Too Good Not To Share

 
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:53 PM   #1
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Too Good Not To Share


To make a very long story short...here is one of my prospective clients. We haven't signed anything yet but since they had concept drawings for their reno & addition to their home, I gave them a rough break down on costs.

The next step is for them to sign with me for pre-construction services. Before they do...they said they have a "laundry list" of questions. I said "Sure, send them to me".

Well...they...were....not....kidding...

Please bear in mind...this is just for PRE-CONSTRUCTION. I break my jobs up into 2 phases: Pre-construction and Actual construction. That's 2 separate contracts. At pre-construction, I put together concept drawings, permit drawings, detail/section drawings, a SOW, transparent budget, bids from subs, committee of adjustments/zoning passes...aka the "design package". Whether we actually contract for the actual work or not is up to them/me. They can take the package and have it bid on by others...I don't care.


I've had people ask me questions...but nobody ever wrote it all out and asked me to type the answers back...and it has to be in RED.

Without further A-do ...





Dear Peter,

Here are some questions that we have regarding the house renovation. We appreciate your time and effort in the pre-planning stage and look forward to your assistance in answering these questions. Please place your answers underneath the questions in red.

General Questions:
1) Will you be using subcontractors on this project?
a. If so, are your subcontractors licensed to work in these areas (such as plumbing, roofing, etc.)?
i. What is the average length of time they have worked for you?
2) How many jobs does your company have in progress right now?
3) What is the average number of jobs you do at the same time?
4) Do you have any other outstanding bids right now?
a. If these turn into jobs, will our job drop to the bottom of the list?
5) How do you manage your jobs on a day-to day basis?
a. Who checks for quality, mistakes and progress?
6) Who will be on-site and in charge of our home each day?
a. Will we have access to this person’s name, email and phone number?
7) Have you or your company ever been sued before?
8) Have you or your company ever sued anyone or filed mechanics liens before?
a. What happened? Why the disagreement?
9) What has been your best building experience?
10) What are your business ambitions?
11) What is the longest amount of down-time you experienced between jobs?
12) Who were your two best customers? Why?
13) Who were your two worst customers? Why?
14) Have you/your company ever caused/been involved in an accident that caused someone to receive hospital treatment or be hospitalized?
15) Do you plan to vacation during our job?
a. If so, who will manage in your absence?
16) Who are your top 3 material suppliers?
17) Do you have public liability and property damage insurance?
18) Do you have workers’ compensation medical insurance?
a. If so, are your sub-contractors covered for the medical insurance
19) Have you ever worked on a project that is similar to our home?
a. If so, what were some of the main challenges that you faced during construction?
b. And how did you time-manage the situation, and insure that you stayed close to the budget?
20) How would you handle a specific problem related to this project?
21) Could we have a list of 15 home references?
22) How and when do you clean up, particularly fine dust?
23) Does Nostco give written warranties?
24) To which professional associations do you belong?
a. Do you attend regular meetings or hold an office within the association?


House Specific Questions:
25) Could you start our renovation with the garage?
a. Could you start in the spring?
26) Will we have the opportunity to store our belongings in the basement while construction is going on?
27) Who would conduct our home inspection?
28) In regards to our roof, if we decided to slant the roof down, would that compromise the size of the garage? Are there any other options?
29) What are some cost effective ways that we could handle the entrance?
30) Do we require blueprints or building plans?
31) The attic entrance now resides in the master bedroom, is it possible to change that location?
32) Can you reposition the central vacuuming system into the garage?

Spreadsheet Specific Questions:
33) Were appliances included in the final price?
34) Line 157, Labour - $16,000
a. Please provide further breakdown of this labour
b. What is it referring to?
35) There are blank rows in the spreadsheet, are these services included in the project? If not, why? (example…Line 8-16 – Soft costs)
36) Are washroom facilities for your staff(sub-contractors) included in the cost?
37) Line 405, Toilets - $400
a. We will be reusing our existing toilets (2)
38) Line 84 - $4,000
a. We are removing the columns from the plans
39) Line 107, Stone Masonry - $5,000
a. Please describe what this entails
40) Line 146, Railing
a. What type of material will be used for the railing?
41) Line 184, Bathrooms
a. Does this price reflect all 3 bathroom renovations from the plans?
b. We have decided to take the bathroom number back down to 2 (Plans will be re-drawn)
42) Line 210, Roofing - $3,500
a. Is this just for the garage roof?
43) Line 294, Drywall
a. How much space will we lose in a room if drywall is applied?
b. Please describe a before and after scenario
44) Can you install a pre-fabricated shower stall and kitchen cabinets?
a. Will this affect the labour costs?
45) Line 338, Carpets - $2,000
a. We will only be using carpeting for the basement
46) Line 394, Plumbing - $3,000
a. Does this include internal and external pricing?
47) Line 456, Landscaping-Sub
a. What is this for?
b. We may have our own landscaper to the external landscaping
48) We have calculated that roughly $40,500 of the project is going to labour costs, how can you assist in lowering this cost to suit our budget?

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. We look forward to hearing back from you.
Sincerely,
Debra and Kaeisha ***x
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #2
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Speechless... wow...

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Old 02-23-2011, 06:59 PM   #3
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Doesn't sound excessive to me. Can you not answer any of them honestly?
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


wow, thats pretty thorough. They gonna make you take a drug test before work starts or give blood samples?
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Most of the "General Questions" you should ask them back. Oh and get a SSN and credit score from them. Ask them how much they have in the bank(savings, checking, bonds, cds, etc)
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:16 PM   #6
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


question #48 isnt this why we should try not to do breakdowns for our customers. almost everytime especially in this economy thats exactly what there looking for to save at our expense

good luck
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #7
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


I would add about $10,000.00 as a communication charge, these type of customers will be calling you every hour with new questions.
What is this labour they keep refering too? Is this the French word for Labor????
Just some personal advise here, I don't mind customers wanting information, they should, but they are asking for somethings that are really none of their business.
References, our policy is three that are comparative, we respect our customers privacy and won't overload them unnecessarily.
Best and worst customers.... there all good customers, nothing negitive
Lawsuits, not our policy to discuss, good, bad or indifferent
Suppliers, by having many stay competitive, but could be a good reference
Vaction schedule.. too personal, assuming you have qualified people to handle this project. Anything about you personell should be kept to the company's professional staff.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


They are certainly doing thier due diligence.

Last edited by MAD Renovations; 02-23-2011 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:26 PM   #9
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


That's unreal.

You really need this one that bad?

One customer like this would destroy any construction companies ability to manage any other projects at the same time. There one project with somebody like this will take up a companies time that they would commit to three projects at the same time.

You might want to tell them, they have so many questions and you don't have the time it will take to answer all of these in writing, and tell them the normal procedure is for the client to sponsor a dinner meeting at Hashimoto and they can ask you all the questions they want from at that time.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:31 PM   #10
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Some of the General Questions seem a bit excessive. 15 home references? Most of the rest seem OK. I usually wind up answering them verbally during discussions. I have a tendency to talk a lot and wave my arms around at the same time. Cuts down on e-mails. Just a wild guess, but by any chance are these folks attorneys? If they are, you will earn your money. Good luck.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:38 PM   #11
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Re: Too Good Not To Share




Wow. Just wow.

Most of it seems pretty innocuous... But there are few in there that would give me cause to pause.

If they're that thorough... are you sure you didn't mean to post this in Hard Hat?
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #12
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmiller View Post
Doesn't sound excessive to me. Can you not answer any of them honestly?
Are you serious?

Some of these questions are legitimate, some are out of line, many are just not called for. I don't have an issue responding to reasonable questions. You want me to give you FIFTEEN references? Do I have any other OUTSTANDING bids right now? What has been my BEST BUILDING EXPERIENCE? etc., etc., etc.

Sorry Buddy, if you've got time to answer all these questions, you've got way too much time on your hands!

I don't think there's any question as to where this is headed if this is already going on before any work gets started......

We all have DIY, Holmes, HGTV, etc. to thank for this!

I went and estimated 2 jobs today (both bathroom reno's). Both brought up Holmes on Holmes. The 2nd one mentioned she's now heard that she shouldn't be paying ANY money up front until the job is 100% complete because of all the contractor fraud out there. I spent awhile educating them, but I'll make sure my "extra / wasted time costs" are covered for sure.

I run a tight ship, above board, and completely legit. I stand behind everything (and plus) I do, but this is getting ridiculous.......Sheeeesh!
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:40 PM   #13
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Run Run Run ...dont Walk Run!

Nag nag nag, They are gonna be all over you thru the whole project.

I think you know how to proceed and have delt with people like this before, I know I have and thats why I wont do work for them. Most of the questions should have already been covered.

The breakdown in labor is kinda bs in my book. And personal questions are a bit too much.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:42 PM   #14
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Holy, where do you find these clients?

I honestly wouldn't know how to respond to that other than maybe change my phone number.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:44 PM   #15
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Hell, I missed the spot where you stated how much the fee was for this analysis...did you charge enough?
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:45 PM   #16
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Sounds like trouble to me. The last contractor I worked for had a client ask questions like that. We did the job, but they were breathing down our backs the whole time. Good Luck
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:48 PM   #17
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrWright View Post


Wow. Just wow.

Most of it seems pretty innocuous... But there are few in there that would give me cause to pause.

If they're that thorough... are you sure you didn't mean to post this in Hard Hat?
I'm with Chris on this one, move it to HH.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:53 PM   #18
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


Wow....

Quote:
14) Have you/your company ever caused/been involved in an accident that caused someone to receive hospital treatment or be hospitalized?
No....not by accident....
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:54 PM   #19
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


no way, unless my kids were starving. And a "couple" also....I see nothing but trouble, including line 48.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:12 PM   #20
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Re: Too Good Not To Share


hay that isn't so bad ,
I answer most of those questions in my contract or at a construction meetings .
Every one wants you to do some thing about # 48 .
Its really like my kinda job , Most guys wont even price a job like that , and the hacks couldn't keep up with the questions .
If i have a customer like that i just call them before work 600 am and after work 800 pm and one call in the after noon.
It takes 30 minutes and they get tiered of talking to me in a few weeks . John

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