so are my prices." which is where I inferred that you meant just by spending more, your customers will get more and that, I will admit and apologize for, was probably reading too much into your words.
Maybe I wasn't clear in my analogy between you and a car salesman. For example, building an addition onto a house can be compared to buying a car. Just because you're looking for a four door compact with good gas mileage doesn't mean that a Chevy Colbalt is the same as a Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. Sure they both have four wheels and meet your other requirements but they differ greatly in many areas such as quality, price, customer service from the dealership, etc. etc. Just as adding a family room onto a house adds space for living, not everyone that can swing a hammer or cut a board will build it the same way. But either way, and I don't mean any offense, to think that you are not (or were at one time when you were still building your reputation) a salesman is... well.... foolish. You provide a service and based upon what you said, a quality one, but you still have to sell it to the customer or are we to believe that every one of your jobs (again, even when you just started out) are asked for with blind trust from the home owner that you wouldn't rip them off. I doubt it. I bet you had to "sell" it to them by getting them to believe that you would do it in a quality manner.
One area that I whole-heartedly to agree with most taking part in this thread, providing detailed drawings and plans IS providing a service that should be compensated for. But just to receive a bid for the job, which is what I understood the OP to be talking about, is larceny, burglary, thievery or whatever else you'd like to call it.
Again, I'm sorry if this looked to be a personal attack, it really wasn't meant as such. It's just unfortunate that the world we live in today is full or scoundrels and thieves. But, for those of us who don't hangout at the local lumber yard, how else are we to know we're not being ripped off if we don't shop and ask around.
Scott
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Not to belabor the point, but even look at this subject title. He said to measure the kitchen.
nancy
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I don't think you understand. There are some contractors that fall into a different territory altogether. My stepfather was one. He had all the work he could handle and never did any advertising or selling. People sought him out and were willing to pay what he asked. There was no price negotiation. He gave a price and that is what people paid and in all the years of doing that, I don't recall a single job that was turned down because he was "high priced". They were willing to pay for his considerable skills. They were not out getting multiple bids because they knew what they wanted and they knew who they wanted to do the work. He chose who he wanted to work for and turned away a lot of work and maintained a 6 to 12 month backlog.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

When businesses are bought and sold, there is often substantial compensation for "goodwill". Your stepfather had it. It's insurance against the lean times, and gravy in the fat times. It doesn't come free, it has to be earned. It can only be earned by building a solid reputation based on quality work, honesty and sound business practices. It can't be deposited in a bank, but is often more valuable than cash. It opens doors, alleviates tension and is good for the health of all involved. Unfortunately it can't be bottled - but maybe that's a good thing.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It cannot be handed down either. I don't have his skills. I used to work with him on occasion, but could never do the fine work he was capable of. Nor did I study architecture in Vienna as he did. Even if I did, getting it translated from the brain to the hands is not the same.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Sounds like an interesting guy. Post some pictures of his work. I'd love to see some.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.