Honoring Your Original Estimate

 
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:32 PM   #1
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Honoring Your Original Estimate


What is everyones opinion on honoring your original estimate to a potential client?

I have been working with a client to get them signed on for a whole house remodel, since my estimate they have been going back and forth on things and have made a few changes. The more I am offering "administrative" services, the more I feel I need to revise my estimate just based off of the PITA factor involved. I have also discovered many hidden issues at the job everytime I have a meeting in their home, which leads me to believe I need to raise the estimate just based off of my observations.

My question is......is it bad to revise an estimate that you have already submitted as long as the revisal is within reason? Or should you stick close to the numbers submitted? I know the client may begin to question my intentions when I adjust an estimate but business is business.

After all it is just an "estimate" and nothing is set in stone until the contract is signed.........correct?

Any insight on this subject is greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:37 PM   #2
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


I go through the same stuff. If you are spending this much time with them....clearly they don't know what they want. They are probably asking for your opinion on a lot of things...If this is the case what you are doing is helping them design...this should be paid time. Designers get what?...$125 an hour? Also, if you have uncovered hidden problems....then hell yes you should charge more.

I'm really great at telling people they should be paid for all the time spent going over options...I should try following my own advice one time...lol

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Old 10-10-2007, 11:41 PM   #3
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


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Originally Posted by send_it_all View Post

I'm really great at telling people they should be paid for all the time spent going over options...I should try following my own advice one time...lol
You and me both!
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:12 AM   #4
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


Quote:
Originally Posted by A.W.Davis View Post
What is everyones opinion on honoring your original estimate to a potential client?

I have been working with a client to get them signed on for a whole house remodel, since my estimate they have been going back and forth on things and have made a few changes. The more I am offering "administrative" services, the more I feel I need to revise my estimate just based off of the PITA factor involved. I have also discovered many hidden issues at the job everytime I have a meeting in their home, which leads me to believe I need to raise the estimate just based off of my observations.

My question is......is it bad to revise an estimate that you have already submitted as long as the revisal is within reason? Or should you stick close to the numbers submitted? I know the client may begin to question my intentions when I adjust an estimate but business is business.

After all it is just an "estimate" and nothing is set in stone until the contract is signed.........correct?

Any insight on this subject is greatly appreciated!
I go over on estimates and don't worry about it. I've also billed less based on an estimate based on them removing work during the scope of the project. I'm working towards my customers asking for estimates vs bids and I explain to the customer when I'm giving it to them that it is an estimate without all the unforeseens, and if I have to give them a bid where I'm competeing for the job I have to charge for the unforeseens before they can even pop up. It's a win some, lose some for somebody. I treat the customer as best I can without working for nothing, just trying to give them what they paid for. When I do go over their bill is presented with a sincere apology explaining what happened and how I would like to work for them again. 99% of the time they are very understanding and I have done work for these people again. When I bill less they are ecstatic and I end up with all their work......."You can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin them once" Try to keep an open dialog with the customer when your working, talk to them when things don't go as planned

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Old 10-11-2007, 06:54 AM   #5
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


So you estimated scope "A", and while you've been going round-and-round with your client, you've uncovered additional scope "B", so the project is now scope "A"+"B"="C". Why would you possibly NOT change your estimate????

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Old 10-11-2007, 09:12 AM   #6
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


I have a declaimer on my contracts:

*"This Estimate is only good for 30days".
*Administrative fee's will be charged if scope of original estimate will be changed.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:06 AM   #7
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


Treat it as a positive. An estimate of the cost of a job is an assistance to the client so that they can budget their project. If you introduce the subject from this direction you can continue to work with them on their need to know the expected realistic costs. People can and do get upset when a job goes over the estimate, I prefer to keep the estimate expanding as the job does so that there are no surprises down the road.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:23 AM   #8
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


If you handle it in a professional way, I have never had a problem changing the original estimate.

I don't do extra work for free, so if I see something that is going to change the scope, I will change it without blinking.
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:28 AM   #9
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Re: Honoring Your Original Estimate


Quote:
nothing is set in stone until the contract is signed.........correct?

Even then, only if the specifications are set in stone.
If there are changes, they need to be priced accordingly
as change orders.

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