Silence After Giving Quotes. - Page 6 - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Silence After Giving Quotes.

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-21-2015, 07:15 AM   #101
LRG WoodCrafting

 
Leo G's Avatar
 
Trade: Maker of Fine Sawdust
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Windsor Locks, Connecticut
Posts: 40,740
Rewards Points: 13,713

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Well that's time easy spent on a job this size.

There's a lot go into it when I price stuff. There's the meetings with different trades on the job, the running about figuring crap out, sketch up drawings, putting together a quote etc etc

I won't see a penny for Prob 20+hrs work but I get 95% of jobs I price. It would be 100% if I stopped pricing jobs I know 100% they ain't gonna pay my price but I have a mate who gives me a bunch of referrals and I don't wanna make him feel bad by saying no as you also has future worked lined up with these same people.
I'm the same way and it hurts when you don't get the job. I want to know exactly what I'm doing. I don't want to be figuring out prices in the middle of the job. When the job is done I want to make sure that the price I quoted is the price they pay. If I screw up I suck it up. Only time the price changes is if something is added. And that becomes another contract, not a change order. In all the time I've been doing business there have been 2 occasions that my end price has changed. And that was very early in the business.

Most kitchen jobs require about 20 hours of work before I am ready with a price. But that price is pretty much guaranteed. I am not in a high price area, people are frugal and want the best and I want to give it to them. I need to know exactly what they want down to the door knob. If they want an ballpark estimate I give them a range 10K-18K for what you are looking for. But that doesn't narrow it down much.
__________________
Sawdust Follows Me Everywhere
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
Sanding is the bane of my existence
WWG1WGA

Quote:
Originally Posted by HusqyPro View Post
Carpenter by day.
Mad scientist by night.
http://lrgwood.com
Custom Cabinets in Hartford County Connecticut
Leo G is online now  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 05-21-2015, 08:13 AM   #102
Pro
 
Dan_Watson's Avatar
 
Trade: Remodeling Contractor/Helical Post Installer
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 4,335
Rewards Points: 2,684

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Well that's time easy spent on a job this size.

There's a lot go into it when I price stuff. There's the meetings with different trades on the job, the running about figuring crap out, sketch up drawings, putting together a quote etc etc

I won't see a penny for Prob 20+hrs work but I get 95% of jobs I price. It would be 100% if I stopped pricing jobs I know 100% they ain't gonna pay my price but I have a mate who gives me a bunch of referrals and I don't wanna make him feel bad by saying no as you also has future worked lined up with these same people.
I was the same way, changed up our approach and made quite a few changes. We do very few small projects, so for the large ones I will put together an estimate, no more than 30 minutes usually, and include a fee for the design, planning and actual quote which is under a separate contract. We have always gotten the project after the initial work is done and I am getting paid for my work as I should be. This has made a huge difference in the quality of projects and clients we are working with and I can see it in the bank account.

For some repeat customers that give realistic budgets and I am sure we are getting the project I will just include it in the price and not as a separate design contract.
Dan_Watson is online now  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Dan_Watson For This Useful Post:
66 Shelby (05-21-2015), CarpenterSFO (05-21-2015), Jaws (05-21-2015), KAP (05-21-2015), WarnerConstInc. (05-21-2015)
Old 05-21-2015, 08:29 AM   #103
Pro
 
fast fred's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: trailer in colorado where the rich live
Posts: 743
Rewards Points: 828

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


I just have them take a photo of what they want done and they email it to me and I send a quote back, the wave of the future isn't it??????



[QUOTE=Ohio painter;3012953]I include a cover letter with all quotes / estimates. I use it to explain about insurance coverage, workers comp coverage, being registered in our county and what the customer can expect from my company.
/QUOTE]

EXCELLENT idea! thanks I had a rude disclaimer I was going to put at the bottom of my proposals that said this took time for me to do and I would like some feedback yes or no, but I chickened out.

I did recently did add a disclaimer that said I spend a crap ton of money on wc insurance and I'm not a fly by night killing some time between carriers contractor, so that is why my price is so high

Now I think I'm going to just put a short cover letter together and send it as part of the proposal. Thanks!

On the other hand I deal with second homeowners 80% of the time so I meet on weekends and email proposals, none of these (fill in the blank with nasty words) people have the decency to call me or email me back that they are not interested in working with me. It blows my mind, it's so easy, I don't care that they are not using me, just call or email me back and say thanks but no thanks

had a guy years ago, knew he was cheap, knew he wasn't going to use me, but I did the proposal, he calls me back and says thanks but no thanks, we have a good conversation and I thanked him over and over for actually taking the time to call me and tell me he wasn't interested. He didn't understand what that ment to me.

People suck.
fast fred is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 05-21-2015, 08:51 AM   #104
Pro
 
fast fred's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: trailer in colorado where the rich live
Posts: 743
Rewards Points: 828

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Kap this is my point. If a customer wants a product and they know what they want do you have the price lists for these products and install.

Ok answer these questions as I'm curious of how your calculating your time to get these jobs.

1. Has customer already picked out tile, cabinets, paint, counters, appliances, lighting etc etc

2. If not then do you take a bunch of samples in the way of tile, counters, cabinet door samples, paint samples etc etc and only sell what you have in your price lists.

3. Is so then what do you do when they want stuff that's not in your price lists that you have never installed or used before.
I went and looked at a kitchen the other day, messy old 1970 kitchen, that was literally in a room From the conversation we had they don't have any money. But I did the proposal, I have 3 hrs into the meeting and cranking out numbers for what I priced out as a 20,000 job. I have 20% chance of actually doing the work.

I write proposals not estimates, not bids, proposals, so I rough out prices for some things other materials are just left blank, for example, floor tile, pendant lights, and kitchen faucet are all line itemed out with no price included in proposal.

I look at jobs where people are on it know what they want and I take lots of time using their pre spec'd material ideas and go for it.

A year ago I went and looked at a whole condo remodel, lady didn't have a clue as to what she wanted to do and had no money. She kept calling and emailing where is my bid? I kept telling her it is 100k to do all the work and would you like to just start with the kitchen or do you want to do the whole thing, she said the whole thing, even though she had no clue about any design aspects when we spoke

Finally had time and wrote it up in an hr, bathroom 1 15k, kitchen 25k, flooring 10k, stair railing 12k, and so on, just cut and pasted descriptions from other proposals, have never heard from her since.

All these people get a big F U from me. It's like I have nothing going on and lots of time to play these price and design games

I'm learning to talk about money asap and I'm learning to not design their job without getting a contract signed to do so. I'm not going to talk about kitchen cabinet styles until you pay me.

I got 18 hrs into another full house remodel, guy said everything I wanted to hear, had all the right bs to tell me, won't return my calls, won't return my emails, poof into thin air, learned a good lesson there.

if you set expectations for other people they will only let you down, my old lady learned that in rehab, I use that everyday in my life
fast fred is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 09:36 AM   #105
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,373
Rewards Points: 35,402

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SamM View Post
This is a very interesting thread. I'm curious KAP, do you know how your pricing compares to your competition?
Years ago, I was CONVINCED this mattered more than it actually does... but it doesn't for a couple of reasons...

1. Who's the competition? Guys out of regular work thinking they can do what you do? A guy working out of his truck or garage with nowhere near the operating costs? Illegals? The guy who is actually in business with insurance but is stuck in rob Peter to pay Cycles and is a deposit collector to stay alive? The guy who is charging almost FOUR TIMES (yes I have an example) what I am for a custom product and getting it? So how are you going to aggregate that information for any real purpose EXCEPT to realign your pricing to "the market"... I think a lot of times we forget, we're not retail nor is what we offer the same as the next guy... two guys could be doing "kitchens", but offer a much different range of product...

2. Even if you COULD somehow manage to get and aggregate all this information, of what REAL benefit is it to YOUR company? Just one example.... If you want to make $75-$100K/year and you have a guy who went from working as an employee make $15-$20/hour ($30-$40K range - industry average), to $50K as an owner, even IF you used the exact same materials, and could finish the job in an identical time frame, you will be by definition MORE expensive by default. And what if they don't carry insurance or have a shop, etc. So what are you then going to do? DROP your price which can only come from ONE place - YOURS and your families pocket?... because your subs, your suppliers, your overhead, etc. STILL expect to be paid even if you drop your pants...

3. Low-bidders and competition have ALWAYS been there... from low-priced products, to guys working out of their garage, no insurance, etc... I remember years ago having a discussion on WoodWeb (Leo might remember this), how Chinese cabinets were going to kill the cabinet industry like the furniture industry... I made the point then that there will ALWAYS be a cheaper version of what you do or how you do it... the Chinese cabinets were just another version of it... but they also face significant obstacles that were easily sold against...


What really matters is what YOU need to charge stay in business... the whole "knowing what the competition charges" concept is really another way of saying we want to be all things to all customers and think we can do so by being "competitive"... part of the reasons we think this way is a retail mindset... One of the hardest things for all of us to accept is not everyone is our customer... we WANT them to be, but they're not... instead, you are better off focusing on the customers that can support your business and what it needs to function or improve processes and best practices to glean more profit from your company...

I know this is long already (as it usually is), but I'll give you a personal example... many years ago, we WERE the company worried about the competition and trying to have the "best price", robbing Peter to pay Paul, going after the next jobs's deposit to be able to finish the last one (not much but enough and "capital reserves" and "emergency fund" were a foreign concept), and then one day I was done... I said, either we are going to charge more to cover what we need to be in business or it's time to hang it up and work for someone else whose figured it out... so, we raised our prices... and to our AMAZEMENT, our close rate didn't go down, and if I remember correctly, went UP initially... we raised them AGAIN... still no effect on the close rate... then realized what "profit" was (not what I get paid after everyone else gets paid but what we pay the company), and raised them AGAIN... and we still kept closing the business... can't even begin to realize how much money I needlessly left on the table to struggle while everyone else got paid...

Lots of guys do it now... As an example, if I told someone raise your prices 3%, they look at me and can't see how they can do it and still "remain competitive" but that same guy can charge the same customer that 3% MORE (on the gross) to GIVE TO A BANK to be able to offer credit cards... whether you believe in credit cards or not is not the point... think about how your life and business would be IMPROVED if using just last years numbers, you could have 3% more GROSS (which would have done what to your NET)...

Sorry so long but hope it explained it... being verbose is my curse...

.

Last edited by KAP; 05-21-2015 at 10:18 AM.
KAP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to KAP For This Useful Post:
Kowboy (05-21-2015)
Old 05-21-2015, 09:40 AM   #106
Pro
 
KAP's Avatar
 
Trade: Custom
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 11,373
Rewards Points: 35,402

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


One of the ways to actually be paid for your time doing proposals is to track your time doing that activity for a year, and work it into your salary requirements (including OT) in your hourly rate...

Doesn't get it all, because it will vary, but one way to recapture it...

.
KAP is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to KAP For This Useful Post:
TaylorMadeAB (05-21-2015)
Old 05-21-2015, 05:15 PM   #107
Head Light Bulb Changer
 
66 Shelby's Avatar
 
Trade: Renovation/Home Repair
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 847
Rewards Points: 216

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Well that's time easy spent on a job this size.

There's a lot go into it when I price stuff. There's the meetings with different trades on the job, the running about figuring crap out, sketch up drawings, putting together a quote etc etc

I won't see a penny for Prob 20+hrs work but I get 95% of jobs I price. It would be 100% if I stopped pricing jobs I know 100% they ain't gonna pay my price but I have a mate who gives me a bunch of referrals and I don't wanna make him feel bad by saying no as you also has future worked lined up with these same people.
You don't charge for the design stage? Their first hour is free (the initial consultation), but after that they're on the clock. That really weeds out the tire kickers. If they want to use someone else it doesn't bother me in the least - They've been paying me for my work and sitting on my ass in my office is a lot easier than swinging a hammer.
66 Shelby is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 05:58 PM   #108
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 66 Shelby View Post
You don't charge for the design stage? Their first hour is free (the initial consultation), but after that they're on the clock. That really weeds out the tire kickers. If they want to use someone else it doesn't bother me in the least - They've been paying me for my work and sitting on my ass in my office is a lot easier than swinging a hammer.

May work in your area but around here one mention of a cost to estimate the job and you ain't even getting your foot in the door let alone a call.

Now if it was pricing a house I could understand charging as that's got some serious time involved. But I can spend on avg 8hrs just designing and pricing a deck but that cost is put into the job. Most times I get the jobs but if I don't im out them 8hrs
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 06:14 PM   #109
I like Green things
 
WarnerConstInc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Architectural Mill Work
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: In a van, down by the river. Auburn, IN
Posts: 22,918
Rewards Points: 5,670

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


None of my time is free, i will not price out a detailed project for free. Screw that.

I have better things to do then prepare a shopping list to hand over to a complete stranger.

Screw that.
__________________
Warner Mill Works
Facebook
YouTube
WarnerConstInc. is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to WarnerConstInc. For This Useful Post:
KAP (05-21-2015)
Old 05-21-2015, 06:15 PM   #110
Hair Splitter
 
TNTRenovate's Avatar
 
Trade: General
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Naperville, IL
Posts: 18,310
Rewards Points: 1,244

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
May work in your area but around here one mention of a cost to estimate the job and you ain't even getting your foot in the door let alone a call.

Now if it was pricing a house I could understand charging as that's got some serious time involved. But I can spend on avg 8hrs just designing and pricing a deck but that cost is put into the job. Most times I get the jobs but if I don't im out them 8hrs
No way am I spending 8 hours on a design quote Ave not getting paid. I'll give an estimate but never a quote for free on medium to large job.

I charge a min of $250. Which will be deducted from the project if they go with me.
__________________
Tried & True on Facebook
Tried & True Website
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpenterSFO View Post
You ask for your money frequently, and you collect it quickly, else you stop working immediately.
TNTRenovate is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 06:29 PM   #111
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTSERVICES View Post
No way am I spending 8 hours on a design quote Ave not getting paid. I'll give an estimate but never a quote for free on medium to large job.

I charge a min of $250. Which will be deducted from the project if they go with me.

I give estimates and they normally agree with that cost then I explain that it may be little bit more little bit less and then do a proper proposal which they do a final look over then when they decide I do a proper contract. At no time though do I supply any kind of material list even after they sign the contract.

Now if I had more customers not get me to do the work then that charge may be on the books but that's a while off yet. 99% of my work is recommendations so these people have seen my work which is why I'm there.
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 06:59 PM   #112
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 37,309
Rewards Points: 21,258

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


With my software it takes about 5 minutes to type up and email a proposal. It's really nothing. They get a shopping list as well.
Calidecks is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to Calidecks For This Useful Post:
KAP (05-21-2015)
Old 05-21-2015, 07:10 PM   #113
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
With my software it takes about 5 minutes to type up and email a proposal. It's really nothing. They get a shopping list as well.

type ing it up ain't what takes me the time doing that takes about 5mins to.

What I have time in is going to their house, going over options, taking measurements and pictures onto surface pro so I have them for when I get home. Design the layout of footers, posts, beams and joist, figure out rail post spacing etc etc
Pull my material list of them plans and then price materials. That's what takes me about 8hrs
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:17 PM   #114
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 37,309
Rewards Points: 21,258

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
type ing it up ain't what takes me the time doing that takes about 5mins to.

What I have time in is going to their house, going over options, taking measurements and pictures onto surface pro so I have them for when I get home. Design the layout of footers, posts, beams and joist, figure out rail post spacing etc etc
Pull my material list of them plans and then price materials. That's what takes me about 8hrs
I can go to there house, spend about 30 minutes, maybe an hour. Go back home and shoot them a 60,000.00 bid without drawing anything.

Last edited by Calidecks; 05-21-2015 at 07:20 PM.
Calidecks is online now  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:29 PM   #115
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
I can go to there house, spend about 30 minutes, maybe an hour. Go back home and shoot them a 60,000.00 bid without drawing anything.

I'm a bit more anal than that. I spend time going over where they want posts, where they want stairs to land, spacing on hand rails, where they want beans to land, where they want deck to start and end etc etc. I then have a full plan of where everything lands before I start the deck. It's ends up built exactly as I have it on sketch up and any issues or surprises are figured out before I even order material. I can also use the same plan for permitting. Saves me more than 8hrs of laying out stuff when I'm on site. Basically more leg work up front less on site.
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:36 PM   #116
Pro
 
EricBrancard's Avatar
 
Trade: Builder/Renovator
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 6,771
Rewards Points: 1,216

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
Saves me more than 8hrs of laying out stuff when I'm on site. Basically more leg work up front less on site.
Yes, but it's completely wasted time if they don't sign. I'd rather spend the 8 hours on site laying out a job that I am being paid to do, than spend 8 hours up front on a job I may never get.
EricBrancard is online now  
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to EricBrancard For This Useful Post:
Calidecks (05-21-2015), NJGC (05-21-2015)
Old 05-21-2015, 07:41 PM   #117
GC/carpenter
 
Calidecks's Avatar
 
Trade: Decking, Railing, Carpenter/General Contractor
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Anaheim Hills, California (OC)
Posts: 37,309
Rewards Points: 21,258

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


I can do 18 holes in that 8 hours
Calidecks is online now  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:45 PM   #118
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by EricBrancard View Post
Yes, but it's completely wasted time if they don't sign. I'd rather spend the 8 hours on site laying out a job that I am being paid to do, than spend 8 hours up front on a job I may never get.

Problem is I get 95% of the jobs I quote I get. Since I moved to the US I had only 1 deck job I didn't get and that took me 2hrs to figure out. It was only a 16x12 well easy design too.
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:46 PM   #119
Pro
 
BCConstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 16,392
Rewards Points: 2,394

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Californiadecks View Post
I can do 18 holes in that 8 hours

I can do 100 on crazy golf so what's your point?
__________________
www.bcconstructionllc.com
BCConstruction is offline  
Old 05-21-2015, 07:58 PM   #120
I like Green things
 
WarnerConstInc.'s Avatar
 
Trade: Architectural Mill Work
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: In a van, down by the river. Auburn, IN
Posts: 22,918
Rewards Points: 5,670

Re: Silence After Giving Quotes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BCConstruction View Post
I'm a bit more anal than that. I spend time going over where they want posts, where they want stairs to land, spacing on hand rails, where they want beans to land, where they want deck to start and end etc etc. I then have a full plan of where everything lands before I start the deck. It's ends up built exactly as I have it on sketch up and any issues or surprises are figured out before I even order material. I can also use the same plan for permitting. Saves me more than 8hrs of laying out stuff when I'm on site. Basically more leg work up front less on site.
Why? They have no skin in the game, you however keep investing 1000's of dollars on hoping they say yes.

That stuff is to figure out after you have some of their money.

Advertisement

__________________
Warner Mill Works
Facebook
YouTube

Last edited by WarnerConstInc.; 05-21-2015 at 08:09 PM.
WarnerConstInc. is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Roofing quotes - what do you share? crissyissy Roofing 43 12-27-2013 11:58 AM
Firm Quotes for difficult jobs with unknown variables rtztgue Business 24 08-05-2013 02:59 PM
Famous quotes on bids/advertising. CrpntrFrk Marketing & Sales 3 03-17-2013 08:04 AM
Charging the government for quotes rtztgue Business 6 05-04-2011 01:00 PM
Charging for quotes phillter General Discussion 4 03-06-2007 12:26 PM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?