wrote in message
| > > > I started charging for estimates a long
| > > > time ago. Same deal. You sign up, you get a refund. Cuts down
| > > > the tire kickers. It also lets people know that you value your
| > > > and you expect them to do the same.
| > > So then a person with a remodel job would have to pay $300-500 up
| > > get 3 - 5 bids and then only $100 would be credited back. Seems
| > > a racket. Why even be the low bid. You could make a living just
| > > on estimates - just give an outrageous bid. I will never pay for
| > > It's highway robbery.
| > Wouldn't it be more like burglary since we're talking about
| > houses? ;)
| > You've heard the old saying, there is no such thing as a free lunch,
| > right? Well, it's true. You may not think you're being charged for
| > that "free" estimate, but you are. The contractor just buries it in
| > his price somewhere. I prefer to be more upfront about it.
| > It requires effort to prepare an estimate. There's the site visit,
| > discussing the customers wants and needs, working up the estimate
| > itself, then sitting down with the customer to review the estimate
| > point out where there are areas where money could be saved, or areas
| > where more money will be required to do it right. In short -
| > educating the customer.
| > Where do you think that time comes from? I have no more hours in my
| > week than you do. I can't just ignore hours anymore than your boss
| > will ignore hours if you decide to skip work. From your comment,
| > obvious that you're not the boss or I wouldn't need to explain this
| > stuff to you. An estimate and presentation might take three hours
| > more. What do you feel would be a reasonable amount of money to
| > charge for that time?
| > Since you brought up the 3-5 bids, where does that come from? Do
| > think that somehow gives you a better project or saves you money?
| > doesn't work that way. Most people that get more than a couple or
| > three bids are simply price shopping. They think that all
| > are interchangeable and will pick the lowest bid. My work is far
| > above the norm and so are my prices. You and I would never get past
| > the initial phone call. I screen potential customers at least as
| > carefully as the owner screens me. If someone is price shopping,
| > there are other contractors who are eager to race each other to the
| > bottom of the barrel. I'm not. I've never been the low bid, and if
| > was informed I was, besides being shocked, I'd assume I'd missed
| > something and go racing to double-check my estimate.
| > When you hear about a remodeling project where there were horrendous
| > cost overruns, it's usually due to an owner price shopping, taking
| > lowest bid and hoping for the best, or because an owner doesn't
| > understand the correlation between what they'd like done and what
| > to be done. Both scenarios are recipes for disaster.
| > R